Dreamweaver 237 Part A
Morning stroll after lunch…in the flat smooth crystal stone streets of the fae fortress city
And we’d finally escaped Lula’s house. Although truthfully it wasn’t so much an escape, as much as an understanding that, “you belong to me now,” and sounding a bit like a mafia boss. And it wouldn’t have been possible without putting her in a sex coma also.
Lula’s rules were simple.
“So do you understand what I want now?” Lula asked me earlier before I contained her.
“Yes...” I complied.
She’d been really nice about it, smiling even, but I still have to be really careful. Her obsession shows with pretty dark make up around what looks like wild wide eyes, and at dangerous obsession levels compels her to be nice to me, but its clear that if I reject her she’s dangerous.
So sometimes I have to sort of skirt around an issue carefully, by maybe trying a ‘what do you think about this…?’ kind of approach and then try to get her to loosen up without letting her think I disagree.
It was after that, that I’d put her in the sex coma; but that will only last maybe 8 to 12 hours until tonight where I’ll have to do it again.
Whew...I wiped the sweat off my brow.
Lula is really hot, and pretty to look at. But I worry I might accidentally set her off.
And the rules...
Now I can’t stay out after dark. I live in and sleep at her house and no more adventurer’s inns full of ‘loose barmaid whores and such’, her words not mine. (Although technically I could have easily have netted some of the barmaid ‘whores’, but why settle for less when I had a harem? This seems to be the true worry, but hey I don’t mind not paying an inn my hard earned money.)
Also no gambling or drinking. (Where did that come from? Projection from her mother maybe? I’m seeing Lottie in a new light now.) No cats allowed, and no cat beastmen. (Trauma from her mother’s cat hoarding?)
The other rules were pretty simple normal things.
She did try to persuade me to get rid of the other harem members, but then I used the pheromones to induce her ‘surrender’ to my terms. Of the 5 terms, she’d demanded from me, the pheromones conquered all but her last condition of sleeping everyday with her instead of at the inn, unless I want to.
But the fact is, I still would classify her as a yandere. I will need to be extremely careful and expect that she’ll try to renegotiate soon, when she’s not in a phermone haze. She may even realize what I did; scary also.
Then I added conditions of my own; I can ask her for help sometimes. I won’t ask her for money, but she begged to let me hold her money purse, and other things she voluntarily surrendured.
But truthfully I don’t know how much I can trust Lula. She just might get too mad.
Like what if I’m in a fight and the enemy surrendurs, and Lula just can’t handle that they tried to hurt me and decides to execute them?
What if she goes after the fae government for not giving me a raise or ‘health insurance’ benefits, or whatever?
What if she finds out we think some of the assassin attempts recently were from dark fae in the government? Will she go after every fae then, or just some of them, or stay cool?
And then there’s the mother in law, Lottie. And what will happen if Lottie finds out Lula is practically giving me everything; if its like that she’ll act against me and smell a rat. And do I need to worry about how close the mother in law lives? (That couldn’t happen right? She was living in that dark dwarf town.)
Wow that seems scary, if she were to move.
It seems wicked, but I’m going to have to pit Lula against her mother, just to survive if she moves nearby. And in doing so that may take the sting of some of Lula’s attention on me. I’d thought I was being paranoid but then I remembered on Earth, parents would definitely move close to children if all their children had left a particular area, and if they had the means.
We proceeded to go farm more dungeons and do adventuring work. For now we’re continuing to grind XP, gold, and monster cores. Its sticking to the basics that will keep us going well.
So now we’re going to get a job at the adventurers guild.
We’ll focus on turning in a few job chits, and picking up a few new ones.
Rather than worry about all the political problems I want to think about this part solo for a bit
“Right. So...we pick up a job chit at the adventurers guild again?” Zynne whispered. (She is still kind of ‘fresh’, so she hasn’t been to many chit shopping episodes with us yet. And I can smell her curiosity, because she’s smart.)
“Yeah, pretty much,” Sunghee said while holding a bag of loot over her back.
“Do you ever get bored of this?” Zynne asked me. (Is she testing me? Her look implies she’s trying to figure me out not suggesting…, unless she wants to go back to have sex all day?)
