The atmosphere changed right after that.
Lapis was holding Loren up and watching Gula’s massacre unfold when she noticed the change and reflexively tightened her hold on Loren.
“…Do you want to strangle me to death?”
“Seems like something is coming. That smell is… getting stronger.”
The smell Loren mentioned was the sweet scent that was making him lose his mind, and probably was what had stolen the soldiers’ and villagers’ awareness. It had suddenly become stronger.
“Isn’t it better to make me unconscious now before it’s too late?”
Feeling that his senses were going hazy again, Loren prompted Lapis. Lethargy attacked his whole body, his awareness flickered, and he lost the ability to move. But if he did something strange or blurted out something weird while being held by Lapis, he would mentally die later.
Hearing Loren’s proposal, Lapis looked down at him with a troubled expression. He was in a quite battered state now. Even though it hadn’t come to anything fatal due to Gula stopping in the mid of his rampage, the backlash had definitely caused damage to his body.
“But in this state, just a single blow might kill you, won’t it?”
“How come the first thing you think of is knocking me out?”
If it was only to make him unconscious, a <<Sleep>> spell would be sufficient; there was no need for a blow. Even though Loren’s magic resistance was high, if he himself didn’t wish to resist it, magic could work on him with no problem.
“You want me to use a sleeping spell?”
“Can I ask you to? I feel like it’ll become dangerous if I continue like this.”
Loren just wanted to quickly fall unconscious before he could do anything strange. But Gula came and placed her palm on his forehead before anyone could notice.
“I’m giving back what I bit off before, plus a bit of interest.”
Gula’s hand clutched at Loren’s forehead lightly. From that hand, Loren felt something he couldn’t comprehend pour into his body. He immediately tried to shake her hand off, but Gula didn’t let go and held on tight with a strength that made Loren unable to move even his neck.
“What are you doing?!”
“Heh, all done. Don’t you feel more comfortable?”
Gula smiled cheerfully and quickly let go of Loren, who was still trying to rise up even though his strength was no match for hers. He wanted to complain, but immediately noticed the changes in his body and swallowed the words down. The fatigue he had been feeling since Gula showing up had disappeared, and he didn’t feel the haze in his mind whenever he inhaled that sweet scent anymore.
“I munched on you a bit when you were going berserk to make you behave. I’ve just returned it, and I’ve also enhanced your resistance to the phenomenon happening in this place.”
Still keeping his eyes on Gula’s smiling face, Loren got up from Lapis’ arms. The pain has receded completely and his mind cleared up. The feeling of sickness and fatigue vanished from his body.
“Are you alright, Loren?”
Lapis asked, as she followed Loren and stood back up. He silently nodded.
He didn’t really understand what Gula meant by munching on him, but he guessed it was about his stamina and life force. She had taken away some of them to stop his rampage.
Her returning that force back to him was conceivable, but he couldn’t understand her intention of enhancing his resistance.
“What the hell are you thinking about?”
“Right, I wonder how will things progress from here? Well, in the worst case, I have returned enough stamina for you to run away. The aftertaste will be bad though.”
Lapis wanted to clarify Gula’s remark, but she didn’t elaborate any further. Her gaze turned away from them to somewhere beyond the remaining naked men.
“Since the scent has become this heavy, you must be over there.”
“Gula-chan… I feel so sad.”
Hearing the voice, Loren frowned in confusion. Lapis’ eyes widened, and she looked around restlessly, as if she had become suspicious of something.
“I’ve just woken up and spread my love around here, you know. Seeing my lovely captives being gobbled down like that makes me really sad.”
Loren wondered while his sixth sense, cultivated through countless battles, rang a spectacular alarm bell in a corner of his mind.
The speaking manner was similar to one of an aged woman, who could be found in a tavern or brothel. Yet no matter how much his brain refused to accept it, the deep voice seemed to belong a man.
