Me, Sarya and Zephy disembarked from our wagon. We had been on the trail for about three days and thought it best to let the horses rest and see if there were any paying jobs. While I still had a good amount of gold, about 250 would be my best guess; I didn’t want to get caught short. I was hoping that because of Sarya and Zephy being here then maybe people would hopefully take us seriously.
Wandering the town, I let Sarya go towards the farmlands to see if she could help them and Zephy accompanied her. While they went and did that, I decided to walk around to both stretch my legs and to find some paying job for us to do.
Wandering for about ten minutes I noticed that a lot of people were giving me funny looks. They seemed to whisper among themselves and keep their distance. Was everyone so stingy?
I tried to approach people to ask them some questions but they moved to the closes door to get away from me. This kept up for about three tries before I gave up. Annoyed, I wandered a little more before deciding that I should try my luck at the town. Moving towards the main gate I was stopped by the guard. “Oi! What business you have here?” Stopping before him I replied “I’m here looking for work, if there’s any to be done.”
The guard snorted. “You from the village?” I shook my head. “Well, we don’t need any help here in Gelranos (pronounced Gel-Ran-No-SS). We have everything we could ever need, so beat it wench”
I grimaced at the name. I hadn’t been called that in a long time so it really annoyed me. Fuming, I stormed away back to the village. Before I entered the village, I noticed some sort of wooden boxes that sat near a house, that wasn’t what caught my attention though, what startled me the most was that there was a pair of legs sticking out of one. I felt my heart racing as I slowly moved closer to it but before I reached it a group of men rounded the house and pointed at me. They looked like they were well armed and ready for anything.
“That looks like her” One of them said. Another one opened a piece of paper and looked down at it and then up to me. “Yeah, it does”
I looked at each of them. There were five in total, two had swords, one had a hammer, one had a bow and the last one was carrying some kind of book. “Who the hell are you” I demanded. They looked at each other and laughed. “Well wench, we are the good ‘peacekeepers’ that have come to punish the disrespectful. We are here to take you back to Longris and face judgment, all while getting paid for it. Good deal no?”
I frowned. Longris? Oh yeah, that Kingdom with that snot-nosed little prince. One of the men, who I assumed was their leader held his hand out. “Come with us now and we promise we’ll get you to Longris unharmed.” Yeah right… They think I was born yesterday.
I reached for my belt and felt a ping of dread as I realized that I had left my sword in the wagon. “What’s the matter? Forget something?” Their leader had a smirk on his face. “Yeah…” I answered. “…My sword. You couldn’t by chance let me borrow yours could you?” The leader arched a brow before striding towards me. “Well, aren’t you a cocky little bitch. I heard you were supposed to be some sort swordswoman that managed to just best a general” He closed the distance and placed his hand on my cheek.
When he rested his hand on my cheek the first thing I felt was an immediate sense of repulse, my stomach churned as I felt the prickles on the back of my neck. Back in the original world this sort of action may have come off as strange, but here? The only thing I could think of was to break this man’s fingers. Instead, I decided to do something worst.
I grabbed both his elbow and wrist and twisted them like a hand crank being turned in the opposite direction. He looked at his newly deformed arm with shook, shook that became horror. Their leader suddenly screamed bloody murder as he fell over holding his arm. Without missing a beat, I unsheathed his sword and turned to the others.
“So, how are we going to do this? You going to let me walk or do I have to force my way out?” The looks on their faces were a mixture of fear and angry. Some looked concerned if they might receive the same thing while the others were furious as to what they witnessed.
“Fucking little cun-“Before one of them could finish his sentence an arm reached out from behind the corner and lifted him up. Zephy came round the corner and slammed him into the side of the house. “Well well well, what did I miss?” I felt relief as she stood there with Sarya.
