The next morning, I threw myself at Min. He tried to object, but I sidelined all objections by spreading my legs and grabbing at his cock. Eventually, he agreed to mutual masturbation. That is, basically what I did with Dirk the previous night, but Min always made sure I finished as he did. He also faced me, our legs wrapped around each other, and as he came, gobs of seed shot onto the surface of my pussy. Although it was a magical illusion, the sight was erotic enough that I also came. I pulled Min’s head to mine and gave him a rough kiss before pulling away.
Afterwards, things started to feel awkward. Min didn’t seem to act any different. He merely packed up and continued about his day as normal. The problem was with me, but I didn’t seem to be able to put my finger on what was causing it. I reflected everything we had done in the last week. Min had remained steadfast and sturdy, yet I kept feeling like I was walking on eggshells every time I spoke to him.
“Trail, leaning east now…” Min stated after we had started moving once again, breaking my thoughts.
“Is that good?”
“Mm.” Min’s face was otherwise expressionless, and so I didn’t push it.
As it were, we ended up traveling along in silence as we tugged our horses up the hunter’s trail. The three men weren’t avid talkers either, so once we were finished packing and started moving, they didn’t contribute to any meaningful conversation. This gave me a lot of time to think. Unfortunately, even while I wanted to ignore the thoughts floating in my mind, I couldn’t.
I struggled to get a feel for what was on Min’s mind these last couple of days. Between the proximity to his family, traveling in this group, and my own sexual proclivity, I just wished I had a better idea as to what Min was thinking. He had always been quiet and closed off, so why had it only been bothering me recently?
I thought about my own actions the last couple of days. This isn’t the first time I had acted like I had this morning. In the past, whenever my relationship with a guy got rocky, I would throw myself at him as if I believed pushing him into sexual contact verified our relationship. Even now, a part of me thought that since Min and I had sexual relations this morning, that our relationship was fine. This growing uneasiness that had started shortly after we fled the last village was perhaps why I’d been so sexually aggressive lately. I felt like as long as the sexual relationship was strong, my partner wouldn’t leave me. Whenever I started thinking this way, the relationship always self-destructed shortly after.
That thought immediately gave me pause. Was that the direction my relationship with Min was heading? Were we going to self-destruct? When had things between Min and I become so weird? I used to just see him as a friend I had sex with. However, over the last few months, I’d started to accept him as something more. This caused me to be overwhelmed with my own insecurities, something that the seductress class did nothing to help.
Yet, I was breaking down in tears, seducing him at night, and I even asked him to remarry me yesterday! I’ve been doing everything possible to cling to him. I’d been making the same mistakes I made in the past. Things were just so much easier when it was simple sex. I never doubted myself when I was gangbanging bandits or fondling kings. Maybe that’s why I gave Dirk a handjob last night. Warmth for sex, it’s a simple interaction. Even if the outcome was less than satisfactory, it was a relationship I understood. I didn’t understand Min. The stakes were high. Min was the first person I met in this world, and he had carried me along to that point. However, what have I done for Min?
He said I saved his life, but as a second-class with the power to fight third-classers, I knew that wasn’t true. He could have escaped that goblin cave with ease. His slavery was also something he could have avoided. No, when I found him, he was there for a reason. He was there to die. He told me something to that effect once. So, at best, my presence prevented him from killing himself.
And now? Wasn’t I just becoming a burden? I got him into trouble one event after another. I’ve allowed him to remain by my side and enjoyed his company. But in the end, I just used him. Part of it was because I needed him to survive. I was in a strange world and so I clung to him for my own sanity. Part of it was quite literal, I used his body. I wanted warmth and a hard penis. Anyone could have filled that role, but it was easier just to use Min.
The pain in my chest reached its crescendo. My behavior the last few days, Min’s behavior the last few days. The reason was that we have reached a point in our relationship. It was a point I’d been avoiding. The point where I had to acknowledge the truth. I ran away from it, just like I run away from everything. I was afraid. Afraid of losing Min. Afraid of being alone. However, I had to accept the truth.
I don’t love Min.