“Hey Lapis, is there something wrong with my hearing? Somehow I hear a man’s voice…”
“Loren, your hearing is probably alright. Because I also heard a man’s voice.”
Gula’s gaze didn’t shift.
Seeing the figure slowly come out from behind the naked man, Loren unthinkingly fixed his grip on his greatsword, and Lapis clung to his arm as if she was hugging it.
“Love… It’s beautiful yet ugly, fleeting yet powerful, fragile yet strong… And, without a doubt, has faults.”
The naked men made Loren feel extremely unpleasant, but if he were to be asked who was more unpleasant, them or the newly-appeared figure, he wouldn’t be able to answer right away. The newcomer was that kind of existence.
First of all, the height was taller than that of the naked men by two heads. The hair gleamed glossily as if it was combed through with some kind of oil. And the face was, unmistakably, the chiseled face of a man, with a small mustache and a cleft chin.
Shifting his gaze downward, Loren saw a neck as thick as the waist of a woman. Further below was a brawny torso packed with muscles that was, for some reason, straining in a black mesh shirt.
Perhaps because the sight was so shocking, Lapis began to get sick while still clinging to Loren’s arm. He rubbed her back and shifted his gaze further down.
His eyes met a pair of tight leather pants hanging so low that they could barely be called low-rise. The muscles squeezed into those pants made the legs’ outline clearly visible. Moreover, he could clearly see a very noticeable bulge in the middle. Unwilling to believe what he had seen so far, Loren turned his gaze back to the face.
“Oh, I can feel a very hot gaze on me. Have I charmed you, dear boy?”
If this was a mental attack, then the sweet scent from earlier was no match for it; Loren thought with a shudder. He began to think that he probably would have gone crazy right here if he hadn’t received that resistance power from Gula.
“It’s understandable. Everybody yearns for this attractive body of mine after all.”
“No, I think you’re so gross that he’s become immobile due to the mental damage. Look at the priestess next to him. She’s trying so hard to not vomit, isn’t she?”
“Ah, forgive my rudeness. It’s alright, cute priestess. I… swing both ways, you know.”
Lapis screamed and hid behind Loren.
Loren, despite being used as a shield, was also filled with the desire to run away from this place as soon as possible, but he couldn’t. In addition to the revolting feeling for the being in front of him, Loren could also feel the heavy pressure of facing another entity similar to Gula, a so-called Evil God. If he didn’t play well here, an easy escape wouldn’t be a choice at all.
“Stop making heart eyes, you idiot. What the hell are you doing here?”
“I’ve decided to build a love nest.”
“What love nest? You just call people here with no discrimination at all. It’s started to become a big mess, you know?”
“It’s alright, I’ll welcome anyone who gathers here. I’m a philanthropist.”
Loren desperately tried to control the nausea brought about by all the wriggling muscles and asked Gula:
“H-hey, what the hell is that…?”
“You’ve understood somewhat, haven’t you? I don’t really want to admit it, but he and I are the same kind.”
“Now, excuse me, but what do you mean by ‘don’t really want to admit’? Being jealous of my beauty, are you Envy?”
“Have you gone senile while sleeping? I’m Gluttony. And you are Lust.”
Hearing that the muscle head who used feminine speech in front of them was an Evil God, and of Lust no less, both Loren and Lapis stiffened up.
Paying no mind to their reaction, Gula continued her explanation:
“Luxuria Lusterity, Evil God of Lust. He’s a queen who calls himself a philanthropist just because he’s fine with both genders. And there’s no age limit for him. Upper limit is dying grandpas and grandmas, and the lower limit is… I can’t really say it out loud, but his range is extensive.”
“There’s no limit for love. Nice to meet you.”
Lapis, who was hiding behind Loren, pressed her forehead into his back and desperately tried to suppress her nausea and scream. That was quite painful for Loren, but he couldn’t move even an inch. All he could do was looking-back and-forth between a grinning Gula and a winking Luxuria.