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1-35 Dark Alley

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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

Upon receiving the new instructions, Erin and Lyra left the building with heavy hearts but more so for Lyra who was expressing her dissatisfaction towards the designation by The Guild. Worse, Erin had been an advocate for the designation. Lyra had looked forward to spending more time with Erin after their reconciliation but that excitement was shattered.

To make matters bleaker than it already was for Lyra, she couldn’t spend the remaining day with Erin. And it wasn’t some matter she could just disregard. To put it briefly, her supplies of arrows weren’t commissioned by a craftsman or a smith. She made them herself, much to Erin’s astonishment. It raised the Fox-kin’s evaluation of her.

“It’s cheaper,” had been her answer and reason when Erin asked why she was making her own arrows. The materials were bought separately from different dealers in a bulk. The sticks for the shaft were procured from the town’s mill. The fletchings were acquired from a peculiar trinket stall. As for the last component, the tip was bought from the Dwarrow smithy. Lyra then put it altogether herself.

Purchasing in bulk was cheaper, Erin learned and it wasn’t an exclusive feature of this town.

After Lyra bade an unrelenting and sadenning farewell, Erin went about her own affairs. She had a light lunch at a roadside eatery which was just meat skewers and a cup of red tea. When she asked the proprietress of the stall of the red tea’s origin, the reply was a simple shake of a head. The proprietress, an old lady, was none the wiser about the tea’s origin. It was safe for consumption, it was delicious, and everyone else was also drinking it, that was all the old lady knew and the only things that she needed to know as far as she herself was concerned.

That was to be expected, Erin had such thoughts. They were just trying to earn a living. They weren’t required to have extensive knowledge regarding their business, not if they were only doing their business on a local scale. As long they could keep it afloat, everything else was secondary. This was the general unspoken consensus of this town.

After her meals, Erin contemplated on her schedule, which was quite empty for once. She thought about heading back to the forest but given the current time, she wouldn’t be able to get any quest done before dusk. She wanted to continue her magic lessons and apologize for the abrupt dismissal from yesterday but Nivia was still engaged in her own affairs.

Solely from the words of the streets, it involved a deal that could potentially affect the whole Fae as a race. Naturally, Erin took this news with grains of salt but surmising Iris might be involved in the deal, that rumor might not be too far from the truth. Still, Erin remained neutral with the whispers.

In the end, after a long but brief contemplation, she decided on something she had not done for a long time, even if her past life was accounted for, and that was shadow sparring. In her past life, every other day was brimming with conflicts. For every day before the morrow, it was brimming with anticipation for the morrow. It was never a dull day for her. What’s more, her numerous years of training had honed her body to peak condition on a constant basis. With that kind of timetable and fortitude, shadow sparring became redundant for her.

But now, sparring had once again become relevant, though she hadn’t sparred with shadows ever since she became Erinthea.

Arriving at the vast field behind Verdant Inn, Erin drew both of her swords, a broadsword and a saber. As the former Sword Saint, she was no stranger to dual wielding blades but her preferences had always fallen on dual handling a sword larger than her size. In fact, her skill shone the most with that form. However, that was all in the past. She was no longer Argon Raze and she no longer had the physique of a human, much less a man. She had a new body and a new structure. It was only rational that she needed to discern her new optimal form.

During the fight with the Dire Wolf and the spellbound bandit, she found out her new body was more flexible than she had thought, not just in the sense of splitting her legs apart in a straight line. No matter which form she took, not one could be said to be better suited to her than the other. It was as if every form was harmonious with her physique and frame. Even for the forms biased against heavyweight, she could adjust her body to it with the assistance of magic. Her body was versatile in its potential.

As Erin swung her swords in the most fluent manner she could display, she was reminded of a certain duel in her past life. A swordsman much like herself but he had preferred dual blades much like Nivia, albeit with less acrobatic movements. As much as Erin hated to admit it, the dual blade swordsman was much more fluent than her when it came to dual wielding, for a time. Erin remembered dueling in kind with the same form, dual blades. Her victory had been narrow but a victory nonetheless.

Even though Erin didn’t like the person himself, his dual wielding skills were second to none until his defeat. Resurfacing such a memory, Erin danced to that particular tune. She recalled the movements. She overlooked not the slightest detail to that swordsmanship within her memories.

A fluid motion like an undisturbed river flow. The rocks in its path did nothing to hinder the flow. When split apart by land, they rejoined together at the other end. Even a wall could not stop the river. It only made it into a lake. This was how Erin comprehended the swordsmanship of that particular dual blader.

