Take Up the Cross – Chapter 35: Life and Death Within the Mind ☆

“Not over here, you orange-skinned dunce! Cover me while-OOMPH!”



A terrified bundle lunges for his chest, wrapping around his body with a jump as she drives her small breasts into his face. Spun around by the impact, the spear-wielding man staggers under the assault of a lecherous monkey.


“NO! Go away! Rantil haaaaates youuuu! [Devilish Bolts]!”


Releasing her arms from around his head, a shrill pinging sound goes in hand with flashing pink light, sucking vacuums of air, and multiple recoils that jolt the two forward.








Jumping with the blasting momentum assisting him, sharp impacts nick his legs and body as the man blindly dodges. The face hugging creature keeps mashing her tar-covered nipples against his nose as she struggles, trailing aim at the nightmare the man can sense behind him.



A close explosion of pink punches into his back, pushing him forward as he hisses.




The scream and choking laughter of the monstrosity haunting them both fades away quickly, aura felt in the air when it demonstrates its maddening escape skill again.


“AH! It’s over there! Turn so I can keep firing, stupid Master!”

A petulant demand from a girl once terrified beyond the ability to think pushes the man over his own limit.

Grabbing her leg clinging to his chest, he surges an aura-strengthening technique into the grip.


“Ah…!? PIGUE!”


Pulled from his face, he plants her girlish form into the ground before taking back up his spear to face the creature.




A whistling sound proves this wise.


(When did it learn to do that!?)


Flying through the air in this impossible space are bone-colored keratin shears lit by the swirling starlight sources in the heavens around him.

As large and as small as his view desires it to be, Adris laments that his Inner Expanse provides nowhere to hide from these weapons, even if it’s awe-inspiringly beautiful to bask in its mystical scenery.


(I can feel the effect you’ve hidden in them!)


Warping in space at the last moment to impossibly attack from right-angled vectors with maximum speed, only this foreknowledge saves him.


(It stole [Impossible Pivot]!?)


Both hands on his spear towards the end, he spins in place, catching the first blade coming in from dead above before revolving to slam the one taking his flank.

With a “thwang” from each hit, the slicing projectiles are roughly deflected to skitter across the black surface of this world, the aura-infused spear killing the motion techniques in the tracking sickles.


“Master! Rantil wants to know why you have to hurt heeeeer!? UGYAH!”

Reaching down, a man clad in coppery lamellar armor and ceramic plates grips the imp by the tails, and leaps with all of his strength.

The two sail through the air as they narrowly avoid the freight train that barrels on their space at sonic speeds, before it slashes into the ground.


KURK!” Disappointed, the monster scampers off again.


(What the fuck is this thing!?)


Dropping his “ally,” the man takes in the situation again. Only his “wife” has kept him competitive against the thing traveling about on two legs like a running lizard.


(Every time I try to pin down this thing…!?)


The monster assaulting Adris is beyond his understanding.

Looking like a roach standing on two, clawed hind insectoid legs, its body is black and reflective, with the ringed lengths of a worm as it’s elongated in parts. With arms so spindly and whip-like that it would be physically impossible to keep them aloft, the tendrils on the ends move like feelers to detect the air, while its claws are black and hard as diamonds. The gouges in his spear shaft and lamellar armor attest to the effectiveness of them.


(And now you have flying sickles!?)


Leering at him at a distance, the prickly invader with extraordinary animal cunning reaches in to rip at pieces of curled bone lodged inside of its horrific, chitinous body. Lacking a total physicality, its body half fades into smoking shadows streaming from itself, with the ghastly sickles it draws instantly replacing with phantasmal bone from the black void of its stomach.

Its split face that opens to display rows of teeth seems to be smiling.




(Stop laughing, you fucking disease!)


Wide swings launch the blades, which close on him rapidly.


(I can’t block four at once!)


Thinking quickly, he reaches down and grabs onto his “partner”, pointing the currently irascible girl at her doom.

With the imp protesting at first, the whistling sounds approaching prompt a shivering obedience.


“Shoot or die, Rantil!”


Flinging her at two of the blades, he charges the others.



Unfurling her wings, the twin-tailed girl becomes the new target of two living blades that pursue her. Flying ungainly while firing wobbling, pink pellets of energy at her bogeys, she leaves Adris to confront the others.


“I already know this trick!”

Anticipating the right angles perfectly, he jumps one while kicking it with an aura boost and slams the remaining sickle with aid of the leap, smashing the bone into two pieces.

Landing, he then sprints towards the source of it.



But the obscene creature moves like a scurrying insect, fleeing at a speed he can’t match.

At least not without being in possession of the technique that birthed this monstrosity.


(Ah, now I know how they all felt. It is pretty fucking annoying.)


Giving up instantly, Adris instead runs to save Rantil. With one sickle careening to the ground after being struck by an exploding pellet, the last closes.





A screaming spear deflects the spinning blade only two feet from the imp’s face. Nearly passing out, the tired imp plummets to the ground, being caught by the man.




