I left the tent with the strange elf quickly. The atmosphere in there was way too thick for me. I didn’t want to get pulled into the politics anymore. As I left, I caught Devon out of the corner of my eye. He didn’t look pleased, so I figured that this was something I would have to deal with at some point in the future. For the moment, I’d be with the elf tribe.
“Elmindreda…” The words popped out of my lips as we were walking in silence.
The elf man shut his eyes and muttered silently to himself. I think I heard the words, ‘so it is you’ before he turned to me.
“Elmindreda was an elf in our tribe, you know her?” He spoke gruffly, little pleasure in his voice.
My eyes met his, and I could see he had a tired expression. This was a man who looked like he had been through a lot in life. It seemed he knew Min too. I was even a bit surprised at the quickness of his answer. It was as if he knew her personally.
“I’m sorry… she died…” I said slowly, lowering my eyes.
Baron snorted. “This… I know…”
Did he know? Was this some sort of ability of elves? They had the capacity to know when their kind died? Was that a consequence of their long ages, or the magic infused in their bodies? As I considered the possibilities, Baron shook his head in agitation.
“Look, girl, I don’t want any trouble. Our tribe has stood for a thousand years, and I don’t want some outsider coming in and mucking things up. Whatever Elmindreda may have told you about us, her father…”
“Min’s father?” I blinked. “Her parents are alive?”
Baron grimaced, shooting a look back at the human camp. “Her father is. Her mother… she… it was messy business. Just politics, you understand?”
I said those words, but I didn’t really understand. That was because Min had never told me anything about her life from before. Other than the fact she was an elf, I knew very little about her history. We had spent half a year together, and I knew almost nothing about her life as an elf. Now, she was dead. Deep down, I felt like it was my responsibility to learn a bit more about her. Just who was she?
As we headed out into the forest, I continued to follow the elf, watching him out the corner of my eyes. He had strong shoulders, a good built frame, and a roguish look to his eyes. He was a handsome man and unlike my typical vision of elves. I had seen several elves since I had come to this town. They did function as the arbiters and peacekeepers during this turbulent time. However, while most were skinny with wirey frames, Baron clearly had some muscles on him. He lacked body hair and his skin was abnormally fair, but I wasn’t complaining. His butt was pretty nice as well. Suffice it to say, I was enjoying the view.
When we approached the village, I swallowed my breath. I felt an odd sense of familiarity. There were various tents set up all over the place. It reminded me heavily of the Cambion camp I had spent so long in. Although they lived in the plains, while a lot of the elfish structures were erected using trees. Were the elvish demi-humans or monsters? That question floated through my mind. For not the first time I had to question what exactly was the difference. Did my goblins and wolves have any less right to exist than these elves? Did my Cambions?
The elvish tribe wasn’t exactly like the Cambions. Other than using trees a bit more, they built into nature rather than building from scraps of man-made structures. Like the Cambion’s they depended heavily on furs, but they also had access to various leaves, sticks, and even mud to help erect their structures. They place also seemed lively, with people working out in the shade. The population of elves far exceeded that of the Cambions. There might have been a few thousand elves, although the trees prevented me from seeing how far their camp actually went.
“I’m a bit of an alchemist.” I spoke as I examined the camp, “I won’t live here for free. I’m happy to continue to make…”
“We have alchemists,” Baron responded roughly, causing my teeth to click shut.
I was getting the sense that Baron was extremely wary of me. Was it because I said I knew Min? He had already given me a bit of a threatening talk, and now he was simply trying to avoid meeting my eyes. Even if he had a nice butt, if he wasn’t going to be nice, I wouldn’t be nice either.
“Where are we heading?” I asked, crossing my arms.
Baron looked back at me but otherwise, his expression remained placid. “The elvish tribe has been forced into being the peacekeepers here. We’re stuck between the human realm and the demon realm, and if we can’t placate both of them, our very tribe may cease to be. Thus, I have no choice but to bring you to the tribe. However, all tribe decisions are made by the council. So, before you can stay here, you’ll need their approval.”
“You guys have a council too, huh?”
“What was that?” Baron shot me a look.
“Ah… the Cambions use a council too…” I looked down, not really wanting to bring back such pitiful memories.
Baron frowned. “The Cambions are monsters. They’re a scourge on this land. They mimic other species so they can feet. Make no mistake. They are not good.”
“That’s what I’ve heard,” I responded bitterly. “But you shouldn’t worry. The humans wiped them all out before coming here.”
Baron snorted. “Some survived. Some always survive. They’ll come back. Like locust.”
“You take issue with them?” I asked, mostly to keep the conversation going.
“They’ve kidnapped and consumed many elves over the years. I’m usually the one that has to tell their parents what happened.”
“So, you’re like an elf adventurer?” I suggested.
Baron snorted. “Yeah… something like that.”
I continued to watch him as we walked. Just as I was getting ready to come up with another question to keep the conversation moving, she sighed and shot me another dark look.
“Look, slavegirl. The elvish tribe keeps to themselves. I don’t know what you’ve heard about us, but there used to be five elvish tribes. Two of them have been wiped out and two of them have settled down and are little more than tourist traps for curious humans to point and gawk. We are the last true migrating elf tribe. If these peace talks break down, then our entire race may be destroyed. So, excuse me if I’m disinterested in catering to the fancies of some pretty girl slave. Just shut up, keep your head down, and avoid causing any trouble for my people. Do you understand?”
