Hooking my arms below Kara’s knees and arms, I stood up, lifting her up in a princess carry.
She made a surprised noise as she flung her arms around my neck and held on.
“What are you doing!?” she asked.
“Fulfilling my end of the agreement. I was supposed to help you use up your resources, right? Then that’s exactly what I’ll do.”
“No! I won’t wait.” Turning to Lin who was watching, trying not to laugh, I asked. “Hey Lin, where’s your senior sister’s bedroom?”
“Ah? It’s that room.” She pointed out.
“Hey!” protested Kara in my arms, trying to struggle out.
But I knew that she wasn’t serious. If she really wanted to resist, I didn’t stand a chance. And going by her accelerated heartbeat and her signal that was blaring as loud as a police siren, she was anticipating it a lot.
As I pushed open the door of her bedroom and entered, Kara stopped her token struggle.
Looking over my shoulder at Lin, she said, “Bring that large jar from the pantry then and the –”
“I know, I know.” Interrupted Lin. “I’ll go get it. Just don’t start without me. Hehe.” she said cheerfully before running off to fetch whatever it was that she had to.
Probably the pollen and nectar they have stored up. How do they use it? I though curiously before unceremoniously dumping Kara onto her bed before taking a look around at her bedroom.
It was quite plain. There was very little in the way of decorations. There was a desk and chair in one corner of the room, there was the bed and a wardrobe. The only things that broke the monotony was a bookshelf filled with several leather-bound tomes and a painting of a woman hanging on the wall above the desk. Just below the picture, on the desk was an incense stand with stubs of burnt out joss sticks in it. Beside it was a thin earthen vase with one of the moon lilies stuck into it.
Studying the picture carefully, it somehow looked quite similar to Lin. A mature, regal version of Lin. Is this her mother? Then what was the meaning of her ignorance when she was talking about childbirth. What is going on?
“That’s the previous Sect Mistress,” clarified Kara as she propped herself up on her elbows and followed my gaze to the picture.
“Mistress Cheng Hong was a great person.” She continued. I could clearly make out the intense respect in her words. “After she became the Sect Mistress, she made a lot of policies that greatly improved the condition of the sect and its disciples. She made us prosper. She was loved by everyone. They all considered her their mother figure.”
“Yeah…” Kara sighed. “But she was Lin’s actual mother.”
I wasn’t as shocked by the reveal as I had guessed something like this was going on. Random nobodies wouldn’t be given this sort of garden and accommodation no matter how skilled they were in cultivation of moon lilies.
“She died.” I could feel the intense sorrow radiating off Kara even without the link between us.
Then it was replaced by anger. “She was killed!” she said as she clenched her teeth.
“The current Sect Mistress?” I hazarded a guess.
Kara nodded. “Yeah. Lin’s mother was at a bottleneck in her cultivation. No matter how hard she tried, or how much she meditated on the top of the mountain, she couldn’t break through. So, she decided to have a child and see whether that would allow her to break her shackles.”
“Huh! A child just for the sake of cultivation?! What did she think Lin was? A tool?” I couldn’t help but blurt out. It was an outrageous concept that attacked my moral bottom line.
“Don’t you presume to judge her!” Kara flared up, sitting up straight and glaring at me with her flashing golden eyes. “She was the most wonderful woman in the world. What if she wanted Lin for her cultivation? When I met her, she was pregnant with Lin and she loved her from the bottom of her heart. She had so many plans to take care of her. She would talk to me about them every single day!”
I took a step back at her vehemence. The sadness in her signal was almost palpable. There were tears in the corners of her eyes.
“W-what happened to her?” I asked softly, placatingly, trying to get her to calm down.
Sniffing hard, she ran an arm over her eyes, wiping away the tears. Then she glared at me and continued, “What else? She was plotted against by that vile bitch. Her pregnancy left her quite weakened so instead of staying in the Sect where she could be backstabbed, Mistress left under the pretext of roaming the world. For nine months she travelled all over the place, slowly breeding Lin in her stomach. During her travels she met me.
“As you can see. I’m not from here. I come from the border area between the human and the Demi-human nations. My people live in tribes amidst the dense jungles that mark the border. The Viridian Forest is just an extension of that jungle. One day, some human slavers intruded into our territory and either killed or captured us all. After that, we were collared and sold of as slaves. The men as labour slaves, the women as pleasure slaves.”
“Then, your techniques… that test…” My words trailed off as I realized why she was so skilled in teasing men.
