The nagging ringing of your alarm snaps you awake, and as much as you want take another hour to nap; you had to put food on the table for your adopted daughter. Granted she couldn’t eat anything, and you were the only one that ate in the house-hold, and technically a spirit cannot feel heat nor cold so the gas bill wasn’t necessary…but hey! The electric bill is something Chloe relies on right? She does love her shows, movies, and video games.
You put on your uniform and search for Chloe, spotting her struggling to play video games in the first floor living room. Blowing the dust off your old consoles you had boxed in your walk-in closet, you figured they can be genuinely good exercise for her multitasking abilities as a Ghost, by keeping her focus under pressure while enjoying herself at the same time.
Though you feel like she wasn’t ready to jump straight into Dark Souls…
Super Mario Brothers would have to do.
Leaning to the far end of the couch, her tongue sticking out as she glared at the television. The face of a gamer in her zone.
“Good morning Chloe, how’s it coming along this t-” you begin.
“Sush-sush! I-I almost got it! I got a good~ grip on this thing, and I~ can’t be~ distracted~” She murmured as she struggled to get through World 6-2.
You let her do her thing for a bit, and make yourself some coffee. You were in for a pleasant surprise though when you saw that the coffee maker was already full to the brim.
“(Did Chloe figure out the coffee maker on her own?”) You wonder.
Pouring yourself a cup of coffee you return to the living room and slouch on the couch next to Chloe still feverishly struggling with her gaming session.
“World 7-1? So far so good, and no shortcut either” you reply feeling genuinely impressed.
“Why do I only get two hits!? It’s not fair-it’s not-*game-over*-*Whaaa~!*” Chloe cried out as she fell down a pit.
“There there, it’s okay! You did great considering you just learned how to play” you assure her.
“It’s not fair-it’s not fair-it’s not fair!” Chloe was flailing about, her ghostly tail whipping the air as her arms were outstretched and swinging clenched fists.
“Just let it all out…trust me, once you get into video games, you’re gonna have a lot of moments like this…it just makes beating it feel that much more full-filling” you assure her.
A sip of your coffee, and some deep breathing exercises the two of you felt much better.
“Alright…so~ want to go to work with me again?” You ask.
“Yeah, okay let’s go daddy!” Chloe was excited considering she just had a salty rage moment.
You drive yourself back to your place of work, all the while Chloe goes on, and on about her gaming session, and the strategies she has created, and everything…it’s as if she assumed you never played a video game before.
Hm…must be a dad stereotype kids these days have.
Regardless of that you humor her, and give her the praise, and attention she yearns for, and once satisfied and inside you, she quickly felt the need to fall asleep; exhausting herself from her genuine exercise with her console.
You punch yourself in for another shift, just in time to see Katy and Betsy chatting among themselves as they head deeper into the complex.
“Alright sweetie, I’m gonna go back to work, you just rest up until you’re ready to play again” You say.
“’Kay~ maybe if you see Besty, ask if she can give us her yummy milk-*zzz~*” Chloe responded before nodding off to sleep.
“Katy! Betsy! Hi!” You call out as you catch up to them.
“Oh Anon! Long time no see partner, how are you doing?” Betsy asked.
“I’m doing great” you assure her.
“And how’s your little one Chloe? Is she feeling better? I thought I heard her say something about milk?” Katy asks.
“Someone said something about milk a little while ago, sugar?” Betsy was innocently curious.
“Oh that! Uh~ just that I might need to grab some from the store, she wanted to remind me” you told a little white lie.
“Aw~ that’s so helpful of her! Chloe sounds like the perfect little sugarcube if’n you ask me!” Betsy was happy to know.
“Chloe’s being much more cheerful, and I think she’s really starting to come out not only as herself, but as a ghost. I’m trying to get her to touch things again so I can get her back to school” you explain.
“That’s wonderful to hear, poor girl has been through so much already, what with dying and all. It’s good to see you’re getting the hang of this parenting thing” Katy said.
“We were actually on our way to greet a few new residents today. Would ya’ll like to come with us?” Betsy asked.
“Yeah, of course! I’d love to meet them” you agree.
“Excellent, let’s go. If we hurry now we might see them hatch” Katy said.
“What do you mean by hatch?” You ask.
“Besides children being left in our care, we also get eggs and the occasional wandering slime” Betsy said.
“These particular eggs have been incubated for some time and we were told by our staff that they are just about ready to hatch” Katy said.