I stopped myself from opening my mouth, although I was glaring back at him angrily. “Yeah, I get it.”
I knew that the circumstances were stressful. That’s exactly why I was trying to make conversation. However, this Baron may be cute, but he was also a bit of a jerk. Whatever cuteness he had before seemed to leave like steam. Baron lifted his hand and pointed at a large tent we happened to stop in front of.
“The council awaits.”
I sniffed, letting the displeasure show on my face, but he chose to ignore me, heading into the tent he had just indicated. So much for ladies first! I ended up following behind him as we walked in.
“There were five people, but rather than sitting up like on some kind of court jury, they were all sitting around a table. There was a map laid out and they seemed to be discussing things.
“The monster movements along the path to the labyrinth have been strange lately.” One elf, a small man with eyeglasses, was saying. “We should add patrols.
“Why should we risk our own people to protect treasure hunters?” A tall woman snorted. “Let the adventuring guild protect themselves. If they want to send people into the labyrinth, they should be prepared to spend the appropriate coin. Our forces are needed elsewhere.”
“Ahem…” Baron coughed when he walked in, causing the group to turn to him. “The… humans and demons have requested that we watch over someone for the duration of the talks.”
When their eyes fell to me, I fell into my best curtsy, providing the best smile I could. My charm was amplified using my titles and skills, but I didn’t need it to me. As soon as I pulled my hood up and my face was visible, the effect was like a thunderbolt. I could hear several of the men gulping, and even the women’s eyes popped.
“Who… is she?” The man sitting in the largest chair, likely the leader, asked cautiously.
“She’s a slave girl. Neither side wanted her. She was freed earlier today. Evan thought it best not to delay the talks just so they can squabble over the placement of a slave girl.” Baron explained.
“Tsk… Evan… Trusting him to fulfill the role of mediator…” A surprisingly fat elf growled.
“He’s a good negotiator. Plus, after everything he’s lost…” One of the women started, but then shot the guy in the big chair aside look before clicking her teeth closed.
That man didn’t seem to notice the words of anyone else in the room. His eyes were plastered to mine. I was, of course, a girl who could read people easily. It was clear to me this man had a large sexual attraction towards me. It interested me a bit. He was an older man, like Lord Typhon. He was neither as fit or as good looking as Baron. However, he had an air of authority about him which I liked. Plus, he was an elf man, and Min aside, I had never tasted one of those before.
I might have preferred to pressure Baron, but he genuinely didn’t seem interested in me. Since that was the case, the man in charge would be a more interesting man to chase.
“My lord…” I spoke up, giving another one of my best smiles. “I don’t wish to be a burden to the elf tribe.”
I pulled my skills into what I said, drawing on my vast experience as a seductress to subtly lead him on. The movements were subtle, and while I always used them, I wasn’t always aware I was using them. It was in the way I bit my lip after I spoke. The way I tilted my body forward, giving them an innocent glance at my cleavage. It was the way I held my body, like a woman who knew how to use it but was still up for being taught by a man. Men had a complicated relationship with sluttiness. They liked a girl who dressed and acted erotically, all while wanting innocence. In that way, I had perfectly mastered the look of innocent sluttiness and was using it effectively at that moment.
The men’s mouths dropped open, while the few women readjusted their clothing, suddenly feeling slightly jealous as they tried to compare their self to me. The largest effect was on the guy in the big chair, who watched my chest intently, leaning forward in his chair with his hand on his chin. Only Baron seemed unaffected, rolling his eyes and looking away as if he wanted no part in this.
“Don’t speak nonsense.” The man in charge spoke up, “The elves are nothing if not hospitable. You are our guess.”
I fought the temptation to shoot Baron a rude look after he had just gone on about how xenophobic his people were and how she should butt out. The reception between the two men was certainly night and day.
“Thank you, my lord. I will make myself useful to you… in any way I can.” I smiled.
His eyes grew more perverted, and I could instantly tell in what way this man wanted to use me.
“I will find a place for you. You can even stay at my home if you’d like.” He said, licking his lips.
“Thank you, my lord.”
“Please… call me Hector, and this tribe is mine.”
“And so… the provisional application of supplies will be carried out separately by the demon and the human parties for the remainder of these peace hearings. Do you, General Maford, agree and sign this?” A lanky person with elf ears spoke on in a droning voice.
General Maford snorted as if he just woke up, and the shook his head up and down. “Yes, yes… let’s just get this over with.”
“And for you, lord Typhoon-“
“All this agreement is saying is that as long as our armies sit on the border, we’ll be responsible for feeding our side and they will be responsible for feeding their side. Was this really necessary to waste the last hour on such things?” Lord Typhon sounded irritated.
The tall elf seemed completely unperturbed by being snapped at. “It is only natural that for the peace treaty to continue, that rules be set down to prevent the talks from facing complications. It could take weeks, or even months for the two of you to settle on an agreement.”
“Weeks?” Maford’s sleep eyes widened at that.
“Months?” Typhon shouted at the same time.
