On a simple dirt road, an armoured man encased in steel and on horseback was seen making his way up. His hunched, deflated posture a jarring difference to the proud heraldry on his shoulder pads which bore striking resemblance to the noble family which ruled these lands.
Though flanked by the deep, untamed forest from both sides, he showed little in the way of discomfort. Like his ancestors, he was born and raised near these woods for almost 30 years. He knew the forest like the back of his hand. It was the family land after all.
In fact, he showed little in the way of anything at all. No emotion could be seen for his helmet had only 1 noticeable opening. A simple horizontal slit at where his eyes would be. But even then, it would be difficult to judge his expression for his head hung low.
Gradually, the trees began clearing until finally, an open field was laid bare before him. It was dotted with cottages and an accompanying farmland but the most notable feature was how they all formed a circle around a castle which stood at the small but significant rise in the field.
It’s been 5 years since he last saw his unassuming castle. 5 years since he answered the Duke’s call-to-arms. For better or for worse, nothing significant had changed since he last saw it. The only major difference was the alchemical workshop that was finally finished after years of planning and construction.
If only his apothecary was here to see it. The elderly man longed for the day it would be completed so that he could further his medicinal practices. But fate would have its own way as she robbed him of his life during the early phases of the campaign. A stray arrow as he went about treating the wounded during the midst of battle.
It was the mechanical whining of machinery that brought him back to reality in time to see the tempered steel gate being opened.
As he made his way past the castle entrance and towards his simple mansion, he could feel the gazes of the villagers. How they looked at him with worry. But more importantly, how he came back alone. Amongst the crowd that looked upon his return, he could make out the figure of the apothecary’s family. Though they each gave him a reassuring smile – knowing that he had tried his best, it did little to relieve him of his regrets for he knew he could or rather, should have done more to save him. It was the apothecary that helped in raising him. On how to fight and on how to govern. More often than not, he was more of an advisor and a steward than he was an apothecary.
But it was not the empty space beside him where the apothecary should be that burdened him so. It was the empty presence of a rider in front of him. The lord of this realm.
Thought it may have been the apothecary that helped raised him, it was his father who he looked up to. The man who shaped him. The man who moulded him. The man whose wife gave away her life so that she could give birth one. Ironic that, like his wife he ended up giving away his life to preserve that of his son.
It was his fault that led to the events leading up to the death of his father. His complacency. He should have known better than to drop his guard after capturing the last castle. He saw how his foes were more than willing to discard their honour and get an edge on their foes as they grew desperate. In fact, it was the first advice his father told him while they were riding to the assembly area. How the battlefield was different than a duel. How easy honour and chivalry can be forgotten, only to be used as justification once a winner emerges.
He remembered the look on his father’s face after he finished hacking away at the man responsible for his death, ensuring that he would never again feign his death. The look of tranquil peace. A far cry from the smoking wreck and decaying bodies around him.
What grieved him more was how he was unable to see to his father’s body as it was being transported back to the castle estate per his will. Instead, he had to preside over the negotiating table for the Duke had promised that all those who served would get their share of the treasury. Though the whole ordeal still remained a blur for him as he only wanted those he had lost, he vaguely remembered demanding only for gold and reparation to help further develop his realm. It was what his father wanted after all.
By the time the young noble had awaken from his reminiscing, he found himself at the foot of his home. A stereotypical mansion resting on a low mound to allow its lord a quick glance of the entire castle. His father was a simple man and asked only for a simple mansion as a symbol of both his humility and status for his was not born into nobility but rather, was knighted into one for gallantry in the field of battle.
As he led his horse to the stable, where there were already men waiting to remove her armour off and finally wash the stains of war away, the young noble saw two new additions to his family grave. He did not have to think hard to remember whose it belongs to. However, the presence of countless fresh boutique on both tombstones did help his sombre mood. He hoped that he too would live up to the standards expected by his predecessors.
The stablemen all gave him words of encouragement and reassurance as he dismounted himself and made his way towards his front door. He looked at the front door. It looked so foreign even though it was his own home. He wondered if she’d changed. He grabbed the handle and twisted it before giving it a gentle push. The interior still looked the same as 5 years ago. Yet, it felt unfamiliar. Almost like he was intruding on someone’s home.
