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Leveling through Lust – Chapter 5: A Hidden Assistance Bahasa Indonesia

It was a pity that I didn’t know any healing spell, as it would be the simplest way to enhance Helga’s resistance. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option, and considering the disastrous results when I first attempted telekinesis, using her as a target for my first spell didn’t make much sense. I needed an alternative.

While I was busy trying to come up with a better way, Cornelia’s crop landed on Helga’s skin once more, this time directly on her nipple, and Helga let out a cry, even louder and needier than the previous times. I even saw her lips opening like she was about to say something, and considering the situation didn’t exactly lean for casual discussion, I feared that it was a sign of her crumbling resistance.

Cornelia must have reached the same conclusion, because the next time her crop touched Helga’s body, it was a soft caress rather than another blow. “Pity,” she murmured in excitement as she drew a small circle around Helga’s breast. “Today, you seem to be even weaker than the usual. Even your failing family would be ashamed of you, a pathetic mage, an outcast, and now, even failing at whoring.”

A hiss escaped Helga’s mouth against the insult, her dazed glare sharpening. For a moment, I steeled myself, expecting Helga to use a spell to blast Cornelia back. And I wasn’t the only one that thought it, as Cornelia took a hurried step backward, and a shimmering disk appeared in front of her.

“Scared much, princess,” Helga whispered with abject amusement, stretching each word like they were covered with honey and berries.

For a moment, Cornelia said nothing, the way her fingers tightened around the whip to turn them white the only indicator of her anger. She stood motionless as the shield slowly dissolved.

Helga’s pride and satisfaction dissolved with the shield , realizing the enormity of the mistake she had just committed, but the determination was back on her face soon after. I was impressed. Her lips stayed shit, preventing herself from muttering not only the safety phrase, but even a word of mercy that would blunt Cornelia’s anger. It was a mistake in my view, as Cornelia didn’t look like she was in complete control, and it had taken much less provocation for her to try burning me to a crisp. And for Helga, there was no Marianne to blunt her anger.

My sudden pity towards Helga mixed into my desire to extend the situation as much as possible. So much that I instinctively reached for my nascent arcana abilities while Cornelia’s whip sheared the air, the loudest to date. A shimmering barrier appeared over Helga’s skin, both less intense and smaller than the one Cornelia conjured. But its feebleness only worked for my benefit, as it was quietly destroyed the moment Cornelia’s whip connected with it, allowing it to contact with Helga’s skin.

[+3 Arcana]

[+100 Experience]

Both the increase of my arcana skill and figuring out a new spell was welcome changes, but the benefits of my reflexive action weren’t limited to enhancing my magical capabilities. Destroying the shield bled a significant part of Cornelia’s hit, and added to the fact that I hadn’t been enhancing her blows anymore, Helga just let out a pained gasp rather than an unrestrained cry. Helga looked surprised, but only for a moment, quietly shifting back to determination once more as Cornelia raised her whip for a repeat.

Ten times Cornelia’s whip sheared through the air unrestrained, tinged with anger, sometimes on her back, sometimes on her chest, and ten times I managed to conjure a barrier to reduce the damage. But despite that, Helga’s lips parted like she was about to say something. Cornelia stopped, and Helga whispered. “Time’s up,” she said, followed by the last piece of sand in Cornelia’s hourglass.

[Achievement: Cloaked Conjurer. Help a lady to resist enmity via magic without revealing yourself. +400 Experience, +2 Intelligence]

[+500 Experience]

Cornelia stopped, but her nakedness allowed me to see her arm trembling badly, like she was conflicted whether to just continue, ignoring her loss of control. Anger scoured her mind. She took a deep breath. I could see that it intensified her anger, but it wasn’t the only impact it had. It also transformed her anger from a boiling hot rage to a simmering desire. “That’s enough for tonight,” she tersely spat, and turned her back, her glee and enjoyment suddenly absent. “I’m not in the mood anymore.”

