Sorry, I know you guys have been waiting patiently for chapters and these have been coming forth slowly. I can’t promise you a weekly release at the moment. After surveys and discussions with readers, TOAE has been confirmed again and again as a less popular story. Although it has to do with more than that. I’ve lost a bit of my writing momentum and it’s been difficult getting back into writing TOAE. In the end, the story hasn’t quite gone the direction I had wanted it. It’s not so much that I don’t know what I want to happen, it’s that I’m struggling with how to make it logically go that way. So… I’m going to change up the story a bit here, and push off some arcs until later. The pacing may ramp up a bit as I play the story a little looser than I did in the past. Depending on how the next arc goes, it may end up leading to the finale of TOAE, which ends a lot earlier than the point you saw in the preview. Well, keep on supporting if you want to see this guy limp to the finish line. P.S. I’ve also started releasing chapters on inkstone web novel again, so let’s see if that can help generate some excitement.
“My men tracked you all the way to the dock, but they never managed to figure out how you managed to board a vessel,” Devon spoke, glaring up at me.
“Men who have been out at sea for a long time will do anything for some affection,” I responded after a moment of silence, my eyes all but dead.
His hands tightened on the reign he was holding, but he didn’t say anything else. I was currently in the possession of Devon Hyburn, King of the small human country of Nidia in the human realm. A little less than a year ago, I had murdered his father, his brothers, and a rather large portion of his aristocracy. Well, I had no regrets. They had chosen to rape me as part of a horrific festival, and I had chosen to use the black widow, a death counterspell that kills anyone afflicted with it in two weeks.
Shortly after entering the tent, I had a bunch of swords drawn on me. I had just finished having sex with Jerard, and we ended up in a tent intending to help. The help turned out to be those of the human realm, and they quickly arrested me. Jerard tried to protest, but they consisted of nearly ten third class guards as well as Devon himself, whom I knew to be like a small army if he wanted to be. Suffice it to say, there was little I could do to resist.
However, even as they chained me and tied me to the saddle of a horse, I wasn’t focused on them. Instead, I was focused inward on my own body, feeling out the effects of my new skill. This new skill of Sexual Fortitude caused my body to change. I had just had sex with Jerard, and yet, I was still very much horny. Everything is sexual in nature. That was what the skill had told me.
I only realized now what that meant. It meant my libido, which was already ramped up thanks to the seductress class, was now turned to full. My brakes, whatever was left of them, were cut. It wasn’t just that everything could be perceived as sex. Everything was sex. In the past, it’d only take a moment for me to become excited at the slightest provocation. Now… there was no provocation. Even before I spread my legs, I was halfway there.
I was consistently horny. Unbearably so. I wanted to hump the very saddle I was sitting on. I knew if I got up, there would be a little-wet stain on it. Every second, my body was having sex. My body was teasing me relentlessly, torturing me. What had I done? There had to be a way to remove this ability. There had to be a way to free me of this torment.
Devon and company decided to take me back to the human side, and we had only been riding through the forest for less than an hour, and already I was blatantly as horny as I had ever been. The effect had even worst outcomes. The guards were attacked no less than three times so far. Clearly, my body acting every moment like it was having sex caused my pheromones to be all the more potent. Well, considering I was Devon’s prisoner, I didn’t care so much.
I contemplated initiating my pheromones skill on more than one occasion. I would have gladly let the animals and beasts come in and rape me. Devon, the guards, anyone… I’d have let anyone fuck me at this moment, just to temporarily relieve the ache in my groin.
My list of skills was littered with useful abilities. Unfortunately, they all required me to have my legs spread open. I could absorb people’s life force, presuming we were having sex. I could increase my stamina by five times, only when I had sex. I could put people to sleep. Paralyze them. Hold my breath for thirty minutes. Heal someone. All abilities that required me to fuck. What was the point of having so many abilities tied to sex? That was… unless they didn’t have to be tied to sex anymore. My eyes flashed open.
“Everything… is sex.” The words came from my mouth.
“What is that?” Devon asked.
That was the nature of my new skill. I had been trying to free myself from my lack of caring. I was trying to regain my humanity. At first, I had focused on the negative of these skills. I was frightened by my complete lack of shame or embarrassment, my extreme mental resistance that made it difficult for me to feel bad, to feel guilt, to feel human. However, this evolved skilled helped me in another way. It freed me from the shackles of sex. If using mental fortitude worked all the time, because my body reacted as if I was having sex all of the time, then I no longer needed to depend on sex to use my abilities.
I considered using them to escape from this very predicament, but I hesitated. Devon was no simple slaver or farmer. He was the prince of a nation. While I ultimately killed Denova, it was Devon that had put the man on the run and force him to use up his life-saving ability. Simply put, I had no doubt in my mind that he could resist my abilities to sleep or paralyze. He like wore charm protection as well. Whether he had those kinds of skills in Nidia before, I didn’t know, but he definitely had them out here on the border.
Basically, I had all the power in the world, and I couldn’t risk using it. A single swing of a blade was all it would take to end my life. One step forward, two steps back. That could be the story of my entire life since I came to this world. Of course, wouldn’t that mean I’ve been slowly growing more negative since I got here? No… that sounds about right. There were few positives to my life, even now.
