The oasis was located north of the mountains and south of the Sandworm lands, making it rather distant from most civilizations. Very few people travelled by this way, and the location likewise was known to very few people. It was used by nomads or travellers who wished to reach the ruins of the city buried in sand so long ago there were none who could say who had lived there and when.
Following the instructions some nomads had given him, a traveller had made his way there. He scaled a dune and saw the rocks in fifteenth night of his travels. Feeling immense relief he ignored his weariness and scaled the rocks under the light of the half-moon and the stars.
The circle of rocks was large and surrounded the secluded oasis well, so well that a proper jungle existed there.
The pool of water was sixty feet in diameter, and almost as much plantlife lived around it in that shelter of stone. Truly a paradise hidden away. Hither snuck the traveller, climbing arduously down the rocks with the last of his strength.
Having reached this place, the traveller was no longer in a hurry, and he placed his bedroll in the shade of some enormous ferns to await the dawn.
The heat of the desert was only partially diminished in this sheltered ravine, but the moisture made it much more bearable. The jungle truly was a pocket of the tropic!
The traveller left his bedroll and luggage where they were, even removed his turban and cloak. He had no need for them here. The spring was waiting for him.
The traveller stared at his reflection in the water. He looked like any dirty wanderer so far in the desert would. There was nothing on him to mark him as anyone of particular interest to bandits, should there be any. The perfect disguise to hide his intentions.
He ran his fingers along the surface of the water, finding it cool. Much cooler than was reasonable in this heat, spring or not. A smile spread across the traveller's face. It was as if the water was beckoning to him... not to be drunk, but to be swum in.
Come on in... the water's just right...
Not quite an audible whisper, but definitely there, at the back of his mind. The waters calling to him... or rather, the one that dwelt within was calling to him.
Come on in, wash away the dust and sand of your travels!
Almost a commanding tone now. More than an urge. An imperative. An absolute and unyielding need. The need to plunge into that cool water and let the weight of his body be carried by it as every part of his body cooled off and was washed clean of the sweat and dirt... such a temptation could hardly be denied.
COME ON IN!
The traveller dug inside his clothes and found the pouch he carried around his neck. Opening it, he produced what looked like a perfectly smooth stone, crimson of colour.
"We have travelled a long time" he said to the stone, "and now you may finally quench your thirst"
With that, he tossed the stone into the water. As soon as it broke the surface of the water, the calling stopped. He watched the stone sink lower and lower into the clear waters, realizing only now that they must have continued hundreds of feet underground. How much water was hidden away down there, beyond the reach of those who had use for it?
His mind had no time to ponder this, for there was now a reaction. The stone was no longer descending.
Before the traveller's eyes, the waters began to move about as if driven by underwater currents, even a whirlpool was born, and then another, and another. The raging of the waters became so great that he could no longer see what was happening until it was over.
The waters calmed down, and from the spring arose a pillar of Slime, to the height of 15 feet she arose before stopping, and within her forehead was the crimson stone, her core. Within her belly was what the traveller had come all this way for.
She was recognizably a female, the curves of her body left no room for interpretation on that part. Her ears were pointed, as was usually the case for spirits and their kin. Even through the blue hue of the Slime he could tell her skin to be the grey and white and blue of ice. Her eyes were tightly shut, but there was no reason to doubt they wouldn't be blue as well. All in all she was not at all unattractive. That would make this easier, thought the traveller.
"Let her out, on dry ground" he said to the Slime, who nodded with enthusiasm and dropped the girl on the shore almost too roughly.
"I'll take it from here. You can go wander around" he said to the Slime, who made a happy little noise and dove into the spring. She would chart out whatever caverns may be beneath this place, and she wouldn't forget a thing.
The Undine was out of her element. Ahaha. She seemed miserable. As the traveller stood between her and the water, she couldn't reach it, and crawled away instead. Her tail was like that of a Mermaid's.
