37 Level-Up Delight

Jackal's mood has been grand since he completed the deal with Hephaestus Familia. It was never about the money if one considers his trait—Humble Store. He could earn money as effortlessly as breathing.

Jackal has used enough cheat codes in video games to understand they get dull quickly.

For instance, money cheat can get quite dull. For him, his trait is merely a tool to acquire things conveniently that wouldn't be available otherwise, like Counter Block.

Granted, his life is no video game, but the point still stands on one leg.

No, for Jackal, dominating the market is a pleasure. He likes the competition.

The prices of low-tier potions, including his Dual Potion, have taken a blow ever since he introduced Butterfree Era for 13000 Valis. Any dedicated newbie can buy it after a few days of grinding and increase their output, as long as they have some training with mind and magic to use it. All they need is one Butterfree Era since more adventurers think about conquering the Dungeon instead of stocking the Butterfree Era.

The Armored Shield will be a success, and so will the Silver Strength Potion, but they are expensive for an average Level 1 adventurer, and the latter must be used as a last-ditch item to save their lives in a pinch.

His mood rose further in the day as Lili gave him the great news of Soma dispatching the first batch of his wine tonight.


Suppressing the irritation of his enhanced senses due to the chatter and various scents mingling in the city, Jackal observes the humming Lili as the two are no longer cursed by oversized backpacks but by tiny frollets secured around their waists instead.

'Lili hasn't congratulated me.' It's not an issue. No, it is an issue!

How could Lili not congratulate him when even Ouka did? He got a bonafide kiss on the cheek from Maria, a relatively awe-struck expression for Mikoto, and so much more! The children practically sang his praises! Heck! Even the Loki Familia did not stop by to take their Bento or screw around with him.


'Maybe… it's because Eina rocked my lips this morning?'

Eina and Rose congratulated him last night with quite a kiss, but that did not stop Eina from leaping ahead and planting another one this morning.

But Lili can't be mad about that, right?

Sure, she sulked a bit. But by the time they reached Blue Pharmacy, Lili was back to her upbeat, brown-nosing self. So, the fact that she evades congratulating him stands out further. Now Jackal is no witless fool and can take a hint the very next second… or tens of times later, so he couldn't understand what he missed.

"Lili, you're looking even better in your uniform today."

"Ah—W-what? Jackal-sama! Really?!" Lili stammers and looks down as she pulls her hood to hide her blush as Jackal blinks in surprise.

'The usual response from the test subject Magical Ears and Tail. What a shy girl. It is possible that she just forgot… no, she was next to Maria when she congratulated me.'

It wouldn't have been an issue if Jackal did not like praises as greedily as Loki seeks his Gemlings.

Lili squirms a bit as she walks under Jackal's intense stare. Parts of her that should not twitch in public throbs positively as she also earns a few knowing glances from the passing Beastmen and women.

'Hmm… she is acting a bit odd and now fidgeting. Something's up, and it's not the BDSM Hero.'

Jackal, as usual, cannot help but recall the animated toons of his previous life the second he thinks of them.

'Ah, The Rise of BDSM Hero. What a wild ride that was. From enslaving princesses to bringing the joys of BDSM to goblinoid culture. I wish the Goblins of this world were remotely as cute as the ones in that show.'

The two soon stand in front of the Hostess of Fertility as Lili licks her dry lips and tries to speak something.

"It's too quiet."

Jackal frowns before Lili speaks anything, and a panicked expression strikes her as she quickly squeaks and holds the edge of Jackal's sleeve.


"Yes, Lili-Sama?"

Pouting a little as Jackal mimics her, Lili lowers her head and gestures for Jackal to lean down.

"Hmm?" Jackal bends and brings his ears closer to Lili as she watches him while looking around to see if anyone is watching them. Sighing in relief as the street is busy, Lili gulps and whispers, "Congratulations on your Level Up."

Her lips lean forward as her heated breath grazes his ear. Not that Jackal cares about anything else. His head whips in her direction with the brightest grin that stops her in her motion.

"Thanks! I was wondering when you'd congratulate me!"

Lili's eyes widen. Her emotions are in a mess as she feels his lips just a courageous leap away!

She can do it!

She CAN do it!

Her chestnut pupils flicker an unsettling pink which Jackal notes in a second. Interest flash in his gaze as he continues to observe Lili's eyes, not knowing that bridging their gaze would only provide a path for the uppity Pallum to leap without any fears.