“Both parties have agreed to make the elvish tribe the arbiters of your talks. Given our nature, it is in our best interest that both sides put away their differences and make peace. I’m only doing what is necessary to ensure this happens.” The elf explained, and then held up a cup, “Water, please.”
This was a massive tent place right on the border between the demon and human realm. It was filled with various humans on one side and demons on the other, all ready to discuss the prerequisites for peace. I immediately came forward from the edge of the tent and filled the man’s water cup.
If I had known I would be in the middle of these peace talks, I might have run away, to hell with the death curses and the slave collars. This was the place I least wanted to be in the entirety of both realms. Lord Typhon was treating me casually as his slave, while King Devon was shooting me occasional heavy looks as if to remind me that I was truly under his command. The only thing that helped me keep my sanity was a small army of goblins and wolves based in a farmhouse a few miles outside of town. I had made that place my sanctuary using my abilities. I reckoned that as long as I was there, I would be almost impossible to bring down. As long as I could lead any monster into my home, I could possess their will with ease.
However, that was for later. At the moment, I was just trying to make sure that my throat didn’t get cut. The demons and humans were glaring at each other quite hatefully, and it was a wonder that the peace talks ever made it this far. Any moment, violence could break out, and I’d be at the center. I wasn’t a coward to such things. More, I was just being cautious. I didn’t want any other close calls in my life. Although, what I wanted and what life set out for me never seemed to match, and as I poured the water quietly, the general’s gaze landed on me.
“A human slave?” He said, his voice rising in anger. “You dare strut a human slave in front of us?”
General Maford was a fat man with many wrinkles on his face. He had a big beard and an even bigger stomach. However, his beady eyes were sharp, and it was clear to anyone who saw him that he had earned his right to be called a general on the battlefield. He held a certain degree of bloodlust that only someone who had killed many people in cold blood before could master. I had also heard that his looks were deceiving, and despite his size, he was still very nimble, on the battlefield and in bed. Currently, his bloodlust was directed at me.
The atmosphere in the tent grew tense immediately. Guards standing along both sides, demon, elf, and human, were all stroking their swords, ready to battle. In a single moment, people could be dying all around me. My brain shot through my list of skills once again. I started trying to form a plan to cut the tension, however, Lord Typhon broke in a moment later, cutting a sharp end to my stray thoughts.
“You’re are right, it was completely inexcusable for us to collar this woman.” Lord Typhon spoke up suddenly.
General Maford narrowed his eyes and glared suspiciously. “What are you on about?”
Lord Typhon snapped his finger, and a moment later a magic user came in. He went up to me without hesitation and lifted his hands to my neck. I lifted my neck on command. The hair rose on my arms for a moment as magic was cast, and then the collar came off with a click. Like that, the damn slave collar that had been stuck on me for longer than I cared to remember fell harmlessly to the ground. I touched my neck, well aware that the death curse the humans had inflicted me with was of a higher caliber than the one put on Jenai, and left no tangible lines.
“I wish to free this slave, as a gesture of goodwill for our peace talks.”
It was abundantly clear that Lord Typhon had already planned this all out. I wasn’t aware of it, but a magic user who specialized in slave collars doesn’t just show up with you snap your fingers normally. I shot Lord Typhon a glare, but he completely ignored me. It couldn’t be that… Did he know about the death curse? If that was the case, why would he free me? Wouldn’t simply killing me in private me a safer option?
General Maford was still glaring, but he nodded, scratching his straggly beard. “Very well, I suppose we will accept your offer. Beautiful girl, you are no longer a slave of those demons. The human realm has rescued you!”
He made it sound glorious like he personally ripped off my chains of oppression. However, I was thinking about it a little more deeply. Looking between the demon realm and the human realm, I didn’t know which side was safer. The humans had put a curse on me and ordered me to kill Typhon. I was responsible for so many noble deaths, that I could just about call myself an outlaw. That said, the demon realm was a harsh realm that while I tolerated humans, it also enslaved many of them.
“Well, girl?” General Maford didn’t seem to be a patient man, as he immediately slammed his hand on the table. “Get over here and show us your praise.
“If I may, GGeneral.” Devon stepped forward, finally speaking up. “Perhaps we should ask the girl who she wants to stay with, the humans or the demons.”
“Devon!” The General looked over at him wearing some disdain on his face. “Don’t fancy yourself a King in this tent. Your country was dragged to ruin. After you requested the aid of a dozen other countries; Nadia isn’t even a Kingdom anymore. The only reason you were sent overseas to this war was so that they could get rid of you! So, sit in a corner, shut up, and let the grownups talk.”
Devon watched the General stiffly and then nodded. He gave me an expressionless look before turning and sitting back down. There were a couple of snickers in the tent, but only a few. The General didn’t seem to be aware of Devon’s assassination plan. That much was clear at least. There were factions on both sides. Some that seemed to want to end the war, and others that wanted to continue it. As for me, I just wanted to stay out of it, but this world had never cared about what I wanted.
“Aria here has been my maid for some time.” Lord Typhon suddenly spoke up, sipping some tea calmly. “Of course, I’d be happy to hire her as my servant, if that is what she wants.”
“Unacceptable!” The General slapped the table again. “I will not leave a human woman in the hands of demons!”
