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Jul 31st, 2020
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  1. A Blessed Curse
  2.  
  3. Leon put down the small shovel he was holding and tried his best to brush the dirt of his hands. Removing weeds from a strawberry patch in the backyard would have been hard work for an adult, and it was even harder for a 9 year old.
  4. But, when you are a child of poor farmers in a small town, you don't exactly have much choice in the matter.
  5. Not making much headway with the dirt that clung to his hands, he eventually gave up on the futile exercise and picked up the shovel to return it to the shed.
  6.  
  7. Once this task was completed, he headed over to the pen that was nearby. There was a slight spring in his step that hadn't been present before, because this was one of his favorite jobs on the farm.
  8. He made it to the pen and opened the door, and was immediately greeted by a storm of quacking as all the ducks that resided inside came flooding out.
  9. Smiling to himself, Leon gently herded them towards the strawberry patch he had just de-weeded.
  10. It was the duck's job to eat all the pests that inevitably showed up whenever you tried to grow something, and they not only did a good job at it, but they also fertilized the place while they were at it.
  11.  
  12. Leon sat down on a nearby rock and watched them go at it for a while. Watching ducks doing their thing was therapeutic in a way that he couldn't really describe. The way they moved, sounded and just behaved in general always made him grin and feel better just by observing it for a bit.
  13. As he watched their antics, he could feel his enthusiasm returning.
  14.  
  15. Once he had his fill of duck watching, he jumped to his feet and headed back to the duck pen, grabbed a basket and started collecting eggs.
  16. These ducks were a breed that produced many eggs but typically didn't pay any attention to them, which made it easy to collect large numbers of eggs but it also meant that if you wanted to raise new ducklings, you had to brood them yourself.
  17. This was a lot of work, but Leon didn't mind doing it since it gave him an excuse to get out of some of the more back breaking work, and it also provided him with endless entertainment.
  18.  
  19. On his way back towards the house with a basket full of eggs, Leon noticed something. There was an extravagant carriage just outside the farms main gate, and both it's driver and the horse that was strapped to it were wearing fancy clothing.
  20. Upon closer inspection, he recognized the emblem on the side of the carriage. It was the symbol of the holy church.
  21.  
  22. Leon stopped dead in his tracks, his egg basket almost forgotten. He could feel cold sweat running down the back of his neck.
  23. A single thought endlessly spun around in his head. "Why is that here?"
  24. A carriage like that was reserved for the upper echelon of the church, and those people never visited farms like this. Anything that would make them show up here could not be good for him or his family, or at the very least Leon was unable to think of any positive reason for them to be here.
  25. Quickly looking around, he didn't see anyone on the grounds and he saw no sign of anyone exiting the carriage, leading him to assume that they must have entered the house while he was out in the back.
  26. Nervously, he snuck up to the house and moved along the wall until he got to a window and carefully peeked inside.
  27.  
  28. He didn't see anyone in the kitchen, then he remembered that the kitchen probably wasn't the best place to talk to such important visitors, so he moved along to the living room window.
  29. When he peeked through it, he saw that there were several people in there. His parents were sitting on stools facing the couch, and two unknown people were sitting on the couch with their backs towards him, so he couldn't see their faces.
  30. His parents looked nervous. He couldn't hear what anyone said but he saw his dad bow to the visitors several times and his mother had a permanent forced smile on her face.
  31.  
  32. Leon was so focused on the scene before him that he hadn't noticed the small footsteps quietly approaching him. When he felt a light poke on his shoulder, he almost screamed out loud but just barely managed to stop himself as he ducked down and spun around.
  33. His eyes met a familiar sight, a girl with shoulder length brown hair, grey eyes and a cute button nose. A girl with whom he shared a birthday (she was exactly one year younger than him) and had known since as far back as he could remember, since her mother was a friend of his parents.
  34.  
  35. "Jennifer! What are you doing here?!" He hissed, a little more forceful than intended.
  36. She was slightly taken aback by the intensity of his stare, but only for a moment.
  37. She then pouted slightly.  "Don't call me Jennifer! You know I don't like that name."
  38. Leon shook his head slightly and placed a hand on his chest, trying to calm his racing heart.
  39. "S-Sorry Jenny, it just slipped out".
  40. He then remembered where he was and quickly motioned for her to be quiet. She ducked down as well and whispered. "Are the people from the church in your house?"
  41. When Leon looked at her questioningly, she elaborated. "I came to see if you were done with your work, saw the carriage at your front gate, and then I saw you here, so I snuck up to you and called out, but you didn't hear me so I had to poke you."
  42. He sighed. "Yea, they are in the living room talking to mom and dad."
  43. Jenny nodded. "How does it look?"
  44. "I honestly don't know."
  45. "Can I see?"
  46. He nodded. "Sure, but be careful."
  47.  
  48. The two of them spent a few minutes quietly observing the visitors through the window. Leon soon noticed Jenny's small, warm hand on top of his own, and he gratefully grabbed and held it with his own.
  49. This was something of a ritual between them and had been for as long as they'd known each other. Whenever he was stressed, anxious or scared, Jenny would be there for him, and vice versa.
  50. Quietly whispering his thanks, he continued to watch.
  51.  
  52. Eventually, the two visitors stood up. Leon's parents did the same, and all four of them left the room.
  53. Leon turned to Jenny. "They are heading to the front door, lets go."
  54. Nodding, she quickly followed behind him to the bush on the corner of the house and they both crawled under the branches to get a view of the door from a hidden position.
  55.  
  56. The door soon swung open, and Leon got his first good look at the visitors.
  57. The first one to exit the building behind his parents was clearly a priest. By the looks of his extravagant gold and red colored robes, he must have been a cardinal or some similar rank. He had a thin face with a hard, unforgiving look in his eyes that made the thought of talking to him an uncomfortable one.
  58.  
  59. The second one however, was very different. He had been able to tell from the living room window that she was a woman, but now that he got a proper look at her he could tell that she was more than that.
  60. She was beautiful beyond words. White, blemish free skin, golden hair that reached all the way to her hips, eyes that looked like sapphires, and an astonishingly beautiful face.
  61. Her angelic image, along with her blue and gold colored armor and golden sword hanging from her hip, left no room for doubt. She was most definitively an angel.
  62. And this answered the question of why a cardinal was traveling without his typical retinue of guards.
  63. Leon could feel Jenny's grip on his hand tighten, and he tightened his in return. They could both tell how scared the other one was.
  64.  
  65. The cardinal was the first one to speak. "Well? Call the boy immediately. We can't stand around here all day."
  66. Leon's dad bowed slightly and answered in a nervous voice. "Y-Yes my lord. Right away my lord."
  67. However, before he could say anything else, the angel placed a hand on the cardinal's shoulder. "That won't be necessary. He is already present."
  68. He turned towards her. "Then where is he? Playing hide-and-seek?"
  69. "Sort of, he is in that bush over there."
  70.  
  71. Leon felt like his entire chest turned to ice as the angel extended a finger and pointed straight at him. She was looking at him as if she could see right through the bush that hid him from view.
  72. The next thing he knew, the cardinal's harsh voice rang out once more. "Quit playing around boy and come here. I don't have time for your games."
  73.  
  74. Leon's head was spinning. He knew that he didn't have a choice. He knew that he had to get up quickly before he made the situation worse. But it was difficult for him to put any force into his limbs. He could feel himself shaking like a leaf in the wind.
  75. He didn't even know what was going on or why. Nothing made any sense.
  76.  
  77. Then, he felt something that cut through the cloud of confusion. The light weight of a small hand on his shoulder. Turning his head slightly, he found himself looking straight into Jenny's eyes as she whispered to him. "I'll come with you."
  78. It was such a simple thing to say, and yet it somehow dispelled the frozen state his mind was stuck in. Nodding in return, he slowly crawled out from under the bush and stood up on shaky legs.
  79. He could see the cardinal tapping his foot as if to say 'I'm waiting'.
  80. Jenny also crawled out from under the bush, stood up and took his hand. Casting one last glance at her, which she returned with a nod, they both slowly approached the adults, walking side by side.
  81.  
  82. When they stopped right in front of the cardinal, Leon glanced at his mother. She looked like she was fighting back tears.
  83. Swallowing, Leon faced forward again. The man's thin face and hard gaze looked even more unpleasant up close. He looked at Jenny as if he wanted to say something, but chose not to.
  84. Jenny's mom was the head matron of the local orphanage after all, and the orphanage was sponsored by the church, so it seemed like the cardinal was willing to tolerate her presence for now.
  85.  
  86. Turning his gaze back towards Leon, he spoke again. "State your name boy."
  87. "L-Leon Polanski my lord."
  88. "From this day forward, Leon Polanski, you are in the care of Revna here."
  89. He motioned to the angel, who stepped forward to introduce herself.
  90. "Well met, master Leon. I am Revna, A valkyrie in the service of the gods."
  91. Her voice was smooth as silk, and she was far more polite than her priestly companion.
  92. "It is the divine will of the gods that I shall take you in and raise you to become a hero of humanity."
  93. After casually saying such an amazing statement, she extended her hand towards him. "Come with us, and a future of glory as a champion of the weak awaits you."
  94. As she spoke, she unfolded her four golden wings from her back and extended them around herself, which made her look truly divine in every sense of the term.
  95.  
  96. Leon didn't really know how to respond to something as ridiculous as that. It was like his head just went blank and all he could say was a single sentence. "Why me?"
  97. The cardinal looked like he wanted to say something, but clearly his angelic companion had the higher authority here because he remained silent.
  98. Revna gave him a soothing smile. "Because there is great potential resting within you. Potential that can at this time only be seen by divine eyes. And I have been given the task of awakening that potential."
  99.  
  100. At this point, Leon's dad spoke up. "That's right son, you have been granted the highest honor that someone like us can be given. The whole town will hear about this. Isn't that amazing?"
  101. "The whole town will know of my family's dishonor if I don't agree, that's what you're trying to say isn't it dad?" Leon thought to himself.
  102. He looked the valkyrie in the eyes. "Will I see my family again?"
  103. "You will see them again, but when that happens is not for me to say."
  104. "So I might end up never seeing them again then."
  105. "In that case, please just let me say goodbye to them before I leave."
  106. Revna smiled. "Of course master Leon."
  107.  
  108. Letting go of Jenny's hand, Leon approached his mother. She hadn't said a word this entire time, and looking at her up close it was obvious why.
  109. Her tears were so close to the surface that they would probably start flooding as soon as she spoke.
  110. Her lip shook slightly for a second before she dropped down onto her knees and locked him in her embrace. Hugging her back, Leon could feel his own eyes burning at the corners and blinked furiously to hold his own tears in check.
  111.  
  112. She eventually released him, ran her fingers over his short, brown hair for a little bit, and then stood back up.
  113. Holding back his urge to cry, he turned to his dad next. He extended his had and shook Leon's. "Good luck son. You make me so proud."
  114. "You say that, but you look every bit as sad as mom."
  115. "Thanks dad. Take care of mom while I'm gone."
  116. The meaning of those words were not lost on his dad, who nodded without saying anything else.
  117.  
  118. Lastly, Leon went back to Jenny and hugged her tightly. She returned the gesture and whispered to him. "I'll be alright. Go, and make sure you grow up to become a handsome knight."
  119. He held her a little tighter as he answered. "I will come back some day. I promise."
  120. Her response was barely audible. "I'll hold you to that, Leo."
  121.  
  122. Releasing her and exchanging one last smile, he turned back towards their visitors.
  123. "Let's go then."
  124. Revna smiled at him and grabbed his hand, then started leading him towards the carriage.
  125. The cardinal turned to his parents. "We shall take our leave now. Do not neglect your prayers or your church visits."