“I passed Katy who was on her way over here, we got to talking, and when I heard the good news, you know I had to come and see for myself, my kind aren’t born from eggs so I was curious since the most I’ve seen were baby chicks” Betsy said.
“Yes, I thought it would be best to give her ‘the talk’ and what better time to do it, than at looking at a hatching egg” Katy said.
“K-Katy! Ya’ll know I already know a-about that kind of talking…” Betsy mumbled as she started turning bashful.
You don’t think you’ve ever met a girl who was so obvious that they were a virgin than Betsy.
“Well at the very least I can show you how to hold a newborn, it’s a very delicate process no matter how dainty, and soft your hands are” Katy added.
“Y-yeah! There’s always that, you’re so great with kids Katy” Betsy complimented.
“Thank you Betsy, now then just a left turn here and it’s the first door on our right” Katy said.
Following her steps the three of you enter a room several degrees warmer than the room temperature inside the halls of the orphanage. The room resembled a small nursery; the walls painted a sky blue wallpaper with fluffy clouds painted in random areas of the ceiling. Small cribs we’re already in place by the staff before them, and in the center of the room was a wide pedestal under a large lamp. The pedestal containing roughly a dozen eggs, each being kept warm under the lamp above them. Each egg was unique in size, color, even texture, and shapes as some were noticeably more rounder, or oval than the others.
“Enchanted lamp, replicates the weather and lighting of any environment. Not that incubators are better, or worse, but very expensive you see. The price we pay for being a non-profit…but the lamp here is more than just cheaper, and keeps them warm…it engulfs them with a pure essence of magic aura which will help any baby egg with the potential of magic to already grow accustom to it’s acute presence only they can sense. A recommendation from our head doctor who surprised us with ties to acquire this at a bargain price!” Katy sounded awfully proud of herself in that moment.
“That’s pretty amazing Katy, but I gotta wonder what this magic aura is made of-” you start to question magic until a sudden loud flapping, and loud feminine cheers interrupted you.
“Oh-oh look they’re shaking! You just made it!” A harpy girl chimed as we came inside.
“Hello little one, thanks for babysitting until we got here” Katy said.
The young Harpy looked to be in her teens. A slender soft tanned body that appeared very light, and the perfect embodiment of a healthy young Harpy. Her scarlet red hair was cut short and unkempt, and her wings colored the same way with her down and feather tips colored a softer brighter red. She wore a breezy white tank-top and khaki short shorts.
“C-can I stay here and watch too? This sort of means a lot to me” the Harpy explained.
“Of course! Anon, this little Harpy was also born in this same room several years ago” Katy explained
“I see, it’s nice to meet you” you greet her.
“Oh~ you’re the new boy working here! Nice ta meetcha!” The Harpy cheerfully greeted extending her wing.
“…Do I shake it?” You ask her.
“Just the tip-*pfft*” She explained before holding back her own giggles at her play on words.
“Look-look! One of them is hatching now!” Betsy squeaked.
The four all circle the group of eggs, sure enough the one currently taking up most of the attention was rumbling, and cracking every few seconds.
“Here she comes~” the Harpy squeed.
Soft crying can now be heard, a sort of high pitch chirping as the cracks turned into holes and a brilliant sapphire wing with soft blue down and tips. The chirping grew louder and the tone of it’s voice rang in your ear like the strings of a harp.
“Calling it now, it’s a siren” Katy said.
The head poked out next as well as her other wing, and with the help of Katy a baby Siren was born singing. A melodious whimper as Katy’s voice and soft rocking put her at ease almost right away. Katy showing her natural born motherly nature to soothe even newborns right after birth.
I have the towels, and the milk bottles ready” the Harpy said.
“Wonderful! Anon, Betsy help me clean them and have them fed, I bet they’ll all be hungry after all that work being born” Katy said.
“Of course” Betsy agreed.
“No problem” you also agree.
Katy passes the Siren over to Betsy who quickly wraps it in a soft towel. The Siren’s lovely sobbing now soothed as Betsy handed the baby girl her first drink of milk. This might have been the only time you actually enjoyed the sound of a baby’s crying up until the newborn stopped.
“Anon you get the next one, right over there” Katy points at the second egg cracking.
Arms poked out first, so far everything normal, next came her head slowly squeezing herself out through a crack in the egg. Violet hair, yellow eyes with narrow black slits. A little odd but so far normal, and then you saw her lower half. A snake’s tail colored emerald green.