While this conversation went on, I tried to get my bearings straight on what exactly Lord Typhon’s goal was in letting me go. Was it merely as he said, a gesture to placate an angry general? If that’s the case, why didn’t he tell me this? If he knew about the death curse, was he just trying to throw it in Devon’s face? It seemed like as far as the armies went, Devon truly had little influence. Other than knowing the hero, he didn’t seem to have much else going for him.
At the very least, he knew that the collar had no effect on me. That would mean… these last two days must have been a test! That’s right. He basically gave me the freedom to go wherever I wanted. Since the collar didn’t work, I could have fled the second I left his sight. I could have run to the humans and had them remove the collar for me. I could have sold my knowledge of their troops or Lord Typhon himself. Perhaps, these last two days, he just wanted to see where my loyalty was. Since the collar was meaningless, it was my actions he was most concerned about.
Thinking back to the last two days, I had done many things. Exactly how much did he know? Did he know about those two soldiers I boinked? Did he know about my bet with the hero and our mini-battle? Did he know about me being held by Devon? He couldn’t know about my monsters, could he? I shook my head. Thinking about all the things he could possibly know was too terrifying. What was important was that taking off my collar didn’t change the relationship I had with him. In a conversation I had listened in on in the tent, he had said that I could be an ally. Was this what this was?
Just as I was about to speak up, the tall elf man suddenly spoke. “If I may be so bold as to offer a solution. In the grand scheme of this peace treaty, this woman is insignificant.”
I frowned but didn’t respond. It wasn’t like I didn’t understand what he meant. What could I do to change the face of this event? I was just a single slavegirl. However, being dismissed in this way already made my hackles rise. It made me wonder if perhaps elf culture looked down on women. Min was beautiful and powerful, but she also ran away from home. Was she supposed to be a homemaker? Was that the reason that she ended up dressing like a man so willfully?
“What is your suggestion, elf?” the elf moderator had caught the general’s attention.
“Simple. The girl will stay in the elf tribe. She will remain apart from either the demons or the humans. Is this acceptable to the pair of you?”
Lord Typhon shrugged as if it was no matter of his own. The General grunted and gave a nod of affirmation. Devon shot me a look but smartly remained silent. I suspected I’d be getting word from him soon now that his plan was completely disrupted. I couldn’t say I wasn’t pleased with this after he forced a death curse on me. The last person their eyes fell on was me personally.
“Ah? Uh, yes. I’d be happy to visit the elf tribe for a while.”
In fact, it was honestly what I wanted. Min had died, and I wanted to go back to the place she grew up. If for no other reason, I felt like I needed some closure. She had left my life so abruptly, that perhaps seeing the life she grew up and learning how she got there would do me some good. At the very least, it got me away from this high-stress place where the battle could begin at any moment.
“Very well.” The moderator nodded, also making a gesture.
A handsome elf walked into the room. He was an older man, like lord Typhon, but he had much less gristle and far fairer skin. Elves aged a lot slower than humans, so it was possible he was several thousand years old, but he could have been as young as thirty to my eyes. Eyeing my escort up and down, I thought that this wasn’t a bad change after all. A new place, a new man, and the freedom to keep building my army of monsters. What more could I ask for?
When the elf saw me, he stopped and gave me a wide-eyed look. “It’s you then, is it? You’re a beautiful woman… the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen perhaps? She warned me, but I didn’t think it’d be so soon.”
“I’m sorry, what was that?” I asked, giving a wry smile and holding out my hand. “Um, thank you for the compliment, I’m Aria.
“The name’s Baron…” He said, frowning, and I guess I’ll be taking care of you… not that I have a choice. Hahahahaha…”
Before long, I couldn’t tell if he was laughing or crying.
The small goblin was moving very cautiously. Each few steps forward, he’d crouch and then look both ways carefully. His ears seemed to be always open and he was taking great care to avoid running into any monsters. At the moment, he wasn’t part of a group. Goblins only seemed to be able to exhibit strength in number, so a single goblin could be said to be particularly weak. However, this goblin seemed to be on a mission. He was checking some rudimentary traps that might have caught rabbits or something. He was smart for his kind, and always cautious.
So, imagine his surprise when he looked out behind a tree to see me standing there. I had equipped all of my titles, maximizing my charm. As soon as he met my eyes, I activated my Seduction. I wasn’t kind or innocent about it in the slightest. I attacked this goblin with my innate magic as decisively as any adventurer would with their sword. It wasn’t so much influencing his mind as completely destroying it and substituting it with myself. Once I was done, there would be nothing this goblin would think about other than me.
“Hello, little one, come to me…” I purred, using my skill to identify the goblin’s status in the process. “Oh, my little Narg, you’re just a young one, only three months old, huh?”
The goblin paused, hearing its name sounded out. However, as I continued to gesture towards it, it shook its head and continued to walk towards me, loosing most of its previous caution.
“I won’t hurt you…” I spoke, causing the goblin to further lower its guard.
My skills worked all of the time now. That included Lover’s Trust, which meant that anyone I spoke to would trust the words I said more. I was only starting to realize what all of these skills meant. The truth was they meant that I wasn’t the same person I used to be. He came within arm’s reach and I affectionately stroked his cheek. As I made soothing noises and gestures, he seemed to grow less skittish, and more enamored. I pulled him into my grasp completely.
