Water, warm clean water, cascaded down onto scratched and torn flesh. The last few days had been brutal. Scott had been chased through the wilderness by scantily clad women with superhuman powers, witnessed multiple murders, and discovered that the world was not behaving in the manner that the company had claimed it would.
“Alterra, what kind of name is that for a world anyway?” He sighed softly as the warmth of the water washed his cares away. Scott closed his eyes and chose to let that thought go. He would allow it to flow down the drain along with the rest of the misgivings and concerns that he was plagued with. For the moment, this world and its inhabitants could go fuck themselves. He intended to enjoy every bit of this shower.
The warmth of the water penetrated his aching muscles. Thankfully that even included his throbbing penis. He had begun to wonder if it really was going to explode. What had been in that water?
As nice as the shower felt, however, he could not keep the doubts away forever. Scott thought about the world that he was in now. He considered the nature of the girl sitting in the next room. What was he going to do?
Scott had no job, no prospects. The little money that he did have had mostly been spent already. Everything that he owned was something that he had swiped from a dead man.
He pressed his back heavily against the wall of the shower then slid slowly to the floor and sat there. The stream of water washed over his unmoving form. He had pretty much exchanged his life back on Earth for a similar life in a fantasy world. The implications were staggering.
The events of the last few days began to flow through his mind one after another. The remembrance of pain, fear, and guilt suffused his body. He began to tremble, to shake. How long would it take before those haunting memories passed? The forest had taken something irreplaceable from Scott. He did not know what it was, but he was definitely missing something.
He drew his knees upward then wrapped his arms around them. Scott’s trembling began to increase in ferocity. Tears formed from saline and bad memories began to flow freely from his bloodshot eyes.
Somehow, he had survived this far. He still dared not believe it. The nightmare was over. He had survived those hellish woods. He had no idea what to do, where to go, or even who to trust in this world. Yet, here he was. He had lived when those other men had died.
He closed his eyes then leaned his chin against his knees. Scott was not sure what to feel anymore. Right now, he just did not know.
Once more his consciousness began to fade. The events of his recent life had caught up with him. He could no longer fight the exhaustion. Temporary, but needed, sleep claimed him and for a short few minutes he would know no more.
While the shower of destiny occurred in the bathroom, Scarlet sat on the edge of the only bed that the tiny room had to offer. “So, he’s a little odd? I can deal with that, I guess.”
She pulled some of her hair forward and played with it thoughtfully. “He’s low-level, and this is not a good area for him.”
The girl fell back onto the bed and let her arms fall flat. “What do we do now, though?”
They had little in the way of funds. Her master knew very little about the world, and she was well beyond his level now. That would cause problems when they tried to hunt other monsters.
She grabbed a pillow, pressed it to her face, and screamed into it. The frustration was immense.
Scarlet sighed then rolled over. Her properly clothed breasts jiggled enticingly despite the fact that no one else was in the room to be enticed by their motions.
Her master’s face popped into her head. She had offered a few suggestions to him while they walked to the motel. Happily, he had taken her advice to heart. That meant that he would at least value her opinions. That was good. At least they could work together.
The fabric of her shirt pulled against her breasts a little when she moved. She reached down and ran her fingers along the material. A gentle smile arose upon her face at the thought of how she had acquired it. “He even gave me something to wear!”
She started to giggle but stopped immediately. “No, I can’t give in to such a simple tactic! I have control, I need to keep it!”
Her fingers rose to her lips then she acquired a thoughtful expression. “Technically, I belong to him. I have to obey his commands. Still, I’m free to wander around human controlled lands without being molested.”
The dragon girl rolled over and slapped her feet down on the bed a few times to fight through the frustration. “Why did he go back to being level one? He’s even weaker now than he was before!”
Idly she considered breaking their bond. Their intimacy level was tenuous at best. They barely knew each other despite the lovely time they had spent together a week ago.
She stopped her frustrated fidgeting and sighed. “I probably won’t find a better master anyway.”
“You want another master?”
She glanced to the bathroom door to see her master standing there. He was busy rubbing a towel over his hair, but he looked at her with a flat emotionless expression.
“What?” She rolled over quickly to face him more directly. How much had he heard?