“Damnit! They didn’t say anything about her” The man with the bow noted Zephy. “Fuck it. Carl, start the summoning. We’ll have to take them dead!” The man with the book opened it and started chanting something I couldn’t understand. I had the swordsmen and Zephy took the hammer that she threw a moment ago. Finally Sarya took the bowman with her staff. The swordsmen made a few quick jabs with his sword, most likely trying to throw me off balance; I made a quick thrust of my own at his leg. The sword plunged deep into his leg making him cry out and fall over.
Looking to Zephy, she was punching the man in the face until he went limp, to which end she let him go and he crumpled on the ground. Sarya delivered a final smack to the bowmen which left us with the ‘summoner.’ we advanced onto him before reddish light emitted from the ground. We immediately jumped back at the sight.
“What the hell is that!?”I was panicking at this moment. Sarya pinned the summoner with a murderous glare. “YOU WOULD DARE SUMMONER ONE OF THEM!?” Before I had even time to ask what he brought out the light faded to show… something.
The thing had a humanoid body with spikes all across its body. Its grayish skin had red cracks along its body. The thing also wielded some sort of crude club with spiked chains. Finally its eyes glowed red with an eerie sense.
“What….” I couldn’t even find my words. Just what the fuck is this thing!?
The summoner encouraged the thing by saying “Kill them and their souls are yours!” The thing grunted in response, turning towards me. Aw… crap.
It advanced faster than I anticipated, closing the distance and striking its hand out. The blow rippled through my body and I felt the sudden rough surface of wood as I slammed into the house. Sliding down, I gasped and cough, trying to catch my breath from being winded. The thing tried to move towards me but Zephy swing her battle axe down the things back making it fall over. Following up I stabbed my sword into its neck to end it… or so I thought. The thing looked at me with its glowing red eyes and grabbed me by the neck to slam me into the ground.
I could feel my stomach fluids building up in my stomach as it tightens its grip. Zephy was there to cut the things leg off, allowing me to break free from its grasp. Coughing, I crawled back away from it as Zephy brought her axe down for the final blow, decapitating it. The things body disintegrated as if it were made of ash. Just what the fuck was that?
I looked over to see Sarya pinning the ‘summoner’ to the wall. Getting up and moving over to her. She had a murderous glare as she looked down at the fearful man. In all my time with Sarya, I have never seen her like this. It was pretty scary.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!? YOU WOULD CARELESSLY SUMMON THE RALMA!?”
The… Ralma? The hell is the Ralma? Zephy helped me up and we all stood before the ‘summoner’
“Sarya… what is the… Ralma””Monsters” Was her only answer. Yeah, I could have guessed as much. I pointed my sword at the book he was clutching. “Hand it over” were my only words.
He looked down at his book before handing it to me with a shaky hand. “H-here… I can go now right?” I opened the book. “Depends…” skimming through the pages I noticed that all the pages were written in the same language as some scrolls I grabbed when I first came to this world.
“Sarya… I need to ask you again. What are the Ralma? Is this their language?”
Signing, she looked at me, occasionally glancing at the man.
“This world is ours, called Hevlan. This is the second world. Lanos is the first world, were that Ralma came from. What he did was open a gate to this realm and that one. Using that language, he formed a deal with one of them to fight for him. Lanos is a world that has become corrupted and sinister.” She glared at him and said “That was a very careless move! You realize what would have happened if that gateway opened for too long? We would have had a bigger problem.”
Judging from what Sarya was implying I could only guess that more could have come through the gate if it was open for long enough.
I looked around “Yeah… and he did that right in the middle of a village too…”
I gazed down at him and asked “What would make you do such a rash action anyways?” Without a word he handed me a piece of paper. I shook it and scanned the whole page. The page had a rough sketch of my face with a 2000 coin bounty above it and below was my name “TEELA” below that was a list of some crimes: Treason, assaulting the Prince and kidnapping an Elven woman. I was absolutely pissed by the claims. Kidnapping? Treason? What the hell… Sarya moved behind my shoulder and gasped at the page. “Kidnapping…” Her tone was one of disbelieve “Kidnapping me? These claims are absurd” Zephy peeked and added “Assaulting a prince? You hit a Prince?” I laughed nervously… “Yeah… I was a bit upset” Zephy arched a brow “You must have been quite angry, what would anger you that much?”
