Min didn’t know how vessë had summoned the adventurers, but when the men stormed into the cave, she could do nothing but look on in shock as they slaughtered every goblin with ease. Given their skill, it was likely that the goblins would have overtaken them just as they overtook Min, but most of the goblins were asleep at this point, and they didn’t even wake as the adventurer’s cut their throats.
How did Aria know they were coming? How did she put the goblin’s asleep? She did it. She did exactly what she promised she would. She had saved them all, and she had done it with her body.
The adventurers seemed somewhat disinterested in the three chained up women. They were more focused on cutting off the ears of the goblins and looking for other stuff. It was only after Shay broke into tears that they finally released them. Vessë had fallen asleep, but Min felt just as tired and broken.
The adventurers reluctantly gave them clothing. Min dressed her vessë. She admired Aria’s sleeping form as she did. Aria would have been considered a very attractive woman by elf standards. Despite a month or so of abuse, her body was remarkably unharmed. If anything, she looked more vibrant and beautiful. She found herself smiling fondly as she looked down on this woman. When she noticed this, she quickly removed the expression from her face. She still knew virtually nothing about this woman. When she finally got in the covers, lying a few feet away from Aria, she fell asleep in a comfort she hadn’t felt before.
When Min’s eyes opened, she was in the arms of a strange man. She kicked and panicked for a brief moment, not quite sure where she was.
“Easy, misses, take it easy.” The brute holding her said.
“Min, it’s okay. These adventurers are helping us.” A hand suddenly grasped Min’s thigh in a extremely familiar way.
Min shot a glare at the presumptuous person, only for her eyes to land on Aria. She seemed to be stroking the back of Min’s leg with her fingers, the tip of her nail dancing under Min’s knee. Min’s body shivered impulsively. If it was vessë, it was okay to be touched so familiarly, but to do it so boldly in front of these men was outrageous. To make matters worse, this spot turned out to be surprisingly sensitive for Min, who was reacting to it despite her best efforts.
“Walk!” Min demanded firmly, nearly kicking and screaming until the large man put her down.
Aria looked down at Min searchingly, and it took Min a second to realize that Aria was checking out her body in a rather lewd and sexual manner. Her heart suddenly beat faster and it took everything in her power to keep herself from dying from embarrassment. Her vessë was already fretting over her in an extremely intimate manner! There were other strangers here, did she really have so little reservation? Couldn’t Aria wait until they were alone to do these things? Then again, this was all too new in general.
Min couldn’t look at Aria at the moment. The extreme intimacy she demanded so immediately was too much for Min’s heart. However, Aria suddenly looked guilty and she gave a sympathetic glance. Min began to feel bad for shunning her own wife. Using the last ounce of her strength, she reached out and grabbed the back of Aria’s shirt, holding it. Aria didn’t respond. She was already focused on something else. She seemed to be having a conversation with one of the men.
In fact, she seemed to talk with the men quite smoothly. As they moved on, one of the guys started to become more and more friendly with her. Min thought she had heard that his name was Darius. He started touching Aria in the same way Aria had been touching Min. Had Min been misunderstanding? Was this behavior simply normal for humans? Min was deeply confused.
“Hahah…” The next morning Min woke to the sound of ruffling sheets and the silent gasping of Aria.
Min may have been young for an adult elf, but she was still at that age, and she knew what the sounds and ruffling under the sheets implied. Her vessë was pleasuring herself. It wasn’t like Min didn’t do it herself from time to time, but here? Out in the forest? With those men a few feet away? After being in that cave, the last thing Min thought about was anything sexual. Min pretended she was asleep while she listened to Aria finish, desperately trying to keep herself from either laughing or crying at the ridiculousness of it all. Why had she married such a strange woman?
Shay woke up a day later, but Min chose to ignore her. The feeling was mutual. Neither knew the other well, and they had both been through a lot.
“Um… my mom, she passed away when I was little. My dad sunk everything into his merchant caravan. We might be able to recover some of it, I know where we were attacked…”
Min cringed as she heard those words pass Shay’s lips. She should have lied. They were still vulnerable out here. Well, it wasn’t like Min had done anything better to improve their situation. She didn’t trust these men. In general, she didn’t trust any men. They were users. They reminded her too much of her father. Her mentor. A boy she had once called friend…
Was that why it was so easy to say yes to her? Min thought.
“Damn it. Three useless twats. Here I thought there might be an award so…”
Min knew of these kind of adventurers too. Truth be known, the quest to take on the goblins wouldn’t have been cheap. They managed to knock down thirty plus goblins. The guild had also been known to reward adventurers for rescues and such. These men were just being greedy. As is, there reward would have been significant, three month’s salary at least. However, these men seemed to want more.
“I guess we’ll just sell them to the slavers. That’ll make a decent profit.”
It was sadly true. Three rescues would bring in three silver each. Three slaves would bring in a gold each. Min had been unable to keep her ears covered either. The men knew she was an elf now. In these areas, elves would go for quite a bit. Min had suspected since the beginning that slavery was the most likely direction this was heading.
