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Leveling through Lust – Chapter 8: Hunting for Secrets Bahasa Indonesia

My undercover interrogation session with the young maid had worked even better than I had expected to. Not only I had managed to learn a lot about the way the servants operated, which would make my disguises even more convincing, but also I had managed to gather quite a few interesting nuggets of information about the students. Some casual, like the fact that Cornelia having two maids serving her, one younger one that handled the menial tasks, and an old matron that mostly sat around, raining orders to other servants.

Some were more interesting. Like the fact that she had, during a midnight walk -which she had been dallying with another servant or a guard if her sudden blush was any indicator- had seen Cornelia and the old maid fighting, or more accurately Cornelia shouting aggressively while the old matron ignoring her in an obvious dismissive attitude. A weird balance of power, but the implications I wasn’t able to guess without more information.

Luckily, my undercover interrogation also gave me the tools to investigate the reasons for it. The maid was more than happy to inform me that the younger maid was having some friendly walks with one of the guards, and she even saw her disappear with him a few minutes ago.

So, after leaving my unwitting informant behind, I searched for a corner, and after a few more illusions, I was dressed in the colors of House Antony, with my general looks and hair colors the same with the younger maid. Unfortunately, I hadn’t seen her, neither I had enough finesse to copy a face without fault even if I did, but I kept my head down as I walked towards Cornelia’s rooms, willing to bet that no one would pay too much attention to me.

A minute later, I was at the door. A magical probe revealed that it was warded, but it wasn’t a particularly strong one, relying on the fact that no one would dare to enter the room of such an important house without an invitation. Even better, it had an intentionally weak part, to allow someone carrying a keystone to enter without triggering the alarm.

A bad assumption, as I quietly expanded my magical reach, and copied the necessary pattern, which staggered the ward just enough for me to open the door and sneak inside. When I pulled my energy back, the protective veil was back on, a touch weaker than it was supposed to be, but I was willing to bet that Cornelia wouldn’t take notice of such a small change.

I threw a glance around the room. Cornelia’s room was better than Marianne’s in both size and furnishing, which only highlighted the relative difference of power between them. House Louis was just a minor one, while House Antony was a major one, and seemingly with a corresponding enjoyment of unnecessary opulence. And it was just the first room, with a few seats, just to greet visitors.

While I would have liked to enjoy the comforts it provided, I didn’t know when someone, either Cornelia or one of the maids, would return, so I initiated my search. Predictably, the first room, open for all visitors, didn’t have anything interesting, so I moved onto the next room, which was another sitting room, but in a more private setting. I didn’t spend too much time there either. I was tempted to swipe one of the candlesticks, made from pure silver, expensive enough to address a lot of my monetary needs, but that would be too suspicious. They were all stamped with the house crest.

But the real treasure was the bedroom, which laid behind another ward, this time stronger, more intricate. And unlike the previous one, it didn’t have an intentional weak point to allow the keystone-bearers to pass without raising an alarm. As a result, it was much more difficult to bypass without triggering. Conveniently, there was no one around, which gave me enough time to slip through it before raising an alarm, only because it was a simple design, not constructed to resist against another magic user, lacking any kind of trap that might create a backlash in case of a careless touch.

After a deep breath, I mentally reached for the strings of magic that held the ward together, carefully unfolding them, occasionally building temporary arcane holds to maintain its structural integrity, my palms sweaty with stress. It took twenty minutes, and more than two-thirds of my mana pool, to create a safe passage that would allow me to pass.

Another difficult choice awaited me. I either turned back and left, wasting the effort I had put in there, or slip inside, hoping that I would be able to unravel the same thing easier while leaving. And I had just a few seconds to decide it.

In the end, I took the step forward. I needed to have a better grasp of Cornelia, lest she upended everything I worked for without even knowing. I dismissed my temporary magical scaffolding bit by bit, letting the ward fall back its previous state, providing full coverage for the room.

“Finally,” I murmured as I looked around Cornelia’s bedroom. I would have liked to be surprised by the richness of the furnishings -rare wood, gold platings, and paintings I didn’t recognize but looked very expensive-, but after seeing the rest of her rooms, I couldn’t say that I was impressed.