The soldiers lead by Devon had farther to travel than the group of adventurers I had come with. It quickly became apparent to me that their destination was not the village, but crossing back into the human area. They were likely heading to the human camp. They moved far faster than Jerard in his group. It was quite clear these men were professionals. Although I attracted many more monsters, they barely slowed the pace of their horses.
The sun was setting by the time we finally started to enter the camp. This camp felt completely different from the demon camp. While Typhon ordered a tight ship, there was a certain level of disorder to it. There were many different demon tribes that made up the majority of the camp. Each one was a little different from each other. Armor was shaped differently. Tents were of different sizes. Even the meals often consisted of different foods to satisfy the different types of demons.
The human camp was completely uniform. Everything was in a row. It was almost disturbing how straight and precise everything was as if someone was walking around with a ruler and measuring the exact proper distance between each tent. Every soldier wore the same armor, and they were basically indistinguishable from each other once they had their helmet on. Every campfire, equally spaced out, cooked the same meals and the same portions.
I quickly grew lost in the rows of tents. At least, in the demon camp, I could get my bearings. If I passed the demons that looked a bit like birds, I knew I’d come across the silver-snake demons. I knew every race had their own name, but I never bothered to learn them yet. Here, with every tent and person looking the same, I quickly lost all orientation. Soon, I had no confidence that even if Devon released me this instant, that I’d be able to find my way out of the tents.
Our final stop had me being yanked off the horse with my hands tied behind my back. I’d like to say this was the first time I was tied up and lead around like this, but apparently, I had a knack for it. Devon gestured, and I could only be led around by the guard.
“What do you have planned for me?” I finally decided to ask, only to receive silence.
Well, I didn’t answer earlier exactly because I didn’t think that I would receive a response. I guess that was how things were going to be now. I was finally shoved into a tent. Devon made a few more commands while I sat. If I had to describe my feelings, it was one part anxious, and one part horny. This damn skill would never allow me to experience normal emotions again.
It wasn’t long before a man came in. He wore a robe and looked a bit old. He barely even acknowledged my existence. Instead, he stood over me while I was forced to kneel, and then started chanting things. His hands wrapped around my neck, and I found my urge to resistance. Even if she choked me, it wouldn’t matter anymore. I wasn’t sure what he was doing until I suddenly heard a click.
A moment later, he lifted his hands, and the collar that was wrapped around my neck was lifted with it. I blinked, immediately reaching for my neck only to remember my hands were still tied. I could only chuckle wryly at that. Freed… but not freed. Isn’t that the crux of it?
“You… took off my collar,” I said as Devon ducked inside.
He looked at me a moment but finally nodded. “I do not know where your loyalties lie, but as long as that collar is on your neck, it’d be impossible to find out.”
I didn’t respond, not quite sure what to say now that I had been brought this far. Like this, I was no longer Typhon’s woman? The whole thing felt surreal. I didn’t understand if I had been rescued or arrested. That answer didn’t wait long, because Devon gestured once again. Two guards came into the tent and grabbed me, pulling me out my by tied up arms.
We didn’t travel long, because I found myself being forced to kneel in front of a stump of wood. I frowned as I glanced around the camp. It was then that I saw a familiar face. Bryson was standing nearby, the so-called hero of the humans. He was watching me without moving. I supposed it’d make sense that he was here. His armors were on once again, and while he stood out from the soldiers nearby, it wasn’t by much. I couldn’t see what expression he was wearing in the least.
The noise brought me back to what was going on around me. There was a man standing next to me, and in his head was an ax. An ax? A stump? Me on my knees? I only then realized what was going on here. I immediately tried to get up, only for a man behind me to shove me down onto the wood platform.
“No, wait!” I shouted. “This is a mistake. Y-you can’t!”
I didn’t even have time to work my brain. The ax went up, and then down. It hit the wood right in front of me, and I ended up peeing myself a little. Only with the immediate danger gone did thoughts of frenzy or pheromones come crawling back. I let out a broken breath.
“Wh-what the hell…”
“Aria…” Devon spoke up. “Who are you loyal to?”
His eyes flashed in a way I had never seen them before. If this was all done simply to intimidate me, it was working. I hadn’t felt the cold touch of death so blatantly before, even when I was tied to a stake and tortured to death. By the tone of his voice, it was abundantly clear that if I said the wrong words right here, the next blow would take my head with it.
“Th-the human realm!” I said through gritted teeth.
Devon let out a surprised noise. Perhaps he didn’t think I’d have the guts to make that claim. Well, I had no love for demons or monsters. Even though I was Lord Typhon’s slave, if I had to pick a side, it might as well be humans, even with my sordid history with them. I was a human after all. I still am, I think.
“She dares…” I heard someone’s voice call out.
I wanted to chuck something at him, but I was a bit tied up. Instead, it was Devon who kneeled until his face was inches away from mine. Devon didn’t look like the same made I had sex with some six months ago. He looked like he had aged ten years. Clearly, being King had not done him any favors. He looked tired, and he no longer gave off the gentle kind feeling he once had.
“If you claim to support the human realm, then prove it,” Devon said.
“H-How?” I asked the question, even though I was already dreading the answer.
His answer came quickly, his hand falling down with a thunk. A blade landed just an inch from my face. Can they stop fucking doing that? I naturally flinched, then turning a glare on Devon. He leaned down, whispering words into my ear that made me grow cold.
“I want you to assassinate Lord Typhon.”