"There is no need to fear me" he said to her, showing his hands were empty.
"You attacked me!" she shouted, backing up and finding her back against a tree.
"I did not. You attacked my travelling companion when she dove into the water. Did you not invite her to do so?"
"I INVITED YOU!"
"Well I certainly did not know the invitation was not extended to her as well. And she was the one of us with worse dehydration, after all"
There was nothing the Undine could say to deny this.
"Let's just calm down for a bit, and talk this out"
The Undine looked away.
"I understand your fear, but rest assured you needn't-"
"HAHA!" the Undine cried out, stretching out her hand towards the spring as if commanding the element of water to come to her aid. That she at least had intended to do, to command water was only natural for her.
Alas, only a few drops escaped the body of water now being pulled in by the Slime.
"It was a necessary precaution, little one" the traveller said. "To make sure you listened instead of trying to attack"
The Undine was more alarmed than before.
"You knew I was here. You came here for ME!"
The traveller nodded.
"Indeed I did"
"It's a long story. Why don't we start with something more simple. Like names?"
She regarded him with hateful eyes.
"Okay, I'll start. I'm Paul, and the beauty in the spring now is Jessica. And you are?"
"See, that wasn't so hard! Now why don't we make ourselves more comfortable while I explain to you why I came all the way out here to find you"
Paul took off his shirt, rolled it into a bundle and sat on it. Melody eyed up his naked upper body with some curiosity.
"Are you aware that this oasis is one only one situated between the rest of the world and some very, very old ruins?"
"I've heard. People always talked about it when they were here"
"And do you know why people want to go there?"
Melody tilted her head.
"Like... to read stuff?"
"Can you read, Melody?"
"N-no..." she mumbled, almost chewing her lips.
"You don't have to be embarrassed about it. It is a rare skill in these lands, and rarer still is the ability to read that which is written in those ruins"
Melody looked back up at her.
"So what's so important about it?"
"Ah, how to explain this... Melody, have you ever seen the desert?"
She shook her head.
Paul looked around the place. It was true, you really couldn't see outside from here.
"You've never been outside the oasis?"
"You were born here, then?"
"Not here. Down there"
She pointed to the water.
"In the caves" she added.
"What a lonely life you must lead, Melody. I had heard from travellers that there was an Undine here, and my hear went out to you. To live all alone in a place so isolated as this, only meeting people who seek to decipher ancient texts or rob old tombs! I thought I was lonely in the tower, but..."
Paul stopped himself. That was a little too far.
"In any case, Melody, I am headed for those ruins. And I've been told that they are a rather dangerous place. You've heard the same, haven't you? From those few who have returned"
Melody nodded again. She was getting more relaxed now, and she bent her tail as if it had knees, folding her arms around it.
"They said there were lots of mean things with sharp tails there" she said.
Such a child she is, Paul pondered.
"So I've heard. In any case, the ruins are hard to reach, but the desert itself is an obstacle to be overcome. It is the inhabitants of that place that are the trouble. Ruins of an ancient kingdom, now inhabited by Monsters. Even an armed group would have trouble there"
Melody stared at him and tilted her head from side to side.
"So... shouldn't you just have a bigger group?"
"Too expensive. Why mobilize a small army just so a few scholars could read some old scribbles? No my dear, a smaller group is better!"
Melody furrowed her brow.
"How's that supposed to work?"
"A pertinent question! You see my dear, I intend to bargain with them!"
Melody rolled her eyes.
"As if. I've heard what they've said. The girls who live there take what they want by force. You can't bargain with them"
"But that is where you are wrong, my dear. I can offer them something they could never take by force"
Paul was upon her before she had time to react. He took hold of her wrists and pinned her down on the ground before planting a kiss on her lips.
She had no flavour to her. Clean, pure water indeed.
Melody had tensed up the moment he grabbed her, but when their tongues met she began to relax. She didn't mind this at all.
