Fred might have had some valuable information for me, but I had a better idea than to just try and randomly extract as much knowledge as possible from him.
I invited him to join our picnic.
He was delighted in the adorable way that only excited, old people ever got. Old people always just got so excited over random little things like that. It was like giving them even a bit of attention made their day. Even a man who was as blatantly perverted as Fred could look like an excited, innocent, old man.
The fact that he was so gruff and perverted made it all the better. Seeing an old man get excited over something innocent was adorable on its own, but when that old man was also somebody who was inside a video game with a harem of girls and boys who all thirsted for him? That was a seriously adorable contrast.
And he only grew even more adorable as he wasted no time rambling about his life.
Then, as things usually went when talking to somebody who was older, Fred came to talk about his family. His wife, mainly. There were plenty of good stories that he shared about her, but it was pretty telling how everything involving her was very much past tense rather than anything present.
It didn’t take long for him to confirm what we had a feeling about.
"Bless her heart," Fred said. "The most wonderful, amazing woman I ever met. I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with her and her alone. Unfortunately, that wasn’t what the universe had in mind for us, and she was taken from me too soon. But her final words? The silly woman told me with her final breaths that she knew just how much love I had to share and that it was selfish of her to even try hogging it all to herself, so she made me promise that I would share my love with as many as I could. So, that’s why I’m here! Sharing the love to honor my late wife."
Lily looked like she was on the verge of crying… and Akorya actually was crying. Meadow, however, looked less depressed and spoke up to ask, "Is it possible for a human to have too much love to share? Is there a limit to how much love a human can receive?" It was one of the few times she ever spoke in a way that reminded me she wasn’t actually human.
"Of course not," Fred answered. "It’s just rhetoric. That’s all. She was always a rather self-conscious woman who never believed that she deserved me. I had to reassure her of just how much I loved her every single week, if not almost every day. Even now… I suppose I am being a bit of a rebel. I might be sharing my love with others, but a part of me is doing it to prove to her that no matter how much I ever love another, I will never love them more than I love her."
"But… she is not around to see proof of that."
"I’m sure she’s watching over me from somewhere up above."
Fred nodded. "I know religion isn’t exactly mainstream these days, but not all of us are godless little heathens." He laughed alongside his words. I could tell he was just joking around when he said that last part. "I want to believe her soul still exists somewhere out there watching over me. An option where she isn’t is too sad for me to consider."
"I see. Well! I hope that you’re right and that she is waiting for you somewhere!"
"Thanks. Ah, and what was your name? I believe I have missed it."
"Meadow? That’s a beautiful name. I considered naming my daughter that, but my wife insisted on the name Lilian, so we went with that. Then Lilian… she promised me that she would name her daughter Meadow for me, but she forgot and one of her wives came up with Serra instead. I might just have to adopt you so that I can finally have somebody in my family named Meadow, hah!"
"One of… her wives?"
"Ah. My daughter is—well, let’s just say that she’s like me and has a lot of love to give. She’s got herself multiple wives and husbands. They all live together and I never visit them for that reason. It gets far, far too loud in their house. Used to joke that the reason my granddaughter was born deaf was because her eardrums decided to quit on her before she could even leave the womb. Probably a blessing to be born deaf in their household if anything."
Akorya spoke up next to ask, "How—how old are you? If you don’t mind me asking! It’s just… you seem kind of old, and I’ve never really met anybody old playing this game before."
"Let’s just say I’m least sixty. The exact number is too depressing to think about. Also, I reckon you’ve met plenty of us old folk in this game. They just bothered hiding their real ages. One old lady I know—she’s damn near ninety, but you can bet she’s running around as some girl with cat ears and huge tits while making men almost a tenth of her age fall for her. Now, I don’t mind a bit of an age gap. If some eighteen-year-old on their birthday wants to get it on with somebody pushing a hundred, they can do whatever they want as long as it’s all consensual. But I think it’s the responsibility of us older folk to be truthful about just how old we are. That’s why I look like an old man instead of some young, hot thing, even if part of me wants to. But while I might not have let myself look younger, I made sure to give myself a way bigger dick than what I’ve got to work with in real life, hah!"
"Based," Akorya said.
"Yeah? On what?"
"Nyehe, I was hoping an old guy would get that meme."
"Of course. Back in my day, we called things based left and right. Things only had two states of existence: based or cringe. I’ve always strived to be based instead of cringe."
I had no idea what they were talking about, making me feel… older than both of them. I knew they were talking about a meme going by what Akorya said, but I never heard of it before. Based? On what? Where was the meme in that? And how was based the opposite of cringe?
Lily then said, "You are what they would call a Chad!"
"Just a Chad?" Fred asked. "And here I thought I was a Giga Chad!"
Lily giggled, making me feel even older.