“Well, if you want another master I understand. I don’t know anything about this world. You’d probably be better off with someone else.”
Crap! He wants to get rid of me now! She sat up and lifted her hands defensively. “No, I never said that.”
“Oh? Are you sure? I’m happy that you helped me this far, but you probably want to be reunited with your turtles, or find someone who has a clue about what they are doing.”
She shook her head rapidly side to side causing her hair to whip back and forth in a bright red arc of denial. “No, I can’t face my subjects without becoming much stronger first. I don’t want another master, either.”
“Really? Why? I mean, why no other master?”
He sat down on the bed and looked at her expectantly while drying his hair. She could not help herself. The blood began to rush to her face immediately. He had sat so close to her but did not have the stupidly lecherous look on his face that most humans had shown her. It was unnatural.
“I-I, want to help you. You seem to need someone to help you, right?” She turned away quickly to hide the blush that was forming.
He leaned forward to try and look at her face but she slid away. She noted his sudden frown, but it passed quickly.
“Yeah, I could use all the help that I can get.”
“OK, then it’s decided. You’ll be my master, and I’ll be your Queen.”
“Queen? That word sure gets tossed around a lot.”
“Yes, all battle harems have positions. You’re the master. The head of your harem is the Queen. The head of the harem is the one who keeps your other minions in line. The rest of the positions fill themselves out when you acquire new members.”
“I see, so I need to find more people for my … harem?”
She nodded then took a deep breath. The heat had started to leave her face. It was probably safe to look at him now.
She turned back to her new master and smiled. “Yes, you can capture and bond with as many monster queens as you want. However, you can only manifest a certain number at a time.”
Her master seemed to consider that idea for a moment. “Why is it called a harem?”
The flame haired girl stared flatly at him for a moment then answered. “Queens are girls. Most masters are male humans. Did they have math on your world? Try doing a little right now.”
“So, wait. Are you saying that we’re supposed to have sex or something?” His eyes widened comically. He had seen what happened when those girls and humans did that. It did not end well for the man. Before, it had been different.
When he had captured Scarlet it had been a voluntary thing on her part, and they had used a monster capture sphere as part of the process. Yes, they’d had sex, or whatever that crazy mess had been, but it was nothing like the brutality that he had witnessed in the forest.
“Well, we did… but we don’t specifically need that for the bonding process to begin.”
“We didn’t have to have sex?”
“No, we didn’t.”
Scott stared at her suspiciously. Had she just decided that she was horny that day, or something? It had been fun, but that was not exactly a comfortable experience. Her perverted turtles had watched the whole time!
“Humans and monsters form an intimate bond that is used to increase their powers. Sex tends to happen because of that, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. You did not know any of this?”
Her master shook his head. “No, and I’m starting to wish I didn’t!”
“Sorry, but that’s how the world works. Humans and monsters develop strong emotional bonds and often have sex because of that.”
Scott moved his hand to the back of his head and began to rub his neck. “What about those capture balls? I had to stick one inside your body.”
“I could have just swallowed it or something, you know.”
That much was true. The memories that he had acquired during his tutorial phase were a bit fuzzy at the moment, but he clearly remembered that he could have just had her swallow it. Why then, did he stick the marble sized capture device into her vagina?
When he asked her this she shrugged. “Well, I do want to mate with you eventually. Besides, it’s important to know that we are compatible. I’ll grow stronger as our bond increases in intimacy.”
“Oh, so that’s why humans and monsters bond? So they can grow stronger?”
“Yeah and we do it to mate, too. We can only have children with humans, so we like to find strong humans to mate with.”
He opened his mouth to say something then closed it. That seemed like an odd way of doing things, but it did make a strange sort of sense. “Monsters can’t just breed with each other?”
She looked at him with a sour expression. “You saw my subjects, right? Would you want to fuck one of them?”
“Not so much, no. Turtles are cool and all, but I never really thought about having sex with one.”
“Right, and remember we are dragons, not turtles.” She puffed out her chest a little as her pride seemed to be offended by his turtle-talk.
“I get what you’re saying. Still, how is it that you have a human form? The monster girls in the forest were like that too.”
