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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2312564
Carter has reached the first tower with very little fanfare.
The Four Towers - Thresh - Part 1  (18+)
Carter finds himself in a new world where only women and monsters thrive.
#2311466 by Troyizen

Previously on The Four Towers...

Carter died a hideous death in the Forest of Quietus, and his afterlife was denied to him. The Forest was a hell on Thresh, and Carter had no hope for salvation. The heroes from the Great War were also trapped in the murky darkness, but they hatched a plan to escape and needed Carter to fulfill their plan. They needed Carter to find the four tattoos of spirit banishment and binding to help free them. They taught him the skills he needed to reach the Tower's highest floors and retrieve the tattoos. Nobody should be subjected to the pains Carter lived through in the Forest, but what awaits him in the towers?

"Arthur is coming with us to the sixth floor? I can't remember a time he's ever wanted to do that," said Yuma as she stretched out on the large beetle chair. Her top started to ride up on her, and she grabbed it and took it off. Her breasts were large and emphasized by their white contrast to her skin. They glowed in the dark tent, making Carter blush a little bit. She started rubbing her breasts up and down as if they had fallen asleep because of the restrictions of her top."


The easiest tower

The light from the Tower is what Carter noticed first. It was bright, brighter than the surrounding Forest was. He squatted down on his knees and squinted his eyes to see his surroundings. He pulled his sword out and listened for any noise he could hear. He did not want to be attacked with his present handicap. He looked down at the ground and saw alternating black and white marble tile cover the room. He used his ears to listen for any noise, grunts, and snarls from an enemy. He heard none.

His eyes adjusted, allowing him to take more of the room in. Two large staircases were in the middle of the room, leading upwards. The rest of the floor was empty. He slowly walked towards the stairs, listening to his feet echo across the expansive room.

His eyes had gotten used to the light when he reached the stairs. He still held his sword in his hand, ready for anything that would climb down the stairs.

He closed his eyes and allowed Detect Area to escape his body as a spell, and he saw only this room, no movement. The level above him was blocked from his spell. A nervous feeling overcame him, and he wondered if any spells would work in this Tower. He climbed the stairs slowly at first, cautious of anything attacking him. He stopped when his head peaked over the last stair and saw a giant desert with no walls.

"Unbelievable," said Carter.

He climbed the rest of the stairs until he stepped both his feet into the sand on the ground. Large boulders and chunks of rock littered the ground. The edges of the desert showed mountains and clouds. If he didn't know any better, he could believe he was outside, in the real world.

A light breeze blew some sand over his feet and into his face. He looked around for a moment.

"What am I supposed to do now?" asked Carter. Carter looked upwards, seeing only the sky as far as he could see.

Once again, he cast Detect Area, and a large map appeared. Red dots, green dots, and what looked to be a staircase several miles to the north. He spun around until he was sure which way was north. One of the red dots on the map was only a few hundred heads away. He saw a group of giant rats running around and decided it had to be the red dots.

The rats were to the south of him, while the staircase to the next level, hopefully, was to the north. He looked at the rats momentarily and started walking towards them.

"I need to see how good I am, or else should I just exit now?" asked Carter. Carter had an errant thought that maybe the stairs closed behind him, and he was trapped.

He looked back towards the downward stairs and walked back toward it. He placed his foot on the first step, and his foot descended. He was happy; he could leave anytime he wanted.

The rats had caught his scent and were heading toward him. He lifted his armpit and took a giant whiff. Yep, it's a nasty smell that can't be covered up. He still had his sword out and aimed it toward the rats.

"Fifteen against one," said Carter. He ran towards the creatures and started swinging his sword. They tried to bite him, but he dodged them with a warrior's skill. Their little heads exploded under his powerful swings. The squeals of these tiny creatures sent him into berzerk mode, and before he knew it, they were all dead. He had a few bites on his arm, but nothing life-threatening.

The dead bodies disappeared underfoot, and all that was left was a few copper coins scattered across the ground. He bent over, picked them up, and threw them into his haversack. He looked into the bag and found it was empty. He placed his hand into the bag again and moved it around, looking for those coins. Nothing but air and the suction noise of his magic mana flying out of his body. He pulled his hand out and said the word 'coins,' and four coins appeared in his hand. He threw them back in, satisfied with his bag's retrieval feature.

He roamed the countryside of this floor, following the red dots on his Detect Area map, killing small rats and black beetles. That was the only thing he found on Floor Two of the Tower. He had collected over 125 copper coins and one small dagger. Lord Chiba taught him how to throw daggers, and this one had a good weight to it. He smiled as he placed it back into his belt.

