Three of my five senses were subjected to a heavy assault. My ears had to endure the sound of a viscous liquid flow down the throat of a fair maiden while her warmth was conveyed to me through her skin on mine. As she was still just a child, her body temperature was higher than the standard thirty six and a half degrees; her touch was so hot I felt it would light me aflame. Most powerful of all however, was the assault on my sense of smell. The sweet scent coming off her body tempted me to take deep breaths and inhale as much of it as I could.
Only after what felt like an eternity did Illuna finally detach herself from my neck, sighing in satisfaction as she did. “Thanks Yuki! That was really tasty!”
The vampire happily smiled as she wiped the corners of her mouth. And only then did I return to my senses. The way my blood had dribbled down the sides of her cheeks had been so bewitching that I couldn’t help but but stare ‘till it was gone. The contrast between her joy and the almost gruesome scene made her seem like something along the lines of a tiny, adorable manifestation of the devil himself. I could almost picture an even smaller version of her sitting on my shoulder and whispering immoral temptations straight into my mind.
“A-anytime.” I replied to the girl’s expression of gratitude by averting my gaze. The tone in which I spoke was dry and husky, a result of severe mental exhaustion. God damn it. I kind of hate how we have to do this whole bloodsucking thing. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I don’t particularly mind giving Illuna my blood, but this whole damned thing feels like a test of my mental fortitude. Keeping myself in check until she’s done ain’t no walk in the park. Shit’s as hard as stopping myself from getting pulled through Hell’s gates.
Man, Illuna’s scary. I’d never been one of the “gentlemen” that advocated the classic Japanese phrase “yes lolita, no touch,” but even I was finding it ridiculously hard to resist her charms.
“I love your blood! It’s really tasty and drinking it makes me all happy.” Illuna elaborated as I shivered in my metaphorical boots. Her tone was cheerful, and for some odd reason, reminded me of an elder sibling praising a dish cooked by one of their little brothers or sisters.
“Does the blood’s source really change its taste that much?”
“Mhm! Totally!” The young vampire crouched herself into a ball before standing up and stretching her legs and arms as far as they could go in order to emphasize the idea. That’s adorable. “Your blood has a really nice, mild flavour. It goes down really smoothly too! It’s so good I think it has me hooked! And best of all, having you inside me makes me really warm and happy!”
“I-I see. I guess I’ll be taking that as a compliment.” I forced a smile and nodded. Ooookay there, time out little lady. You better not be saying that in public. I’d probably get taken straight to court if anyone else heard you.
“Okay! Now that I’m done, I’m going to go play outside!”
“Alright, have fun. Don’t go too far. And make sure you come back before it gets dark, okay?”
The little girl gave an energetic reply before leaving the throne room.
But despite telling me that she would, Illuna never returned.
Not even after the sun had long made its way beyond the horizon.
“Have you found her, Rir!?” I dashed up to the wolf and began to question him the moment he entered the room. It looked like he was intending on making a report, but shelved it in order to answer my question; he apologetically shook his head from left to right.
Fuck! I cursed and ground my teeth against one another as my mind flew into a state of panic. Where did I go wrong? Should I have been more strict? Was letting her do whatever she wanted why this all happened!? Shit!
Shii, clearly worried, nestled itself against me in an attempt to help abate my anxiety.
“Yeah, you’re right, Shii. It’ll all be okay.” I began taking deeper breaths. Alright Yuki, calm down. No point getting your panties in a knot. Panicking isn’t going to help anyone.
“Right. Sorry. What were you trying to tell me earlier, Rir?” I spoke again after fully calming myself down.
Following Illuna’s scent had led Rir to discover that she had not upped and left on her own accord. A group of human scents had suddenly appeared alongside hers and extended all the way out the forest. In other words, our resident vampire had been kidnapped. Rir had hurried back to ask my opinion immediately upon discovering that the trail that lay outside the forest’s boundaries had relatively fresh marks on it, ones that could only have been left behind by some sort of wagon or carriage.
It was a good call. There was no knowing exactly how far the kidnappers had gotten. I had no doubt that even Rir would struggle to retrieve her if they’d already made it to some sort of large scale settlement. He was a Fenrir, a powerful legendary creature, but even he had his limits, especially seeing as how he was apparently still fairly young.
Although I absolutely detested the fact that Illuna had been kidnapped, I did have to admit that it was at least better than the alternative. It would’ve long been too late if she’d been attacked by some sort of monster. The fact that it was just a kidnapping meant we still had a chance to save her. But who would do such a thing?
A moment of thought was more than enough to lead me to a conclusion. She’d been pretty deep in the forest. We were fairly close to the forest’s inner sanctum, and because I often checked my map, I knew that Illuna preferred to remain near the throne room. She would occasionally wander into the forest, but even then, she’d never ventured too far. Her captors had to have come to her, not the other way around.