“Why would we? We get gold, and get a chance to get stronger. And it’s fun. We get to explore this new world. Its a bit violent sometimes, but its still an interesting new world,” I tell her.
“That’s true,” she admitted.
“I can show you how its done,” Rina smiled.
“Uh...she is not an appropriate tutor,” Sunghee shut down Rina...though in this case she was trying to be helpful.
Rina retreated to the back again, leaving Sunghee and Zynne closer to me still whispering to each other about something. In front of them my smooth and strong back is being stared at by both of them as they act sneaky.
Lately, Zynne had been accidentally Sunghee’s disciple follower, through trying to milk her for information on how to get closer to Shun. And it was natural for dark elves to want to hide in the back, due to their secretive nature. Plus, Sunghee, actually was pretty strong as an adventurer and technically would be a party leader on her own, if she weren’t under me instead.
As we’ve been walking through the streets, we are getting closer to the adventurers guild. The party attracts a lot of attention, lately through not only having ‘hot adventurer babes’ in it, but the fame of my name and team has gone through the roof since the ‘starvation dungeon’ incident.
“Can you guys keep it down? People are following us now. Spies,” I in the front told them. Without looking behind them, I felt that there were at least two presences that had been following them since they’d come inside the city gates from outside where they’d been doing their most recent adventurer chit’s job.
I glanced at the chit in my hand, that I’d been carrying.
The enchanted wooden palm sized chit read;
Job chit 179; patrol outer border fence area (outside town)
The current job chit could be completed, either by patrolling the whole fence line, or alternatively with a minimum kill count achieved. This one looks fun also. Who wouldn’t want to secure their border fences with an enemy army that close to us.
In this case, we’d done both.
But we’d fought for this job chit with Heavy Metal Nun’s team, who insisted that it was ‘theirs’ after we already picked it up. Even now they were giving us dirty looks, even though it was a multi-team job.
The daemon pheromones I’d emitted had accidentally been creating an awe effect lately where the ladies are following behind me a few paces because of perceived ‘awe’ and difference in status. As a result, I’m is in front with Zynne and Sunghee a few paces behind. The others aren’t currently ‘summoned’ at this point.
“Shun, can we get a blood cleaner from the alchemist shop added to our grocery list for today? My boots are soaked,” Sunghee complained.
“Don’t you have the cleanup spell?” I shot back.
“I do...but there’s the smell too, not that my boots smell yet, but I don’t want them to be disease farms and I’m getting a faint whiff of something. And sometimes a real cleaning with chemicals is good to alternate with. My clean up skill isn’t leveled up enough to fully get rid of the smell. And I’m leaving blood footprints since we came through the gates after that boss room,” Sunghee complained further.
“If we’re talking groceries, I have some things to add maybe for the list. I’d also really like some white lingerie from that one special shop,” Zynne pleaded, giving me a sly smile.
“Special shop? I didn’t see a special shop for that? Where was it?” now Asakura is curious about this shop.
She and Zynne are now whispering so that I can’t hear.
Dark elf party members can have this one annoying little trait; whispering because of having a survival and sneaky culture built into their DNA over thousands of years of genetics and social programming regardless of if they are good or evil.
“We’ll look into it, after we sell the loot first,” I decided.
“OK, no problem!” Sunghee chirped.
“That’s why a lot of dark elf girls use enchanted heels,” Zynne told her, twisting her hip a bit to show off. “I don’t have to worry about gore on the pointed part of the hell, plus, with an investment of monster cores into the [Kick] skill, I have a hidden weapon.”
Oops, I better not look at her too long or I’ll be too distracted to hunt.
“Oh wow. I like it,” Sunghee clapped.
But Asakura is frowning, and looking at Rina. (Perhaps worrying what she’ll emulate from seeing Zynne’s new ideas...
Asakura and Sunghee frowned at her in jealousy.
Then they approached the adventurers guild desk.
“H-how can I help you?” the receptionist shyly stammered. Currently she’s staring into my eyes, not realizing the half hypnosis state she’s currently in.
“Uh, Sunghee, can you talk to her?” I urged realizing what was happening.