As he took a step in, the stark contrast of his beaten and weathered armoured against the well-kept house made him feel uneasy. He had to remove his armour fast. But before he could even make his way to the steps, an all too familiar figure appeared before him.
It was her. The only occupant of the mansion. She didn’t change at all. A woman, wearing a full maid uniform and holding a broom. At a glance, she looks like your typical maid but upon closer inspection, her most notable feature would be the feathery tail coming from behind her. Even her feathery arms and bird-like feet belies her human appearance.
She was the castle’s darkest secret. A mamono. Not only housed but also accepted by and serving the young lord of the realm.
“M-Master…” Her soft, trembling words betraying her strict posture. This was the first time he ever saw her without that unflappable and cool composure of hers. In fact, was she getting misty eyed? Or was that just him?
The broom slid off her hand as she immediately gave a curt bow after deducing that it really was him. The prickling tears hiding behind her eyes easily found its way out thank to her new posture and made their way down to the floor.
“Welcome back!” she says, at the end of her bow. A subtle touch of enthusiasm behind it.
With a smile, the young noble simply nodded back to her. Her tears were contagious and he too felt his own tears about to leak out. But as the new lord, he could not allow anyone to see a moment of weakness and so, he quickly made his escape to his room.
Upon entering his room, he removed his armour and began to recall his first meeting with her; the mamono. It was when he was still a child, around 20 years ago.
She was found by the local hunting party, alone and unconscious. Apparently, she was with a man and another older version of her kind but they had each given their life attempting to defend the young mamono based on their position and wounds.
Wounds… That was the reason why she was brought to his house in the first place. For her wounds were that of magic. Specifically speaking, it was how the wounds inflicted on her resembled the insignia of the Chief God’s Templar. Monster hunters as they were well-known. As ruthless as they were devoted, they suspected everyone of heresy and would be more than willing to put them to the pyre.
It was for this reason that, fearing the judgement of the Templar, the hunters asked for help from the young noble’s father for he had reputation and credibility. Traits that could help him avoid the Templar’s swift and more often than not, deadly judgement upon the presentation of a mamono to all party involved. Traits that the hunters who found her lacked.
His father had already made the decision to pass her over to the Templars. He knew what both mamono and Templars were capable of. While one of them eats you alive, the other burns you to death and he wanted no part of it. But upon receiving the still unconscious child, he finally understood why the hunters were so indecisive and afraid.
She looked more human than the man-eating monsters that was preached by the passing missionaries. Her feathery tail and arms appeared more for appearance sake rather than tools for hunting men. In fact, the only intimidating features were here golden bird-like feet which looked durable and sharp. What was probably even more astounding to him was her clothing. It was one thing to assume that, being monsters, they lacked the civility to wear clothes. But for them to wear a maid’s garment of all things? This was unheard of.
With a heavy sigh, his father made his most controversial decision and chose to shelter her. At least until she was old enough to fend for herself for he could not find it in him to have the blood of a young child on his hands.
And thus she would find herself waking in an unfamiliar room with the curious young noble leaning over her side, peaking at her face as she stared at the ceiling. Because of what she had recently been through, fear took the better part of her mind and she screamed before jumping out of bed and attempted to escape. But her host had predicted this and ensured that the only way out was through the door. The door from where he was currently blocking alongside his advisor and best friend, the apothecary.
His domineering presence was enough for her to have second thoughts and this was capitalized upon as they attempted to calm her down. It was her explanation of who she is, what she is and the events that had transpired on that fateful night that finally sealed his father’s decision as he finally decided to take her in to his household as a servant. To see if this ‘Kikimora’ as she calls herself really was good at it. Money was tight in their household and any alternatives to help shave off the expenses was greatly appreciated.
Indeed, in just a few years she truly lived up to her species expectation and was more than capable of handling and maximizing the entire housework. It even helped that she was on good terms with most of the occupants in the mansion, from the lord and his inner circle down to the simple servants due to her gentle disposition.
This and more allowed her to finally be accepted by the people of the county. So trusted was she by the young noble’s father that he saw it fit to assign him as the personal caretaker of his son or as he so aptly named, ‘that cheeky troublemaker’ as he had more pressing matters to attend to.