She smiled mirthlessly, her eyes cold, “Yeah, I was sold to a brothel. I was trained to pleasure men. Trained to tease them until they called for me to serve them in bed. The more I lit their fire, the more gold the pimp could extract from them. That was my life. An object for sleazy men to paw and fuck. Until Mistress saved me.”
“But that’s impossible!” I exclaimed, shocked. “If Lin’s mother was pregnant at that time… Lin is sixteen now… you couldn’t have been more that five or six years old. This. This!” my mind was short-circuiting. If this was true then I really couldn’t fault Kara for becoming a man-hater. Those sick fucks!
“Uh. No. I’m actually thirty now. I was fourteen then. Cultivation makes it hard to tell ages. Lin is sixteen though.” She replied, slightly embarrassed at having to mention her age.
Oh. That was better. Still unacceptable. But better fourteen than six.
“Anyway! Mistress saved me from them and she took me on as a disciple. She helped me open my Spirit and absorb the Yang Essence of every single man in the brothel. She helped me get my revenge! I owe her my life.” Kara’s eyes grew gentle. “But all she asked me to do was look after Lin when she was born.”
“Then that serpent attacked,” she said through clenched teeth. “Normally, she wasn’t the Mistress’ match but it was right after she had given birth to Lin and was at her weakest.” Kara had to pause to wipe her eyes again.
“She sent us off. If she didn’t have to look after us, she might have been able to flee. But she sent us off. At the risk of her life, she sent us off. If not for us she might have lived.” Her voice was thick with emotion.
“She gave us the Sect Mistress’ token and told us to come to the Yin Demon Sect’s branch in the city. She said that there were elders loyal to her who would shelter us. She was right. They supported us and preserved our lives. They allowed us to have this large courtyard. But they couldn’t stand off against the traitor. She was too strong. She became the Sect Mistress and now she is there at the top of the mountain. Recovering from the wounds inflicted on her by the Mistress. Cultivating. Every day she grows stronger and soon, she’ll be strong enough to subdue all the elders. That’s the day we die! Or worse…”
Her golden eyes turned to me.
“Now do you regret joining us? Huh? You must have been happy. A girl in each arm. They provide the cultivation resources for you and they take care of all your needs. All you need to do is fuck. The life every man dreams of. Well, guess what? It ain’t all fun and games.”
She got up from the bed and strides up to me. Reaching up to grab the back of my head with both hands, she pressed down until our foreheads were touching. She stared at me intensely with those fiery golden eyes.
“I didn’t tell Lin anything. I kept her sheltered as far as I could. Mistress asked me to protect her and I will, you get me? She’s almost like a daughter to me. And you. You’re the key to solving this dilemma. You need to help us cultivate faster. Her followers and the Mistress’ faction are balancing each other. They can’t help us or hinder us. With you, we can blitz up the cultivation stages. We need to get to at least the Foundation building stage before we are strong enough to leave the Sect and survive the dangers of the Viridian Forest. We’ll escape and try to grow stronger until we are able to avenge the Mistress.
“Until the vile woman comes out of seclusion. That’s all the time we have. Got it?”
It was a lot to take in at once but I knew that ‘yes’ was the only right answer. Otherwise Kara would resort to drastic methods. And anyway, I didn’t have the habit of abandoning my women just because things got a bit difficult. Unless the woman clearly told me she didn’t want me, I considered her mine after the first fuck.
Wrapping my arms around her waist, I pressed her up against me so our hips were touching. “Fine. I’ll help but I need some answers.”
“What?” she asked, mollified by my easy acceptance.
“First, Lin is at level 3 of Qi condensation at sixteen… why were you only at level 6 at thirty?”
“I gave her most of the resources I produced. And the Traitor’s faction had been messing with our trade.”
I nodded. I had expected that answer. “Then, how do you plan to hide the explosive growth in your cultivation bases from the inquiries of the elders? Won’t it expose me?”
She shook her head. “Progress in the Qi condensation stage is totally based on the resources we have. I can just say, that I had been stockpiling my resources for a long time and used it all now.”
“Ok. When we escape into the forest, won’t we be considered sect rebels and hunted down?”
Kara shook her head. “The elders on our side will hold them up long enough for us to escape.”
I was going to ask more questions but at that moment Lin kicked open the door to the room with several pots and jars balanced precariously in her arms. Kara and I separated from each other. After learning of their story, I suddenly felt quite awkward while facing Lin. Kara considered Lin her daughter… What did that make me?
Walking over to the desk, she put them all down and turned to us with a mischievous glint in her eye. “I see that you’ve been getting along in my absence.”
I laughed evasively while Kara refused to meet her eye.
Grinning, she clapped her hands. “Let’s get started, shall we?”