She WILL do it!

Her cherry lips can feel his soft breathing. If Eina can kiss him, so can she! No, why must Eina and Rose be the only ones to kiss him when it's CLEARLY Lili who loves him the most? She only has eyes for her savior, only one desire to be his to use as a weapon, employee, or a woman.

Her lips part slowly. Even if someone is looking at them, chances are that Lili has no fucks to give.

Jackal finally seems to break out of his curiosity as he feels Lili getting too close. He blinks in surprise before whispering.

"Do you hear that?"

"No," Lili replies just as softly. It's happening anytime now. Maybe it's her beating heart about to give up on her body.

"It sounds like a—" Jackal straightens his back with a snap as his arm flies at the pub's entrance, "—peeping Goddess!"

He intended to grab the vermilion-haired goddess by the head and pull her up. Instead, as Lili stays rooted in shock at how quickly things changed, Jackal's hand struck the throat of a blonde God, who wore a mischievous expression.

Of course, the mischief fades as the deity is sent flying, only to be caught by Mia's doughy hand. Jackal works his jaw when he sees the interior sparsely occupied by the few people he knows personally. Somehow, Maria is present before them! And then it hit Jackal why Lili was moving so slowly.

"A surprise party?!"

His grin widens as he turns around to pick up the sour Lili in his arms, who is glaring in the direction of the gagging blonde god. If looks could kill, the deity would not exist in hell.

"Uh… surprise, nya?" Anya tilts her head and looks at the Deity.





As it turns out, Lili had a plan! She did have a day's lead after learning about Jackal's official level-up, even if he hadn't submitted any report on his leveling. Sometimes the Guild has to file promotions when reputation precedes the adventurer. So, she easily siphoned a good chunk of her funds to book the entire pub.

The only problem was… Lili doesn't get paid in money. So Jackal is the one financing the entire thing. Not that he minds it.

It's being spent for a good cause—Him.

"There you go. Easy there. Take deep breaths, just like that. But dude, does Asfi hate you or something?" Jackal rubs Hermes' back. He is well-acquainted with the deity, his previous host, at least. Hermes tried to bribe a few stellar Guild employees to share information with his Familia. Jackal was one of the men chosen. Of course, the Familia heard nothing from him.

As Hermes pants, Jackal hums while grinning at Mia, "But it looks like Hermes was rearing for a good knock, right, Mia? I mean, visiting my shop to try finding dirt on me from Lili before inviting yourself to this party and peeping on us."

"Peeping… huff, is a divine art… huff! A man's romance!" He looks at Jackal with amber hues before slumping on the counter as Jackal winces, listening to the screech of a hateful petite shrew!

"Soma~! Come, gimme some of that love~!" Jackal half turns to find the executives of the Loki Familia prying Loki from Soma's… box that contains the first brew of the promised many.

He watches the waitresses cleaning the central table. Eina and Rose smiled at him but didn't interrupt his short chat with Hermes. Instead, they are seated with Maria, who talks about her children. Take and his Familia gaze at the food with drool in their eyes, or are they tears? Miach shakes his head wryly while Naaza settles near the equally silent blue-haired 'Perseus' Asfi Al Andromeda, Hermes' Captain.

Then there is Ais staring right at him with all the social cluelessness she can muster. Tiona and Tione are poking at Bete all the wrong way who showed up. Gareth, surprisingly, isn't drawing in wine just yet. His gaze is lured by the box in Soma's hand just as greedily as Loki's.

"Quite the party, huh?" Hermes exhales a pant for the last time and looks at Mia, "Could you give us some privacy?"

"Not like I can't hear all the whispers already, right?" Mia scoffs and stays put while leaning on the counter not far from them as she watches the small party raise a ruckus.

"Someone should pay you to keep pretense, at least!" Hermes smirks at Mia, who rolls her eyes as the Deity regards the calm Jackal.

"You're not angry?"

Jackal matches Lili's stare as he winks at her, who quickly looks away and sits beside Maria.

"Are you kidding? I've got no reason to be angry! But I'd stay clear of Lili if I were you. She wanted to strangle you while you were still gasping for air."

"Creepy~!" Hermes giggles as his gaze is attracted by the pleasantly humming Syr.

"Speaking of creepy, did you hear about Zanis?"

"I met Olal. If that's what you mean." Jackal's words make Mia's expression darken for a brief moment.

Hermes looks at Jackal and questions casually, "Olal? Do I know him?"