My feet stopped suddenly when the thought finally formed into words in my mind. It felt like my heart was being stabbed, but as soon as my mind put the words together I knew it was true. As much as Min meant to me, I never saw him as something more. I never saw him as a wife or a lover. I saw him as a friend. I guilted myself into thinking the pair of us needed each other, and then I started to open my heart up to him.
“A pack of wolves crossed this path last night.” Tark’s voice was so sudden that I nearly jumped.
We had been walking on the path for the last few hours and it was becoming less of a defined path and more of a suggestion on the direction to head. At some point, he had kneeled down by the side of the road and was looking at something on the ground I couldn’t recognize. Min and the three adventurers had turned to me when I jumped, but I merely shook my head. Min ‘s head cocked to the side in a questioning look, but I shook my head again to him while failing to meet his eyes.
“Is that something to be concerned about?” I asked to shake away my dark thoughts.
“Animals attract monsters,” Dirk explained, offering me a private smile despite his performance the previous night, only serving to further rile my conflicted emotions. “Wolves crossing a hunting trail may suggest they are in turn being hunted themselves. Could be trouble.”
I nodded without responding. This was just one more event that reminded me of how odd this world was. Wolves could traditionally be called hunters in my world, but in this world, they could be considered prey when compared to monsters. In fact, it’s a bit of a wonder to me that given the existence of monsters, animals thrived in nature at all.
“We’ll proceed a little slower.” Tark finally stood up and patted off his knees.
“Scout, ahead?” Min asked cautiously.
“It’s about lunch.” Tark shrugged and then glanced at me. “I caught a rabbit earlier, how about you skin and cook it while we scout ahead, just in case.”
“Ah, I can’t cook. Or skin…” I responded while holding my hand to my chest.
‘What?” Giff growled turning his eyes to Min. “Your woman can’t even cook?”
Given the thoughts I had just been fighting with, the comment dug deep. That’s right. Min cooked all the meals. He sewed the clothing. He set the campfire. He stayed up on watch. He did everything… and I… I couldn’t even acknowledge him as a man. I was just someone who used him. That was the source of my growing discomfort. The reality I couldn’t even admit to myself until now.
“I’m sorry…” I responded, feeling even more like crap. “But Min can…”
“Actually, I need the elf. Good eyes, am I right?” Tark stated.
“Mm…” Min nodded.
“Giff, I’ll need some of your tricks… come with us. Dirk,” Tark gave me a look and then sighed. “Cook the rabbit, eh?”
“You call magic that can defy the gods tricks…” Giff muttered as the three of them moved off.
Before I could even react, the three of them had moved off into a thicket and I was left alone with Dirk.
“I suppose you can’t start a fire either?” Dirk asked, and when I shook my head he gave a chuckle. “Well, with a girl as pretty as you, I suppose you can get away with making the guys do a lot of things.”
My mood hit an even lower rung. Fighting against my souring mood, I tied up the horses and sat down on a nearby log while Dirk got the fire started. I had been in this world for six months, and yet the only skills I had involved lying to people and having sex. I knew nothing of how to survive. And now that I could admit to myself that Min was a convenience… just how useless I was came striking home.
By the time the fire was started, I was seriously close to crying. What had I been doing in this world? I wanted to call myself an adventurer. I wanted to call myself a hero. The guild was right. I can’t even skin an animal for food. I listened to Dirk work in silence. Occasionally, he’d look up at me while giving a smile, as if to remind me that I’d fondled his dick the night before, but I wasn’t in the mood to return the flirtatious looks. At the moment, I was going through my own crisis.
Afterwards. That was the only thing I could come up with. Afterwards. After I reached the colony and got my class up, I’d start doing the things I needed to do. I’d learn skills that were actually important. I wouldn’t depend on Min anymore… and… and… I’d let him know the truth. I didn’t deserve Min. He needed to find someone better than me.
A crack of the branch was the only warning I got when a cloaked form emerged onto the trail with a sword gripped tightly in his gloved hand.
“Shit!” It was the shout from Dirk that caused me to register the noise and finally look up.