Pulling in to smooch him, the disgusted warrior drops her as he yanks on a cord that is still flying away. With the cord pulled back, a long piece of metal soars towards the man, before the aura traversing the cord’s length halts its momentum as he grabs onto the haft.


(I always did regret losing this wonderful thing.)


Unhooking the cord, it rolls back into the boxed spindle attached to his hip.




Within this chaotic space, the man dressed in full Xin’Reh armor is indescribably happy.


(Everything… I’ve ever used, I have again.)


When pulling Rantil into himself and being possessed, his Inner Expanse changed. Memories started to solidify, creeping out to join back with him. Aura tools, techniques, and remembrances of his peak ability coalesced into…




Smiling, the dashing look of a man in his twenties at the very height of his ability soon sours, as the monster sniffs and then stalks for him again.


“Oy, imp, get up.”



Leveling his spear point at the whining girl’s face inches from her nose, her eyes go wide before she smiles meekly.

“Master is very persuasive~.”




Rising, the two stand side by side.


(This is the last chance. I’ve used too many of my other tools.)


Even if he had them to begin with, the laws of his memories apply. His aura, only a memory too, drains with use. Anything utilized becomes inert as it cycles its internal technique.


(This isn’t… going to work if…!)


A deep gash in Adris’ side leaks rainbow blood.

When struck here, the claws of the beast had pulled something from him. After losing it, the monster had…


(Grown bigger and meaner! And gained smart blades!)




Given no further time to think…

The monster scurries forward at sonic speeds, nearing too quickly to counter.


Do or die, Rantil!”



Running away from each other, the creature is forced to choose.


(I know who you want.)


The red eyes on its split, beak-like face follow the coppery-armored man readily as it exits its charge. Unable to change its technique’s trajectory, it follows at a much slower, yet still superior, speed.


Turning to face it, Adris points his spear in defense.

The creature hesitates, stopping as well, as if fearing a trap.




“Now, RANTIL!”

Calling out for his support, Adris tells her to spring the trap it anticipated.



Feelers in the air twitch, as the face looking between the two prepares for an ambush.






“… Stuuuuuupid!


A girl with a devilish smile puts her finger to her eyelid, pulling down as she sticks her tongue out and blows a raspberry at the man.

With her other hand, she produces an obscene gesture. Two spade-tails prance to show her amusement as she wiggles her body.


“… You… fucking bitch! I’LL KILL YOU NEXT, RANTIL!




Betrayed by the one he called for…




The monster doesn’t seem happy at this display, but simply turns back toward Adris as it charges…




… losing its mind in hatred at the man.


(Why are you so intent on killing me!?)


Giving itself completely over to [Flea Flicker], the murderous roach-beast closes with a suicidal speed.




I judge thee in place of heavens clouded, let abyss know thy crimes instead, and bind ye forever to this grim place! [Condemning Coil]!”




From a bratty voice chanting behind the distracted creature, the ground in front of Adris cracks. Rushing up from the black land, coils of winding fire are cast forward like a wire fence. Reaching for Adris too, he narrowly escapes “friendly fire”.

A rushing monster isn’t so lucky.




Slobbering as it twists in pain from the fiery barbs wrapping around it, its arms are still free to attack. Sailing for the dodging Adris, he has no options to avoid it.


“AH, die, already!”

Raising his spear, the claws slam into his hasty block. Stunned by the impact, he’s pulled forward by it grasping onto his weapon.




Brought toward it, the monster that dribbles rainbow blood from its constricted wounds opens its mouth after ripping the spear away from the man.

Piercing tendrils inside quiver.


(No you don’t!)


The man’s arm explodes, shards flying out at point-blank range from a hidden launcher.




Flesh shredded by the shotgunning blades, the interrupted tendrils mostly go awry, though one still pierces into the man’s chest.

When the tendril grows hot, the man feels something being sucked out again. The monster of chitin and phantasmal smoke begins to expand and grow uncertain, its body mutating to grow even larger.




With his hand glowing, the impromptu blade severs the spurting flesh connecting them.

Both fighters left screaming from the pain, the beast is stuck in mid-transformation. Outraged beyond capacity for cunning, it lets the burning coils cut through deep into its body as it lunges forward to murder its real prey.


“Master! Get awayyyyy!”


“Oh…” Blocking out the pain, he notices the creature’s razor-sharp rows of teeth nearing his face only when he can’t react…




An explosion of rainbow energy shakes this world.


Adris shivers as the all-powerful force impacting his Inner Expanse paralyzes him. The creature, too, is assaulted by the same wave of dignified majesty, but tries to inch forward anyway.




It almost succeeds in chomping, before a golden blur cleaves through its body.




Falling end over end, the two bisected pieces of the monster spray dark, rainbow gore across the dreamscape of Adris’ internal world, while a spinning, rectangular plaque finally comes to rest.


(… Kill… it…)


Left with a mortal blow to his chest, the man who can’t stop the tide of rainbow goo from flowing trots over to what’s left of the creature’s fore section after recovering his damaged spear.

As the monster wheezes and tries to lift its spindly arms to flay him, the warrior aims at where he can feel an aura core…


… before simply stabbing it.