“We can be useful, we can be useful!” Shay begged with tears in her eyes. “Whatever I have to do, I’ll make it up to you. I’ll pay you back, I swear!”
As the seeming leader eyed her like a pack of meat, Min turned away in disgust. This woman was digging her own grave. Giving men like this what they wanted would only cause them to take more. She’s be raped, abused, and then killed… like Min’s mother had been.
“I’m happy to show you my various uses.” Another voice spoke up.
Min nearly fell when Aria had smoothly stepped up. She fell to her knees without question, servicing the man instantly. Min almost wanted to wrestle a sword away and kill the man. She wasn’t angry, just frustrated. The idea of a wife was too new to her, that watching that same women suck a strange man’s cock just came off as surreal.
“Thank you, so much, for saving us.” Aria said as she casually wiped her mouth, her voice so cool that it sent shivers running through Min’s spine.
“We-well, I’ll expect more appreciation later. I-I did save your life, after all.”
“Oh, you can count on it…” The look in her eyes was terrifying.
That morning, Min was awoken to the sounds of her Vessë being violated by that same man. Not only did he not lighten up, he seemed to be taking the assault to the next level. He grew more and more aggressive, while Aria seemed to grow more and more insolent.
Shay looked at Aria in idolization for the first day or two. In her mind, Aria was a brave woman taking on the brutality of this man. Min wasn’t so sure. Not only did Aria not look hurt or beaten, if anything, she became more radiant with each passing day. The looks she shot the leader weren’t looks of fear. They were calculating looks. It almost felt like Aria was treating this whole even like some kind of game. Aria’s enjoyment became more and more brazen until even Shay couldn’t delude herself anymore.
Once, Min saw Aria acting strange while muttering something under her breath. Min strained her ears to hear those words.
“About time…” Aria muttered, walking around strangely until she found a spot and stopped. “This will be more comfortable.”
As if my clockwork, the man descended on her, pushing her down onto a pile of leaves. It was the place she had chosen. It was clear she came first in that encounter, even letting out a triumphant laugh of victory, heedless to the fact the leader had two hands around her throat. After that, the other men started talking about it. They didn’t speak in wonder over their leader’s brutality. Instead, they spoke as if he was a whipped man being controlled by a domineering wife. Min herself was having a harder and harder time telling as well. She didn’t know what to make of it.
The woman she had slept with, the one she called vessë, she decided she made a mistake. Min had seen her face. She must have been driven mad by the goblins, or perhaps she had been driven made before then. Her face always showed immense pleasure. The activities that should have left her crying left her grinning. She continued to grin, even as the leader’s eyes became more intense and vicious. This woman wasn’t like her mother at all. Min decided this woman was insane.
Then, something she didn’t expect happened. Her stomach suddenly growled. They had been marching hard for a few days and they hadn’t eaten much that morning. The guys felt like they could skimp on sharing food with the woman, and they hadn’t even eaten for breakfast. Min was in no position to beg for more, so she silently starved. They were, whether she liked it or not, the only thing keeping the group alive right now. Well, Min could escape on her own and live, but it was dangerous to travel alone.
Vessë was looking at Min as she held her stomach. Min glanced away as soon as their eyes met, suppressing the urge to blush. Who cared what Aria saw? The woman latched on to any man she saw. It had been a mistake. The woman she thought was like her mother was a lie.
Aria suddenly yawned loudly, raising her hands up in an exaggerated fashion. “I’m hungry.”
She didn’t speak the words to anyone. She simply just muttered the words rudely out loud as if she was speaking to herself. Was Aria hungry too? Well, either way, it was rude to just announce it like that.
The leader suddenly stopped and turned back. “We’ll stop here for lunch. Prepare the food. Woman…”
“You called?” Aria said smoothly as if she had been expecting this.
“Show me a bit more of your appreciation over here. You can eat when we get back.”
“No audience today?” She asked without a single ounce of shame, as if she’d have been just as happy either way.
The large man could have crushed Aria with a single punch, yet all her did was close his eyes and clinch his fist. His breath was slightly ragged and he looked flushed. As Aria passed by, she touched his shoulder with a hand, her fingers gliding over her biceps. For a second, it almost was like Aria had tugged an invisible leash, as he was pulled forward towards her like an animal. It lasted for merely a second as he let out a growl, shoved past her and forced himself to take the lead. She merely chuckled seductively in response before looking over at Min and shooting her a wink.
Min stared dumbfounded as the woman walked after the man any normal woman would consider dangerous and intimidating. Aria had done that for her sake? Min was being fed in short order while she heard the noises of sex off in the distance. This Aria, her vessë, just who the hell was she? She was able to control that man with ease. No, Aria wasn’t like her mother. She was on an entirely different level. She wasn’t using sex to win the battle, she was using sex to conquer the world.
The leader and the big, dumb one went off to investigate some tracks.
“You, Aria, go off and get some wood for the fire.”
