Chapter 63: I Bought a Whorehouse (Part 16)

Of all the trappings of power that existed across the universe, having to entertain foreign dignitaries was an inescapable one. To ignore this task was to invite ire and recrimination from those outside the faction, to isolate one from the benefits of alliances, trade and basic flow of information. And in the realities they all called home none but a mere handful had the power and will to stand alone from all others, Kamadeva's followers being no different in that regard.

…None of which was to say he particularly enjoyed having to pretend he cared a single bit for the opinions and plots of others, especially when there were countless other events and happenings that he would much rather pursue.

Such as his wayward daughter's abrupt and sudden regaining of her hereditary strength, the drain on his soul already a tangible thing that filled him with a mix of emotions.

Pride was perhaps the most obvious of sensations, knowledge that his bloodline and heir was to continue on with great power borne of himself and one of the few women he had truly loved throughout his long life. Bemusement was the second, that such a momentous occasion had come about only through a truly unusual set of circumstances.

He had first received an offer from a Surveyor sponsored by Azazel to meet with some of his Succubi and hash out the finer points of a deal that would supposedly benefit the members of their species, only for the matter to be hijacked in a rather spectacular fashion as the representative of Sanctuary was attacked and spirited away in the middle of his journey to them, the rest of the man's cohort commencing a rather aggressive and efficient interrogation of all available sources before demanding a meeting with him, stating that they had evidence that none other than that arrogant bitch Ereshkigal had apparently returned and was already making her unwelcome presence known.

…That Lilim was apparently part of the Surveyor's contingent and had been teleported alongside him right before she called upon her full power for the first time in many years painted a very compelling picture, one he was willing to listen to despite so many other more fascinating tales demanding his attention. After all, it was more than slightly likely they were connected.

Striding through the great doors leading to his manor's meeting hall the Demon Noble imperiously stared at the day's visitors, reflecting that, if nothing else, they were quite the cast of characters.

The wanted Nekoshou sisters, Kuroka and Shirone Toujou, rumored to be affiliated with the Kaleidoscope but certainly untouchable by any run of the mill bounty hunters. Natsume Amadare, the famed underworld spymaster and negotiator whose web of connections had reached even his ears. And lastly a twisted soul he wasn't particularly enthused to see but had to entertain nonetheless, none other than the late Edwin Black's daughter, Felicia.

The Demon Noble decided that this Surveyor had a rather refined and dangerous taste in women, something that Kamadeva approved of.

And judging by the charged atmosphere none of them were in any mood to bandy words or pleasantries, the true Incubus King motioning for them to be seated as he took his throne, grumbling out, "We can skip the formalities, I have a host of other things to attend to and your insistence makes it sound as if you are on a timetable."

But there was no reason he couldn't make it sound as if he was doing them a favor, the noble inwardly smirking as both cats bristled at his casual dismissal before smoothing their demeanors into ones of placidity, Felicia just seeming relieved at the lack of diplomatic red tape while Natsume wordlessly laid some folders on the table before sliding them forward, the smooth surface allowing them to skid towards the Demon Noble's position as a single finger thumped down on top of them, the male wordlessly flipping them open before reading their contents with a discerning eye, a few minutes of silence passing before he imperiously remarked, "And do you have anything more to add?"

"Yes. As of an hour ago we received word from our leader that he is well and unharmed and in a position to return to us, despite the unexpected series of events that arose from this situation. More to the point, we have discovered that there is an information leak in your faction."

Kamadeva didn't respond other than to idly flip through the report to its completion, eventually commenting, "It seems you and your Surveyor do not yet have a name or position."

"Correct. But we do know that Ereshkigal has decided to return to the world at large with little regard for subtlety, having stolen away servants of the Old Satan Faction to serve her own ends and even collaborated with individuals within your hierarchy."

Natsume laced her hands behind her back, slight smile playing across her lips in what was obvious satisfaction that she had no compunctions in displaying.

"Alas, when she tried to assassinate our Surveyor it was none other than your daughter - using her newly awakened powers - to drive her away in conjunction with a team comprised of Taimanin and Vatican deployed operatives. Given the various groups and factions that have a vested interest in discovering more about this unusual series of events you can understand why your cooperation is desired…especially in light of the fact that Ereshkigal had ties to an exiled sect of the Vatican that possessed a number of Excalibur Fragments."

