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9 – A Strange Merchant

Now that I have a mini garden up and growing the plants I need, it’s time to start raising some magical beasts. 

I have Gurk and Rio building a pen lined with chicken wire. The villagers of Durai were more than happy to provide me with supplies and resources. Some of them even tried to offer me cows and pigs, but I don’t know the first thing about taking care of livestock.

The other issue with raising animals here is the dragon’s presence. Livestock and lesser creatures will most likely frighten to death by the first day.

Instead, I have a family of bicorn hares to ranch. The bony protrusions on their heads grant these little critters resistance to all forms of magic. They grow constantly and sheds once a month. Raising them will provide me a consistent source of resistance potions.

The only downside to raising them is their aggressive nature. They fear nothing, and will fight creatures larger than themselves in packs. I only managed to catch them thanks to the slumber potions, they would have skewered me otherwise.

“Pen done, Mistress.” Gurk says, impressed with his own handiwork. And it is impressive. He seems to have a knack for following instructions down to the most minute detail. 

The wide pen is finished, and stands three feet tall so the bicorn hares can’t jump over it. There’s no need to worry about them digging out either as, unlike their hornless cousins, have no nails with which to dig.

“Good job, Gurk. We’re almost done. Can you go grab the hares for me?”

“Go do now!”

I’ll need to make plenty of preparations before venturing deeper into the Weeping Expanse. Though some of the wildlife and fauna I’ve encountered are no different than the rest of the world, the magic that lingers in this forest appear to have altered the essences of some.

Bicorn hares, goblins, orcs, centaurs… these are things that can be encountered anywhere.  However, the inhabitants living here have basked in whatever magic influences this place for so long, they’ve developed unique traits.

Just the other day, I discovered a pair of obsidian-skinned basilisks hunting together. Not only is that a never before seen color on them, those beasts are normally solitary hunters. I wouldn’t be surprised if these bicorn hares have a unique trait in them as well.

“Back with rabbit!”

“Oh, good—” I see Gurk running to me holding the flailing hare by its ears. I step back to avoid the sharp horns. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

“Bring Mistress rabbit?”

“You were supposed to bring the cage, not grab one out of it!”

Gurk tilts his head in confusion.

A chill runs up my spine. “Did you… lock the cage?”

A group of hare comes charging in our direction, their horns pointed with murderous intent. Gurk tosses the hare over his shoulder and takes off running.

“No! No hurt!” A dozen pairs of dagger-like horns poke and prod at Gurk as he is just barely out of their reach. Then he veers in my direction. “MISTRESS SAVE GURK!”

“Oh, no… don’t lead them to me!!!” Now the both of us are being chased. “Rio do something!”

“Mraauu…” My familiar leaves me and heads back into the great hollow.

“R-Rio…!” 

Just as I think my unaffectionate familiar abandoned me, he returns with a slumber potion in his mouth and deposits it in my hand. I quickly shatter it on the ground in front of me, catching all of the hares, including Gurk.

After placing my new pets into the pen, I carry Gurk back into the great hollow and set him on my bed. Even in his sleep his libido doesn’t stop him from pitching a tent under the sheets.

“Huu… I’m getting horny again…” I rub my tummy, just above the crotch. Gurk’s erection looks tantalizing, but I don’t want to use him like that. “Ahem… Rio, I’m going to go check on the anoragrathi.”

We’re still full on rejuvenation potions, but it couldn’t hurt to have extra…

***

Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.

I come out of the bath to the sound of a bell chiming outside. Rio is at the window pawing at something outside to get my attention. I throw on a light robe, grab my staff, and head outside to see a merchant wagon being pulled up to the edge of the clearing. 

Two large oxen rear their heads, groaning. They’re clearly spooked by my wards. A balding middle-aged man is having trouble keeping them under control.

“Excuse me!” I wave to get his attention.

“Ahh. Pardon, ma’am. I’m trying to pass through but my beasts are being disagreeable.”

I incant a spell to grant the oxen clarity of mind, and they immediately settle down. The wagon is pulled up to me, and the man on the wagon hops off. “Good evening! Morten Sinau is my name.  I did not expect anyone to be living here.”

“I recently moved into this great hollow. I’m Ellori of the Witch’s Academy, Parthun is my domain.” I say, bowing. “You said you were passing? Into the Weeping Expanse?”

He nods, “I make trade with the demi-humans of the forests. A purveyor of goods for all humans and non-humans alike!”

“You trade with orcs and goblins?”

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“Among other things. On occasion the centauri, beastmen, and fairies.”

There’s a good chance he knows more. “Have you ever encountered a witch in the Weeping Expanse?”

“Other than you?” He scratches his unkempt beard. “Nope. Perhaps you would like to do trade? I have many goods.”

Morten slides open one side of the wagon to reveal a plethora of items. Weapons, potions, ingredients, even a couple of frightened exotic animals. Unfortunately, there is nothing I see that catches my attention.

Before I can even shake my head, he says, “Actually, ma’am. I’m in need of a few supplies which I hope you can provide. A witch like yourself must be versed in alchemy. I would like some elixirs that would otherwise keep me from dying. It is dangerous out there, you see.”

He then pulls out a smooth red and black wand. I can sense it brimming with magic, but what kind, I am unsure. “In exchange for this?”

“What is it?” I ask curiously.

“Not sure. I received it from another trade many years ago from an older woman. Perhaps a witch like yourself. Can’t be sure.”

Well… I do have an excess…

I go inside to fetch six rejuvenation potions for him. We make the exchange and shake hands on it. He stashes them into his wagon, brimming. “Thank you. Thank you! I must be on my way. Do take care, and be careful with whatever that is.”

The strange merchant departs, heading deeper into the Weeping Expanse. No sane person ventures in there without a death wish. Either that or he is a capable sorcerer. Something about him didn’t feel right. I should make a note of him. Morten Sinau.

I wave the wand in front of me, but nothing happens. I can’t channel my magic to it. Perhaps it’s already imbued or enchanted?

Without the right ingredients, I can’t divine it to find out what it’s imbued with. I set it on the counter for now and lay on the couch.

“Mistress, look! Gurk has staff like Mistress now!”

“What—?” I look up to see Gurk waving the wand at me. “Wait, stop! You don’t know what that does— eek!”

My body suddenly becomes tingly. The sensation of the robes on my skin feels so much more intense. Even just sitting is making my lower body feel weird.

“Gurk sorry!” He apologizes and grabs my hand. The unexpected touch sends a shock of pleasure through my body that travels down to my crotch, and— 

“Aaaguh— nnnh…. AAAAaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!! Haah… hahhhh… what was that?? Did I just… orgasm from being touched?” I’m quivering all over.

Gurk is still clutching the wand, seemingly fearful that he accidentally hurt me.

The wand!

Gurk waved it at me. Did that… do this to me?

I get up, but in my lightheaded state bump into the counter. Gurk grabs me from behind to keep me from falling, but once again his sudden touch sends another shiver through me.

Why… just being touched is making me feel… so good?

I pull off my robes and head up to my bed to lay down. Even the sheets are teasing every part of my body. Oh, god. Just laying here is going to make me c**. 

Gurk crawls in next to me, causing the bed to bounce. Each sudden movement makes my mind go white. “Gurk… no, nngh… touching tonight, okay?”

If he does, I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist. If I can just sleep it off for tonight, it should wear off in the morning…

Even though I say that, my voice has been stimulating him so much his erection is poking my lower body. He doesn’t listen, and grabs both of my breasts.

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“Gurk— AH! I’m cumming again— AAHHhhnnnnn!!! No… anymore, and I’m going to…go crazy…”

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