  126. His dad gave him a small bow. "Of course my lord. Have a safe trip my lord."
  127. The priest responded with a curt "Goodbye", then turned on his heels and followed after Revna.
  128. Glancing back as they passed through the farms main gate, Leon could see that his mom was now covering her face with her hands and his dad had placed himself in front of her to hide her from the cardinal's gaze.
  129. Gritting his teeth in frustration, Leon faced forward and climbed into the carriage.
  130.  
  131. Revna and the priest followed shortly after, and as soon as the door closed he could hear the driver take the reins and signal the horse to start moving.
  132. It really was a top class carriage, Leon soon noticed, because you could hardly feel it moving at all.
  133. He turned to face the priest who sat in front of him. "Pardon me my lord, but I didn't catch your name."
  134. The man looked back at him. "Hmm? Oh that's right, I forgot you were not present at my introduction. Very well then, My name is Markus Eagleheart. You would do well to remember it."
  135. Leon looked questioningly at Revna, who answered his wordless question. "The Eaglehearts are noble family with strong ties to the church. The current duke has two sons who are priests and a daughter who is married to one."
  136. "Is that were we are going?"
  137. She nodded. "Yes, we are heading to a military facility that the Eaglehearts manage on behalf of the Order. It is to be your home for the foreseeable future while you receive my training."
  138.  
  139. Leon nodded. He still felt uncomfortable with the entire situation, but there was something about Revna that made it feel slightly less bad. Since he didn't really wanted to talk about anything else at the moment, and Markus showed no interest in talking to him, he decided to spend the rest of the journey in silence.
  140. He had a lot of emotions that needed processing.
  141.  
  142. ***
  143.  
  144. Leon woke from his slumber with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He sat up and threw his legs over the side of the bed, staying there for a moment to collect himself.
  145. As he tried to rub the sleep from his eyes, he noticed his hands got wet.
  146. "I'm never going to stop repeating that day in my dreams, am I?"
  147. Slightly frustrated, he stood up and headed for the bathroom.
  148.  
  149.  
  150.  
  151. It had been 12 years since the day Markus Eagleheart came to the farm to take him away from his parents, 12 years since he had to say goodbye to everyone and everything he knew.
  152. And 12 years of being unable to fulfill his promise of coming back.
  153.  
  154. During that time, many things had happened. He had spent years being trained by Revna on the Eagleheart family's grounds. Most people had made it clear that they didn't care much for him, but they never said it out loud for fear of being overheard by his angelic guardian (whom they most likely felt he didn't deserve).
  155. This was fine as far as Leon was concerned, since he didn't really want to befriend most of them anyway.
  156. The only one he had spoken to regularly besides Revna was the servant girl who was responsible for maintaining his living quarters. Her circumstances were similar to his own, in that she had been forced to leave her family to come and work here to pay of her dad's dept to the duke.
  157. The two of them had eventually become friends.
  158.  
  159. Even though he didn't like his situation, he had taken his training seriously and by the time he was 16, he had become quite formidable.
  160. From that moment on, the church had saw fit to send him out on missions. Said missions typically involved leading units of the regular army in battles against the monsters, as the presence of a champion of the gods with a valkyrie at his side was one of the best morale boosts the troops could get.
  161.  
  162. The fights against the monsters were never easy, as they were all powerful in many different ways and almost always unpredictable.
  163. They also had a disturbing tendency of taking their opponents alive. Their weapons didn't kill, instead they disabled whoever they struck and left them in a helpless state during which they were typically dragged away by the monster who felled them.
  164. Although Leon and Revna did their best to prevent such kidnapping attempts, they were unable to stop all of them.
  165.  
  166. After distinguishing himself in many of these battles, he had at some point earned the title Lord Leon and was now referred to as such. He had learned to accept the fact that he couldn't protect everyone in a war, but it still stung a bit every time he had to see someone get dragged away during a fight.
  167. It was however some comfort to know that his presence prevented many casualties that would otherwise have happened.
  168.  
  169.  
  170.  
  171. Leon entered the kitchen after getting dressed. Molly, his servant, was there to greet him with a bow. "Good morning Lord Leon. Your breakfast has been prepared, and you have received a letter from captain Eric."
  172. Leon thanked her and accepted the letter. As he sat down at the table, he broke the letter's seal and unrolled it.
  173. Just like he had expected, it was a summons. No doubt another mission awaited him.
  174. He put down the letter and picked up the fork to get started on his morning meal.
  175.  
  176. After finishing up his morning routine and donning his armor, Leon left his house and was almost immediately greeted by Revna just outside the door.
  177. "Good morning master Leon."
  178. "Morning Revna. We gotta pay a visit to the command center, Eric wants to see us."
  179. "Of course. Shall we get going then?"
  180. Leon nodded and they started heading towards the large building in the center of the grounds.
  181.  
  182. While they were on the way there, he took the time to glance at Revna a bit. His feelings towards her had been somewhat complicated after they first met, but over time he had come to think of her as a friend.
  183. Every single thing she ever did was for the sake of helping him in some way, and if Leon was to be fair, she was not the one who was responsible for him having to leave his family.
  184. Just like him, she was just following orders from someone higher in the food chain.
  185. Her training had been harsh at first, but never unfairly so and it did eventually improve both his physique and mental capabilities quite noticeably.
  186. She was typically very business-like for the most part, but there were moments when she let her real personality shine through her mask.
  187. And if he was being fully honest with himself, she was considerably easy on the eyes as well.
  188.  
  189. As they passed several soldiers who were all doing some form of training, Leon noticed a familiar figure in front of the entrance to the command center building.
  190. He silently cursed to himself when he realized who it was. Elvira, the only daughter of Duke Eagleheart.
  191. Leon saw Markus from time to time and not much had changed in the mans attitude since he first met him. He had only met Markus' older brother once, but it was a meeting he could have done without as there wasn't much difference between the two brothers.
  192.  
  193. Elvira was, however, a different story. He saw her on a regular basis since she had a habit of inspecting everything within her families' domain, and she was by far Leon's least favorite person in the world right now.
  194. If he hadn't received a summons, he would have turned on his feels and walked the other way. Sadly, this was not an option though, so he begrudgingly continued walking and prepared for the inevitable.
  195.  
  196. Just as expected, once he was within earshot he could hear Elvira berating the officer she was talking to. She was wearing a green dress that Leon thought matched the venom in her words perfectly.
  197. "A disgrace I say. I told you to make sure the newest recruits were presentable by last week, and they can't even march in step properly! I don't care if you have to keep them on their feet the whole night, just drill it into their thick skulls!"
  198. The poor officer bowed deeply as he apologized. "Of course my lady. I'm sorry my lady."
  199. She sneered and turned her gaze away from him, only to instantly spot Leon and Revna approaching.
  200. "Ah, well if it isn't the angel and her pet farm boy. What misfortune is this that I have to have my sight blighted by your presence so early in the morning?"
  201. Gritting his teeth, Leo suppressed the response he wanted to give and kept his voice level. "We were summoned by captain Eric. We will probably receive orders for a new mission, so we should be out of your sight for the foreseeable future soon enough."
  202. The vile woman looked displeased. "That isn't the problem here. Why can't low born people ever understand the finer details?"
  203. She leaned closer to him with a sadistic smile. "I have already seen you. The damage has been done. How do you plan on making up for ruining my morning? Is that even something you can do?"
  204. She straightened her back with a triumphant look on her face.
  205.  
  206. Leon was about to answer, but Revna beat him to it. "That is wholly inappropriate and highly unreasonable, my lady."
  207. Elvira remained unfazed. "You don't scare me, angel. Take your self-righteousness and preach it to someone who cares."
  208.  
  209. At that moment, a head popped out of the office window on the second floor and a familiar voice rang out. "Is that you Leon? Get your damn ass up here, I don't like to be kept waiting."
  210. With a not so insignificant feeling of gratefulness, Leon tilted his head back to answer. "Yes sir captain Eric sir, I'll be right there."
  211. Lowering his gaze to a now considerably sour looking Elvira, Leon couldn't help but grin slightly. "Unfortunately I must bid you goodbye. Orders are orders."
  212. He then marched right past her and opened the door. As he held it for Revna to pass through first, he could see Elvira turning around and storming of, the anger exceedingly visible in her gait.
  213.  
  214. Once they made it to Eric's office, Leon was feeling considerably better. Odds were Elvira was going to try to get back at him later, but for right now he was out of her reach.
  215. He knocked on the door and entered after being granted permission.
  216. "Thank you sir, that was a nice save."
  217. Eric was a man of short stature with a completely bald head, but the respect he commanded was almost as large as his mustache. He stood up from behind his desk when they entered the room.
  218. "I don't have a whole lot of love for that wench myself. By the gods, I wish someone could teach her some manners."
  219. "Wishful thinking I'm afraid sir. Even if someone was capable, she wouldn't listen to them."
  220. "Ain't that the twice damned truth. Must be really nice being Daddy Duke's favorite. Well whatever, sit your ass down so we can discuss the matter at hand."
  221. "Of course sir."
  222.  
  223. Eric was the third person after Revna and Molly that Leon actually liked. His speech mannerism was gruff but you could easily tell when he wanted to insult you and when he was just shooting the breeze.
  224. He was honest, and he always focused on what was actually important. He did not have time for bullshit.
  225.  
  226. Sitting back down behind his desk, Eric pulled out a document from a drawer.
  227. "This here is a pretty disturbing report."
  228. "How so sir?"
  229. You will understand soon enough, but first I need to tell you that it concerns the town of Whitewood."
  230.  
  231. Leon's back stiffened where he sat. "That's my home town sir."
  232. Eric nodded. "Very much so. That's why I want you for this mission."
  233. Leon gave him a questioning look. "Sir?"
  234. "I'll give you the rundown."
  235.  
  236. Eric leaned forward and placed his head on his hand backs. "About two weeks ago, shit goes down in Lakedale, the closest city to Whitewood. Some 'archaeologist' people tried to visit the place to sell stuff they had 'found'. They were probably looters if you ask me."
  237. He paused to point to the city's location on the map he always kept on his desk. "Turns out that one of the artefacts they brought with them was damned bad news, because when they tried to get through customs the appraisal mage reportedly 'went as pale as a sheet' and called for their arrest."
  238.  
  239. Revna interjected. "I take it the arrest attempt failed?"
  240. Eric nodded. "Indeed it did missy. The artefact in question was a sword, and a damned evil one as that. The looter who was carrying it drew it when they tried to arrest them, and reportedly no guard wanted to even get close to it when they saw it. And so, the looters escaped and got a huge head start."
  241. Revna seemed bothered by this information. "How did they describe the sword?"
  242. Eric leaned back a bit in his chair. "A red, glowing blade, slightly curved like one of those oriental type swords, kind of long, covered in black markings. And surrounded by an ominous aura."
  243.  
  244. Leon turned to his angelic partner. "Is it something you recognize?"
  245. She nodded. "I haven't seen one personally, but that description matches the cursed swords of ancient past. Created by a long dead demon lord, they were weapons filled with malice that possessed their wielders and turned them into a bloodthirsty mass murderer who would kill anyone in their path."
  246. Leon could feel all the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he realized where this was going, but he held his breath and waited for Revna to finish.
  247. "What really bothers me though, is that according to the voice of the gods, all such known swords took the form of a claymore. This is the first sighting of one that has the shape of a nodachi."
  248. Seeing the unspoken question in her partner's eyes, she elaborated. "Our name for the kind of long swords they use in zipangu."
  249.  
  250. Turning his gaze back towards Eric, the captain nodded as if he already knew what he was going to ask. "Yes, they fled in the direction of Whitewood. And those few who where brave enough to eventually track them there reported having heard what sounded like a legit massacre going on in the town by the time of their arrival."