He came upon one of the green dots on his map, and it was a well full of water. He took a drink and felt refreshed. Carter pulled out two of his water skins and refilled them. The desert's heat was getting to him, and he needed to wash himself. He looked on his map again and noticed nothing around. He took his clothes off and washed himself with the water from the well. He noticed that his headaches had returned since he had been in his body for the past few years. It was minor compared to the torture Red had given him.

He tried to wash himself with the water, but the years of dirt, sweat, and filth were fused onto his skin. He needed soap and a hot bath. Ella had cut his long hair several times with a knife, but it was filthy and passed his shoulder again. He looked into the pool, seeing his reflection. He didn't even look like a human anymore.

He rinsed his smelly clothes in the water. The grime melted off and sullied the water. He let a slight frown cover his face, hoping the water wasn't tainted. He placed his wet clothes and his equipment back on.

"Let's go see what the next floor has to offer," said Carter as he walked towards the staircase that hopefully went up. His first floor was behind him, and he was feeling good.

The sky was gray above the sand and dry grass that covered the 3rd floor. Another desert greeted Carter, and he looked around. This level had many packs of giant rats and black beetles running around. Carter again cast his Detect Area spell and saw the green and red dots. Towards the top was a black dot with a sword next to it. Farther up was a picture of a town with several blue dots. He didn't put much mana behind this Detect Area, so it was less detailed and may miss things.

"That seems interesting. Maybe I'll find weapons or a boss fight?" guessed Carter.

The beetles had hard carapaces and were tough to cut through. He had to stab the creatures in the head to kill them. The rats had grown in number. Usually, thirty-plus ran in a pack. They could overwhelm you, hold you down, and gnaw at your body. He learned to pick them off in smaller groups until there were easy targets. After a few thousand copper coins later, he found water at the well and laid down to rest. A noise piqued his interest, and he looked behind him. A giant red beetle, surrounded by forty smaller black beetles, was heading towards him. They were not on his map.

The red beetle shot a wad of flaming flem at him. He dodged out of the way. The fire beetle entourage followed up the fire-spew with attacks of their own. They seemed to want to hold Carter to the ground while the fire beetle shot a round of fire-spew at him. The strategy worked once on Carter, and he, with fifteen other black beetles, got hit with one of the globs of fire. He got covered in the flame and was starting to burn. He ran towards the well and put it out. The black beetles weren't so lucky and died in the fire. The remaining black beetles attempted the same scenario again, and this time, Carter jumped out of the way at the last moment. The flames engulfed the loyal beetles, horribly killing them. Carter ran towards the fire beetle and hacked at its head briefly. The fire beetle tried to spit again, and Carter came in close and stabbed the creature in the bottom of his mouth. The fire-spew flowed from the large hole, and the beetle fell to the ground.

"That was crazy," said Carter, noticing a new, burnt hole in his shirt. A mucus-covered organ and red carapace out of the fire beetle was on the ground, lying next to a shiny silver coin. He picked up the coin and rigid carapace and placed them in his bag. He then looked at the gland, wondering what to do with it.

"Maybe it's edible," said Carter, holding it to his nose.

"Oh, I wouldn't do that," came a voice behind him.

He turned around, and five women stood there with rusty swords pointed at him. They were covered in sand and sweat.

"Seminole, you should have let him eat that. I've never seen a luminous person before," said a dark-haired woman wearing a fur-covered bikini. They all were wearing the same outfit. The shoulder straps crossed in the front, constricting their large breasts from moving too much. A long front and tail loincloth covered their bottoms. When the wind blew, the loincloth would flap in the wind, revealing their tanless privates. This was quite a distraction to Carter.

"We can't have that Cindy. Arthur wants us to bring all found prisoners back to him," said a blond-haired beauty whose eyes twinkled blue in the desert's sun. She was taller than the other women and looked like she could easily win any fight.

"I'm just here to fight the monsters, not people," said Carter, putting his sword away.

"It's not like you have a choice," said a nervous, darker-skinned woman whose dark hair reached her loincloth. Her breasts looked like they were testing the fortitude of her top.

"Captain Harlow, several black beetle carapaces are lying around," said Seminole. Both Seminole and Harlow had light-blue hair and green eyes. They almost looked like twins or sisters.

Captain Harlow pointed at the darker-skinned woman and said, "Watch this piece of shit, Teela, while we collect our carapaces."

"Yes, Sir," said Teela in a nervous voice. She held her shaky weapon at Carter with a look of fright. Her face glowed with beauty and innocence. Carter couldn't understand why she was helping these other rogues.

Harlow bent over and picked up one of the beetle's stiff, rigid body parts. The loincloth blew to the side, and Carter's eyes saw the excellent backside of the tanned beauty. The loincloth must block most of the sun from tanning her butt, making it white in contrast to her tanned skin.

