Fieral was not only the head Rej’Gan in service to her Khan, but she had many other responsibilities. In many ways, the Rej’Gan were companions, lovers, friends, warriors, servants and all manner of other things to their Khan. They were trained in proper Demihuman etiquette, highly educated by Demihuman standards, trained to fight and to gather information.
This was why they had spent their entire lives secluded and preparing for the day that they would serve their Khan. There were none more loyal and more useful to the Khan than their personal servants who were responsible for the household and inner security of the clan.
Fieral had been essential for gathering information for Fayde and providing security and stability for his reign as Khan. Her information network had slowly developed and she had contacts within each and every clan who provided her with information about the movements of the Khans and their wives. Especially their wives, for these were the most meddlesome and her greatest adversaries.
“Fieral, it is a pleasure as always. We are very happy that you have taken the time to welcome us.”
A tall and fearsome Tigerkin woman addressed Fieral politely as she sipped tea while seated on a cushion. Several other Demihuman women from other tribes were seated alongside her. This was something like a tea party, but it was also something like a battlefield.
“Of course, honored wives of the illustrious Khans, you are always welcome within the Great Khan’s yurt. I hope I can be of service to you all today.”
Fieral lightly smiled and tipped her head in respect towards these powerful women who were all wives of different Khans within the clans. She was of course, already aware of the reason for this meeting, although she pretended as if she had no foreknowledge of it.
“Polite as usual, you indeed bring honor to our Great Khan!” Replied a Bearkin female admirably.
These two were the ones spearheading this particular meeting, the wives of the Bearkin Khan as well as the Tigerkin Khan. The other wives were following their lead and also hoping to obtain some benefits from this meeting.
“Let us drop the formalities and have a pleasant chat over tea, shall we?”
“Of course Miran, we are all Demihumans and women.”
The two wives were happily speaking to the group of women and urging them to act more comfortably. Fieral was aware that this was all a show. It wouldn’t be long before they made their intentions apparent. They were all dying to get their claws into Fayde one way or another. However, Fieral wasn’t too concerned. Fayde wouldn’t be so easily controlled and with Reia and Laila at his side, there was no need to be wary of these women. Miran, the Tigerkin female, was the most devious of the group, but even she would be no match for Reia and Laila. Fieral was confident that those two could handle her.
“As you know Fieral, a powerful and wondrous man such as our Great Khan, must have many wives at his side. This is only natural as the leader of all the clans. Of course, his current wives are all amazing individuals, but we have been discussing among us and we all feel that it is quite unfair that only the Foxkin clan should be represented among us.”
“I understand your concern Miran, but surely you haven’t forgotten that the Demonkin and Dragonkin are also represented among our Great Khan’s wives.”
Fieral sipped her tea calmly and replied with respect towards these influential women. Etiquette would not allow her to treat them with any disrespect and it wasn’t as if their concerns weren’t entirely justified. This was a delicate matter that needed to be handled carefully so as not to insult these women.
“Of course, we meant no disrespect towards Allein and Laila, I think what Miran is trying to say is that, among our Great Khan’s wives, the Dragonkin aren’t truly a clan with only Allein. We don’t even know if Nes is still alive as he has disappeared, but even then it is only the two. As for the Demonkin, and please don’t misunderstand, but they aren’t truly recognized as a clan. Only the Foxkin are represented among the Great Khan’s wives. This is a concern to us and we have all discussed this with the Great Khan’s welfare in mind.”
“Yes, as Beryll has said, we must consider this as a matter of grave importance. As we all know, the amount of wives a Khan is representative of his power and influence and for our Great Khan, even more so! We believe it would only be in his best interest to take on more wives among our clans otherwise it could be seen as an insult to the clans. We of course understand that this is not our Great Khan’s intentions, but he is unfamiliar with our customs and so we have taken it upon ourselves to address this issue to come to a favorable outcome.”
Fieral carefully observed the actions of the women and while only Miran and Beryll were participating in the conversation, the other wives were all visibly in agreement. She was careful not to show any emotions which could be misunderstood and listened attentively to the concerns of the Khan’s wives, but she couldn’t help but sigh deep in her heart.
This is going to take a while…. But I can’t just ignore their request. This is something that will need to be discussed with Reia and resolved with care…
“Finally! The light of day, I thought I was going to die in the dark, how miserable.”
A male Rabbitkin shakes, his floppy ears moving back and forth as he remembers the dark atmosphere of the dungeon.
“I agree with you Jerrit, what a stifling atmosphere. It’s like the dungeon saps you of your willpower. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to seeing the sun so much.”
The second member of the party to exit the dungeon pushed the Rabbitkin male gently to the side to make way for his large and muscular body.
“Bah, be a little more careful Erikkar and you can’t possibly understand what I’m going through, aren’t Wolfkin more comfortable in the dark?”
Jerrit was clearly flustered after having been pushed to the side by Erikkar as if he were a sliding door.
“The both of you, stop your whining. A little darkness and your crying like babies. Did you see the Great Khan whining? He hasn’t even set foot outside the dungeon since he entered! Why don’t you try to act more like him?”
A third, somewhat haughty voice, soon followed from the entrance to the second floor of the dungeon and they both made way for her.
“Heh, you sure have become obsessed with the Great Khan, Felicia. You act like you’re his wife when he has only barely acknowledged your existence. I feel bad for your fiancée, how pitiful he must be haha.”
“Tch, shut up fool. Argo and I are no longer engaged! And the fact that the Great Khan and I just met can’t be helped. There is no way he won’t have taken notice of a strong beauty like me! It is only a matter of time. My father will surely arrange our marriage soon!”