Sarya was the one to answer “The prince refused to reward Teela so she…” trailing off so I finished for her “…so I slapped him repeatedly”
Zephy froze for a full two seconds before throwing her head back and roaring with laughter.
“You actually slapped a Prince because he was selfish? That has to be the best thing I’ve heard in a long time! AHAHAHAHA” I groaned at her laughter. This wasn’t an amusing situation. If they put a bounty on me then who knows how far this has reached.
Signing, I told Sarya to let him go. I wasn’t interested in more bloodshed. There were a few that were still awake so they helped their comrades limp away.
I suddenly remembered what I came over here for. “Oh shit!”
I turned around and seen that the legs were gone from the boxes. ‘Did they leave?’ I slowly made my way towards them. Walking up to the boxes I ducked down and gasped at the sight.
Inside the box was a little girl, she looked about ten or twelve, she was huddling up inside and had an empty look in her eyes. My heart lurched as I had seen that her state was terrible. She only wore a small piece of fabric that just barely covered her. She also was dirty all over and smelled really bad. It was clear that she hadn’t been taken care of well.
I knead down in front of the boxes and tried my best to smile.
“Hey there…. Why don’t you come out?” It seemed like she didn’t even hear me. He eyes still showed a state of shellshock. I poked my head inside and suddenly she panicked started to push me back out.
“NUUUU! NUUUU!” She started making sounds as she pushed me.
“H-Hey! I’m not trying to hurt you! I just want to help! S-Stop!” I was getting irritated as she keeps pushing me with her hands and feet.
I eventually grabbed her leg and pulled her out.
“Stop fussing! I’m just trying to help!” I don’t know if she even understood but she stopped after I asked her a second time. Her body was limp and she was breathing heavily. She barely struggled so how could she be out of breath? I had turned her around and got a better look at her.
She had short amber hair that was dirty and her eyes were black. Perhaps the most pronounced was her ears. Her ears were shaped like Sarya’s but they were drooping down. Sarya noticed them.
“Oh…” Sarya looked sadly at the girl.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
Sarya refused to meet my gaze. “She’s… a half-breed…” Sarya visibility winched at the name.
“What do you mean by half-breed?” Some reason, I knew I wasn’t going to like the answer.
Sarya sighed. “Well, it looks like she has both Elven and human heritage. When an elf has a child with someone other than another elf, the ears will look like the way they are now. This and the fact that she doesn’t glow like a pure elf is the most obvious signs that she is a half-breed.”
Sarya seemed to be choosing her words carefully. Looking at the girl once again, I notice that she was right about the glowing part. It wasn’t even about the fact she looked so sad either. I could feel my heart lurch for the poor girl.
“Sarya… I need to ask you something. I want you to be completely honest with me. What do the elf’s at the World Tree thing of half-breeds?” I was asking a question that I felt I already knew the answer to.
“Well…” She looked to the ground. “The World Tree doesn’t fully support half-breeds. While half-breeds are allowed to exist among the populace, they aren’t allowed things like to own a house or any similar”
Even though she didn’t say it I knew what she was implying. “So basically things that would imply that they would stay. A way to kick them out?"
It was Zephy’s turn to voice her opinion. “So they just throw them to the wolves? To fend for themselves? That seems quite cold don’t you think?”
Sarya’s head snapped to Zephy. “I-It’s not like that! That law was passed before I was born so I really have no idea why it still exists today…” I could see that Sarya was on the verge of tears.
“Zephy…” I gave a warning tone to which she shrugged. “I’m sorry Sarya; I wasn’t trying to make the elves sound like bad people. I’m just asking questions because I’m unfamiliar with how everything works.” She nodded, wiping her eyes.