Seminole and Cindy joined Harlow in picking up the carapaces, giving Carter a show he didn't ask for.

"Our friend here won't mind us taking these for our village, will you?" asked Captain Harlow as a bead of sweat leaked down her stomach.

"You don't talk very much," said Hannah as she poked Carter in the side with her sword.

"This dirt pile of a person seems to be simple in the head. Must have just come from the Forest," said Cindy. Cindy had brown hair and smiled a lot. She wore her top in a tube-top fashion, and her breasts wiggled a lot more than the others.

"I don't speak that much, am I simple?" asked the taller woman with the blond hair.

"No, Hannah, you're just the stoic, strong type," said Seminole. Seminole's blue hair was longer than Captain Harlow's, and she had four mini-braids surrounding her face. She would sit there and play with them when she got bored.

Carter didn't care if they took his carapaces. He already had the coins.

A hand reached into his rucksack and haversack from behind. He went to turn around, and he felt the point of a sword in his back.

"Do I need to touch this, uhm, person?" said Hannah as she slid Carter's sword from his belt. Carter didn't know what to do. He could get away if he fought and knocked them out, but some wandering monster would probably eat them. He decided to shut up and follow them.

"It has been a few decades since the last candidate entered," said Seminole.

"That last candidate was the lovely Nina; she made it to the sixth floor before she had to be dragged back to the camp. She now sleeps all day," said Captain Harlow.

"She was a good candidate. Magician, Fighter, and sexy half-elf. Those long legs make me want to..." said Cindy as she clenched her hands tight.

"Yuma is still the best. She made it to the 6th floor and back with only a few wounds," said Captain Harlow.

"She had to take Indigo with her to heal her, though. Even I could do that," said Hannah.

He saw on his Area Map that they were approaching the staircase, and the sword icon was only a few feet away from them. He looked hard, and all he saw was a mound of dirt. "Is it buried?" thought Carter to himself. He stopped for a moment to scrutinize the hill, and he got rewarded with a hilt jammed into his back.

"Keep walking, gruesome. You look like an orc's turd with no breasts," said Cindy.

A small laugh came from the other women.

"Was your mom an ogre?" said Captain Harlow.

"No," said Carter under his breath. He couldn't understand why they thought he was a woman. He had long hair and was covered in dirt and filthy clothes. But he still had the muscles and a manly jawline. Well, maybe the jawline was covered in soot and grime.

"I can't even look at it," said Seminole.

Captain Harlow let out a loud laugh. She opened the bag that was hanging around her shoulder and pulled out a burlap sack. She stood in front of Carter, and he stopped. The sack was the size of a body, and she placed it over Carter's head and shoulders. He could barely see through the little holes, and the heat was unbearable.

"There, that's better," said Harlow, and the women laughed.

Hannah hit him in the back of the head again with the hilt of her sword. He stumbled forward a few feet but was able to keep standing.

"Arthur isn't going to like the looks of this monstrous hag," said Harlow as she pushed Carter forward faster.


The Village of Hag

A long path inclined up a hill, twisting back and forth towards the mountains that circled the desert. A horn announced the group's arrival before they got close to the village. A door covered in carapaces swung open as they neared.

The din of yelling and screaming sounded like it was coming from everywhere. Carter was directed towards a large hut made from trees, fur, and black carapaces. It took four of them, but he was pushed to his knees to the ground. He felt a rope tie around his arms, which they had pulled behind him. He felt a kick in the back and pretended to fall on the ground. The burlap bag was pulled off, and he was alone beside a fire pit. A dozen chairs made from the bodies of beetles circled the fire.

He lay there for at least an hour, and he fell asleep. This world in the Tower was quiet compared to the spirit screams that haunted his sleep outside in the Forest. While dreaming, he wrestled around on the ground and pulled the rope off his hands, allowing his hands to move freely.

A long conversation was happening outside the tent between the group of women who brought him here and a man's voice. "I'll take care of it," said the man's voice as he entered the tent. He walked around Carter and sat down on the bigger beetle chair.

Carter opened his eyes and lifted himself off the ground. The man had his hands over his face as if he was sleeping. Carter sat down in a chair opposite of him.

"I am Arthur Grand," said the man, taking his hands from his face. Arthur was a tiny man, smaller than the warriors that brought him there. He wasn't even muscular. He was homely.

"I am Carter," said Carter as he sat without expression.

"My, you are a dirty one, aren't you? Didn't the great ones bathe you before you came in?" said Arthur.

"They were too busy killing me every day," said Carter.

"Hygiene is essential," said Arthur, ignoring Carter's answer. He stared at Carter for a long time in silence.

