Sandaran, capital of the Kingdom of Eldonia

It was almost midnight, but the atmosphere was still lively at the royal palace of Eldonia. Long low tables were arranged under the porch that ran all around the inner courtyard of the main building, with dozens of guests sitting on elaborate carpets and soft cushions as it was customary in the desert nation, with ornate braziers and oil lamps providing plenty of light, while the night sky of the desert offered a view that not even the most skilled painter could hope to replicate. The tables were covered with plates full of delicacies from all over the world, while a small army of servants made sure that the wine cups of the guests were never empty.

The people attending the banquet were noblemen from Eldonia and the nearby countries, rich merchants, high ranking officers, and even the city's bishop, however, only a few lucky guests, namely those with close ties with the king, were allowed to sit at his same table. One of them was an old nobleman well past his sixties with long gray hair kept in a short ponytail and matching beard. His aged face was gaunt and covered in wrinkles, however his brown eyes were still sharp and he carried himself with a sense of confidence. His name was John Mandeville, one of the richest men in Eostia.

'What a nice way to end a profitable business trip,' he thought while popping a few dates covered in chocolate into his mouth. He felt rather satisfied, and for good reasons. All the furs and magical artifacts that he brought from Eostia had been sold in the first few days after his arrival to Eldonia, and he already had several clients back in his homeland that would pay good money for the spices and silks that he was bringing back with him.

However, it all paled in comparison to the profit he made selling a different kind of goods: slaves.

While most people knew that Mandeville was a landowner and a businessman, only a few selected individuals knew that he was also a slave merchant, one that had built over the years a small yet lucrative commercial empire specialized in selling high quality slaves to anyone wealthy enough to afford his services. The only issue was the necessity to keep his activities a secret. Slavery was illegal in Eostia and even with all his money, power, and connections, Mandeville still needed to be careful to not be discovered by the Shield Princesses and their supporters, which drastically reduced the number of his potential clients.

"Come on! Stop hitting like a pussy!" One of the guests sitting next to Mandeville shouted loudly, much to his annoyance. All around them most of the guests had similar reactions as they watched with great interest what was happening in the middle of the courtyard.

During the evening, dozens of dancers, acrobats and magicians had provided entertainment with their elaborate performances; however, the king had decided to surprise his guests with something different to close the evening, so now, under the inebriated gazes of dozens of people, two half-naked kitsune were fighting with their bare hands like desperate animals.

Similar in appearance to regular humans, kitsune were easily recognizable for their fox ears and tails of the same color of their hair, as well for their slit vertical pupils. Both slaves were young adult males, one with blue hair and the other with green hair, wearing only loincloths to protect their decency in front of the guests.

What had started as a display of martial prowess had quickly degenerated into a savage brawl worthy of the worst taverns of Ansur, and their bodies were now covered in bruises and slick with sweat and blood as they grappled and wrestled, trying to get the upper hand.

Mandeville grimaced subtly in distaste at the violent show taking place in front of him. Sure, they tried to escape and for this they deserved to be punished, but to let them fight to the death seemed excessive to him. After all, kitsune were rare and hard to acquire. 'There's plenty of humans and halflings, so why not use them instead?' he thought, just as their host let out a loud laugh when one of the guests finished telling a joke.

King Darius of Eldonia was not exactly what you would call an attractive man. He was tall and imponent, sure, however his once powerful body was now almost only a memory. What was once a surprisingly wise prince who enjoyed riding horses and reading poetries, had become a man devoted to a life of hedonism after rising to the throne, following the mysterious death of his father. He had thick, bushy eyebrows, a big nose, fat lips and a scruffy beard which Mandeville had no doubt was full of food crumbs, while his elegant white shirt was stained with wine and struggled to contain his pot belly. He was comfortably sprawled on a small mountain of cushions, but despite having the best view of the fight, he seemed more interested in feeding some grapes to the woman leaning against him.

Not that Mandeville could really blame him.

Calling Mistiora Arte beautiful would be reductive. The woman was a tall and curvy pure-blooded dark elf with long silky silver hair that reached her hips. She was barefoot and half-naked, wearing an alluring see-through outfit made out of dark silk that consisted in a side-open skirt that showed nicely her long legs and a top bra that left little to imagination. Golden bracelets adorned her arms and legs, while the lower half of her face was hidden by a veil that only increased the allure of her deep purple eyes.

Mistiora casually shifted her long shapely legs and briefly exposing her bare sex, confirming Mandeville's suspicions that she wasn't wearing any kind of underwear. The old nobleman couldn't help but openly stare at her, and soon his eyes roamed over her body, from her long legs to her flat belly, then to her large breasts. However, when his gaze reached her face, he realized with a startle that the woman was staring back at him with her deep purple eyes.