Kamadeva lazily nodded, glossing over the report one more time as it nicely summarized all that had occurred, deciding that any complaints he might have had about the boredom of leadership had been burnt away in a rather spectacular fashion. And he wasn't particularly surprised by the fact that one of his underlings had decided to collaborate with an individual outside his sphere of influence. Succubi and Incubi, by their very nature, were passionate and capricious beings, part of why he had ruled for so long as the Incubus King was that he didn't try to temper or restrain his kind's desires or wants, merely made it clear that the consequences of those decisions would be swift and lacking in mercy should retribution be necessary.

"With all of these various revelations it makes one wonder if there was any additional outside aid that allowed for such pinpoint information to be acquired…perhaps even a highly placed source."

Kamadeva didn't bother hiding his scowl at the thinly veiled accusation, sharply inquiring, "Are you suggesting I was the one to betray this Surveyor and bandy about information without care for the consequences?"

It was Felicia who answered, the Vampire cheerfully commenting, "Well since the super secret agent over here just can't seem to say anything straight…nah, not really. But there's probably a bunch of people below you who would, right~? We just want to go ahead and start asking all sorts of interesting questions."

Kuroka snorted at the statement while Shirone rolled her eyes, Natsume lightly sighing before adding, "More than that, both our leader and miss Lilim wish to have an audience with you at the earliest possible convenience…I imagine they have a great deal they wish to speak with you about."

Kamadeva didn't immediately respond, simply staring at the quartet with an expression carved of stone as he pretended to consider their offer when in reality he couldn't care less what they did.

"Very well, You may conduct your investigation as you wish. I will send word of your temporary authority. And tell your Surveyor that he should send notice of his available dates, I will not answer to his unannounced whims."

The clear dismissal was appreciated by Shirone and Felicia, both women sagging with obvious relief that the meeting hadn't lasted very long as Natsume merely nodded in understanding, gathering her things as Kamedeva held up a hand, the group pausing as he inquired, "What sort of man is your Surveyor, to command the loyalty and respect of so many women?"

Shirone was the first to reply, promptly announcing, "A perverted one."

"A classy one."

"A fun one~!"

"A worthy one."

Lightly raising a single eyebrow as first the Yokai then the Vampire and at last the Taimanin gave their opinions the Demon Noble eventually waved them off, rising from his throne and departing without a backwards glance.

…It seemed his daughter had fallen in with quite the interesting individual. It wasn't an entirely rare case for certain personalities to congregate in unusual combinations, but for them to do so seemingly willingly and eagerly?

He would have to treat the man with a firm hand, lest he begin taking the company of a true Demon Noble for granted. His daughter deserved better than that.

"Asia, for the last time I'm fine."

"But Till said you-"

"She's just trying to wind you up, apparently being back in the Demon world is igniting a mischievous streak or something. See?"

Cayman made his body go through a full range of motion, promptly stating, "There, not a scratch or cramp to be found."

The blonde nun clearly wasn't amused by his antics, frowning as she primly stated, "Well what were we supposed to think, when you were kidnapped and disappeared so suddenly?"

Finding the girl's indignation dangerously adorable Cayman merely smiled, joking, "That I'm awesome enough to make it through unscathed regardless?"

A puffed cheek made it clear that Asia wasn't buying that line of BS, Caren sedately striding forward as she lightly intoned, "Alas, you show your true colors as a poor leader. What sort of commander worries his subordinates so and then flippantly disregards their concern? I do hope that you are not of the persuasion that absence makes the heart grow fonder."

"And yet here you are, first in line after the medic to make sure I'm still breathing. Did you perhaps miss me, Caren?"

Till plopped down on his shoulder with a snort of amusement, wryly commenting, "As if she'd ever admit to anything, Cayman."

"Did you perchance get juiced up by returning to the Demon world or something, Till? Because while I like this new feisty side of you it's definitely not what I was prepared for."

The Fairy blinked, cocking her head before sheepishly stating, "Maybe? We were fighting for a long time so maybe I'm just getting used to it at this point?"

"A scary thought. But it's good to see you anyways, Caren. A few hours without your verbal harassment had me regaining a measure of self-esteem that I was incredibly uncomfortable and unfamiliar with."