A cracking sound accompanies the death of the monster, which goes still as it turns completely black. Its mutated body begins to vibrate and hum, the flesh crumbling into rising dust as it shakes violently. A puddle of blackish rainbow, which lingers putridly upon the floor, is all that’s left of the monster when the rest vanishes into screaming destruction.

With the presence of this corrupting force no longer vying for control of his internal world…


The place where the plaque arrived from is a shining wound of darkness, one which begins to invite the outside malevolence until Adris wills it closed.


(… Remember… who I am.)


Going over every memory he can reach, he finds his psyche has taken horrible damage from the creature. Some things are simply missing, while others are wounded, but recoverable with time.

The core of his self is completely intact, the layers of “unnecessary” memories shielding the essential ones.

Reconstituting his form as his body glows, all of his wounds vanish.


When the techniques stolen from him by the creature seem to waft on the air, he feels them begging him to reabsorb them. Their dark vapors, twinkling with corrupted rainbow light, try to latch onto his imagined form.




The feeling from them is of a tarnish that can never be removed.

Corrupted beyond reason, the monster formed of [Flea Flicker], copied and real memories, and Rantil’s magic can never be taken in, lest something terrible occur. [Impossible Pivot], though less corrupted, is still permanently stained.

A wave of pure aura he releases blows them away, the techniques left to sadly wander unwanted.


(… But… I might not have a choice about reabsorbing them!)


Even now, the liquefied corpse lingering in his Inner Expanse seems to be rotting, the rot producing motes of thoughts and images which try to flash before his eyes.




(What happened outside that could turn an aura avatar into this!? It was almost more powerful than I am, with only one technique as a base! No, what about…)


Trotting over to the golden thing that flew into his world from the outside…




Adris discovers an ornate, golden plaque lying face up. The writing engraved upon its steaming surface is one that he can read without the cross’ gift.

Listed on it are the ways in which Adris is cursed, as well as a message about imbibing medicine.


Standing beside it, the shining darkness radiating from the glyph on it produces…




The image of a monster glad in gold, stroking an indescribably long beard, appears before his eyes. Indignities suffered by this aura avatar are easy to view. Neither corrupting nor subverting, flashes of the conversation had with…


(Oh fuck, the Emperor is in the cross!? It’s a good thing I didn’t trust that call and show up myself.)


What is left of the avatar turned into a plaque also cannot be recovered, with the technique he liberated from the Solar Ire sect having been used as the base for it now becoming a physical object within Adris’ mind, despite not matching the capabilities of aura that he knows.


(… But, why is the Emperor assisting me? Is the thing outside even more fearsome than I can imagine?)




Finally calming, the man slowly chases a quaking girl crawling on her hands and knees. Having expended a great amount of her own power during the fight, she is even more useless now.


“… Rantil… Rantil has nothing to do with this! Leave her alooooone! Just kill Mast-GYAH!”


Thwopping her on the head with the butt of his spear, she spins while rolling on the ground, screaming her disgust.



Stopping in mid rant, the girl looks in the direction of the liquefied carcass of their enemy. Curling her tails curiously, she then rises to her knees while clapping her hands.


“Yayyyy~! Master is the smartest~! You were totally right about that whole ‘acting like I betrayed you’ thingie!” Shuffling forward to close on the man with a dark look, she reaches to grab his waist.

“Rantil was helpful and saved Master, so now you don’t need her for-HYAK!”


Slamming her on the head again, she bites her tongue while hissing.


Shut up, slave! Conjuring you wasn’t for ‘saving’ me from that! If anything, you’re half the reason it ended up like this! My contingency plan developed after releasing them outside saving us is hardly your result!”

Squatting, he leans in to glare at her while she shrinks back, whistling and looking away.


“Why didn’t you share that this could be an outcome, huuuuuuh? I asked you what would happen if I sent out those copies using your weird fuckin’ magic, didn’t I? Failed to mention this or didn’t know?

Which is it?”


Tapping his spear on the ground, she squirms in fright but refuses to answer.


“… Are you cunning or stupid?”



Slamming her in the head repeatedly, the girl tries to crawl away as he viciously castigates her. Spread on her knees, the nearly naked girl bawls crocodile tears into her hands after Adris stops with satisfaction filling him.


“You’re not stupid, except in thinking that it would be smart to leave off something you wanted to kill me with and that I wouldn’t notice after.”

“… Rantil didn’t think you would lose… Rantil just hoped…


(FUCKIN’… No, it’s fine. It’d be stupid to expect trust from a literal demon of darkness.)


“… Give me a reason you shouldn’t be next?”

“Hiee! Rantil did the thing at the end, right!? She knows things you know, now! Forgive her! Immediately!”




Sitting down, the tired man recovers while barking orders at the suddenly bratty imp.


“Since you’re the expert, Ms. Cunning Imp, make sure it’s dead and bury it somewhere.”



Running away after being yelled at, he tries to understand what’s transpired.





“It’s really, probably dead! What’s left will eventually rejoin with your great evil, Master!”


(How wonderful. Another problem for the fut-)


A plopping sound throws off his thoughts, as purple hair is now under his chin.