Mandeville unconsciously tensed up and held his breath in a mix of eagerness and concern, waiting to see how she would react. However, much to his shock, after staring impassively at him for a few seconds, the dark elf casually shifted her gaze back toward the fight. There was no shame, embarrassment, indignation, or even anger in her eyes. Just… indifference. It was as if Mandeville wasn't even worth being acknowledged.

Her reaction almost made Mandeville bristle in rage. 'How dare a mere slave, a woman nonetheless, look down at me?' he thought while glaring at the woman. 'If she was one of my properties, I'd teach her a lesson that-!' The nobleman closed his eyes and took a deep calming breath. Mistiora may have been a slave, but she was like a queen to King Darius and anyone foolish enough to just insult her would incur into his wrath.

He had worked hard to become close to the king and his court. Ruining everything just because the king's whore didn't know how to properly behave toward her betters would be a total waste of years of effort.

So, swallowing his indignation, he decided to forget the little incident and try to enjoy the fight, although with way less enthusiasm compared to some of the other guests. Two men were particularly passionate as they shouted incitements to their respective gladiators

One was the captain of the palace guards, a bald man with a thick pair of mustaches wearing a bronze breastplate of scale armor over his green uniform. He was cheering for Inazuma, the kitsune with blue hair.

"Come on, Inazuma! Use your fucking strength!" The kitsune had a slight advantage both in terms of size and strength over his opponent and after enduring a series of vicious punches to his face and chest, he finally managed to grapple the other kitsune and slam him on the ground, making more than a few people wince in sympathy.

"Ouch! I felt that one!" One of the guests laughed.

"Don't give up, Mizuiro!" A rich merchant from the Merchant Confederation of Turul shouted from the other side of the courtyard. His name was Cayle Gale Dimble, a short, portly man with big mustaches and a bowl cut. Despite his rather unassuming appearances, he too was in the slave trader like Mandeville, which is the reason why he was recently forced to leave the confederation after the gonfalonier discovered his illegal business. "Fight back!"

Mizuiro tried to get free, but the other kitsune had effectively pinned him on the ground and was now punching him in the ribs.

"Useless beast! I've bet ten golden coins on you!" The merchant shouted with growing distress as he watched powerlessly as the green haired kitsune was beaten into submission.

Mizuiro threw a desperate punch at Inazuma's face, but the other kitsune saw the attack coming and caught his arm.

"Come on, Inazuma! Break his arm!" the captain of the guards ordered.

"Break his arm!" Many other people shouted, eager to satiate their thirst for violence.

Inazuma twisted his opponent's arm with all his strength and Mizuiro promptly let out a sharp cry of pain as bones snapped with a loud sickening crack. Many guests let out a collective shout of disappointment and started booing and throwing insults at him, while the others started laughing and cheering even harder than before.

"Goddammit!" The merchant exclaimed in frustration, knocking over his plate of food.

"Good job, Inazuma! Now, blind him!" The captain ordered.

Mizuiro screamed louder when Inazuma drove his thumbs through his eyes until they popped with a disgusting squelching sound and blood came out violently.

"Urgh. So noisy," Mistiora huffed annoyed, shifting into a more comfortable position against the king.

"Finish him," Darius ordered dismissively as a guard dropped a hammer next to Inazuma.

The kitsune slowly grabbed the hammer and looked down at his opponent, who was thrashing in agony, hesitating for just a moment before bringing it down violently on Mizuiro's head with a sickening crack. The kitsune's screams stopped abruptly and his body went instantly limp.

Sir Mandeville grimaced in disgust. 'What a waste of good slave,' he thought as all around him bets were exchanged and collected.

Dropping the bloody hammer on the floor, Inazuma slowly rose to his feet and stood in front of the king, keeping his gaze and ears lowered in sign of submission.

'Good,' Mandeville thought. 'He finally learned his place.'

King Darius nodded satisfied at the slave and clapped his hands a few times. "Well done, well done. That was a good fight," he said, scratching his cheek. "I promised that I would spare the winner and the female, and I am a man of honor." The king looked to the side and snapped his meaty fingers. "Bring her here!"

A few moments later, a guard holding a female kitsune by the arm appeared. The fox woman was rather attractive and wore a tattered sleeveless short tunic that barely reached her groins and did little to hide her curvy body.

The guard shoved the female kitsune toward Inazuma, who promptly caught her shaky body before she could fall. He looked at her with concern and whispered a few words in their native tongue, but she only managed to shake her head. Her body was sweaty, her gaze glossy, and she was breathing heavily, all symptoms that would usually indicate an illness; however, the dampness running down her thighs told a different story.