  251. When Leon failed to respond, Eric leaned closer. "Whitewood has no permanent military presence, there is no telling what exactly happened, because the brave trackers courage ran out at that point and they rushed back to Lakedale to report without visually confirming what was going on in town."
  252.  
  253. He extended a finger an pointed to the map. "I want you specifically for this mission, because you are a highly capable hero who carries the goddess' blessing, you know the place and would be able to find and rescue any survivors better than most, and you would be very unlikely to leave the job half-done."
  254. He paused before adding the rest. "And, in case someone you know did get caught up in this mess, I want you to have a chance to find out yourself rather then through the mail. I know I would have wanted that if the same thing had happened to my home town."
  255.  
  256. Leon felt like someone had slammed a sledge hammer to the back of his head. countless images of all manners of horrible outcomes swirled through his mind. He did however have the clarity of mind to see a key point in all of this.
  257. "You aren't sending any other soldiers with me, are you sir?"
  258. Eric shook his head. "No, I'm not."
  259.  
  260. He sighed and placed his hands on the desk. "There are two main reasons. Number one: In this situation, they wouldn't be of any help to you. You and your valkyrie partner are the only ones I can count on to be able to fight this thing.
  261. Any other soldiers who came with you would only get in your way, and if we wait for another hero as capable as you to join the expedition, we might be to late to pick up the trail of the cursed sword if it has left Whitewood.
  262. His eyes then darkened. "Number two: If indeed the whole town has been slaughtered by a demonic sword, and the rank and file soldiers see it, what do you think would happen next?"
  263. Leon had to use all his willpower to answer normally. "The story spreads and potentially creates fear and panic in the surrounding areas, sir."
  264. Eric nodded. "Exactly. Such a gruesome sight is not something that normal people can handle. In all likelihood, the story will get worse the more it's re-told."
  265. He sighed and gave Leon an apologetic look. "I realize what it is I'm asking of you, and I truly am sorry that I have to do so, but I don't really have any good alternatives."
  266.  
  267. Leon was speechless for a moment. There was a lot for him to not like about the situation, and he wasn't exactly sure how to feel about the job he'd been given.
  268. He did understand, however, that this was captain Eric's way of trying to make the best out of a shitty situation, and the thought of someone else burning the bodies of his parents and friends without him getting to say goodbye to them first was not a pleasant one.
  269.  
  270. Eventually, he settled for one goal to focus on. If indeed everyone in his hometown were dead, he would be the one to avenge them.
  271. His mind made up, he turned to face Revna. "This will be our most dangerous mission yet."
  272. She gave him a short nod. "We need to be ready for anything once we get there."
  273. Grateful for her confirmation that she was going to follow him no matter what, Leon turned back to captain Eric. "When do we leave?"
  274. She short man pointed towards the door. "I have a transport standing by that will take you to Lakedale as soon as we're done here. From there, you will continue on your own by horse back to Whitewood."
  275. Leon stood up and Revna followed suit. "Then, sir, we are done here."
  276. Eric stood up and saluted them. "May the goddess bless your endeavors."
  277. Leon returned the salute, turned on his heels and marched out of the office.
  278.  
  279.  
  280. Captain Eric had indeed provided a transportation carriage for them just outside the main gates of the complex. Leon took note of the fact that the horses strapped to it were of a high quality breed.
  281. "A fast breed. Eric wants us to get to Whitewood as quickly as possible, and I don't disagree."
  282. He greeted the driver before opening the door for Revna to get in, then quickly followed her and closed the door. He could hear the driver signal the horses to start moving but he didn't pay much attention to it. He had other things on his mind.
  283.  
  284. After a few minutes, he noticed Revna looked like she wanted to say something. Pulling himself back to the present, Leon sat up a little straighter.
  285. "Sorry, I got a bit lost in thought."
  286. She smiled. "I just wanted to make a few things clear. If we find the person who is possessed by the cursed sword, what should our course of action be?"
  287.  
  288. Leon had learned by now that whenever Revna asked him a question in this manner, it was not so much her that was asking but rather relaying a message from the voice of the gods that she heard.
  289. And the questions she relayed in this manner almost always seemed like they were testing his resolve.
  290. "Are there any records of a past cursed sword possession victim that could be saved?"
  291. Revna shook her head. "According to the voice of the gods, not a single one."
  292. Leon nodded. "Then we go in with the intention of killing them on sight. Just try to make it quick if possible, the possessed person is just as much of a victim in this as those who were cut down by the sword."
  293. Revna extended a hand and placed it on top of his own. "You are a kind hearted man, master Leon. Just remember that you don't have to face this ordeal alone. I shall always be with you."
  294. Leon placed his free hand on top of hers. "Thanks."
  295.  
  296. Barely a minute passed since their conversation before a nearby commotion caught Leon's attention.
  297. Looking out of the window, he could see a few city guards pointing their weapons at a teenage boy who had his back towards a wall, and what he presumed was the boys father arguing with the guards officer.
  298. Leon knocked on the carriage wall to signal the driver to stop, then quickly jumped out followed by Revna.
  299.  
  300. "Lieutenant, what's going on here?"
  301. The officer turned towards him and immediately saluted him upon seeing his armor, insignia and angelic companion.
  302. "My lord, this boy here is suspected of smuggling dangerous goods. He has been caught with what appears to be a potion of monster origin."
  303. The boys father, who had been arguing with the officer up to that point, quickly bowed.
  304. "My lord, please stop this before my son gets hurt. He's just a boy, he had no idea what that potion was."
  305.  
  306. At this point, the boy gave his father an angry look. "Shut up dad! I know damn well what it is and I had to go through a lot of trouble to get it! If you hadn't called the guards over, none of this would be happening right now!"
  307. The father's face contorted in a pained expression. "I did it for your sake son! You have to give them that potion, or it could end up hurting you or perhaps even other people."
  308.  
  309. Leon placed a hand on the desperate father's shoulder. "Please, let me handle this before the situation gets out of hand."
  310. The man reluctantly held his tongue and bowed, taking a step back. Leon gave Revna a glance that she returned with a nod before stepping in front of the guards.
  311. "Lower your weapons men."
  312. They all did as they were told without objecting, and Leon approached the boy. He didn't exactly look pleased.
  313.  
  314. "Keep your hands of me!"
  315. Leon stopped a few meters away from him and raised his hands to chest height, showing the boy his open palms.
  316. "I am not here to hurt you, I just want to know the truth of what's going on."
  317. The boy narrowed his eyes. "The truth? Why would you care?"
  318. "Because I don't want anyone here to make a mistake that they end up regretting. You included."
  319. He placed one of his hands on his chest. "My name is Leon, what's your name?"
  320. The boy hesitated for a bit before answering. "It's Benjamin."
  321. "Alright, Benjamin, can you please tell me what exactly lead to this happening?"
  322.  
  323. After a few moments of silence, the boy pulled out a bottle of dark purple liquid from under his robes and reluctantly started speaking.
  324. "This is a vial of refined mamano mana, ok? I had to go through a lot of trouble to buy this on the black market, and pay them extra because they usually don't smuggle them in here."
  325. Leon nodded. "And what is it exactly that you need such a thing for?"
  326. "I ain't gonna poison anyone, if that's what you're asking. This potion's effect is that it monsterizes the drinker."
  327.  
  328. One of the guards opened his mouth to say something, but was immediately silenced by a look from Revna. Leon quietly waited for Benjamin to continue.
  329. "I didn't get it for myself, I got it for someone who asked me to get it for her."
  330. "And who might that be?"
  331. Benjamin looked slightly embarrassed and shifted his gaze away. "For Hannah, the daughter of my dad's business partner."
  332.  
  333. At this point, Benjamin's father spoke up again. "Hannah? Why would she ask you for something like that? She is about to get married soon."
  334. Benjamin gave his father an angry look. "That's exactly why she wanted me to get this! Do you really think she wants to marry that fat bastard just so you and Archie can get your business deal to go through? She is a human being, not some livestock to be traded for a profit!"
  335.  
  336. Leon placed himself between the boy and his father. "Calm down please, and tell me the full story."
  337. Benjamin glared at him for a bit but eventually lowered his eyes and continued.
  338. "Just like you heard, my dad and his best friend set up an arranged marriage for Hannah that she desperately wants to get away from."
  339. His cheeks became noticeably redder before he continued. "She wanted to turn into a monster so that she could run away, and so that fat bastard wouldn't want her anymore."
  340. He paused before adding. "And I was going to run away with her."
  341.  
  342. Benjamin lowered his head in defeat. "But, that won't happen now will it? Not after my dad had to spot the vial and open his big mouth."
  343. Leon took a step closer and extended his hand. "I am sorry, Benjamin, but I have to confiscate that vial. No matter what your intentions might have been, the truth is that neither you nor me have any way of knowing if the potion has the effect you were told it has or not."
  344. Benjamin raised his head. "What do you mean?"
  345. "I mean that you could have been lied to. Think about it, how likely is it that someone managed to get such a potion into this city? The much more likely scenario is that they cocked up something on their own, told you it was the potion you wanted, and charged you a steep price to make you believe them."
  346.  
  347. Benjamin looked at the vial he was holding. "So you're saying that this could just as well be some worthless sludge?"
  348. "I'm saying that there is a high probability that it is, yes. It might even be poisonous. Did you see the face of the person who gave it to you?"
  349. Benjamin hung his head. "No."
  350. "Then it would be relatively safe for them to rip you of. Take advantage of your desperation and sell you something worthless, and once you discovered the truth you would be the one to get into trouble for it and the seller would be long gone."
  351.  
  352. Benjamin leaned his back against the wall and slowly slid down until he was sitting on the ground. He leaned his face into his palm and Leon could see small tears emerge at the corners of his eyes.
  353. He kneeled down in front of the boy and held out his open hand. "Please Benjamin, let me take care of that vial. I'll talk to the guards for you. I don't want anyone to get hurt here."
  354. With a dejected look, Benjamin slowly raised the hand that was still holding the vial and placed it in Leon's hand.
  355. "Thank you, you made the right choice."
  356.  
  357. Standing up, Leon approached the guard officer. "Lieutenant, make sure this gets delivered to the church. We don't know exactly what it is so it would be best to let the experts dispose of it, just to be sure."
  358. The officer took the vial and saluted. "Of course my lord."
  359. "And you won't need to take this young man into custody. I believe he had no malicious intentions whatsoever, he was just taken advantage of by a criminal. Do we understand each other?"
  360. "Y-Yes my lord, I understand."
  361. "Good. Carry on lieutenant."
  362. They both saluted each other before Leon turned to Revna and tilted his head in the direction of Benjamin's father. She nodded and approached the man.
  363.  
  364. "I don't believe we caught your name."
  365. The man visibly shook as he answered her. "It's Frank, my lady."
  366. "Frank, regarding what your son said about this girl, Hannah. While there are circumstances that can justify arranged marriages and other similar arrangements, securing a trade deal between merchants is not considered one of them. I suggest you pursue other avenues of making business deals in the future."
  367. Frank bowed deeply and answered in a low voice. "Y-yes my lady."
  368. "I am glad you understand. Go in peace."
  369. She then turned around and headed back to the waiting carriage. Leon took one last look at Benjamin, who seemed slightly happier after having heard that exchange, before following her.
  370.  
  371. Once they were back in the carriage and moving again, Leon gave Revna a smile. "Thanks, I know you didn't have to do that."
  372. She answered with a smile of her own. "And you didn't have to get involved at all in that incident while you had much larger issues to concern yourself with. You are indeed a kind hearted man, master Leon."
  373.  
  374.  
  375.  
  376.  
