What met my eyes the moment I awakened was a gloomy, cavern-like space. It was dimly illuminated, despite the absence of any conspicuous light source. When I looked around at my surroundings, I saw that the place was dome-shaped, and that its purple walls had been made as if to inscribe a circle with me at its center. I wasn't sure what they were made of, but I felt no sense of oppression in that space, which was the size of an ordinary living room.
—And... at its center, my limbs were bound by...
Purple tentacles which extended from the walls were restraining my arms as if to lift me up. As a test, I cried putting all my strength into my arms, but the tentacles showed no sign of tearing. I could barely feel the touch of the hazy tentacles; they eluded my strength, which could have shredded them easily had they been made of steel, and rendered it ineffective. Next I tried using magic on the unexpectedly skilful tentacles, but I couldn't invoke any. I didn't understand how it had been done, but it was probably best to assume that my magic too had been rendered innefectual.
—...I've confirmed my situation. ...So, the next question is... how I ended up like this... but...
With my sluggish mind, just awakened from a dream, I quietly reeled in the thread of memory. I knew I'd heard that a powerful monster had appeared in Lescatié... and received orders to suppress it. The monster had already destroyed several units, and I judged that a group battle against it, in which I would be unable to move as I pleased, would be dangerous. I'd left my subordinates behind and come to the forest on the outskirts of the city... and then...
—Oh... that's right... I...
A succubus with unusual white wings. Into that succubus, who loitered, her body illuminated by the moonlight, just as if she were the ruler of the world, I'd poured all the strength and skill that I possessed. And yet... the result had been a crushing failure. Without any of my strength or skill even reaching the succubus... I lost miserably.
—I had been praised as "the strongest"... Was this all I could do...?
Of course, it wasn't as if I thought I had enough real strength to merit such praise, but it was still true that, to the people who called me that, I was a symbol of hope. So, if I... were to lose this easily... a mere apology wouldn't suffice.
—And... for him, too...
Just the thought of that was enough to send a sharp pain running through my chest. I wasn't sure how much time had passed since I had lost consciousness, but if the report of my defeat had reached El, then surely he would be worrying for me. For his sake, too, I had to escape from this place quickly.
"Oh my, you've woken up?"
—My body stiffened reflexively in response to the voice which became abruptly audible from behind me.
That voice had a sweet charm to it that brought a shiver even to me, who was of the same sex as its owner. I had heard that voice, which seemed almost to boast of its womanhood, more than a few times in the midst of the battle. That frighteningly powerful succubus was most likely behind me. So thinking, I tried to turn to look at her, but my restraints prevented me. I strained with all my might to bend my neck and direct my gaze behind me.
—And as if to reward my gaze, the succubus slowly began to move...
There was something suggestive about her whiteness, which stood out in this gloomy space. It was probably the considerable exposure of the glossy, porcelain-like skin that made me think so. The black bondage, which looked almost as if someone had pared down the surface area of a bathing suit to the utter limit, appeared lewder than mere nudity.
—And beneath that was...
Hard-looking black leg guards shone over tights of the same purple as the tentacles. In their centers were embedded red jewels almost like condensed blood. They were sinister things at first glance, but the voluptuous thighs and long, slender legs concealed beneath them hardly gave the same impression. She wore similar shoulder pads and gauntlets on her arms as well, but I sensed that they were all decorative things, intended to make the succubus' beauty stand out.
—Actually... succubi are very beautiful...
Two voluptuous breasts swayed on a tall, slender, well-proportioned figure that was at least the equal of Lady Mercè's. Even so, there was not a smidgen of excess flesh to be found on that body; it was a figure all of which insisted "woman." Even the tattoo-like designs etched onto her beautiful skin, while striking, became accents that emphasized the succubus' beauty.
Her features were well-proportioned, as was usual for monsters. No... to be honest, they were so beautiful as to almost demolish my self-confidence as a woman. Her cheek and the bridge of her nose, which I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye as I was hung aloft, were so soft and full that, though we were of the same sex, my hand made to reach out to them, and my eyes were drawn to her lips, as bright red as if they had been rouged, every time they spoke. Even the line of her jaw was fine enough to make members of her own sex jealous.
—What caught my eye even more were the parts that make a succubus a succubus...
Her hair, which seemed devoid of color, appeared to shine dimly, almost as if it were made of moonlight. That hair, each strand of which was unbelievably fine, leapt softly in tandem with the succubus movements, and gave her an air of mystery. Her eyes, which expressed a strong purpose, were stained black, making their ruby-red pupils stand out. Their strong-willed radiance was a bewitching one that might charm even members of her own sex. Moreover, the silvery wings and tail that spread lightly from her back swayed slightly, as if to keep her balance. Dyed a bewitching, glossy white, they called to people's instincts to keep clear, and at the same time conveyed an undeniable fascination.
"That was faster than I thought... I suppose I should have expected no less from the 'strongest' 'hero'?"
—I ground my teeth at the succubus' teasing words.
I didn't have it in me to deny them. After all, it was a fact that I was a "hero" and had been called the "strongest" in Lescatié. Surely objecting to that would itself have been strange. Still, it was nothing but frustrating to hear it from the succubus who had defeated me without even letting me get close. I wouldn't exactly have been happy to hear it said in normal circumstances, but when this monster said it I could hear only sarcasm.
"Oh my... but I wasn't being particularly sarcastic, you know? Actually, I meant to finish things by binding you properly, but you were stronger than I thought, and I ended up having to make you faint."
—In other words... aren't you just saying that you're that much stronger than I am...!?
I had of course fought intending to kill this succubus. After all, my opponents were the bitter enemies of the Chief God, and those who would disturb the order of the world. If those monsters were to succeed in entering Lescatié... El would be in danger too. That was why, without conceit, I had fought as always with all my strength.
But it seemed that even so I hadn't been able to draw out my opponent's full power. Actually... not one sword-stroke of my attack had reached her, so surely that was to be expected. She had apparently spoken to follow up my thoughts, but I could only think she had done so in order to clearly display the difference in our power.
"But... I'm glad you seem to be worth the trouble; you're... very lovely. "
—So saying, the succubus embraced my body from behind.
An inexpressible chill ran through my body, regardless of the warm body pressed against it. In any case, the other was a monster. My body struggled in response to those words, in which it sensed danger to itself, but, still restrained by the tentacles, it could mount no suitable resistance, and ended by doing no more than squirm.
"G, get away from me!"
"No. After all... I've finally managed to catch some first-rate prey; how could I let it get away?"
The succubus replied thus to the words I shouted to compensate for my body's inability to resist. I couldn't see the expression of the monster who had drawn so close to me, but I was sure it must be triumphant. In fact, I could see quite a tinge of complacency in that act of embracing me tightly from behind. I wanted to insist that it was conceit, but as I now lacked any means of resisting her, I had no room to do so.