It was one of the two remaining on watch. Incredible. They weren’t technically captives, but the girls were always watched. Yet, the dynamics in the group had changed so much in only a few weeks that they saw Aria as only a step under themselves. They don’t even consider that she’d use this opportunity to escape. The older, lankier, prettier guy was still watching in her direction though. It was like he was infatuated with her form.
“Damus, keep a watch on the other two.”
“Eh! Ah, yes, of course.” The youngest one said in a fluster.
He disappeared into the forest, chasing after Aria. A small part of Min worried after her. However, what she felt more than worry or concern was curiosity. What would Aria do? What would she say? Min still didn’t understand this woman. She found herself wanting to though. Like the guy chasing her in the woods, Min also wanted to chase after her. She wanted to know who this woman truly was.
“Psst.” Min was taken out of her thoughts as a pebble struck her toe.
She glanced over to see Shay sitting next to her. It was the first time Shay had talked to her since they had been captured. It was a bit surprising to be suddenly approached like this.
“We must escape.” Shay whispered, keeping her head tilted towards Min’s and out of Damus’ earshot. “This is the best chance we’ll get…”
“Think… won’t kill us?” Min responded with a low voice.
“I’m already a dead woman.” Shay shot, touching her stomach in a way that made a previously unnoticeable bump appear.
“Pregnant?” Min inhaled sharply, “Goblins?”
Shay didn’t respond, only looking down at the floor bitterly. “It was your job to protect us. I don’t hold you… responsible. But please… please… if you respect the adventurer’s guild or the money you took to bodyguard, please help me now. Give me a chance.”
“Then… I go…”
“Run… after he chases.”
Min decided to head in the direction of Aria. She would give chase, just this once. Perhaps she could help free Aria and the two could escape together. That was about the limit she felt she owed her vessë. It was still too strange. She hadn’t come to terms with things yet. She didn’t see Aria as someone she should abnormally risk her life on. She’d check. She’d save if she could. She’d learn what she wanted to know. Then, Min was back on her own.
She bolted off in that direction before the younger Adventurer could react. Well, in a fight she could kill him easily. She didn’t intend to do that. She’d lead him out a little bit, knock him unconscious and then take off. In the woods, the other adventurers wouldn’t be able to pick up the trail of an elf.
She continued to move forward as she listened for the steps. However, when she glanced back, she saw another explosion of motion. Shay had immediately started running in the other direction. The young adventurer had caught this before even reaching the edge of the forest and turned back. Min growled under her breath. Shay had took off running too quickly. She was supposed to wait until after Min had gotten him out a distance. He looked back and forth between Shay and Min, finally giving one last curse and running towards Shay’s direction.
“I’m going to rape that bitch!” Her elvish ears could hear as the man disappeared in the opposite direction.
Min frowned and looked down at her own body. It came to that in the end. The man chased the woman he found more attractive. Min’s body was flat and featureless. Meanwhile, Shay’s boobs had increased in size from her pregnancy. He’d certainly be surprised when he found that out. However, it was too late now. Min had tried to help one person, and had failed even that much. Again.
Min started out again, searching for Aria. That was when she started hearing the howling of wolves. She could hear fighting in the distance. There was growling, screaming, and even the sound of steel on steel. What the hell was happening? Min couldn’t find Aria anywhere.
Using her skills, she circled around the camp a few times. Enough time had passed by that whatever happened with Aria had likely already happened. Eventually, she found the two men who had been out on scouting duty returning to gather their things at the campsite. The leader was covered in blood and had several wounds. They wouldn’t be able to detect an elf like Min in the woods if she didn’t want to be found. So, she remained in her hidden spot and listened in on their conversation.
“Did you find her?” the leader demanded.
“She went into the cave. She’s dead.”
“Fuck! Seriously? That dumb twat.”
“Well, it’s just the two of us now… but we could try to go in there and rescue…”
“Hah! What do you take me for? She may have been some good pussy, but I’m not going to take on a Cave Spider without at least a Mage and a Cleric. Besides, its poison sets in quickly. Even if we killed it safely, she’ll be dead before we can find an antidote.”
The large one shook his head. “What a fucking mess.”
“You’re telling me? Let’s get the hell out of here. At least the split is only two-way now. A few fire wolf pelts. We can at least report the spider location for a few copper. With this haul, no one would be surprised we lost half the form.”
Min didn’t bother to listen to the rest of the conversation. She sat back and rested her head on a tree. A Cave Spider, a particularly aggressive and dangerous monster. The men were right, there was no saving Aria. It’d take a form of four second classers at least to hope to defeat that monster.
In an instant, Min had gone from a confused married woman to single once again. Her body shook as she silently laughed, thinking about how ridiculous the last few days had been. That Aria, her vessë, was a walking disaster. Min never did find out the kind of woman this Aria was, and now she was gone.
Min gathered herself and headed out. She was alone once again. At first, she thought this Aria was a guiding star, perhaps leading her back to life. Now, she knew it was just an illusion. The only direction Min had was the same direction as vessë, death.