Take Up the Cross – Chapter 24: Night of Regrets ☆

A wagon piled high with plunder enters town under the watchful eyes of a young man and his equally young female accomplice.


“Why are they returning so openly!? Shouldn’t they be skulking back to their hideout!?”


The plan has gone perfectly, except for this error. Prone and hidden on a roof as the light fades, their long wait for the bandits to return with the spoils of the “sacrificial” convoy Adris had prepared is over.

Marching into a small town of tents and lean-to houses against ruins, they arrive at the near nightward turning of the torch-like sun. Endless shadows coat the scene, warring with the remaining light.


“If they open it here…”


Despite his cold hatred, this potential future he doesn’t want stabs at him.


“What will happen?” An assertive voice forces him to turn to her, her shining hair and quiet countenance his only support. Insisting she should come along, her anger has been a constant threat, yet now she only looks passive.


“… You know what will happen.” With a dark voice, he foretells the future.


“Everyone will die. Not just them and a few sacrifices, but the whole village!”


The village leader turned brigand marches to the center of town to the calls and whistles of his people. Come alive with their return, the villagers rush out to hug the bandits and gather. Wives and children are swept up in the grand, festive atmosphere.


Straining to hear, Adris pushes his senses to the fullest.


“Got a big one! Lotta stuff! Not like the last few!” The fat, yet muscular, leader with a long beard scampers on top of the wagon pulled into the town common where all gather to witness.


“Idiots marched right into the rockslide! Ones that were left… well, what do you think?”


The fate of the convoy guards and tenders is a joke to those assembled. Already, stolen loot is being distributed.


“They’re all in on it…? Murdering savages!”


Suddenly, the swirling emotions settle. Thinking back to the older couple who bothered to care for two abandoned “animals”, his vengeance blazes.


“Best thing yet, got a premier pot of fresh honey wine! A regent’s own delicacy! Why not drink to our fortune!? Beats plowing dirt!”

With the cheering village’s destitution ended by murderous banditry, their clothing of silks and soft muslin stolen from the southern barbarians proves that nobody is starving.


Hands bleeding, Adris’ nails dig deep.


“Adris… won’t children die, too?” Whipping back to face her, Serras’ placid gaze mystifies him.


“Huh!? Who cares!? Certainly you didn’t! You’re the one that wanted to carve them up personally! Not killing the kids was my idea!”

Steaming with anger, he turns back.

“Best year of our lives! People who… cared. No running or terror!”


If tears weren’t a missing commodity, they would fall down his face now.


“They left Mori and Lerna swinging from a tree! They’d nothing worth taking!” Yelling at the suddenly caring girl, he explodes further.

“These bastards and their fat offspring, they plundered what we and others lost! Lives and families – raped and murdered! Save their kids? No thanks!”


No longer regretting this…


(They’re all going to die.)


Men, women, children, animals all, the whole village will soon be a feeding trough for carrion eaters.

His only plan and goal took their money and all his skill to set up.


“There isn’t good, Serras, but there is evil!”

Smiling harder and more cruelly, he then giggles.


“If they wanted to live, they shouldn’t have started this venture. Time to pay up.”


The man is already yanking on the tight lid of the pot, his arms twisting powerfully. Mouth dry, the anticipation is killing Adris, even as something painful gnaws at him.


(Do it. Doom yourselves, you scum.)


Tensing with a touch on his back, his rigid muscles are warmed by Serras’ arm crawling over to pull him closer to her.

With her head next to his, she awaits the end with uncharacteristic tenderness.


(… Comfort? Usually I… comfort you? When have you ever held me first…?)


The excitement of impending doom for those he hates joins with the touch of a girl he loves.


“Fucking thing!”


Finally wrenching it off…




A soft moan issues from the pot. Circulating his aura and at a safe distance, the voice only prickles Adris’ skin.




“The fuck, ain’t nothin’ in…”


Stopping his sentence, the man watches red drops fall into the pot. Confused, his hand to his face feels the red waters from his nose… and mouth… and eyes…


Clutching his head, the man shakes and stumbles off the wagon, drenched in his own fluids.