  377. ***
  378.  
  379. Leon and Revna slowly approached the small town of Whitewood.
  380. The journey had been pretty uneventful, but the closer they got the more nervous they both felt.
  381. They were of course no strangers to war, but this particular scenario was fairly unique to both of them.
  382. If Leon was honest with himself, not knowing what exactly awaited them was much worse than traveling to any battlefield.
  383.  
  384. By the time they had tied their horses to trees a fair distance from the settled area to make the final approach on foot, they had both agreed to stay as silent as possible until they found something.
  385. It was late evening and the whole area was bathed in twilight. Something that gave the place a much more eerie feeling than anything Leon had experienced before.
  386. To his eyes, it almost looked like the sky was bleeding, and it made him feel nervous.
  387.  
  388. They made their final approach under the cover of the forest that ran along the towns west side. The farmland was on the eastern side so there was no real need to remove the nearby trees. This also meant that they would need to pass straight through the whole town before they could get to Leon's old home, a not so pleasant thought given the circumstances.
  389.  
  390. They soon reached the end of the treeline and emerged from the forest right next to the local orphanage. Leon could feel a slight sting in his chest when he saw the place and was vividly reminded of Jenny and her mother. Clenching his fist, he silently wished they had escaped whatever had transpired here.
  391.  
  392. They moved silently towards the wall of the building and looked for a window without closed curtains. They had to confirm whether the building was empty or not.
  393. They failed to find a window that offered a view of the interior, but that in and of itself seemed to suggest that the place was still used as living space.
  394. Just as they were about to go around the corner to check the front side, Revna grabbed his arm and signaled that she heard voices.
  395. Leon knew that her sense of hearing was superior to his, so he quietly drew his blade and stayed close to the ground.
  396. Staying silent while moving in armor was one of the skills Revna's training had taught him. It rarely became relevant, but right now Leon was glad he had mastered it. He drew close to the corner of the building and peeked around it.
  397.  
  398. He heard the voices right before he saw them. Unmistakably children.
  399. Something was a little of though, their numbers seemed to great.
  400. The orphanage was made to accommodate a fairly large number of occupants, courtesy of the church's donations to it's construction, yet Leon could not remember a time when there had been so many children here.
  401. The place was, in a word, oversized, and yet the crowd of kids he was now looking at seemed like they could fill every room with multiple occupants.
  402.  
  403. His first, chilling thought was that these were all the children of people who had been killed by the cursed sword, but something within him doubted that was the case after further observation. They seemed far to carefree for children who had been recently orphaned.
  404.  
  405. As they got closer, a different figure suddenly came around the corner of a nearby building and started moving towards the group of children.
  406. Leon's grip on his sword hilt tightened when he realized what it was. He would recognize the silhouette of a succubus wherever he saw it.
  407. He had no idea what the demon was doing here, but that didn't matter right now. The children's safety was all that mattered.
  408. He signaled to Revna, who nodded in response and readied herself. He then took a deep breath, closed his helmet visor and started running.
  409.  
  410. The children were naturally surprised to suddenly see an armored man and woman sprint towards them, and several of the younger ones screamed. Leon didn't have the time to concern himself with this, however, as he ran right past them and headed straight for the equally surprised succubus.
  411. "If only we can leverage the element of surprise, we can end the fight before it starts and minimize the risk of the children getting hurt."
  412. He lifted his sword as he ran and prepared to strike.
  413.  
  414. Before he could get close enough to his target, however, he heard Revna yell a warning.  He looked to his left only to see something dark moving towards him very quickly, and a bright line of red approaching his face.
  415. Throwing himself down, he could see the glowing red sword pass just over his head. Right before a leg covered in black armor impacted his side and sent him flying several meters through the air.
  416. He had just enough time to brace himself before he impacted the ground, where he rolled a few times before coming to a stop.
  417.  
  418. He had managed to avoid getting the wind knocked out of him by the impact, but he still felt it.
  419. It took him a few moments to re-orient his senses and get back on his feet, and by the time he did he got his first good look at his attacker, as Revna was engaged in a duel with her.
  420. It was a woman who's body was largely covered in a strange, black metal. It seemed almost organic in nature, and it formed an asymmetrical suit of armor around her.
  421. Her right held the long, slightly curved sword, and it was glowing a menacing red. Her hair was black as a moonless night and reached well below her hips, yet it seemed to move almost like a mantle as she moved.
  422. And she moved fast. Faster than any monster Leon had ever seen. It was very obvious that Revna was fully on the defensive, and she was still getting pushed back by what almost seemed like a black and red whirlwind.
  423.  
  424. Gripping his sword, Leon charged back to the fight. The sword woman noticed his approach and suddenly threw a kick at Revna, hitting her in the stomach and knocking her away before jumping straight at Leon again.
  425. He met her swing with his own, but her blade didn't impact his at a straight angle. Instead it deflected his blow while sliding along the length of his blade, pushing both swords away from the two combatants. She followed the deflecting strike with a fist covered in black metal aimed straight at his face.
  426. Not wanting to risk blocking it when he didn't know the extent of her strength yet, Leon chose to throw himself backward, roll with the impact on the ground and land on his feet in a crouched position.
  427. It was a rather difficult trick to pull of, but it was another thing that Reva had taught him.
  428.  
  429. He had barely gotten eyes on his attacker before she was right in front of him again, blade coming down towards him hard.
  430. This time he had no choice but to block it, so he grasped his own sword with both hands and held it above himself.
  431. The impact rattled his bones and pushed him back towards the ground, where he was met by another swift kick to the chest.
  432. This one didn't hit him straight on however, as the sword woman at that moment had to bend her body to avoid Revna's blade. She threw herself away, grabbed the ground with her left hand, spun around and planted her feet on the ground in a low stance.
  433. She almost looked like a panther, readying itself for it's next strike.
  434.  
  435. Leon got back on his feet, Revna standing at his side with her blade raised. He looked into the red eyes of their attacker, then glanced towards the children. He noticed that the succubus was standing in front of them, which alarmed him at first, but he soon realized that she was facing him and Revna, her arms and wings spread out almost as if she was shielding the children with her own body.
  436. Leon didn't have time to ponder this strange behavior, however, because the sword woman threw herself at them again, apparently undeterred by the idea of facing a two on one fight.
  437.  
  438. Even with the both of them working together, the sword woman proved a much tougher opponent then Leon would have guessed.
  439. She moved in such a way that she either kept him between herself and Revna, or Revna between herself and him. It was almost impossible for them to both attack her at the same time.
  440.  
  441. However, since she couldn't keep up her earlier relentless assault while constantly moving around them, it became possible for them to attack rather than staying on the defensive all the time.
  442. Although hitting their agile opponent proved to be difficult, especially since even when they did manage to hit her, the unevenly shaped black armor deflected the glancing blows.
  443.  
  444. Leon realized that they were fighting a war of attrition, and even though both he and Revna had exceptional stamina, there was a real risk of them getting tired before their opponent did.
  445. Worse yet, there was a succubus nearby, and if there were two monsters there could easily be more. They had to end this fight quickly.
  446.  
  447. When their assailant moved around to strike at him again, he whistled a signal to Revna. He blocked a strike and pushed the red blade towards his left, just as Revna swung her sword over his right shoulder.
  448. Any other opponent would have been left with no means of defense, but they had underestimated their adversary. She blocked the strike with her left arm, mirroring the deflective sword block she had done earlier. Revna's sword slid along the black armor covering the arm, as the fist at the end of said arm sank straight into her face.
  449.  
  450. Leon could hear the sound of the impact, and it didn't sound good. He didn't have time to worry about it though, and took the opening he had been given. He slammed his helmet into the sword woman's face.
  451. It was not even close to the same level of force as her kicks or punches, but it did stagger her long enough for Leon to take a step back and swing his sword as her again.
  452. She ducked under it and brought her blade up from below, it's red glowing edge heading straight for his face.
  453.  
  454. Leon pulled his head back, but the tip of the blade still hit his helmet. He reflexively closed his eyes as it slid across his visor, generating sparks as it went.
  455. Taking a leaf out of his opponent's book, he blindly threw out a kick and felt a certain amount of satisfaction when he felt it connect.
  456.  
  457. He quickly stepped back and opened his eyes, noticing that the visor was damaged and his vision was impaired as a result.
  458. He was able to see that his attacker had distanced herself, so he quickly grabbed his helmet with one hand and tore it of, using it as a makeshift throwing weapon.
  459. The sword woman spun around, swatting the helmet out of her way with her left hand and brought her sword up high for another swing.
  460. Then she stopped mid movement.
  461.  
  462. It was so sudden and so completely unexpected that Leon stopped moving as well. He held his sword at the ready, panting slightly, but he didn't move.
  463. The sword woman then did something even more unexpected. She slowly lowered her sword until it's tip hit the ground.
  464. Now utterly perplexed, Leon tried to prepare himself for anything, but nothing happened. She didn't make a move.
  465. Then, the black metal that partly covered her face retracted a bit, and she spoke for the first time since he had seen her.
  466. "Leo? Is that you?"
  467.  
  468. Now it was Leon's turn to let his sword drop until the tip hit the ground. Only one person in the whole world had ever called him by that name.
  469. His mind was suddenly flooded with questions about how and why, but before he could really do anything else, he saw Revna in his peripheral vision.
  470. Blade held in front of herself like a lance, she was flying straight towards the sword woman's left side.
  471. Before Leon knew what he was doing, he was extending his hand towards Revna and he could feel a scream take form within his throat, but it was to late to stop her. She hit her mark and pushed the blade through the armor, into the sword woman's stomach.
  472.  
  473. The next thing Leon knew, he was sprinting towards them as fast as he could. He was probably going faster then most sprinter athletes, and the distance was short, but to him it felt like he was moving in slow motion and took forever to cover those few steps.
  474. Revna had pulled her sword out and raised it for a downwards strike as the sword woman had fallen to the ground, so Leon did the only thing he could do to stop her. He blocked the strike with his own sword. He barely even felt the impact.
  475.  
  476. Revna gave his a puzzled look. "What is wrong, master Leon? Why did you stop me?"
  477. He looked her straight in the eye. "Do not kill her yet. Please. There is something I need to know."
  478. She seemed like she wanted to question him further, but decided to wait. She withdrew her blade.
  479. Leon gave her a short nod. "Thank you".
  480. Dropping his own sword to the ground, Leon knelt down next to the sword woman and worked his arm around her back, then slowly lifted her into a sitting position.
  481. With his free hand, he brushed away the hair from her face.
  482. His voice was almost a whisper. "Jenny?"
  483.  
  484. All the remaining armor on her face disappeared, and so did any remaining doubt in Leon's mind. Her eyes and hair now had a different color, but what he was looking at was unmistakably the face of his childhood friend.
  485. Even her smile was the same. The sword that seemed attached to her hand suddenly shrunk down until it took the shape of a gauntlet, and he raised her hand to gently touch his cheek. The metal felt surprisingly soft to the touch.
  486. "Hihi, I see you actually did grow up to become a handsome knight after all."
  487. With that, the floodgates broke and Leon's eyes slowly overflowed. He grabbed her hand and held it close.
  488. "I finally kept my promise Jenny. I'm back."
  489.  
  490. After a few moments of silence, Leon felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned his head towards Revna, who seemed worried. "Master Leon, I would advice you to finish her of quickly. We are outnumbered."
  491. Following her gaze, Leon saw a rather large group of people had gathered close by.
  492. A group of human men and succubi.
  493. He reached out and put his hand on top of Revna's. "Lower your sword."
  494. She seemed upset by his words. "Master Leon! If I do that we will most certainly lose this fight right now!"
  495. He shook his head. "Don't you get it? We have already lost. With these numbers, we would never win. And they know that, but they haven't attacked us yet. So don't give them a reason."