—Calm down, Wilmarina... there's no point losing your temper now...!
Telling myself that, I suppressed my loss of composure. Actually, as there was no way for me to resist in my current situation, I ought to avoid expending strength unnecessarily. After all, seeing that there was nothing I could do with a frontal attack, my only option was to look for a gap and break through.
Thanks perhaps to my repeated instructions to myself, my thoughts had regained just a little composure, when those words recurred to my mind. I had been called "beautiful," "lovely" and the like before—of course, more than half the time they had been empty compliments—but it was the first time I had been called anything like "first-rate." It wasn't a word that would normally be used of a human, and it ought not to be. Besides, my face and figure couldn't but be overshadowed when compared to those of the succubus behind me. Even in Lescatié, people who surpassed me in looks weren't that rare, so... I didn't understand why she would go so far as to call me "first-rate."
"Hee hee... Does it seem strange to you...? But it's the truth! I mean, you're... lying to yourself, aren't you?"
I was greatly shaken by the succubus' words, but even I didn't know why that was. I had always meant to live true to myself. It was true that I had occasionally been carried along by circumstances, but I didn't think I had ever lied to myself.
"I, I've never..."
"You haven't...? Then... who's the person most precious to you...?"
—Of course... it was...
I shook my head to deny the image of a red-haired youth. It was true that El was my childhood friend, and that he was precious to me, but a "hero" couldn't have such a partner. A "hero" needed to attend to and protect everyone equally, so...—
"Hee hee... You can't say it... or maybe it won't come out...? If you form special relationships... you can't say that you'll protect everyone, and then... you couldn't become an ideal 'hero,' right? "
—The succubus spoke as if she understood, and her words were right on the mark.
Something cold flowed down my back at those words, which seemed to have peeked into my mind. But mind-reading techniques hadn't been developed even in Lescatié. It had to be a mere coincidence... or else a bluff.
—If it wasn't... I...
A sharp pain ran through my breast, as if to mask my ugly self secreted within it. In the moment I was preoccupied with that sensation, which felt as if my heart had been pierced with a needle, the succubus' hand softly slipped in through the opening in the breast of my tunic. Even that clothing infused with unparalleled defensive and anti-magical capabilities, which was my personal armor as a "hero," was unable to obstruct the monster's hand. I realized that the succubus' slender fingers were crawling inside my white one-piece, which had readily permitted the invasion.
"So... first I'll break that for you... I'll chip away... your hero's mask... "
"Kuh... u... uh."
In an instant, I realized that the monster was burying her claws in my exposed cleavage. There was surprisingly little pain as they scratched my skin. On the contrary, a throbbing ache ran through me, and I ended up wanting her to touch me again in spite of myself. But, going against the state of my body, my mind rejected that desire. Surely that was only natural. After all, she was an enemy I ought to hate, and a member of a race that had to be destroyed.
"Still... these clothes are surprisingly sexy. There's this opening at the breast... and the skirt is so short, too... the children who fight at your side must have a hard time holding back their lust. "
"I... I don't exactly dress like this because I like it..."
The opening in the chest certainly was embarrassing, and it wasn't as if I wouldn't have liked a little more length in the skirt. Still, the reason for the chest was that I got itchy when I got sweaty, so there was no ulterior motive there. The length of the skirt was because, as a "hero," I moved around a lot on the front lines, and I couldn't do that if it were too long. Trousers were uncomfortable because of the itching, and so this was the only possible result.
"Well then... I wonder how you felt when you first put this on...?"
I needed clothes that could be worn as a normal one piece while still bearing religious symbols hear and there. Still, I had been unused to it at first, and felt embarrassed about the exposure around the bust and skirt. It hadn't exactly been just once or twice that the opening in the bust had been rudely stared at. Such things hadn't happened much recently... but every time it did... I couldn't say that I hadn't thought about if the gaze had been El's...—
"Hee hee... So I was right; you did want to be looked at by a special someone, didn't you? And... you wanted him to get all worked up... and attack you, right...?"
"Y, you're wrong...! I, I...!"
I'd only wanted to startle him a bit. I'd wanted no more than for him to take even a little notice of me. But wanting him to attack me...? Such a shameful thing had never once crossed my mind...—
—N, no... i, in the first place, I'd never thought of El like that...!
The instant I made that denial, the succubus' hand softly spread open the bust of my tunic. The gesture, seemingly intended to bare my underclothes, expelled my bust through the hole in the open-chested one-piece. But the opening at my chest was a little too small for my breasts, and it ended up squeezing around the base of my nipples. By cheeks burned with shame at that appearance, which seemed designed to emphasize the size of my bust.
"See...? Don't you think this is a very sexy look...? Maybe you can get him to attack you if you wear it like this."
"He, he's not like that...!!"
—El wasn't the sort of man to give in to his lust.
After all, if Lady Mercè was looking after him, his grades in practical skills must be among the best.
His marks in classroom learning, too, were well above average. In the past few years, he must have been just about the only man the instructors at the training academy here had given their seals of approval as having no problems in mind or body across the board. Even without any additional information, I could tell that El had matured still just as he was in my memories. That youth, whose kind eyes, sparkling with purpose, were still just as I had seen them so many times in dreams, would surely never attack a member of the opposite sex without her consent.
"Oh? There is a special someone, then?"
—The succubus' words made me at last realize my blunder.
Every last one of the questions I had reflexively denied had assumed the existence of a "special someone." Having realized that, I searched my mind for some retort, but could find none at all. Almost as if my instincts approved the monster's words, no rebuttal came to my mind.
—But... but... she was wrong...!
El was just a childhood friend. At the very least, he couldn't be my special partner. If that wasn't the case... if it wasn't... I... I would...—
"Oh my... Stubborn, aren't you...? Well... it's more worthwhile making you fall that way... isn't that right? "
"Y... you're not done yet...!?"
The succubus sounded delighted. In response to my rejoinder, spoken nine-tenths in bluff, the monster's fingers began to move. My body complained of an itch where the fingers seemed to caress the surface of my exposed breasts. It was nothing I couldn't endure, but it was accompanied by a sensation that seemed strangely to remain in the core of my breast.
"Of course not! On the contrary... I'm just getting started. "
—As she spoke, the succubus' fingers began to spread...
Each finger moved about as if it were a separate organism; they were crawling over my skin like snakes. Their movement was limited to gently caressing the upper half of my bust, and it seemed that they had no intention of forcing their way inside my bra just yet, but surely they would do so sooner or later. Just thing about that time was enough to send something cold flowing down my spine and make me want to scream.
I was a "hero"; I was everyone's hope. Even if no one was watching me shoulder everyone's expectations and wishes, I couldn't allow myself to react like an ordinary girl of my years. Having so sworn to myself, I shut my lips tight; shut them so that no scream would leak out.