Mandeville was well versed in the use of aphrodisiac drugs and he knew from personal experience that kitsune were particularly vulnerable to them. With the right dosage you could even turn them into beasts obsessed with mating.

"A winner deserves a reward. She's all yours now. Have your wounds treated by a healer first, then you can claim and impregnate her."

Mandeville curled his lips into a wicked smile, savoring the looks of shock and horror of the slaves as they realized what the king had just said.

"Make sure they fuck all night. If she's not pregnant within a few days, execute them anyway," Darius ordered dismissively to the guards.

"Yes, my king," they replied in unison before taking the kitsune back inside the palace.

'I doubt they'll need much encouragement,' Mandeville thought in amusement as he followed them with his gaze. No matter how hard they tried to resist, between the aphrodisiac drug and the full moon, they would eventually succumb to their basic instincts and in a few months the female would give birth to an entire litter from her gravid belly.

'Hmm. Maybe I should start a breeding program,' Mandeville thought intrigued as he stroked his goatee, only to quickly dismiss the idea when he considered the possible issues. It would require a lot of money and time before he could make a profit, and pregnant women and small children were more difficult to move around and hide. It was easier to trick naïve colonists and refugees with the promise of a better life or to capture people from remote frontier settlements.

"Hey, Mandeville," King Darius suddenly called him, interrupting his thoughts. "Is everything alright? You didn't seem to enjoy the fight."

The old nobleman quickly schooled his features before assuming his best obsequious smile. "My deepest apologies, your highness. Violent sports are not exactly my cup of tea," Mandeville replied as he watched a pair of slaves dragging away the corpse of the dead kitsune while a third started to clean the trail of blood on the floor.

The king raised an eyebrow. "I didn't know you were so squirmy, my friend."

'Squirmy? Me?' Mandeville was tempted to scoff at the king's insinuation, but he wasn't drunk or stupid enough to offend one of the most powerful men of the entire continent. "It's not the sight of blood that bothers me, your highness. I just don't like the idea of wasting slaves."

King Darius laughed. "Ah! You talk like a stingy merchant! Come on, live a bit, my friend! What's the point of owning something if you don't use it to its fullest?"

'I don't really agree with him, but after all, they're his slaves and he can do whatever he wants with them.' Mandeville bowed his head. "Your highness is truly a wise man," he said with a deferential tone, only to subtly frown in annoyance when all the people around him started agreeing enthusiastically. 'Hmpf. What a bunch of bootlickers,' he thought, missing entirely his hypocrisy.

Ignoring their blatant attempt to stroke his ego, King Darius let out a loud yawn and slowly stood up. "Well, I hope you all had fun, but I will now retire to my rooms," he announced out loud to his guests. "I have important matters that require my attention," he chuckled, giving a good smack to Mistiora's ass before they both left the courtyard unceremoniously.

No one seemed particularly shocked or outraged by the king's rudeness and after a few awkward moments following his sudden departure, the various guests decided to follow his example and take their leave for the night. The majority would return to their residences in the capital, but a few selected people would stay at the palace. Thanks to his close ties with the king and his court, lord Mandeville was one of those lucky few. The old man grabbed his cane and slowly stood up, silently cursing his aging body.

"Let's go, Luca," Mandeville ordered to his trusty bodyguard, a young dark half-elf wearing a blue short-sleeved jacket, short pants and a pair of plain leather shoes. The girl was rather attractive, with short black hair framing a delicate heart-shaped face with soft lips and bright golden eyes. She had a fit body with a modest chest, balanced however by a nice pair of legs and a toned butt. A pair of empty dagger sheaths hung from her belt, as nobody was allowed to carry weapons near the king, except for his guards.

Mandeville knew that he had nothing to fear as long as he was a guest of the king, but that wasn't the real reason he had brought her with him that night. While dark elves were a rarity, half-breeds like Luca were also rather uncommon and usually caught more than a few stares. To a man like Mandeville, who took pride in showing off his wealth and power, having one of her kind following him around was just another way to remind people who he was.

The fact that she was loyal and efficient were also excellent qualities for a servant. Whether it was an assassination, escort duty, recovering 'lost properties', or servicing him with her body, the young woman performed all her duties without hesitation.

The duo traveled across the vast palace in silence, passing through several chambers and corridors full of art pieces, expensive carpets and splendid frescoes, until they finally reached the wing of the building that housed the guest rooms.

"Finally," John Mandeville grumbled once they were in front of his room, feeling a little short of breath.

"Is there anything I can do for you, my lord?" Luca asked dutifully while Mandeville opened the door.

The old nobleman started smiling lecherously. Leering at Mistiora had stirred his libido, so the idea of ordering Luca to follow him to his room and give her a good fuck was too tempting to resist. The girl wasn't just attractive, but also rather skilled in bed.