  496.  
  497. Revna turned towards him, here eyes looked like they were pleading. "Please master Leon, we have to take out as many of them as we can before they bring us down."
  498. He looked back at her. "Is that you asking me Revna, or is it the voice of the gods ordering you?"
  499. The way her gaze slightly shifted when he asked gave him the answer.
  500. "If a fight is inevitable, then what difference does it make when it starts and ends? If we can stay alive a little longer by not striking first, that's a small win. Besides, I want to find out if they are willing to talk. I need some answers."
  501. Reluctantly, Revna finally lowered her sword.
  502.  
  503. Turning back to Jenny to check on her wound, he noticed that it was now covered in black armor. He looked at her and she smiled the way she always did when he was worried. "I've stopped the bleeding for now, I'm not in any immediate danger."
  504. He smiled a little. "I'm going to put you down for a minute, I need to do something."
  505. Nodding, she carefully lied back down on the ground with his help.
  506.  
  507. Once he was sure she was comfortable, Leon stood up and faced the crowd.
  508. "My name is Leon Polanski. I used to live in this town until I was nine. I am now a paladin in the service of the holy church who came here to investigate the rumored massacre of this town. Can anyone tell me what happened here, please?"
  509. He was met with a minute of silence, then he saw the succubus that he had first seen and tried to attack approach him.
  510. "Leon, it's me. Do you remember me?"
  511. Seeing her face clearly for the first time, Leon finally recognized her. It was Jenny's mother. "Rose?"
  512. The succubus answered with a small giggle. "Yep, that's Leon alright. He even still calls me by my first name."
  513.  
  514. Leon thought the evening couldn't possibly hold any more surprises, and then he took a much closer look at the people around him.
  515. He realized that he recognized several of them, including the merchant that always gave him and Jenny a discount because they helped him out with his inventory, the couple who were friends with his parents, and several others.
  516.  
  517. "I don't understand, what's going on?"
  518. Rose moved closer to him. "This is not exactly how I had hoped our long awaited reunion would be, my dear boy."
  519. "Rose, I thought you had all been killed. I was sent on this mission because of a report that a person possessed by a cursed sword rampaged through the town and cut everyone down."
  520. Rose gave him a strange smile, and seeing her up close like this made him realize just how beautiful she looked. He had always thought of her as pretty, but this was something else entirely. She looked younger then she did 12 years ago, and her green eyes almost sparkled. If not for her horns, wings and tail, she could have passed for a princess from a high-end family.
  521.  
  522. She tilted her head a little. "Weeeeeeell, that's not entirely wrong actually."
  523. She looked back at the crowd and waved her hand. "Come here Chris, I think we need your input on this as well."
  524. A man left the crowd and approached them, stopping right next to Rose.
  525. "Well, go on then. Tell him how this started."
  526. The man awkwardly scratched the back of his head as he looked at Leon.
  527. "So, yea. Let's just starts at the beginning, shall we?"
  528.  
  529. For the next few minutes, Leon was listening to a rather incredible story.
  530. The man called Chris and his two companions had originally been scavengers who collected anything they could sell from abandoned homes and old ruins. One day they had by accident managed to find a hidden chamber and mistaken it for a tomb. In it, they found the cursed sword and took it to a nearby town to sell to a weapons dealer.
  531.  
  532. However, the customs had a mage that could appraise items, and he ha detected the swords hidden nature. So, Chris had pulled the sword in desperation only to see it transform in his hands into it's real form. Which had fortunately given them the head start they needed to escape since it scared the shit out of the guards.
  533. Both him and his friends were of course scared of it too, but they had no choice but to hold on to it as it was their only insurance.
  534.  
  535. As they fled, they had eventually reached the town of Whitewood. Running low on supplies, they had tried to show the sword to intimidate people into giving them food and water, but something went wrong.
  536. As Chris held the sword again, he had felt like he needed to cut someone to show that they were serious.
  537. When he tried, a girl had thrown herself between him and his target and gotten impaled by the sword. Only it didn't seem to harm her.
  538. Instead, she pulled the sword out and cut down Chris and his two companions with it. Then she had gone on a rampage through the whole town and cut down everyone except the children, merging with the sword as she did.
  539.  
  540. "And that, is pretty much how it went down." Chris gave Leon an awkward smile as he finished his story.
  541. Still processing the whole thing, Leon looked from Chris, to the people behind him, to all the children, and then to Jenny.
  542. She grinned slightly at him. "Not exactly my finest moment, I'll admit. The sword does have a rather strong influence on it's wielder."
  543.  
  544. Turning back to Rose with a confused look in his face, he was met with an extended hand that cupped his cheek just like she used to do when he was a boy.
  545. "I know, why aren't we all dead then? The answer is quite simple. The sword doesn't kill anymore."
  546. Leon raised an eyebrow. "Anymore?"
  547. "Yes. Jennifer told me after she had calmed down a bit. Apparently she can see the sword's memories now."
  548. She withdrew her hand and continued. "Those swords were created aeons ago by a long dead demon lord. However, just like all the monsters, their nature changed when the current demon lord came into power."
  549. She leaned forward just enough for her cleavage to become more visible. "They no longer kill those they cut, they monsterize them instead."
  550.  
  551. Leon could hear Revna hiss slightly. It sounded like 'blasphemy' or something similar.
  552. Rose gestured towards the crowd. "Everyone here, including me and Chris, were cut by the sword. A not entirely unpleasant experience in fact. And then we woke up like this."
  553. Leon's gaze moved across the crowd. "None of the men seem any different."
  554. Chris cleared his throat. "Um, yea. So, when men get monsterized, they apparently become an incubus. There's not really much change on the outside, it more the inside that's different."
  555.  
  556. Rose suddenly ran a hand across Chris' stomach and looked at him with dreamy eyes. "Yes, and it's quite a good difference."
  557. Seeing Chris blush and turn his gaze away from his, Leon looked back and forth between the two of them several times. "Wait, are you two...?"
  558. Rose giggled. "Sleeping together? Yes we are. And so is pretty much everyone else. That's what monsters do after all."
  559. Looking at the crown again, Leon noticed that pretty much all of the succubi were touching a man in some way. Everything from holding hands to wrapping their tails and wings around their partner.
  560.  
  561. Rose followed his gaze until it landed on the children. "Oh, they are not transformed. In fact, we moved all the kids in town to the orphanage for right now because there is a lot of activity going on in town that we kinda, sorta don't want to force them to listen to when they want to sleep."
  562. "Wait, is that what you meant before about monsters having changed?"
  563. Rose nodded. "Mhm. I realized it as soon as I transformed. Monsters don't kill anymore if they can avoid it. In fact, the mere thought of killing feels repulsive to me now, far more so than it ever did while I was human."
  564. She glanced at Chris again and brushed her tail against his leg. "Since transforming, we have begun to focus more on a love and peace type of thing."
  565. Leon wanted to question her further on this particular subject, so he did.
  566. "I've fought many battles against monsters, and the weapons they use don't kill. They incapacitate those who are struck to be pulled away by their attacker. You're telling me that those taken captive are..."
  567. Rose held her hand in front of her mouth and let out a short, coy laugh. "Fucked? Yes, they most certainly are my dear boy."
  568.  
  569. Now it was Leon's turn to blush. He could see several people within earshot laugh in the same manner as Rose had just did.
  570. "I clearly haven't participated in any such battle, but it doesn't take a professor to guess why a monster would act that way."
  571. She turned her gaze towards Chris. "One of the first things I noticed was that monsters have the ability to not only sense when a man is directing his desire at her, but they can instinctively sense who their best husband candidate is. I knew right away when I looked at Chris after my transformation, and I also knew there was very little I wouldn't do for the sake of being together with him and making him happy."
  572. She wrapped her arms around his waist, and even though his face was still red, he returned the gesture and lightly kissed her.
  573.  
  574. At this, Revna suddenly interjected. "Heathens! Monsters have always been ruthless killers who threaten humanity! They must all be purged!"
  575. She turned towards Leon with a flustered face. "Master Leon, I must implore you to do your duty. Before we die or are kidnapped, we must eliminate as many of these demons as we can."
  576.  
  577. Leon had learned a lot of new things in the past few minutes, and although he wasn't fully sure how to feel about everything yet, there was one thing he knew for certain. 
  578. He stood in front of Revna and grabbed her shoulders. "What crime did these people commit to deserve death? Every last one of them are victims of circumstance, and it should be very obvious by now that they don't intend to hurt us. For goodness' sake, they haven't even harmed the children in all the time it took between their transformation ans us getting here."
  579. Revna stared back at him. "The woman who is possessed by the cursed sword clearly attacked us."
  580. "That she did, with a weapon that doesn't kill and only after we tried to attack her own mother. Unprovoked I might add."
  581.  
  582. Revna's voice dropped to a lower tone. "Please master Leon, we have to do it."
  583. Leon leaned a little closer. "Is that really something you want to do? You would, by your own free will, kill people who have done nothing wrong?"
  584. He then tilted his head in the direction of the children. "Does your orders include them as well?"
  585. Her eyes moved in the characteristic way that answered the question without words. "I am an instrument of the divine will. Following their orders is my purpose."
  586. Leon sighed. "We have both been tools to them for a long time now, so I get what you are saying. However, we are now faced with a situation that does not match anything we have been told and are ordered to commit atrocious acts. That should make you question those who issue your orders. Now if you excuse me, I will tend to my best friend's wound."
  587.  
  588. Leon let go of Revna and walked over to Jenny.
  589. He knelt down by her side. "How are you feeling?"
  590. "Not good, but definitively better."
  591. She grabbed his hand. "It helped when you held me before, can you do it some more please?"
  592. Leon tilted his head slightly. "How does that help?
  593. She giggled. "Hihi, because you are so full of high quality spirit energy, you handsome man. I can absorb enough through skin contact to help me heal."
  594. "In that case, I'll hold you for as long as you want. I'm not going to leave you again."
  595.  
  596. Leon carefully picked her up in a bridal carry. She wrapped her hands around his neck and leaned her head against his chest with closed eyes and a cute smile on her lips.
  597. He turned towards Rose again. "Does she still sleep in the same room?"
  598. She nodded. "Yes, let me take you there. The doors are locked."
  599. "Thank you."
  600. As he started following Rose, he turned his head towards Revna.
  601. "Promise me you won't attack anyone unless they directly threaten you."
  602. She looked back at him with a confused look. "I, I don't know..."
  603. "Please, just do it. And take some time to really think about what you yourself once told me."
  604. She gave him a questioning look.
  605. "You said that I would become a champion of the weak, and that I should endeavor to defend the innocent from those that would inflict harm upon them. Think about what that truly means."
  606. He then turned back towards Rose and continued to follow her, leaving a conflicted Revna behind.
  607.  
  608. Rose led him through the main entrance of the orphanage and up the stairs. Every step he took felt like going back in time, and he could see glimpses of his former life.
  609. "Rose, can I ask you something?"
  610. She turned her head to look at him. "Hmm? What is it?"
  611. "It's about my parents. Do they still...?"
  612. Her expression looked a little stunned. "Oh! How could I have been so forgetful? Yes, of course your parents still live at their farm."
  613. Leon breathed a long sigh of relief. Rose gently grabbed his arm. "I'm sorry, I should have told you sooner."
  614. He shook his head. "It doesn't matter, I'm just glad to know they are alive."
  615. Rose smiled at him. "I'll take you to them tomorrow."
  616. "Thank you. By the way, are they also, you know...?"
  617. "Transformed? Yes, of course they are, and judging by what I hear from Mrs Polanski, it's proven to be quite a positive event for their relationship."
