Beatrice regained her senses in her bodyguard’s warm and gentle embrace, with Tabitha laying at their feet, naked, on the cold stone floor.
I really am a horrible person, Beatrice thought. After all here she was, resting, cared for by her bodyguard for whom she was quickly developing feelings she had not felt in decades in her past life. However, what made Beatrice feel horrible about herself was not the fact that they both left Tabitha on the floor, used and discarded, but rather it was the fact that Beatrice could not muster herself to console the used mage or make her feel as cared for as Ember did. Despite the fact that Beatrice knew first-hand how important it was, how safe and reassured it made her feel.
Beatrice thought herself to be better than that. Was it just because she enjoyed Ember’s slow caressing that much? Or was it because Tabitha explicitly wished to be treated like that and much worse? Did Tabitha get exactly what she wanted? Beatrice couldn’t bring herself to ask.
“We should take care of her,” Ember said, nodding toward the bound ninja girl, Olivia.
Beatrice’s eyes snapped wide open as if awoken from a trance. She had completely forgotten that the ninja girl was alive and conscious all this time. Even now Olivia was staring them down, quietly, sending death wished with her eyes, but not visibly taking any action toward escape.
“Don’t worry, I kept an eye on her so that she didn’t try anything stupid,” Ember explained when she felt the succubus tense up. “But you should get dressed. It’s about time we moved out of these tunnels before more trouble finds us.”
Getting dressed for Beatrice didn’t mean anything more than put on her light-blue bra and panties, and required only about as much time as it took to find where she discarded them during her craze.
“Aha!” Beatrice finally found what she was looking for, and while she put her only clothing on, she considered the exact meaning of Ember’s words. And that meaning was clear even before Ember clarified.
“The only logical choice is to kill her,” Ember said while toying with a small flame at the tip of her fingers. “We obviously can’t walk around the city in broad daylight with a bound prisoner on a leash, and letting her go is out of the question.”
Beatrice was conflicted. Obviously, the ninja girl had intended to kill both Beatrice and Ember for profit, possibly after letting her scumbag friends abuse them, had they gotten the chance. And the others had already either paid with their lives or—in the case of Tabitha—submitted in both mind and body.
On top of that, this is supposed to be a wish-fulfillment world for me! Beatrice reminded herself. Why should I spare any thoughts toward anyone wishing me or my friends harm? Off with her head and be done with it, she tried to encourage herself.
The decision should have been that simple. But For the second time today, Beatrice had to come to terms with the fact that it’s not that simple of a choice when staring into the eyes of a living, breathing human being. Beatrice tried to imagine herself slitting the bound girl's throat. The thought churned the stomach. She couldn't kill a helpless prisoner. Even though she knew very well that the ninja girl would not be as kind if the situation had been reversed.
In self-defense? Maybe. But right now that would be cold-blooded murder. As revenge for something Olivia and her partners miserably failed to do. There has to be another way...
“Ah!” An idea popped into Beatrice’s head. “What if we act like she’s just one of our slaves? Surely, something like that shouldn’t be unheard of if the city is anything like I suspect it is—with nearly all its inhabitants a part of the S.E.C.R.E.T. guild. At least until we figure out what to do with her.”
“You’re just delaying the decision that has to be made now,” Ember pointed out. “And what you’re suggesting would only work if that girl played her part, which she has no reason to do. She can easily make a scene as soon as we’re in sight of the city guards.”
“Then why not hand her over to those very guards?”
“And tell them what? That this girl that we drag around like a slave, attacked us with four others, but we killed three of them and did in the fourth one silly? Best case scenario we all get locked up together and waste precious time hoping for Lucarad to free us.”
"Bring her to Lucarad?” Beatrice suggested more timidly, discouraged at how easily her suggestions got shot down one after the other.
“We don’t know how long he’ll be with the king. It would be foolish to disturb any royalty with something like this and we must concentrate on awakening your powers as quickly as possible.”
Beatrice sighed and looked at the silent ninja girl.
Finally, Ember broke the silence with a suggestion, “If you’re that intent on keeping her alive, I suggest we cut off both her arms.”