"Well, now that you mention it…" He trailed off as he turned around, only to freeze and stare at her in disbelief. 'What the…?'

Maybe it was due to the wine or maybe his mind was finally starting to play tricks on him, but when he looked at Luca, instead of her face, he saw another half-elf. A woman with sharper features, long blonde hair kept in a ponytail and bright red eyes burning with defiance. He saw her lips move, but the only sound he could hear was his thundering heartbeat.

'Chloe…' Mandeville slowly brought up his hand toward her face, ready to touch her skin and-

"Lord Mandeville?" Luca called him again, snapping Mandeville back to reality. "Are you alright?" She asked, looking at him with concern.

The old nobleman blinked a few times, dropping his hand and scowling in embarrassment and anger when he realized what had just happened. "Yes, I'm just tired." Without sparing Luca of a second glance, he went inside his room and slammed the door, leaving the confused half-elf alone in the corridor.

Mandeville walked to his bed and sat down, letting out a long sigh as he rubbed his face. 'Goddammit.' Even after all these years, her memory still haunted his mind like a phantom, making his heart ache as if it was stabbed. 'Chloe... Oh, my dear, sweet Chloe. Where are you?'

John Mandeville had owned countless slaves over the course of his long life, but none had left an impression on him as she did.

Chloe was unique.

No matter how hard he beat and fucked her, no matter what kind of punishment or humiliation she was forced to endure, he never managed to break her spirit. He couldn't help but smile nostalgically at the countless pleasant memories he had with her, watching her grow from an inexperienced child barely able to take him, to a beautiful young woman able to entertain several men for an entire night.

Unfortunately, those happy times came suddenly to an end when Chloe managed to escape from his mansion while he was away. By the time Mandeville heard the news and returned, it was already too late. Unable to accept the loss of his favorite slave, Mandeville had spent a fortune trying to find her, hiring the best bounty hunters in the country to bring Chloe back to him, where she rightfully belonged, but they all failed, either returning battered and empty-handed or ending up dead. This continued for months, until he learned that she was last seen crossing the northern border that led toward the savage badlands of Garan, forcing him to end his search, as he knew that nobody would be crazy enough to chase a runaway slave into the domain of the Dark Queen.

He had tried to forget her, but without success. After all, how could he forget the woman who stole his heart?

'I miss her so much.'

He missed the feeling of her toned yet curvy body clinging to his own as he forced her to take his cock until they both reached their climax. He missed the sound of her voice and the way her cries of protest turned into moans of pleasure. He missed her look of shame and disgust mixed with pleasure as she fought against her conflicting emotions.

'One day… one day you'll be mine again, my beloved Chloe,' he silently swore, renewing once again the promise he made to himself many years ago. 'And when it'll happen, I will never, ever let you go again.'

The two guards stationed in front of the king's private apartments ignored as best as they could the muffled moans and grunts coming from inside the bedroom, waiting with patient resignation the end of their shift.

Behind the ornate mahogany doors, a trail of clothes hastily abandoned on the floor led to the huge bed in the middle of the room, which was the source of the obscene noises, a symphony of debauchery made of grunts, moans, and whimpers of pleasure, combined with the loud wet smacks of sweaty bodies colliding repeatedly.

On top of the bed, a fully naked Mistiora Arte lied on her back with her legs spread wide, moaning loudly as King Darius fucked her vigorously. Locks of silver hair clung to her sweaty body as she stared with half-lidded eyes at the king with her arms resting above her head, enduring yet another session of rough, passionate sex.

King Darius was hardly the most attractive master she ever had, but he was surprisingly skilled and had a lot of endurance. His hands greedily caressing and groping her curvy body, while her large breasts bounced with each powerful thrust of his hips.

Mistiora personally preferred a slow, tender pace, but she had learned a long time ago that men never cared about her preferences, so all she could do was put aside her discomfort and try to enjoy the sex as best as she could, until she finally noticed the telltale signs that he was reaching his limit.

"Mistiora," the king grunted her name, making a grimace of pleasure and discomfort as he tried to postpone his imminent orgasm. His pace was now slower and more irregular, favoring deep thrusts over quick ones, and she could actually feel his cock throb inside her, eager to fill her womb with his seed.

"Don't hold back, my king," she moaned sensually, staring lustfully at him with her deep purple eyes while wrapping her legs around his back. "Let's cum together."

That was all she needed to push the man over the edge.