With a flash of wisdom, I understood that she did that, not because she enjoyed delivering pain -at least, not only that- but the sense of control it gave her. And her out of control reaction to Helga’s little taunt destroyed the impression she had just built up. To make things worse, Helga successfully resisted Cornelia’s out-of-control response, removing the only factor of enjoyment she might have taken from the situation.

Helga slackened in the grasp of the ribbons that kept her upright, relaxing as she realized that she had managed to survive the consequences of arrogance. Cornelia said nothing as she pulled her robe on, then silently put everything in her bag other than the ribbons that kept Helga immobile. She looked at Helga, then her robe, obviously considering whether it would be too petty to take it, tasking Helga to find a way to return to her room naked.

In the end, Cornelia placed a parchment on the table, and put a piece of gold over it to pin it in place. A wave of her hand, and the ribbons flew towards her bag, depriving Helga of her support, who just collapsed on the floor. Another wave dispelled the wards, and Cornelia started to walk away.

“Same time next week?” Helga asked, but the glee on her face was too obvious for it to be just a question. She was clearly gloating her victory, however small. I approved the sentiment, even though it was a shortsighted move in terms of the long view.

Cornelia gave no indication that she heard of it, and disappeared amongst the shelves. Helga just lay on the floor, ignoring the possibility of a surprise guest.

I was struck with a sudden inclination. Would I let Helga go, or somehow push the situation for my benefit? What would be the risk of the situation?

But as she continued to lay on the ground, breathing, her marred but beautiful body in a complete display, her curves covered with an attractive sheen, there was only one decision I could take.

I needed a strategy to approach. There was a lot of things I could do. The simplest thing to do was to stumble at her while she was still naked, but there was little benefit for that. I would see her naked, which didn’t add anything to the situation, and while watching her trying to fix her clothes in panic would have been amusing, she might also react violently to my presence, and despite my level and high skills, I had no illusion where my combat capabilities lie. It would take only a moment for her to eviscerate me.

I tried to come up with an alternative approach as I sneaked towards the other side of the library. Regardless of the context, I couldn’t have let her think that I had a chance to peek on her in her vulnerable state. But it still left the context of approach. Stumbling at her location after she finished dressing, and using her distress to help her would be the most logical choice. Unfortunately, my idiot persona worked against me on this context. A week ago, I wouldn’t have noticed it no matter how obvious, doing otherwise would cause her to pay attention to me, which was a recipe to disaster.

Then again, being myself wasn’t the only option, right?

I smirked at my sudden flash of insight. After all, I was still wearing the same pants and shirt I had in the morning, while I convinced the kitchen staff that I was a student at the ranger section. And while it was rare to see the students that didn’t focus on magical disciplines in the library, it wasn’t impossible. In a hidden corner, I quickly removed my robe, and a couple spells later, I had reddish hair, green eyes, and a distinctive scar on my chin.

But the real change came from the way I positioned my body. Gone was the slouched shoulders, replaced by the subtle grace of a ranger driven by unnatural grace of their unique balance. My physical stats weren’t high enough for that, but luckily, subterfuge was enough to cover the rest.

When I walked back towards Helga’s location, I made sure to create enough commotion by slamming the books close. Not only it alerted her, but also it gave me an excuse for why I was in this section. I hoped that the sudden fire she had against Cornelia wasn’t a temporary reaction, because my whole approach relied on her engaging my presence with a similar fire.

Even with the forewarning, when I saw Helga, she was barely closing the last button of her robe. She looked at me with fearful eyes, understandable considering her vulnerable state, and her lack of friendly acquaintance. “Hello,” I said, doing my best to put a moment’s tremble in my voice to betray nervousness, while a nervous smile flickered on my lips, both completely artificial. By showing vulnerability, I hoped to reduce her fear. I didn’t want her to retreat instantly.

“Can I help you?” she said, but her tone wasn’t the same terse one that she used against other magic students.

