"Is this the reason why you couldn't join us in the bath?"
Shinobu welcomed Nik into her residency with a peck on his lips as she nodded at Nik's inquiry and turned her head to smile towards the jittery Aoi.
The bath had concluded with a note of cheerfulness when Nik received Shinobu's message to meet at her place. Reaching the appointed destination at the appointed time mere moments Nik pushed the door open only to find Aoi and Shinobu together.
"Aoi wants to say something," Shinobu whispered as she took Nik's hand and led him to a chair. With a soft nudge, Nik sat down grandly, fully intent on hosting Shinobu on his lap chair and sit she did. With a bright smile, Shinobu coiled her arms loosely around Nik's neck and sat sideways, letting her cushy rear to press on his thighs.
"I" Aoi gulped. Admitting something so embarrassing was hard for her but as she matched Shinobu's gaze, her lips parted once again, "I think we should start over tonight!"
Aoi tightly gripped on the hem of her skirt while lowering her head. Nik, of course, knew what she meant and was more than pleased with himself to bring Aoi to the right path while also being more than happy with Aoi to finally admit something so vulnerable about herself.
"I decided to join that night because... I wanted to see... see Mi"
Aoi choked slightly before coughing softly.
"It is fine, really," Nik scratched his left ear, his voice breaking off Aoi's confession. Making things difficult for such a lovely and honest girl was something Nik wasn't willing to do. She had enough courage to be open about her crush for Mitsuri and her desire to watch Mitsuri in her tender moments... there is nothing wrong with that, in fact, Nik would have been surprised if Mitsuri had no female admirers.
"You don't know what I was going to say," Aoi raised her face slightly, mustering a bit of courage to match gazes with Nik as he smiled, "I know it. And more than anything else, I appreciate the desire to confess."
Before Aoi could speak further, Nik grinned wolfishly and let palms cover Shinobu's bosom into a tight squeeze, eliciting a soft yelp from the Pillar of Insect, "But I also have my reason to believe that a little minx persuaded you to get yourself stuck in such a situation.
Say, do you want to punish her alongside me?"
Nothing to say, Aoi was struck speechless. But only for a moment. She was a person who had high ambitions and even higher determination to achieve the said ambitions. Now, she wanted to tease Shinobu and she, fortunately, retained much of her skills taught by Shinobu in the department of teasing. Of course, she also had Nik's complete support.
"There you go."
The next morning, before the sun broke the dawn, Ray passed multiple sets of neatly folded articles of clothing to Nik.
These were the clothes that Nezuko raised a fuss about the other day.
"And these are properly cleaned, right?"
Nik inquired with barely-concealed suspicion.
"Yes, they are," Ray rolled his eyes with a frustrated sigh.
They both were at Nik's usual training spot.
"Thanks a lot," Nik mumbled out his words of gratitude, "About yesterday..."
He continued when Ray cut him in, "No need to worry, it was wrong of me to ask something like that."
"No, it is not that... you can make JoJo the head of your harem later for all I care," Nik took a deep breath, "But, I just wished for Elizabeth to have some time with her son without any worries...
And, I hope that the more they spend their time together, the quicker she realizes..."
"That JoJo already has 'specific' interests, right?" Ray smirked while Nik shrugged.
"His clothes are way too tight... and I saw him glancing at Caesar's... stuff multiple times. Mine, too."
"Anyway," Nik slapped both of his cheeks and looked at Ray with interest, "I am trying to gain as much experience I can in battle situations... do you fight dirty?"
"Dirty is a light word, try nasty."
Ray smiled and tiptoes around Nik, "Is it something from your rewards?" He inquired with thinly-veiled curiosity. Knowing that refusal might mean only make him look like a fool, Nik nodded.
"Ho~ More reasons for me to quickly destroy my own lineage, too, huh."
Nik smiled and turned on his heels, matching Ray's gaze.
"So, are you interested in a short spar?" Nik inquired. Elizabeth and Saeko were battle-hardened warriors, but Elizabeth had decided to spend as much time with JoJo as she can and Saeko was still sleeping. meanwhile, Shigure's deadline for the consignment was right around the corner. While Kanao had greater insights in swordsmanship, her experiences in battle paled in comparison to Nik's and Mitsuri and Shinobu had their daily morning duties.
Not to mention, he had never exchanged anything more than a few words with Ray and today seemed like a perfect opportunity to finally assess the other Vice-Guild Master of the guild Extinction.
"Sure, it won't hurt to broaden your horizons," Ray smirked confidently before vanishing into a pink haze.
Nik's eyes widened in surprise as his body bent with a fist connecting to his gust as the center of the fold of his body before shooting past multiple trees only to be stopped by a hand on his shoulder.
"I have reached the maximum amount of stats allowed by this world just recently...
As I said, this is going to be nasty."
Without countering verbally, Nik gripped Ray's wrist and instantly rolled down, throwing Ray off of his shoulders. Standing up, Nik silently dusted his clothes while spreading his domain around him. With only five meters of radius covered, it would be harder for Nik to identify Ray and dodge him at the same time, but he could only give it a try.
Silently, Ray's flying body disappeared from Nik's vision. Once again, it was the familiar cloud of pink that devoured Ray before Nik felt an atrocious presence emerging within his [L.u.s.t Domain].
Ray smoothly landed a palm strike on Nik's body, but instead of flying once again, Nik felt an extremely tangible attack towards his consciousness, meanwhile, his body once again started diverting most of his energy towards his c.o.c.k. These past dozens of hours after Nik had successfully completed his evolution, his physical body had changed greatly, but apparently, these changes were purely exterior, far from the integrity Nik's truly evolved bloodline should be exhibiting.
Immediately mobilizing his own [Pheromone Illusion], Nik tried to counter the effects only to find his consciousness being guided by Ray's gentle nudges.
His mind rang alarms as he analyzed the possible outcomes and applications of such an ethereal use of Pheromones when Nik felt Ray's pheromones retreating.
"You haven't even completed your evolution... I am not that cheap, to defeat you in such a half-baked state."
Ray giggled as he let go of Nik, "Speaking of half-baked, want me to help you with your boner?"
Ray's candor made Nik sigh as he shook his head and stood up with his c.o.c.k already half-erect.
Ray shrugged. He at least had to offer, how Nik will react to the offer was up to the former Incubus.
"Oh, right!" Ray chimed and pulled the panda hoodie over his head, "What did you think of naming your bloodline?"
"I still haven't given it much thought..." Nik muttered, "How about L.u.s.t Supreme?"
"You just lost to me and got a boner in the process... 'L.u.s.t' should be a part of the name, but not 'Supreme'."
Ray smirked derisively while Nik shrugged, "Then L.u.s.t Apostle it is."
The rest of the day, Nik spent his time as productively he could. After the sparring match with Ray, Nik once again meditated on [Tome of Battle] while calling for any partner he could as he felt his strength seeping at an alarming rate.
After breakfast, Nik accompanied Shigure in her forge, silently watching her work as she forged weapons with complete focus. But his own focus lasted only for half-an-hour.
Mobilizing his students to train, Nik finally sat to explore the [Tome of Battle] with a total of 20 strands of gravitational force pressurizing his body.
Nik had finally reached the point that he could control more than a dozen strands of gravitational force with minimal strain on his mind.
When the sun had finally departed from the hemisphere, a demon slayer on the patrol found a strange activity in the vicinity.
It was a humanoid creature, grey skin, and extremely strange gait, ankles twisted inwards and saliva leaking through his open jaws.
Only a guttural growl remained.