"You're a male?" asked Arthur, not expecting an answer.

"I have been in this Tower since the Great War ended. I escaped the end-war calamity by entering into this Tower. When I thought it was over, I tried to escape this Tower and found that a massacre was happening in the burned-down Forest of Kek. I barely made it back here alive," said Arthur, waving his hands around.

Carter survived that massacre, sort of. He was still technically dead.

"I made this make-shift village out of objects I could acquire on the floors surrounding us. Then, once a decade, a student of Red's comes into the Tower to get to the top," said Arthur as he paused again.

"How many are here?" asked Carter.

"Not one trained warrior has accomplished their task. They got to the sixth floor and then returned half-dead and defeated. Centaurs and Ettercaps are too tough! They yelled!" said Arthur in his own little world.

Arthur started screaming the following statement to the hut's ceiling; he said, "There are twenty damn floors on this Tower! Not one of the one hundred forty-nine trained hags has the guts to go any higher than six. So they all eke out a crappy life in this little village inside a cruel Tower, feeding off the meager manna and water pools that the Tower provides."

He stood up and walked over to the table that held Carter's belongings. He picked them up, looked inside, and let out a primal scream. "They didn't even give you food? Have they given up?" screamed Arthur to the sky. He was looking forward to eating something other than manna.

He lifted his hands in the air and pulled them down while taking a deep breath. "Calm," said Arthur.

"Tomorrow, we will take you to the third floor, and you will walk the trail of fears to the fourth floor. We will depart from you," said Arthur, pausing for a few seconds.

"I will give you this one warning: do not return here. We are full," said Arthur. He paused again. Carter didn't know if he was thinking or just doing it for dramatic effect.

"Do not leave this room, and do not expect any hospitality from me. The others can do as they want," said Arthur as he left the hut.

"What a weird little man," thought Carter.

Carter sat in the silent hut for a while, listening to the noises of the village. He found it soothing and peaceful. He contemplated on what Arthur had said.

"What was that about?" said Carter as he closed his eyes.

"He can be quite egocentric, can't he?" asked a pleasant-toned voice behind him. He turned his head and saw this muscular woman walk into the room.

She sat in the chair beside Carter and asked, "How's Queen Era?"

The smiling woman has blond hair that looks like a knife shortened to shoulder length. She had the same fur outfit except for a piece of armor made out of beetle. She had a scar down her left arm that ran for at least a head.

"She is a bitch, and she is doing well," said Carter.

The woman laughed and pulled out a small square of hardened green slime about an inch in height. At least, that's what Carter thought it looked like.

"Eat this. This is what we call manna, a food from a well on the 3rd floor," said the woman.

Carter placed the food into his mouth and swallowed. It went down like jello and tasted like dirt. He choked a little; some came back up, and then he swallowed again.

"Impressive. It usually takes a few weeks before they swallow and another week before they can keep the manna down. It has all the ingredients to keep you healthy, but it tastes like shit, and our scholars postulate that it might be alive," said the woman.

Carter felt the food crawling its way back up his esophagus, and he hit himself in the chest to knock it back down. His benefactor let out a little laugh.

"My name is Arista. I am the greetings delegate from the village of..." stopped Arista in the middle of her sentence.

"He calls it Hags, now, the village of Hags. He changed it last week," came another voice behind Carter.

"Yuma? Did Arthur say you could come in here?" asked Arista.

"No. But then, when was the last time I listened to that rawboned bitch," said Yuma.

Carter didn't bother to turn around to look at Yuma. He was still concerned about keeping that manna down.

"Do not let him hear you say that. You will be ostracized like Hammy and the others," said Arista.

"I don't give a fuck. I'm the only one who can retrieve giant boar meat from the sixth floor he loves so much," said Yuma as she sat down on the big beetle throne. Yuma was as tall as Arista, with black hair wrapped around her neck and draped over her shoulder, ending in a single braid. Her button nose was upturned as if she was snooty, but her attitude was pedestrian. Her top was strapless, and her bottom was the ubiquitous loin cover. Her eyes and lips both smiled as she laughed.

"Looks like that's going to change. He joining us this time," said another voice walking in the door.

"Indigo? Did he say something to you?" asked Yuma.

Indigo was a tall half-elf with a murky-white complexion. The desert kisses everyone's skin to a darker tone, even hers. The exception would be Carter; he has a natural sun blocker, dirt. Indigo's bosom was disproportional compared to her skinny hips and torso. Her face was clean and exquisitely beautiful. She reminded Carter of Ella Landers when she had a body. This must be the healer he heard about.