“Actually, yes,” I said, trying to sound genuine. “I was looking for a book on the basics of the arcana magic, but I’m a bit lost.”

“Magic?” she said, surprised. “You’re a student of magical arts?”

“Ranger, actually” I answered. “But I was trying to find some stuff on arcana magic. I’m considering relative merits of having a more diverse skill set, if I get lucky enough to unlock a magical skill,” I followed, giving her a reason for my presence.

“I see,” she murmured.

“You could just call me an idiot,” I said as I took a step towards her, small enough to not to be threatening. “You don’t have to mince your words.”

“No,” she said with a blush. “I didn’t mean it like that. It’s an unconventional idea, though. Most people prefer to focus on one side of the skill tree to maximize the impact.”

“Really?” I said, trying to sound earnest. “I would have thought the advantages from the extended utility will be beneficial enough that at least some people are willing to focus on a more balanced approach.” While I listened to her, I pulled a chair while keeping my eyes on her.

She threw a hesitant glance towards the chair, clearly wanting to dash away, but also caught flatfooted by the fact that someone was interacting with her without clear antagonism and insults. But then, her exhaustion won, and she pulled a chair for herself as well. “Partially,” she said, starting her explanation. “But it has more drawbacks. Not only it would prevent you from mastering the critical skills for your main job, therefore reducing effectiveness, but you would also have to focus on the stats that don’t benefit your usual tasks.”

“But stats are acquired more or less randomly.”

“That’s true, unless you’re one of the noble houses with hundreds of years of recorded achievements list to speed up your growth,” she said, a trace of bitterness slipping through her voice. A deserved one, considering she had been humiliating herself to get just a glimpse of that information. “But more time you spent on your activities, more chance you would have gaining another stat point. You really don’t want to have invested in magic unless you have at least seven in intelligence or wisdom, for example.”

“So, I wasn’t wrong, you’re calling me an idiot,” I snapped.

“No-” she said, shocked, but I cut her off.

“Relax,” I said, with a sudden snicker while erasing any hint of anger from my face. “I’m just joking around. You mages should be even more repressed than the gossip suggests if you missed that.” I said.

“Something like that,” she said dismissively, which was understandable. The constant bullying campaign stemming from institutionalized classist behavior wasn’t the best conversation grease. “I’m sorry, but I need to run. But it was nice meeting you,” she said, standing up.

“Did we meet? I don’t even know your name,” I said, and she blushed.

“Helga,” she said curtly.

“Orlin,” I answered, and her face alighted in shock.

“You’re not from the Empire as well,” she said, surprised.

“Technically, I’m, but not in any practical purpose,” I said, quickly creating a background for myself. “I’m from one of the migrating tribes that are tasked to destroy the monster buildups in the northern plains to prevent another incursion like Seven Month Carnage.”

“Then, why are you here?” she asked.

“I was a part of the envoy that had been sent, and since the old geezers would take a few weeks to finish, I managed to get permission to join a few classes in the meanwhile, as a gesture of goodwill.”

“You’re not a student,” she asked, trying to hide her obvious disappointment. I barely held back a smirk. It was clear that she managed to develop a small crush in a matter of minutes, which wasn’t a surprise. Not only I had a decently muscular body thanks to my high and well-rounded physical stats, but my charisma and manipulation was nothing to scoff at either, and their impact was further impacted by my advanced subterfuge skill. My positive approach, something she lacked due to her outcast status, managed to put the final nail in her coffin.

“Unfortunately,” I explained. “My family could never afford the cost of the Silver Halls, and it’s practically impossible to get the scholarship as a ranger, especially if you’re not one of the cronies of these so-called noble houses.” She looked downcast, and I chose that moment to sink the dagger. “I know it’s a bit forward, but would you mind hanging together in the library while I’m here,” I said. After a pause, I added with an exaggerated panic. “To have more discussions about the magic, of course,” I quickly added, like I was trying to cover for a slip of tongue.