Jackal shrugs. It's not like he can beat the information out of Hermes with Asfi present. "Why are you here, Hermes? Make it quick."

"Why? Your party will survive the night, won't it?"

"And you're part of it. Why? I don't even know why Loki is here."

"I heard it!" Loki snaps her face in his direction.

"That's why I screamed the last bit, you runt!"

"Wait until I get Soma's Wine!"

"Lili, if she gets it, you know what to do!"

"Yes, Jackal-sama!" Lili sits attentively and stares at the two deities while channeling all her murderous intent at the fact she lost an almost perfect opportunity!

"The food's set. May would like you to eat it while it's hot. Discuss all your business elsewhere. Chloe, Anya, Ryu, and Lunoire all have their ears on you two, the nosy children they are."

The four flinch and scurry into the kitchen as Jackal scoffs a chuckle and stands up. "Sure, swing by the shop when I'm there this time."

"I will try not to miss you this time." Hermes smiles cordially.

Jackal soon towers over Loki, latched on Soma's box as others tense around them. His gaze bores into Soma as he opens up.

"Congratulations. And please don't hold it against Lili. I wished to deliver these batches myself. After all, I made the contract with Lili, not my children."

"Get off him." Jackal looks at Loki instead of replying to Soma. The Vermilion-haired serpent stays stuck on the box with a challenging smirk, but Riveria has enough sense to pull Loki away with her superior strength this time.

Taking the box from Soma's hand, Jackal observes the batch of 12 jars. Silence descends on the pub as Lili chews her lips worriedly. She didn't want Jackal's mood ruined, but Lili felt getting Soma's premium wine at his party might brighten him up.

Jackal picks a bulky jar as high as 20 centimeters and undoes the lid as an aromatic scent fills the pub within seconds, captivating almost everyone.

"This is not my divine wine. That will be only for Gods to taste, but since I am contracted to you, I won't have time to—"

"Here, big guy! Thanks for showing up!" Jackal cuts in with a loud laugh and tosses the jar after closing it to Gareth. The dwarf laughs as loudly and catches it with deceptively swift brawny hands.

Jackal's grin broadens as he picks another jar under Loki's gaze and whimpers. Wagging his brows at Mia, he questions smugly, "I'm looking pretty hot right about now, huh? Don't you try something stupid after getting drunk!"

A jar flew towards Mia, who caught it with a smirk. "It'll take me ten more jars to do somethin' stupid!"

Jackal looks at the remaining ten jars and looks at everyone present.

"Thanks for showing up, everyone!"

While his broad smile does bring others back to the mood, Miach's smile dampens somewhat when he sees Soma quietly turning around to leave. He wished to say something, but was it his place to say anything?

"So, Lili, got another seat at this party? You're the one who arranged this."

Lili blinks in surprise before her gaze drifts toward Soma getting the door. Her eyes widen in realization before she puffs her cheeks and crosses her thin arms, "Only if Jackal-sama compensates me well for the extra!"

"I'm practically paying for all this, but sure!" Jackal chortles, his hand latching on Soma's shoulder before stuffing a jar in the deity's hand. "Cheer a bit! We beat each other like no other Familia ever had a beef, you know? That's an awesome thing to drink over!"

Soma freezes momentarily as he mechanically looks up at the slightly more muscular youth.

"Don't get me wrong. We still aren't as tight as Take and Miach, but your dull mug is way better than Loki's."

Pulling Soma to a seat, Jackal snatches the box before Loki lays claim to the wine as he jumps on a chair and extends his arms over his head, "Over my dead body, bitch!"

"Fine! Bete, rough him up!"

"Bete! You adorable fur ball! Here's one for you, too!"

Jackal laughs and tosses a jar in Bete's direction as the werewolf is positively snarling and embarrassed simultaneously! His furry ears twitch as his tail stiffens behind him.

"You asshole! First the Gemlings, and now this! Curse your nine ancestors!"

Jackal grins cockily as he looks at Naaza, "Do I see two annoyed captains? There you go! Don't let Hermes have a drop!"

Asfi catches the jar and hands it to Naaza with a soft sigh.

"Somaaaaaa! Stop him!" Loki glares at Soma, who is already sitting across Take and Miach while sharing drinks. Gareth and Mia are glaring at each other as they have their lips on the jar while gulping it as if their lives depend on it. Bete has difficulty keeping Tiona and Tione away from his jar as a curious Ais and shy Lefiya surround him. Hermes is held in a spot under his Captain's threatening glare as Chloe tip-toes to get Naaza and Asfi two mugs.