"Yes. He told me he was going to see this hideous hag, as he called it, off to the fourth floor," said Indigo while pointing at Carter. She sat beside him and whispered, "I didn't say that. He did." She tapped him on his arm to comfort him. She pulled it back and looked at her dirty fingers with a frown.

Carter thought he would be left alone today, but that wouldn't be. He looked down at the fingerprint smears on his arm.

"Arthur is coming with us to the sixth floor? I can't remember a time he's ever wanted to do that," said Yuma as she stretched out on the large beetle chair. Her top started to ride up on her, and she grabbed it and took it off. Her breasts were large and emphasized by their white contrast to her skin. They glowed in the dark tent, making Carter blush a little bit. She started rubbing her breasts up and down as if they had fallen asleep because of the restrictions of her top.

"Yuma! You know Arthur doesn't like it when you do that," said Arista.

"Amazon's are naturally naked!" said Yuma as she released her breasts and sat up in her chair.

Arista lifted her hand, which had a symbol of a bug on it. "While we have these thrall symbols, he is in charge," said Arista. Arista remembers when she first got here, and she was starving. She couldn't eat until she pledged herself to Arthur, as did everyone else in the village.

"Well, he didn't come out and say we couldn't be naked. He says he doesn't like it," said Yuma as she released her bottom loin cloth and stood up.

Carter stared as he noticed the tan lines outlining her female parts as she walked around. She ignored all the screams to get redressed.

"He's not coming back here, the little gimp. We have a master, a man, and we are childless. Something isn't right," said Yuma as she walked behind Carter, sadly, out of his eyesight.

"Amanda says he fertilized her but doesn't want to bring a baby into this village. She is waiting till she is freed," said Arista.

Yuma walked back around and sat down in the large chair again. "Amanda lies," said Yuma.

Arista stood up and bent over so her face was close to Yuma's. Yuma gave her a little kiss on her lips. "I am always up for you being naked, but we have to set a good example for ..." stopped Arista as she looked back at Carter, expecting him to fill in the blank.

"Carter," said Carter quietly.

"Carter can kiss my ass," said Yuma as she pointed at her bi-colored butt and slapped it hard.

He blushed again, not that anyone could tell with the inch of soot on his face.

"Just do it. You don't know who else could walk in here," said Arista as she slapped Yuma on the butt.

Yuma smiled and said, "You owe me. You know you're the only one that can make me do anything." She stood up and placed her clothes back on.

She saw Carter staring as she placed her top over her breasts. She bent down so she could see him face to face. "That's never going to happen. You look like a shit-covered Orc!" said Yuma. Arista slapped her on her ass again and said, "Manners!"

Indigo and Yuma started laughing. "I'm not an Orc," said Carter under his breath.

The flap on the tent rose and fell back down. The wind from outside fell good for a moment and then vanished.

"Captain Harlow? What brings you to this... greeting," said Arista.

Carter felt a pang in his stomach as the manna started to absorb. It gurgled out loud.

"She ate the manna?" said Captain Harlow.

Indigo and Yuma looked at each other with smiles on their faces. "Well, that's our cue to leave," said Yuma as she bounced to the door. "Catch you later, Arista!' screamed Yuma. Indigo slipped out behind her.

"Well, let's hurry this up then," said Captain Harlow as she sat beside Carter.

"I was only following orders, Carter. I figured you would be better off here in the village than out there on the monster-infested floor. If I knew he would kick you out, I wouldn't have done it," said Captain Harlow.

Carter remembered the hurtful words she said about him.

"Early tomorrow morning, we will leave for the sixth floor. We will be dropping you off on the fourth. A village to the north has a few undesirables living there. You can see if you can stay with them. You can take your equipment with you," said Harlow.

"Understand?" said Harlow as she looked at Carter.

"Yes," said Carter, and he closed his eyes. He was a little tired, but he was fighting a bout of gas that was building up in his stomach. He couldn't take it anymore and let out a loud belch.

"I'm heading out the door before that becomes a sub-level noise," said Harlow as she stood up and walked out the door. Carter stood up to alleviate some of the 'bloating' he was feeling. He attached his bag and sword to his belt, grabbed the gland, and threw it in.

"Fire glands are very rare in black beetles. But then, luckily, it didn't manifest into a fire beetle this time. One appeared two years ago, and it took three legions to kill it. We lost Hammy's leg that day, and she was kicked out. She walked over to a part of the hut with junk lying all over the ground. She moved a few fur blankets and pulled out a red carapace. It was a lot smaller than the one he had in his bag.

"It was this big," said Arista, lifting the carapace with a grunt. She threw it down, and it crashed to the floor.

"I don't know why we keep it. Nobody can do anything with it anyway. It's too hard," said Arista as she walked back towards Carter.

"What's the gland good for?" said Carter as he sat down again.