“That would be nice,” she said, a genuine smile appearing on her face for the first time. I felt like an asshole, kicking a wounded kitten, but in the end, I didn’t have the option to hold back. And considering the sacrifices she was willing to make for more power, I had a feeling that she would have understood even if I spoke her openly. “I need to go,” she murmured as she stood up.

“Are you okay,” I said. “You seem to be having pain while trying to stand up.”

“It’s nothing,” she spat out in a way that would have alerted me that she had a secret if I hadn’t already known. “Just a little accident while trying to reach for a book.”

“That’s what happens when you ignore your physical stats,” I countered, which put a smile on her face once more. “Do you need any assistance. I could help you to walk back to your room,” I offered.

“You better not,” she said. “It’s better if we avoid attention. The students here have a group mentality, and wouldn’t appreciate me talking with a ranger, especially in the library.”

“I understand,” I said with a wink. “That would be our little secret.” I stood up as well, and before she could start moving, grabbed her hand and placed a soft kiss on her knuckles. “It was a pleasure to meet you, milady. I can’t wait for our next meeting.”

She said nothing as she dashed away, but the sudden blush on her face suggested that she enjoyed the attention. I smiled, not only I had managed to make a hot girl develop a crush, but I had also earned a nifty reward in the process.

[+5 Subterfuge]

[+ 300 Experience]

[Achievement: Charmed Cutie. Impress a girl with your charming words until she develops a crush. +200 Experience, +2 Charisma]

[Achievement: False Flag. Seduce a girl under a fake identity. +400 Experience, +1 Charisma, +2 Manipulation]

I continued to sit on my seat after Helga’s departure, enjoying the sudden burst of warmth on my body as my stats earned a significant jump. I couldn’t help but smile at the state of my stats, half of them already ten or above, and the rest not far behind. From all I had read, it seemed to be a spectacular achievement. Gods were really rewarding me for all my suffering.

I let myself let out a relaxed sigh. Even if the worst happened and I got capped at level five, I would have enough power to go back to my family and earn my post. Five levels were not much, pretty much disgrace level for a noble, but with those stats, I would be able to perform well above my level would suggest. I wouldn’t be a powerhouse by any stretch, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to take my post as the head of the family, but I would be able to live a decent life.

But for some reason, that thought filled me with disgust. No, after everything I had suffered behind the closed doors, I didn’t want to return there for a mediocre life. I either returned to take everything under my control, or I didn’t return at all. Finally tasting the power and freedom, I had no intention of restricting myself. And leaving the Silver Tower behind would mean sacrificing the only chance I had to discover the reason for my situation secretly.

With a renewed enthusiasm, I changed back to my robe, once again disguising myself as the useless assistant. After tasting the ease I could interact with someone without the weight of my history, the robe felt heavier. With a sigh, I pulled my cart from its hidden location, and returned to the main area, spending the next half hour working, trying to be seen around, while looking for another opportunity. This time, I tried to interact with the people as much as possible without being too obvious, trying to raise my subterfuge skill further, unfortunately, that didn’t work. Apparently, it was already high enough that passive observation was no longer an effective tool.

I was halfway to my room when I saw my next inspiration. Two maids, carrying a bunch of stuff towards the ladies’ room. “Could I dare to do that,” I murmured, shocked by the insanity of my own plan. It was supposed to be a difficult thing, but with my basic magic skill maxed, combined with my high manipulation and subterfuge skill, it might be just possible, especially since the maid uniforms were loose enough to hide the features of my body.

The first task was to acquire a uniform. In my room, I donned my worst clothes, and with a few illusion spells later, I was indistinguishable from one of the manual helpers. In effect, I was invisible as I walked towards the laundry room with a basket in hand, filled with scraps. From there, I carefully swiped a maid uniform without being seen, and ten minutes later, I was back in my room, trying to illusion long hair that still looked realistic when I shook my head.