  618. Leon could feel his ears turn hot and Rose giggled softly.
  619.  
  620. They soon reached Jenny's room, and as he carefully entered it he could feel her stir slightly in his arms. "Mmm, you have no idea how often I've dreamt of you doing this."
  621. Realizing he had just carried a girl bridal style over the threshold of her bedroom, Leon blushed furiously. Rose covered her mouth and giggled quite a lot until he had managed to put Jenny down on her bed.
  622. "Well then, I'll give you kids some privacy."
  623. She gave him one last coy smile and closed the door.
  624.  
  625. Turning back towards Jenny, he saw her reach out towards him. He knelt down next to the bed and took her hand in his. "How do I help you heal faster?"
  626. She grinned. "Weeell, you should start by taking of all that clunky armor."
  627. Leon blushed again, but did as he was told.
  628. After a few minutes of work, he managed to get everything of except his undershirt and pants. This earned him an adorable pout from Jenny. "Take that of as well. I want to see how much you have grown these past years."
  629.  
  630. Difficult and embarrassing as it was, Leon couldn't refuse her. He stripped down to his underwear. "I-Is that better?"
  631. She grinned. "It will do for now."
  632. He tentatively sat down on the edge of the bed. "So, how do you want me to do this?"
  633. "Spoon me."
  634. He blinked. "Sorry, what?"
  635. "Lay down behind me, put your arms around me and press me against your chest."
  636. As if the situation wasn't embarrassing enough already, the sultry tone of her voice didn't exactly make it easier.
  637. "Screw it, if ever there was a time to step up and be a man, it is now!"
  638. He slowly crawled into bed next to her and did as he was told.
  639.  
  640. "Hmm, good. You can hold me a little tighter if you want, my armor won't hurt you. Oh, and bend your knees slightly so that your kneecaps poke the back of my knees. It maximizes skin contact."
  641. "So yea, I've been meaning to ask about that actually. Your armor is tough enough to deflect sword blows, why does it feel almost soft when I touch it?"
  642. "Hihi, that's because of another monster trait. The mana in our bodies can wrap itself around our sharp bits like an invisible layer of cotton. It's to make sure we don't accidentally hurt a man during intimate moments."
  643. "You are enjoying teasing me, aren't you?"
  644. "Of course I am. I gotta get back at you just a little bit for making me wait so long."
  645.  
  646. Upon hearing this, Leon pulled her closer. "Jenny, I'm so, so sorry for taking so long to return."
  647. He could feel her hand on top of his own. Her voice dropped a little lower. "If you really mean that, then prove it to me."
  648. She turned her head so that he could see the side of her face. "Kiss me, please."
  649. Leon didn't know if it was the allure in her voice, the longing in her eyes, or his own feelings that had been pent up for years, but he didn't hesitate as much as he thought he would. He lifted his body slightly so that he could move his head over hears and met her lips. They were soft, warm and inviting, and her tongue swiftly snaked it's way into his mouth.
  650.  
  651. Leon had thought about what kissing would feel like before, but none of his ideas matched reality. It was like his head was spinning, his body heated up and a sensation of tiny needle pricks spread across his skin.
  652. He could feel her slim but surprisingly long tongue explore his mouth, like it was trying to find every nook and cranny.
  653. He quickly found himself pushing his own tongue against hers like they were engaging in a tongue version of thumb war.
  654.  
  655. It wasn't long before he felt Jenny's hand grab his own and move it towards her chest. Her armor retracted to reveal her perky breasts, and she pushed his hand against one of them.
  656. He instinctively grabbed the soft flesh and felt it's comfortable warmth spread through his fingers. He could also sense his lower regions getting harder, until it was poking against a rather nicely shaped pair of buttocks.
  657.  
  658. They stayed like that for a while, slowly kissing and caressing each others bodies, and the slight hesitation that Leon still felt gradually melted away.
  659. The more he smelled, touched and tasted Jenny's body, the more he craved it.
  660. Years of suppressed emotions all bubbled up to the surface and surged out, refusing to be denied any longer.
  661.  
  662. Suddenly, she pulled away from him and sat up, only to pull his underwear down and straddle him the next second.
  663. She leaned down and kissed him again while grinding her pussy lips against his hard member. Leon could feel himself quickly getting covered in her juices and threw his arms around her torso, holding her close.
  664.  
  665. Eventually, she pulled away from the kiss again long enough to look him in the eye.
  666. "I'm gonna put it in, hold still for a second."
  667. All he could do was nod, as he felt two of her fingers guide the tip of his dick to her entrance. She then lowered hips, taking his full length in one motion.
  668. Her eyelids flickered a bit and her back arched, then she leaned forward again until her breasts touched his chest. He could feel her hot, wet pussy folds wriggle around his penis and her warm breath against his skin.
  669.  
  670. She soon raised her head and kissed hm again, while starting to move her hips. The intense stimulation and his lack of sexual experience meant that he was unable to hold back for long. He hugged her tightly as he felt himself shoot his cum straight into her eager love cave and his vision blurred.
  671.  
  672. Once he came down from the emotional high and his eyesight regained it's focus, Leon was greeted with a smiling face.
  673. She lightly bit her lip in a seductive manner. "I hope you are ready for the next round. Your spirit energy felt sooooo good, and we have to make up for lost time."
  674. She then leaned down and kissed his neck, making sure to drag her tongue along all the sensitive parts and caressed his chest with her hands.
  675.  
  676. Noticing that he was still hard, Leon grabbed her hips and started moving her. She quickly matched his movements and once again started riding him.
  677. She was moaning freely now in between letting her tongue caress his neck, and Leon noticed that her wound from earlier seemed to have closed up completely.
  678. He figured it might have something to do with the spirit energy, but right now he honestly didn't care.
  679. He moved one of his hands up and cupped the back of her head with it.
  680. "Jenny! Agh! If you go that fast, ah, you are gonna make me cum right away again."
  681. "Aaah! Do it! Hah, cum in me, hah, then keep on pounding me until you cum in me again, hah, and again!"
  682. She moved her face a bit so he could see her moist eyes. "Feel free to use me however you want! Make me yours!"
  683. "Jenny!"
  684.  
  685. Neither of them got much sleep that night. After cumming inside Jenny for the third time, they rolled over so that she was on her back. Leon grabbed her legs and kept fucking her until he had shot two more loads, then turned her around and took her doggystyle for another round.
  686. They both lost count of how many times she came.
  687.  
  688. Leon didn't remember exactly at what point they fell asleep, but when he woke up he had his arms wrapped around Jenny's torso and head, and she was resting peacefully against his chest.
  689. After taking in this beautiful sight for a few minutes, he carefully shook her awake.
  690. "Hey, hey sleepyhead, wake up."
  691. She slowly opened her eyes and gave him a cute smile. "Good morning master."
  692. He raised an eye brow. "Master?"
  693. She giggled cutely. "I am fused with a cursed sword now, remember? It has fully become a part of me, and that part recognizes you as my owner, so I do believe 'master' is an appropriate term to use."
  694. Leon blushed a little. "You know, you can still call me Leo if you want."
  695. She put a finger against her lower lip as if she was pondering the issue.
  696. "Hmm, nope! I want to call you master."
  697. She rubbed her legs against his. "It makes me feel all tingly when I do, so you'd better start getting used to it."
  698. "I should be used to hearing the word after spending all those years with Revna, but the meaning behind her use of the term was very different than the meaning Jenny puts behind it now."
  699. He let go of Jenny and pushed himself up to a sitting position. "I guess I've got no choice in this particular matter then?"
  700. Jenny only answered with a smile.
  701.  
  702. After getting dressed, Leon went back down the stairs and exited the building. As soon as they were outside the door, Jenny wrapped her arm around his and leaned her head against his shoulder.
  703. Leon noticed that it didn't make him feel as awkward as it probably should have. Especially considering that she was technically naked except for the armor that was a part of her (and much more symmetrical now than it had been when he first saw her).
  704. With her at his side, he headed towards the town.
  705.  
  706. He soon met up with Rose and Chris, who seemed like they were waiting for him and Jenny, and they lead him to his parent's farm.
  707. On the way there, he asked about Revna and was told that she had spent the night mostly to herself, though it did seem like she had moved around the small town a lot. Once they arrived at the farm, Rose told him to wait outside while she went to deliver the good news.
  708. Leon realized that she was probably trying to spare him the mental trauma of walking in on his own parents having sex, and he silently thanked her as she went on her way.
  709.  
  710. He didn't have to wait long before the front door flew open and another succubus came out.
  711. Her wings were larger than Rose's, and an almost shocking color of pink. Her hair was wavy and flaming red, decorated by a pair of short, thick horns, and her eyes were a shining blue. And her face was undeniably that of his mother.
  712. Upon seeing him, she briefly covered her mouth with both hands and inhaled sharply, and even from a distance Leon could tell that her eyes were flooding.
  713. She then broke into a sprint, quickly covering the short distance, and he opened his arms to catch her.
  714. They held each other for a long time, the only sound being that of his mother's sobs mixed with a few of his own.
  715. Eventually, she whispered in a small voice. "Welcome home."
  716. He patted her back. "I'm back mom."
  717.  
  718. After a few more minutes, Rose came around the back of the house with his father.
  719. "He must have been working on the fields when we arrived."
  720. His mom seemed to sense her husband's presence, because she turned around to look at him. "Honey, Leon is back."
  721. His dad dropped the tools he was holding and quickly ran over to them, embracing them both. "I'm sorry son. I'm so sorry."
  722. "Sorry for what dad?"
  723. "I shouldn't have let them take you back then. I should have protested, at least gotten them to give you more time before you had to leave. I didn't stand up for my child like a father should have done."
  724. Leon wrapped one of his arms around his father. "I'm here now dad, that's all that matters. And you had to be here for mom while I was gone, so no hard feelings. Ok?"
  725. His father's voice made it obvious that he was fighting back tears. "Ok son, ok. I'm so glad you are back."
  726. The reunited family spent a few more minutes hugging each other while Rose, Jenny and Chris looked on with small smiles on their faces.
  727.  
  728. Once they had all calmed down a bit, Leon's mother invited everyone for tea. They all spent a couple of hours talking about everything that had happened since he left, and the whole thing was a mixture of tears, smiles and laughter.
  729. Particularly when Jenny insisted on calling him master in front of everyone and his mother gave him the thumbs up upon hearing it.
  730. After a while, Leon happened to glance out the widow and caught a glimpse of a feathered wing disappearing from view.
  731. He excused himself and quickly snuck out through the door.
  732.  
  733. "Revna, I know you are there."
  734. In what almost seemed like a full reversal of the first time they had met, Revna slowly came around the corner and approached him. He could tell from her face that she was conflicted.
  735. "Have you given it some thought?"
  736. She nodded. "I have, and I've come to realize that you are right, master Leon."
  737. He moved a little closer and gently grabbed her arm. She nodded and continued.
  738. "You are right, those orders can't be reasonably justified, and if they are giving me such orders now it is probably not the first or last time either."
  739.  
  740. She hung her head for a minute before continuing. "And, what we have been told about monsters does seem to be a lie as well. Last night I, eh, studied a few of them."
  741. Leon's eyes widened a little, so she quickly explained. "From a distance, of course. I made sure they didn't know I was observing."
  742. Her cheeks grew ever so slightly red. "Their claims about the nature of their relationships certainly seems to be, um, accurate."
  743.  
  744. Leon felt like there was something else she wanted to say, so he pushed her a little. "But?"
  745. She raised her head again. "But I have only ever known a life of following orders. I was created for that very purpose. If I were to defy those orders, I don't know what I would do."
