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Leveling through Lust – Chapter 16: A New Meeting Bahasa Indonesia

I woke up with the first rays of the sun, which was insufficient as rest, as while I recovered the mana I spent during my rest, I had to spend almost all of it recovering several hit points. It was tempting to sleep a few more hours to recover some more, until my library shift started, but another information-gathering task awaited me.

[+4 Biomancy]

[-400 Mana]

[+113 HP]

Once again in my servant disguise, this time as a stable-helper, I slipped to the warrior section of the area, and worked there for a couple of hours. With my latest radical jump in strength, the work was rather easy even in my exhausted state, something I had appreciated a lot.

More importantly, I had managed to collect a bit information about my mystery helper. It turned out, it was easy to make idle servants gossip about a sexy woman over six feet tall and an aggressive demeanor. Unfortunately, due to traditional roles expecting a noble lady not to dirty her hands with such nonsense, exacerbated by the said aggressive demeanor, there was a fair bit of resentment towards her, which meant that there was a lot of inaccurate and plain vicious gossip about her, and even for me, separating them was a difficult task.

Some claimed that she killed all of her brothers, while others claimed she hunted the men stupid enough to get near her for sport, while simultaneously claiming that she was a whore that had routine intercourse in the monsters in the forest, and a lot of other ridiculous claims. The only consistent thing was she was a part of a small house with a glorious past, and she decided to take the path of the warrior after the untimely death of her brothers to raise her house reputation, rather than doing what was expected of her and find a decent match, while focusing on the magical arts.

The other undisputed fact was that her sword was a treasure onto itself. That, I had no trouble believing, because that monster of a sword had cut through a class eleven monster with just a cleave, with only a modest strength of six to support it. Yes, shadow wolves weren’t known for their defense, but only because of their scarier abilities.

So, when I stood on the line, listening as the head librarian stood ahead of us, my mind was still on the task of separating useful information from garbage, when I noticed a slight limp in her steps. It was a simple thing, barely noticeable even with my perception, but it was enough to pull my attention.

I started to watch her body language with my full attention, which was hard due to a rather thick robe she was wearing, but thanks to the wide variety of experience I had with loose-style female robes -both wearing them for disguise and peeling them off from sexy ladies- I was able to catch a limp on her steps, which she was trying to hide.

That made me look even deeper, which allowed me to catch the other signs of a wound she was trying to hide. Curious, because she had a reputation for a highly-accomplished mage. I didn’t know whether she had any healing abilities, but it shouldn’t be hard to find a decent healer, which would keep it secret for her even if she wanted to keep it hidden. Which meant that it was either something recent, something she couldn’t ask any help for, or something that couldn’t be cured by a regular healer.

Another mystery. It was a pity that this one, I couldn’t have risked trying to solve it.

But there had been an unexpected side effect of my careful examination. It forced me to register all of her qualities, such as the rather lovely structure of her face, disrupted only by the tight way she gathered her lovely chestnut hair in a tight bun, stretching her skin to an unpleasant sharpness. Her lips, forcibly thinned to hide the fact that they were thick enough to be pouty. Her beautiful brown eyes, hidden behind a pair of edgy, intimidating glasses.

And just like that, something clicked in me. I had been tricked by her demeanor and the mode of dress, registering her as an old lady past her prime, something her reputation as a war hero only reinforced. But now that I was examining her, I could see that she was a beautiful woman in her early thirties, using every little trick available to her to look stern rather than cute.

[Achievement: Crack in Character. A new patch created by noticing an interesting detail. +100 Experience, +1 Perception]

Of course, that didn’t change the fact that she was a very accomplished mage, with a level close to thirty based on the stories on her achievements, and with a personality pricklier than a dire porcupine, which made trying to reach her a dangerous proposition. Still, I had a feeling that it wouldn’t keep my back if the situation presented itself.

But that was something for the future. When she finished giving the tasks of the day, I once again slipped towards the less-visited parts of the library, busying myself with books of combat magic. The last night’s encounter proved to me that I was under-equipped in terms of combat spells, and desperately needed a variety over pure blasts and shields.

After finishing my work, I was expecting to return to my room for a quick rest. Some of my mana had been replenished thanks to my leisure working pace in the library, but I wanted to sleep until it was the time to meet with Aviada to top it as much as I could manage. I wanted to be prepared for another surprise like the wolf.

My surprises were yet to be over, however, when I noticed a familiar figure following me in a way that she thought as stealthily. Marianne, my favorite massage customer. She had a hood over her face, and a cloak around her body, but it was a terrible disguise. Her curly blonde hair peeked through, and there was no cloth in the world, enchanted or otherwise, that could hide her delicious curves.

I was tempted to change my path towards a more crowded part, just to watch her trying to dodge the suspicious gazes of the passerby, but I had a feeling that Marianne wouldn’t be able to weather too many of those glares before skunking away, and I was curious about what she wanted to talk about.