The sword swooped down and Dirk did a jump to the side, losing the roasting bunny into the fire as he rolled out of the way. The sword went wide, gashing across his back but missing a fatal blow. With that, two other figures stepped out into the clearing. I’d like to say I reacted smoothly, but the sight only caused me to scream as I struggled to my feet, only for one foot to catch on a branch and send me flying back over the trunk and landing on my ass.
My screams seemed to be more attractive than Dirk, as three heads swiveled to look at me. I could finally see into the hood of the cloak, although the face I saw didn’t differ that much from the other two uncloaked forms. Each one held the face of a skeleton, dirty yet undoubtedly devoid of any skin.
I immediately started backing up as the three forms started taking steps towards me. I scuttled back several feet until my head slammed into the trunk of a tree behind me. Use Celestial Whip? What was that? Summon Jenai? The thought didn’t even occur to me. I had seen many monsters in this world, most having some humanoid form, but these skeletons caught me completely off guard, especially appearing so blatantly during the day.
My hand dug into the snow and I felt a hard stone. I immediately lifted and threw it. The lead skeleton didn’t even flinch. The stone struck him on the side of the head and bounced away, barely leaving a scratch. The three continued to move forward until the hooded skeleton was right in front of me, it’s chattering teeth and oddly glowing orbs where the eye should be sat only a few feet from my face. It started to lift its sword.
If I release pheromones, I might-
Even before that thought could be finished, there was a roar and the skeleton on the right collapsed into pieces. A moment later the one on the left’s skull erupted. This time I could see that it was Dirk. He only used his hands, although there were metal gauntlets that covered them in sharp metal. The robbed skeleton seemed a little faster than the other two. He spun around and raised his sword, but before he could do anything, Dirk grabbed his head, one hand on each temple.
The position was too close for the skeleton to swing his sword, but before he could come up with an alternative plan, Dirk flexed his body, his skin turning red from the top of his head all the way to his arms as blood rushed to his skin. The skeleton’s head exploded, two fists coming together and crushing the skull from the outside. It seemed like all power had left the skeleton, but as if to make sure, he pulled one hand out and grabbed the spine, lifting the skeleton like a doll and tossing it with some force as it shattered against a nearby tree.
He looked over at me, breathing hard while the redness on his face only now started to fade. This must have been what he meant when he called himself a berserker. At the moment, his body certainly exuded strength. The shock of being nearly killed got to me, and before I could help myself, I threw my arms around Dirk, tears running down my face.
Nearly being killed by the skeleton might not have been enough to cause me to bawl normally, but it was added on top of the stress of my own mind. I was useless. That was the truth of it. My own fears were confirmed right as I started to realize it.
“Ah, miss… be careful, my back…”
There were heavy steps coming from a nearby thicket and the pair of us spun in preparation. It ended up being Min, Tark, and Giff immerging from the trail, looking around with concern. At the time, I still had tears in my eyes, and my arms were wrapped around Dirk’s side. Tark raised an eyebrow and gave a look while Giff only twisted a smile and muttered to himself while watching Min from the side. To his disappointment, Min’s face didn’t give away any distress. I pulled my hands away from Dirk’s body, although I tried to make it look natural.
“Skeletons attacked.” Dirk nodded to the three piles of bones. “Caught us off guard.”
“I bet…” Tark responded dryly.
Dirk took a step forward and then winced. “Ah, well, he got me bad with that sword. You have anything for that Giff?”
“Don’t look at me,” Giff snorted and rolled his eyes to me. “Doesn’t she have white magic?”
Dirk’s eyes brightened. “That’s right! You can heal us, can’t you?”
“Ah… yes, of course.” I gave an optimistic smile.
That’s how I ended up with the man while Min prepared something else to eat. The other two men were sitting around the fireplace. Giff was using a mortar and pestle to make bonemeal from the corpses while Tark was looking at the rotted equipment to see if anything was worth keeping. Fortunately, they had caught another animal while scouting so we wouldn’t go hungry.
“So, why do I have to take off my shirt? You can’t just chant a spell and heal me?”