By the time she had completed the dance, she found herself drenched in sweat. Unconsciously, her tails wiped away a droplet of her sweat. When she realized what had happened, she was left dumbfounded and mystified. She hadn’t will her tails to move. They moved as if they were responding to her current trail of thoughts.

What a strange sense of involuntary.

Besides her skills with swords, there was also a segment Erin wished to explore. Her tails. It was clear by now that her tails were more than just ornaments. They were useful but their usefulness so far were far too fickle. She could move them consciously but if she was told to dance with her tails, she wouldn’t even know where to start.

Remembering Sven’s words, Erin applied Arcane Armor on one of her tails. She gave it a flick on the thin magic filament coated on top of a bundle of fur. A sharp sound bounced off with her finger. She then spun her body, swinging her tails and whipping the air. Even without a practice dummy, the sound of her tails streaking through the air was enough as evidence. If something sharp was attached to her tail, she didn’t doubt the capability of taking a limb or even a head but that was honing in on the future prospects.

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It was apparent now. Her tails could serve as effective weapons but there were two concerns. Maintaining Arcane Armor over her tails was an arduous task and she couldn’t move her tails as skillfully as her limbs. The first problem was easily solvable by leveling up but to manipulate her tails at the level of limbs, it was a complete mystery to her.

Still, it did not discourage her. Although she was eager to take back her title as the Sword Saint, she also believed haste makes waste. There were some things that just couldn’t be rushed.

And so, until the time for supper descended, she practiced with her two new swords and trained her tails to move as eloquently as her limbs were.

Erin and Lyra met up again when dusk came. They had a decent meal together. They talked. They laughed. They shared their experience with life. And when the night came, Erin knew she could no longer hide the bad news from Lyra. While Erin had a face that couldn’t be more sluggish, Lyra had a smile so bright that it made Erin guilty for what she was about to tell her.

Erin didn’t want to do this but she had to, for Lyra’s sake. After her coitus session with Maria, the mature woman had been fine and she did not exude any obsessive trait like Lyra did. Erin inferred that Lust Deviant might have varying effects on different individuals or Lyra was simply obsessed with Erin, even without the association of Lust Deviant. Still, Erin didn’t want to take any chances. She had her share of encounters with opium addicts. She saw what addiction could do to a person and she shuddered to even picture Lyra in such a state.

Being her friend, a very intimate one, Erin just couldn’t risk it, not when there were plenty of alternatives.

When Erin told Lyra she couldn’t spend the night with her, her color was completely drained from her face. When prompted for the reason, Erin came up with a lie that she had prior engagement with Nivia.

Seeing the distraught Lyra, Erin promised her that she would make it all up with her once she got back from her excursion. Lyra instantly came up with the idea of a blood-pact promise which was shot down by Erin as quickly as it was suggested. Lyra even had her dagger out and ready. She relented on the blood-pact when she witnessed the stif-standing ears and tails of Erin. She put up a tough front but her tails and ears were enough of a telltale sign of her worries.

It took quite a while but Erin managed to convince the near-frantic Lyra. Although Lyra did not let it slip, Erin read her intentions like a book. Lyra had a face more sly than a fox, ironically, when they made the promise. Erin prepared herself for an exhausting and recreational night once she came back from her excursion.

After parting ways with Lyra who had an expression of an abandoned puppy, Erin made her way back to Emerald Inn. The prior engagement part had not been a complete lie. She left her lesson abruptly the day before and she didn’t even make another appointment with Nivia. Under this kind of circumstances, it was only natural and cordial for Erin to express her apologies as soon as possible. That was her intention but Nivia was gone when she had woken up. Now, she hoped Nivia was in her room, so she could apologize for her abruptness.

However, fate was like always, whimsical. Or it might not be fate’s whims at all. It could just be her own oversight. Whichever was it, Erin herself was subjected to the consequences.

Half way through her walk back to the inn, one of her many neglected fears came true.

[User has entered Carnal Starvation – Lust Deviant activated.]

Her heartbeat rose sharply. Heat enshrouded her. Her world began to wobble. She squeezed herself up in between her thighs. Her sweat glistened her skin. Her tails were flailing excitedly.

