"What do you mean by that?"
Ray's interest was piqued as he eyed Nik.
"I mean, did you ever try to value your harem members based on the stats to be distributed?"
"All the time." Ray nodded as he easily figured out the root cause of Nik's current frustration, something Ray, too, went through.
"I mean... should I just look at the future partners based on what they can offer me?" Nik inquired, wishing for answers to troubling questions as Ray shook his head.
"You don't want my advice, Nik. You want someone who is in a similar situation to hear you out...
You have that chance today, don't let it go down the dumps."
Letting the back of his head lean on the bark of the tree, Nik exhaled deeply.
"I... just can't understand. While the thought is slightly revolting to me, the better half of me thinks that my motives to pursue s.e.x still won't change... maybe-"
Nik stopped while he suddenly recalled the images of certain housewives he used to engage with during his stay with Sakonji to learn the breath of Water.
"Maybe?" Ray raised his eyebrow with a questioning glance.
"Well," Nik stretched his arms as he smiled in exhaustion, "It turns out that it was a simple matter after all. I have already judged women in the past based on the stats I can reap... honestly, I feel like crap now."
"Don't beat yourself down. Instead of self-pity, I think, you will find much clarity now. When a person makes a decision, he would never know the outcome. He could predict it, yes, but not remain entirely certain.
Now, you know the outcome of defining your future partner based on their value decided by the system... And you don't like it."
"I don't... but I didn't do the same with Saya or Aoi." Nik spoke as his expression brightened, "The fact that I don't remember the names of those housewives, though troubling, also puts my consciousness to rest... not to mention, we never had s.e.x."
"So, you simply weren't interested in the women themselves?" Ray inquired while scribbling down on his notebook.
Nik shook his head, "I enjoyed the act because it was wrong and dirty. We made out behind their husbands back... literally.
I think... the enjoyment was meant to last for a few moments itself... but the same isn't the same with Saya or Aoi. They both probably don't have the same value to the system when compared to Kanao, Rei or Nezuko..."
"Hmm, see? by exchanging a few words, you can easily untangle yourself. Conveying your troubles to a good listener is scientifically proven to suppress depression, you know."
Ray grinned, but the sudden change in Nik's expression- from a lamb's innocence to wolf's cunning- Ray couldn't help but feel nervous.
"Since it is scientifically proved, why don't you unload whatever is in your mind?" Nik grinned while still retaining the major bit of his issue. He still didn't believe Ray entirely to keep things under the wraps. What truly troubled him was the fact that his association with his girls would never be entirely about pleasure, but that is a fact Nik had decided to accept after talking things out. It's not like he would discard his girls after gaining such talents and skills, they all were his precious.
But, he needed to return the favor to Ray, and that he will do.
"You know what? I think it will do me good, too." Ray nodded while closing his notebook and storing it within his inventory.
"It's the organization of my harem..." Ray mumbled, "As you know, should you become an extreme-tier incubus bloodline owner, the limitations of the ten partners can be extended by the addition of 20 consorts that do not allow the sharing of stats."
Nik nodded. This was the information he came to know when he had successfully evolved into another being.
"Now, I usually make the strongest guys my partners so that I can reap the maximum benefit while the ones I am truly interested in remain a consort...
And now, with me spending time with a select few personally, many of my partners have shown signs of dissatisfaction."
"And you haven't thought of controlling their mind, why?"
Nik inquired with interest. Ray's situation could be educational to him and he had decided to make the maximum use of it.
"Robbing the members of my harem from their free will only come when I have decided to bring two nemeses together in a single bed." Ray sighed wistfully, "But if take their will to question, wouldn't it be better to create the same physical/spiritual pictures of them?"
Ray's words held merit that Nik couldn't deny. But in such a discussion, he is the one responsible for continuing the conversation and helping Ray unload his troubling thoughts.
"Maybe their ability to question isn't the fact you are frustrated at...
Maybe it is your inability to manage your time?"
Nik's words made Ray look at the former incubus with an appraising gaze.
"Yes... I am frustrated by myself..." Ray nodded.
"But, it's not like I can resolve this easily and it is not a one-time problem." Ray mused softly.
"Don't take this the wrong way," Nik replied with slight hesitation, "But isn't there a saying that depicts that men express better with fists? Why don't you let your Harem sort things out?"
At Nik's inquiry, Ray smiled, "I did allow the internal conflicts to resolve themselves while forbidding any deaths or fatal injuries, but, in the end, I was the one blamed for being indecisive."
"Aren't you capable of forming the succu-clones?"
"They are clones, remember? They cannot fulfill certain roles."
Gazing at Ray's more than downcast expression, Nik couldn't help but speak up, "Maybe, there is no solution?"
Ray looked up as he heard Nik's words.
"I've read in certain books that the kings of the past eras of my homeworld usually died in the hands of their beloveds, especially, their harem.
So, the problem isn't in you, or your harem... but the fact that a person simply cannot keep everyone happy even if they have been to bed together."
"Did that ever happen to you?"
Ray inquired in a whisper.
"As a matter of fact, yes. I don't like to share personal details... but something happened with Elizabeth, making her the first one to receive my kind of punishment."
As Nik spoke, Ray's expression brightened!
"That's it!" The succubus practically squealed.
"Punishment... how could I not think of that before?!" Ray pated his forehead while standing up with a gleeful expression.
"Nik, we should definitely hold such chats from now on. Right now, I have to go! I will meet you at breakfast."
Ray waved his hands and shot towards the direction of the village while Nik shrugged. Even he would feel the same excitement if he was going to bondage play with his partners.
Speaking of partners... Nik thought back at the sudden information about Carla- Ray's Sister...
"Well... that's another mystery to the list."
Nik exhaled and stood up. With his thought clear and steady, he chose the talent- [Balance]- from Nezuko.
Before he decided to experience the changes, he decided to look up the information about the next four maidens he deflowered tonight.
[Exotic Escort Initiated. List of obtainable talents, skills, strength, wisdom, etc, obtainable by host compiled. Please select.
Vitality: 1 Point
Easily accepting a single point to his Vitality stat, Nik continued. From Rei, he received 2 points in strength as he already had the affinity with fire while Aoi yielded him another point to his vitality. It was Kanao who brought a wave of astonishment to Nik.
Talent: Perfect Eyesight
Strength: 1 Point
Agility: 3 Points
Vitality: 1 Point
Energy: 2 Points
Skills: Expert Swordsmanship
[Perfect Eyesight: Allows the host with such a wonderful physical talent to observe even the tiniest of the shift in the vision with ease. The applications of such talent are widespread.]
[Expert Swordsmanship: A skill that gradually acc.u.mulates the swords techniques learned by the user to translate the knowledge into the purest form of swordplay.
Note: A skill of another branch but the same origin detected within the host.]
While Nik would have definitely been moved by the [Expert Swordsmanship], with [Batle Arts] in hand, he could easily make the decision and accepted [Perfect Eyesight].
[Note: The host has selected a physical talent. Please bear the momentary irritation.]
Nik's body trembled as he fell down on the ground face-first while his eyes felt extremely 'prickly' and painful.
[Name: Nik Faran
Bloodline: ??? (Yet to be named.)
Talent: Exotic Escort
STR: 17--> 19
VIT: 18--> 20