Chapter 13 – Puzzled
「Fufu, you’re really a cutie, aren’t you?」
Some time after leaving the labyrinth, Aria coddled the behemoth atop the rocking gondola with a red glow in her cheeks.
So, uh… What is going on here? I think I need a recap.
When his master was caught unaware and endangered, his body moved on its own to protect her, and he even used one of his skills. He exposed himself as the monster he was, and he hung his head low enough to leave a small crater in the ground instead of trying to play it off.
「No way, you’re—!」
Contrary to his expecations, though… Aria didn’t back away. In fact, she got closer and picked him up.
And thus he was squished against her chest.
M-Master, what’s wrong with you? Doesn’t my being a monster among monsters mean anything to you…?
「Thank you for saving me…」
After expressing her gratitude and letting the behemoth sink slightly into her cleavage, Aria turned on her heel and left without so much as a glance at the slain goblin mage.
And that’s how we got to where we are now.
Fuckin’ hell! Chibi cat, switch with me, will ya!
Seeing the behemoth enveloped in Aria’s breasts, the gondolier mentally cursed him over and over. At the same time, though, he was grateful to have such a close view of the scene. The little show stoppers were practically gelatinous, smoothly changing their shape around the behemoth as if they had a mind of their own.
Man is a truly complex creature.
Anyway, the gondola reached the commercial district at the center of the city eventually, bringing the ride to an end. Aria thanked the boatman, and left with a leap as light as when she’d gotten on.
There was something the boatman said about going to dinner together or something like that, but it was in one ear and out the other as Aria walked away, absentmindedly scratching the behemoth’s head. Looking around, other gondoliers were having a giggle at his expense.
「Oi~ miss! More ale over here!」
「Uhihi… Nice ass. Lemme get a little rub~」
「Hey! Touch me again and you’re going home without a hand!」
The Adventurer Guild was in the commercial district, and it’s where the behemoth could hear a particularly loud exchange between a bar waitress and one of the now-drunk adventurers who’d come back from a quest.
It was in the midst of all this activity that the door opened. Normally, nobody would care. This time, pretty much every man in the building stopped and turned their heads. The entry at the moment was Aria, the boundlessly bosomy beauty.
「Hey, it’s Aria!」
「Cute as ever.」
「Just look at those things jiggle!」
「Hm? That thing on her tits looks like a cat, don’t it?」
Whispers of that sort came from the bar, the elf having charmed most of the men in the guild since her arrival in Labyrinth City a good while ago. Having to hear the peanut gallery so closely, the behemoth’s mood was slowly whittled away… until he tried to move a little.
Fwaa… Master’s chest is really warm~…
Trapped in her chest pillows, his hazy consciousness was assaulted by her body’s warmth from all sides. Unfortunately, this was no time to fall asleep.
「Wahahahaha! Well, if it isn’t Miss Aria. You’re looking especially lovely today!」
Aria didn’t try to suppress a groan as the laughing man approached. He wore flashy, ornamental light armor over what looked to be high quality leather. His face… Eh, below average. And he had some shiny, over-applied product in his hair that kept it back like a blue jay’s head.
He was the son of a noble in the city. Despite his status, he became an adventurer, and with his copious funds he acquired good enough armor to help him survive his way to C rank. He’s also one of the countless men who fell in love with Aria at first sight, and he’s been chasing that ass ever since he laid eyes on it—more aggressively than any other at that.
「So, what do you say? Feel like joining my party?」
Yeah, it was this kind of thing. And he wasn’t even hiding it. Aria wasn’t an adventurer to him, just a piece of meat that he wanted a piece of. He wasn’t looking her in the eye, either; his eyes were going back and forth between her luscious legs and mountainous mounds.
「I’m very sorry, Mr. Kassman. Even though you went out of your way to invite me, my answer won’t change. I’m not interested in joining a party with men.」
「Don’t say such sad things, Miss Aria, it’s alright. I’ll be gentle…」
He stretched his hand out as he spoke, inching his way near Aria’s hip. She almost repelled him like she would have any other man, but she stopped herself, knowing this was no nameless sleazeball who’d be better off missing their third leg. Kassman was a noble, if only in name, and he could do a lot worse to her if she provoked him.
Scum. Don’t think you can touch Master so casually!
The behemoth, however, did not know that Kassman was a noble. Nor did he care, because why would he? He’s a monster, that stuff had nothing to do with him. So he jumped from his nest, sinking his teeth into the man’s hand before he could lay his greasy mitt into Aria’s butt.
「GHAAAA?! THE HELL’S UP WITH THIS CAT! GET OFF!!」
「NHYAN (TAKE THIS)!」
Kassman flailed and flung his arm about, and the behemoth loosened his jaw in time to be thrown toward the ceiling.
Aria cried out to him, but there was no need to worry. Cats always manage to land on their feet, and where the behemoth landed: Kassman’s ugly mug.
Kassman’s screams nearly shattered the bar glasses as the behemoth raked his claws down his face.
The sleazeball clenched his fist.
「Nyan (Too naïve)!」
An instant before Kassman connected, the behemoth kicked off Kassman’s cheeks, and smoothly landed back in Aria’s cleavage like he’d never left.
Kassman’s fist, however, did not stop. As a result, he very painfully punched himself in the nose.
「You little SHIT… I’LL KILL YOU!!」
Spouting as many slurs as his nose spouted blood, Kassman resorted to pulling his sword from its sheath, ready to do anything if it meant ending the little kitten’s life.
The behemoth stiffened up, hoping he could come up with a way out of the situation he’d just gotten himself into. But as he ran through ideas, something crept up behind Kassman.
“Hey, Kassy? What’s the big idea, drawing your sword in the guild?”
The voice that came from what must have been its mouth echoed deep, and drew out something primal in the hearts and minds of everyone who heard… It was a feeling of raw, unbridled fear; the kind that kept your body stock still even if your brain was screaming at it to run like hell and never look back.
「W-Who the fuc-… No, wait, you’re…」
Kassman timidly turned about face, and he suddenly froze with an existential dread. The behemoth knew exactly why. What he saw couldn’t be described as a man, but an embodiment of terror.