Scarlet smiled at him. “Some of us are born this way. The rest beat the hell out of each other until the strongest is determined in a given area. Then, once that one is declared strongest they evolve a human-like form and become kings or queens. I’ve met several dragon-turtle queens, for instance.”
“Ok, I’m with you so far. My question is... why do you change form?”
She shrugged. “It’s a way to easily identify a queen or king. Plus, by gaining a human form we can interact and mate with humans. This allows us to borrow their divine power and create new monster subjects, or if we’re in heat we might become pregnant and give birth to a new queen. While in heat we also give off an aura that causes more of the lesser monsters of our race to manifest. That only happens if we are in a deeply intimate relationship with a human, or conquer them, however.”
“So, basically humans are a catalyst for monster birth rates, but only if they are bonded?”
“Yes and no. We don’t need to create a bond in order to spawn more of the lesser monsters of our race. We can simply capture and subjugate a human for our pleasure when we are in heat. The simple act of taking a human by force allows us to drain their experience and mana.
When we have absorbed enough of their mana and experience we will automatically generate new offspring. We need to bond and mate with a human in order to give birth to new queens, however.”
“I see, so your strongest monsters wander around seeking humans to seduce in order to gain greater power and build a following?”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much how it works.”
He nodded twice then grinned like an idiot. “Well, that does change a few things.”
She looked at him curiously. “How so?”
“Well, I admit I am not much for the sexual slavery angle. When you started referring to me as your master and admitted the nature of this world I felt sick to my stomach.”
“Really? Most men seem extremely excited about making us into their pets.”
“That’s the thing. I thought that it was a one sided situation. You know, humans abusing their power or something.”
“How did that change?”
“I got lost in the woods and saw how the monsters treat humans.” Scott’s eyes took on a haunted look for a moment. Memories of the last few days began to surface.
Scarlet did not even try to alleviate the pain of those memories. “That’s the way the world works. The strong rule the weak. Win and grow, lose and die.”
He looked at her briefly and her face colored. His expression of utter disappointment was almost too much for her to handle.
Scott looked down at his hands for a moment then said, “Well, if monsters spend their time trying specifically to seduce humans and grow stronger that means that they probably want a long term situation. They just don’t want to be stuck with any old random guy, though. They would want someone strong enough to beat them because they probably be able to help them grow stronger, faster.”
Scarlet breathed a little easier now that the heartbreaking look of disappointment had left his face. She smiled at him. “That’s pretty much it. Monsters actually don’t have a problem with a human master. Our entire purpose in existence is to become stronger. If you’re strong enough to defeat us, or at least can prove that you want to help us become stronger, we’ll gladly serve a human.”
Her master reached out and took her hands. “Wow, that’s great. I actually do not feel too bad about things if that’s the case.”
“Why would you feel bad about having a harem, anyway?” She skillfully attempted to steer the conversation in a different direction and her actions were modestly rewarded.
He shrugged. “Well, I wouldn’t want to take advantage of anyone. I don’t mind having lots of beautiful girls around who genuinely want to be with me, but I don’t want to force anyone to hang around.”
She blinked then stared at him like he had grown a second head. “That’s the craziest thing that I have ever heard a human say.”
“Yes. You have an entire world filled with monsters, beautiful queens mind you, who want nothing more than to find a human who can help them become as strong as possible. You won’t have to force them at all. If you become strong they’ll come looking for you and hope you’ll want them.”
“I see, so for my own sense of integrity I should become as strong as possible. That way I will know that anyone who joins up with me will actually want to be with me?”
He began to fidget then bounced in his seat a little. It was obvious to her that he had started to become excited at the prospect. “A whole world filled with hot super powered girls who want to hang out with me? That’s amazing.”
“Well, yes. Of course, personalities might clash and you may not get along with some monsters. It might be better to find them a new master that they can work with or sell them.”
“Sell them? What..?” His happy vibe died quickly upon hearing that bit of news.
“Of course, sell them! Do you think you can adequately take care of the needs of thousands of monster queens at one time? We need active human interaction in order to grow stronger. Put any of us that you don’t want to work with up for sale. They’ll eventually find a master who has time for them, and you’ll make money.”