Looking back at the little girl, I was at a dilemma. I knew she couldn’t survive by herself but at the same time, was I really capable of taking care of her? I guess it didn’t matter. Anything was better than staying here.
“Hey… what is your name? Can you tell me?” I tried my best to sooth her when I asked.
Her only response was shaking her head. I had one more question but I was hesitant. It was more of the need to confirm something.
“Hey…. Where… where are your parents? Do you know where they are?” Both me and the little girl flinched visibly. I didn’t want to do anything to upset her, I figured that she was abandoned but I needed to know for sure. She only shook her head in response and my heart sank. She didn’t know where her parents were?
“Anyone take care of you?”
She was silent for so long that I thought she wasn’t going to answer. When she did, she pointed towards the gateway to Gelranos.
“The people who take care of you are in the town?” Something wasn’t right. Why was she out here then? Did the people abandon her? Why?
I didn’t know what to do. A part of me wanted to go into the town and find her these people for better or worse, another part of me just wanted to take her and leave this place behind us.
“Dammit… what do I do…?” I was muttering angrily under my breath.
“Why don’t we see what the child’s caretakers have to say for themselves?” Zephy was suddenly asking me a question. I turned around to look at her. “What…?” I asked.
“Well… I for one, despise the fact that she was abandoned. They have a lot to answer for. If they refuse to take care for her then the least we can do is ‘receive’ gold to take care of her.”
I was taken aback by what she was suggesting. “You’re… asking me to rob these people!?”
Zephy shook her head. “No dear Teela. I’m saying that we should go get the gold to ensure her future. I’m not going to stand around and let people like that get away with disgusting things like this.” With that, she turned on her heels and stormed towards the gate. Damnit! What was that Amazon thinking!?
I picked up the little girl, which to my surprise she didn’t struggle against me, and went after Zephy. When Zephy reached the gate the guard had tried to stop her but instead of responding to him she immediately punched him in the face. The other guard fumbled with his spear and tried to stab Zephy. She grabbed the weapon and lifted both the spear and the guard in the air then slamming him to the ground.
I could only stand there slacked-jawed as she signaled us to move inside. I guess there was no going back now…
We had moved inside the town and I could help but feel like we entered some time portal. The people around the town looked like they belonged to some Victorian era or something similar. The streets were mostly dirt but there were landings and stairs that were made from stone. Most builds shared the same stone look. People were giving us alarmed looks and whispering among themselves, I was a bit nervous, not because of the people but because I was expecting guards to swarm us at a moment’s notice. I tightened my hold on the little girl, who I was carrying the whole time. She was nervous and refused to meet my gaze. I was doing my best to sooth her by patting her back and trying to hold her comfortably. I tried to ask her where to go a few times and by the third time I asked she looked in the general direction of the end of the street. We came into perfect view of the building and my eyes widen as I took in the entire sight. The building was quite large with many windows and columns surrounding the place, it was like a smaller mansion. The thing that was shocking was the people that were standing outside, women who wore incredibly scandalous clothes that showed off a lot of skin. They were doing their best to woo people on the street to entering their place. ‘They weren’t..’
“Those clothes… those women are prostitutes aren’t they?” Zephy was the one to speak my mind, a mind that didn’t want to accept the truth…
I could feel a lump in my throat as I looked numbly at the building; I didn’t want to say it but was this little girl was the result of this place…? Before I could say anything Zephy stormed towards the place with a powerful stride leaving me and Sarya to catch up.
“Z-Zephy… we shouldn’t just charge in there…” I was trying to reason with her but she wasn’t having any of it. When we got close to the door we were greeted by the women.
“Well, hello there. Why don’t you-“The woman trailed off when she seen the little girl I was hold. Her expression turned dark.
“Why are you bringing that little rat here? You think we don’t have enough problems trying to earn our keep?”
“What…?” I was completely blindsided by her hostility, the little girl begun to shake in my hold as I stood there.
"How could you say something like that?"
