A few hours later Rea was woken up by Kisa. Gathering together she simply followed behind the dwarves as they marched out. Nearly an hour passed with just the stray lurker here or there. A horde of about fifty lurkers was almost laughable, seasoned dwarves that had battled full strength lurkers and other monsters just cut through them like paper. Rea nearly gave Helga a heart attack when she snuck off to draw some blood. Ymir demonstrated his prowess once in a while, rather, Rea was sure he just liked to smash things.
After hours of marching the dwarves were feeling fatigued and decided to call it a night. Making there way to a barrack chamber was simple. Once inside Rea got to work, she quickly went about ordering a few dwarves to dig a hole. She then filled it with water and dropped in a sizable amount of fire stones with a few fireballs. Rea had been feeling icky from the days without a bath and proceeded to pour some mana into her exposure rune. Every dwarf in the room about fell over when her mountain lord's gear unlaced itself and hit the floor. Rea opted to not hide the scales at all and just go with her rare ability cover story. She really wasn't afraid of the dwarves.
It took all of twenty seconds for the four female dwarves to set up a barricade of toppled over bunks. Helga shouted at Ymir to pound anyone who tried to look into oblivion. After sighing at Rea who just lounged about contently in the steamy water the others began to join her. Helga was the only one who noticed Rea eying all of them very intently as they dropped their gear. Pretending like she hadn't noticed, Helga slipped into the water and asked, "Scales?"
Rea nodded, "You know how ophidian bites, when not deadly, tend to morph people into devolved forms of ophidians?"
Media, Teala, and Kisa all gave her a shocked look as Helga gasped, "No way!"
Rea smirked, "I guess I've got good genes or something, instead of devolving I just got the fangs and scales."
Kisa spoke up while eying her maw, "Can I see them?"
She floated right up to the red headed dwarf, "You did give me directions before so I can show you, but they aren't easy to bring out."
"How do you do it?"
Rea grinned as she spoke, "You have to run your tongue along the lining of my gums."
Kisa blushed a bit as Helga interrupted Rea's moment, "She's lying Kisa, Rea just wants a kiss."
With a pouty look on her face she glared at Helga, "Spoilsport."
Kisa pinched Rea on the arm, "Can I see them?"
Rea was expecting a gasp, or some sort of shocked notion, she wasn't expecting Kisa to grab onto her fang and feel it up. Closing her maw Rea asked, "happy?" the woman nodded happily, her curiosity had been sated. Rea looked at Helga again, "How'd you know I was lying?"
"I saw you staring all of us down before we got in."
Now Media, Teala, and Kisa were glaring at her, "...thanks for the show."
Trying not to laugh Helga spoke up again, "So you fancy other women?"
Spitting out some water Rea answered, "I've sworn off men for a hundred years, so yeah, I fancy women at the moment. I've only been with one dwarf so far and she was... a lot less built than all of you." Getting glares again she added, "I'm not against it or anything, I'm actually curious. If we weren't surrounded by twenty men who are listening to our every word I'd try to seduce one of you... or all of you." Rea's gaze fell as she absently distorted her own reflection in the water, "I was getting really lonely down here all alone, so I'm sort of over cloud nine being surrounded by dwarves right now."
Media let out a chuckle while raising her left hand from the water, "Sorry Rea, I'm already married."
Rea burst out laughing as she heard Kale shout, "I don't mind as long as I get to watch!" From the other side of the barricade. Looking up at the woman's expression she could see that Kale would pay dearly for that remark.
"Teala?" Rea asked.
The woman smirked, "Married."
"I do mind!"
Teala vacantly looked towards the direction of Rok's voice, "Liar!"
Rea chuckled at the poor husband dwarves and looked at Helga, "You?"
Helga blushed, "Betrothed and in love... to an elf."
Rea smiled fondly at her while wading past the women to her pack and pulling out Tirli's diary, "Here, this was the diary of a dwarven woman who lived here and loved an elf... it gets a little depressing at the end but her recounting of their encounters were very entertaining."
All the dwarven woman let out another hearty laugh as Helga placed it on the ground behind her. Rea took a look at Kisa, "Anybody special?"
The red head gave her a perplexed look, "Not at the moment."
Rea smirked and floated back up next to her, "I've never got anyone special, tell me if you want your world rocked."
Kisa blushed again as Helga shouted at a few whistling men. Helga glanced back at Rea again, "This is a nice change of pace, I've always loved baths."