  746. "And now, that internal conflict is greatly troubling you, because you don't feel like you can follow the gods orders in good conscience anymore. Isn't that right?"
  747. She slowly nodded.
  748.  
  749. Suddenly, he heard Jenny's voice coming from behind him. "In that case, I think I have an answer for you."
  750. He turned around to find her heading towards them. She had probably followed him and listened to their conversation.
  751. Revna shifted her gaze towards her. "Why would you want to help me? I almost killed you."
  752. Jenny looked right back at her. "Because of a lie. I'm not going to hold that against you after what I just heard."
  753. She extended her hand and Revna, after some hesitation, grabbed it and they shook hands.
  754. After releasing each other, Jenny's face softened a bit. "To get back on topic, the answer to your question is quite simple."
  755. She looked at Leon. "You just need to decide who's orders you want to follow from now on, like I did last night."
  756.  
  757. Revna's eyes widened a bit. "You mean that you and master Leon..?"
  758. "Had sex? Yea, we did."
  759. Jenny wrapped her arms around Leon's left arm. "The cursed sword that is a part of me desires an owner, and last night it recognized Leo as such. And it did that both because of my feelings for him, and because he is worthy of me calling him my master."
  760. She extended a hand towards Revna. "You could do the same. If you recognize him as your master, you could walk away from a life of servitude to liars and still satisfy you own urge to follow orders."
  761. She turned her head to look at Leon. "I promise you that he is not the kind of person who would take advantage of such a commitment."
  762.  
  763. Revna seemed unable to give them an answer, so Leon interjected. "You don't have to decide right now. And you should know, I intend to take everyone in this town and move them away from here soon."
  764. Revna seemed surprised. "Why is that, master Leon?"
  765. "Because others will come here, and odds are it will be a larger force next time. And we both know what happens whenever a large force meets a group of monsters."
  766. He turned to look back towards the town. "I have to get them all out of here before it's to late. I'm going to go to the town plaza and try to convince them right now."
  767. "Where will you take them?"
  768. He turned back to her. "Past the south border, then continue until we reach the demon realm down there. They can't stay here, and that area is their best bet for finding a new place to settle."
  769. Revna slapped her palms against her cheeks a few times, then looked him in the eye. "If that is the case, then I shall help you. It might take a bit of effort to convince them to leave their homes."
  770. Leon was silent for a moment, then smiled at her. "Glad to have you with us. I'm just going to get my parents and then we should go."
  771. Both Revna and Jenny nodded.
  772.  
  773. ***
  774.  
  775.  
  776. It took some effort, but with the help of Jenny, Revna, Rose and his parents, Leon did eventually managed to convince everyone that they couldn't stay in Whitewood.
  777. With a somewhat sombre attitude, everyone got to work on packing the things they needed and gathered all the carts and wagons in town to load it on.
  778. It was a bit of a project that took a few days, but because they had many hands working on it that were all more capable than the average human, it did get done in less time than Leon had anticipated.
  779. He considered this a good thing, he wanted them to get as much of a head start as possible.
  780.  
  781. Once they were on the road, they arranged themselves like a long caravan. They strapped the horses to the largest carriages and pulled the smaller carts by hand. Jenny was almost always right by his side and helped him with whatever it was he was currently doing, and at night they made love several times in their sleeping tent (and they were not the only ones).
  782. Leon noticed that the more days that passed, the more restless Revna seemed. She had not given a clear answer to Jenny's proposal, but she had pretty much done the same things Jenny did. She stayed close to them both and helped them with whatever they were doing.
  783. She claimed that she slept near the edge of the camps they made at night, but Leon suspected that she was still doing her 'observations of monster relationships', because every day she seemed slightly more flustered than the previous.
  784.  
  785. One night, after they had set up camp, crawled into their tent and undressed, Leon felt Jenny tap his shoulder and whisper to him. "Looks like we have a guest."
  786. He turned around to see Revna's head poking into the tent, her cheeks visibly red even in the dim light.
  787. Leon realized that his penis was hanging out in all it's glory in full view, so he grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around his waist.
  788. "Hey Revna, are you alright?"
  789. Her gaze nervously jumped all over the place. "C-Can I come in?"
  790. "Of course. Please, sit down."
  791.  
  792. She hesitated for a bit before entering the tent, then sat down on the ground. Leon and Jenny did the same.
  793. "So, tell me what's on your mind."
  794. Revna seemed to struggle to find the right words. "I, eh, think I need your help."
  795. Leon noticed a very tiny smile formed on Jenny's lips. "Do tell please."
  796. Revna squirmed where she sat. "You see, the thing is, when I decided to come with you, I cut myself of from the voice of the gods. I didn't want to hear them anymore."
  797. Her hands nervously moved around in her lap as she talked. "Yet despite that, I recently started hearing them again. Only now, they keep telling me to..."
  798. Her cheeks grew even redder. Jenny leaned forward a bit. "To do, what?"
  799. Revna closed her eyes and her voice went up an octave. "To do naughty things!"
  800.  
  801. Leon could not remember ever having heard her use that voice before. It was pretty cute, actually.
  802. Jenny grinned as she stood up, moved over to Revna and sat down next to her.
  803. She leaned in close to her face. "Are you suuuure that it's the gods voices you are hearing?"
  804. Revna answered in a soft voice. "What else could it possibly be?"
  805. Jenny extended a hand and cupped one of Revna's shapely breasts, earning her a slight yelp. "I think it's something else, and I'm pretty sure I know what it is."
  806.  
  807. She reached out with her other hand and wrapped it around the back of the angel's neck, then moved closer until her mouth was right next to her ear. "What have you been feeling when you've watched all the monster couples have sex, hmm? Did it make your body feel hot? Did it give you an itch between your legs?
  808. She extended her tongue and slowly traced it along the edge of Revna's ear, making her body twitch a little.
  809. "Did you perhaps want to know how it felt? To take a big, hard penis inside your hot, soft pussy, to feel a man's desire directed at you, and to learn what a woman's happiness feels like?"
  810. Revna closed her eyes and yelled again. "Yes!"
  811. Jenny let go of her and withdrew a bit. "Then, it's not the gods voice you are hearing. It's your own."
  812. Revna looked at her, seeming slightly confused.
  813. Jenny gave her a warm smile. "I'm a monster, I can tell if a woman wants it. And you came to this tent specifically, which means you want master's dick specifically. Am I wrong?"
  814. Revna slowly shook her head.
  815.  
  816. Leon noticed that he had been holding his breath and let it out on what sounded like a long sigh. taking a peek at his crotch, he saw that his penis had made a tent out of his blanket.
  817. Jenny looked at him and giggled sweetly. "It looks like you are willing to help her master."
  818. She sat down behind Revna and moved her right hand to the angel's breast. Her left hand snaked it's way down and started lightly rubbing her clit.
  819. Revna moaned cutely under the ministrations.
  820.  
  821. Jenny beckoned Leon to come closer. He stood up and let the blanket fall, revealing his rock hard member. Revna looked at it with a dreamy gaze.
  822. He stood in front of her, his dick inches from her face.
  823. Jenny whispered in Revna's ear. "Go on, the smell must be driving you crazy by now. Take it in your mouth, taste it."
  824. She opened her mouth and let her tongue hang out, her warm breath hitting the tip of his dick. He moved closer until it touched her lips and tongue, then slowly pushed it into her mouth.
  825.  
  826. After a moment of hesitation, Revna started to lick the underside of his penis and suck on it. She was clumsy at first, but she looked so cute when she was trying her hardest that Leon didn't mind.
  827. Jenny moved her left hand (the one not covered in armor) slightly lower and carefully inserted a finger into Revna's now soaked slit. She squirmed and shuddered, and Leon could feel her tongue vibrate slightly against his penis.
  828. He reached out and softly patted her head as be started to rock his hips back and forth slowly.
  829.  
  830. They kept up the slow pace for several minutes. Revna alternated between tightly closing her eyes and looking up at Leon in a pleading manner. Her squirming and cute, muffled moans together with the movement of her soft lips and tongue slowly but surely pushed him closer to the edge.
  831. Finally, he was unable to hold it any longer and spurted a flood of cum straight into her mouth.
  832. He was expecting her to pull her head back and spit it out, but she surprised him by keeping her lips tightly pressed around his penis.
  833. Her eyes watered and she groaned a bit, but he could also hear loud gulps which meant she was trying her hardest to swallow everything.
  834. Her whole body shuddered and Leon could feel small water droplets spray on his feet as Jenny stuck a second finger into the wet, undulating pussy and made slopping noises as she stirred it up.
  835.  
  836. Eventually, she pulled her head back. Drops of cum dribbled out of her mouth and down her chin as she panted heavily. Leon sat down so that his head became eye level with her and caressed her cheek.
  837. Once her breathing calmed down, she smiled and put her hand on her belly.
  838. "I can feel it, the essence of both of you swirling around inside me."
  839. Jenny hugged her from behind. "How does it feel to be awakened as a female for the first time?"
  840. "I don't even know how to describe it."
  841.  
  842. Leon noticed at that time that Revna's skin seemed to grow darker. At first he thought it was just his eyes playing tricks on him since there wasn't a lot of illumination (even if he could see much better in the dark since becoming Jenny's husband), but he soon realized that wasn't the case.
  843. Her skin shifted into a dark blue-ish hue, her hair changed from blonde to pure white, her wings changed into an inky black and her eyes shifted into a light purple color.
  844. The transformation was gradual, but still happened fairly quickly. It also seemed to be highly pleasant, judging from her reactions.
  845.  
  846. Once she was fully transformed, a lustful expression quickly formed on her face.
  847. She threw her arms around Leon's neck and kissed him with a surprisingly high degree of passion.
  848. When she pulled away from the kiss, she lowered her head and started licking in circles around his nipples.
  849. Leon felt Jenny place herself behind him and embrace him. Her sweet voice soon whispered in his ear. "Go on, push her down. Right now, she wants you to claim her so that she can start to truly think of you as her master."
  850. He turned his head so that he could look at her. "Are you ok with that Jenny?"
  851. She smiled "Why wouldn't I be? I'll get a new sister, whom I get to help liberate from a life of slavery to unworthy masters, and you get to fuck a woman who you have fantasized about for years."
  852. She gave him a soft, deep kiss before she finished. "And the three of us get to make a new life for ourselves, together."
  853. He reached behind himself and lightly grabbed Jenny's butt cheek. "I'll take you both in turns then."
  854. She grinned lustfully at him. "I can't wait."
  855.  
  856. Leon grabbed Revna's shoulders and slowly pushed her down onto her back. She gave him a gleeful look and readily spread her her legs to allow him access to her dripping pussy.
  857. He could feel Jenny's hands caressing his back and butt as he lined himself up and poked his tip against the wet folds.
  858. "Revna, I'm going to put it in."
  859. She shook her head. "Please, don't call me by that name anymore. It was given to me by the gods."
  860. Leon pondered this for a moment, looking over her body as he did. "Ok, in that case I think I got a good new name for you."
  861. She smiled. "Do tell."
  862. He leaned closer, kissed her forehead and looked her in the eye. "How does Raven sound? It seems appropriate."
  863. She threw her arms around his neck and pulled him into a deep kiss. They spent a minute or two engaged in tongue wrestling before breaking the kiss.
  864. "I love it."
  865. In that case, Raven, I'll be taking your virginity now."
  866.  
  867. With those words, Leon pushed his hips forward. Raven let out a short scream as the hard penis penetrated her, tightened her grip on him and pressed her face against his shoulder.
  868. He patted her head as he held her. "Are you alright?"
  869. She gasped as she replied. "Hah, hah, it's fine, hah, I do not feel any pain, hah, the pleasure was just slightly stronger than I expected."
  870. "I'm going to move now. I'll be gentle."