"Hmm, get on here!" Jackal beckons Lili with a finger. Rowdier than ever, he hands her one jar and claims in not so soft tone, "We'll see how I can compensate you for all this and Hermes cutting off your little moment."

"I- I don't know what you're talking about!" Lili bounces away in embarrassment under others' stares, and Jackal looks at Eina, "You're drinking tonight! At least one sip."

Eina huffs and adjusts her glasses, "We'll see."

"Oh, where's Misha?" Jackal looks around and finally notes the lack of afterthought pinkette.

"Someone… had to cover for us. We will save some alcohol for her." Rose nods in confirmation as Jackal shrugs.

"And here's a jar for the lovely ladies." Jackal looks at the waitresses as Syr questions with a playful smile, "Do you want all of us to climb around you, Daddy?"

"Puh!" Take coughs his wine as his familia is no better. Miach toasts Soma for another cup while Maria's expression freezes in shock!

"D-daddy?" Mikoto gasps, "Jackal-dono, you have a lot of children for someone so young."

"Thanks. Mia and I started early." Jackal grins back and tosses a jar for Lunoire to catch.

"Pffftttttt! Gahahahahaha! Leave it to Mia for having the weirdest kinks!" Gareth guffaws.

"I'll tear your damn beard," Mia scowls before threatening Jackal, "And your little prick."

"That's what she said the first night!" Jackal snorts another chuckle, drunk on the sheer joy bubbling in him.

"Oh, how many do we have left?" Jackal looks at the box. "Ooh, six remains."

Jackal looks around. His gaze lingers on Loki, whose expression eases.

"Hmm, that's about it. Get more from me or choose your liking at Mia's counter."

Loki gapes, but then again, what else did she expect?

"He's quite a guy, huh?" Hermes observes the party getting rowdier as everyone starts eating and talking while the Deity finds himself standing next to the Hostess of Fertility's Witch—Syr Flova. The waitress smiles and nods before looking at Hermes, "Would you like me to serve you the food, Hermes-Sama?"

Her smile is so sweet that it could kill. Maybe that's why Hermes shakes his head with a smile.


Soma's wines are top-notch, no doubt about it. Instead of isolating an entire Jar, Jackal sticks with Eina, Rose, Maria, and Lili at the start to make sure Eina doesn't force herself for his sake. Turns out… he was worried for nothing. Soma's fruity wine attracts Eina just as much as Ais, Lefiya, and Riveria. But only Riveria has the sense of not letting the flavor compel her to fill herself with alcohol. After all, the green-haired royal suspects she will be the one to escort her Familia as even Finn starts drinking with Tione bringing him cups of wine one after another.

And with alcohol comes stories. Embarrassing stories.

Remaining genuine to his promise, Jackal has others around him, including Ryuu and the rest. His face flushed as he took another swig of Soma's flavorful and addictive juices.

"So, she says—Listen O' Spirits of mine! Charm the unguided child into my light and let him do chores! Frisk Syrya!—Pfft, hahahahahaha!"

Jackal holds his stomach as Syr's cheeks inflate to the maximum with a heavy blush on her face.

Having drunk a little, Ryuu admits with slight redness on her serious face, "That's not all she did. We committed another embarrassing mistake of—"

"Waaah! Ryuu, you've drunk enough!" Syr covers Ryuu's mouth before dragging the elf upstairs. Jackal blinks before shrugging. "Alright, who's next?"

"Hmm, I have quite the stories. Alas, I haven't sipped a drop of alcohol," Hermes smirks and speaks enticingly. "I have details on divine beauties. Beauties of Tenkai that bathed in the purest of water—"

"Look back, champ." Jackal cocks his head sideways before grinning viciously, "But this gave me a great idea!"

"No, it didn't!" Asfi speaks coldly while Naaza sips her alcohol next to her. Hers and Jackal's eyes remained locked for a brief moment before his eyes widen.

"Fuck, I got a good one on Naaza!"

The Chienthrope's eyes narrow as she questions calmly, but a slur can be heard in her tone.

"Do you wish to increase the number of Bentos you cook?"

"Hey, I'll do more than cooking to fill you." He chuckles at his own words.

"Ooh, I want to tell a story!" Tiona bounces and interjects. "I just remembered the story of the Drunk Hero Lee Rock who…" She starts with an excited expression as Jackal coughs a little and stands away.

