The next day Charolette, the former married woman, acted like business as usual. Realizing just how serious she was I kind of felt bad for cursing her. It was then I realized she was a different person when drunk as we saw at the bar. Remembering that my senses fixed themselves.
“So according to the map we will end up camping for the night tonight.”, Auburn said eating some toast.
“There are several campsites on the way so we just need to pick one, right?”, Charolette said.
“Yes, but at different times of the year a few campsites become dangerous to stay at due to beasts getting ready for hibernation.”, Auburn said.
“I understand. Do you happen to know a safe site to stay overnight?”, Ursela asked.
“Yes, this site here called Crag Rock is a good place to camp. It is almost at the highest point of the road before it levels out.”, she explained, “It has a stream nearby we can use for bathing.”
Having a goal to reach we left headed up the trail. Leaving town I got my first look at the trail which had been great exaggerated to me. According to the King it should easily fit to wagons side by side with room to spare. Currently the road was barely wide enough for a person to walk past. What was supposed to be a well-kept road turned out to be something similar to armor after a tough fight…full of big dents.
“Can’t you do something about the road!”, the women complained bouncing in wagon.
Stopping the wagon I looked back at them.
“I am trying to become the Demon King not a road maker. If this was a simple flat road I could fix it, but this is too steep to do anything without the proper training. I would end up doing more damage than good to it.”, I said.
Settling in for a bumpy ride we skipped lunch to get the bouncing over with. Reaching the summit with a few hours of light left we pitched our tents, and gather up firewood. Tonight Auburn would be cooking some authentic elven cuisine that her grandmother taught her to cook. As dinner was being made I fetched some fresh water for us to drink. I could have used magic to make water, but the fresh from the source water tastes better. Carrying two three gallon buckets of water back we had way more than enough to tide us over for the night.
As the stars came out that night we sat out looking at them for a spell. In all the few years I have been alive I had never just taken time to look at the stars. Mother had always talked about looking at the stars from her room atop the Grand Cathedral in the Holy Regana capital. She said that at night she would always look up to see to the wide open space that the stars filled.
“It makes me realize just how small I am, and helped to keep me grounded. No matter how great my magic, or anyone’s magic can become they can’t make the stars.”, she said.
“You know what mom, you are right.”, I thought with a smile.
Turning in for the night we decided on shifts to keep watch. Ursela, and Bellclair would take the first two-hour shift followed by Myrida and Auburn, Charolette and Stelle, and then myself. Drawing the short end of the stick I was stuck by myself on guard duty before the sun started to rise.
“All in all this isn’t really to bad.”, I thought, “Traveling with many women might not be a bad idea. I just have to maintain this peaceful atmosphere to keep my sanity. I have someone to use to vent my frustration on, and in the next major city I will buy a pet.”
About an hour before sunrise I started making some coffee for everyone. I knew if I didn’t I would have a full-blown riot on my hands. Drinking my morning coffee I took a look around camp for signs of any recent visitors. Looking around the outskirts of camp I found a few hidden stashes of goods most likely for smugglers. Deciding to leave it alone I continued my sweep not finding anything worth mentioning. As the coffee for the women finished brewing Charolette was the first to emerge from her tent. Doing some morning stretches I got to see my personal fun bags bounce around with her rhythmic movement.
Noticing my fixation on her she pulled them out for me to see. With the others still asleep she was comfortable teasing me a bit. Keeping track of the others mental sleep states I let Charolette service me. When she was satisfied I firmly grabbed her rear end with a naughty smile.
“When we get to a town tonight I am telling you to bounce this around on me.”, I said, “You are my property after all, and I intend to use you to the fullest.”
“Mmm, I can’t wait!”, she said in a low voice.
By this time the others were waking up so she went back to normal. Taking a seat by the fire she warmed herself while I did another sweep of the surroundings. When I got to the fire again everyone was having their cup of coffee happily enjoying their coffee. Discussing plans for our day the women seemed interested in staying in the next town which was four hours away.
“There is a wonderful mixed hot spring bath.”, Auburn said.
“Like mixed bathing you mean?”, I asked.
“Yes, that is exactly what I meant.”, she said with a smile.
The women seemed quite interested in the hot spring so I was alright with it. Casually saying I would use the men’s bathing area the four women puffed their cheeks in discomfort. Hiding her discontent Charolette looked away to not let her cover get blown.
“Listen…you are very beautiful single ladies. As a single man I can’t get into a mixed bath with you.”, I said, “I can’t take advantage of your kind gesture.”
“So you don’t have an issue sleeping with Charolette, but you can’t get into the hot spring with the rest of us.”, the women said.
Breaking out into a cold sweat both of us looked at them.
“Run that by me again?”, I asked.
“No need to hide it. The cleaning lady told us about your hook, and subsequent pounding you gave Charolette.”, Bellclair said smiling at me.
The other three were smiling as well, but they were all empty smiles. I could sense killing intent pouring off of them at me. Instinctively I backed up since I wasn’t about to hit them.
“So…you will be joining us in the mixed bath, right?”, Ursela said.
“If it will get me off the hook yes.”, I said.
“No, it won’t get you off the hook.”, they said showing their left hands, “Put a ring on it, and all is forgiven.”
My coffee cup fell from my hand, and bounced when it hit the dirt. Freezing over for a moment due to shock I did a double take to make sure I heard them right. When they repeated themselves I fell over.
“…why me…”, I said, “I just wanted to relieve some stress, and now I am being forced into marriage…the other side of the line sucks…”
“Well you are marrying me anyways.”, Auburn said.
“Same goes for me.”, Bellclair said.
