The valley stretched out below the dirt path that worked its way on the side of the mountains, tall trees growing along it. A deep blue lake sat at the bottom of the valley, encircled by the lush forest that grew on the slopes surrounding it, the mid-day sun reflecting off its still surface.
The young man looked down at the lake as he rested against one of the many trees along the path, its shade providing him with much-needed respite from the sun. Despite the cool air, his robes were drenched in sweat from the long trek from his village, thankfully now almost complete. He fiddled with the strap holding the bag on his back, listening to the soft swaying of the forest, nearby squawks of the swifts and magpies ringing through the trees.
He smiled as he pushed off and continued up the path, taking his time to enjoy the journey there. It was one he had traveled numerous times every year, first with his family as he grew up, but now more often than not alone, enjoying the peaceful walk to his destination.
Tucked away somewhere within the forests of the three peaks that dominated the region, was the shrine his family and entire village had worshiped at for generations. This was his first visit for this year, the snow and cold of the previous months preventing him, or anyone else, from braving the trek from the plains into the mountains.
Although the sun shone brightly, the air was still somewhat frigid and he could see the last remnants of snow beneath some nearby trees and bushes as he walked, a small stream running the other way alongside the path.
Rounding a bend a few minutes later, a flash of bright red cut through the trees, the path diverging in two directions; one continuing up, the other splitting off into the forest towards the red he had caught sight of. He smiled as he picked up his pace, his sandals kicking up small clouds of dust as he neared the end of his journey. Slowing as he walked onto the narrower path, his smile only grew as the vibrant gate came into view, the red and black painted wood signalling the boundary between the shrine’s holy ground and the rest of the world.
Stopping momentarily as he neared the entrance, the young man bowed deeply for a few moments before starting off again, making sure to keep to the side of the pathway. He smiled as recalled the memory of his mother chastising him for walking down the middle during his first visit there, her panicked flailing and stuttering as she dragged him off to the side a happy memory.
The shrine grounds were dominated by the large trees that made up the surrounding forests, only the necessary trees having been removed, causing the grounds to be covered in near perpetual shade, just a few cracks of light breaking through the canopy. The grounds were immaculately kept, not a single errant leaf or puddle marring the paths, and the buildings were in as good a state as they had ever been.
Mounting the stairs behind the gate, he crossed over to his right and walked towards the pavilion on the side of the path. Grabbing a wooden ladle resting on the stand, the man rolled back the sleeves of his white robe and dunked the ladle into the water of the stone basin, first pouring some over his left hand, then right hand, before rinsing his mouth with a small amount and pouring the rest back.
Stepping back, he continued his way further into the shrine grounds, admiring the stone lanterns and small wooden buildings scattered along the path. A peaceful sense of calm washed over him as he walked, the shrine devoid of any other visitors at the moment, the only sound coming from the wooden plaques as they moved in the wind. The sacred grounds had been as well-kept as ever, the path clear, and buildings in perfect condition, of course thanks in part to the hard work of the maidens who worked at the shrine.
Another memory surfaced in his mind from this, recalling the very first time he had run across one of these women. It wasn’t her piercing red eyes or white hair that had startled him, instead her strange serpentine lower-half had caused him to panic and hide behind his mother’s leg, the Shirohebi quietly slinking away herself.
His destination, the multi-roofed offering hall, stood ahead of him, its bright green roofing and deep brown wooden structure adorned with intricate carvings and statues. Behind it, a second larger building stood, the heart of the shrine complex giving off a divine aura. Stopping to bow once more at the two lion-dogs guarding the entrance-way, the young man continued up the stairs and into the hall, his eyes adjusting to the dim light inside.
Wooden beams and pillars crisscrossed the rather open shrine, a few unlit paper lamps scattered around the roof. The room was relatively sparse save for the large altar that dominated the back of the room, the bronzen serpent centerpiece, the representation of the shrine’s sacred spirit, Kohaku, a good seven to eight feet tall.
Stopping short of the altar, the man took the bag off his back and reached into it to fetch the single golden coin, lobbing it gently forward into the offer box.
Stepping off to the side towards one of the nearby pillars, he grabbed hold of the rope falling from the iron bell and rung it once, closing his eyes as he bowed deeply, the ringing still echoing throughout the room. Repeating this again, the man stood back up straight, clapping his hands together twice, before bowing one more time.
Silently, the man gave thanks to the spirit of the shrine, thanking it for the protection of his village for the past year, and hoping for its continued protection and guidance.
“You are most welcome, Tamura Michi.”
Michi jumped at the words, standing back bolt upright and stepping back, eyes wide open. Before him sat a woman, her long purple hair done up in a tight bun, two sharp horns protruding from beneath it, and a long smoking pipe held between her lips as she puffed away. She smiled at his shock, the two green reptilian fins protruding from the side of her head wiggling happily as she did. “It is a pleasure to finally meet you, my faithful worshiper.”