“Hmm~ hmm~!”

A cheerful voice comes from the girl swaying her body in his lap, rubbing her head against him like a cat. Unlike the tired man, this imp, even when drained, has an enthusiasm for physical contact that far outweighs her other priorities.




The man deals with the problem by putting his hands under her butt and catapulting her with all of his strength.

Tucking in air, she somersaults before landing on her feet, turning around and hissing as she arches her back.


“Why would you throw Rantil!? Rantil did a good job! You’re supposed to be nice to her!”


As the man’s hand shakes while formed into a fist, she stops whining, then speaks quickly as if trying to placate him.

“Oh, it’s totally ‘lost’ (FORGOTTEN TO ALL) and… what you asked? Rantil doesn’t know all shining things, but it seems like a [Greedy Demon Reaching from the Dark]?”

Staying at a distance as he absorbs the news, she then approaches timidly.


(The darkness created that. How can I survive it?)


Summoning Rantil before using Cethran’s cross, he’s reinforced the effect by actively cutting off his aura senses directed at the outside of his body.

With the pattering sound of a girl nearing, her tails curl and sway like they have a mind of their own. A cute and mischievous face demands satisfaction.

“… Rantil is stuck here, too. You don’t have to be mean to her.” Resisting the urge to throttle her, Adris finally takes note of what she has provided in benefit.


(… Taking out my inadequacies on this idiot only exacerbates my bad character and decisions.)


“Were you telling the truth when you said they are safe?”

“Hm? If Master means those girls you were talking about, as long as this weird ‘existence link’ you made lasts, Master should be the only thing they can see, if you want~?”


Adris finally relaxes. When Rantil calms too, she moves her eyes to his lap, smiling cutely.


“… Don’t push it.”


“NO! RANTIL WANTS TO BE PRAISED AND THANKED!” Bringing her arms up to wave them in front of him like a kid, she demands satisfaction.


“I see, then let me thank you.”

When Adris accepts, she grins, a dark glint in her eye as if she’s won. Going to get into his lap, Adris grabs to help her.

A shocked, frozen smile is on her as he pulls her whole body into his lap, facing her head to his left as her butt shows out.


“… Ah? What… what… is…?”


A great slapping sound is heard.




Every time the imp screams out to protest or insult him, Adris slaps her bottom with a full windup.




As the girl cries while being slapped, insulting the man endlessly, the number of impacts add up.





“You will behave?”


A girl nods her head vigorously, her ponytails waving.

Sighing, Adris leaves his hand on her bottom for a moment. Rather than breathing in pain, Rantil sounds like she’s sad the abuse ended. He grips her butt and feels between her quivering thighs, bringing back wet fingers that form a strand between two when he pulls them apart.


(… You… deviant.)


The combination of the wrap and Rantil’s presence has completely kept out all intruders, but Adris begins to understand the price when he mistakenly lets Rantil sit in his lap after punishing her.

Without understanding why, he begins to pat the head of the small girl as she stops sniffling. When he accepted this imp into his Inner Expanse, everything began to feel strange.


(By everything I’ve been shown, this “unknown and unknowable” should’ve been the darkness, coming from the source of it, which explains… this thing, right…?)


The true nature of what he called forth might be his only salvation.


Two worlds’ darknesses are now exposed to him.

The Emperor’s darkness was an all-controlling one that sought to interfere with his subjects’ very free wills to guide them. The thing had spoken of its duty being to free its subjects’ desires.


(Zennia’s darkness is desire, too, but in the form of doubt, mystery, fear, and obsession. No, the obsession part is similar, but the rest are not. Isn’t the similarity paradoxical? The skies of Xin never part. The only thing that comes from beyond them is… Drops of Creation.)


Trying to link things together, he realizes he has a dark thing nearby to question. This dark thing surprises him by furiously grinding her butt into his lap.


“Ha… ha…”

The girl is completely ignoring his attention even as he rubs her head, intentionally nurturing a growing bulge under his thinner armored skirt by crushing it with her butt.


(This ridiculous idiot.)


“What are you doing, slave?”

“Eep! No, Rantil… isn’t…”

Stopping, the girl lowers her head… before she finally screams out.


“No! Rantil is tired! You made Rantil do all of that, then beat her bottom, and she can’t even fulfill her need with you! Gimme!”

Turning to face Adris, she keeps hitting his chest and shoulder, trying to force him to surrender something.

Flicking her forehead, she yelps in pain.


“Do you need more punishment?”

Rubbing her wound, the girl with red cheeks shows fear, scrunching her eyebrows.

“No! But Rantil can’t help it! You made Rantil do all of that, she is already getting thin! Rantil… can’t keep going without being naughty!”

Putting her head against his neck, the girl breathes in. Her tails sway madly, as if she’s caught in a heat she can’t escape from.

“And if Rantil can’t be naughty, she’ll go crazy! She won’t be able to do anything!” Looking up at him now with shining eyes laced with lust, the cute girl throws out a thinly veiled demand.