“No, sorry. My spell requires a more hands-on touch. You’ll feel a warm, wet feeling, I’m just applying the herb.” I made up some excuse.
“If all she can do is apply herbs, we could have just done that ourselves.” Giff growled to himself.
“Hey, now. She actually did a good job distracting the skeletons. I might have died if she wasn’t here.” Dirk defended.
“And it was Min that was able to see that snake you nearly stepped on while we were scouting.” Tark added.
Giff shrugged. “Alright… whatever. Won’t matter anyway.”
“Yeah, I got it.” Giff doubled his efforts on making bonemeal while ignoring the rest of us.
While using Dirk’s muscular body as a shield, I carefully licked the long gash on his back, sealing it with my cat’s meow. Now that the stress of the moment was gone, I realize could have thought of ten ways to bring down the skeletons earlier. I didn’t think I’d be so prone to freezing up like that. In the end, the only skill I even considered was the one I had sworn to myself I’d stop using. Despite all my best efforts, I still thought to use my body before anything else. I thought to seduce and manipulate, rather than actually stand up and support myself.
I wiped his back with a towel to clean off my saliva. “All done.”
“What, really so quick?” Dirk stretched his back trying to reach for the cut although his bulky muscles made it impossible. After a moment, he broke out into a giant grin. “Hey, that’s not bad! There is no pain at all. Even the white mae spells usually take a few hours. She’s not bad at all!”
Dirk was trying to show his back to the other two men, who shrugged it off as inconsequential. Giff muttered something about the ability being useless in the middle of a fight, but I decided it wasn’t worth fighting, especially since I had embellished my capacity to use white magic since the beginning. I was just glad they were satisfied with that.
Although, it turned out Dirk wasn’t satisfied with just that. After I sent Min to bed in the tent, it ended up just being Dirk and me near the fire like the previous night. Saving my life mixed with the stuff we had done the previous night had made Dirk bold, as no sooner did his friends close their eyes when he started putting his hands all over me.
I wasn’t really in the mood, but he was being exceptionally forceful, and even after taking his hand off my thigh three times he ended up forcing his hand down my pants and fingering me while sucking my neck noisily. At that point, I decided to stop fighting it as he pushed me down on the ground. He pulled down my pants and whipped out his dick like he was in a race to penetrate me.
Soon, his bulky form was on top of me, thrusting away as I wrapped my legs around his hips. The ground under me was ice cold, freezing my ass. His muscles were warm, so I held on to him tightly as he thrust while making rhythmic grunting noises. As he continued to have my body, his course fingers squeezing my breasts with the excitement of a little boy, I laid my head back and looked around.
It was then that I realized that the tent I shared with Min was opened a crack. In that crack was Min, staring out at the pair of us. My eyes met Min’s, my head bobbing side to side with each thrust, but I really had nothing to say. This wasn’t the first time I’d ever done things in his proximity, but usually, I was consumed by some sort of sexual lust. This felt more like fulfilling a sexual obligation.
Min was as expressionless as always, and I didn’t do anything so tactless as smile at him or acknowledge him, but the pair of us continued to watch each other. Eventually, I broke my gaze. I was considering the things I had decided on that day and suddenly felt a stabbing feeling in my heart. By the time I looked back, the tent was closed.
I gritted my teeth and my hands tightened on Dirk’s arms. I’d need to strengthen my resolve. I was not longer the scared little girl just trying to survive. Perhaps this was a good thing. I was reaching a point where I could become self-sufficient.
Dirk mistook this for me orgasming, and a second later gave two last thrusts and gasped as I felt something warm injected between my legs. I opened my lips and applied my manipulation to give him the impression I finished too, and he gave me a happily dumb look as he finally rolled off me to pull his pants up.
The floor was so cold that by the time I got my clothing back in order, I just wanted to moon the firepit to warm my numb ass. I fought the urge and instead sat back down on a nearby log while ignoring the pain and discomfort.
“I’m sorry, Min,” I whispered to myself. “I’ll repay everything you’ve done for me. I swear it.”