This is when I back off. I have enough problems to deal with right now. This is the second time this week that my pheromones have tried to run amok, even though I tried to lower them when talking to ‘NPC townies’.
Rather than try to milk her for a discount,...which would easily occur, I knew that if I did that repeatedly people would start asking questions, or wake up with someone I don’t know in my bed. And it was already a problem that I was hiding Asakura’s blood ghoul status, and the vampire Mallory.
Still, I found my teeth grinding in annoyance that I couldn’t openly have Mallory and Ayumi in the streets of the fae city. But well with the recent ‘stealth’ clothes that Sylvie had made, I can sometimes get away with Asakura out in the open. I want to test it more before I rush having Mallory out too much though.
“Hi, we’re here to turn in our work,” Sunghee said. (To perhaps rival Asakura and push back her niche in the harem, Sunghee is baiting us and the receptionist by creating a boob shelf with how she’s leaning forward against the counter with two bulges resting on the counter, and sometimes glancing at me; pheromone induced behavior also.)
“OK! I’ll be happy to help you! Job chit please!” the receptionist girl asked. She tried to move a bit so she could see me behind Sunghee, but Sunghee just stepped right back in front of her; she frowned after that.
To the receptionist girl’s shock, my group then dumped, not just one, but three job chits on the counter.
“Wh-what? You did all three today?!” the receptionist girl is shocked.
“Of course,” Zynne chuckled and tried to show off her muscles...which didn’t work, but made people admire her seductive physique. Her arms are ridiculously thin also.
“That’s job chit 179...rank B quest. Job chit 141, rank C quest, and job chit 238, rank B quest,” the receptionist read the chits back to confirm, like her orders require her to do.
“How did you do so many in one day? These normally would take several days to do each,” she muttered in surprise. She’s also looking at the job chits suspiciously worried about being tricked.
“The proof is right there,” Zynne showed her while showing off with her dark elf high heels.
I was only distracted by the heels for 0.75 seconds. But I think my response time is getting more delayed by those sexy dark elf legs.
There is murmuring as other adventurers are listening in. A lot of them were already attracted by Zynne’s hot loincloth style leather skirt and clothes.
“Wait, which one is 179?” one adventurer asked from nearby. He’d asked because he sees our receptionist hefting a nice stack of coins on the silver platter she’s pushing forward.
“Are you kidding me?! That’s the outside fence patrol,” his friend said while sipping a beer at the table closest to the receptionist desk.
“Does it pay good?” asked adventurer A.
“OF course it does! But it’s a suicide job! Remember the outside fences are being sieged at any given time,” adventurer B shakes his head sadly while admiring the froth on his beer.
“You know your wife is going to make you go to AA if you keep drinking that much.”
“Sh-shut up! It’s not my fault! My uncle died last week and...”
“You said that last month!”
“I have a lot of uncles!” came the protest.
Other adventurers are also listening…
“Hey, what’s the pay on that one?”
“Forget it! That job chit isn’t for humans!”
“And what are the others?”
“The other two are ‘slay enemy spy; bring proof’ chit...and the other one is...hang on I’m having trouble remembering. Oh right! That one is the ogre slaying quest chit! Wow that team is good,” observer A said to observer B.
“There’s a quest called ‘slay enemy spy’? Why didn’t I hear about that one?”
“Eh? That sounds fun. I want to do the ‘slay enemy spy’ quest. Let’s do that!” a voice sounding too young said.
Then there’s the sound of a face being slapped. “Fuck that! Asshole! Think before you talk! Do you know how dangerous a spy would be?! Spies are elite agents with strong skills and ranks fool! Think! That’s like saying, I want to become ground beef! There’s a reason we didn’t see that kind of shit, because its high rank suicide crap,” a more mature voice rebuked the other one.
“Are you kidding? There’s always spies and scouts around the walls. But the problem is you need a way to store heads and other ‘parts’ so that a high level identify skill can be cast on the remains...”
“True, but they are dangerous,” a third voice said.
“Oh I get it. Does that one pay good?”
“Fool! The problem with that job chit is that you need a skill that can stop enemy movements, so the scouts don’t flee! And scout job class types always have a good movement skill AND an escape skill! Not to mention, wouldn’t a strong country make someone they thought to be invincible be their spy?” the other observer replied.