"Hee hee... Giving me the silent treatment now?"
She must have perceived my condition. The succubus still sounded delighted. Foreboding boiled up in me at her voice, which gave the impression of a cat taking pleasure in its prey's desperate attempts to escape. My instincts cried out that I must not remain like this and ordered my body to resist, but no matter how I twisted and turned, I couldn't break free of the tentacles' restraint. In order to find a gap, I ought to keep quiet and pretend to...—
"Tee hee... ...Did I startle you...?"
I clenched my teeth at the succubus, whose tone was like that of a child who had succeeded in some mischief. My involuntary cry was surely the reason for her triumphant attitude. But surely anyone would have ended up crying out if a thick, tepid liquid suddenly oozed onto them from the tentacles restraining their arms.
—No way... W, what is this...!?
A viscous liquid, thick like slime, penetrated my leather guards and encroached as far as my clothing. The slimy, tepid sensation was simply disgusting; so much so that I felt driven to get in a bath and wash the liquid off at once.
"But don't worry... it's certainly nothing bad. "
—You mean to say this isn't something bad...?
It seemed that this disgusting feeling wasn't bad as far as the succubus was concerned. In my excess of frustration I wanted to say something, anything to dispute her, but nothing I said to this monster would do any good. It was even possible that she would, on the contrary, be delighted at getting a reaction, so sinking into silence should be the right thing to do in this situation.
—Ugh... It's already to my armpits...
But even while I made up my mind, the liquid continued to flow, and the slimy sensation to spread over my body. The feeling provoked a physiological revulsion in me, and sweat rose on my skin. The moment I felt that dampness travel down along my spine, just like the liquid, the monster's fingers quietly left my breasts.
As I mentally tilted my head in puzzlement at the succubus' behavior, two tentacles stretched out from beside me and began to play with my breasts. The same liquid was of course also clinging to those tentacles, which reached up softly from below as if to lift me up and rescue me. In the blink of an eye, that liquid, which possessed frightening powers of penetration in spite of its viscosity, had soaked through my underclothes and spread its dominion even as far as my bra. And yet, the sensation of it differed slightly from that traveling along my sides.
—It's... almost like... an itch...
Perhaps my chest was just more sensitive than my sides, or perhaps the succubus had done something while she touched me, but each time the slimy liquid came into contact with my bust, the same ache as when I had been ensnared was revived in the depths of my breast. No, it wasn't merely revived; that ache, stronger and fiercer than before, through my mind into disorder.
—Why is... something like this...!?
That sensation, almost like an itch, complained to my reason that it wanted to be touched. I couldn't comprehend its voice, which entreated me for a renewal of the earlier stimulation. But... but the succubus was an enemy I must destroy. I had to defeat her for his... for El's sake, too, so... to want to be touched by her was...!!
"Are you confused because your body is aching... and you've come to desire my touch, perhaps?"
The succubus, who had gotten behind me without my noticing, flashed a confident smile. Her words, which again seemed to see through to my true feelings, made me show my dismay on my face in spite of myself. That reaction must have struck a chord in the monster's heart, because her expression had changed to a smile with a tinge of superiority about it.
"You see, that syrupy liquid you're touching... is sexy stuff that makes girls' bodies ve–ery sensitive. "
—Is that... why...?
If the succubus was telling the truth, then this ache in my chest, which had become difficult for me to deny, was all due to this liquid. It was typical of a monster to employ such obscene and base methods. I was sure that she thought she could make me submit in this way. But I was a hero who had received the power to protect people from the Chief God: there was no way that I, who possessed a more than ordinary resistance to magic, would yield to something of this degree. My body could still endure the ache in my chest, and my mind wasn't about to give in, either. I... I could still resist this succubus! In front of me as I affirmed this to myself, the monster softly opened her lips.
"Well, that finishes the explanation, so... you want me to smear this over your whole body for you now, right...? "
Dispirited by those words, I stared back into the succubus' face in spite of myself. But the monster just stood there with a smile that practically sparkled, and would not reply. Instead, the tentacles restraining my legs rose as if to twine themselves around me, and covered me up to the thighs.
That wasn't all. Several more tentacles stretched out to my sides and belly, smearing them with liquid. My clothes, which the liquid soaked and clung to, were muddied and ought to have felt unpleasant. But, perhaps because of the explanation the succubus had just given me, the skin soaked in the tepid liquid was growing just a little hot. My mouth sought oxygen in an attempt to suppress my rising body temperature, but right now even I wasn't sure what I might blurt out if I opened it. If, by some chance, I were to beg the monster for forgiveness, I wouldn't be able to show my face to the many people who depended on me, so... even though it would be tough, I ought to keep my mouth shut.
—Still... even as I deliberated, the tentacles continued to creep over my whole body...
With the exception of my face, there was hardly a spot on my body that wasn't being touched. As proof of that, my whole body was covered in the liquid, and my clothes were clinging to my skin. The color of my skin could be seen through the cloth of my belly and in other places, creating a suggestive sight. Having become strangely excited in spite of myself, I reflexively averted my eyes from my own form.
—But... the oozing ache didn't lessen...
The ache, which seemed to permeate my nerves, would not vanish simply because I averted my eyes. The liquid was steadily encroaching on my body, making it sensitive. I strove desperately to deny the part of myself that felt a queer pleasure at the sensation the liquid transmitted to my skin, which had been merely unpleasant a short time before, but my body felt as if every nerve in it were exposed, and I could not silence its complaints; on the contrary, they were growing gradually more forceful.
"I think, perhaps... you're nearly ready... "
The instant the succubus' fingers traveled smoothly along my right flank, an electric current ran through my spine. Accompanied by a shivering chill, it pierced my brain and made to steal the strength from my body. It was surely only my continuing to cling to the dignity of a "hero" that allowed my body, which seemed on the verge of collapsing in spite of itself, to stand firm. In the face of a powerful numbness, I embraced a powerful bewilderment; it seemed that I would have crumbled easily had I not done so.
—What was... that... just now...?
Never in my life... had I even once tasted a sensation like that... dozens of times sweeter than ticklishness. No such sensation had ever welled up when I touched my own side, but just now it had been brought about by the hand of a succubus, my enemy. My thoughts were entirely filled with the fear and bewilderment of that experience.
"How do you like it...? The world of pleasure enhanced by dozens of times? "
Now that she mentioned it, it did feel good... or it could be put that way. At the very least, it was a fact that the desire to be touched had been momentarily satisfied. The skin that had known that sweet sensation — which, according to the succubus, was pleasure — complained even more forcefully that it wanted to be touched more.
"This is the world of monsters... the place you'll be stepping into from now on... "
—This is... what monsters...