Their lips parted, and Paul looked at her face. Her lips remained parted, her eyes only half-open, her cheeks a darker blue than the rest of her face... she was blushing!
"I... I don't mind... this..." she mumbled. It made sense, she had been alone for a long time. Since she wasn't resisting, Paul freed her arms and move his hands to her body. To his surprise, the moment her arms were freed, she took hold of his head and pulled him to her bosom. She felt cool, even if she was quite lukewarm.
With one hand, he undid the sash at his waist and began pulling down his trousers.
Paul and Melody were both startled by this, and got off of each other.
Jessica was on the shore now, looking at them with a smile on her face. Before Paul's very eyes she shaped her body to resemble Melody's.
"Two of a kind, eh?" Paul said, putting one arm around Melody's shoulders to keep her from getting away.
"Come on then, join us Jessie. I know you want to"
"Unf!" said the Slime, and leaped on the other two. Rather than keeping her shape as Melody's twin, she spread out into a formless mass to envelop the both of them.
"W-wha- GET OFF OF ME!" Melody screamed as she found herself completely helpless. Paul knew the feel of Jessica's body well, but he found himself studying its texture more intently than before, comparing it to Melody's.
Melody was as cool, clean water made solid without freezing it, while Jessica was warmer, stickier, somehow more alive... and without a doubt more profane. Every part of her was probing at the two others, tightening in some places, vibrating in others, pushing Paul and Melody together and enveloping Paul's member in a small Slime cocoon before pushing into Melody, whose protests were stifled as Jessica grew two heads, kissing Paul and Melody at the same time.
"Mmmhhmh!" the Undine whined as she was violated.
Paul relaxed. The harder you struggled, the worse Jessie would violate you. This he knew from experience. Letting things happen without resisting, he merely enjoyed the sensations as the Slime even moved his hips for him. When he came, she made his refractory period disappear, and so they kept going. Melody kept crying for a while, but she calmed down when she realized the Slime wasn't going to harm her.
Quite a while passed, and the love-making became slower and slower, until it stopped completely. The Slime receded and left the two others lying on the ground, dead-tired.
"I'm thirsty!" said the Slime happily, and went into the water for a dip, disappearing under the surface.
Paul sat up. His clothes were scattered all over the place, covered in slime. He'd need to wash them now. No, not now. He had other business to see to.
Melody was on her back, breathing heavily, eyes shut tightly and arms spread wide. Her body seemed more feminine now, more curved, more... tangible. Before she had been just transparent, like a shallow pool. Now her body seemed to have developed the qualities of a deeper pond, one you couldn't quite see the bottom of. The change made the texture of her... well it wasn't skin, but surface, the texture of her surface, look more akin to that of Jessie. Maybe the two had bonded? Spirits like Undine changed their physical forms based on the intangible stuff that... something, something. Paul couldn't recall the lessons on this. It was also possible that a part of Jessie had entered into Melody's system. That would make her defiled, wouldn't it? Not in any sense that mattered for his plans, surely.
"I believe we were in the middle of something" he said, running his fingers across her belly. She even had a bellybutton now. Now why did she have that? Spirits weren't born from wombs. Well, some were, but Melody had been born here of her own accord. And there was no bellybutton on a Slime, either. Paul circled it with his middle-finger and enjoyed the way it made her body squirm. Melody, being unaccustomed to such ferocious love-making, was quite worn down, and didn't have the strength to resist him. Not on dry land, in any case.
Feeling mischief take over in his heart, Paul slid his fingers inside her while bringing his other hand to one breast and his mouth to another. Jessie had done a fine job in shaping her breasts, but the nipples weren't yet as well defined as they should be for her to properly enjoy them. He was going to change that.
"U-uuuhhh~" a moan escaped as she shuddered. Paul spied her hands balled up into fists as she clawed at the dirt in vain. A water sprite brought out of the water and defiled... it must've been quite shameful for her to be enjoying herself.