Rea chuckled, "Baths, food, and sex are how I like to spend my free time. Although sex isn't really a priority anymore, it's just a comfort."
Rea sighed audibly, "A distraction really, the comfort comes from just touching someone. I guess I don't need sex for that."
Helga glared at Rea, "You dodged the issue."
"Drop it," all four women were glaring at Rea again, "... fine, bad stuff happened, then I did bad stuff, really bad stuff. I have trouble sleeping alone, and when I'm in contact with another person I feel... less alone, like I don't have to carry my burdens alone. I tend to use other people for that comfort, and sex is just a bonus. I do have someone around that I'll be going to for comfort, but she's in Vestlei right now and I'm stuck here. I was half joking when I said I'd seduce one of you, I really am quite fond of my bronze skinned woman, and I think sleeping with someone else right now might hurt her. For some reason I really don't want to hurt her."
Helga smiled a bit at Rea, "I don't really see the problem with that, and the fact that you don't want to hurt her is a good thing I guess."
Rea grinned, "Just because I'm not gonna sleep with one of you doesn't mean I don't appreciate the view all the same..." Rea gazed at Kisa again, "... thank you, I'm glad the red hair is your natural color."
Kisa went wide-eyed, Rea had gotten a very good look. "You're welcome?"
Rea chuckled a bit at the lost and blushing dwarf. Deciding to take one more jab at her Rea asked, "any way I can thank you?"
Kisa gave her a serious look and spoke low enough so that no one outside of the bath could hear, "How about a deal... I'll let you sleep next to me tonight if you teach me to kiss."
Three dwarven woman nearly drowned as they saw a side of the cartographer they hadn't expected, "Kisa," Helga spoke, "are you?"
The red head drooped her shoulders a bit, "No experience at all, most dwarven men don't go after the bookworms for some reason."
At this point Rea had an arm around Kisa's shoulder, "I'll teach you, and tell you about all sort of naughty things." Rea... had not been so quiet.
Moments later the other three women were getting out and leaving Kisa with Rea. None of them wanted to interfere at this point, it was Kisa's decision after all. Rea ignored the various *boo* noises as she created a dome of ice around the barricade and all the way to surrounding walls. Kisa yelped when Rea sat on her lap and wrapped her arms around the woman. "I know you said just a kiss, but in my experience this usually goes farther if our naughty bits are touching like this. We should get dressed first."
Kisa looked up at the dome of ice, "You're handy," Rea giggled at that, "I... wouldn't mind if it went farther than that."
Rea was having a battle with her will at that moment, new territory, dwarven red head, right there practically asking for it... but... "I'm truly sorry Kisa, I do care a great deal for and, in a round about way, told Sereda that she was all I need. I really don't want to hurt her, after everything she's doing for me." Kisa frowned at Rea, "Besides, you should fall in love and then just conquer him or her, isn't that the dwarven way?"
Kisa's expression took a turn for the worse, Rea cried out inside as an expression she'd seen on Melody's face appeared, "I never even told Tenri I loved him," The woman began to cry hysterically, "I loved him and now he's dead!" Rea started to panic, Tenri may very well have still be alive if they didn't come back for her...
Rea placed her hand under Kisa's chin and forced the woman to return her gaze, "It's never easy, losing someone you love. I'm not a good person, I'm a terrible person, but I don't mind letting people use me the way that I use them. If you want comfort, I can give it. Kisa, do you truly want me?" The dwarven woman still had tears in her eyes as she nodded yes, "Every action I take is driven by a selfish desire to be with the one person I love most again, I wasn't saving the dwarves... or you and your companions because I'm a good person. I did it for my own selfish reasons. Tell me yes one more time, is this what you really want?"
Kisa placed a hand gently on Rea's cheek and silently mouthed a slight apology before saying, "This is what I need." Rea gave her a single light kiss on the lips before floating backwards and getting out of the bath. She then proceeded to empty her bunny and rabbit furs onto the ground in a large pile. Kisa was starting to calm down as Rea offered a hand and pulled her out of the bath. She had not expected Rea to start up a romantic atmosphere. Kisa could only gaze in wonder at the woman who had pinned her down as small orbs of fiery light and warmth bloomed around them....
A few hours later Kisa vacantly stared at the icy dome as Rea ran a finger through her ginger hair, "...thank you."
Rea giggled slightly, "you don't have to thank me for doing naughty things."
Kisa pinched Rea's hand that was fondling the dwarven woman's chest, "I didn't mean like that."
She pulled the dwarven woman in for a hug, "I know"
Kisa now had a very serious question, "So it's better with men? I mean that was... I can't even imagine..."