“Two more won’t hurt that much.”, Ursela said.
Looking at them I knew deep down I wasn’t going to hear the end of it if I made them upset. Since I already found them attractive I guess it wasn’t so bad in the end. With a sigh I gave them an alternative.
“How about this then. I will give the four of you promises rings till the elf rescue is over. I can’t marry Auburn anyways till after that.”, I said crossing my fingers.
The four looked at each other for a moment, and with a simple nod said, “Engagement rings, and you have a deal.”
“I can’t…if Auburn’s family finds out they will have a fit.”, I said.
Thing about it Auburn agreed with me. With a sigh they agreed to the promise rings. I quickly made four promise rings by extracting gold out of the gold via magic. Putting them on the four were satisfied while Charolette stared at me. Giving her a confused look she sighed shaking her head.
“What about me!?”, she said.
“What about you?”, I asked, “I thought we were just lovers, and nothing more.”
“I told you I’d have your kid!!”, she said puffing her cheeks, “Lover’s don’t do that only possible marriage partners do!”
“Now that is a lie!! I know plenty of people who have kids with lovers!!”, I said defensively.
“What if I had to bear your child? Would I only remain your lover? Just someone you sleep with whenever you want!!”, she snapped.
“A lover is a concubine!!!”, I said, “Why else would I sleep with you!? I don’t go looking for whores to share a bed with!!”
Pausing for a moment she looked me in the eyes.
“You mean the unofficial wife kind of concubine, right?”, she asked.
“Yes! You just got out of a marriage after all. Why would I marry you right after that? It would only make you look bad in front of others.”, I said.
With a smile she nodded her head.
“I can live with being a concubine. Being pampered, taken care of, and sharing your bed work out perfectly.”, she said.
Before the four could say anything I cleared the air.
“She is an exception since she is a concubine.”, I said, “The four of you have to wait till the ceremony. She won’t get ahead of you in having children I promise.”
Looking at her they nodded. I was exhausted already, and suggested we get a move on. While I loaded up the wagon I heard all of them discussing my performance in bed. My face started to twitch listening to Charolette go into detail.
“He is very dominant!”, she said, “He is a wild horse, and you are just there for the ride.”
The women giggled pissing me off even more. I decided to punish her this evening for her insolence. With no worry of needing to keep it a secret things would change quite a bit now. Once we were packed up we headed back on to the trail with five very happy women. Today was going by pretty smoothly till about an hour into our travel. Stopping the wagon just before a bend the women got out of the wagon aside from Myrida. Drawing their weapons they came around to the front to discuss tactics.
“How many are there?”, Ursela asked me.
A few yards past the bend was a group of people waiting in ambush. Using my heightened senses I counted twelve people. Relaying the information to the girls I had Charolette and Stelle watch the wagon.
“They may have tunnels nearby to pop out on this side.”, I said.
Nodding they remained here while the four of us went around the bend. Auburn would be the back support keeping the enemy in check. Bellclair, and Ursela would fight midrange launching attacks with their weapons and magic. I would focus on fighting them in close quarters relying on the other three to keep them from coming behind me. With this plan decided on the fighting commenced immediately.
The bandits didn’t even know what hit them. Before the rest of us could react Bellclair eager to show off blew the bandits off the road, and down the mountain with her blade. The motion was so fluid I almost didn’t catch it with my eyes. Disappointed in the lack of fighting we returned to the wagon. Bringing it to the entrance of their hideout we went inside to loot the stolen goods. Walking into the room labeled treasure room we walked a bare room. Twitching all of us hit the wall.
“SON OF A BITCH!!! THEY WERE POOR BANDITS!!”, we said.
I was upset because I was always told bandit’s had sweet gear, money, and sometimes prisoners who could be returned for money. Looking at the other’s I wasn’t sure why they were upset. Stelle may have been upset she couldn’t earn extra money to revive her home, but I wasn’t sure. Leveling the hideout we continued on our way to the town in a sour mood. When we arrived the town seemed to be in a bit of a panic.
“I wonder if something happened further up the path?”, Auburn said, “I will ask the town leader what is going on.”
Auburn ran off into town leaving us to put the wagon, and horses away for the day. Checking into the inn we were told they only had one room available. People from the next village over were currently staying here searching for some lost children. Thinking that they were the reason for the busy atmosphere we waited for Auburn to return. She wore a grim expression on her face so we went up to the room to talk.
“So they have children that went missing.”, I said, “Did you know them or something?”
“No…I didn’t…”, she said fidgeting around.
We were really confused now so we asked what was wrong.
“Their description…it matches the bandits Bellclair blasted off the road.”, she said.
All of us glazed over, and started laughing nervously.
“Maybe if we hand Bellclair over…”, Charolette started to say.
“We aren’t handing anyone over!”, I said firmly, “The kids decided to turn into bandits! It is their fault that they died. Had they not dressed as bandits, and attempted to ambush us we would have let them be.”
Bellclair smiled looking at me. Relieved I wasn’t going to turn her over she held my right arm tightly. Pressing her chest onto my arm I turned bright red feeling the sensation. Glaring at me the other women pulled her off telling her to keep it in her armor.
“So what do we do?”, Auburn said.
“Tell them the truth.”, I said, “The families should know the truth after all.”
Everyone agreed it was for the best, and quickly went to inform the elder. After explaining what had occurred he looked at the floor visibly distressed over this. Sending us away we locked ourselves in the room barring the door for safety. Staying in this town would be rough so like we normally would it was decided we would take shifts watching for enemies. Going with the same schedule as last night things dragged on till morning when we left town.