Feeling his loins fire up again, thanks in no small part to the manner in which Jessica had spared him any effort previously, Paul entered her again, relieving his hand to work on her other breast while his mouth became free to work on hers. He noticed her "hair" was also becoming more and more like real hair. It still seemed to him like flowing water, but there was more shape, more...detail. This body would serve her well. And it would serve him well.
She didn't feel quite so cool on the inside anymore, and the heat was starting to get to Paul after all this exertion. Melody's nipples ran with water as if on cue. She was a spirit, after all. She was sensitive to moods... especially to those of people she was becoming connected to.
Paul drank his fill, interlocked fingers with her and thrust harder. Their hearts were becoming more and more in-tune, and with that, so were their bodies. Beat-by-beat, thrust-by-thrust, the two were becoming less and less individuals. The connection would be made. Yes, Paul felt delight from the approaching success. With that thought, Melody squeaked happily. The emotion of delight transferred from one to the other perfectly, but the thought behind it remained hidden. Such was the nature of the connection between a man and a spirit. Naturally, they reached climax at once. There was no sign of the magic working, of course, but in the afterglow they both very much felt the connection, and each felt the other feeling it.
"Whoah..." they sighed as Paul rolled off of her. Washing the clothes could wait. This was nice. The canopy of green above him, the slivers of blue sky beyond it, the earth beneath him, the woman next to him... yes, very much a woman, spirit or not, she was a woman.
"So... we're one now..." Melody mumbled, scooting up to him to cuddle. She felt hot, quite the opposite of what she had been when he first laid hands on her. But he didn't mind. For now, this was just... just fine...
The connection was at its strongest now, and emotions flowed freely from Melody to him. He felt the weary happiness that mirrored his own, the fear she had felt before, as well as the curiosity, and before that, solitude. Loneliness. Almost endless loneliness, only rarely interrupted, and never for long. Melody would gladly leave this place behind, forever. Being alone was a dreadful thing to a spirit, as they took form and became what they were by mirroring those around them. Left alone a spirit would be hardly anything.
Then Paul realized that the connection was not as a river that flowed only one way, but that his emotions flowed into the spirit as well.
Paul cut the connection before he revealed anything unnecessary. As soon as the connection was cut, Melody fell asleep.
Her body cooled down quite quickly. Paul slid out from under her and looked for his clothes. He could still rinse the slime off of them. Good. If it seeped in, there was no wearing them anymore, and he didn't have a change of clothes with him.
There were no branches to hang them to dry on, so he just spread them around on the ground. Good enough.
There was a snoring sound. Spirits snored in their sleep? Paul chuckled at this. Perhaps this was something she had picked up from within him.
"Heeey~!" Jessica said, as if she had ants in her proverbial pants. When did she get out of the pond again?
"There's lots of caves down there" she said, without waiting for him to express in any way he was listening.
"Nothing fun in them. Just water. And rocks. No fish at all"
Paul nodded absentmindedly. He hadn't really noticed how dehydrated he was, so he stuck his head in the pond now to drink his fill.
"So is she going to be my sister now?"
"Yes Jessie, you could say that"
"I haven't had a sister in soooo loooong~"
"You two will have plenty of time to get close. When we cross the remaining stretch, you'll be in the same pouch"
Jessie's voice was all giddy with anticipation.
"No hanky-panky now"
"Eeeh? Why not? We're sisters, right?"
Paul shook his head. Jessica was a goofball on top of being a gooball.
Back at his backpack, he found some dried meat and date, and ate. There were edible things he could have gotten fresh from the oasis, but somehow he felt reluctant to do so. Lying down he shut his eyes. Come nightfall, he would set out again. The distance from the oasis to the ruins wasn't quite as long as the distance from the village to the oasis had been, but it would take longer. The desert opening up from here on out was well known to be home to things less savoury than Sandworms or Antlions.