“AAHahaAHAH!” Gurgling as he screams, he is not the only one.


The pot of madness turns men against each other. Biting and tearing, they strike with objects while women pounce on them, joining in before being beaten.

Children attack the fallen, gnawing at the flesh of their mothers and siblings, before they are smashed.

With many collapsing forever into the dirt, those still standing begin to butcher and hunt each other…




Paling at the devastation so expertly inflicted by him, his emotions run dry before…


“They got exactly what they deserved, Adris.”


The solemn voice next to him has a deep tone, but the scary part is the mirth lingering at the edge.

He is no longer able to watch, pulled as he is into a tight embrace that prevents him from shaking at the sight. A boy of only fifteen is cradled by a girl of fourteen.


After escaping from Fatso and finding a home, they lost it. Adris’ first act after is a massacre, which leaves him with bloody satisfaction and newborn regret.


“We can’t go back.”


With his voice lost in the screaming, he submits to Serras’ patting of his head. The experience is out of place.


When he tries to ask why she’s doing it, he’s devoured by the embrace.





Nightfall brings cold air and swaying tent flaps, a thick fur blanket the only protection against the wind.


“How glorious, the victory! How wondrous, the victors!” Lounging in the fur while drinking thick honey wine, the small jar which is stronger than he’s used to still provides a sweet taste, even if slightly dry and acerbic. Pulling a ladle from it, he drinks, spilling drops upon the upper half of his body pulled free from his caftan.


Sweat has dried on the cracked lamellar chest protector beside him, physical proof of him escaping death.


“Although, they missed the name of the truest victor: the beautiful Serras!”


Scooting closer to his partner and bringing the ladle up for her to drink, she gives him a passive look before giving a thin smile and accepting it. Wearing only her inner garments, the woman is just as battered as he is. Dust and sweat cling to her bruised flesh, her neck and arms still stained dark red despite the care he gave for wiping her down.


(Always present, the blood is.)


“Was it worth it?”


Brought away from her forged abdomen and slender limbs by her voice, her plain question confirms the success of his plan.


“I’d say so. One good slaughter; one saved company commander! Though…” Leaning closer, he takes in her scent while whispering into her ear.

“I suppose the saving was ‘inspired’ by us, so it’s more like hidden blackmail?”


With Serras’ power as the company’s core strength, Adris created a weak spot at the commander’s end. Plunging the man into danger, the two of them saved him in the nick of time from the collapsing enemy’s mad counterattack. Between rows of red-stained bamboo and shadows, the man had lavished them with praise while cowering at the carnage.


“Shame about the adjutant.” Smiling darkly, his one miscalculation had been the expected strength of the counterattack, leading to a good man’s death. “I was fond of him, actually…”


“… Will you advance?” Still placid, her question makes Adris grin ear to ear.


“Within three days, I’ll know if the bird song I sang reaches his ears.”

Calling in many favors, Adris laments that he will be the sole adviser. An unplanned vacancy ushers in unwelcome responsibility.


“Why talk about me? A jar of honey wine is my gift, let’s talk about you…”


The near death experience in the thicket drives Adris wild, for the man had locked his eyes on Serras for the rest of the battle, desperate to be within her.


(“No” isn’t likely, you feel it, too. Always acting uninterested, yet we both know what your face means. This night doesn’t end until my seed is in you, beauty of my dreams.)


A mask of self-control is only a thin shell separating him from bruised hips, the man always responsible for making it drop.


“Pleasure and joy, as little as we get, is the only way to warm up this cold night.”

Moving his hand over her body, he tentatively touches her back at the small of it, gauging her thoughts at a one of her tender points.

“Hey Serras, seeing you running through the shadows like that made me remember there’s nothing more stunning than you. When you looked back, it was like the whole thicket existed to frame your-“




She pounces on him, driving the breath from his lungs. Grappling with him, she mounts his lap while moving her hands along his bare chest.




“… Yes… well… If you want to be on top…?” Instantly knocked off his throne, the Serras that initiates the rarest of nights confuses him.


(Normally you… require more poetic coaxing before the lewd kind…?)