The woman sneered. “We have enough problems as it is, it’s not our fault that Terra: the woman who took care of that half-breed died. We have nothing to-“*Slap* I stood absolutely still as Sarya had slapped the woman so hard she literally fell over.
“HOW COULD YOU BE SO COLD!? HAS YOU LIFE AS A PARASITE NUMBED YOUR HEART!?”
I felt numb by what I was just revealed. A woman who took care of the little girl died? When? How? I think I was going to be sick. I noticed that the girl was shaking even more and now… she was quietly sobbing. Something snapped in my mind. This poor girl was left with nothing; she was also likely kicked out as a result of things that were beyond her control. Her life was one big train wreak and they never thought to even try to help or sympathize with her, they just treated her terribly. I could feel a rage boiling inside me, a rage I hadn’t felt since… those soldiers and knight on the road on my second day in this world.
“Sarya… take the girl. I’m going to deal with this.” I handed her over and Sarya looked curiously at me.
“What do you mean?” I didn’t answer her; instead I made my way up the steps to the mansion. A large man suddenly came out from the door. “What’s going on here? Who are-“I didn’t give him time to finish as I punched him in the throat and hiked my knee to his groin. He fell over as sudden cries and shouts of panic erupted from the people inside. Through the door was a large lounge with chairs, sofas and rugs laid out. Zephy was right behind me with Sarya coming up on the rear, holding the little girl.
Three men made their way to block our path. I took one and dislocated his shoulder; Zephy took the other two by grabbing both by their hair and banging them together. We had cut a path through the mansion, the constant panic from both the woman and ‘customers’ as they scrambled out of our way.
We had made our way to the second floor and came up on a large door with two equally large men. We took care of them and kicked in the door together. Immediately we were jumped by five men with knives. We didn’t even need to draw our weapons as we took care of them.
I made my way past the crippled bodies towards the man standing near the desk with a troubled look on his face.
“Who… are you? You’re not an angry wife are you?” I may have laughed if I wasn’t so furious.
Grabbed his collar, I threw him into the desk than wrapped my fingers around his neck to stare at him with a question.
“What. Happened. To. Terra?” The man looked confused until he seen the little girl.
“I-I don’t know… Terra passed away from something, some sort of disease. A few days ago. This line of work carries risks.” Even though he gave me an answer I wasn’t pleased with it. I punched him in the face in rage. “CARRIES. RISK!?” I gritted those lines through my teeth. I slammed his head into the desk three times in quick succession. I had lost all reason and my vision was red with rage, soon I was slammed his head again and again. Scum like him is what’s wrong with this world. Scum like him is why people like us, woman, suffered for their stupidity. Scum like him… my vision started to clear and the first thing I saw was the little girl trembling.
My rage died, like someone had drowned it out with a bucket of water. Zephy’s laid a hand on my shoulder. “Enough Teela, no more…” When I took another look at the man I could see most of his teeth missing and blood was pouring down his nostril. Yeah… it was enough.
Zephy moved to the opposite side of the desk and open some sort of small chest that was sitting at the edge. Opening it, my lips parted as we all seen what was inside. Gems and gold shined from the chest. There were also necklaces encrusted with diamonds. It was quite dazzling. I noticed that there was a chest on my end too so I opened it and was struck in awe at the contents, a gold pile laid inside.
Zephy closed the chest and pulled it under her arm. She must have noted my confusion and simpy said “…For the little girl. With this, we can get her something nice…”
Closing my chest I nodded. Yes, for the little girl.
We had hurried out from Galranos and made it to the wagon. A quick check to make sure everything was there and we had made our way out with speed. We hadn’t stopped until dusk, and when we did we had come up on a small pond. Zephy and Sarya had opted to set up camp as I decided to wash the little girl. Thankfully, she hadn’t caused much fuss during the whole thing of us running away.
We really needed some better clothes for her but we didn’t have time to grab anything back in Galranos.
I was careful not to be too rough with her as I stripped her down, she didn’t even look at me. I was trying to think of something to say to her to start a conversation but could only think of one thing to say, or more appropriately, ask.