"Mistiora!" Darius grunted loudly, slamming his dick as deep as he could. The beautiful dark elf let out a choked gasp when moments later she felt his throbbing cock swell and erupt inside her like a geyser, spreading a familiar warm wetness inside her womb that triggered her own orgasm. She threw back her head and let out a loud cry of pleasure, but was quickly silenced when the king shoved his large tongue into her mouth, forcing the woman to exchange with him a passionate, sloppy kiss.

Meanwhile, driven by instincts honed through decades of practice, her inner muscles clenched rhythmically around his throbbing cock, milking him as he steadily filled her womb.

After firing several large blasts inside her, his voluminous flow of cum eventually turned into a dribble before finally stopping completely.

Exhausted and light-headed from his powerful orgasm, Darius finally broke the kiss and pulled his now soft member out of Mistiora, then he rolled off her body and slumped on his back beside her.

'I'm so glad I'm not the one that will clean this mess,' the dark elf thought, feeling the excess of cum gushing out from her pussy and leaving a trail down her backside before reaching the mattress.

"That was amazing," she lied smoothly once she had recovered her breath, her large breasts heaving with each deep breath she took.

"You really drained my balls," Darius chuckled tiredly with a content smile as he felt his eyelids grow heavy.

Finally coming out from her pleasure high, Mistiora propped herself up on an elbow and looked at the man sprawled on the bed like a beached seal as if he was the only man in the world for her. "I live to serve you, my beloved king," she said warmly, gently caressing his face. "Rest now."

Darius smiled contently, closed his eyes and a few moments later he started snoring loudly. As soon as the man was asleep, Mistiora dropped her caring façade. 'Finally. Took him long enough to fall asleep.' She looked down between her legs and grimaced in disgust at the sight of the cum leaking from her vagina.

'At least I can't get pregnant,' she thought as her fingers gently traced the magic rune tattooed on her lower stomach, the last true act of kindness she ever received since that accursed day in the forest. Many had tried to break the seal in order to force her to bear their offspring, but they all failed miserably. Dark elf magic was ancient and powerful, and very few people in this world could hope to decipher and break the spell.

'I need some fresh air,' she decided. Without bothering to cover her naked body, Mistiora got off the bed and walked toward the room's large balcony, ignoring the semen dripping down her legs. Desert nights were surprisingly cool, but actually welcomed the touch of the breeze on her sweaty skin. Even after living in Eldonia for years, she had not yet got used to the heat of this land.

On the balcony there was a small round table with a bottle of wine inside a bucket full of ice waiting for her. Mistiora grabbed the bottle, poured herself a generous glass of chilled wine and drank a long sip, letting out a quiet sigh before leaning with her arms against the railing.

Sandaran, the capital of Eldonia, was built around the largest oasis of the region, on the route between the Merchant Federation of Turul and the sea. The city was vast and chaotic, surrounded by three concentric walls that protected it from enemy armies and sand storms.

Most of the population lived behind the first wall, packed inside tall buildings made out of mud bricks and wood separated by a maze of narrow streets and crowded squares. Things changed drastically behind the second wall, where rich merchants and nobles lived inside elegant houses that were often adorned with green gardens. However, even the home of the richest nobles paled in comparison to the magnificence of the royal palace. Located behind the third wall, it covered an area that comprised a fourth of the total surfaces of the capital.

The main building, easily recognizable for its white walls and bronze domed roofs, was located in the middle of a vast park full of exotic plants and majestic fountains and statues, and was surrounded by a multitude of smaller buildings and pavilions that housed art collections, hunting trophies, stables, and houses for government officials and servants, making the royal palace a city within the city.

Mistiora's gaze fell on a building in particular, the harem house. Once a place of pleasure and debauchery filled with beautiful women from all over the known world, it was now a shadow of its former glory, having been all but forgotten by the king after she arrived at the palace. Like all her previous masters, King Darius was quickly bewitched by her beauty and charm, losing any interest for any other woman other than Mistiora.

The rest of the harem didn't take it well and many concubines became resentful toward her. This culminated when, driven by anger and envy, they tried to poison her, only to be discovered before they could enact their plan. When Darius learned about their intentions, he was enraged and ordered the culprits to be publicly raped for a week before being executed. To this day, their mummified heads still adorned the entrance of the harem house, as a warning not just to the few surviving women, but also to the rest of Darius' court.

"I know you're there," Mistiora suddenly said without turning around. "Come out and show yourself."

After a brief moment of hesitation, Luca slowly stepped out from behind a curtain.

"You're good," Mistiora commented, glancing at the dark half-elf and noticing that she too was barefoot, likely to avoid making noise with her steps.

"How did you know I was there?" Luca asked with a tone that was both annoyed and curious.

Mistiora stared blankly at the younger woman before wordlessly twitching her long pointy ears a few times.