“There’s all the darkness of beyond Zennia outside, and you’re worried about sex!? Are you insane!?” Adris, in his fury, grabs Rantil’s head with both of his hands, squeezing while he drives his thumbs into her cheeks.





Twisting and contorting herself, Rantil desperately tries to break free… before she falls onto her back.



Adris sighs.


(I’ve been led by the nose by Cethran, done her dirty work to ruin the world, and gotten my only future wrapped up in it. A foolish gambit that has left me forced to comfort… this.)


Already, there seems no way of escaping his fate. Without this girl, he likely won’t survive outside.

An essential part of his plan is about to go insane with deprivation.


(I don’t even care anymore.)


Accepting the necessity and his body’s artificial lust for this bratty girl peaking, the girl watches with pursed lips and angry eyes before she notices Adris shifting to remove his armor. Gasping in appreciation, she helps him free himself from it, throwing the pieces to the side with a fiery, youthful thirst.


“Ah, Master is the best! Rantil loves Master!”

Kissing his cheek first, causing him to flinch in annoyance, she then kneels in front of him while grasping his cock with her clawed hand.

Adris speaks with authority to the yelping creature as he grabs her hair.

“Only if you help me figure out how to save us and them! If you’re lying about my girls being safe, you’ll get it far worse than I will, I promise!”

“AH! Rantil isn’t lying, so let goooooo!” Releasing her, she immediately begins breathing heavier.

“Rantil can’t…”


The girl ignores Adris completely now, looking at his cock as if it’s her favorite toy or only source of food.


“Ah… feels soft, bigger than before. Master is a lot better in this form~! Why do you choose the smaller one…!” The panting girl licks on the head without a hint of shyness, immediately putting the tip into her mouth as her tongue massages his slit and eats up the taste lingering on it.


(Um, she’s eager!)


Having nothing better to do, Adris puts a hand on her head as she quickly starts sucking on his hardening dick. Though not especially skilled, the warm, tugging lips are obsessive in a way even Lycia’s touch wasn’t.

If Adris was a food, Rantil would be devouring him in a moment. She doesn’t even bother to breathe as she struggles to get his dick to the back of her throat, leaning over to let the overly large rod lodge inside of her.

Only when he’s at maximum thickness and thoroughly wet does she pull off of it, having to stop herself from continuing to lick his crown.


Letting go of control over her, he sits back to let her climb back into his lap while he thinks.


(If this “unseen curtain” blocks darkness from Zennia, then the skies of Xin serve the same purpose. The skies of Xin are said to belong to the Emperor himself. It’s… too similar.)


“Rantil… Rantil can’t wait… Master~!” The young girl is lifting her body to grind against his cock. Peeling the sticky wax off her crotch, she allows the clamshell slit to almost drop onto him, forcing the head push up into her lips and bounce off the entrance.


“… It was in the back last time, which is… okay, but…~!” Sitting down one last time, she holds the full length of his hard cock against her belly, sticking out her tongue as she measures the distance for Adris with her hand. Comical against her, the girl ready to bite off more than she should chew seems proud as he starts to become willingly aroused by her display.


(Though… it’s not as if the other imps had difficulty with that guy’s dick…)


Adris finds a part of himself fascinated by what’s about to happen, the girl’s juices dripping onto his cock as her hips hang her over it. Stuck with the result of the largest failure he can think of, the dissatisfaction disappears as she lowers herself.


The man doesn’t have to wait for very long, as the lust-mad girl spreads the opening of her tight cunny over his head, not teasing this time. He enters into her more quickly than he’d think possible, with only tightness and no resistance. Nearly fitting his whole dick inside as he punches up to the end of her insides, her toes curl up and she begins twitching.

Adris grabs the girl to prevent her from rolling off his lap. Letting her head roll back, Rantil’s instantaneous release accompanies her scream of pleasure as she hugs onto his arms.


“OHHHYEAH! Mashter… Master’s warm thing is finally home~! MMM-Master’s ‘evil’ is so thick Rantil couldn’t hold on…~!”


(How thirsty can you be, cumming the moment you put me in!? But by the stars, that is tight! That’s far tighter than Serras!)


Adris draws in and breathes out measured breaths, feeling the girl clenching on a cock far out-sized for her. Beside himself with the intensity, he inclines his head a bit to breathe in the smell of her hair, letting her ponytails brush against his face.

The sweet, spicy smell of this fake little girl is absolutely amoral, tainting the man so quickly he can taste it on his tongue.


(Evil creature! But… she’s not worthless when she does this!)


As the girl quietly recovers before saying “… Ah, that’s good~! Moreeeee~!”, she takes back over, putting her hands on Adris’ lap to lift herself off of his cock, before sitting back down.

A sloshing noise accompanies the tight feeling, the aroused imp girl launching into dirty talk immediately.

“Right, this is what Rantil wanted! This big feeling inside! The whole time Master was making Cybero cry, Rantil was… really itchy inside hearing Master’s powerful voice…♥ Master got the best pick… hehe, Cybero lost big. Only Rantil knows how to give Master the attention he… deserves ♥!”


(… Filthy liar. You were scared shitless of me…! Fuck… if I was wrong about what I should be reaching for… I was trying for the source of the darkness… What else is there…?)