Suddenly, everyone became an object of affection in her eyes. The old man who walked past her became a feast for her eyes. The young man across the street had a body she couldn’t help but wanted to know more of. A young boy who was running back home looked so tender and delectable just from the sight of it. Even a half-naked man with nothing brawns on his body began to look extremely tempting to her.

No! No! I can’t do that! What the **** was I thinking?

She managed to come back to her senses.

It appalled Erin. She couldn’t believe how her view could change so much and so abrupt.

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A nubile girl passed by Erin. Noticing Erin’s pained look, the girl approached her but Erin quickly pulled herself away from the innocent girl. Without sparing the girl a glance, Erin dragged herself off the streets and into a dark alleyway where the darkness and shadows were one. It wasn’t a good choice but at the moment, it was the only sensible thought that was present in her extremely stimulated mind.

Even her nose could only pick up the sensual scent of everyone within the vicinity. She dragged herself further into the alley, further away from everyone else.

Now that Erin thought about it, not a night had gone by for her without any pursuit for carnal pleasure ever since she became Erinthea, the Fox-kin. This was the first night she was going to spend it all alone and her body was the prime opposer of that idea, as a result of being the holder of the Lust Deviant innate skill.

Erin prayed in her heart that no one would enter the alley. If someone did, man or woman, old or young, no matter who it was, Erin doubted she would have the sense and strength to hold herself from pouncing onto the unfortunate person. More than hurting the other party, Erin trembled at the thought of letting herself being bared and soiled by just any random man. Though she had the body of a nubile woman in her prime, her heart had remained for the majority part, a man.

She was alright with a simple handshake but when a man started to get feely, her skin crawled at the mere thought of it. But right now, though her heart minded it, her body wasn’t so discriminating. In fact, her body was welcoming the refreshing feel of a man’s touch and affection. There were also brief times she repeatedly questioned her own orientation, whether it would change in accordance to her current identity. After all, she was a woman for not even a week and the future was filled with various possibilities.

Deciding to relieve herself, Erin made a turn at the end of the alleyway, out of sight from the street. She promptly plopped to the ground and leaned against the wall. She was never one for this sort of perversion but she had to do what she must. It was better than shacking up with any random person. She was opposed to having men as her partner but she was just as opposed to making any women into her victim.

Just as she began taking off her garbs and clothes, her ears perked up. She stopped her hands from rustling herself out of her apparels. Though her nose had failed her in such a dire time, her ears were still as every bit competent. She heard footsteps, which sounded definite considering the empty alley, and it was getting close. Someone was approaching her intentionally. It was just some stumbling of a drunkard, going by the resolute rhythm of the person’s steps.

“Did someone see me?”

Erin asked herself. As far as she could tell, a lot of people saw her but none gave her any attention. It wasn’t that they forgot about the infamous Erinthea, it was just that they knew better than to get themselves involved in the affairs of adventurers and Faerie-kin.

Whoever it was, Erin could tell the person had a firm purpose in coming her way. There was no hesitation in their steps. It could even be called steadfast.

Erin didn’t want to hurt anyone but to prevent herself from ravaging the other party, she would need to inflict some pain towards the other party as a warning. She gripped her swords tightly. She would hit them with her swords in their sheathed state, Erin decided. Even standing up was a chore but she managed. Her rustled clothes were slipping off but she held them up with one hand.

As she prepared herself for the unveiling of the mysterious approacher, Erin lowered her arms which were ready to swing. She didn’t know who it was but the person was giving out a peculiar scent. Unlike others, he wasn’t oozing out anything sensual, not even the slightest.

Erin was baffled but more than that, she was assured. This meant that whoever it was, she would not succumb to her desires towards this person.

Maybe I can ask this person for help provided that they are benevolent.

Just as her hopes were lit on the notion of asking for assistance, her face fell when the person in question turned at the corner and came into her sight.

“Wow, what happened to you?” asked a grimacing man with dark red hair. Among all the men she was acquainted with, this man was perhaps the tallest one she had ever met in this town.

Strictly speaking, Erin had never met the man before but for some reasons, her instinct told her the contrary. While she wouldn’t call her memory being excellent, other than in the aspects of swords, her memory was neither poor. That said, she could not for the life of her recall anything about the man. However, her expression had fallen into a distraught state because she knew who the man was. She knew that because of Appraisal.

The Appraisal result was full of nothing but gibberish for the most part. It was a reminiscent sight. Only his name and race was displayed. And these two particular information were the reasons why Erin had a baffled gaze.

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“Aedan?” Erin gasped out with confusion.

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