“Hey… sweetheart. Could you tell me your name?” Her only response was a mumble.
“Pardon…?” She raised her head slowly and quietly answered: “Elora…”
“Elora” I repeated and smiled. “That’s a lovely name”
We had stripped and entered the pond. I was washing her back and hair when she
mumbled something else. "Sorry, I missed that."
She turned her head and whispered. “Why…?”
I blinked at her question. “Why…? Why what?”
“Why do thing in place? Why be mean to those people?” She looked deeply into my eyes. “Are you bad?”
I froze as she pierced me with both questions and that stare.
“I-I…” I was speechless… I didn’t know what to say. I had acted on impulse again and stormed the mansion without much reason besides that I was furious. The worst part was that I had done all this in front of Elora. She was still a little girl and I did something violent as smashing someone head into a desk. I just wasn’t thinking and was filled with blinding rage. Whether or not he deserved it was beside the point, the point was that I acted before I thought it through and terrified her as a result.
A tear lined down my face, I felt ashamed of myself. “You’re right…” I whispered. "I'm a bad person" I looked down at my reflection.
“But… not kill?” My snapped up to look at her. “Not… kill?”
Her stare was less intense than before. “You not kill them. So you not bad like big people.”
I frowned. “Big people?” She nodded. “Big people… kill…”
Big people? Was she referring to the men that guarded the place? Or the bounty hunters? I wanted to ask her more but I figured that now wasn’t the best time to ask.
“I… see.” Strangely her words comforted me to a small degree. Smiling I thanked her and finished washing her.
We had had supper and Elora wolfed down her meal with terrifying speed. Unlike Sarya, she didn’t seem to shy away from meat. I had given her seconds and she ate all that too.
I had taken liberty of tucking her into bed. We had received a lot of furs from Zephy’s tribe so blankets weren’t a problem. As she snuggled into bed she looked at me and whispered “Thank you Mom”
I froze at her words. Her eyes widen and she ducked under the covers quickly. Mom…?
Before I could say anything she whispered under the covers “Call you Mom?” She peeked over the covers awaiting her answer.
I was unsure… For a reason I couldn’t understand, I felt like I was crossing a line. Even since I came to this world I had become annoyed by other men taking advantage of my gender. I had never really put much thought into it but until I met Sarya, I secretly hated the fact that I had become a woman. Nothing good ever seemed to come from my gender, only attempted rape and being looked down at. But when I met Sarya, this world seemed a little brighter and made me believe in her and her resolve. When I met Zephy she was quite… interesting. Despite our first meeting she came to my assistance and even took the lead to help Elora. She also pulled me out of my rage. Because of both of them I had become more and more accustom to being a woman and now, I was being asked to become Elora’s mother.
Motherhood… it was something that I never would have thought of. If I took this step, I felt like I would become even lease of the man I once was. Farther and farther away from my hopes of returning to my world. Looking down at Elora… and made my choice.
Sliding under the cover I held her close and whispered. “Yes… you can call me Mom”
Author's note: Well this chapter was a long time coming. There are some things I'd like to address. First: Many people are concerned with the lack of details and MC thoughts, I am agreeing that I haven't really brought as much description to my writing so I hope in future chapters I can do a better job of both world building and the psychological aspect of the MC. Second, many people seem to be jumping to conclusions about things, specifically Zephy. I would like to ask the same as before and just to give me some time to build up their relationship in future chapters, I'm trying to make sure that this yuri harem features different ways for the MC to meet the different members so I'm trying different things to spice it up, I know not everyone is fond of how it turned out but I need some time to flesh out the relationship. Finally: I know some people are confused by certain things like the world and such. Right now I'm trying to find a happy medium between progressing the story and information. If I make the story go too fast then people will get confused, but if I put too much information then I'll be straining your attention span. (Maybe not all but a majority) I'll be experimenting with how to include more world building so be patient with me in future chapters. Thank you and cheers.