"It's mostly used to make magic torches. Want to see?" said Arista.

Carter pulled the gland back out as Arista grabbed three torch sticks. She pulled a knife from her belt and sliced the gland up into three parts. She took one of her torches and placed the gland on the tip of the stick.

"Iinfundunt ignem" said Arista, and the gland fused onto the stick. The gland melted and then wrapped itself around the end of the stick. She lifted the orange-tipped stick and hit it on a rock that circled the fire. It started up and glowed brightly. It was too bright inside the tent. She hit the tip again on the rock, and it went out.

"We don't have much need for torches in a desert, but once in a while, we need to go to the caves up north for needed items," said Arista.

She grabbed the other stick and made another one.

Carter took his stick and poked it into the gland. He said the words and the gland fused into the torch. He felt the spell drop into his stomach.

"Magic?" said Arista.

"Luck," said Carter.

She needed to tell Arthur about this new revelation. It could save the hideous woman from dying on the fourth floor. She would, but she knew he had already decided, which wouldn't change anything. A look of sadness came on her face.

"I'm an artificer, not a particularly good one, that can create items from ingredients and items. Infuse torch is my specialty," said Arista.

"What else can you make?" asked Carter.

"Armor! This piece of armor I'm wearing I made myself," said Arista enthusiastically as she held on to the edges of the armor and pulled it off. She had nothing on below the armor, and her breasts were huge. They must have been squished down a lot by that armor.

"I use magic to contort the shell into wearable armor. I shape it to each individual's body and then place a magic seal that only you can break," said Arista. She turned around, showing the back piece of the armor. She then turned around again and placed the front piece back on. It auto-sealed with the back piece, and Arista let out a small grunt as her breasts were compacted again.

"It is a little tight in some areas, but you get used to it," said Arista as her breath labored.

Carter pulled four pieces of the beetle carapace out of his bag and showed them to Arista.

"You want to learn?" said Arista.

She looked at Carter for a second and shook her head. "Four carapaces won't be enough material for your, um...large statue, but I can make a bigger armor for myself, especially in the boob area. They are starting to itch like hell," said Arista. She pulled her armor off again and tossed aside her old armor. She started to itch them, and her breasts began turning red.

She grabbed two of the carapaces for the front and placed her hands on them. "Can you hold these for a moment?" said Arista. Carter stood up and put his hands on the black pieces of carapace. Arista smiled for a moment, her hands glowing orange, and she touched the edges of the carapaces.

"Figura armis," she said out loud.

The material started shaping into a malleable material and then conformed to her figure. The breasts formed first on the carapace, and it began to shink to her figure. When it was done, she had the front part of her armor. The armor accommodated much bigger breasts now.

A smile came over her face as she liked how this armor fit. "Wonderful. We will have to wait for a moment while I garner enough mana to do the back," said Arista.

"Can I try?" said Carter.

Arista smiled and didn't know what to say. She didn't want her new armor destroyed if he had a lousy aptitude for magic. But it was his material. She could hope that he couldn't do it and she could do it later. "All right. Do you know what to do?" said Arista.

Carter grabbed the two other pieces and walked behind Arista. "When it becomes malleable, conform it to the back, shift the extra material upwards, so they line up with the bottom and top of the front piece. If there is any additional material, add it to the thickness.

He shook his head up and down and applied the spell. The material melted into the malleable form, and he conformed it to her back.

"Not too tight, leave a little room," said Arista as she got a little excited at the speed at which the material melted.

The material moved with the amount of mana you put into it. Your mind did the rest, shaping it and moving it around. It was starting to straighten up and align with the other armor.

"Make sure you use a magic seal on the armor. Just push a lot of your mana into the edges," said Arista, hoping that Carter wouldn't run out of mana.

Carter forced his mana to enter the edges. At first, he poured it on, but that was too much, so he pulled it back some. He finally stopped the mana altogether and slowly let go of the armor.

"Are you done?" asked Arista with a look of uneasiness.

"Yes," said Carter, sitting in the chair beside the door. He grabbed ahold of the side of the chair and wondered if she had made these chairs also.

Arista removed both parts of her armor again and scrutinized their appearance and durability. She took her knife and tried to stab the armor. It bounced off both pieces. A large smile came over her face. She looked at the piece of armor for her back, and a look of confusion came over her face.

"How is it that your armor piece has more detail and is thicker? " asked Arista.

Carter raised his hands and said, "I'm not sure."

Arista stood there, topless, staring at the two pieces of armor they just made together. Carter was trying his best not to stare at her breasts but was losing the battle. They were bigger than his hands and beaming white with small, pink, erect nipples. She must have been excited about the armor.