He stared slack-jawed as she took another drag from her pipe, held between her scaly and clawed fingers. Her deep blue robes, which revealed a generous amount of her pale skin beneath, clung loosely to her shoulders, falling down her voluptuous form and over her lap, her cleavage spilling out. From beneath it, a green serpent-like body emerged, the underbelly a paler shade than the back with a fiery red set of hairs travelling along its spine all the way to its tip. It folded beneath the woman, the last few feet waving lazily as she studied him.
“You have grown to be a quite remarkable young man, Michi,” the woman said, her voice smooth and elegant. “If I may call you that, of course?”
Michi fell to his knees, lowering his forehead to the floor as he spoke. “You may call me whatever you wish, my goddess.” He said, realizing that this dragon-like woman, this Ryu, was surely the manifestation of the shrine’s spirit, Kohaku.
Bringing a hand to her mouth, Kohaku chuckled at Michi’s display. “My, my, you really are quite devout,” she mused, her amber-coloured eyes filed with warmth as she gazed at him. “But there is no need for such displays, Michi, you have already given worship.”
Slowly, Michi rose back to his feet, his cheeks flushed from the goddess’s praise. He said nothing as Kohaku studied him, rising from her seated position and propelling herself over to him with her tail. Gently, she brought her claws to his chin, resting it in her large hands as she gazed down at him, her amber eyes half-lidded and a large smile adorning her face. “Do you wish to stay for a meal, Michi?” She asked him, a claw running over his cheek causing the man in question to shudder. “We could share one in the private hall, if you would care to.”
Michi nodded dumbly to answer her, Kohaku’s graceful form stunning him silent. “Alright, you may follow me then.” She said as she backed away and began to head around the altar, glancing over her shoulder to beckon the man to follow.
Taking careful consideration not to tread on her long body, Michi followed the dragon-woman, admiring how her figure swayed as she moved her hips to propel her forward. Following her through a large set of doors hidden behind the altar, Michi found himself standing in a room even larger than the offering hall was, the magnificence of the main hall humbling him.
“Please, have a seat over here.” Kohaku’s soothing voice beckoning him towards a low table at the side of the room. On it sat an arrangement of dishes and drinks, ranging from fish to vegetables, and everything in between, a porcelain tea set sitting in the middle.
As Michi sat on one of the cushions, the Ryu moved to sit beside him, wrapping her thick serpent tail behind him and around the table to hold him place. “Tea?” She asked nicely, delicately picking up the pot in her hands.
“Please, thank-you.” he replied bowing his head slightly, causing Kohaku to laugh as she poured the tea.
“Like I said, Michi, there is no need for such displays.” She said, moving one of her scaly hands to rest on his forearm. “We are old friends, are we not? You have been visiting since you were just a little boy.”
Michi nodded, bringing the cup of tea to his lips. “I’m sorry, Kohaku, it’s just that you have never taken form in front of me until now, so I’m a little shocked.”
The Ryu smiled as she drank from her own cup, the sweet aroma of the tea filling the air between them. “Yes, and I apologize for that.” She said, setting down her cup and smiling wistfully at the man, tightening her hold on his arm. “But it is for good reason, I was simply waiting for the right time.”
“And what makes now the right time?” Michi asked, unease creeping into his voice as the Ryu prodded at his arm with her claws, her powerful tail pressing against his back.
Kohaku reached out across the table, picking up a small rice patty and placing it on the plate in front of him. “You should have something to eat, Michi, you must be famished from your journey here.” She said, avoiding his question.
As Michi ate from the assortment of foods on the table, her could feel Kohaku’s gaze wash over him again and again, the Ryu still clinging onto his arm. After a few minutes, she spoke up once more. “You really have changed so much since the first time you came her, Michi.”
He looked at the Ryu quizzically. “What do you mean?” He asked between bites of his food, Kohaku right in her assessment of his hunger.
“You first came here with your family when you were just a young child,” she reminisced, a glaze falling over her eyes as she looked off in the distance. “And I remember that day fondly: how your mother scolded you for walking the middle of the path, how you hid behind her after encountering one of my maidens, then how you tried to steal the coins from the donation box as well.” Kohaku laughed openly at the memory, bringing one of her hands up to cover her mouth as she looked away.
Michi grimaced at the embarrassing memory, but couldn’t help but break into a smile it as well, soon finding himself laughing alongside the Ryu.
“Ahh, but…” Kohaku said, wiping a few tears out of her eyes and grabbing hold of his arm once more, leaning on his shoulder. “Since then you have been nothing but respectful towards myself and the shrine. I greatly appreciate your faithfulness, Michi, and I am glad that you are the first one to visit me this year as well.”
The two fell silent once more, Kohaku sitting more upright to rest her head on top of Michi’s own, causing his breath to catch at the goddess’s closeness and rather overt affections.