I couldn't keep myself from swallowing hard at the succubus' words. A thrill of pleasure would run through my body no matter where on it I was touched. What would happen... if... if she were to touch my breast or the like while I was in this state? I felt a faint desire mingled with anticipation and curiosity slowly budding inside me.
"Hee hee... Have I piqued your interest, perhaps?"
The instant I heard the monster's delighted words, I realized the danger of that desire. I mean, it was an idea the monster affirmed. An idea approved by a race that worked to harm the humanity and the Chief God must be absolutely impermissible. After all, as a "hero" for the race known as "humans," which had received the favor of the Chief God, hating monsters had always been a quite natural, obvious thing. It was unthinkable that I, a hero, would have my interest roused by a monster, and it was surely inexcusable.
—Besides... besides, how could I be... by mere sensitivity...!?
I couldn't believe that the stimulation which seemed to lay my nerves bare was a good thing just because it felt good. I had no sexual experience, so I could only guess, but surely that stimulus was too strong for a human. While it felt good, the excess of pleasure was stealing more than a little strength from my body. But being a "hero," I had confidence in my physical strength, and so I would never submit even to this pleasure.
"Well then... why don't we give you a little more personal experience... "
I tried to tell myself that as tentacles crawled over my body. And yet, the sensation of them clearly differed what I had felt until then. I had had hardly felt the tentacles touching me before. The slimy sensation of the liquid had been strong, but the tentacles themselves had felt vague, almost as if they were made of mist. But now I had a clear sensation of being touched and played with.
It should, of course, have been impossible to describe that sensation as feeling good. Who in the world would call being touched by tentacles dripping with slimy liquid a pleasant feeling? And yet... contrary to all reason, I was clearly taking pleasure in it. My liquid-covered arms, belly and legs... that pleasure was transmitted to me through all of them and refused to stop.
—Even though it was with... these hideous tentacles, I...!
There was no way I could admit that my, a "hero's," body was delighting in being toyed with by those things, which were only tools for raping and humiliating women and had no will of their own. Honestly, it would have been a hard thing to admit even if my partner had been a human man. There was only one person in the world I wanted to be touched by...—
The moment my thoughts reached that point, the slimy sensation penetrated to my chest. That forcible intrusion through the gaps in my bra caused my breasts to spill over and fall, exposing even my nipples. Of course, there was no way that that would be enough to satisfy tentacles that were the servants of a succubus. They twined themselves around me as if trying to rub the newly exposed skin with their own scent. Every time the tentacles rubbed my breasts, making them sticky with the liquid, they lingered and made indecent, wet sounds which aroused by embarassment.
—It's embarrassing... but...! I don't want it, but...!
"Ooo... Nnh! "
When I felt the touch on my breast, I let slip a high-pitched cry in spite of myself. That cry, which even I had never heard pass my lips before, was surely one of pleasure. Even as I analyzed my response, a heat kindled in my cheeks. Surely that too was natural. I mean, the succubus in front of me couldn't possibly have missed hearing me, and...—
"Hee hee... It sounds like you're starting to enjoy it... "
"Th, that's obviously just your imagination, isn't it...!?"
Even while I made that obstinate reply to the monster, whose cheeks were splitting into a delighted grin, my own cheeks were growing even redder. I knew that it was what she wanted, but in spite of that I couldn't help being roused to embarrassment when I was ridiculed in this way. Still, my mind was by no means filled with that alone: even now a pleasurable sensation, shocking as an electric current, was being transmitted to me through the tentacles fondling my cleavage and the outer circumference of my breasts. That stimulus was so great that it seemed it would dissolve my brain to mush and shatter my oath to keep silent; I didn't know what might happen if I didn't put on a brave face.
—There has to be... some... some way...
Seeing that it was becoming difficult for me even to remain silent, I became aware that I was being pressed harder than I had expected. Until now, I had vaguely believed that "I'm a hero, so I'll definitely be okay," but that conviction was greatly shaken and was crumbling. Having come to that realization, I thought desperately, but my thoughts were interrupted by a wave of pleasure that blindsided me in the middle of those speculations. My thoughts were tossed about like a little boat in a storm, and I could hit upon no plan of escape. The restless feeling within me began to grow worse as I struggled, and my breathing was growing more ragged in step with the mounting pleasure.
"My goodness... I see your mouth is already starting to open, and you're making quite an enchanting face... "
"Haa... So... it... it's not just your ears... even your eyes have gone senile now...!?"
Just as the succubus said, my mouth was already half open in spite of myself. My composure was so far gone that I could no longer even keep my mouth closed, and I felt that I would go crazy if I didn't keep encouraging myself with strong words. No... the pleasure being poured into me was now making even that dangerous. The pleasure being transmitted to me through my whole body made my mind tremble and a heat writhe in my belly. And then I realized that that heat, which seemed as if it would melt my insides, was changing into a moistness.
"Your legs have been fidgeting for a little while now, too; how very lovely... "
When I turned my attention downward in response to the succubus' words, I saw that my legs were indeed moving as if to rub against each other. And yet, due to the interference of the tentacles, they could not meet skin no matter how they tried. The syrupy feeling of pleasure from their skin rubbing against the tentacles of its own accord was creepy up my spine. I knew that the signals traveling muddily down from my brain to meet them were thrusting into the interior of my belly and making that place melt again.
—She's wrong... this is just... an instinctive response to try to shake off the tentacles...!
Having become conscious that I was clearly getting pleasure by those acts, I murmured to myself unthinkingly. But the words only reverberated vainly in my pleasure-filled mind. I was astonished to find that not even I could believe them. I mean, it was sure proof that I was beginning to wish for the pleasure.
—No... that couldn't be... It wasn't...!
But this pleasure was just too strong. It seemed to be trampling and smashing my dignity as a human; someone who had received no training would probably have yielded to it. But I was a "hero" who had sworn to defend the world from succubi until her last breath, and I had trained my whole life for just that purpose. My body would never... would never seek pleasure like this...!!
"So...? It feels good, doesn't it?"
"Of... of course... not..! It feels disgusting... so bad I feel sick to my stomach...!"
—Even so, my pride remained unbroken.
Why not admit that I was indeed getting pleasure right now? My face probably was becoming slovenly, too, just as the succubus said. Surely it was also true that I was coming to feel pleasure due to an instinctual response. But I was still a "hero." There was no way that, the people's hope, would yield so easily. So, however worn-out I became... even if it seemed that my dignity as a human would be broken... I had to go on being a "hero."
"Hee hee... I love the stubborn ones. "
"Is that... Ooo... ...so? I... hate... Eee... y... you... though."
"Oh dear... that is a problem."