I tried to apply one of the tricks I had learned from Helga, gathered my magic and then let it spread like a bubble, trying to find something worthwhile. Unfortunately, it failed spectacularly, not because it wasn’t able to find anything, but because there were too many magical items in the room. And I was afraid to put anything more than the absolute minimum behind it in fear of triggering the ward, making things even more difficult.

In the end, I decided to write it off as a loss, and observed the room, relying on the more primitive approach of using my own eyes. The first thing I noticed was her desk, with several books, and expensive-looking parchments furled open, all covered with several active runes, denoting their high value. It wasn’t exactly cheap to produce parchments strong enough to hold active runes, and they were used for valuable things.

Moreover, I recognized some of the books, as they belonged to the private wing of the library, where it held the ones with actual precious knowledge, but the access to it was highly regulated. I was surprised that she had been allowed to remove them from the library. Apparently, being a part of an important family had even bigger benefits than I first assumed.

The other books, I failed to recognize, but since their spines with marked with the crest of House Antony, it wasn’t a huge deductive leap to accurately guess their sources. I wondered whether this information was what Helga was looking for, remembering the scroll exchange that went between them. I was tempted to steal one of them, but that would alert Cornelia about the uninvited guest in her room, and I didn’t want to jeopardize my access. And while copying would be a nice compromise, there were too many targets, especially since I didn’t know what Helga was looking for.

With that path shelved, I started going around the room, carefully opening her drawers, hoping to find a secret that would give me some kind of advantage on her. Maybe a letter, or if I’m incredibly lucky, a personal diary. Unfortunately, with each drawer I pulled open, my hopes dwindled. Maybe sneaking into her room wasn’t as well thought out as I had first envisioned. It certainly didn’t bring the treasures I had been hoping for.

The next drawer I had opened turned out to be holding her underwear, some of them in a particularly spicy variety. I snorted as I pocketed one of the particularly interesting ones, black, more lace than fabric, and see-through. Not that I had any plans of actively using them, but having them was enough. At least, I could console myself by claiming it wasn’t completely worthless!

[Achievement: Thief of Treasures. Risk your life to acquire a treasure worthy of everything. +500 Experience. +2 Agility]

I couldn’t help but let out a snort. Who would have guessed that the system had a sense of humor, which threw a lot of questions about its source, especially curious since none of the books that I had read had mentioned something like that. So, it was either a secret, or something unique to my case. Still, the resulting boost was no means unwelcome, as I could feel my body starting to move with an unfamiliar lightness, my balance significantly better.

And funny enough, I couldn’t even say the reward was excessive, as a mistake would bring the wrath of Cornelia to my head, a woman that almost killed me because I stumbled on her in a compromising position while she was in public. There was no telling what she would do if she caught me in her room, sneaking around, looking for her secrets…

I tested the system by trying to steal a few more things, but it turned out to be a one-off thing. I would still try it in a different room, but that was for a different time.

I was reaching for another drawer, indistinguishable from the rest, when I felt a flicker of magic. I instantly pulled back, and probed it with magical senses instead. “Pits of hell,” I murmured as I examined the results. I had finally found the drawer I had been looking for, which would have been good news if it wasn’t for the wards around it. At least three interlocking ones, managing to erase almost all magical presence while conveniently making the trick I had pulled on the door impossible. The wards had keyholes, for the lack of a better term, but different from the main entrance, the locks were designed with magic in mind. It wasn’t enough to have the correct keystone, they also required the correct pattern to be known. Even if it was possible to unravel them without the stones, which I wasn’t sure, it would require a much higher skill than I currently had.

But I didn’t have enough time to lament that fact, because the ward around the room suddenly started fluctuating. Simultaneously, I felt the door opening. I did the only thing I could, opened the door of the nearest wardrobe, and sneaked inside, closing the door the moment the other one started to open.