“Ugh...let’s never do the spy job chit. Everyone agreed?”
Several voices in unison sounded of varying versions of “OK,” from the eavesdropping club behind Shun’s team.
“So for quest C, we have more than one ogre head. We also have more than one bag of loot to be processed,” Sunghee said quickly while the receptionist girl is going through the temporary loot bag that was placed on the counter.
“Oh...OK. Hang on let me get a supervisor to help with this and another assistant. I didn’t think you’d have this much loot,” the receptionist girl is now swimming in stress as she sees the very full second loot bag, in addition to the first.
“If it helps any, we kept the ones we thought are the ‘spies’ in a separate sack,” Zynne said while Shun was trying to not be noticed by any women and blend in.
A supervisor, middle aged dwarf came to the table. “What is it Stacey?” he asked receptionist girl A.
“Um...yeah, need help with this. They turned in 3 jobs at once. And there’s a lot of stuff to process. It’s all messy too. Please!”
The dwarf blinked a few times as he looked over at the bulging loot bags. “There’s enough stuff there, I suppose one of them might be a spy. But I’ll be checking it thoroughly with the quest verification skill from the ancient code,” he adds.
“Wait, didn’t you guys turn in the fire salamander kill quest yesterday?” he scratched his head.
“Yeah that was us,” Zynne said.
“How...did you still not be too tired? You turned in a lot of parts yesterday. And you turned in three quests today too? Unbelievable...”
“Can you not pry into our affairs if you know what’s good for you, little dwarf,” Zynne growled at the dwarf.
The dwarf and dark elf stared at each other dourly...which was natural since they had a natural racial enmity. Oops...I didn’t know dwarves and dark elves didn’t react well to each other; racial enmity is real and much like cats and dogs.
Eventually the dwarf sighed and relaxed; he has to be professional as a guild employee. “Sorry about that. Right, let’s focus on the tallies. What’s important is that with more jobs done the fortress’ future is that much more secure.”
“Um, since this will take awhile why don’t you wait over at the bar. Don’t worry, we’ll be careful to not lose anything and protect your interests,” the dwarf sincerely expressed.
I chose a table as close as possible to the reception desk.
About an hour later, the adventurers guild staff have finally pulled up the tally.
“Shun’s team. Can you come to the front please,” a receptionist girl called out.
“Yes?” Sunghee on purpose stood directly blocking the line of sight, so that receptionist girl A couldn’t stare at Shun...which in turn made her frown.
“OK, here’s your earnings. First off, direct job quest payment is 80 silver for the rank B quest, 1 gold for the second rank B quest, and 20 silver for the rank C quest. Additionally, you have 3 ogre heads, with the current ogre head bounty being 4 gold each. The spy bounties, came to 11 heads, but only 2 of them were known criminals in the bounty book. So we can’t give you much for the other 9 heads, but the 2 named heads got pretty good prices on them. The amount for the two enemy agent spy heads comes to 6 gold 19 silver, and 49 copper. The other parts from other monsters, etc came to 28 silver 89 copper.”
“I think we should do that quest again soon,” Zynne whispered in Shun’s ear.
“By the way, one trick you can do recommended by some of our other veteran explorers is carrying large sealable clay vats with lids and with a preserving agent like pickling vinegar or a similar substance in your spatial inventory slots. Then when you get a high return bounty head cutting like an ogre’s head or ‘enemy spy’ head, you can put the heads inside to preserve them easier, and seal of the top with a wax kit,” the dwarf was telling us.
“I didn’t know that. That sounds like a neat trick,” I replied.
“It definitely is. Its totally worth it,” he smiled.
But then came the kicker; we sell six packs of adventurer head preservation vats with a wax kit included in a package deal all for 1 silver 99.9 copper. We also have a 12 pack option for 2 silver 99.9 copper; some claim using honey to preserve the heads also works but its a waste of honey if you ask me. Vinegar is the way to go. Best investment that high rank adventures can get besides their weaponry if they already have spatial inventory slot skills. The heads in the preserved vats also get a slight bonus on bounty collection this way also, from it being readily usable as a high rank monster bait in the sealed vat!” the dwarf went right into salesman mode.