The succubus looked as if she were genuinely troubled by my bluff. I sensed something unpleasant in the way she softly laid a hand on my cheek while seeming to consider. I hallucinated a wild beast waiting before me with its jaws open, and my body tried reflexively to flee. My bound body, however, was incapable of any resistance worthy of the name. On the contrary, my body rubbed against the tentacles as it stirred in its attempt to flee, and ended up making my spine leap with a start.
"In that case... why don't I give you a present as a symbol of our new acquaintance? "
"A... pre... sent...?"
"Yes. A ve–ery lovely... wonderful present... alright...? "
—So saying, the succubus softly touched the index finger of her right hand to my breast.
Even just the sensation of her nail eating into my soft flesh was enough to make my skin, stained so many times by the liquid, thrill with pleasure. The moment I felt myself about to cry out in spite of myself, I had a hallucination that some hot substance was being poured into that spot. My body writhed at that feeling, which was just as if muddy, boiling hot water were being poured into it.
"Does it hurt...? Just try to endure it a little longer... "
"Oo... aah... nnh! "
The succubus spoke a little regretfully, but I did not feel the same. I mean, despite the high degree of the heat pouring from her fingertip, it didn't hurt at all. On the contrary, that heat traveling along my nerves and spreading throughout my body carried with it a sense of security and comfort like that I felt when I abandoned my body to the water of a warm bath.
—But... of course, that wasn't all...!
My body was growing steadily more sensitive, almost as if the liquid were being poured directly into my body through the monster's finger. Because even now the tentacles were crawling over the surface of my body in that state, the feeling was intolerable. The movements of the tentacles on my inner thighs were particularly fierce, and their vigorous rubbing felt almost as if they were raping my skin. That feeling, which combined visceral revulsion with pleasure, was also growing steadily larger within me once more...—
In spite of myself, I let out practically a shriek in response to the succubus finger, which had suddenly begun to glide across the surface of my breast. That movement was slow and deliberate, almost as if she were trying to bury something deep inside me. But still, my soft flesh was certainly being made sensitive to that pressure by the heat being poured into it. Just that slow, steady movement was enough to draw countless sweet cries from my mouth.
"Fuuahh... Aah... "
"Well then, next... how about here...? "
It was my right cheek to which the succubus next turned her finger. There too she moved her finger with deliberate care while pouring heat into me as before. My body leapt more than a few times in response to that syrupy, melting feeling on a portion of my skin nearer my brain. Even as I felt "pleasure" swell up many fold within me and shake my dignity as a "hero," I continued to desperately endure.
"Hee hee... Will this do, do you think? "
When, so saying, the succubus withdrew her finger, an unfamiliar pattern adorned the surface of my breast. Just what that bluish-purple mark signified, I didn't know; all I was sure of was that the seal would never vanish. After all, that design, through which a sharp, throbbing ache ran, had been carved by the hand of this monster and no one else. There was no way a monster who multiplied her race by obscene methods would give a "present" that would simply wash off.
—Ah... I've been... defiled...
The indecent sigil was carved up to the edge of my areola. It meant that I could never show my nakedness to anyone else again... not even to my future husband. No, it might be more than just my breast. After all, the succubus' finger had poured the same heat into my right cheek as well. I couldn't be sure without a mirror, but just the idea of it was enough to make my heart cry out in anguish, and almost crumble.
—Like this... I can't face him anymore...!
My face had been marked with an obscene tattoo. More than anything else, it would surely be seen by many as proof that I had yielded to the succubus. As long as I exposed my face, I would always have people pointing and gossiping behind my back. As... as a "hero," that wasn't exactly something I couldn't endure. After all, a "hero" was someone who protected people no matter what sort of calumnies they received in return. I, who had thrown away happiness as a woman, would not quail at such looks. But... but... if... if he looked at me with the same eyes... if that happened... I would...—
—Wh, what... is this...!?
Just imagining it was enough to make my lachrymal glands slacken, and I was on the verge of tears when the tentacles again twined themselves around me. The pleasure of it was incomparable to what I had felt so far. A sensation as if my already heightened pleasure had been multiplied by several times more raced through my whole body. Especially intense in my head and hips, it was stealing the strength from my body. I scolded my own crumbling body for its failure to obey my will, but it was in such a state that, were it not being supported by the tentacles, it would likely have soon collapsed. As proof of that, my legs were trembling like those of a newborn fawn.
"Aah... Kuu... hee...! "
But even that trembling ended up increasing my pleasure. I mean, my skin and the tentacles around my legs rubbed against each other with every movement. That stimulation, weighing on top of the sensation as if the whole of my legs had become an erogenous zone, was more than sufficient to cause a sweet cry to escape my mouth.
"Oh my... making your legs shiver like that... I'm so glad you seem to like it. "
"Oo... kyuu... D... don't... look... Ngh! "
I tried to scowl at the delighted-sounding succubus, but I failed utterly. I felt my feelings of pleasure running in a single direction: a vague sense of fulfillment, as if currents of water that had been racing about my body every which way were now all going the same way. Surely that feeling, as if I had found a goal somewhere within myself, ought by all rights to be praised. But it was no youthful impulse which now found its course within me; it was pleasure.
"Fuah... aah! Aaaaahhh! "
—Aah... Com... ing... Something's... coming from inside me...!
It's point of departure was deep inside my belly. The pleasure, swirling round and round, suddenly reared its head from that place, which felt as if it were melting. Seeming almost to burn my insides, it was spreading along my nerves in a single rush. And yet, it was unaccompanied by pain or anguish, and was not even unpleasant. On the contrary, that heat brought with it pleasure, and made me hallucinate that my insides were being melted. Then the melting flesh coiled around my nerves, making my body more sensitive than before and driving it to new heights of pleasure.
"Hee... aaaaahhh! "
The sensation, rising without limit, made me feel as if my body were floating lightly. But the reality was the opposite. The strength had at last gone out of my legs, which had kept up a desperate resistance until now, and they had crumbled from the knees down. The shivering of my violently shaken legs was an expression not of resistance, but of pleasure. I felt disgusted with myself, but the tentacles continued to drive pleasure into me without stopping, as if to toy with my crumbled, unresisting legs.
It wasn't just my legs, of course. It was my breasts and belly, too. The tentacles moved as if to bind my breasts in particular from outer circumference to cleavage, making me let slip a high-pitched cry. The pleasure spreading to my whole body from the sensitive skin into which the design had been carved united with the earlier heat, and felt as if it were making me float up on and on forever.
—In that state, my consciousness floated far, far away, and...
"Oh...? Have you realized, then?"
When my consciousness, which seemed to be going off high into the sky, at last returned to my body, that body had become just as heavy as lead. It troubled me that, try as I might, I could move not one finger. My body, which had difficulty even to stand unaided, was supported by the tentacles throughout. The tentacles weren't moving now; perhaps even they had no taste for playing with unresisting prey. And yet my skin, become exceedingly sensitive, obtained pleasure even from even the faintest movement of my body, and made me let out long, sweet sighs.