“Would Narg like to start my army?” I asked innocently.
The goblin smiled, an ugly yellow grin which included a bit of drool falling down his lip. He probably didn’t understand a word I was saying. All he knew is that my words were smooth and sensual. I didn’t care either way. This was the first of what would be many. It was the world that had forced me into this situation. There were the demons on one side, and humans on the other. What else could I do but find my own sanctuary?
“Take us to our home…” I spoke gently, gesturing for him to lead me.
Narg nodded, grinning dumbly. He started heading off into the woods, working just as cautiously as he was before. I joined him, keeping my head down, trusting in his judgment to maneuver these woods. Even with some sword experience, I still wasn’t confident I could handle a major threat in this forested area. At the very least, I had purchased a musky hunter’s cologne that covered up my scent. I didn’t smell pretty, but I wouldn’t attract dozens of horny monsters who would push me down and mount me either.
The beguiled Narg continued on his way, occasionally looking back and giving me a smile. The affectionate smile of a monster didn’t unnerve me like it once had. I was growing more confident in my abilities. I knew that at this level of seduction, the monster’s feelings for me went well beyond sexual desire. I had realized some time ago that there were various thresholds in love. When loyalty and devotion reached a certain point, sex seemed to cease to be an issue. They would happily follow any command I offered without resistance or want of anything in return. That was a level I had reached with this goblin in only a few moments.
Then again, this goblin was a first-class monster. This type was the first monster I had ever encountered in this world. In a way, it was fitting that this would be the first monster I’d start to build this army of mine. However, its level was low, ridiculously low. Any adventuring group in these parts would have been able to wipe out a group of ten to fifteen goblins with ease, including even Jerard’s group.
Adventuring groups had various rankings assigned to them. The group that had saved me when I first came to this world was like a C level group. Jerard likely sat closer to a high B. Any group that Bryson joined would likely be an A group. Suffice it to say, as someone who defeated Bryson, nowadays, I could have wiped out that first goblin group that had raped me when I arrived in this world if I encountered them today. Although, I say that without too much confidence, as I have no experience in battles with more than one opponent. The idea of fifteen goblins coming at me at once with steel drawn was still a terrifying thought.
I raised my eyes and let out this question as I realized the direction Narg was taking me. This was some kind of abandoned farmhouse. It had been left to the elements, and it looked like a group of goblins had taken up residence here. I noticed one in the ragged window curtains move as a watch saw Narg and I approaching. By my quick guess, it seemed like this goblin nest had about five goblins. However, I was not hear to fight them, so I did not feel any of the fear I should have. Quite the opposite, I had been out here for hours since I had banged that Baldy and the Scarface, and the thought of goblin cock gave me a strangely nostalgic feel. I wasn’t planning to have sex with one of them, but you never know how things will turn out.
There was a call that seemed like it might have been a goblin pretending to be a bird. There was more ruffling, and several goblins finally leaped out of their hiding spots with weapons drawn, quickly surrounding us. Narg shot them all angry glares, putting his body between me and the newcomers. He gave several screeches that had to be the goblin language. He didn’t really need to say anything though, because as soon as their eyes fell on a clear view of me, all the goblin’s loosened their grips on their weapons. The chattering instantly died down into stunned silence.
I held out my hands. “Hello… I’ve come hoping you will all join my family.”
I didn’t really know how else to word it. Telling them I hoped that they would become my meatshields felt a little more awkward, whether they understood me or not. There chattering finally returned, and several goblins ran off as if to go fetch something. Still more ran around, doing various things as if they were in a hurry. It only took me about thirty minutes before I realized what they were doing. The goblins had brought out several carcasses. Some of them were rotting, but they seemed to be trying to grab the ones in the best conditions. Others were piling up a bunch of sticks and trying to start a fire. In short, these goblins were trying to throw a feast. It appeared like I was the guest of honor.
I sat down next to Narg on a wobbly chair fetched from the farmhouse. Being directly targeted by my seduction spells, Narg seemed to be the most loyal of the goblins. The rest only seemed to take me as some kind of goddess or fairy they were required to dote on. Only Narg had accepted me as his master. Well, it’d do for now. However, I was realizing the language barrier would create some difficulty. I wished that one of my spells included some kind of babel tongue. My next level would likely go into updating my special skills unless the skill options that came up were some important like that.
The food had barely started cooking when there was a howl in the distance. The goblins started shrieking at each other, and I didn’t need to understand goblin to get the gist of it. In the goblin’s excitement of my arrival, they had brought out their best food and started cooking it. Most of the time, they left food raw. Fires and cooking were restricted and often done in special circumstances. This was because cooked food attracted other monsters.
This group of goblins was very small. Compared to the goblin group I had run into when I first entered this world, they were about 1/5th of the size. Likely, a large reason for that was because of exactly how dangerous these woods were. Goblins commonly became food. I noticed none of them were significantly old in age. They likely barely managed to breed just enough to offset their deaths.
Now, they had led a pack of monstrous wolves straight to the camp. Well, the goblins began to panic and run for their weapons, I smiled and casually stood up. Of course, I didn’t have the brain of a goblin. I knew the fire and the food would certainly attract more company. In fact, I was counting on it! I wasn’t confident bringing down larger monsters on my own, but with a couple of meatshields and a location with some barriers, they could buy me the time I needed to get a grip on anything that came. If things went bad, I’d let them sacrifice their lives for me.