Rantil clings to his body as the head pokes the end of her depths, overfilling the small girl who refuses anything less than his full length. Reaching back to wrap around his neck as she uses him for support, he suddenly remembers he’s supposed to be interrogating her.


“Rantil, what is that darkness outside? What I called for, was it wrong? I was trying to reach… AH, what governs the darkness…” Finding the words, Adris tries to succinctly convey his needs to the slightly dumb girl.


“Hah! Hah! Ahhh! Good! Um… What…?” Her tongue licking her lips, the girl tilts her head back while she moves to try to look up, but can’t.

“… Wait, you called it!?”

Suddenly realizing what he said, the imp comically shakes while impaled on his length.

“Ah! Stupid Master! Why would you call everyone at once!? And you want to talk to that thing!? It will just make you stop being real! It hates us when we do things on our own~!” The girl cringes a bit, but when Adris holds her reassuringly, she calms down.


“Quiet, it’s not like I had a choice! Besides, I have a plan.” Lying to the girl, Adris twists her tiny nipples gently, eliciting a distracted gasp from her. “Just concentrate on being useful and explain!”




Cowed by the resolute voice, the girl goes back to her work, lifting herself up and down, letting their flesh slap loudly as her pert butt nails his lap.


“Um… Um… It…? You should know… The need comes to it, it decides to agree to let it happen, and then… you’re here! AH!” The girl yells out when Adris’ hand goes down to her crotch, feeling for a tiny button on the young girl. Finding it, he applies pressure to the hood above it, gently crushing it.


“!!!?!?! EEEEH!? AHH!” Rantil shudders again, throwing herself back onto Adris’ chest, forcing him to hold her again with his arm.


(You’re really hard up? Although… I’m not much…!)




The clenching, young pussy is too much for the man. The smell from the imp girl is having the same effect as last time, causing him to desire her more, even as she still somewhat disgusts him from the feelings of immorality involved in this.


“… Answer me, Rantil, or I won’t give you what you need. You said I was ‘shining,’ what does that mean to you?”

Shaking a bit, the girl’s mouth stupidly tries to sound out words.


“… Um, parts about you shine. There’s so many different parts! There’s… like what you made the bug from! Or the shining light…! Master’s great evil is really varied! AH! Feels… gooooood~!”

Sucking on a finger offered to her, the moaning girl finds the right thing to say.

“Mashtur is, um, Master is unique! All dark things hide when not getting near the shining light, but not Master! All the evil is hidden by the weak human, but Rantil can feel it there, always proud! Master shines darkly! ♥”

Adris suddenly goes silent, understanding the remaining parts.


(Techniques themselves are like this Rantil. No, instead: techniques are interferences. I’m already possessed by darkness in a permanent form… making me Cethran’s ideal candidate!)


“… Then how would you describe the barrier between the source of the shining and where the dark things are, Rantil?”

Riding his cock with so much eagerness that she seems to be losing her mind, Rantil manages to convey a few thoughts.

“… Um, you don’t~ say~! It doesn’t like it… But, um… shining outside, see it… but it doesn’t see you…? Can’t… be seen unless it wants… AH! I love… cock~! Master’s dick… is the best…~! I don’t want anybody but Master ♥! Nobody’s ever hit that spot so nicely~!”

Trying not to listen to the moaning girl as she strokes his ego, Adris dwells on this mystery.




(The curtain? The curtain is the thing that has sentience. The darkness outside doesn’t… This… veil? Gives the things from beyond their form and sentience, according to what desires them…?)


Applying this to Xin…


(Oh stars, the Emperor is the veil of Xin? He decides what comes through the storm? He’s the one… manipulating the darkness of that world. Just like this veil is manipulating the darkness here!?)





Pains his thoughts, until he realizes the thoughts are the source of the pain.


The Inner Expanse he lingers in fluctuates. Something… unseen within it stirs as the shining heavens intensify.

The corpse of the dead monster, the memories within, whisper from the place they are locked away in by Rantil’s efforts. Even sealed, this revelation stirs them.





Rantil is in ecstasy on his cock, overcome by some sort of madness.

“Stop… STOP SHINING! It’s too…! Hieee!”


Slurring her words, Rantil loses herself while attacking him, slamming the full length into her so hard that the man wonders if she’ll kill herself by being split apart.


(Fucking what!? Rantil!)


“… AH! Master, isn’t handsome… but… but… roguish face and that look… Older shape Master is Rantil’s type~! Ah, Master~! Style… so cool~!” The girl spouts off nonsense, her tastes both rankling and puffing him up.


“You don’t have to point out I’m ugly!” Leaning forward, he bites softly onto her pointed ear, chewing on it as he manhandles one of her small tits and reaches down to her clit again, furiously rubbing it as she slams against him.


“NUUU~! TOH MUSH!” The girl quakes again, slurring as she cries out.

Neither giving her tender attention nor really using any technique, he feels it ridiculous how pent up she is at simply riding him. More a sexual creature than a girl, Rantil morphs into an object of pure pleasure.