"You came magnificently. "
I tilted my head in bewilderment at the word, which I had never heard before. Several candidates were listed in my brain, but none seemed to fit. Perhaps it was because my thoughts were just as sluggish as my body... or else...—
"Acme. Orgasm. Climax. I don't know which you prefer, but... for a woman, it's certainly a form of happiness."
—Certainly... it was...
Up to the moment my consciousness had abruptly receded, my body had been growing soggy and mushy. There had been no anguish or grief in that sensation, which felt as if anything and everything were being mixed together. That feeling, as if I would become a creature that only felt pleasure, was surely sufficient to represent "the absence of unhappiness," and I could even understand how some people might call it "happiness." And yet...—
"Wouldn't you like more happiness like that...?"
"Oh dear... whatever for?"
"Because I... don't want... to acknowledge a thing like that... as happiness."
—That's right. Such a thing wasn't happiness, or anything of the kind.
"Happiness" was a warmer thing. For instance... yes. I thought that something warm and filled with a sense of security, like when El had been at my side, was suitable to represent "happiness." In comparison, that... which lacked warmth, which lacked a sense of security... which was only mere pleasure, was far from happiness. At the very least it seemed so to me.
"Oh dear... it wouldn't be unusual for an ordinary child to fall from this, but... perhaps it's to be expected of a 'hero'..."
The succubus murmured, touching a hand to her cheek as if troubled. Even her words, with their hint of mockery, didn't bother me now. They were, after all, proof that I had been able to alter the monster's scheme, even if only slightly. My mind had grown muddled... but it could still resist, and my dignity as a "hero" was yet unbroken. Cheering myself with that for support, I silently raised my face, which had seemed about to hang in shame.
"No matter... what you try to do to a 'hero'... with things like this... it's... use... less..."
"Is that so...? In that case... you won't mind even if I end up doing something a little bit more intense, will you...? "
I sensed something intensely unpleasant in the succubus' words. Just what more would be done to me? Such anxiety spread through my mind at a stroke. Again my instincts called out to me to flee, but strength still refused to enter my limbs, and I remained limply exhausted. Even my eyes, which alone obeyed my will, were cast downward as soon as I relaxed my attention, and seemed on the verge of slackening with pleasure. As I watched the succubus leisurely approach me again in that condition, I gulped in spite of myself.
—But... I don't want to give in...!
Even in my worn-out mind, the will to oppose the succubus still remained. My face had already been etched with an indecent seal by her hand, and that would surely make it difficult for me to live among people. If I abandoned myself completely to the succubus, I would probably have a much easier time of it. At the very least... surely nothing more horrible than this would be done to me. But it wasn't as if I was a "hero" for the fun of it. I became a "hero" to protect people, and to be a symbol that gave them hope, so... that wasn't a choice I could possibly make.
"For the time being... how would it be if I stir up the inside of your vagina with this little one here...? "
—As she spoke, the succubus gently stroked an especially thick tentacle that sprouted from the floor.
Those words caused a convulsion to occur in my throat, and I felt myself on the verge of raising a short scream in spite of myself. I mean... the tentacle looked to have the thickness of a grown man's arm. If I were pierced with such a thing, I would surely die from it. And... and besides, I was...—
—E... even though it's my first time...!
My body, which had never been permitted to anyone until now, was going to be raped by a tentacle without even a will of its own. Just the thought of that disgrace was enough to make a bitterness spread through my breast. It would probably be no exaggeration to call the large hole that gaped open in my wounded breast "despair." My lachrymal glands seemed about to slacken in spite of myself, my legs were ruled by a feeling as if they were about to crumble, and a hallucination that I was falling into darkness without end welled up in me.
"Now... are you prepared, I wonder...? "
There wasn't even time for my mind, shaking with fear, to come to terms with reality as that tentacle came nestling up between my thighs. It bent as if it meant to dive into the underside of my groin like that. It looked just as if I were being made to sit on the tentacle, and my legs reflexively tried to close in response. But my legs, from which the lingering reverberations of climax had even now not entirely faded, were still coiled in tentacles and could hardly move.
—Beneath me, the tentacle moved swiftly and smoothly...
"Oo... aah... "
Unlike the other tentacles, that one now had something sensual about it, and it pulsed steadily. My mind stiffened in fear at that pulsation, which almost to say that it was about to violate me. But opposite to my mind, my body delighted and caused a sweet numbness to boil up from between my legs. That sensation, incomparably more vivid than that from the caressing of my breasts, thrust into the interior of my belly and caused the heat which had burned down to be revived.
—No...! I can't... take any more of this...!!
Now, after all I had gone through, I was going to be violated by a hideous tentacle. That fear alone was enough to push me to my limit, but my mind and body were showing separate responses, just as if they had been torn apart. My mind or my body; which ought I to obey? No, to begin with, I had lost sight even of what I ought to do; a doubt had been born in my mind, and it shouted fainthearted complaints. The dignity of being a "hero" was trying desperately to suppress it, but even that dignity had begun to creak and strain.
"Hee hee... You've already become muddled and sopping, I see... Well then... just like this I'll rub slime that will help you become more honest with your feelings all over your insides... "
At the same time she spoke, I realized that the tip of the tentacle had softly pushed my underclothes aside. Ahead of it was, of course, a part that no one other than myself had ever touched before. That hideous tentacle was touching the entrance to the part that, as a woman, I had to treasure more than anything. My mind was crumbling to pieces at the actual feeling of it. My dignity as a "hero," which until now I had always held to and which had never been broken, had at last split clean in two, and a large crack had developed in the shell around my heart.
"No! No! Save me...! Save me, El...!!"
The pure complaint of my heart, without shame or honor. It came gushing out through the gap in my cracked heart. I had always suppressed it before, but now it could no longer be halted by reason. And my body was no exception to it, either. My limbs struggled with a desperate violence, displaying resistance as if trying to dispel all of their pent-up anger. In that struggle there was no longer any thought of conserving my strength, only something like a petulant child who shows that they don't want to acknowledge the reality before their eyes.
—But still... I had no chance of breaking free of the tentacles by doing that, and...!
If I had been at my best, the story might still have been different. Now, however, I had been violated by aphrodisiac venom and could not move my body as I wished. The tentacles weren't kind enough to release me, still in the grip of that disordered condition. Even I understood that. And yet... even so, I was already... at my limit.
"El...! El...! Save me...! Save me...!"
"Hee hee... So, it's finally come out... "
—At the same time she spoke, the succubus's hand softly brushed my cheek.