The opposing personality from the strict and serious maid to the laidback and playful young noble soon blossomed into a unique love-hate relationship.
As the young noble was recalling much happier days in the past such as the trouble that they found themselves getting into together, he found that he had subconsciously sat himself at the foot of his bed after removing his armour and washing himself. It was the creaking of his bedroom door that finally got his attention back to reality.
Speak of the devil. It was her and she holding a tray carrying a tea set for one. Deep within his heart, this somehow felt wrong to him. She deserves more after 15 years of diligence and loyalty.
“This just won’t do Miss.” He informed her upon gazing at the contents of the tray.
The Kikimora was taken aback. Not only was this the first time that he sounded so serious but this was also the first time that he didn’t call her by her name. Did she do something wrong? Attempting to salvage the situation, she quickly began apologizing.
“I’m sorry young Master. It’s just that you looked down so I thought that a quick of cup of tea and a slice of cake would cheer you up since it usually does. I’ll see myself out and let you sle-“
He interrupted her before she could end her sentence.
“You’re a cup short.” He simply said before offering a small but warm smile towards her.
She was shocked. She didn’t know how to respond. Her cheeks felt hot, her heart was thumping harder than a rabbit. What was this feeling? She protested at the suggestion of doing something that made her feel uneasy.
“B-But Master, you’re t-tired and t-there’s only table for one in your room.” She stammered, trying to find whatever excuse she can.
“Then sit beside me on this bed.” he quickly countered as he moved over and offered her a seat.
She wanted to continue arguing but his tone was final. Defeated, she proceeded downstairs, leaving the door ajar to grab a spare cup and join him for afternoon tea.
Meanwhile, the young noble was surprised himself. He had planned to only ask her if there’s anything that she wanted as a form of reward. Somehow though, upon gazing at her, he suddenly felt a sense of longing. A sense of unfulfillment which gnawed at his heart that left a gaping hole which needed to be filled. Mayhap it is because it’s been so long since he last saw her? Since he last saw her serene demeanour and warm touch? Either way, he could probably use the conversational partner.
The door gently opened soon after. The first thing to enter his field of view was a feathery but well-kept arm. She had used her body weight to open the door, seeing that her hands were full with a new tray. It would appear that she had brought much more pastry and tea, almost as if she felt that she knew this would take a while.
Ever gently, she poured herself a cup and grabbed a plate full of treats before sitting at the foot of the bed whereas the young master looked on near the head of the bed. What followed next were hours of catching up and by then, the tea had all but finished and the pastry consumed. But on and on they kept talking. Somehow, they always found a way to keep the conversation going. Somehow, she managed to lighten his mood after all he’d been through.
It was the howling of the wolves which reminded them of the time. When they began talking, the sun was at its peak. But now, it had been replaced by the full moon. They had talk for hours on end. Despite this, they still secretly continued longing for one another. The Kikimora had a foreign urge welling up inside her. The urge to pin him right then and there and do… what exactly? She didn’t know what to do next after that. Just that she had to subdue him for some reason. But she held back. Somehow she held back. It would be unbecoming of a servant to take advantage of their master when he is lost.
What she didn’t know however was that her beloved Master was having the exact same thoughts. Only now, with her so close to him was he able to make out the finer details on her face and on her body. From the captivating scent of her hair to her loving gaze down to her warm touch. Everything about her was so beautiful and so inviting that he unknowingly found himself edging closer to her. Yet somehow, this felt wrong to him. She was a servant and he had to uphold the family name. More than that, he had to continue his dynasty and find a legitimate wife. Not a servant.
They had both started sitting on opposing edges of the bed. By now, they were adjacent to one another. Now it’s her turn to be moving. With his face so close to her, she could no longer resist. Ever gently, so as to not scare him, she inched her face closer to his. Her target? His lips. So focused and dedicated was she on her prize that she failed to register how she had firmly grasped one of his forearm. The excitement began affecting not only her actions but also her breathing. Her once steady and quiet breathing had all but stopped as she drew ever closer to him.