The Exorcist's lips twitched ever so slightly upwards as the Surveyor exasperatedly let Asia get close, running Twiling Healing over him in a bid to ensure nothing was wrong as he turned his gaze to the rest of the newly arrived Pier 16. Yukikaze, Jinglei and Mai were locked in conversation with Onisaki and Asuka, the latter pair all proud smiles or teasing smirks as they regaled the younger trio with no doubt exaggerated retellings of their mission as Yukikaze made some sort of wild gesticulation of immense doubt that was met with a haughty sniff from Onisaki that resulted in renewed - thankfully inaudible - bickering.

"So where's Rin?"

"She elected to stay behind for the moment at base alongside Minasaki and Hatsukaze in order to wait for the return of the remaining four. They were quite eager to hear news of their friend's safe return, even considering her unusual…growth spurt."

Caren gave the now mature Demon Noble an inquisitive brow raise as she sauntered over to them with a skip in her step, wrapping Cayman's arm in her own and squishing the limb between her prodigious chest before happily announcing, "Nice to see the two of you again~! Did you happen to get shorter?"

Asia obviously hadn't quite made the adjustment to seeing Lilim so much bustier and taller than before as she just stared at the Succubus with an awkward air and light blush, Caren predictably giving Cayman an unimpressed stare as he irreverently shrugged.

"She was not enough for your ever expanding palette? I pity the poor woman, forced to expand and mature her body just to suit your tastes."

Said woman flicked her tail and teasingly remarked, "Your tongue is just as sharp as I remember it being~! Although I can honestly think of a use or three that it'd be better off serving…"

The sultry comment left Asia a now open crimson as her time spent among the troop had obviously wizened her up to some of the lewder aspects of life, Lilim merely driving the point home as she eagerly exclaimed, "Besides, look at what I can do!"

With a muted flash of pink light gone was the buxom bombshell and in her place was the more familiar sight of Lilim pre awakening, wardrobe change included as the younger girl cackled, "So if he asks nicely Cayman gets to have me both ways~! But I miiiiight just charge extra, you know?"

"Apparently your younger form is the one who got a real fixation on money."

"Like you're one to talk!"

Another flash and the male's arm was once more surrounded by generous boobage, Caren seeming almost in awe as she said, "Your capacity to find new and novel ways of engaging in primordial sin is inspiring, Lute."

"I bet it is. Now if you'll excuse me it seems there's a couple of ornery ninja girls I have to go and deescalate before fists and bullets start flying."

Disengaging from the conversation he approached where the quintet were still locked in debate, Yukikaze crossing her arms and indignantly asking, "How did you manage to end up meeting this cow in the middle of nowhere?"

"C-cow?! Don't go giving me mean nicknames just because you're still stuck as a toothpick!"

Electing not to get involved with the clearly charged and sensitive topic Cayman decided to shrug and answer Yukikaze with an idle remark of, "On a spontaneous adventure, naturally. Sort of like how I met the vast majority of you, now that I think about it. And just like those previous detours I picked up something rather important to all of us."

At his team's confused looks he motioned to where Yumi was protectively leading a dazed and clearly out of it Tosca towards where the teleportation array was being set up for their return journey, the smaller girl no doubt thinking she was in some kind of dream or alternate reality thanks to all the 'activity' she'd been put through.

"So that's her, huh?"

"Yup. So try to play nice with her at first, Yumi will no doubt be quite the protective mother hen for a while."

Jinglei planted her fists on her hips, archly asking, "And why are you looking at me? Yukikaze I understand-"


"-but I can be discreet."

"Discreet in the same way a bath of acid can also wash the dirt off your body."

Chuckling at the indignant scowl from the former PLA operative he turned towards Mai, not bothering to disguise his attentions as he cupped her chin, tilted it upwards and ensured the following kiss had plenty of tongue involved, a surprised and then pleased moan vibrating in his throat as he heard a low whistle of admiration leave Asuka and 'eep' of surprise from Onisaki.

Not that he paid them any mind just yet, smirking at Mai's flushed and mildly breathless expression colored over with pink hues as he quietly murmured, "Glad to see you're doing alright, Mai."

"W-we were more worried about you, naturally."

Giving the young Taimanin a final quick kiss on the cheek he turned to the rest of the assembled group, inwardly laughing at Onisaki's desperate attempt to keep her cool and failing miserably as her face resembled a particularly ripe tomato.

+5 AFC with Mai Nanase [95/100]

"Well well well, did the little honor student go and get herself a bad boy~?"