“On second thought I’ll take this one!” Katy wrapped the new Lamia with a towel. “She is such a little cutie~” Katy squealed. The Little Lamia cooed as it gripped at Katy’s fingers with her tiny tail.
“Oh-oh wait I’m not your mommy!” Betsy cried out as the Siren turned away from the bottle and started going for Betsy’s chest.
“I swear they’re drawn to your boobs like a magnet” Katy laughed.
“This next one hatching is all yours mister” the Harpy said.
“Right-right I understand” you’re ready.
The egg wasn’t so much as cracked as it was punched through, a dark skinned tiny fist poked through, it retracted then punched another hole in the egg. Her head didn’t so much as poke out, but rather looked like she headbutted herself out.
“Oh! A salamander!? We don’t get too many of her in these parts” Katy was impressed.
“I have to carry her!?” you cry out.
“Yes, hurry now or she’ll get restless” Katy said.
“She looked restless before” you look at her.
The salamander infant had dark red hair, and dark skin with burning yellow lizard eyes, tiny claws on her ruby colored scales, and her lizard’s tail while not on fire was still smoldering with embers and looked hot to the touch. You take your towel and grab at her, the little Salamander possibly seeing you as a threat squirmed in your grip, her small fist tapping at your shoulder as you felt the heat of her tail even through the towel.
“Aw~ looks like she likes you, I mean already starting to pick a fight with you in day one” Katy cooed.
“She’s full of energy isn’t she?” Betsy said.
“Ow! She bit me!” You cry out as you try to tickle her tummy only to have her snap at your finger.
“Oh yeah, I forgot her kind are born with their teeth, you might wanna just feed her already” Katy said.
The rest of the eggs soon hatched as well, counting the ones due for the day the orphanage was: plus two more Harpies…
“Twinsies~” The teen Harpy squealed holding both infant bird girls.
“Goodness her tail looks so shiny, and white” Katy was impressed.
Even a new Arachne.
“She looks like a mini-version of Nirvana” Betsy noticed.
You helped your fellow staff tucking them in their new cribs, as they let the milk get to work, watching over them as Katy instructed you on handling a newborn. You felt like you learned a lot, from this experience, and it was a pleasant moment to spend with your new friends.
After some time a small team of nurses showing up on time took over to make sure the newborns were healthy. You, Katy, and Betsy were ready to leave, but the young teen decided to stay behind, a distant look to her smile that spoke volumes as to how she feels about their new lives, and the unfortunate circumstances that brought them here.
After your shift you call out for Chloe who regains some of her energy after sleeping through your whole shift, since she is a spirit her exhaustion was based solely off how much energy she put in her ghostly powers…meaning some nights she would simply stay awake and study her wall of notes, or bug you with games, and chit-chats whenever you don’t have the morning shift.
“*Yaw~n* morning Daddy~” Chloe cooed, still sounding groggy in your mind.
“So~ I was wondering…is touching things all you want to do as a ghost? what else are you trying to learn?” You ask.
“(*Giggle* well~ I want to know a lot more, but I did learn how to turn invisible~)” Chloe revealed.
“Oh~ that doesn’t sound good” you realize.
“(I mean I still have to concentrate really hard, and every-time I do, I just get sleepy again…I could barely sneak into your room, and finish watching you change clothes before I have to sleep! I still have to practice…)” Chloe confessed in your mind.
“Chloe if you don’t respect my privacy, I’m grounding you until you’re in college” you reply.
“(W-wha-? No fair! Fine~)” Chloe pouted
“Okay, ready for our next trip? I was thinking of visiting the shrine today” you tell her.
“Oh! Goody I can see my new friend too then!” Chloe was happy again.
The drive there was relatively short considering it’s on the same forest the orphanage sits, and you reach it within minutes…just long enough for Chloe to want to karaoke scream inside your head.
“And all that glitter is go~ld~! Only shooting stars~ break the~ mo~ld~!” Chloe sang the song that made her feel like an All Star.
…You know what’s funny though? As much of a fan as you were to that song…the long, grueling climb up the countless stone steps to reach Kosame’s shrine felt better than Chloe’s singing…at least you hope for your daughter’s sake that feeling is temporary, and she becomes a better singer.
“I’ll see you later okay dad” Chloe said oblivious to your opinions about her karaoke as she flew off into the center of the shrine to find her spirit buddy.
“It’s fine, just don’t wander too far~” you call out to her.