The hand that stroked my tear-stained cheek was warm; it was just like being caressed by mother. My heart, on the verge of going to pieces from unease and fear, calmed just a little at that caress, which caused me to feel a maternal warmth. But the one who gave it was a succubus — a member of a race it had been decided by the Chief God that I should eternally oppose. At the very least, she wasn't someone for whom to feel such an emotion... not someone to see as a mother, or anything of the kind.
"Not the lines of a 'hero,' but... the words of a single girl... "
Still like that, the monster faced me and smiled. The succubus' beauty was outstanding to begin with, even for a monster, and her smiling like that was enough to make me hallucinate that a flower had bloomed. I shook my head to deny that delusion and the works the succubus had spoken.
"You're wrong...! I, I...!"
"Oh my... You really don't have to deny it like that, you know? You want whatever boy you like to come save you, after all."
That was probably so. But... but I was a "hero." It was my role to protect and lead him. No... rather... a "hero" mustn't make any special connection. I had to become an ideal "hero" for his sake, too...—
My thinking was horribly mismatched. I finally came to realize that. And yet, surely, my thoughts would not so simply return to normal after many years of being twisted. I no longer knew just what was mistaken, or which was correct... No... to begin with, I didn't even know which were my true feelings.
—In that state, the succubus quietly hugged me close, and...
Contrary to her practically transparent pale skin, her body was very warm. So much so that I came to want to abandon myself to her entirely, just as if I were being embraced at my mother's bosom. Of course, there were thoughts complaining that that was dangerous inside me as well. But my mind, having at last realized the self-contradiction it had held for many years, was in pieces... and unable to resist.
"Poor thing... repressing yourself like this... You've had quite a hard time, haven't you...?"
—And then... those kind words smoothly came into my heart.
Surely those words were like poison, flowing in through the fissures in my cracked heart. Even I understood that. And yet... the succubus' words were unbelievably kind. After all, those words warmed me as if to fill the cracks in my tattered heart one by one. For me, who had lost sight of my support, her words were too kind... and too sweet.
"It will be fine... I'll teach you properly from the beginning... You see, your contradiction... stems from using someone precious to you as a reason to be a 'hero.'"
—At her words, El floated to the surface of my mind.
El. My precious childhood friend. The person who had always protected and guided me. And yet... now it was different. No, it had to be different. I mean, I was a "hero," and... no, that was wrong... "I" hadn't wanted to become a hero... just... someone he... could be proud of... I just didn't want him to hate me...
"That's right. A long time ago, you... ended up seeing a side of the people you respected that you could never respect. One of them was your blood relative... and another was one of your teachers. So... so, you were scared, right? You were afraid that you might end up becoming like that too... and you didn't want him to see, right?"
—That was the past I had always kept shut up under a lid until now.
I didn't even want to remember it... that day of parting. I had seen the figures of the two people I respected drowning in wine. I had always felt ashamed... of myself, who, with the mind of a child, had felt that I didn't want to become like that. The man who had made time in his busy schedule to give me training and the father who had raised me. I had never been able to acknowledge... the me who had thought the figures of the two of them unsightly.
"So... you tried to become the 'fine adult' that you made your ideal. So that when you were able to reunite with him some day... you would be able to hold your head high. But... because of your being chosen as a 'hero,' it changed to an 'ideal hero,' and... 'Wilmarina,' who held Elt precious, ended up being driven deep inside."
—I didn't have it in me to deny her words.
Even I knew it to be true. The fact that I had bound myself hand and foot, and had been driving my "self" inward... and the fact that that "self" had by no means vanished, even now. Even so... I couldn't admit it. I mean... the "me" I had always tried not to look at until now... "Wilmarina" might just be an unthinkably unpleasant woman. Rather than that... the "hero" that everyone hoped for and expected was much more righteous... or so I told myself.
—In regards to El... she was too obvious, and...
"So, you can can't do anything but conduct yourself as a 'hero' in front of him. You didn't want him to hate you, and he might not like 'Wilmarina'... so you adhered to your 'hero' self to excess."
It was surely as the succubus said. Because I had always gone on being a hero... because I had continued to avert my eyes from "Wilmarina"... I had ended up coming to possess no self-confidence. For that reason, I had been unable to reveal "Wilmarina" to El when I was at last able to reunite with him... and I had ended up hurting him.
"But, you know, is a 'hero' really such a wonderful thing?"
—Those words of hers caught me off guard.
The chosen ones who had received the divine protection of the Chief God. The few people who had been entrusted by the Chief God and other deities with the task of guiding and defending. That was the image of a "hero" in my mind. That was why I had devoted myself to trying not to hate anyone or to form any special connection, in order to lead and protect people equally. Of course, that was because there was much that resonated with the image of a "hero" inside me. And yet, the succubus squarely repudiated such a "hero," and softly stroked my hair, clinging with sweat.
"Try to think back ve–ery hard... Your trying to be a 'hero' ended up hurting both you and the person precious to you, didn't it...? Because you wanted to protect more people, you ended up ignoring the number one reason you've kept at it."
—Those were, of course, words that I couldn't possibly deny.
His expression of hardship from my youth was resurrected in my mind. A look in which was mixed the resignation of having seemingly wanted to say something and being unable to begin. That was... surely something that, by all rights, El could never have expressed. At the very least... if I hadn't become a "hero," of all things, he would never have been wounded like that.
"There's no such creature as a 'hero'; you're just an ordinary human, you know? Coming to like someone and coming to dislike them... are both natural functions of the heart, and no one at all can deny them."
—How easy things would be if I obediently nodded my head in assent at those words.
It wasn't as if there was no voice whispering to me to do so in response to her kind words. And yet, I couldn't make that choice. Of course, it wasn't because I was a "hero," or anything of the kind. Something simpler... something it was quite ordinary for a "human" to seek: virtue was whispering the word "duty" to me.
"But... I actually am a 'hero.' I have a duty to wield the power I've been granted for somebody else's sake..."
"Oh dear... might those 'somebodies' be... the people who forced you to be a 'hero'?"
—Her words, which might even be called scathing, pierced my breast.
I was at a loss for words in spite of myself, and the succubus stood quietly before me with a pained expression. That look, just as if her heart were afflicted by some affair of her own, must surely have been tied to my circumstances. I wasn't sure exactly how much she knew of my affairs, but... at the very least, she certainly knew about "that."
"I was surprised when I peeked into your dreams. I mean... in your dreams, almost everyone except Elt was forcing you to be a 'hero.' Your family and colleagues and superiors and subordinates... they all treat you as a 'hero.' But if even one of them had told you 'it's alright not to be a hero'... things might have been different... Surely you've always thought so too?"
—That was the ugly part of "Wilmarina" I had kept hidden for so long.
