Rest For The Weary Lover
Villa De Karkaldwin, The Farmlands, Pryldahn, 1439 ATC
New Years. Gifts, families getting together, a relative time of peace considering the weather. And also a time of chaos. Given the vast size of his harem, as well as the numerous children he has fathered now, visiting them all took a long time to pull off effectively. Given their numerous and conflicting schedules, it was just barely possible for Venser to spend time with his full and now expansive family. This did cause him to often go overworked and be in constant motion, especially when the man decided to be away from the villa. His family did agree to give him some time to rest, but he didn’t want to take away any time he could share with them. So it was not uncommon for Venser to sleep a lot during his time with one of his wives and no one minded; it only meant more snuggle time in bed. Though ever since he had awoken from his coma, he felt a need to just sleep alone, which was very unlike Venser and for the past few years had never gone to bed alone.
Though snuggling was always nice, feeling the warmth of a loved one beside him. Their scent, their touch, and their love. Venser wanted to be with as much of his family as he could, often above and beyond what was expected for his position in a harem compared to other harems of Pryldahn. Not seeing a harem leader for a week or month was common among such families one fourth the size of his. Some cultures often had just one partner for life, but with how many more women there were to men in this land. At least, after the Cataclysm but with a majority of the continents residents being human now, the culture still stayed the same. Venser had many women, but had no intention of slowing down. The love and desire was too strong.
Venser had a hard time doing that, he was lucky that his lovers had more sense than him and would work things out among themselves to try and get everyone their own time with him or they all just enjoyed each other all at the same time. Often multiple dates of multiple people were had between Venser and the women of his life, or one at a time was often simpler. He often enjoyed being home, spending time with them in simple ways.
Though luckily for Ven, cuddling was often more than enough for his girls as spending time with them was the thing both sides wanted the most. Though that didn't stop him from making sure he played with his children as much as he could between rests and getting to know them and making up for any time he wasn't around which always tugged at his heart. He wanted to always be around for them. Venser wanted to do the best he could for his kids but he felt he was prone to getting overwhelmed. While he loved them all dearly it was often the lack of conflict and everyone always vying for his attention that often drove Venser to go our and adventure.
But tonight he felt to weary to enjoy anything. Venser needed rest in his own bed. In his own home.
The man had come home late in the night after his wild night in No Name Port, and he said nothing to his wives when he finally came to bed, and he did not want to, and they understood. While they slept, he looked over their nude, delicious bodies, and opted to quietly sneak into bed beside two very pale bodies, one quite muscular with a nice, round rear. And the other a thin, smaller frame with icy blonde hair. Venser wrapped his arms around Kari and let out a soft sigh, causing her to stir awaken and adjust herself carefully to face him and not wake the other women.
"Hey sweetie... Welcome home." Kari gave her husband a quiet, cheerful smile and rested her forehead against his. The cryomancer always tried her best to look up, vodka helped with it along with cannabis, but yet despite everything that happened lately it was important she kept her sunny disposition. It was a subconscious choice to view everything optimistically, really. Venser's face was solemn, bordering on frowning as Kari stroked his sides.
"What's wrong sweetie?" She whispered cuddling closer, and Venser did the same feeling her icy fingertips dance upon his skin.
"Well..." Venser closed his eyes and sighed again. What would he honestly say? Kari was his first lover and the mother of his oldest twins, they had been together for nearly a decade, and the ditzy blonde cryomancer knew pretty much everything about him. The man thought about Kari and Marvella, and all the years they spent together. Before they all met, the two were protectors of Vorland, and Kari had given up her position when she became pregnant with Soarin and Lucinda. Marvella never had any children of her own and continued her duty serving House Rust. And that ended up being Marvella's undoing.
And Venser blamed himself. This was the life of a mercenary, a protector, a warrior, a fighter.
And yet, he still enjoyed all of the chaos that came with it. The power, the feeling he could do anything he wanted. It fed his ego, but Venser's ego corrupted and slowly destroyed everything around him. And he couldn't help himself. Venser had dome so many horrible things and perhaps he should have died in their place. He thought of that woman and her husband? No, they didn't matter. Venser had his little rush of power and violence but it had calmed. Or did it? The man felt conflicted.
But no, he had to live. Venser had to live. He bit his lip and shuddered.