"Wait, where are you going?" Tiona questions with a pout as he raises his jar. "You're doing great. I need to piss."


"Hey~! Svadilfari. You missed my story!" Tiona sits on the table with her legs crossed as Jackal chews on a drumstick with a wry expression, "Could you not call me that? Butcher of Orario sounds so much better."

"But it doesn't sound like a Hero's name at all!" Tiona complains as she leans forward, not minding how her panties are displayed fully in her current position.

"Good?" Jackal hums.

"Why?" Tiona huffs, "Come on, I'll complete the story you missed."


"Heh~ Look, Short-stuff. Soon, my Tiona will wrap that punk in her cutesy charm, and I'll get the remaining jars of wine!" Loki licks her lips while sitting on an annoyed but drunk Maria's lap with her head comfortably placed on Maria's motherly bosom.

Lili scoffs while Loki looks at Eina and Rose.

"So, he's charmed two of you. What a pity. But there is a way to the light! I hear Jackal is an unrepentant pervert who uses women and discards them! I can tell you more for the price of those lovely mugs in your hands!"

Rose stares at Loki before sipping her wine as Eina stares at the Goddess with a scowl,

"He's not like that!" The half-elf slurs in his defense.


Before Loki finishes, Maria clamps on Loki's cheeks and pulls them hard. "Enough, Loki! If you don't stop, I'll discipline you like the children in the orphanage!"

"Ooh, no better time to get a good spanking~ Turn 'em red!" Loki giggles while drinking Mia's dwarven brew. Her shamelessness is enough to stump almost everyone. Right about now, the employees of the pub have joined in on the party instead of serving others since it's already pretty late and they would be leaving soon enough.

Naaza sits next to Miach to fend off any questions Hermes might have from the group of drunk deities. Asfi and Riveria find common grounds to chat with Finn and his drunk baggage—Tione.

Things couldn't be better as Lili's smile widens.

'Jackal-sama has so many friends… except her!' Her gaze lands on the dazed blonde doll blinking blearily with Lefiya next to her.

Most adventurers here have abnormal resistance, making them resistant to cheap ale and other poisonous substances. But as recorded, Soma's wine is top-notch across all Levels. His stuff is sold for hundreds of thousands! Even Ais feels the effects of alcohol on her young body.

"It's so great. It's been so long since I could have fun like this." Maria exhales and subconsciously cuddles Loki, nay, the motherly woman smothers Loki, who quickly tries to tap out!

"How did you have free time today, Maria-san?" Eina slurs as the woman smiles, "One of the former members of the orphanage agreed to babysit today."

"Ah, that must be nice—"


A loud sound stops everyone in their chatter as Jackal shoots to his feet and walks out of the pub under everyone's stunned stare. His expression is as cold as ravaging murderers on the street as he leaves, and the rest slowly look back to see a small chunk of wood torn out of the table with a pouch of frollet beside it.

Tiona herself is still in her previous position, as shocked as the rest.

"Oh, my. And I thought I'd be the party pooper."

Hermes' quiet musing fills the muted interior of the pub while Loki quickly jumps off Maria while shouting.

"Hey, nobody destroys Mia's furniture! Don't worry, Mia! I'll get that bastard! Dibs on the last three jars!"

"Huh?" Tiona finally comes to be and issues a curious noise from her throat. Her eyes are as wide as they can be as tears build in the corner of her eyes.

'And that's why one shouldn't force the stories of heroes if the other party does not want to hear it,' Syr glances at Tiona. She could guess what happened given that the Amazon is a fan of Heroic Legacies while the human isn't such a fan, refusing to talk about one at all.


Alternate Title: Water Under Bridge; A Moment Ruined; Another Moment Ruined; Party Pooper; Lili's Rewards Grow More Distant; Lili Wants Hermes-Sama Dead!; The Ultimate Party Lubricant; Loki is as Virtuous as Ever; The Heroic Loki Attempts to Save Eina and Rose from Jackal's Devilish Grip; Flustered Syr; Magical Girl Syr!; Ryuu Almost Blowing the Bag; Surprise Party; Svadilfari is Gonna Stick; Drunk on Excitement; Shocking Departure; Jackal Did Pay For the Damages; A Relieved Maria; Shorty Rivalry—Lili V Ais!; Mikoto Understands Jackal is a Dad; Starting Child Planning With Mia Early


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