Another man, one who was several times older than me at least, was making my girlfriends giggle by referencing old memes that left me completely in the dark.
The fact that they all knew the same memes while I knew none of them made me feel even more betrayed than if they actually cheated on me. Not seriously, of course, but still. I felt betrayed.
I was going to have to study up on old memes just so that I could feel… not old around my girlfriends.
"Meadow, you’re confused, right?" I asked.
Meadow nodded her head and whispered to me, "I—I feel as if I am only understanding half of what they say, and the rest is some foreign language."
"We’ll study memes together later, alright?"
Meadow nodded and the two of us rejoined the main conversation.
"That’s wild though," Akorya said. "The old lady you mentioned. Like… it’s making me think… what if Master is actually some old grandma with boobs sagging down to her feet?"
"You know we met in real life, right?" I asked.
"But what if that was a disguise? Or what if you paid somebody to pretend to be you? What if I’m the old lady in disguise?!"
"Now you’re just being ridiculous."
"Do not worry, mon ange!" Lily said. "No—no matter how old you are, I will love you!"
Akorya smiled a catlike grin at Lily before crawling over to her across the blanket on all fours, wrapping her arms around Lily and nuzzling up against her. "You’re the best, Lily." Then she looked at me and said, "See, Master? That’s what you’re supposed to say. No matter what the question is, you’re always supposed to answer your girlfriend with saying that you’d love her anyways!"
"What if you ask me something absolutely outrageous and illegal?" I asked.
Fred interjected to say, "You still say you’d love her. Trust me on this one. As a man who was married and has been dealing with women timid, ferocious, and everything in-between my entire life… you always say that you’ll love them no matter what. Now, if a man ever asks you something stupid, you can just tell him to fuck off and you’ll both laugh then fuck over it afterward. But with a woman, you have to tell her you’ll love her if you want to get to the fucking part."
Meadow tilted her head and asked, "But… is that not somewhat… sexist?"
"Just because it’s sexist doesn’t mean it’s not true!"
Hearing that, I got to see an incredibly rare sight from Lily.
Lily… rolled her eyes.
Even Akorya looked a bit disappointed.
So, even though he might have been pretty awesome in general and could make my girlfriends laugh with memes that I didn’t understand, at least I never made them look disappointed nor made them roll their eyes at me.
"You know," I said to Fred, "the men I’ve been with—they were always even more dramatic about those sorts of things than women. So I’m not sure that’s entirely true."
"Oh, of course it isn’t," Fred replied. "I’m just an old man with an outdated sense of humor, don’t mind me too much. Trust me, some of these boys I play with—they will jump onto the tiniest ounce of drama and turn it into a whole damn mountain of it. Meanwhile the ladies, I forgot one’s birthday the other week and she told me that she’d forgive me as long as I made her cum until she couldn’t think straight."
"Maybe… maybe set a calendar reminder for the future so you don’t forget?"
"Huh, good idea. I’ll do that before I get off later."
"Are you sure you won’t forget?"
"Maybe… I should do it now after all."
While Lily and Akorya might have been disappointed at that one moment, they were back to joking around and talking with Fred before long. One missed joke was no reason to lose all interest in being friendly with him, after all, and they understood that.
Then, once we were done with our sandwiches and drinks, it was time for us to part ways again. Fred had his companion to help out and I had a dragon and a futa to fuck into submission.
"It was nice getting to talk to you again. If you ever want to have some fun, you and your groupies are allowed to drop by my dungeon for some entertainment. I’m sure we’ve got enough options for all of you there."
"Maybe!" Fred replied. A friend request popped up from him a moment later. "I’ll probably forget about that offer if I don’t see you in my list every time I go look."
It felt like an honor to add him to my friend’s list, so I didn’t waste any time in accepting it.
"And it was nice getting to meet you ladies!" Fred said to Lily, Akorya, and Meadow. "Don’t forget to consider that adoption offer," he said to Meadow specifically.
"Were—were you serious about that?" Meadow asked. "I don’t…"
"I’m just joking around, don’t you worry."
Meadow looked relieved and even sighed. She must have been worried she was going to have to seriously decline an adoption offer.
"Anyways, off I go!" Fred said, holding his hand out to me for a shake.
I shook his hand and couldn’t help but to feel like I was forgetting about something, but I offered him some parting words anyways. "See you later, old man."
Fred smiled and chuckled before heading off to continue what he was doing before.
He tried to, anyways.
"Wait!" I shouted. "You still have to tell me your tips about the dragon!"
"Oh! Right!" Fred shouted back. "I forgot all about that! Never have had too good of a memory, you see."
"Trust me, I know the feeling."
I felt like if I let Fred get away from me without giving me any tips then I was probably going to wait long enough before asking him for them again that I would completely forget to do so, resulting in me forgetting to even continue the quest to become Lust’s champion in general.
But I remembered.
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