“We did the best we could. But there were too many...” Tears dripped from his eyes and spilled down his cheeks. “I'm so sorry about Marvella... About... Everything. Helping Nadine unleash the Luektorem onto his world but I swear I will hunt down the few who were left and put them one by one..." His shoulder shaking.
"And I... We want to help, sweetie. You don't need to do this on your own. The twins, the children all see their father as a hero." Kari smiled and wiped away his tears, kindness in her icy blue eyes.
“Honestly, no the soldiers who actually responded to that crazy fucking temple crashing out of the sky were heros. I am a failure. If I was a hero, I would have saved the lives of my brothers. If I was a hero, I wouldn’t have this blood staining my hands. If I was a hero, I well... Everything would be perfect. Golden. Rather than bittersweet... The Golden Age is over. Now it's The Bittersweet age. Or... Wistful. Ugh. I just don't feel like a hero." What was Venser expect? A parade? A statue? Maybe after he removed Doulocel's head from their body and showed it to the rulers of the continent.
"I... I just don't know Kari... I feel like a monster. That I'm always tempted to go out and do things, terrible things for a thrill and to feed us but... It's just the way of things. Fuck me I think I just started a war with whatever else is lurking underground..." Venser did not want to get hysterical now or raise his voice and alert his harem awaken. Venser did not want to talk about the couple he assaulted in No Name Port, he figured who cared about them? He noticed that Madalina had shifted and lifted her head up, opening her blood red eyes and giving a small yawn, before rolling over and wrapping her strong arms around the golden gypsy. The warrior demoness was quick to wait, and feigned being asleep, listening to her lover show a rare moment of insecurity.
Kari wrapped her limbs around him and pulled him close against her. “You aren’t a monster,” she whispered in his ear. “Any kind of war is horrible, but not the warriors."
He snorted mirthlessly, before cutting himself off. When they met he was still a very common mercenary one step above a bandit or a newbie adventurer. Venser would serve anyone who paid, and now he directly served all of the rulers of the continent when they called. And overall, he was loyal to God Queen Y'vonne, who had granted him citizenship and a home, and more titles and perks to come.
"You know I'm guilty of far worse things than simply killing people. But... Everything I do and have ever done I do it so we can all have a good, secure life and none of us will ever go hungry. I will not allow that. No, no no..." Venser didn't want to admit the more selfish parts. Going out to earn more coin on his jobs, meeting women, getting them pregnant and feeling the responsibility to take them home to spare them the social stigma of being a single parent, and then repeating the cycle over and over again. Venser enjoyed that, yes he did.
And he couldn't help himself, he could never outrun what he really was. Venser reveled in all of the unconditional love granted to him by those who lived with him and constantly showered him with adoration. He would leave a legacy for himself and for his family that would last millenia. Once he had nothing, and now he was gaining everything and Venser Tybalt Karkaldwin would not let that go. It all depended on him.
Kari kissed his forehead, whispering, “I forgive you sweetie. I forgive you for all the bad things you’ve done and don't care about your past before you came here. You aren’t a bad man... You're trying to do better. You did what you could, you fought your hardest. Everyone forgives you, so why don’t you forgive yourself?”
“And how do I do that, Kari?"
“Only you know that." She whispered, hesitant.
Venser closed his eyes and turned away from her. “There was so much more I could have done... Should have done. Stupid..."
“What? What could you have done differently?”
“Everything. I should have been more prepared... It all just happened..."
“You didn’t. You couldn’t.” Kari winced at the steel in her own voice and sat up a bit, looking around the large bedroom. “That’s not how it happened. And nothing you can do will change that.”
He said nothing for a few moments, letting his arms to loose around the slender, pale cryomancer. Venser just lost the will to cuddle.
Rolling away from her slightly, he shifted in the bed and onto his back, staring at the ceiling, and Kari Fullerbuster-Karkaldwin understood the meaning behind that simple motion despite her normal niavite.
"I love you Venser, and I'll see you when we wake up." She said planting a soft, icy kiss on Venser's lips as he closed his eyes and relaxed into his own bed, reaching out with an entirely flesh and void hand to hold hers as he fell back asleep, pushing all thoughts of the last few weeks out of his mind. It had been a long night, and soon the sun would rise on a better day.
Eventually. When sleep finally came for Venser, who let out another soft sigh and tried to sleep, to no avail, his mind wandering much to his displeasure.
What would the dawn bring him next?