Carter frowned for a second and felt a pang in his colon.

"What's wrong?" said Arista.

"I'm not sure," said Carter as he stood up and grabbed his ass as he clenched his cheeks..

A large smile came over Arista's face as she said, "That's my cue to return to work."

She placed the armor over her hefty breasts and toned back, and a relief washed over her face as it clicked together.

"The armor fits a lot better," said Arista, rubbing the armor where her breasts were contained underneath.

She pointed to a curtain in the back of the hut and said, "That's the bathroom if you need it, and you're going to need it. That manna takes some getting used to," said Arista with a smile.

Carter couldn't take it anymore and released one of the biggest and longest farts he had ever done. Arista hurried up and ran past him while holding her nose. "Thank you," she said in a voice only a person with a pinched nose could make.

He ran towards the curtain in the back and threw it open. He saw a wooden stool with a hole in it sitting upon a large hole that stunk severely. It smelled worse than what he just released back there. He climbed upon the stool, hoping it wouldn't break, and relieved himself in more ways than one.

After a few hours, he returned to the main room and sat down again. It was pretty quiet and dark in the tent. Daylight still poured in through the front flap and what looked like small side windows. The Tower must not have days and nights like a regular outside has. The Forest also didn't have days and nights, just nights.

He stood up, walked over, and grabbed the red carapace that Arista had tossed down. He released another ghost of mana past from his bowels, making him feel better. He removed his top shirt, exposing his somewhat clean muscles on his chest and stomach. The clothes took most of the brunt of the dirt and filth he received daily, leaving the area under his clothes somewhat clean.

He placed the carapace on his chest and used the spell of shape armor. The red carapace refused to bend or become malleable. Carter forced more mana into it as it started to glow bright. It began to become flexible, and he placed it on his chest. The heat burnt his skin as it touched, and he let out a little scream.

"What's going on in there?" said a female voice from outside.

"Of course, they left a guard," throught Carter to himself.

The flap on the hut opened, and Carter released another dose of toxic vapors into the air. It wasn't forced, but a serendipitous release on his bowel part.

"Nothing, just a little gas," said Carter as he kept the mana infusing into the red carapace.

"Oh, Nature, it smells like you died in here," said the woman named Cindy. Carter recognized her voice.

She turned around and ran outside. "Just keep it down in there!" screamed Cindy as the flap came back down.

The material finally finished creating a spectacular piece of armor. He frowned briefly, wondering how he would do the back armor. He threw the other piece of red carapace on the ground and fell back onto it. The shape and hardness hurt his back, and he would have to do this fast.

He started pouring mana into the malleable red carapace as he reached behind him. The material began to soften, especially with the amount of mana he was putting into it. This time, it was against his skin, and the heat burned his flesh. He gritted and took the pain. More gas was released from his bowel as he let out another little scream. The guard realized what was occurring, but she ignored it.

Once he was getting close to finishing the back armor, he created a little more room in it and then applied ample mana up and down the edges. It sealed together nicely, and he sat up exhausted.

He couldn't see the armor, but it covered much more of his body than Arista's armor. His stomach was covered, as was his shoulders. Arista's armor only covers her chest and back. He was happy and released the armor. He shouldn't be seen with it on.

The shiny armor fell to the ground. He picked it up and tossed it into his haversack. He grabbed his holy shirt and put it on. He sat back down in his chair and closed his eyes.


Despair and loneliness

The flap to the hut opened, and nobody walked in. "Come out!" screamed someone from outside. Carter lifted himself and walked out the door.

"Go to the back of the line so I can't smell you," said Arthur as he held his nose. Carter's eyes finally adjusted to the light, and he could see Arthur leading a large group of armed women.

Arthur was wearing a generic black beetle carapace armor on top of a long, hooded robe made out of fur. His ensemble finished with a bright pink rope around his waist and fur-covered shoes. He raised his rapier sword and said, "Let's go." The motley crew walked out the gate and down the path to the desert. Carter took his spot in the back of the line.

"Did you have a good night's sleep, Carter?" asked Arista. She wore her new armor and had a large sword on her hip. The two women in front of her, Carter, didn't recognize them. They were carrying large burlap sacks full of water and manna. When he thought of manna, Carter felt a bit of bile in his mouth.

"Yes," he answered.

She realized why he had a weird look on his face and said, "It's easier the second day. You won't be hungry at least for a few days," said Arista.

"Enough talking. I want it quiet," said Arthur from in front.

Carter released his Detect Area spell, and his floating map was populated with many objects. He saw many monsters on the map, and the black sword symbol was missing. A slight frown went on his face as he wondered what that black symbol represented. The good news is that the stairs were only a few minutes away from where they were, and he could start hunting on his own again.