The sheer magnitude of my luckiness hit me with the full weight of a rabid dragon. It was a close call, and without the burst of agility I had experienced, I doubted that I would have been successfully sneaking my way into the wardrobe and close it behind me without making a discernible sound.

The safe thing was to close the door and ensure my concealment. Still, there was the question of the identity of the intruder, so I kept the door ajar, once again ignoring the requirements of common sense.

The intruder turned out to be an old woman, dressed in as the other servants, stepped into the room, marked with the colors of House Antony. A curious development, a maid breaking into the privacy of her mistress. Combined with the gossips about their fights, it created an even more interesting picture.

But I was more interested in the way she was moving. For once, she had a straight, confident gait as she walked, something that would fit better to a minor noble rather than a servant, especially one that was currently invading the privacy of her mistress. Even if she didn’t know about Cornelia’s impending arrival, the way she systemically went through the same drawers I had gone through, but she went through its contents with impudence, uncaring of the mess she left in her wake.

I felt excited as she neared the warded drawer that had stymied me quite a bit. She wouldn’t have been able to open it, of course, but the reaction to her attempt might have given me some clues.

Before that could happen, the sound of door slamming reached my ear, followed by a set of hurried steps. When the bedroom opened in the same aggressive manner, I wasn’t surprised when it revealed Cornelia, her face contorted with anger.

I couldn’t help but admire the maid when she turned towards Cornelia, in a shocking display of calmness. I doubted that I would be able to stay as calm, especially when facing Cornelia, even angrier than the night that almost ended with my death. “Can I help you, mistress Cornelia,” she said calmly, but even more interestingly, I managed to catch a hint of amusement on her tone, which made me even more curious.

“What are you doing in my room,” Cornelia said, the words leaving her mouth in a slow, methodical rhythm, one might trick a passerby to think that she was calmer, but I could sense the oppressive waves of magic that was rolling off her with each word. It also had the added benefit of showing me the gulf of power between us.

“I’m going through the periodical cleaning of your room as I’m ordered, milady,” she said, still calm.

“Fuck your orders,” Cornelia said, slamming her hand on the door. When she pulled back, there was a scorch mark on the door. “Didn’t I tell you that you will stay away from my room, you old shrew.”

“Be careful, milady. Such displays are not befitting the presumptive heiress of your esteemed house,” she told haughtily.

“Don’t patronize me, you old crone, I ordered you to get out of my room,” Cornelia said, but still unmoved.

“And should I remind you that the orders from the Lord of the House always take the precedence, and he ordered me to keep your rooms in good order.”

“Not the lord, but the regent,” Cornelia said as she took a step forward, her hand covered in flames. “Don’t dare to call that bastard the lord of the house in front of me again, you pathetic bat!”

The last thing I expected was for the maid to look even smugger, tinged with satisfaction. She said nothing as Cornelia closed in, and stood in front of her. I didn’t know exactly why the maid was goading Cornelia, but it was clear that it was somehow linked to inheritance, otherwise, there wouldn’t be that much needling on the correct form of the titles.

Cornelia managed to suppress her anger before physically harming the maid, which weirdly enough, made her look disappointed. “I would leave if you desire so, milady,” the maid said as she walked out. “But you need to be more careful to keep your room in order if you are determined to reject my help. We wouldn’t want to be known that the heiress of our glorious House is a slob, would be?” With that, she left the room, leaving the door open.

Cornelia closed with a wave of her hand, magically slamming it shut. The silencing ward came up just a moment later, and then a shimmering shield appeared in the middle of the room, absorbing the bolts of fire she started to throw, each accompanied by a furious cry.

I would have liked to say that I watched her display of anger calmly, but that would be a lie. All it would take for her to check her wardrobe, and I would be dead… A fear that stayed close to the surface during the several long minutes that Cornelia rained flames on the surface, proving that her nickname, Queen of Flames, was not just an empty boast.

Luckily, neither anger nor mana was boundless, even for Cornelia. After a while, she dispelled the shield, and sat on her bed, breathing heavily, occasionally muttering, too quiet for me to hear, but from her expression, I guessed that they were curses. But even that didn’t last long. She moved to open the warded drawer, the one that I wasn’t even able to start trying.