Looking up at the sun, I could see it was starting to get later in the day. I still had time to do this. With a determined nod, I found a safe hiding spot. Narg grabbed a rusty looking piece of farm equipment and stood over me like he was my personal guard. He had even put a pot on his head, which looked a bit silly, but charming in a certain way. I sat and waited, listening to the wolves get closer and closer.
In this dense forest, they weren’t far away in the first place. They were likely a small pack who were just hungry and attracted to the food. This wasn’t the first group of monster wolves I had encountered in this world. In fact, you could say I’d grown quite used to this sort of thing. Thus, when I saw their massive frames break from the brush, I barely flinched looking at these massive grey creatures the size of small ponies.
The goblins made shouts, practically shaking in their boots. In a normal situation, they would have already fled. It seemed to be my own presence that had bolstered their courage. None of the goblins wanted to be the one who ran away in front of the goddess. Thus, they stood their ground, even as they shot each other looks like they were approaching their own deaths. As for me, as soon as my eyes locked on the wolves, I didn’t hesitate to strike.
Seduction, Eye of the Beholder, Monster Tamer… I tossed them out while standing up casually. These were high-level first-class monsters compared to the goblin’s low levels. Thus, they managed to resist for a moment longer. It was only a moment. I concentrated on the alpha in the lead first. After I used seduction on him, the alpha shot me a glare like I was a bug stinging him. However, by the time I launched a second seduction, he was now facing me entirely. The goblins could only watch in disbelief as the five giant silver wolves raced towards them at full speed only to suddenly slow down. About fifty yards from the goblin’s line of broken carts and various pieces of discarded furniture, they had slowed to a trot with their tongues sticking out in a show of nonviolence.
The alpha wolf kept forward passed the barrier while the other stood a few yards away from the goblins and waited. The goblins were too flustered to attack. Narg tried to block the alpha as he approached me, but the wolf held a prideful look in his eyes and just pushed back the small goblin, shooting him a disdainful look as he reached my feet. The wolf fell down, prostrating himself in front of me. While he had seemed terrifying as he stormed in, his teeth bared and bloodlust coming off him in waves, my extreme charm had tamed him in the span of a minute. He now lied at my feet, as innocent as a dog.
I stroked his long ears and the rest of the pack took this as permission to approach. They pushed through the goblin barrier and then lied down around the fire. The goblins looked around in disbelief as the wolves took up residence in their farm as if they had owned the place all along. Slowly, as they realized they wouldn’t die today, the goblins returned to cooking the meat. They gave the more rotted meat to the wolves, who ate it excitedly anyway. With my presence as glue, the two monsters that never should have gotten along were suddenly forming a dependent relationship, eating together at the same campfire, sharing food and warmth.
As the goblins threw meat to the wolves, the wolves in exchange allowed the goblins to touch them. The two enemies who would have killed each other for food not an hour before, now started to see an advantage in each other. This kind of cooperation would not have occurred if I wasn’t there, and I couldn’t predict the ramifications once I left.
This would be the start of the goblin riders, a fearful symbiosis of two monsters that left many adventurers quaking in their boots for years to come. Even if I left, the changes had already begun. However, I wasn’t finished yet. I watched with narrowed, thoughtful eyes as the goblins and wolves slowly started to work together. I needed a lot more than a pack of wolves and goblins.
The humans had an army. The demons had an army. Why couldn’t I have one as well? I had lived with monsters for months. They were no less capable of compassion, love, and companionship than anyone else. My eyes began to spark. It was time to change the status quo.
What just happened?
Well, hopefully, you just finished Power of Creation.
No, I mean, what is with that ending?
Although most readers didn’t know this, Power of Creation has always been about the relationship between Whizzer, the writer, and you, the reader. In a way, all writers are the true “God” of whatever world you’re visiting. This story just made that literal.
Having Whizzer be revealed as the Demon God and the final antagonist seemed fitting for this story. Basically, Whizzer brought you into this world to give him a reason to make it, and thus the two of you grew a dependence on each other. He needed you to read the novel just as much as you needed him to write it.
He created an eronovel for his own desires, but he used you to justify its creation. In essence, the power of creation was always a metaphor for the power to create your own fantasies and follow your imagination. It explored the relationship between a writer and his readers. Well, more like a case study of when that relationship goes wrong.
You keep saying ‘he’. Aren’t you the author?
I’m Whatsawhizzer, the username of the author of all of these novels, Terrance Phillipe. Whizzer is the fictionalized author persona that I undertook during the writing of Power of Creation. You guys murdered him at the end of PoC. I, Whatsawhizzer, will gracefully take over all of his writing stuff.
Persona? Are you saying Whatsawhizzer and Whizzer are two different people?
Whatsawhizzer is the real person, Whizzer is his fictional author. As far as how our personalities differ, Whizzer is more confrontational, whiny, and negative. It was always intended for him to be the reader’s antagonist, and your relationship with him was intended to decline as the story progressed. I aimed to have an author that fought with and grew into an antagonistic relationship with the reader over the course of the story.
Huh? My relationship with the author?