“Uh, maybe next time bro. We don’t know if we’re doing ogres again soon,” I told him.
(Even though the money is good, there just isn’t ogres everyday to hunt. For starters, the enemy we’re facing is organized and doesn’t want its ‘elite’ units used as fodder; they use the goblins for that. And the enemy also shifts around its pieces in the tug of war between the enemy ‘evil teeth’ fortresses surrounding the fae fortresses. Not to mention, I also like to give a rest to my team after facing ogres because even when you win, such a scary monster really does shake them up mentally for a few days. Plus, I worry about minute tissue damage without rest building up like tennis elbow or torn rotator cuff injuries sports athletes used to get; the injuries usually come from the big game, not the small fries.)
“I understand,” the dwarf tried to hide his disappointment, and right after that the receptionist was finishing off going over our earnings totals.
“We didn’t get anything for the mutated gem snake?” Sunghee asked dourly.
“You would have, but the monster core was taken. The gem snake is worth a lot, but it’s commanding price on monster parts sales is only due to turning in the monster core. I’m sorry,” the dwarf supervisor next to the receptionist explained.
That sounds lame. Most monsters you don’t get a big hit if you keep the monster core.
“OK, what’s the final total then?” Zynne asked while her slits of distrustful eyes followed every move the dwarf made.
“That’s 20 gold 48 silver and 38 copper total,” the receptionist can’t believe her ears as she’s stating the final figure overly slow. For a second, her mind was doing a double take to make sure she could believe what she was seeing.
“What the hell...that team is raking in 20 gold in one day!” someone tried to whisper but did so too loudly.
The room was much quieter as the stares intensified and room went quiet. A lot of eyes are suddenly on us. There’s a lot of earnest stares at us to figure out what we’re doing, some jealous, some hopeful for various reasons, and some angry that we took ‘their job’. Also it isn’t just us that attracts this kind of attention; any adventuring party bringing in rank B and A completed job chits will get this kind of attention from the lower ranks.
“20 gold...that’s so much.”
“My dad was a real adventurer. He saw a gold coin once...” one guy was heard boasting to a drinking buddy. (But it also looks like its obvious where his ‘gold’ is going by the stacks of empty tankards he’s been plowing through.)
“What does a gold coin look like?”
“Fool! You think I’ve seen one in my own hand?!”
Although she had been working here for two years, this was the highest adventurer payout that she’d seen ever! The other staff have shocked expressions also seeing the team.
The dwarf is almost salivating from the look of so much gold in one place! He was tempted to change his job to ‘robber’ right now except that it would waste his pension if he was ever caught.
Normally only nobles had this much gold on them at any given time!
The whole adventurers guild is quiet as they watch the receptionist girl push 20 shiny pretty pure gold coins and the change coming with it towards Sunghee. The hypnotic effect of so much gold, even made the coins feel exceptionally heavy to the hands of the receptionist as she’s pushing them across the counter.
In one scoop, Shun is suddenly at the table and dumps the coins into a small coin purse. Then he tucked it into his shirt’s secret inner pocket. As soon as they aren’t being stared at, of course, he would dump the coins into the spatial inventory slots.
The dwarf and receptionist girl then watch the team leave after picking up two more adventurers job chits before going out the door.
“What...just happened?” one of the staff asked, who had come from the back storeroom.
“Big payout job...” the dwarf mumbled.
“Is it that big a deal?”
“Hell yes. They turned in not just one, but TWO rank B jobs!” the receptionist girl A told girl B.
“So? But we have rank A and rank S jobs on the board...” came B girl’s reply.
The dwarf didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. “You don’t understand. Those job chits are just for show! Its rare for people to actually do those rank A and higher jobs! We get maybe 1 or 2 completed a month and then they lie low. People don’t want to die! Even if you have the skill for a certain rank to qualify to get the chits, people know there’s always a ‘fumble’ rate, and death rate when you do a job. Even the best adventurers in the world, aren’t always hitting a home run every time they are at bat! And why would you risk a job if not hitting a home run meant death!” he explained.
“So people don’t do rank A jobs? Nobody told me that.”