Elves had exceptionally good hearing compared to most races, so it was a credible explanation. 'She doesn't need to know I can sense her mana,' Mistiora thought as she turned around to fully face the younger woman. Half-breeds like her could live for centuries while retaining a youthful appearance thanks to their elven heritage, however, Mistiora could easily tell that Luca was still in early twenties, basically a child by elf standards.

"So, would you mind telling me why you are here, before I call the guards?" Mistiora demanded while crossing her arms under her breasts, completely unashamed of her nudity. "Are you here to kill the king?" She briefly glanced at Luca's daggers, "Or did Mandeville send you here to kidnap me?"

Luca widened her eyes in alarm, suddenly realizing the gravity of the situation. "Wait! I don't have bad intentions and lord Mandeville doesn't even know I'm here!" She frantically said. "I was just curious, I swear! You're the first pure-blooded dark elf I've ever seen in my life."

"Really?" Mistiora raised an eyebrow. "What about your mother?"

A shadow crossed Luca's face. "… I've never met her," she muttered, looking away dejectedly.

"I see," Mistiora soberly said. If she had to be honest, she had expected that kind of answer. Half-breeds like her were usually born out of rape and most of the time they were either killed or abandoned by their mothers right after birth. The few who managed to survive were often forced to endure a life of abuse and prejudice.

Mistiora studied Luca with an unreadable expression for a few moments. "What is your name?"

"Luca," the half-elf said in a wary tone.

"Luca," Mistiora hummed her name, then she filled a second glass of wine and offered it to the younger woman. "Here. Drink this."

The half-elf blinked in confusion. "What?"

"I'm bored and I can use some company." Mistiora then smirked deviously. "You'd better accept my hospitality, before I change my mind and call the guards."

Luca shifted her suspicious gaze between Mistiora and the glass a few times before finally grabbing it. Mistiora found the scene oddly adorable. The younger girl reminded her of a cautious stray cat.

"Thanks," Luca said awkwardly before taking a small sip of wine, only to widen her eyes as soon as her tastebud registered its flavor. The wine was rich yet delicate, with a gentle fruity aftertaste that filled her mind with images of vast orchards near the sea. "Wow. It's good," she muttered in awe, feeling a bit ashamed for being unable to properly describe what was probably the best drink she ever had in her entire life.

"Scarlet Moon from the Aurelian Empire. My favorite," Mistiora casually informed her.

Luca let out a quiet gasp of shock and looked at her in disbelief. "A single bottle costs as much as five good horses!"

"So?" Mistiora asked with the same nonplussed tone before refilling her own cup.

"… are you really fine sharing it with me?"

"It's not like I'm not the one paying for it,'' she replied dismissively, only to raise an eyebrow when she noticed the way Luca was looking at her. "You seem surprised."

"Why shouldn't I be? I've always thought that dark elves despised other races… especially half-breed like me." Luca snorted in disbelief. "And now we're drinking together."

"Ah, I see," Mistiora hummed understandingly. "You're correct. My people hate many things… including those who no longer fit their standards of purity." Her gaze suddenly became colder than winter before returning normal. It lasted only for a few seconds, but was still enough to send a chill down Luca's spine. "However, the way I see things, it's not your fault if human blood flows through your veins, child. To judge you for what you are would be… unfair."

Luca studied the dark elf, looking for any trace of deception or insincerity, but she was surprised when she found none. Luca was usually good at reading people. When you grow up in the streets as an orphan, it was an essential skill if you wanted to know if the person in front of you wanted to hurt you. However, Mistiora was sincerely indifferent that the woman in front of her was the offspring of a member of her kind and a human.

"You're definitely not what I expected," Luca admitted. "They call you the dragon princess. The bringer of ruin. The witch from the north." She bit her lips softly. "Rumors say that you've turned the king into a puppet that listens to everything you say."

"Ah!" Mistiora let out a short mirthless laugh. "If that was true, I wouldn't be locked in this golden cage." Her gaze briefly shifted toward the bedroom and the man snoring loudly on the bed. "Darius appreciates my suggestions and he's always happy to fulfill my wishes… as long as they're reasonable and I take care of his needs, of course. But as you know, a slave is not the master of her own destiny."

Luca frowned. "I'm not a slave."

"Hmm?" Mistiora raised an eyebrow. "Oh, right. You're Mandeville's 'bodyguard'," she said with a condescending smile. "I mean, what better way to disprove all those unsavory rumors about him than hiring a dark half-elf?" She clicked her tongue and shook her head. "I wonder what people would think if they knew what kind of monster he really is."

Luca narrowed her eyes. "Don't you dare insult him," she said with sudden hostility.

"I don't need to insult him. The facts speak for themselves," Mistiora deadpanned. "He's a slaver and a sadist."