Similarly, her master was in no better state. Never before had her grip been so firm yet so tender. But eventually, he found himself swept up in the moment and brought his head closer to her. The gap between their faces were slowly but surely closing. At first, their eyes were hazily opened. Soon, their lips touched. It was nothing too passionate nor lust-fuelled. Instead, it was a simple peck on the lips that barely made any sound upon contact. The gesture however, had a significant impact on the hearts of both servant and master for within that simple moment, all traces of worry and regret; of longing and loneliness, vanished. Replaced with nothing but soothing affection.
Their eyes closed as they took the moment to enjoy the experience. After a scant few seconds that felt longer than it should have, their lips parted accompanied with a subtle smacking sound. Slowly, as their head receded, they opened their eyes. Soon after, they stared deep into the drunk, quavering orbs of the other, savouring what they had just done. She still had her grip on him.
Immediately after they were done kissing, the feeling of acceptance that filled them was gone and loneliness once again crept into their hearts. Neither one wanted this. Like a drug, they longed for that moment of love. Though short, it was addictive to their isolated hearts after years apart.
And so, they repeated the action.
Each time they did it anew, the kiss was longer and more passionate. At first, it was an innocent peck. Soon, their lips parted when they kissed. Next, tongue was involved. Finally, small moans and whimpers escaped their lips as they became so fervent in their kisses, breaking only when their bodies demanded a fresh intake of air which left them both a panting mess only to quickly resume all over again.
Capitalizing on her grip, the young master leaned back and pulled the Kikimora along with him who took the opportunity to grab his other forearm with her free hand. The master was now flat on his back but the Kikimora, rather than lying down on top of him chose instead to prop herself up where her hands were doubly used to not only continue restraining her master but to also support herself up.
Their breathing was now erratic. Their meeting gaze, absent of reason and logic. Their bodies, warm. With her domineering position, something awoke inside the once gentle Kikimora. Something she did not know was there. Something… instinctual.
And her master knew. Though it was dark and there were no lit candles in his room, the moon reflected the only thing he needed. Her. The once composed maid now had a predatory gaze as she looked at him with glazed eyes. And he enjoyed the attention
After she was done visually groping her meal, she swooped down on his lips and continued kissing him roughly. Somehow she unable to tire herself from this activity. The only sound that could be heard was the smacking of their lips and the sweet moans that escaped soon after as they each vied for dominance in their kiss.
But they still wanted more. With a loud smacking sound, she broke the kiss and began straddling him. Now, she was on her knees, her hands unknowingly placed on either side of his pelvis as her arms squeezed inwards together and accentuated the size of her womanly features. She was no longer gripping her master as she continued gazing at his vulnerable form. He too was enjoying it as much as she was.
Everything she was now doing was based solely off her instincts. And right now instincts was telling her to remove their clothing. Impatient and unable to think, she began to blindly discard her clothing once she had it undone and more often than not tore off a few buttons and strings for she could not wait to rid herself of the clothing. She was not alone in this endeavour for even her pinned master, with his new freedom, began to mirror her actions. Removing his tunic but unable to remove his trousers due to the maid’s current position above his lower body.
With his top gone and haphazardly thrown to the side, the young Master could only watch as his beloved caretaker continued her stripping. Soon, she was pulling her skirt down, briefly raising herself up so as to slide it out. It was at this moment that she realized her master was still partially clothed and it was unacceptable. She immediately set about pulling his trousers and undergarments all the way to his feet where he then flicked it away before once again resuming her straddling, this time with her hands dangling loosely by her side.
Their bare skins were now touching. The heat emanating from their passion-filled kisses was enough to make them perspire as beads of sweat trickled down their body. Added with the small traces of moonlight that lit only her body and left all others dark, it made the Kikimora look divine. So much as so that the young master subconsciously placed his hands on her thighs, unwilling to let her go as he failed to realize how something wet had been resting on something hard.
The Kikimora savoured the moment. Of their bare skin touching and their warmth being shared. But she still wanted more. Needed more. Leaning forward, she grasped his shoulders before starting another wet kiss. Unbeknownst to the young Master, during their kiss she had subtly removed one of her hands and used it to guide his member to her entrance. Instincts guided her actions. Instincts told her that this will finally relieve her of the gaping hole in her heart. With both their members in position, she began lowering herself. The tip alone was enough to drive her mad with desire.
