"Do you really?" Jessica's voice was a bit hoarse from her crying.
"Yeah, I'll cover everything. I don't want my beautiful wives to be depressed about anything." Gren gave her a nice big smile.
"Oh, stop it. Only my daughter is your wife." Jessica was giggling again although her voice hadn't recovered. "I'm just your mother-in-law and lover. Lover-in-law?"
Gren thought that sounded weird. "No way. How can I let our kids grow up without knowing I'm their father? I don't want them to think that I'm their brother-in-law."
Jessica smiled. "If you want kids then go impregnate my daughter already. I want grandchildren, not more children."
There was a sound downstairs that ruined the mood between Gren and Jessica. There was Jasmine yelling out something and a bunch of footsteps rushing to climb the stairs. Gren looked out the door and noticed the group of goblins standing at the top of the stairs carrying a bunch of food. Jasmine's shout reached Gren's ears. "Come back with that food! It's supposed to be for everyone!"
"You don't scare us! You're too big to come up here!" The goblins seemed to be rebelling already.
"Yeah, we're not scared of you!" "You're just an overgrown lizard!" "We'd beat your butt even if you could come up here!" "Mmmm mmm mmm mmm." At least four of them were taunting Jasmine. The fifth said something but Gren couldn't understand her while she was munching on an apple.
"I don't think this is a good idea. What if she gets someone else to come up here?" The last goblin seemed to be against their actions.
"Are you siding with the big lizard? Take her food!" The leader of the group turned on the nice one and three others joined her. The last one just sat there eating her apple.
"Hey, break it up!" Gren decided to step in and defend the goblin being bullied. "There's enough food for everyone. You don't need to steal it or hide it away." Gren decided to reason with them and explain that they could always buy more food.
"Capture him! He's the food giver!" Gren was soon tackled by five goblins. Gren thought that the one with the apples joined in but he could see that she was still sitting on the top step. The one he tried to defend joined in!
"Lizard, we have the food giver hostage!" She seemed very proud of herself before a pale green leg connected with her back and launched her towards the stairs, taking out the apple goblin and sending them both tumbling down.
"Which of you weaklings is next?" Estella, Gren's knight in shining armor, stood in a triumphant pose.
"They've got a hobgoblin! Retreat!" The original leader was wiped out and another one took her place. Gren couldn't tell them apart but the new leader had sent them into a trap. "Ahhh! Lizard!" Gren couldn't see what happened to them around the corner but only one goblin made it back to the middle platform on the stairs where the previous leader landed. She was shivering and looking both ways, realizing she was trapped. The last goblin curled up in a ball and started crying.
"Can you explain what all that was about? Why are there a bunch of enslaved goblins running around the house?" Estella seemed unhappy.
"I just bought them. Once they pay back their debt then I will set them free. After that it's up to them if they stay or go." Gren thought that Estella was angry about seeing her fellow goblins enslaved.
"No, I mean why are you allowed to have slaves when I'm not?" Estella was still glaring at him.
"Is this about the beastman kids in the village again? This is different! They're free to go once they pay their debt. It's not slavery." Estella didn't agree.
"They're still slaves until they pay it off, right? It's not fair that you get slaves and I don't. I get to buy a pet!" Estella didn't seem like she'd back down.
"That... actually, alright. However, you don't need to buy one. I'll give you a pet." Gren saw an easy way out. "Do you like cats?"
After the incident in the bakery and getting taken hostage by the goblins, Gren decided to start training. He told Estella about Purrnina and she happily ran off to find her new pet. That left him alone in his room to exercise and build up strength.
Meanwhile, Jasmine had convinced the remaining goblins to gather the food and bring it downstairs by crushing a half-eaten apple to smithereens with her fist--telling them that it'd be their heads if they ever pulled a stunt like this ever again. The two KO'd goblins remained on the steps.
Jasmine finished getting all of the food stored away but didn't see Gren yet so she continued to organize the remaining women. For now the aquatic women would be in the tub that they used for bathing; Jasmine just had to fill it with water first. The plant girls were left outside but the caterpillar had to be locked in Jasmine's room since she kept trying to eat the dryad. The water elemental was giving off cold air so she was placed in the food storage room inside her cage. The fire elemental was left outside away from anything flammable.
All of the rest of the women were told to make themselves at home in the underground area and they were led downstairs; Faith, Annie, the magician and Yun were brought to Jacob's room to stay for now. Nobody noticed the chicken woman that was left behind. Jasmine explained that there wasn't much room and that they'd need to dig out more of the passage to get enough room for all of them to sleep comfortably.
"This is worse than the conditions that the slave traders had us living in. You expect us to just live in a hall until we dig another room out?" A fox demihuman spoke out, hoping to get the others to agree.
"Gren was nice enough to buy us all and doesn't treat us like slaves. We should help him. If we all work together then we can make this place great!" Tahloh tried to help defuse the situation.
"Ha! The pig in heat wants to defend her crush." The fox was not planning on backing down. "Just because he was a little nice to you it doesn't mean he's interested in you. How pathetic, falling for a child."
Tahloh wanted to argue back but Jasmine's fist was quicker. The fox was hit hard in the stomach and collapsed. "I don't care what he decides to do with you but nobody mocks my husband." Jasmine was releasing an aura of death around her as if an Asura was possessing her. "If you want a room then dig it out. If not then just sleep in the hallway." Jasmine's reputation with the slaves dropped after her heavy-handed approach but some of the slaves started clearing the rubble, realizing that their conditions likely wouldn't get better without putting in effort.
Tahloh decided to chase after Jasmine. "Thank you for your help. I'm Tahloh." Jasmine stopped and looked at Tahloh. "Gren seems like a nice guy."
After nodding, Jasmine replied to Tahloh. "I haven't known him long but I think the same. So, is what she said true? Are you interested in Gren?" Tahloh started to blush and stammer. "Enough, you've made it obvious enough. To think that just yesterday I must have been acting like you."
Tahloh tilted her head. "What do you mean? Aren't you two married?"
"Yeah, but we only got married last night. I didn't even know him before yesterday." Jasmine scratched her chin to hide her embarrassment. Tahloh's eyes were glowing and Jasmine could tell what she was thinking. "Feel free to pursue him if you like. Just know that he'll probably lay his hands on every woman down here if they let him."
Tahloh smiled and nodded. "Yes! I will try my best!" She was a bit too loud.
Jasmine returned to her room and laid down on her bed. She was talking to herself while holding the caterpillar. "Gren. Where did you go?"
It was only after Gren was done exercising that he realized that he forgot to help Jasmine with the slaves.