"I don't care," Luca shot back. "If it wasn't for him, I'd still be living a pitiful existence in the streets."

"Aww, so now you follow him around like a lost puppy? How cute," Mistiora replied with a tone dripping with sarcasm.

"I have a purpose, comrades, and a place to call home. It may not be perfect, but this is the life I chose."

"The life you chose? That's what you really think?" Mistiora looked impassively at Luca for a moment, before suddenly starting laughing.

"What's so funny?" The half-elf asked in annoyance.

"Forgive me, but the fact that you really seem to believe what you've just said is incredibly amusing. And tragic."

"What are you talking about?" Luca demanded with growing irritation. "The only one living in chains here is you."

Mistiora looked at her with a hint of what could only be described as pity. "You really don't realize it, don't you?" She shook her head, clicking her tongue a few times. "I was captured and forced into slavery, but here," she gently tapped the side of her head, "I'm free." Mistiora strode toward Luca until their chests almost touched. "You, on the other hand… you threw away your own freedom."

"I decided to do something with my life!"

"No, you didn't. The truth is that you're scared and lonely. You're so desperate to feel loved that you're willing to serve a horrible man that doesn't care about you and would not hesitate to throw you away once he's grown tired of you."

"You know nothing about me," Luca hissed, glaring at the dark elf.

"Oh? Really?" Mistiora asked rhetorically as she leaned closer. "Then tell me, little girl, has your master ever called you using her name while he was fucking you?"

Luca grit her teeth. "Enough."

"It must hurt, right? To know that you're just a replacement-"

"I said enough!" The half-elf yelled, drawing her dagger and pointing it at Mistiora's neck.

"Ah, finally. An honest reaction," Mistiora said while calmly staring back at Luka, completely unbothered that she had a blade literally pointed at the throat.

"You think you can mock me as you please just because you're the king's whore?" Luca demanded angrily.

"Yes. Unless you're not ordered, you cannot hurt me."

Luca's left eye twitched. "I can make my own choices."

"Oh, really? Go ahead then. Use that damn dagger and defend your honor. Kill me. Or just leave a big, nice scar across my pretty face," Mistiora said with a challenging tone. "Of course, the king will then kill your master and everyone you know as punishment for ruining his favorite toy, but judging from what I've seen, you should be able to easily leave this place without being noticed." Her face became serious. "Come on. Make your choice, half-breed."

The two women glared intensively at each other for several long tense moments, until Luca finally broke eye contact and she slowly put away her dagger.

"As expected from a loyal dog," Mistiora said, sounding somewhat disappointed. "I'm tired of this conversation. You should leave, before somebody notices you," she casually said.

Luca stared at the dark elf in disbelief, wondering if the woman was insane or just incredibly smart. One thing was clear, though. She was dangerous. "… thank you for the wine," she awkwardly said before jumping over the balcony railing and landing with the grace of a cat on the wide terrace located several meters below it, quickly disappearing into the night.

'What an interesting child,' Mistiora thought. 'I wonder if our paths will cross again.' She finished her wine, then waved her hand to dispel the sound-suppression spell she had quietly cast the moment she had noticed Luca. Darius was a heavy sleeper, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

'It's getting late. I should go to sleep too. But first…' She sniffed her body, wrinkling her nose in disgust. 'I need a bath.'

As soon as the patrol was gone, Luca silently emerged from the bush where she was hiding and deftly climbed up a nearby tree, quickly reaching the window leading to her room. Opening the shutters that she had previously left slightly ajar, the young half-elf slid through the window and landed gracefully on the floor of her modest room.

"Snooping around, Luca?"

The girl whirled around and instinctively pulled out her daggers in a reverse grip, only to instantly relax when she recognized the man on her bed. He was tall and muscular, with a strong jaw and a noticeable scar that ran across his left eye. He wore dark pants and a simple white shirt left half-open to show his pecs.

"What are you doing here, Derek?" She asked in annoyance, putting her daggers back in their sheaths. Derek Rondo was the leader of sir Mandeville's guards and the man that recruited her after she failed to pickpocket him.

"I was bored, so I came here to say hi. Imagine my surprise when I didn't find you," the man casually replied before lazily sitting up. "Given that you didn't came from the door, I guess the old man wasn't in the mood to fuck you."

"Lord Mandeville was tired," she grunted as she started to undress for the night, unbothered by the presence of a man in the room. She was used to being seen naked.

"So, what were you doing?"

"Exploring," she answered evasively as she took off her shirt. "The gardens are pretty at night."

Derek took a moment to admire her small, perky breasts. "Is it an elf thing? Being in touch with nature, frolicking through flowers?" He asked teasingly, chuckling when saw Luca roll her eyes in annoyance. "Speaking of elves, did you get a closer look to the Dragon Princess?"