They walked up the stairs to the fourth floor and entered a world of grass, flowers, and trees. Carter rereleased his Detect Area spell. He was about to look when he was interrupted by Arthur.

"Bring me the women from the Village of Despair," Arthur said as he pointed to a small hut up a hill. Captain Harlow, Cindy, Seminole, and Yuma walked up the small hill. Carter looked around, noticing the nice weather this floor had. The sun was shining, not as hot as the desert one, but comfortable. In the fields, he could see a few goblins and skeletons. This excited him for some reason.

Screams came from the hut atop the hill as Arthur's guards pulled three women down the path by their hair. They forced them down the mountain until they stood in front of Arthur.

"What's going on, Arthur?" asked a rather dirty-faced woman. She and Carter could be sister and brother.

"Oh, it's time to take out the trash," said Arthur as he snapped his fingers.

All of Arthur's guards moved toward Carter and grabbed him. This time, Carter would not take being bullied and started to push his weight around. The women grunted, clawed, and bit as they tried to hold Carter into place.

"You, dirty women, help them push that thing back," screamed Arthur as he pulled out his rapier sword and whipped it around a few times.

The women walked over to the group of women holding Carter and started pushing them towards a hole covered by a net made from black beetle bodies.

The guards weren't strong individually, but the dozen were. He didn't want to pull his sword out and kill them all, for he never killed a person before.

Arthur walked up with his sword and stabbed it towards the mass of people. The sword flew by so many women's heads as it neared its target. Just a few inches that way or the other, and there would be more people dead today. Arthur was not very good with a sword but did fine when his target was not moving.

The blade went into Carter's chest and missed his heart by a few inches. Arthur pulled it back and forth several times until his hand got tired. Carter stopped moving, and the women started pushing him back. He looked forward and saw Arista's face. Tears stained her cheeks as she mouthed, "I'm sorry."

He teetered next to the covered hole as three women pulled off the net cover. Carter tried to move again but was losing a lot of blood.

"We can't have two roosters in the hen house, can we," said Arthur as he pushed Carter down the hole. He landed with a thud, and Arthur was happy.

"Very strong, that one. I stabbed it five times, and it was still alive. Well, the spider can finish him. Push the Villiage of Despair women in there and close it up," said Arthur.

Several of his guards grabbed their heads and started to scream. The women from Despair began to beg, but Arthur seemed to get more excited by their begging.

The guards, not being able to take the pain anymore, grabbed the women by the hair and threw them in. They were forced to do it by their master under severe pain. Not doing what your master says causes unbelievable pain. If they didn't do it, the pain would surely kill them.

Arthur walked up to the edge and looked down into the hole. He turned around, walked over to Yuma, and grabbed her hand. He pulled her over toward the hole as she tried to pull back. Her head started hurting as she fought. Arista screamed to let her go.

"Don't be scared, Yuma," said Arthur as he stopped a few feet from the hole. "I heard what you said about me in the meeting hall," said Arthur.

"What do you mean?" asked Yuma.

"I can't kill you because you hunt the Giant Boar for meat. You are right," said Arthur. He let go of her hand and told her to stay. He walked over to Arista and looked into her tearful face.

"Jump in the hole," said Arthur to Arista. Arista grabbed her head and started screaming.

"You can't do that! She didn't do anything to you," said Yuma. Yuma walked towards Arista and fell down screaming, holding her head.

Arthur started laughing as Arista started walking towards the hole. Some of the other women, even Captain Harlow, walked forward to stop her.

"Stand back, or you will be going too," said Arthur. They stopped, and fear appeared on their faces.

Yuma was still screaming on the ground, holding her head in pain. Arista ran past her and jumped into the hole.

Arthur walked up to the hole and screamed, "I give them as a gift to you, Carter! These women are now yours!"

Arthur's symbol on his hand glowed and then dimmed. He smiled and pointed at Yuma.

"Close it up, and let's get going," said Arthur, and he started walking towards the next staircase.

Six of the women grabbed the black beetle net and placed it on top of the hole. Captain Harlow grabbed Yuma and helped her walk. Yuma's head wasn't hurting anymore, but her heart was.

The hole went dark, and Carter could hear people whimpering. He had fallen on his back, breaking a few ribs and his hand. The blood was still pouring out the holes in his chest. His mind was lucid, and he wondered what would happen if he died here. Would his spirit return to the forest? Would his body be trapped here and decompose?

The sound of something walking with sharp claws echoed down the tunnel, and the women started to weep louder.

The Four Towers - Thresh - Part 8  (18+)
Carter finally ventured into the 1st Tower and find himself a snack for a giant spider.
#2312758 by Troyizen

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