Jerrit and Erikkar couldn’t help giving each other smug looks while they rolled their eyes.
“I think you need to learn a little bit more about the Great Khan before you make such baseless assumptions….” muttered Erikkar.
While he had only met Fayde a couple of times, he had gotten a measure of his personality and he didn’t think Fayde, who was a Human, thought in such a way. Although, he also believed that Fayde was not a normal Human, but when it came to the quirks and tastes of Demihumans, he was even more different.
“What do you know!? It’s not like you have spent much time with him either. All men want beautiful and strong women, just look at the wives of the Khan now! Aren’t they all beautiful and strong? I admire them…. Hey, you two fools, hurry up!”
The last two members of their party slowly ascended the entryway to the second floor of the dungeon carrying two heavy bags. They were breathing heavily and almost tripped as they lugged the two bags of resources and materials from the dungeon.
“I’m surrounded by useless brutes, why am I the only female in this group?” Felicia said to no one in particular.
“Come on Erikkar, let’s help Ren and Krill, it seems Felicia is too good for our company.”
“Ha! Indeed, especially since she was the biggest complainer out of all of us. She sure talks big for a princess…. Come on, let’s get these resources to the wagons, especially the magic crystals, they will be especially useful! I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a magic weapon…”
Felicia glared at the two but said nothing. She had finally returned to the surface and could bask in the light of the sun once more. Even if they were still surrounded by a gloomy cemetery it was still satisfying and lifted up her mood despite the negative comments of her companions.
“Ah, whatever. I will leave the manual labor to you brutes, I’m going to head towards the wagons and see if there is anything good! We also need to stock up on supplies if we want to head back in again tomorrow.”
Her companions mumbled something, but she ignored their comments and looks and left towards their base of operations. There were many wagons filled with resources and supplies circled around the camp. They were filled with magic crystals, valuable parts of monsters, food, weapons, armor and other useful pieces of equipment looted from the dungeon. Dungeons were truly treasure troves if you had the manpower to scour them sufficiently.
While Fayde had considered instituting a monetary system to the tribes, he realized that it was still too immature for such a monumental change to the Demihuman society. Instead, he expanded on their system of bartering and also implemented a simplistic system of achievements which could also be traded for various goods.
The Demihumans could barter as they normally did, or they could also use achievements to acquire whatever they wanted or needed. Each clan designated so called achievement officers who would calculate achievement points based off of certain criteria which had been decided on by the Khans and what points were assigned would be left to the discretion of these achievement officers. Of course, this system was only for those participating in the dungeon exploration. In a way, it was something like a simple version of the Adventurer’s Guild for Demihumans.
Time to go and report the achievements for our exploration this time around, this is our group’s first report! I hope we get a lot of achievements, we did make it all the way down to the 6th floor! I really wanted to keep up with the Great Khan’s pace though…. I need to make as good impression on him! This is for the sake of my clan….
Felicia was frustrated as she headed straight towards one corner of the encampment set up as a base for the expedition. She had been arrogant and thought that her party could compete with the Great Khan, but in the end, they could only make it to the 6th floor before it was necessary to return. They had almost lost one of their comrades before they realized they could no longer go on.
She didn’t feel shame though. Her party had kept pace with Fayde’s party up until the 6th floor and her group had been the second party to make it that far. Every other group had already returned at least once. This was due to her incredible strength and ability as well as the overall strength of her party.
After I meet with the achievement officer, it’s a bath for me! I haven’t bathed in days and I smell horrible, ugh. I will need to reapply my face paint too!
As Felicia concerned herself with her own thoughts, she determinedly made her way towards her objective without realising the Tigerkin male who called out to her.
After the third shout, she finally realized someone was calling out to her and she glanced towards the voice sharply, annoyed that her thoughts were interrupted.
Felicia realized who the voice was from and let out a disgusted sound and sighed.
“Sable, what do you want?”
Sable had finally caught up to her and reached out to grab her arm, but she slapped his hand away.
“Who said you could touch me?”
“Isn’t it normal for one’s fiancée to touch their significant other?” He said while smiling affectionately.
“Tch… didn’t I already tell you that our engagement has been broken? Why did my father bother choosing you to come on this expedition? Were there no other suitable Tigerkin? Ugh!”
Sable ignored her derisive tone and showed no antagonism towards her. He was already familiar with her personality having been her fiancée for a long time. He also knew that she wasn’t truly a bad girl at heart, she only acted that way because she had a complex of always feeling the need to show a strong front towards everyone. For some reason, Felicia had it in her head that showing weakness was absolutely disgraceful behavior.
“I just wanted to make sure you were okay… I know you broke the engagement, but it isn’t as if it is decided that you will marry the Great Khan. If he doesn’t accept you…”
“Don’t you dare finish that, it is already over between us. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I will definitely become his wife! Only the strongest male deserves me as his wife and there is no one stronger than the Great Khan! He is amazing!”
While Felicia had began with an intense voice, as she thought of Fayde her eyes almost sparkled and her voice softened. Whenever she thought of him, she became much cuter than her normal behavior. This made Sable feel jealous since she never had acted that way towards him. He could only watch her with a forlorn look and his shoulders slumped as she continued to act in a daze. He felt as if he didn’t even exist anymore in her eyes.
“Enough! I am busy, I have to go report to the achievement officer and then I have to restock on supplies. I don’t have time to talk with you, sorry!”
And with that she was off, leaving Sable to stand dumbfounded as he watched her grow more distant. He could only sigh and then walked back towards his own party. His companions watched him with pitiful looks.