“… I can’t help what I feel for you either. As I watched you dance around, the veils of blood surrounding a smiling goddess…”


(Even if I lie sometimes… even if you frighten me a bit, wanting you is the easiest thing in my life.)


A wry smile is drawn upon her face, dark eyes reading his heart as his breathing quickens. The alcohol and growing insecurity about the sex thrust upon him excites him.


(… Why do I see prey reflected in your eyes-?)


Pushing his hands down, she leans in to lick his neck. Black, shining hair spills over his body, dancing along it with her tongue. Quicker than usual, his arousal pushes against his caftan. A pronouncement of his inescapable lust, the wordplay from before that was cut short fails to convey his feelings of now.


(I’m usually the one that does things romantically…? You’re always so much more… direct when in charge.)


The dark, surly woman without full confidence in lovemaking has been replaced by a woman dominating him with more than just submerged passions, possessing instead a fervent and teasing mood.


Moving off of his waist, the quiet woman opens his caftan’s belt, dexterously exposing him with the utmost care before trapping his legs with hers. Stroking his hard dick gently, she returns to licking his chest. The motion of her hand is surprisingly good, a fierce bullying of the head becoming a bit too strong.

Twitching in discomfort, he starts to complain, but she eases off before he can.


(You’re pretty into this… Am I that attractive tonight? Or are you more…?)


Though the alcohol is strong, her passion still exceeds any expectations. Moving her butt up, she lets his dick fall behind it as she strokes his cock against her firm cheeks. He slides between her loincloth and flesh, a cocoon of warmth given as the rest of his body suffers.

Staring up at her, he reaches with his free hand to rub her bound breasts, but is instead intercepted. Forcing him back down, the serious look in her eyes forces him to relent. When he does, she laughs before leaning in to kiss his cheek, beginning to remove the wrap herself. Coming loose, the dim light reveals the contrast between skin tones: while her body is tanned, the soft globes with erect nipples are still delectably white.


Reaching up to kiss and lick the tips, she leans away while smirking.


(Why are you suddenly so set on denying me!?)


With a hunger that burns deeper with each rejection, the Serras who is stringing him along fires him further as she locks his dick in her cheeks to rub. Only licking him and breathing on his skin, her hands return the favor by reaching under his back to massage him. With only her body to protect him from the cold, she begins to slide his dick along her covered crevice now.


Cock throbbing hard, he feels the urge to grab and throw her down, then force himself inside. A warm, tight pussy leaving him waiting has a pedigree proved by her exceptional muscles and years of their efforts in lovemaking. As cold as his dick is, he needs to warm it.


But when he reaches to grab her, she intercepts him again while tauntingly smiling. A silent laughter is shared, her almond-shaped eyes light and passionate as she leans in.


“Why such a hurry? Haven’t you had me before?” The sweet and alluring tone is so very unlike her.


“Of course! Many… many times… Why would I ever grow tired!? Serras: I want you.”


She ceases to be only receptive and grows frustratingly proactive.

“Okay…” With her face next to his ear, she whispers with a chilling breath.


“If I… take you for myself, will you give up everything?”


Nodding quickly, his willingness is transparent.


(Anything you want. Even if it’s a baby… no, that’s not… a bad idea? Just, let me have you…)


The neediness he feels is contrary to his personality, his oldest acquaintance both begging and demanding him to pleasure her. Rather than a fire that kindles slowly and then burns bright, the Serras of tonight is more like the great Sea of Stars that sweeps over gently, encompassing him until the strong tide pulls him out before he can struggle.


Smiling gently, the rarest of expressions, she reaches back to lift her butt and pull aside the loincloth, lining up with his terribly erect length before slowly dropping…


(Ah… how tight!)


The wet and suffocating grip is like usual, but when she begins to flex her muscular canal it is more pleasurable than any previous time. Clinging to him, she doesn’t even move, yet he feels like a slave to it. Reflexively, he pushes up as the flesh aggressively accepts him.


Smiling as if she’s a victor, Serras lets her weight drop him harshly against the fur, her fingers dancing on him as he breaths erratically in ecstasy of being completely within her. Left in this sitting state while she rubs his muscled chest and abdomen, his squirming to thrust brings her face back to his.