She nods and flies off over to one of the shrine buildings you hope she has permission to be in. As you watch her go, you do not see an Inari approaching you. The creamy white furred, fox woman greets you with a glass cup, and a pitcher of water.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that not everyone can climb our steps and feel normal, would you like some water?” The Inari asks.
“Yeah, thanks. Um~ is the lady Ryu here? I wanted to see her” you ask taking a sip of water.
“Why certainly, we’ll let our lady Ryu know you have arrived. I believe she should be free at the moment” the Inari proclaimed.
After some time of waiting on a nearby bench watching the shrine maidens pass you by, some taking a glance at you, and waving, others performing their duties diligently. Minutes passed, and no sign of the hostess you asked your request to. Soon half an hour was spent, and the only other interesting moment was when you spotted a trio of fox tailed maidens all leaving the woods from a dirt trail leading into the woods. Their towels covering them mostly as the robes they wore were completely transparent, and left little to the imagination, their bare legs, and arms very noticeable…a pool, or spring attached to the shrine perhaps?
“The Lady Ryu is ready to see you now” the Inari spoke out as you were focused on the soaked Kitsune.
“T-that’s good to hear, lead the way!” you had a slight hiccup to your composure.
As you follow the Inari a sort of nagging question popped into your mind.
“Hey, how come I had to wait to see the lady Ryu this time? Even though she doesn’t have any reservations?” I ask.
“It is strange…Lady Ryu upon realizing it was you visiting decided to, how do you people call it? ‘Freshen up’! She took a bath, and wore a new set of robes despite already doing so this afternoon. We even had to set the room with tea and a place for you two to sit. She was very careful in making sure you’re visit was a ‘very’ pleasant one. Quite unlike her I might add, granted her kindness is boundless but still different than what she usually does” the Inari confessed.
“Sounds…interesting?” You’re not sure what to say.
“So it would seem…” the Inari answered with a knowing grin.
The Inari leads you to a room on the main building, the same room you visited the Ryu several times before.
The maiden slides open the shrine doors, and you see the lady Ryu sitting on her own tail looking over her small tea set, as if looking for any irregularities.
“My lady, Anon is here to visit you” the Inari spoke out.
The Ryu suddenly flinched and looked up to see you, and she quickly composed herself.
“Come in, come in please take a seat and relax with me” the Ryu said.
The Inari bows as you enter the room and closes the sliding doors behind you. You swore you heard a faint, muffled laugh escape her lips before the doors were closed completely.
“Hello…Kosame” you test out calling her by her first name.
Kosame giggles and lifts her tea cup close to her face. “Hello Anon” Kosame smiles, and takes a sip.
Seeing as how she wasn’t offended calling her so casually by her first name you decide to relax and take a seat, you notice the cushion to sit down isn’t in front of her, but right next to her.
“Have some tea, I can say with pride that our tea is homegrown and made with the freshest of leaves, and care, you won’t find tea like this anywhere else” Kosame promoted.
“Thank you for the hospitality Kosame, I hope things are doing well for you” you ask as you take a sip, your taste-buds exploding in delicious, hot bliss.
“Yes, things are quiet, peaceful, and even fun at certain times. The way it should always be” Kosame said.
As you sit beside her you can faintly smell something sweet and earthly coming from Kosame.
“I-I don’t mean to sound forward or anything, but you smell really nice today-more so than usual I mean!” You quickly compliment.
“Oh-do I? It was kind of you to notice! W-well I just happened to have taken a bath in our springs, nothing special!” Kosame quickly turns away bashfully.
“Wow, and you were right, this tea taste fantastic!” You keep the compliments going.
“You flatter me too much Anon, really you are too kind” Kosame smiled.
The two of you sharing a laugh at the sudden new openness of your relationship, it would seem like she herself is very new to this casual way of interacting considering how well trained she is in formal etiquette.
Deciding to break the ice, and learn a little about your new friend, you decide to ask her something about herself.
“Kosame, where you always working at a shrine like this? Were you anything else before all of this happened?” You ask.
“Goodness I haven’t been asked that in some time. To be honest, this privilege is practically given to us, and we mostly accept even as children. We are seen as benevolent and worshiped in some areas. I will confess though, I wasn’t always like this. My teen years were quite a different story, a lot of adventure and experiencing. I suppose at some point I had to grow up, and my first real job was assisting Katy with her orphanage” Kosame said.
“Oh~ so that’s how the two of you know each other, but why didn’t you stay?” You ask.