"And risk getting caught by the guards?" She asked rhetorically, unbuckling her belt and pulling down her shorts, standing completely naked in front of the human man.

Derek shrugged. "Totally worth the risk if you ask me. I mean, she's a fine piece of ass," he said while he grabbed her hips. "Yours isn't half-bad, though," he added a moment later with a shameless grin, groping her butt.

"Wow. You really know how to make a girl feel special," she deadpanned.

"Oh? Don't tell me you're envious?"

"No," she said before letting out a soft gasp when he slid a hand between her thighs, rubbing teasingly against her puffy lips, before letting out a moan when he drove his thick fingers inside her sex.

"Hmm, your body is always so honest," he chuckled, noticing that she was already wet. Without wasting time, Derek started fingering her roughly, moving his fingers back and forth hard and fast while his thumb rubbed expertly her clit. Luca hollered loudly as waves of pleasure invested her body and her legs quickly turned into jelly, forcing her to lean against Derek to not fall.

It wasn't long before the young woman threw back her head and let out a sharp cry when she came, squirting all over Derek's hand. Breathing hard, Luca fell on her knees in a pool of her own juices.

"My, my. What a mess," Derek teased her as he unbuckled his pants.

Still recovering from her violent orgasm, Luca blinked a few times to clear her blurry gaze, only to find Derek's hard member standing right in front of her face.

"My turn," the man growled, grabbing her head and shoving his dick inside her mouth, pushing deeper and deeper until he felt her lips touch the base of his thick shaft. Luca gagged loudly and started flailing her arms in panic, but he ignored her discomfort and simply savored the feeling of her warm, wet throat around his cock, before finally pulling out. Luca had barely the time to caught her breath before Derek starting to fuck her face hard and fast, filling the room with the sound of his balls covered in spit slapping against her chin and her loud gagging.

This went on for a while, until his cock swelled up inside her throat and fired a torrent of cum right into her stomach, making her teary eyes roll back into her head for a mix of pleasure and lack of air as she cummed again.

Derek was still cumming when he pulled out his cock from her mouth, blowing the rest of his load all over her face. Once he was done, he let Luca go, watching in amusement as her twitching body fell in an undignified heap at his feet.

Without bothering to check if she was alright, Derek put his now soft cock back into his pant and buckled his belt. "Have a good night, Luca," he hummed with a satisfied smile as he left the room, leaving Luca as a quivering mess on the floor.

The half-elf quietly followed him with her exhausted gaze before looking toward the full moon outside the window. Their relationship could only be described as abusive, with Derek using her like a toy whenever he felt the need; however, Luca had never complained or protested against this kind of arrangement.

Derek Rondo was a brutish, cynical asshole, but he was also her savior.

If it wasn't for him, she would still be living in the streets, fighting over scraps of food found in the trash against other orphans and mendicants…when they weren't too busy raping her.

It was Derek the one that took notice of her talents, the first and only man to see her as something more than a lowly thief trying to survive. He was the man that offered her a job in exchange for her loyalty. He was the man that killed without hesitation the other street urchins that had tormented her for so long just to convince her that his offer was real. He was the man that vouched for her when he introduced her to sir John Mandeville.

He was the man she loved.

"Goodnight, Derek," Luca whispered with a faint smile before falling asleep.

I LIVE! *Insert Mushu meme* Wow, it really took me way longer than expected to finish this chapter, but between my job, writer's block, and the fact that I basically rewrote this chapter a couple of times, I was unable to write it in December as originally planned.

Anyway, in this chapter a lot of characters from the sequel show up.

Derek (Direc in canon) is the big, bad guy from the sequel, basically Vult 2.0 (I've read somewhere that he's like his spiritual successor or maybe even his reincarnation, but I'm not sure if that's true). The King of Eldonia doesn't have an official name in canon, so, I decided to call him Darius, like one of the ancient Persian monarchs. Cayle Gale Dimble is a character from the VN, but I've never played it, so I had to find his name online. Mistiora Arte is the beautiful dark elf able to bring every man to his ruin thanks to her charm, but while in canon she seems happy to just prove the world that she will never lose to the dick (weird life goal, but it's a hentai, so…), in this story I'm planning to make her character a bit more interesting.

And finally, we have Luca, the half-elf who in canon is (maybe?) Olga's daughter. Now, you're probably asking yourself "But wait! If the story takes place during the first game, how can she exist?" Good question. And my answer is… [SPOILER]

This is also the first time I write sex scenes, so leave a comment and let me know what you think about it and the chapter in general. (Please be gentle with me, okay?)