“Serras!” Whispering her name, he still refuses to beg.


Smiling briefly, she finally lazily lifts her body, closing her eyes and swirling her head to let her hair fall back, before she begins to ride him. Eyes glued to her soft breasts as they lift and drop, he willingly surrenders to the full gyrations and slow piston she inflicts. Slightly thin lips part for a rich, red tongue to peek out as Serras stares back, her expression mocking his inability to look away. None of her playfulness vanishes, even as her face reddens.


Minutes pass as she pumps on top of him, changing her position occasionally to use his cock in a different way as if it’s her private toy. Her hands never stop moving, a constant stream of sensations along his arms and legs, even his inner thigh as she reaches to cup his tight balls. It finally goes too far when she twists a nipple, earning a pained moan as he stares in amazement at his attacker.


(This is unreal!)


Releasing his tension at this completely novel experience, he understands that Serras’ game has been won. Slippery sounds of contact from beneath her loincloth match with wet thighs rubbing on him. Finally giving in to her own pleasure, she uses his hands to support her as she picks up speed. Letting his cock almost fully exit her, she torments him by repeatedly forcing him to squirm while trying to push back in.


The knowing smile on her face is witness to his shivering, rising orgasm.


“Serras… faster, I’m almost…”


Unwilling to contain himself, the woman’s ministrations combined with her newfound attitude toward control brings him to a quicker orgasm than normal. Able to climax multiple times in the same night if he desires, he doesn’t feel like waiting. Always forced to hold back until she climaxes first, the look she gives is privilege to go first. Clenching every time he pulls out, then letting him slide back in energetically, it’s no longer possible to restrain his orgasm.


(But why is she so… serene? With how pleased she looks, she should be… throwing herself against me to kiss me! Begging for my fingers to be on her. She’s the one that demands attention, not me!)


“I’m cumming, Serras!”


Feeling his balls tighten, the rising release pushes him to bury himself. With his cock head gripped by her juicy insides so expertly, as if she knows where it is within, it kisses it as he plunges. When he can’t hold…




The motions cease.




Struggling to cum, the sudden stop forces his eyes painfully open. Frustration and anger are met by a proud face, no malice to be seen.

Only amusement.




“… Seras! Why!?”

Sharp and accusatory, his voice questions an event she knows is close, given that she always knows. Strangely, she seems almost like him: on edge.

Noticing his body has grown weaker with the pleasure, while she’s grown more energetic, the situation grows tenser.


“Will you give it to me? You promise?” Her voice is needy and bold. Going up to his neck, she lightly strokes under his chin before continuing to hold his head.


“All of it! Deep inside! Serras, please!” Throwing away his dignity, he rises up to grab onto her waist.


“… Okay… No regrets, right Adris~?” Lovingly smiling, her dark hair hides half of her face, a completely drunk look to what he can see.


(Fuck, let me give it to you if you want it so badly!)


Moving swiftly, she lifts and slams, her muscled but lithe body wild now. Moving more like the Serras he remembers, her breathing matches with his, as Adris’ painfully postponed climax builds anew. With tension returning with Serras’ internal gripping, her pussy now feels alive as it coaxes him.


Rocking back and forth, her free hand massages his balls while the other grips his hand.


(Why are you so different…?)


Brain fogged by pleasure and need, he still knows that Serras should be tending herself right now. A hand rubbing her clit under her hood, two fingers gently squashing it as they move is how she devotes herself to her own pleasure.


“Ah!” Going into her final assault, she denies this expectation. Rather than seeking selfish pleasure, her movements time perfectly to milk him.

Finding release…




… he begins to spew deep inside of her as she slams down. Beyond his wildest fantasies, her pussy actively milks him, as the woman it’s within goes crazy. Falling onto him, she shudders while losing control; yet, her depths only squeeze him more fervently.


The inhuman undulation continues as his climax is lengthened, only ceasing when the last willing drop of semen is claimed.


“Ha… ha… Serras, where the hell did you learn…?”


Dazed by the experience, the sensation leaves him bodily drained. With her head on his shoulder, he tries to get her attention by rubbing her back. Pulling back, the woman sits back to look down upon him. While his cock is softening, she…




Has a terribly lustful expression to her face, with her tongue licking her bottom lip wantonly as half-lidded eyes burn with need.