[+1 Subterfuge]

It took me another hour to fix my clothing enough to look convincing as a woman, a task that I would have failed miserably without the constant insights provided by my skill, on how to stand, how to move, how to avoid the glares of men, and another hundred small topics.

And with my disguise in place, there was only one destination to maximize the benefits…

The luck still seemed to follow me, as I saw an older woman, either in her fifties or sixties, struggling to carry a bucket of steaming hot water. More importantly, she had a specially-colored collar on her neck, denoting that she was a private servant belonging to a house. I counted myself lucky, because those colors belonged to House Louis, the house of my dear savior Marianne.

“Do you need any help,” I asked, but only after walking closer to her, using the tone as another tool to conceal my tone.

“Yes,” she said, as she placed the bucket of water on the floor. She looked at me in appreciation as she breathed hard. “One of the other maids was supposed to help me, but I have no idea where that airhead is. Probably frolicking with that servant that was sending her looks all day long. Youngsters, no respects or sense these days…” she said. I just nodded, ignoring her burst, and lifted the bucket.

She started walking, and I followed, until I was in front of a door that was marked with a huge Coat of Arms, a shield with a huge kraken, marking the House Louis’ seafaring past. “Why are you carrying water, I thought that the student rooms had hot water from the taps.”

“Yes, but this is boiled with special herbs and oils to create a relaxing effect, and it is supposed to increase the speed of healing. Perfect after a difficult day. But it smells horrible while boiling, so it needs to be done in a storage room.”

“Sounds a bit wasteful,” I said as I poured the water on the bath, which was still only half-filled.

[+1 Subterfuge]

“Nobles,” the maid whispered resolutely before returning to normal volume. When she started walking back, I just followed her. I was disappointed to see that Marianne wasn’t already in the bath, but still, the interaction while I faked being a woman was enough to increase my subterfuge, which was better than nothing. So, I listened to her chatter, occasionally nodding, allowing me to learn more about the various noble houses and their relationship. She was under the impression that she was sharing idle gossip, I was able to make some interesting conclusions.

“Thank you, youngster. You deserved a copper for your help,” she said as she patted my shoulder as I dumped the last bucket into the bath, filling the room with a thick cloud of steam. “I can handle the rest, though the moisture is going to kill my knees.”

“I can help if you want,” I said before I could fully consider the risks, tempted with the possibilities.

“Really,” she gasped in appreciation. “And here I was thinking that all youngsters cared was avoiding work and flirting with lowlife boys. It’s amazing to see that there are still some that respect the older people like they supposed to.” She smiled happily. “What’s your name?”

“Selina,” I answered, giving the first name that came into my mind.

“Mine is Griselda,” she answered. “Have you served a noble lady in the bath before?”

“I did, but if you quickly explain your lady’s preferences, just to make sure I follow them.”

“Will you be able to remember them all?” she asked, suspicious.

“I have a good memory,” I said. She looked disbelieving, but went through a long list of things to do and things to avoid, which took a better part of ten minutes, which I recounted back without error, courtesy of my enhanced mental stats.

“Impressive,” she said with a nod. “You can find a towel to change behind that screen. Change quickly. I will bring Lady Marianne in a few minutes, and you can help her undress.” She took a step forward before suddenly turning back. “And, don’t forget. Only one glass of wine for Lady Marianne. She doesn’t handle her alcohol well.” With that, she left, leaving me behind with a mixture of fear and anticipation…

[Subterfuge +3]

[Level: 4 Experience: 8620 / 10000

Strength: 6 Charisma: 11

Precision: 7 Perception: 8

Agility: 6 Manipulation: 10

Speed: 6 Intelligence: 8

Endurance: 8 Wisdom: 17

HP: 132 / 132 Mana: 180 / 216 ]


[Advanced Subterfuge (34/50)

Basic Arcana [25/25] ]


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