“Rahntil fehlt ahnothur on Mashtur… Rahntil… taek bahk! Mineeee~!”


(Can this girl not enjoy something unless it’s corrupt!? And she’s… taking something as she marks me!)


A force drains from him the more she degrades into a cock-hungry bitch. As Adris feels stranger, she grows more energetic, mirroring their last time in the Castillo.


“Rantil! Ah!” Grabbing onto the imp girl with both arms, Adris picks her up and slams her against him, suddenly feeling his own orgasm impending.

Her tongue is hanging out as he violates her hole, no longer caring about the size difference. Both of her hands on are her clit, furiously mashing it as she cums again and again with the violence being forced on her.


“Mashtur~! Ohld Mashtur~! Rahntil wantsu… yur babie~!”

Slurring like a drunk, the little girl speaks of a serious desire. Begging for Adris to give her one, the man pales a bit, even as he keeps pounding her.


(What? How… would that work… no, I can’t… that’s, she is…)


The sloshing of her pussy is so loud, the entrance tight as she takes over grinding against him. His hands roll over her body, feeling the slutty imp’s soft skin, marking the contrast between the pieces of wax on her as he moves over them.

Finally doing nothing but breathing and calling out “Master~!”, Rantil is lost to Adris as she becomes a living holster, only her calls to him preventing her from being regarded as only a mute beast that hungers for semen.


(… I shouldn’t…)


As if sensing something, Rantil’s voice becomes a little clearer as she begs harder.

“… AH, Rahntil… Rahntil hash… nehver had a babie…” Grabbing onto his arms, her need is deeper than any other’s he’s felt, even from Serras.


(I don’t care! I’m not gonna do something that dangerous!)


“Pleash… Rahntil needsh your babie~! Shee doeshn’t want anyonesh but Mashtur’s!” A breathless cry shocks Adris to the core.


“… I shouldn’t.”

Rejecting her uncertainly, she whines for a moment, before clicking her tongue.


“… Mashtur’s gonna… make Rahntil find… shomeone else fer a babie~♥…!? Meanie, but ohkay… Rahntil whill finde…♥” The smug words full of treachery attack a spot in the man’s heart that instantly shreds with a raw feeling.


(… YOU!)




Losing his dignity, he lifts her up like a doll and begins mechanically ramming into her, feeling like he’s masturbating with a tool he’ll never relinquish to another.

Rantil can do nothing but alternate between saying “Mashtur~!” and “Babie~!”, her pussy flooding from the abuse.


“Fine! Get knocked up, you useless imp! … Your first is mine to take! I don’t even care if you have a kid!”

Adris’ balls tighten before he dumps his load deep, the girl’s womb descending hungrily to try to slurp his semen before he even leaves her.




“OH, OHHHHH! Mashtur shaid iht…! Mashtur hasht to… mehrry… Rahntil naow…♥! OOOOH! ♥♥♥! Rahntil cahn’t have anywhone elshe’s dick…♥♥♥!”

Letting herself drool as she twitches, the bizarre girl becomes an extension of him briefly as he hugs her tightly, her only purpose for existing becoming as a place to dump his seed while she eagerly milks it.


When the jizz runs out and he can no longer continue to rut the monstrous girl, he calms with the overwhelming afterglow of the release.

Her tight pussy clings to him, so snugly that he can’t bear trying to pull her off. Leaving her locked on, he uses the exhilarating feeling to think about the nature of his foe.




(Shit, I shouldn’t have tried to call darkness, a nameless thing! I should’ve tried to call this veil! Not ask it to part, but to speak to it directly! If I wanted to deal with what’s beyond the storm, I would talk to the Emperor!)


Even if Cethran poisoned his mind, certain things that are becoming obvious were missing because he didn’t bother to try hard enough, too caught up with his rush to settle affairs.

Betrayed by the woman as he is…


(No, it’s not betrayal. The woman was never my ally. She’s always been my enemy!)


Unwilling to feel sympathy for himself anymore, it’s one thing if he puts himself in danger, but now he has endangered all of his future plans.

Whatever the phantom had done in place of Adris had failed, and the memories had deformed and become a monster. He realizes from the Emperor’s advice that resisting this darkness while still bathing in it is the worst thing he can do. Instead, he should find what controls the source of it and deal with it directly.


(I’ve never thought about something important during a climax…)




The thought then occurs to him that Adris has cum inside of a horror from beyond reality, with the grand intention of knocking it up.


(Ah, fuck! This stupid girl!)


His dick finally softening enough, he picks Rantil up off of it, a loud popping sound accompanied by the feeling of his own semen uncomfortably splashing onto his dick and lap.




Adris then unceremoniously flips her into the air again.




“KYAA!” Screaming out as her daze is interrupted in mid flight, the imp girl lands on the ground in a great crash. She rolls to her side, leaking white liquid in great quantities.

Scrambling to right herself, the imp starts crawling on her hands and knees towards him, still leaking as she shakes.


“Why!? Master is so evil! But… evil Master is actually cool~! Evil Master shines like nothing Rantil has ever seeeeen~! Rantil just wishes Master would be nicer…” Conflicting thoughts play out in the young girl’s monologue, her slit green eyes filled with crocodile tears failing to hide anger, lust, and reverence.