“But there is rank A adventurers right?” girl B asked.
“Oh heck yeah. We have about a dozen of them. And there is a lot of adventuring jobs because the government helps with their intelligence services. But it’s complicated in other ways also.”
“Even if you could field your rank A adventurers in the field, one of the problems is that our rank A adventurers are what keep the daemon princes from attacking the city...usually. So if you think about it, at any given time the enemy’s rank A and S pieces are trying to figure out what our rank A pieces are doing. And a virtual stand off is going on at any given time watching each others pieces while that happens. So a lot of them get reluctant to even leave town because of government meddling. And if they ever thought that all of them were gone at the same time...can you imagine what would happen?” the dwarf asked.
“Also people don’t like that the failure and death rates are much higher on rank A quests,” he adds.
“No you don’t. Not really. You’ll never understand our pain,” the dwarf verbally shoots back.
“Whatever. Let’s go get some lunch. I’m really in the mood for sandwiches right now Shun,” Zynne says while squeezing my arm into her cleavage.
Sandwiches sound good right now; as long as they are fresh, and if the meat and cheese is fresh.
“Before we go, shouldn’t we get more job chits? There’s a whole bunch here that look interesting,” Sunghee tugged me the other way and spills a pile of job chits onto the front lobby desk surface.
They jingle from 5 or 6 spilling there.
“You can only take 3 max,” the dwarf glares at us while saying.
In another corner of the room an hour later…
A hooded figure was in the corner of the dining section of the adventurer’s guild. He’d been listening here for quite some time while pretending to be a heavy drinker. But in reality he spilled a lot of it in the potted plant near his table.
He paid his bill and then went out the back entrance. His steps crunched into the street gravel for about thirty paces until he got to a back alley.
At length he approached another headed figure there, waiting to meet up but also hidden from the street view.
“You made sure nobody followed you or saw you?” B asked him.
“I’m sure. I’m not an amateur,” A told him.
“OK, thanks. Can’t be too careful these days,” the other sounded worried.
“I need today’s message expedited,” he told the other stealther.
“Oh? Somethings up isn’t it.”
“This week the guild records show teams turned in 8 B rank quests, and 2 A rank quests.”
“WHAT?! So many?”
“The numbers worry me. If this pattern continues our side will be left behind. We can’t let the fae forces pull ahead. And at least one of those was the job chit to ‘slay enemy ranker spies’, near the front border fences.”
“Don’t talk to me like that. I know the game. But yes that sounds worrisome,” the other snorted.
“I get it. I just want you to understand my worries. This is too many jobs completed with no deaths for the other side.”
“No casualties for the fae sponsored side you say?” the other raised an eyebrow.
“Yes. The game pieces are favoring them for now. And this means unchecked growth. So I’m recommending intervention to trim the fae beehive a bit. Make sure you don’t leave anything out when you send the intel package over the fence.”
Spy A waited ten minutes for Spy B to leave the alley before risking being scene also. Only then did he leave.
But rather than going straight home, he went into another shop through a back alley door not seen by the normal public. He went right to the front cash register and rang the hand bell exactly six times carefully with even spaces between.
“Can I help you?” an old thin human wearing a leather work apron and almost no hair came to the front desk.
“Hi. ‘Aunt Marge sends her finest wine. Chateau 66 is in season this time of year’,” he said not breaking from the script. It was also plainly obvious he wasn’t actually delivering any wine.
The older apron worker suddenly looked worried. ‘Aunt Marge’s wine will be on schedule. I can take care of it tonight if you like.”
“Wait two days. The courier needs to deliver an expedited message of grave importance first tonight. But then proceed according to schedule to make sure no one can recover information from him and retire the asset. ‘They’ have found the other 2 agents in this 3 man cell already, so the damage control is regrettable, but necessary to make sure that nothing leaks out of this cell. I’m sorry you had to do this,” Spy A said.
Both of them knew that Spy B, who he had just asked to send a message, was the one to be the target of the purge.
“Don’t worry. As long as the gold flow keeps coming, I don’t care who the target is,” the unassuming ‘fixer’ smiled.
“Well be seeing you. Stay safe.”
Then Spy A left the shop.