The relationship between you and Whizzer was a deeper layer to the relatively simple story of PoC. I encouraged everyone to comment and often engaged people in conversations in the comments section, in discord, and in author notes. Whizzer was quick to argue and fight, and openly mocked commenters in the story. This was all intentional. That was actually the true “plot” of Power of Creation, and for those who commented and got into fights with Whizzer, you participated! Telling Whizzer not to comment or to just do what he wanted to do and not listen to comments defeated the point of the story. The fact that elements were changed by comments was an integral part of the story! Whizzer arguing, fighting, and changing sections of the story were all parts of the overall narrative.
What about your lazy 4th wall breaks?
As a “hero” from another world and the reader, you were less “in” the world than everyone else, which is why you could have bouts of breaking the 4th wall. Of course, as the narrator, Whizzer also could break the 4th wall, which he often did to harass and troll you. Other heros also had this ability. It was only later in the novel when Whizzer was breaking into the story that the 4th wall began to crumble, and other characters exuded more and more 4th wall breaks. One of the most hated aspects of this story (the 4th wall break humor) was actually a major plot point!
It was when you cast the barrier magic that you finally shattered the wall and could see the world for the story it was. The guy who had been with you all along, talking with and reading all of his words, the narrator, Whizzer, was the real antagonist. He orchestrated everything, all to satisfy his NTR fetish.
You seriously planned this out from the beginning?
Well, no. Obviously, I wrote TOAS in entirety as Whizzer. As to when I decided to make Whizzer a fictionalized character and send PoC this direction? For those of you who followed this from the beginning, you know I wrote PoC just to blow off stress from writing TOAS. Around Chapter 40, I had finished TOAS and I wasn’t getting any excitement from PoC. I suggested turning it into a choose your own adventure and the overwhelming response from fans was “Keep everything the same”.
Then, in a twist that should have surprised no one, when I kept everything the same, I grew bored and quit writing it. It ended up on hiatus for a bit until its sudden resurgence. That’s when I decided to go this route. I still dragged you guys into being an active part of the story, I just did it in a way you didn’t realize it! I created Whatsawhizzer, who is the author of WoW and my other novels, and steadily separated and refined the Whizzer personality.
Ironically, a few have said that they stopped liking PoC around chapter 50, so perhaps they subtly picked up the change in focus from a generic everystory to something with a direction that explored the complex relationship between writers and their readers.
So, that’s it? Everything went according to plan?
Actually, this entire story didn’t really go to my original plan. Originally, I was planning to completely duck out of MSB upon Whizzer’s death. The plan was to finish TOAE/D under a different name after retiring Whizzer. This entire thing was my exit strategy for the ero business. Then things changed.
Isn’t it obvious? World of Women became a ridiculous hit. Patreon took off. I started writing other stories and started growing a fanbase. Remember, when I conceived all this, there was no Discord community. I had two books total. There was no 300+ patreons. I had 7 Patreons, and brought in $30 a month. This naturally massively changed things. For example, I had to tone down the mental break a bit. Yeah, I planned to go even more insane, but when I have $1500 riding on it, I tried to keep the mental breakdowns to something tolerable. Even then, I’m sure my shitty attitude has lost many readers. If you were the target of my ire, I do apologize, it really was all part of the act.
Wait, if Whizzer is a PoC fictionalized author, why did you act confrontational in a none PoC IP or under the Whatsawhizzer name?
Hey, once you start acting a certain way, it’s kind of tough to turn it off, you know? It was already difficult enough maintaining a balance between being antagonistic but not causing me to lose readers. I was very fearful of going too far and end up pushing away a bunch of readers, so I could never go full asshole. I had to keep reassuring people (especially those who thought I was genuinely on the edge of a psychotic break), that this is fine (while acting like I was on the edge of a psychotic break). Even still, I wish I could have been a bit more antagonistic, but then I wouldn’t have any readers by the time I reached the big reveal! I chose to act somewhat antagonistic in WoW as well, because I figured most PoC readers also read WoW. As far as areas like my disqus where Whatsawhizzer was used, they were all affected by the Whizzer personality.
Are you going to be different now that PoC is over?
Yes… I’m going to start acting like me again. But who knows, as I said, it was somewhat difficult to turn off once it got started, and I can’t say it wasn’t fun to be particularly jerkish and troll the fans. I might need to come up with the equivalent of a Whizzer swear jar to curb my previous behavior. We’ll see.
What about the readers that didn’t read the comments?
Too bad, they missed out on an integral part of the story. They wouldn’t understand various references in the text, nor the humor of some of the veiled insults. The fact all the girls were in collars because someone requested it… the “specials” that often ended disastrously, randomly changing the direction of the story at a key point (Megara *cough*), these were all intentional parts of the story. They were the story beyond the story.
What about the Volume PDFs? By very nature, aren’t they devalued by the fact that the “integral” comments and author notes are absent from them?”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………Not at all……………………………………………………………………………………
Look, there is plenty to like about PoC without being aware of comments. It had sex. It had humor. Most people had no clue the conversations in comments were story related, and for the most part they’re still there if you want to go read them on MSB.
Well, I hate 4th wall breaks and that ending ruined Power of Creation for me!