She pressed her ring on the center, then flared her magic in a weird, unbalanced way, which was likely a pattern to complete the physical part of the key. It seemed that she took the security of that particular drawer very seriously. After the drawer was open, she carefully pulled a stack of paper, either letters or legal documents, and quickly counted them. All must be there, as she was considerably calmer as she put them back on and reengaged the defensive wards.

She returned to her bed, and her back was turned as she reached for the strings that held her robe together. I lamented the fact that I was missing an amazing view. When she finished unfastening it, she pushed it off her shoulders, and it fell on the ground, and my annoyance evaporated with it as I examined her beautiful figure, drabbed in a sexy corset and equally sexy panties.

[+100 Experience]

Still, the burst of experience I received wasn’t the only interesting about it. Even from my restricted angle, it was obvious that her corset wasn’t correctly placed, with half of its strings untied. Apparently, Cornelia’s annoyance wasn’t just at the presumption of her maid, but also for her timing, cutting her fun-time prematurely. With Marianne, I guessed, based on the fact that she was wearing something softly sexy rather than danger-and-domination themed one she had been wearing while her extended encounter with Helga.

I had been expecting her to fix her underwear before wearing her robe once more, which was why I was pleasantly surprised when, after a brief struggle with its thin straps, her corset followed the same path with her robe, and ended up on the floor, giving me the full view of her naked back.

[+100 Experience]

It was the first time I had the pleasure of examining her body without distraction. Tall, lithe, yet curvy where it counted, under the shimmering light of her room, she looked like a masterpiece, like a sword wrapped with a scabbard inlaid with rubies, sharp, beautiful, but with a potential to turn deadly in any moment. Though, the threat only made my boner harder as I watched her to remove her panties.

[+100 Experience]

I had been cautiously hoping that the next thing she had in mind was to have a nice shower, though a part of me treating that cautious part like a traitor. While missing out on the show would leave me with blue balls, it would also make things significantly easier.

But it turned out that my twisted yet beautiful luck was working overtime, as she chose to throw herself on her bed, with a perfect angle to give me an excellent view of the treasure between her legs, a rather tantalizing view even before her fingers joined the battle, and started caressing her folds in a surprising urgency, like she was using the rush of pleasure to counter her stress. A good strategy, and it was certainly working out for me.

[+200 Experience]

And what kind of man I would be if I didn’t use such a beautiful opportunity to its full extent. I pulled my shaft out while trying to make no sound, and started caressing it. Gently, as I was afraid of the possibility of alerting her if I used a more frantic pace, but luckily, the beautiful sight in front of me left no need for such assistance. The adrenaline from the fear of getting caught was just the sprinkles on top.

Under these factors, it wasn’t a surprise when I arrived at the finish line before Cornelia despite her head-start, leaving my mark on the interior of her wardrobe. Soon, Cornelia shuddered for a moment, marking the completion of her objective, but it was a short one, consisting just a shudder or two before she stood up, and walked out of her room after picking a towel, probably for a relaxing bath.

[+300 Experience]

And she didn’t bother reestablishing the complicated ward on the door, putting an extremely simple one in place instead, just enough to prevent her maid from going around. After listening for a minute, making sure that there was no one in the living room to notice my retreat, I escaped from the room, letting out a relaxed breath only after I managed to find a corner, and transform into a generic servant with no house colors.

Still, all included, I couldn’t say that I was dissatisfied with the results. Even with the exhaustion from my almost depleted mana and the stress from several close calls, my expedition resulted in a generous bundle of information, with a few secrets included.

Now, I just needed to find a way to use them…

[Level: 5 Experience: 13040 / 15000

Strength: 6 Charisma: 12

Precision: 9 Perception: 9

Agility: 9 Manipulation: 11

Speed: 6 Intelligence: 8

Endurance: 8 Wisdom: 17

HP: 190 / 190 Mana: 45 / 285 ]


[Advanced Subterfuge (43/50)

Basic Arcana [25/25]

Basic Speech 12/25 ]


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