“It’s nothing negative if that’s what you’re thinking. I just wanted to do…my own thing, let’s go with that. I suppose you can take the maiden out of the shrine, but you can’t take the shrine out of the maiden. When I found out this city and it’s people lacked any shrine to ease their worries and ways to bless them with a little of our gift, well I started building the shrine you see today, with these very claws you see before you” Kosame revealed extending her draconic claws, and showing them to you.
“Amazing, even the smooth wooded floors, the slide doors, everything?” You ask.
“Everything…we are not worshiped merely by our stunning looks you know-*giggle*” Kosame joked before continuing with her story. “I also took a few of Katy’s orphans who were on the verge of becoming adults, and needed a reason for being, and so this place was built near Katy’s location to better help one another, we never did stop being friends you know” Kosame explained.
“I never knew that, I suppose you learn something everyday” you reply.
“That’s a good way of thinking it. Now then I suppose I’ve bragged about myself long enough, let me help you in return for listening to this woman’s tales” Kosame’s voice grew softer, but rang in your ears so much louder with a sense of carnal impact of desires.
You knew this was coming so you didn’t resist when her arms draped themselves over your shoulder, and her mouth nipping at your neck. Her scent even stronger up close made you feel at ease, and a little excited at the same time. You hold her in return, and feel her skin is noticeably softer than usual, it must have been a ‘special’ kind of bath to have that kind of effect. Her moans and gasps ring in your ear like the most ticklish notes and her arms rub at your back.
“Ah~ah~I want~oh~” Kosame purrs into your ear, but whatever she was trying to say was too slurred to make out accurately.
Her tongue licking you from your neck, to your chin, stroking your lips, and into your awaiting mouth before she pressed the rest of herself even closer to you. A strong force of energy welled inside you, and an even stronger force of lust welled inside your pants.
After some time though the session was complete and you enjoy another cup of tea with Kosame, chatting away about your time with Chloe and some aspects of your school life as she cuddled, and rested her large bosom against your chest, her soft breathing tickling your neck as she let herself get comfy to nearly falling asleep.
“O-oh my- Anon, I apologize for my behavior…I didn’t know I was so…comfy around you…I certainly hope you take it as a compliment” Kosame turned bashful once more.
“Hey, it’s alright, you’re quite comfortable yourself…even your scales felt polished, and smooth” you compliment back.
“Anon~ please, you continue to praise me, and I do not earn it” Kosame replied.
“No way Kosame, you definitely deserve it, and you know-eh~…b-but I gotta check on my daughter…we’ll see each other again right?” You ask.
“I believe fate will smile upon us once more, and I will await eagerly for your return…Anon~” Kosame purred your name, almost making you want to extend your visit further.
You catch Chloe chatting away with her friend, a fellow spirit descendant from a Youko. She was adorned with fox ears, and a body seemingly on fire with blue flames. Chloe’s friend whispers something into her ear, whatever she said made Chloe gasp and sputter some sort of nonsense before she spots you and quickly waves good-bye to her before entering your body.
“What was all that about?” You ask her.
“N-n-nothing! We just talked!” Chloe cried out.
Her embarrassment was so strong you actually felt a bit of warmth inside you.
The drive home was rather quiet, not even blasting her favorite music made her want to sing her little soul out, though it did comfort her.
You wonder if it’s about her new friend?
“So~ I suppose whenever you want we can invite your new friend over for a sleep over. You’ve been a good girl, you definitely deserve it” you reveal.
“N-now!? Well, I-I think? Maybe…” Chloe was now suddenly hesitant.
“You feeling alright pumpkin? You normally don’t stutter this much unless you had ice cream” you remember.
“Uh~ daddy…” her voice did not carry the same air of confidence, and cheer she usually carries, rather it was soft, and timid. “Do you l-love me?” Chloe suddenly asked.
“What kind of question is that? Of course I do, you mean a lot to me” you answer her.
“Daddy~ I didn’t mean…no it’s nothing, I’m alright, really” Chloe assured you.
You know it’s not nothing, but you felt that she wasn’t quite ready to confess what was really wrong.
“Well, okay, but if there’s anything you want to talk about, I’ll be here for you, remember that” you tell her.
And in a sense…neither were you.
“I will! T-thanks daddy” Chloe felt relieved.
The drive was a little more pleasant, no karaoke, but ice cream was had, a little break from the stress of daily life. It is as they say, with every problem solved, a new one surfaces.
But ice cream will always be a thing.