But the most unexpected thing was how the young master reacted. Shocked by this new yet blissful sensation, he reflexively pulled his hands downwards, forgetting that he was still holding on to the Kikimora. The sensation that came soon afterwards turn their world white as they each moaned and gasped long into each other’s mouth, never breaking the kiss they shared.
They broke their kiss and for a brief moment, none of them moved. The Kikimora simply rested her head on his shoulders and waited for the overwhelming sensation to ride its course. The young master fared no better too. Wanting to further continue, he licked her neck from the base all the way up to her jawline making sure that he moved as slowly as possible. She got the hint and after returning the favour with a long kiss on his lips, she went back to straddling him, hands on his hips as she began moving herself up and down.
At first, her movements were slow and steady. Yet, it bellied the effect that it had on the young master’s mental state. It made him hunger for more pleasure. Eventually, the Kikimora picked up the pace but it wasn’t good enough for him. Her naked glistening body, her loudening moans, her ample bosoms as they gently bounced in time with her actions. It was too much. He took it upon himself to satisfy his urges. Sitting himself straight quickly, he embraced her with a long kiss, grasping her head with both hands. Soon after, he then moved his hands down her back slowly and sensually before resting on her hips.
From here, he then began assisting her, picking her up and dropping her back down in perfect sync with her movements. They leaned their foreheads towards one another with her forearms resting on his shoulders before her hands intertwined with one another, staring into one another’s longing gaze as they moaned and grunted. Soon, they will each feel a strange growing sensation in their loins. The Kikimora didn’t exactly know why but somehow, she felt that whatever was going to happen, she desperately needed it. It was calling out to her. Focused on achieving this goal, she tightly embraced her young master and, with her eyes tight shut, began to focus everything on their thrusting.
The young master however, with no mamono instincts to guide him, simply mirrored her actions, unsure of what to do and placing his trust on her actions. When he noticed that she was picking up the pace, he too did the same. The grip he had on her was tight; enough to leave an impression as he went about thrusting into her fervently.
On and on they went, enjoying the warmth of one another as they kept on going. By now, the growing sensation had reached its breaking point. They were near their release. Somehow, the Kikimora was able to tell for she immediately locked lips with him once more. An action which finally proved to be too much to the young master as the growing sensation reached its climax and with it, his release. The pleasure he felt made him go crazy as he attempted to lengthen this feeling by rapidly thrusting into her with fervour. An action which served only to help the Kikimora reach her climax.
She broke the kiss when it was her turn to feel this blissful sensation, arching her back in the process. A single drawn out moans escaped her lips as her whole body trembled from this feeling. At this point, her young master had taken the opportunity to rest his head on her chest, taking the time to enjoy her warmth on his face.
Once it was all over, they collapsed together on the bed, still inside and still embracing one another. Her hands now rested on his chest as he still continued hugging her. Although spent, the young master still felt a strange feeling welling up inside him that demanded him to continue going at it. To finally fill the gap that 5 years had left. But he didn’t want to. Right now, he just wanted to enjoy her companionship.
The Kikimora on the other hand felt revitalized once whatever it was that her young master had released was finally inside of her. She felt that she could still go on for hours on end. Yet, something within her, a gut feeling rather, told her that what her young Master wanted right now more than anything else was to fall asleep with her. To enjoy her presence. To have someone to embrace as he falls asleep.
“Anna.” The young master trailed off as he began calling her name, gently stroking her back with one hand.
Despite hearing him say it so many times before, this time it left her feeling giddy. At first, she came to be wary whenever he called her name for she knew he was up to something no good. After years apart however, she felt safe when he said it.
“I love you.” He further emphasized by tightening his embrace as she laid on top of him.
A smile had appeared on her lips before she even knew it. A genuine smile that came upon hearing those words.
“I love you too, Leo.” She replied, snuggling his chest in return. Eventually, she removed herself from him and laid beside him, still staying close as she went about reaching for the blankets together with her newfound lover.
As they each covered themselves with the blankets and huddled close to one another to keep warm, they shared a final glance at one another. Somehow, though they can’t exactly tell why, they each felt that things are going to work out. That from here on out, things would finally get better for the young master and his newly found lover.
And so, the two gradually let sleep overcome them as they shared their night together.