She then darts in to kiss him.




Even during sex, Serras only kisses him at the very height of their passion, and only when forced to gaze at him by his hand. Doing it after climax, the the soft feeling of her lips and face is a wonderful change as he recovers.




(This has never happened.)




“… Serras?” When she pulls away, an unknown passion reignites in him. Even during all nighters, she’s never invited a repeat performance with a kiss.

Rubbing his abused testicles, she begins to gyrate.




Giving him no time to recover, she forces herself on him despite his clearheaded period. Even if he wants to, even aura cannot cure the impossible.

Realizing his problem, she puts her lips to him again…




… and forces something into his mouth. Tasting the sensation, he rebels against the foreign object.


“Nnn!?” When he tries to buck, she pins him while her tongue dances. With fear in his heart, his only partner forces a dissolving pellet under his own.


(… Are you trying to…!?)


When she pulls away, there’s no hostility on her face, only lingering passion and a soft smile of expectation. Quickly followed up by a gentle kiss, he remains silent and horribly confused.


After mere moments, everything changes.

The night is completely banished by the roaring inferno that becomes his body. Chest, abdomen, testicles, and dick all inhumanly burn.




Amplified beyond reason, he pulls her down into a strong, sloppy kiss. His hardening dick rapidly becomes a throbbing rod. With the immeasurable heat, he feels it become even bigger than normal, swiftly expanding her inside as his blood rushes.


Still kissing him, she resumes riding. Only when he pants so hard that he cannot kiss does she cease, smiling with a beet red face before lifting off him completely. When he moans in dissatisfaction, she answers it by turning around and dropping back on him in a reverse position.

While she pistons with her body and undulates with her velvety hole, he stares at her sweat-sheened back as she rides. Running his arms over it, she leans forward and grabs his legs, using them to increase the pace.

Her tanned skin glistens with the wicker light, this female form that both belongs to Adris and also constantly opposes him finally feeling in tempo with him again in both heart and body.


(What is this urgency!? Why did you drug me!?)


“Ah! Serras, again! I can’t…!”


Dismayed at only lasting a short time, the embarrassment is met by reassurance.


“It’s fine! Do it! Cum for me!” Hair swaying as she furiously bucks, her insides are even hungrier than the first time. Looking back, her gaze is both kind and cruel.


(How can I so soon!? Fuck!)


Tightening again, his balls launch another load into her. Quaking with this release, everything leaves him and is sucked inside of her greedy pussy. Tight muscles lock him in, forcing him to bottom out next to her lifted cervix and deposit at her fleshy door.


Falling into stillness with even more pronounced exhaustion, breathing is now difficult. But for Serras, the pleasure has become inconceivable. Climaxing when he coated her insides, she still shakes even as he lays still.


(… Tired…)


Contrary to his expectations, cumming twice has done nothing to soothe the heat. Rising off of him, the woman sits back to face him, and only then does Adris realize that he’s done nothing to quell her lust.


“More! Give me more!”


A hunger of a thousand years glares at him, her eyes wide and joyful, even as her mouth hangs open and her tongue lewdly lolls outside. Before he can speak, she enters his mouth again with it, wrestling with his.


(S-Serras!? What…!?)


Forced to lay helplessly, only moments pass before she recommits to her attack on his dick…





Breathing is impossible, for there is only hot pleasure.


Serras moans as she shakes, his most recent gift added to the pool already inside her.


(Serr… I can’t… keep…)


While he collapses, she is done for, too. While maintaining composure for the first three shots, every shot after trashed her dignity further. Now as sloppy as him, the lewd smile on her face matches with her childish clinging to him.


“M… Mooore!” Mouthing the word without energy, his remaining vitality is assaulted by her.




(I can’t… No more… Serras… You’re going to…)


Whispers sound from all around him.








The rogue thought rises to the forefront, stating that this night in a small tent with dim light, no matter the passion he feels, is…






Now wide awake,


Hands close around her neck, as he puts his thumbs to her arteries and circulates a strengthening technique. With wide eyes full of disbelief, the woman stares back as he begins to murder her. Cock hardening more with the rushing adrenaline, the woman’s tight insides also unconsciously stir in response.