Coughing in embarrassment at Asuka's teasing words - Yukikaze and Jinglei also glancing off to the side as if they didn't know how to react to the little show there - Mai hastily replied, "H-he isn't a bad boy, that's not what it is!"

"Oh I'd daresay I've exhibited some less than good characteristics in recent past, Mai."

Curious to see how far he could push his recent AFC gains he gave her round and athletic butt a quick squeeze, the skintight fabric of her Taimanin suit really enhancing the whole experience as while he didn't gain or lose any points the girl did favor him with a petulant glare, dark blush and puffed cheek that was stupidly endearing.

"Not to abruptly change the topic or anything but I'm abruptly changing the topic, has anyone seen the Church duo or Eleonor?"

Asuka hiked a thumb over her shoulder, stating, "They're getting packed up and ready to go, I think lugging around all of those swords is making em' nervous."

"Well I better go before they up and leave, which is rather ungracious."

The pink-suited Taimanin nodded and motioned for him to follow her and Onisaki, promptly stating, "The rest of you can stay here and greet the newbie. Don't worry, your precious Surveyor daddy will be back before long."

Yukikaze and Jinglei sputtered at the irreverent comment and immediately unleashed a flood of protests that they summarily ignored, quickly making their way towards the teleportation array as the Gamer inquired, "So what's going to happen to Mishea and Gracia? Can't imagine a fiasco like this will look good on their records."

Asuka pinched the bridge of her nose, grumbling, "What I'm going to do is cart the pair of them back to HQ, spit out everything they know regarding this clusterfuck and then recommend they undergo a few months of critical thinking programs so they don't just wander tits first into an operation they have no business participating in. What about you? Giving up all those swords like that can't have been easy, especially since you actually have a team member who looks like they could use em' effectively."

"Eh, not worth the trouble. I'd much rather have some very important members of the Church remember me fondly and happily overlook the fact that Yumi did kind of behead Valper and remove all the information he was carrying around inside that twisted little brain of his."

Cayman shrugged, concluding, "Compared to some swords of admitted utility but a lot of baggage I'd rather make friends and have one of my own walk away with a clean record."

+10 REP with Onisaki [55/100]

+10 REP with Asuka [20/100]

"Heh, well aren't you the responsible one?"

"I think it's very admirable of him, Asuka!"

Before he could bask in his well earned praise as a pretty cool team lead they ran across the pair he wanted to see, Griselda and Issei swaddled beneath several wrapped Excalibur Fragments as they quietly chatted with Eleonor - well, Griselda did, Issei mostly maintained a staring contest with the Dark Elf's chest - before turning to face him at his approach, the older Exorcist slightly smiling.

"I apologize for our rushed departure but we were unsure when you might wake and wished not to tarry with the Fragments still vulnerable."

"No worries, just wanted to touch base on a few topics and say that working with the two of you was an outright pleasure."

+5 REP with Griselda [15/100]

He got a friendly nod from the woman for that remark, deftly fishing a card from within her robes and passing it to him as all it had was a phone number, email address and stylized angel wing that needed no further explanation.

"Perhaps it goes without saying but rest assured Yumi's hand in executing Galilei will remain secret. Even setting aside your aid, if ever one had just cause to deliver retribution upon that despicable man it would be her."

"Glad we're on the same page. What's her future gonna look like?"

Nodding to where a restrained and bound Lint Sellzen was still unconscious on a floating stretcher Griselda released a small sigh, stating, "That is of a less certain design. Perhaps she will be made to serve penance as a member of our order, perhaps she will be imprisoned…perhaps executed. But if any were capable of bringing out the best in a troubled soul it would be lady Gabriel."

"Wish you luck on that front, then. Hey, boob purveyor."

Issei raised an eyebrow as Cayman reciprocated Griselda's earlier action by tossing the youth his phone number, commenting, "Give me a ring some time and I'll see if I can't get you and your rival a playdate. I'm sure it will go great and you'll be the best of friends."

Issei smirked at the offer as Griselda obviously held back a sigh of resignation, the brunette cheerfully remarking, "Hell yeah it will! I'd honestly take you up on that offer now but I kinda want to see my girlfriends…the past couple days have left me backed up something fierce, know what I'm saying?"

"At one point in my life? Yes, I understand completely."

He extended his fist which the youth thankfully bumped with his own, Griselda wryly watching the exchange with an exasperated expression.