Instead, I took a turn towards a more deserted area that held the unused beddings and other types of inventory, giving her a chance to close in. I watched from the corner of my eyes as she closed in, but she lost her confidence in the last second. A ridiculous lack of courage, as thanks to experience modifier, I knew for a fact that she was stronger than level ten, but she still failed to close into an abnormal. Yes, she was a healer, but it didn’t justify it.

I had to get lost, walking even deeper into the unused parts of the tower, for her to gather enough courage to confront me. And even then, it took a few minutes for her to take the decision to dwindle the distance. “Stop,” she finally called as her steps quickened, and I turned towards her, the blank look of the Mule on my face.

In her hurry, her hood had fallen back, revealing her face, her pinkish color signaling the stress she was feeling. She took a deep breath, trying to gather her composure before starting to speak. “You’ll call your maid back to here!” she ordered.

“What?” I answered, adding a thick tone of surprise that suggested I failed to comprehend her question.

It was fun to watch her lose her wind against the unexpected wall of stupidity. She stilled for a second, restarting her thought process, and repeated, this time, much slower. “Your maid, Selena. Write home, and call her back.”

“Why?” I said, but this time, I didn’t bother to sound like the Mule. I have dipped my head down, letting the shadows of the corner to hide my expression, and while she was distracted by the question, dispelled most of the subtle disguise that was hiding the effects of my charisma increase.

“Because I order you to do,” she answered, like it was obvious.

“Really,” I said while raising my head once more, but this time, there was no illusion that hid my expression. She flinched, stunned by the sudden change of the situation. “So, I have to bother writing back to home and angering my stepmother, just because you’re feeling horny,” I added, the smirk on my face widening with every single word that departed my lips.

“W-what,” she stammered, missing the irony of mirroring my earlier phrase.

“Come on, Marianne,” I said, taking a step towards her. Trying to process the new situation she found herself in, she struggled to process my words, but she took a step back nevertheless. “Isn’t Cornelia enough to fulfill your needs that you needed to bother my poor maid.”

It would be a lie if I said that I didn’t enjoy the expression of shock that spread onto her face when I mentioned her secret paramour. Her face turned chalk-white as she realized that her most important secret was known by someone that was much-less Mule-like than she had assumed.

Her shock soon turned into panic, and her hand jumped up, a ball of fire crackling in her palm, reminding me my closest brush with the death, even closer than the fight against the shadow wolf. But this time, I wasn’t a weakling barely strong enough to hurt a fly. My hand moved in a flash and pushed her wrist up, sending her attack haywire. “Rude,” I murmured.

Her reaction was rather immediate. I felt a sudden shift of mana, indicating that she was preparing for a huge attack. I could have shielded myself, but that would reveal my magical aptitude as well, something I wanted to keep hidden as much as possible. Instead, I pulled my dagger, and pressed under her chin, sharp enough to remind its presence without actually drawing blood. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

Just like that, the pressure from her assault dispersed, and I pulled the knife away. She was trembling badly, but I wasn’t feeling charitable after her attempt to erase me from the face of the planet. She leaned against the wall, and took a few deep breaths, trying to calm herself. From her reaction, I could see that she was even more removed from the danger than I had assumed, even when considering her specialization as a healer.

“Are you well enough to talk, or should I try to find a seat for myself while waiting for you?” I said, not so charitably warning her.

“But… You… Mule… How is it possible,” she murmured, with long breaks between the sentences, trying to process the fact that the idiotic but harmless worker she had seen around had such a dangerous secret in reality.

“For reasons that would take too long to explain, I had to arrange being sent here to avoid assassination, and that idiot persona was a part of my disguise, because it was useful. You can’t believe the secrets you find when people think you’re stupid enough to mix up and down.” I stopped for a second, my smile gaining a dark quality. “Or in second thought, you know exactly what kind of secrets that might be found, don’t you, sweetie,” I added, caressing her cheek softly just to reiterate the situation.

“Why are you telling me this?” she asked, clearly confused.

“Because you can’t tell anyone,” I said, but even as I said that, I realized it sounded like something a third-rate villain might say before killing his victim, so I quickly amended. “Because the things I know about you are much more dangerous, so you would be an idiot to reveal that. I would just lose my cover, which, for reasons that would stay hidden for now, starting to outlive its usefulness. How would your family react if they knew your unholy relationship with a woman from a rival family?”

My lengthy explanation was enough to push the situation for her. “What do you want?” she asked in surrender.

“Don’t be down, sweetie, I don’t need anything from you,” I said, which made her react incredulously. “Don’t be too shocked, while there is quite a few I could force from you, I’m not in a habit of blackmailing helpless damsels.” Which was a bald-faced lie, as I had no complications about using the said blackmail to my benefit, but the way she reacted to the situation revealed that she was even easier to manipulate than I had first assumed. Why should I have an angry servant while I could have a devoted one instead?