Rea nearly cried with laughter, "It all depends on so many factors, personal preference, intimacy, compatibility, atmosphere, technique... I could go on, but if you were wondering what a man feels like." she formed a minor dragon with her water magic as Kisa marveled at her pelvis, "we" Rea made a single, suggestive, fluid motion with her hips, "would be happy to oblige."
Kisa raised one eyebrow and flicked it, the sensation made Rea laugh a bit. She then gave Rea another very serious look, "You're handy..."
Rea woke up first as usual this morning. Unwrapping herself from Kisa she went about getting ready to leave. Now dressed and geared up she dispelled the icy dome, then gave about ten dwarves an unholy glare while clambering over the barricade. Ignoring a few jovial dwarves she went about cooking up some lurker for everyone. With all of their preparations done the dwarves were once again, on their merry way.
At some point Rea had gotten curious and decided to ask Kisa why she was a shieldbearer, not a cartographer. The answer was simple, it isn't an easy world to survive in as one. Maybe if she planned to spend all her life in a single city it would've been fine, but because she was to travel with the caste shieldbearer was a better choice for not getting dead. Once again thanking her [Job Access], Rea went about annoying a few more dwarves with similar questions. She was desperately trying to ignore the giant ??? that was stalking them as she urged the dwarves to pick the pace up a bit.
Hours later the group was nearing the exit as Kisa and Helga started to panic. Rea wasn't sure how she felt about that and asked, "What's wrong?"
Helga had a look of terror, "It's... collapsed?"
Rea quickly moved past all of the dwarves and took point with Ymir, the man scoffed, "My brother no doubt."
Talos interjected, "We won't be having any dealing with the likes of him."
Rea could easily see what they were talking about and ran ahead to the dead end. Everyone had stopped by now and were chattering about what they should do. Rea turned to Kisa, "About how far in are we?"
Kisa shrugged, "About a sixteenth of a mile, why?"
"Ymir, don't freak out ok?"
The paragon gave her a skeptical look, "I don't freak out."
"Holy hell!?" Ymir promptly fell on his rear, as his men laughed at him Rea helped Ymir back up.
Thoughts Ymir, I've activated [Telepathy]. He nodded in understanding as she continued, I don't want to cause a riot but there's something big stalking us, this will take days to dig out. We can't turn around so...
Ymir gazed back the way they had come from, So we fight?
Rea punched his arm, When I say big I mean like... tower big. I'd like to avoid that if possible.
Oh... you have a plan then?
While nodding she began to explain, One rune that I read about in a journal. It should let us charge through at full speed. The earth is recently disturbed and hasn't settled yet.
Ymir went wide-eyed, We'll be crushed!
Rea gave him a flat look, It should work, you, Talos, and I will use an algiz protection rune to form a barrier. We get in a tight cluster and charge through, dwarves are natural sprinters right?
Ymir grinned as Rea pulled out a silver shield and got to work... Rea gave the shield a dirty, dirty look. All of the dwarves cocked their heads sideways at Rea as she beat the shield on a nearby wall and yelled a few silent curses at it before calming down. Rea had missed the shield, she did have enough silver to make her own shield out of quicksilver... not haderoth. The paragon informed Talos and the others of their plan. When they complained he simply told them that there was a very big reason to be reckless. As Ymir took a closer look at the path behind he called out to Rea. "Better hurry it up Mrs.Ainsworth."
Rea looked up to see the shadows shifting as Ymir and Talos both passed off their engraved weaponry. They didn't want to accidentally mix runes. Within a minute Rea was done and equipped her casual garb to banish the engraved shortswords. All of the dwarves then formed a tight cluster around the three as they grasped the shield. As soon as Rea heard a resounding growl she infused the rune. It would seem she wasn't the only one who heard that, she was desperately trying to not laugh at the spectacle of thirty some odd dwarves charging full speed against the inside of a barrier. Ignoring the strain on their barrier they pushed forwards at full speed as rocks and dirt poured over and shifted around the see-through barrier. Rea had been expecting to cut it close but they really hadn't been that far out. The more they pushed forwards the easier it became.
Rea and the dwarves let out a resounding cheer as light began to pour in and there was nearly no resistance left. The last bits of dirt fell from their barrier as they all gazed longingly at the orange sky. The setting sun behind a mountain range, she was back on the right side again. Rea glanced at Ymir as the silver shield, now a crushed lump of silver, hit the ground... in hindsight she should have used a more durable shield. "So, how long will it take to reach Tal'ma'tarn?"