+15 REP with Issei [30/100]

"I certainly hope you know what you're getting into, Lute."

"Probably not, but if it wasn't for firsthand learning experiences we'd all be fairly uneducated, now wouldn't we?"

Shaking her head in bemusement Griselda lead Issei into the teleporting array, a respectful nod and friendly wave heralding their departure as Cayman let loose a quiet breath, glad that at least one facet of the mess he'd gotten himself into had gone smoothly.

Turning to Eleonor as the Dark Elf approached he noted that her posture was much more lively and upbeat than it was previously, the bombshell woman favoring him with a friendly smile as she gently inclined her head.

"How's everyone we rescued from that place?"

"Thanks to yours and everyone's efforts? As well as can be expected, we anticipate that they will be of sound mind and health after just a few weeks back among our community. We are especially grateful as your aid was tendered without expectation of compensation."

"Patently false. I got a ride home and a couple tickets to an apparently incredible vacation resort. And earnest thanks from a lovely lady such as yourself is just a bonus."

He didn't bother hiding his smirk as a small noise of discontent came from Onisaki and snort of amusement from Asuka, Eleonor offering a beautiful smile as she warmly stated, "It's fascinating how you manage to make such words sound both heartfelt and teasing at the same time."

+20 REP with Eleanore [50/100]

Withdrawing yet another business card from between her cleavage - Cayman reflecting that this was one of the most sexy business meetings he'd ever exchanged contact info at - the Dark Elf handed it to him, stating, "While I don't have a personal device I will be reached through our communal ones if you ever have need of us. And we shall send details of your coming vacation as soon as they are arranged."

"More than glad to hear it. Your turn next, Asuka, Onisaki?"

"That it is. And I hope you're not expecting a card from me, can't exactly go around handing out special forces contact info, now can I?"

"Wouldn't dream of it. Besides, I'm sure the rest of the Taimanin on my squad know how to reach you. It was a pleasure, Asuka."

He offered a firm handshake to the brunette that she eagerly returned, despite teasing him with, "Just a handshake? I feel like I'm losing out compared to everyone else."

"I would be more than happy to upgrade."

Chuckling the woman flipped her long hair and joked, "Okay, you're up next, Onisaki. Don't bite your tongue, alright?"

"I wasn't going to!"

Slightly pink in the cheeks the busty Taimanin authoritatively strode up to the Surveyor, slipping a hand into her substantial cleavage and withdrawing a cellphone - Cayman reflecting with certainty that there must be a standardized boob storage spell or something at play - as he retrieved his own device, the young woman hastily stating, "I'm not technically special forces and am just a student, so it's fine for us to share information! Right?"

The last word was uttered with such endearing awkwardness that Cayman could only chuckle, tapping their phones together and exchanging contact info-

-as he quickly placed a kiss on the back of her hand, figuring the gesture would do more to unbalance her as he was proven entirely correct, a cute 'eep' leaving the Taimanin as a faint blush upgraded to outright scarlet.

+15 REP with Onisaki [70/100]

"Geez. She's hopeless, isn't she?"

"But adorable in a unique and attractive way."

"I-I'm not adorable! And what made you do something like that?!"

"If it was unpleasant I can stop whenever you want."

"No! I mean…geh?!"

Asuka rolled her eyes and pulled the spluttering bombshell into the array, commenting, "Try to keep yourself safe out there, alright? Not too often we get to work with such-quit dragging your feet, you two! Don't make me add lack of motivation to the laundry list of disciplinary measures you're going to be staring down the barrel of!"

Glancing over his shoulder the Gamer found Mishea and Gracia shuffling along with sullen and chastised expressions, the tiny pair giving him brief glances but for the most part avoiding his gaze before hustling at Asuka's pointed throat clearing, the array flashing to life and whisking them away without any further ado as Eleonor intriguingly commented, "You seem like a very dangerous man, Cayman."

"In a sexy way, I hope."

The Dark Elf merely enigmatically smiled, saying, "I'll leave that to your imagination. Inform us when the rest of your party is able to travel and we shall send you on your way."

"Got it. Thanks, Eleonor."

Turning to regroup with the rest of his party the male reflected that as much as he would like to call this mission accomplished there were still quite the number of leads to track down and skulls to possibly crack thanks to everyone else's efforts while he was off traipsing through the Demon jungle.

"Miles to go before we sleep…fuck, I'm really looking forward to that vacation resort now…"