As she tries to crawl back into Adris’ lap, the man pushing on her face while she screams out in frustration, he finally feels himself free of his depression. The interaction with her somehow comical to him, it feels close in a way that’s rare.


“Ah… Master gave Rantil something she’s always wanted, though~!” The girl rubs her slender belly, smiling evilly while humming.


(To hell with this lying girl! There’s… no way! Huh, I was stupid to listen to her, and stupider still to let her have me! I’ve got tools…)


Stopping his thoughts momentarily as the girl forces herself into his arms successfully and wraps her legs around him, he corrects himself.




(I have to save my party.)




Being possessed by Rantil out of sheer need, not even Adris knows how joining with the energetic imp has changed him outside; and, worse, all he knows is what he has to appeal to, not how.


(The whole world was… melting, every time I noticed something wrong.)


A name finally comes to him, something he wishes to try.


(I need time to say the words. Cethran is there. And possibly… more.)


With Rantil finished, he grips her tightly. She suddenly turns serious, her breathy gaze becoming a little fearful as she looks up at him.




“Please… please don’t get Rantil lost!” The girl has fake distress in her eyes, but her fear is real.

Curling his lips with revulsion, he promises her only one thing.

“If it looks like I’m done for, I’ll send you away. I will save you, Rantil. But you don’t get to run until then!”


Despite believing she’ll ignore his words or bicker, she calms immensely as she pulls herself into his chest. Being hugged by the girl, all he can do is stroke her purple hair in surprise at the gesture.


(… Weirdo.)




Resolved, Adris fehl Dain’s hand reaches for the cloth around his head on the outside.




(Time to face the unknown. It’s only an entity far older than me, with nigh limitless power, right? The result of my hubris, stupidity, and lack of planning…)


If he had time to break down as a human being completely, he would already have allowed it to happen.


(What could go wrong?)


Adris looks to the plaque, then thinks of the corpse locked away. The Emperor has already promised him his punishment, should he refuse, and his answer is unchanged. Only the hint about medicine is left to consider.


(No matter what goes wrong, it’s already my fault. This fuck up is… solely on me. Maybe this… “veil” will be forgiving, when nothing else has been…?)







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: 20s


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



[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!”


[Unyielding Knife] – “You learn the basics, which is making a blade. It’s pretty rudimentary… When you have a spear, a knife is pointless.”


[Rewinding Cord] – “I forgot how much I missed this beauty! I never had to hustle to get my spear back when I had this thing…”



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 (Inner Expanse Only):

Strength – D

Vitality – D

Dexterity – C

Agility – C

Intelligence – D

Mentality – C

Luck – F

Charisma – D


“Master wasn’t bad by Zennia standards!?”



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’?”

“Will you be more appealing as a monster?”


“At least someone appreciates your older form, yes? Would you consider it what you long to recover the most?”



“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.”

“When finally presented with the option of succeeding, he did.”


“Perhaps in our minds, we have the option of always being what we remember? If we could be the pinnacle of what we see ourselves as, how strong would we be?”



“I think it’s fairly easy to forget that Adris was actually a warrior when this started off.”




Name: Rantil
Titles: Slave
Race: Imp
Sex: Female
Age: Old As Human Fears

Occupation: Castillo Guardian; Slave
Discipline: “Devilish Designs”



[Impish Allure] – “Rantil doesn’t smell anything weird, though? You think Rantil is sweet? Hum~hum~, thanks~!”

[Devilish Bolts] – “Rantil points her claws at the bad guy and goes ‘pew, pew, pew’ a lot, then they fall~! Most of the time…”

[Condemning Coil] – “Hehe, sinners belong in pain~! Rantil can make you feel very bad if you hurt her.”


Disposition: Whiny / Deceitful / Sweet
Alignment: Chaotic


Eyes: Slit-Green
Hair: Purple
Skin: Orange-Tinted



Rantil Value – “Rantil is indescribably strong. As the true heroine, Rantil has been completely forgotten for a large number of chapters, but is actually stronger now- HEY, COME BACK! MEANIES!”



Cethran Value – “Do words exist to describe how low you will plumb for comfort from women, Adris? At least the imp you are fated to marry isn’t that dumb, yes? Perhaps her beauty might end up complimenting your decisive lack?”

“Yet again, you prove your lack of fortitude by exuberantly breeding little girls, don’t you?”



“Born of contradiction and fear, imps are creatures that have the appearance of what they, at their core, can never be. Even if she’s capable of appearing nice, an imp is designed to lead you astray. But if it’s a man who is already the definition of ‘astray’, then how will this relationship unfold?”

“It seems they get along well enough when forced to, this strange master and slave combination. But who is going to save Adris from a creeping girl’s matrimonial doom?”



“I think in Adris’ case, Rantil does a good job of bringing out that erotic component, since she’s ‘innocent’ enough to slip by his guard.”




Whoa, it’s nothing.





Chapter 34         Table of Contents          Chapter 36