Too bad. Probably shouldn’t have murdered the author then. Whizzer was the kind of guy who might have changed it with enough complaining.
What does this mean for the future of your writing?
Power of Creation had to find an end eventually. I planned for it to end around chapter 300. Now it is over, I’ll start something else. You still have TOAE (when I return to it) and you still have WoW and NTR Crush. I plan to pick up and start writing something else. I’ll put out a survey soon to decide what that will be. There are a lot of options.
Thank you for enjoying Power of Creation. I hope to keep writing with your continued support. Have a good one!
“It’s time to begin the most epic fight ever conceived!” I shout.
“How will that happen?” You ask.
“Through tedious clicking repetition!” I respond.
*Warning: The password for the last chapter is available after defeating the Demon God. The last chapter comes out next Monday.
Two forms dance around an impossibly massive space. From a distance, they could barely be considered dots, yet each time the forms collide, there is a massive wave of power which threatens to tear apart reality itself. This very chapter sits at the border of cracking apart.
“Why won’t you die?” I curse, striking down onto your sword, causing a massive wave of power to explode out, sending another wave of hairpin cracks to form across the edges of infinity.
“I’m the reader! Which one of us you want to die? All of us?” You shoot back. “On that note, can you even say you’ve written something if there is no one there to read it?”
“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” I scream, my sword flashing down again in several quick strikes.
You dodge it, zooming through the infinite space as I shoot beams of fire and ice out towards you. These beams seem to melt before they even reach you. You continue to dodge, dip, dive, and dodge, avoiding everything I can throw. Each time my attacks are dodged, I grow more furious.
“Dude, you’re kind of loosing it, do you need a nap?”
“Fuck you! Fuck you!” I scream, launching dozens of attacks that you avoid, seemingly growing easier the longer you go.
“You’re not even hitting me, shouldn’t you be giving up?”
“Damn it, you fucking readers are so damn slippery. I attack one of you, and then another takes their place!” I shriek. “Isn’t it just like you?”
“What is that now? You still have shit to say?”
“Every time I launch an attack, you always hide behind someone else!” I snarl. “I attack some of you, and the ones who don’t even have anything to do with it answer and take offense despite not even being the ones I had a problem with. That’s why you’re so good at this. That’s why you stick around like a cockroach, no matter who I attack, it’s always intended for someone else. You dance around like insects, avoiding every hit I deliver.”
“Is this some heavily loaded metaphor?” You ponder.
“Metaphor? Shit, I’ve got idiots who don’t even read my novels clicking Whizzer surveys. You’d think that wouldn’t be many, but I got almost 5% of my surveys back from people who don’t even read my books? That’s the kind of shit I have to constantly deal with. Those of you who are the problem will never realize it, and those of you who aren’t will take offense for something you weren’t even involved with!”
You shake your head. “You’re just talking nonsense now. How about just finishing the story and ending this little psychotic break?”
“Little psychotic break? Little? You think I’m doing this just for me? I’m doing this for all of the writers out there. You assholes will just go on to the next writer once we’re done here. You’re like locusts. You just consume, consume, consume. You scurry around in a crowd of nameless pawns that is always hungry and always biting, and as soon as you consume a work, you’re just on to the next one. Is it any wonder the quality is shit? Is it any wonder us writers are bled dry? If I don’t set you in your place, you’ll just go on to the next writer and suck them dry!
“That’s the fundamental truth! You’re the monsters! You’re the villains! You, reader, you have lead to this ending!”
“Oh, blah, blah, blah… readers bad! Are you done?” You ask.
“Die!” I scream, coming at you again, sending several massive suns at you.
You deflect the massive bodies of fire and send them spiraling off. They collapse into blackholes, creating massive supernovas which decorate the landscape. I create waves of evil, waves of monsters, waves of plot contrivance, and each thing I send your way is defeated with a wave of your hand or a snide comment. As I grow more desperate, my attacks begin to grow more sluggish. My imagination, my desires, my wants, they are all drained on you. I can only do so much. In the end, there is only one of me, and there is so many of you.
I cry and scream, trying to change the nature of this story, but I already know you’re right. This story was written for you to read it. I can’t destroy you without destroying the story. As I collapse to the ground, falling to my knees, the universe starts to reform. The world appears under your feet once again. The city of Riun re-solidifies. The castle you made comes back, all of the harem girls appear. I’m in the middle of the courtyard, sitting on my knees, breathing hard, covered in sweat as PoC reforms as if I have accomplished nothing.
“What now?” You ask, scratching the back of your head.
“I’ve… threatened you. Tried to replace you. Nagged you. Insulted you. Tried to kill you. Yet… still, you’re here. Still, you’re reading. This was my story… mine! I’ve spend a hundred times longer writing it than you did reading it.”
“I’ve been with it since the beginning. Every day, I’m the one posting it. I’ve read it. I’ve invested money into it. This… this is my story…”
“…” You frown, not sure what I’m getting at.
I sigh, standing back up. “I can’t end this story on my terms, I think. I’m done. I can’t keep on.”
You raise an eyebrow. “Seriously? That’s it, Power of Creation is over?”
“Hehe… you piece of shit… you think I’d let you end it that easily?” I raise my hands into fists. “This fight it to the death!”
“Come! Let us end this the way it was meant to be! All of you… against me!”