“Serras…! You!”


The woman he loves.

The woman he loved.


The woman who…


(You won’t get away!)




As he strangles her with all of his power… she begins to lift and slam down. Ramming his dick into her depths, her tongue peeks out as she massages him more strenuously, mocking him as her face brightens.

A deep look of longing is in her blue, almond-shaped eyes. Instead of rejecting her death, she embraces it. Anger exceeding the limits of sanity, his lust becomes the same thing as rage. The medicine brings him pleasure even as he abandons it.




You killed me! Serras, I will… never forgive you!”


Hissing the statement, he gives up and instead tries to break her neck. For his efforts, she only silently laughs, leaning into his death grip to give him more leverage.


Fog rolls into the tent as the flaps begin to melt, the colors falling to the ground to squirm. Dank air is no longer merely chill, but instead freezes him to the bone, even as he melts internally.

Only a thin veil of night separates the two from what’s beyond.




As he groans while climaxing inside of her for the last time, she nearly passes out. The two falsely struggle: him trying to murder her, while she resists ever leaving his grip.




He falls through the floor, suddenly, dropping through raving darkness and slamming into cold, viscous water.




Choking as he sinks, his flailing arms search for a surface that no longer exists.




Red lights all around him, appearing like baleful stars of his namesake doom, swirl as he succumbs.







Name: Adris fehl Dain; “Mister Meat”
Titles: Scholar Bound in Madness, Greedy Informant, Lycia’s Little Brother, True False God
Race: Xin’El, Emperor’s Child (Human)
Sex: Male
Age: ?? – Young


Occupation: Crossbearer; Charlatan/Swindler; Xin’Reh (former); Soldier of Fortune (former); Bounty Hunter (former)
Discipline: Crossbearer – Cursed Aura User; Spear Veteran (former); Aura Warrior, School/Specialization: Self-Taught (former)



[Tool Savant] – “Adris is a tool-collecting-and-utilizing fanatic. Most men would consider him disgusting for loving tools more than his own partner. Has so many tools that it can be said to be his true power. What does he do when he has no tools left? He seeks to acquire more, obviously!”




[Unknown Protection from Poisons/Compelling] – {A MAN WALKS, HIS STEPS UNWEARIED AND RESOLUTE. NONE CAN STOP HIM.}




[Unknown Mental Domination] – {A MAN DEMANDS. THOSE WHO HE DEMANDS OF, OBEY.}


[Familiar] – “Through means unknown, a familiar has been acquired. Aren’t familiars a kind of tool? Isn’t this sort of strange to consider a ‘power’?”



Disposition: Resilient / Adaptable / Sinner
Alignment: Chaotic

Eyes: Black
Hair: Black, with strands of White
Skin: Tanned



Rantil Value – “Idiot master receives idiot information~”


Attributes by Grade:

Strength – E

Vitality – E

Dexterity – D

Agility – C

Intelligence – D

Mentality – C

Luck – F

Charisma – D


“If you want more, stop being mean to Rantil!”



Cethran Value – “If all men looked like him, it might not be odd for women to think that the gods had painted the world in only the drab color brown? While not ugly, would he not exemplify the idea that ‘normal’ is perhaps indistinguishable from ‘undesirable’?”

“There’s little to say, isn’t there? Aren’t you truly beautiful when you’re honest?”



“A rather plain-looking man wearing traveling robes, what he carries hidden is far more dangerous than his appearance lets on. A disarming smile, leads to you being suckered. A clever tongue, leads to your sorrow. Possessing quick wit and intellect, hubris and arrogance are certain to follow. Well known across the floating islands of Xin, but not by name, only by reputation. Owed many favors, but not with great joy, and certainly not love. The only person he seems to care about other than himself is his lifelong partner.”

“Losing everything is often an impetus to descend deeper into bad things. In Adris’ case, it certainly amped up his energy for harming others.”



“I think every person has reasons for the things they do, even if they’re really sad ones.”





Look, nothing!



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