Ymir pretended like he didn't see Rea give the lump of silver a dirty look and kick it. The elder dwarf absently rubbed his beard and looked at Kisa who answered for him, "We can be there by next sunrise if we walk through the night."
Rea pointed northeast, "Vestlei is that way right?"
Kisa nodded, then giggled when Rea waltzed up and hugged her. With a single light kiss goodbye she started walking towards Vestlei. "I look forward to meeting you again, for now I have to hurry home... unfinished business."
The original seven surviving dwarves all chuckled as Ymir called out, "I know that feeling."
Helga looked at Ymir, then to Rea's back, "Father..."
Ymir let out a hearty laugh and slapped her on the back, "Make sure she gets home, I don't want you around when I deal with your uncle anyway... want me to send your elf to Vestlei?"
Helga smiled gleefully... then glanced at Rea, for some reason she had this irking suspicion that she should keep her elf away from the woman. "I'll work on things in Vestlei with Lark Ainsworth, then return to Tal'ma'tarn. Tell Melodas to wait for me there... and apologize to him for me."
Ymir laughed one more time while waltzing away, he had heard about how his daughter drugged her elven fiance so that he wouldn't follow them into the ruins.
Rea looked back at Helga, "You sure?"
Helga nodded at her then took point, "Let's hurry."
Kisa picked up the crushed lump of silver before following after the band of dwarves. "Bye Rea!"
Rea fondly gazed at the armored dwarf and waved goodbye. Within a minute she turned to follow Helga away. Home, she'd be back to Vestlei soon.... However Helga was giving her a perplexed look, "What Helga?"
"Exactly what did you do to her, I've never seen Kisa so..."
Rea let off a toothy grin, "What didn't I do to her."
Sighing and trying to put that out of her mind, Helga led them towards Vestlei. Later that night she didn't bother to complain as Rea used her like a pillow.
Waking up early Rea gazed at the rising sun and shook Helga awake.
The dwarven woman gave her an annoyed glare, "What?"
"There's something flying this way... is that a... oh it is."
Helga was gaping now as Rea grinned at the flying monster rapidly swooping in on their position. "We have to run!"
Rea chuckled, "Not very smart is it?" She absently flicked a finger, "then again I must look like normal prey in my ceremonial garb."
Rea cast frozen lance to shoot a thin spear of ice at the incoming monster as it swooped in. Helga was in a state of stunned silence as the wyvern, three times Rea's size, impaled itself on her spike. Thanks to her new durable ice Rea was positive that it would work.
|Ability [Frozen Lance Rank Up].|
[Job-High Mage] Level 37!
Ability [Mana Capacity Lv. 7] learned.
Rea hadn't been paying much attention to her abilities for the past few days but she was pleased to see mage coming along nicely. Taking note of how strong her ice had gotten Rea thought back to when she had first obtained spellsword. She remembered something she had mentioned to Sereda and quickly decided to test it out. Waltzing up to a nearby tree Rea cast hydro-hand and used her permafrost to form thin blade, the ophidian smiled in satisfaction as it drove a few inches in.
|Ability [Hydro-Hand Lv. 4] altered, [Razor Ice Lv. 1] learned.|
By now Rea had noticed Helga poking the wyvern, "Something wrong Helga?"
"No, just... I hear it's delicious in soup."
Rea smirked and had Helga set up a pot as she began to cut a few sizable chunks off the wyvern's backside. She decided to pick it apart later, for now Rea just wanted a nice meaty part to eat and the heart. Helga yelped when the woman voraciously bit into it repeatedly and devoured the raw heart. Rea was vacantly washing her mug off with water magic when she spoke up, "I'm trying to get dragoon, don't mind it."
Helga suppressed a laugh, "... you don't have to eat em' raw."
In hindsight, the wyvern did make a damn delicious soup.
|Rea has obtained Wyvern Fang x23!|
Rea has obtained Small Wyvern Claw x6!
Rea has obtained Small Wyvern Scale x34!
The pair took their time hacking up larger sections of the meat and freezing them in blocks of ice. Rea was rather happy with how her day had started.
Alright, that's all I wrote up to yesterday. I wanted to give people a little more content in response to the warm welcome I've received from RR. Thank you for having me, I look forward to writing here. Gonna go put links in these chapters(Edit: Links are done!), then take a little break, then work on that map(Edit: Finished the map, put it on chapter 10).
<3 NaughtyHippy <3