The ugly thought that wanted the duty to fall not on myself but on others. It still existed inside me. Surely, just as she said... in the end I wasn't a "hero," but a mere human being. While I had felt glad that they had called upon me to be a "hero," I also had feelings of unease and constraint. It wasn't only once or twice that "Wilmarina" had doubted the people who, without understanding the heavy responsibilities of a "hero," did nothing but press them upon others.
"Is it necessary to hurt the person most precious to you for the sake of such people...? Is it necessary to soil your precious memories? Is there really any value in continuing to stifle your feelings?"
—...The word "is" would not emerge from within me.
After all, I... really... really was tired. Tired of myself, who could only be seen as a "hero," and couldn't conduct herself as anything else. Tired of the life of always being forced to exercise strong self-control around everyone, with no place to relax. Now that I was conscious of "Wilmarina," who I had been suppressing, if I were asked whether I wanted to go back to that life... the answer would unquestionably be "no"... and yet... my heart was too heavy to fully affirm it...—
"Have you reached a point where you can neither affirm nor deny it, perhaps...? Well... I suppose so. It isn't easy to suddenly decide to change everything about the way you've lived until now."
—So saying, her hands softly went around my back.
At those hands, which caressed me as if comforting a child, my eyelids drooped of their own accord. Those kind, motherly hands would no longer treat me only as a "hero." I felt my fractured heart being healed and soothed by them. And then, the moment that I felt my tears spill over and fall along with a sigh that had not been permitted to escape until now, she once again directed those kind words at me.
"So... I'll change you. So that you'll be able to become honest with your feelings... I'll repaint you as a 'monster'... "
—The instant my eyelids snapped open in surprise at that, I became aware that a black substance was coating my limbs.
Even more viscous than the earlier liquid, it slowly eroded my clothing and came into contact with my skin. And the instant it did so, a feeling of pleasure ran through the part that had been touched as if it were about to burst open. At that sensation, fierce and bearing some resemblance to static electricity, my body leapt with a jolt. But, held by the tentacles, it had no escape, and the black stuff was slowly expanding its dominion.
—To it... even my wrist guards and clothing were no exception...
Different from both the liquid and the tentacles, it was dying the portions it touched completely black with deliberate slowness. My arms, still held over my head, were already almost entirely swallowed by it, and their color had changed to pitch black. Inside it, I felt something soak into my skin along with a squelching sensation. Along with a sensation as if it were wrapping up my very cells one by one, my body was gradually heating up and melting.
"Hya... ah! Hyuuuuuuu! "
Having turned to mush, my cells were being reborn into something new and different. It was just as if my self were being rewritten into something else, and I tried to scream more than once from the fear of it. What emerged from my mouth, however, were only moans of pleasure, which bore not the least resemblance to shrieks. Without even raising a cry of bewilderment, my mind, too, was transmuting into some else again.
—Wha... what... is this...!?
The sensation of transmuting into something other than myself. It was surely something at which I ought to feel terror. But though my mind, melted to mush by pleasure, was transmuting, I felt no fear whatever. On the contrary, I felt only a sense of liberation as of breaking a cocoon that had imprisoned me even as it protected me. I even hallucinated that not just my mind but my body too was floating lightly up and might go on flying forever.
"Hee hee... There's nothing to be afraid of... "
Just the sensation of the succubus caressing my cheek as she spoke was enough to make my spine leap with a jolt. My body, drained of strength by the waves of pleasure that surged over it, pitched limply forward. The black stuff was slowly but steadily creeping up even to my bottom, which had come of its own accord to be in a position as if I were sticking it out. The moment transformative waves slowly seeping in through my skin reached the interior of my belly, the pleasure became still stronger. The moment I raised another lovely cry at the pleasure, which was close even to the climax I had felt just before, she who embraced my quietly smiled.
"After all, you'll only be returning to 'the real Wilmarina'... isn't that right?"
—The real... me...?
My heart, being transmuted by pleasure, shivered in delight as if it had been seeking those words. No... I was sure I had been seeking them for a long time. For a long time, I had been hoping that someone would relieve me of the heavy burden called "hero." Unfortunately El had not been the one to do it, but my feelings for him hadn't changed at all. On the contrary, my heart, in the process of returning to "the real me," that it liked El, that it loved him, and those feelings were being made to flare up larger than ever.
The face that floated to the surface of my mind was a shy, smiling one I had never seen. He, who had not changed at all since we were children, would surely smile so. And... and then, just like that he would happily answer "I like you too." Our feelings having been communicated, just like that, we would, still embracing each other, move to the bed...—
"Haa... Aaaaahh! "
The moment my consciousness surrendered itself to those wild ideas, I realized that my entire body had been dyed pitch black. It was just about only on my face that the color of my skin was allowed to show through, and everything else had been invaded by the black stuff... — no, by the succubus' magical power. At this rate, I would surely end up turning into a monster before much longer.
—And yet... in my current state, I eagerly looked forward to it...
To me, with almost all of my body melted to mush and my mind changing into a thing befitting a monster, that was no longer a thing to be resisted. On the contrary, I thought only of wanting to become "the real me" and return to where he was as soon as I could.
—Soon... El... I want to meet you soon... I want you to accept my feelings...
And then I would be sure to heal him just as much as I had hurt him before. I didn't even care if I had to use my body to do it. ...No, on the contrary, I ought to use my body to comfort El. I wasn't so arrogant as to think that I could fill in the wounds in his heart with pleasure, but he was after all a boy, so must have some interest in sexual matters. If I were to service him in plenty with the licentious body of a monster, he might even become my captive.
—No... I have to make him my captive.
Life had left him large scars. I couldn't leave the task of covering them to a fickle human woman. I... only I, who had become a monster body and soul... only I, who could captivate him and devote myself to loving him all life long... could do that.
"Fuaa... ah... "
—The instant my thoughts reached that point, my field of vision too was dyed pitch black, and...
Unable to hear anything, unable to see anything, not even smelling anything... a space one might even call nothingness. Surely there would be nothing strange if it drove me half mad. And yet, I didn't panic. Even now that I had almost lost my five senses, I knew the pleasure whirling inside me... and the warmth of her body, embracing me tightly and becoming a guidepost for me. I was sure that I would be alright if I left everything to her. It was the moment that this baseless confidence filled my breast that I was visited by a sensation as if something were pushing its way out of my back.
"Aah... Coming... Something's going to come... "
The strange sensation of something growing from inside me. At that, a cry of protest escaped my black-dyed mouth. I knew from the trembling of my skin that she was saying something to me in response. I didn't understand the contents of her words, but judging from the hands caressing me as if to comfort a child, she was certainly trying to put me at ease. The moment I felt a feeling of gratitude to the succubus for that, the succubus magic began to vanish like a mist clearing from my field of vision.
"Hee hee... Congratulations... No... perhaps 'good morning' would be more appropriate... "