The humans thought of both Lefi’s territory and the forest around it as uncharted territory. They knew that entering it was dangerous and that it was in their best interest to stay away. There was no reason for anyone to venture this deep without reason. The kidnappers had to have known that Illuna was here. She was clearly their target. In other words, the only possible answer to my question was that they were slave traders. They were the people that Illuna had escaped right before she became one of the dungeon’s residents.
Identifying the men responsible for her disappearance immediately rendered their motives clear as day. They were only willing to go as far as to wander into a forest filled with dangerous monsters because of the young vampire’s beauty. It was obvious to them that she would sell for more than just a pretty penny. Hell, they might even have already a buyer lined up and ready. And that… would be bad. Real bad. If they’ve already got someone waiting, then there’s a good chance she’ll have slipped out of my grasp come morning.
“Lefi, are there any human settlements nearby?”
“There is one to the southeast. A mere two hours by flight, if my memory serves me correctly.”
Two hours? That’s it? Oh, wait. Going by flight means you don’t really have to avoid stuff, so that’s gotta be based on the straight line distance. Makes sense, if I think about it that way.
I had intended on continuing my train of thought, but was interrupted by the sudden surge of a dark, murky emotion. Fuck. You. Fuck all of you! How dare you touch Illuna!? I’m going to fuck you bastards up so badly that you’ll beg me to kill you!
Seething hatred dyed everything before me a shade of red as I reached into my inventory and produced from it a crude looking greatsword, the flower-blade’s successor. Its shape wasn’t anything special, but the blade possessed both the power and weight I desired. It was more than enough to smash a human or two to bits. Its name was the Violet Carving Knife. I managed to embed it with the magical circuit I’d learned from boosting the Enchant skill’s level by one: Inflict Lesser Poison. The spell could be activated by pouring mana through the blade, at which point it would gain the ability to inject venom into anything it cut.
Though the skill described its secretion as a “lesser poison,” it was by no means truly weak. Its inferiority came from its efficiency. That is, the poison secreted was only weak relative to the amount of magic invested in it. And said amount was a variable. I’d already confirmed that it was possible for me to use my ridiculous mana pool to load it with a near excessive amount of magic. In testing, the poison had become so powerful that it caused the area around the cut to immediately turn a shade of purple. I was quite dying with anticipation. I couldn’t wait to see the strength of a weapon enchanted with a poisoning spell with a higher efficiency rating.
“Alright, let’s go Rir. Show me where Illuna’s scent leads. As for you, Shii, I’mma have to ask you to stay home.”
The slime jiggled about in protest.
“I know how you feel, but that’s just how it has to be. Sorry,” I said. “But don’t worry. I’ll make sure she gets home in one piece.”
I turned towards the dragon girl after issuing orders to my monsters.
“Lefi, could you do me a favour and come with us?”
“I see not why you would assume otherwise. I too consider that youngling a member of my household, my brood.” The dragon crossed her arms and made closed her eyes in a manner that relaid a state of rage. “I too seek to deliver retribution to her assailants. However, I must ask for you to wait.”
“Wait? What for?”
“That, you shall soon discover.” A fearless grin appeared on Lefi’s face as she turned to face the cave’s entrance. “What impeccable timing. They have now arrived. I have gathered all that lay in our vicinity.”
I couldn’t make heads or tails of what Lefi was getting at, but did as instructed and followed her to the cave’s entrance regardless. Tracing her gaze, I noticed several… dots along the horizon. I couldn’t tell what they were at first. But once they drew close enough, I recognized them. Dragons. Lefi had called for dragons.
They were so numerous that their massive, bulky frames had ended up blotting out the sky. Not a single member of the brood was a wyvern or any other sort of draconic subspecies. They were all true dragons. Their stats matched those of the forest’s most powerful creatures, the ones that reigned over the land to the west.
“Who are they?”
“I supposed it is most accurate to label them my… subordinates. I had suspected that their assistance may prove useful in uncovering Illuna’s whereabouts. However, it appears that our goals have undergone a minor shift.” A cocky grin appeared on the silver-haired girl’s face. “Humans are creatures often too stupid to identify those that are more powerful than them. I am certain that it would do us no harm to arrive at their gates with an entourage, for it will reinforce the power we hold over them.”
So that’s what she was doing this whole time. I had thought that Lefi was just sitting by and quietly idling the time away, but it turned out that she too had involved herself in our search.
“God damn, Lefi.” A smirk appeared on my face. “You sure are one helluva woman.”
“And you have only realized that now?” She smirked back. “It is about time.”
I couldn’t deny her words. They were true. Lefi always had been one real good catch.
“Now, Yuki, let us be off, for we must pick up the girl that has functioned as a younger sibling to us?”
“Yeah, let’s. I’ll be counting on you, partner.”
The dragon girl’s only reply was a fearless laugh as she once again turned towards the dragons.
Sit tight, Illuna.
We’ll be right there. I promise.