“So, you want nothing,” she reiterated, relief overcoming her surprise.

“Well, I wouldn’t say no if you occasionally drop by for a quick chat. Boredom is the biggest problem in wearing the disguise of an idiot. And with my loyal maid gone, I don’t have anyone to talk to. Before she departed, we were talking for hours, where she told me about her day.”

“She tells you about her day,” Marianne said, her panic invading her voice once more.

“Yes,” I said, stretching the word like it was a particularly delicious piece of food. I let my gaze fell down, devouring her body. “She told me everything, including the rather interesting adventures she had during her latest job assisting a rather curious noble lady.” I made a show of zipping my mouth, signaling that it will stay a secret.

“Thanks,” she murmured, but her voice was more stressed than relaxed. I understood where she was coming from. My commitment to stay silent wasn’t worth much with her information being worth so little. At least, that was what I had made it look like by revealing it in my own choice.

“Of course, I shouldn’t have to say it, that it needs to be a two-sided act, even including Cornelia. If you choose to talk to her about anything about me, I might find myself explaining some of your adventures without her.” I stopped for a moment, then continued with a teasing manner. “But it shouldn’t worry you. Luckily, she is even-tempered enough to handle it, right?”

That, despite the tenseness of the situation, managed to earn a snort from her. It wasn’t a perfect joke, but delivered by the supernaturally good timing and tone, enhanced by my speech skill, it worked wonders. It was an interesting tone, timing, and pacing of the words had even more important than the meaning they hold.

“So, what now,” she said, calmed after her short laughter.

“Nothing much, you’ll stop searching for Selena, as she had to leave for another task for the family, and I don’t want anyone to start asking about her linked to me. There was a reason she didn’t wear her family’s allegiance openly. On that topic, even among the servants, you need to be more careful who to trust. You’re lucky that I don’t have any ulterior motives towards you,” I said, probably uttering the most bald-faced lie that had ever left my lips.

“I understand,” she said in a slight annoyance for being patronized, which was my intention. Slight annoyance was much easier to manage than fear of one’s safety.

“Excellent. Try to drop by occasionally, as it will get without Selena’s company,” I said and started walking away. But just before disappearing around the corner, and facing at her, who was watching me with confusion, still trying to process the sudden change in the situation. “And, feel free to drop by if you want to receive a massage from Selena’s master, satisfaction guaranteed.”

[Achievement: Foxy Flirting. Twist dangerous and threatening situation into not-so-innocent flirting. +200 Experience, +2 Manipulation]

It was amusing to watch her dash away with panic, so much that I was tempted to follow her, applying a more direct method of seduction. Unfortunately, I still needed rest for tonight’s meeting, in case that shadow wolf wasn’t the only thing that was planned by the shadow planner.

I wasn’t willing to believe that a shadow wolf accidentally sneaked into the level one forest the same night the guards decided to be suspiciously absent.

When I went back to my room, I chose to take a small nap, ignoring the temptation to start playing with the trophy bones I had picked. Even without spending it frivolously, I would be around three-quarter mark after another nap. I didn’t even spend it to fully recover my HP, why should I waste it for a few pieces of bone.

I left my room about an hour before the promised meeting time, once again dressed as a servant. My first stop was the armory, and I managed to steal a sword and a dagger without much difficulty, dismissing the fact that their absence would cause some headache for the quartermaster. Their count was, unlike the ones marked garbage, was limited. They weren’t masterpieces in any stretch of the word, and they didn’t have a scrap a magic of their creation, but they were quite a bit more reliable than the one I had picked from the garbage, even after the magical treatment.

After that, I stayed in my servant guise while walking towards the female warrior section, waiting for Aviada to appear. Not because I wanted to talk to her, but because I wanted to see if her passage would trigger a spy.

A few minutes later, Aviada appeared at the entrance, and started walking towards the forest. I didn’t have to wait for long, as one of the servants disappeared suspiciously the moment he had seen her, and a moment later, I felt a flare of magic. Even around the warrior halls, it wasn’t that uncommon enough to be noteworthy, but not enough to make the servant’s disappearance just a coincidence.

With the conspiracy targeting my new friend confirmed, I quickened my steps towards the forest, just in case the planner in the shadow decided to act quicker than I feared. Aviada was too interesting to lose quickly.

[Level: 9 Experience: 43700 / 45000

Strength: 9 Charisma: 14

Precision: 10 Perception: 11

Agility: 12 Manipulation: 14

Speed: 7 Intelligence: 12

Endurance: 10 Wisdom: 17

HP: 370 / 450 Mana: 535 / 612 ]


[Advanced Subterfuge (50/50)

Advanced Arcana [50/50]

Advanced Biomancy [35/50]

Basic Speech 25/25

Basic Melee 23/25 ]


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