  871.  
  872. He started thrusting slowly. Her pussy was so drenched that it leaked slightly even with his dick plugging it up, so it was easy to slide deep into her dark depths.
  873. Raven moaned slightly as her long legs slowly wrapped themselves around his back. He could also feel her soft boobs press against his chest as Jenny busied herself with licking the back of his neck.
  874. He groaned as he slowly increased his pace, something that earned him a sweet giggle from Jenny and louder moans from Raven. 
  875.  
  876. Eventually, she grabbed the back of his head, kissed him and then looked at him with pleading eyes.
  877. "Stop holding back, please. Do me harder!"
  878. Having every desire to grant her wish, Leon sped up his hip movements. She was positively screaming now, her body squirming as waves of pleasure surged through it.
  879. He could feel Jenny's hand cup his cheek from behind as he felt her breath agianst his ear when she whispered to him. "Go on, filler her belly up. Mark her as yours."
  880. She then play bit his ear while tracing her tongue along it's back and let out a sultry groan. It was easily more than enough to push him over the edge.
  881. He grabbed Raven and held her tightly against his chest as his dick exploded inside her. Her eyes rolled back slightly as her body spasmed lightly.
  882.  
  883. Once Leon felt his orgasm subside, he lifted his head so that he could look at Raven's face. He lightly brushed some hair out of her face. "Ready for the next round?"
  884. She gave him a girlish smile, the first one she had ever shown as far as he knew, and nodded. "Yes master. I shall do anything you ask."
  885.  
  886. None of them got much sleep that night. They all fucked each other like rabbits.
  887. Jenny took Leon's dick while Raven caressed her, both girls gave Leon a double blowjob, Raven received Leon's sperm while Jenny sat on her face, and many more positions were all explored.
  888. To Leon, his two wives were so adorable that his desire to pleasure them just didn't want to subside, and his dick towered proudly every time he shot a load into on onto one of them.
  889.  
  890. Finally, after having long since lost count of how many times they had done it, they all fell asleep together. Leon in the middle with an arm around each of them as they snuggled up to him.
  891. Leon's last thought before sleep took him was how cute both their smiles looked as they slept.
  892.  
  893. As he woke up the following day, his nose was tickled by a sweet smell he hadn't felt since his childhood.
  894. It was such a nostalgic smell that he recognized it immediately, Jenny's dandelion muffins.
  895. It was a recipe that her mother had taught her, and she used to make them for their common birthday when they were kids.
  896. Sitting up, he quickly grabbed his clothes and got dressed.
  897.  
  898. As he left the tent, he saw his two wives nearby. It seemed like Jenny was attempting to teach Raven the recipe, as her blue skin and a large patch of ground was covered in flour.
  899. They had dug a small pit, set a fire in it and then placed a bunch of rocks in it and put the oven tray on top. It was a pretty decent makeshift woodfire oven, given what they had to work with.
  900. Since there was no way to make properly shaped muffins, they had simply made it in the shape of a loaf instead.
  901. Leon smiled to himself as he walked over to greet them. "Good morning you two. I see Raven is getting schooled in the fine art of baking."
  902. As they both turned towards him, Leon almost laughed out loud. Raven's nose and cheeks had white dots of flour on them that made her look funnier than he had expected.
  903. She blushed cutely and covered her cheeks with her hands, getting more flour on her face as she did.
  904. Leon walked up to her, embraced her and gave her a kiss and a pat on the head. "That's what you get for being to cute this early in the morning."
  905. He then turned to Jenny and did the same thing to her. "And that's what you get for teaching her my favorite recipe."
  906. They shared a laugh before Raven hastily removed the muffin loaf from the fire pit, cut three roughly muffin sized pieces from it using her sword (which was more than a little oversized for the job), and they all sat down to enjoy their morning snack.
  907. To Leon, every bite was like a feast.
  908.  
  909. ***
  910.  
  911. About a week later, they reached the border. They had to take a long way around the fort that was housing the border patrol troops, but since said patrols were watching for someone trying to get through the border from the south, they didn't exactly patrol the area to the north. Even so, they would probably have to get past some border guards, but with any luck there would be a large enough difference in numbers for them to be able to intimidate the guards into retreating without a fight.
  912. There was no such luck to be had, unfortunately.
  913.  
  914. When they reached the border, they ran into a group of guards that was indeed heavily inferior in numbers, however they were not the only ones.
  915. For at that moment, a large group of mounted soldiers showed up behind them and quickly closed the gap, catching them in a pincer attack.
  916. Leon feared that they were going to charge straight into the crowd, but they stopped a small distance away and spread out into a line. Then he saw their commander ride to the front.
  917. "Leon Polanski! You are hereby ordered to show yourself!"
  918. He recognized the voice even though the speaker's visor was down. It was Petra, a paladin loyal to Elvira Eagleheart.
  919.  
  920. He swiftly made his way to the front of the crowd to face her, closely followed by Jenny and Raven. When the three of them had moved some distance away from the rest of the townspeople, he took of his helmet.
  921. "Hey, fancy meeting you here."
  922. Petra removed her helmet as well.
  923. "Well, look what we have here. The farm boy finally showed his true colors."
  924. She made a sweeping motion with her hand. "Abandoning your mission to help this many monsters escape from justice? And I always thought you would settle for failing a mission and running away."
  925. Leon gave her a bitter smile. "Elvira sent a spy after me, didn't she?"
  926. Petra grinned. "And she was right to, as it turns out."
  927.  
  928. At this point, Raven suddenly interjected. "In that case, please do me a favor. When you crawl back to that bitch, would you be so kind as to tell her I said 'fuck you'?"
  929. Both Leon and Jenny had a hard time suppressing their laughter as they saw Petra's face grow red with rage and indignation.
  930. "Strong words for a fallen angel."
  931. Raven just smiled. "Say what you want. I pledge my loyalty to my master now."
  932. Petra gave Leon an angry glare. "In that case I think I shall claim your precious new master's head."
  933. Leon looked straight back at her and drew his sword. "You were planning on doing that all along anyway. Sadly for you I have other plans."
  934. Jenny stood beside him and reformed her gauntlet hand into it's sword shape. It's red glow pulsed menacingly. "Master, let's finish this quickly. They are getting in the way of our next sexy-time."
  935. At hearing this, Petra was unable to hold back her anger. She lowered her lance. "Prepare to charge!"
  936.  
  937. As all the soldiers lowered their lances, Leon gave a signal to the people behind him. The last few days he had been planing for various scenarios, one of them the prospect of having to fend of cavalry, and everyone had helped gather long sticks of wood and carved spears out of them.
  938. While he had been talking, they had discretely taken the spears out of the wagons that held them and moved into position, and at Leon's signal they raised them in a phalanx formation. They were also equipped with makeshift shields made out of barrel and crate lids.
  939.  
  940. Seeing this, Petra withheld her order to charge, as doing so would be very foolish under these circumstances.
  941. "Men, dismount. We can't do a horse charge into that, but we can easily break through such a barrier on foot."
  942. The soldiers did as they were told and formed up and drew their swords.
  943. Petra took the center. "Advance."
  944.  
  945. This was exactly what Leon wanted. None of the people behind him were trained soldiers, so he wanted to force the enemy into a position where he, Jenny and Raven could fight them on their own.
  946. He quickly gave them both a kiss. "Lets go."
  947. They both nodded "Yes master."
  948. They spread out, raised their respective weapons, and charged.
  949.  
  950. The attack caught the soldiers slightly of guard, as they had not expected the three of them to separate themselves from the crowd. This did not scare them much, however, as to them it looked like a suicide charge.
  951. They would be proven wrong.
  952.  
  953. Raven was the first one to reach her mark, as she moved slightly faster than the other two. Her black wings swiftly carried her straight into the battle, and she made a long, sweeping motion with her now huge, pink sword that knocked a whole group of soldiers of their feet.
  954. Leon had just enough time to see this exchange before he focused on his own opponent, and let Petra's sword swing with his own.
  955. As expected, the soldiers that flanked her immediately tried to attack him from both sides, so he swiftly jumped back, withdrew his sword and then used it like a spear to quickly stab the closest soldiers in the neck.
  956. As they collapsed on the ground, their bodies wracked with pleasure spasms (courtesy of the demonic energy Jenny and Raven had imbued his sword with), he quickly moved sideways and struck at the soldiers on Petra's left flank.
  957. She quickly chased after him to attack him again, but by the time her next swing at him was blocked several more of her soldiers were on the ground.
  958.  
  959. Leon could see Jenny in his peripheral vision. She was moving like a whirlwind, her enemies falling before her like wheat before a sickle, and the air was soon filled with more gasps and moans.
  960. On the other side of the battlefield, behind Petra, Raven was felling soldiers left and right in a similar fashion.
  961. Satisfied with what he saw, he continued to evade his angry pursuer, cutting and stabbing her troops as he did.
  962.  
  963. This dance kept going for a while, until there was only a small group of soldiers left standing in a circle with Petra among them.
  964. Leon and his two wives surrounded them and aimed their weapons at them.
  965. "It's over. Just drop your weapons and let us leave. Tend to your friends, we didn't inflict any permanent harm or change on them."
  966. All the soldiers that were still standing looked considerably worried, but Petra's face was still showing nothing but anger.
  967. "Nobody will surrender here, traitor! We fight for a just cause!"
  968. Jenny tilted her head a little as she pointed at each of the soldiers in turn with the tip of her sword. "Sorry to break it to you, but you're really not."
  969. Raven mimicked her sword movement with her own. "I once thought like you, I can do so no longer. The gods are the ones who are in the wrong on this matter."
  970. Petra shouted to her remaining soldiers. "Don't listen to them! They are traitors to the cause!"
  971. Leon raised his sword a little higher. "A cause you saw fit to forcefully recruit me to and lie about."
  972. He then looked straight at Petra. "Let's end this then, this fight has gone on long enough as it is."
  973. The three of them moved as one as they charged in for the finishing strike.
  974.  
  975. Once it was over, and every single soldier as well as their commander was on the ground and had their bodies wracked by pleasure spasms, Leon sheathed his sword and turned away from them.
  976. As he was joined by Jenny and Raven, he threw one last glance back at the soldiers. "I'll let you go with these words. The order is lying, monsters are not what they say they are. The fact that you are still alive should serve as proof of this."
  977. Petra seemed like she wanted to retort, but she couldn't articulate very well yet and was desperately trying to keep her moans from leaking out.
  978. Leon turned his back to her and walked away.
  979.  
  980. With the larger force defeated by only three people, the remaining border guards scattered without a fight. They hurriedly moved all of their carriages and carts across the border and continued on their way.
  981. As Leon walked along the edge of the caravan to check that everything was in order, Jenny grabbed on to his left arm and leaned her head against his shoulder.
  982. "Master, I'm feeling rather hot after that battle. I think you need to probe me thoroughly to check my core temperature."
  983. Raven grabbed on to his right arm in the same way. "Me too master. I've got some tension in my hips that I need your special massage to ease out."
  984. Since they held his hands close to their crotches, he cupped them between their legs. He could feel the dampness even through their clothes, and their low, humming moans tickled his ears.
  985. "Believe me, there's nothing I would rather do right now. But please, try to hold it until we put some distance between us and the border. I promise I'll make the wait worth it."
  986. They both held him a little tighter and answered in almost perfect unison. "Thank you master."
  987.  
  988. Leon didn't know exactly what would happen in the coming days. He didn't know what awaited them once they reached the demon realm, and he didn't know what the future held in general.
  989. He was sure of one thing, however. That no matter what happened, he felt like he could face it as long as he had Jenny and Raven by his side.
  990. He faced forward and marched on with a renewed sense of purpose.
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