“I-I should be leaving soon,” Michi stuttered, untangling himself from the Ryu and standing up. “I don’t want my family to worry if I’m gone for too long. I’m terribly sorry.” Before he could move, however, a strong hold grasped his hand, rooting him in place. Looking down towards the Ryu, he was greeted by the sight of the amber-eyed woman peering back, smiling at him as her green fin-like ears twitched.
“Would you stay just a little longer, Michi?” She asked, giving his hand a gentle squeeze. “Perhaps we could take a walk by the lake together?”
Thinking for a moment, Michi relented to the water goddess’ offer, deciding that he could at the very least entertain her last request. “Okay, that sounds rather nice, just for a little while, though.” He said as the Ryu stood, smoothing out her silk robes.
“Lets be off, then.” Kohaku said with a smile, still holding Michi’s hand in hers and leading him towards a door at the back of the hall. Michi followed her through the door, down a small set of stairs, and onto a worn path that ran though the trees, the shimmering of water just visible in the distance.
Kohaku’s tail followed behind them as they made their way down towards the water, occasionally bumping into his feet as they walked. “How is everyone in your village?” She asked, eyes scanning the treeline before settling on Michi’s own as she attempted to continue their conversation.
“Everyone is well,” he replied, looking back up at her. “The winter wasn’t too harsh, thanks to you.”
The Ryu smiled at his praise, her cheeks flushing. “I’m glad to hear that, then. I look forward to when the rest of you are able to visit, it gets quite lonely living here sometimes.”
Michi looked at her out of the corner of his eye, seeing her looking off in the other direction, a sad look on her face. Deciding to not question the goddess, they continued down the path, eventually making their way past the trees and onto the shoreline of the lake.
He had to squint as the sunlight bounced off the surface of the lake and into his eyes, the quiet lapping of the water the only sound present at the moment. Kohaku let go of his hand and waded her way into the lake, standing just past the edge as the crystal-clear water washed over part of her long body.
Looking back over her shoulder, she smiled at the man and shrugged her shoulders, causing the blue silk robes to fall off her and into her hands, before she carefully undid the white belt, and tossed the clothing off to the side.
The now nude Ryu turned back around, covering her indecency with one arm, and extending the other out towards Michi. “Would you like to join me for a swim, Michi?” She asked, the question lilting through the air.
Michi stood staring at the Ryu once more, her amber eyes locked onto his. “I…” he murmured, his heart trying to burst out of his chest.
“Please?” Kohaku asked sweetly, beckoning him forward with a wave of her hand, her exposed pale flesh dangerously inviting.
The man took a few slow steps towards her, discarding his sandals and extending his hand out to meet hers as he blushed, looking away slightly. Kohaku smiled at the man’s modesty, bringing both her hands to his robes and peeling them off him. Discarding the clothes on the ground, she reached down again, and pulled away his undergarments, freeing his stiffening erection.
It was her turn to blush at the sight, blood rushing to her cheeks as she brought a clawed hand to Michi’s cheek. “Michi…” she whispered, tilting his head back to look at her. “You are a loyal follower of mine, are you not?”
“I am.” He replied, barely able to find the words as he looked upon Kohaku’s beautiful face. Up close, he could see two faint green bands of scales running along her cheeks and jawline, framing her divine face.
Kohaku’s ears flapped happily at his response, her cheeks becoming even redder. “Then would you like to worship me once more today?” She asked, not bothering to wait for an answer as she leaned into the man, pressing her lips against his.
Michi brought a hand to rest against the Ryu’s hip, his fingers resting lightly against her cool scales as he returned the goddess’s sudden embrace. Pushing back on his cheek, Kohaku broke the kiss, taking in a shaky breath as she looked down at her faithful worshiper, smiling and taking his hand in hers once more, and leading him deeper into the water.
As the frigid water passed his hips, Michi couldn’t help but gasp at the cold, causing the green-scaled Ryu to cling tighter to him, pushing her impressive bust against his arm. “It’s alright, I’ll take care of you…” she said kindly, leaning in and pecking the man on the cheek.
Soon, Michi was unable to touch the bottom and found himself treading in the water. “Just a little bit deeper, Michi,” Kohaku said, goosebumps covering her pale skin. “Then we may begin.”
He said nothing as they continued deeper into the clear water, and looking down, her could see the rock-lined bottom a good distance away. Behind them, the Ryu’s tail hung beneath the water, moving ever so slightly to keep her afloat.
Kohaku grabbed onto his shoulders, pushing her chest against his and gazing into the young man’s eyes. “Are you ready?” She asked, feeling Michi’s erection twitching against her abdomen as he clung onto her.
With a flick of her tail, the Ryu and the man shot down beneath the surface, and she pressed her lips against his as they clung to one another. Opening his eyes as the embrace broke, Michi found himself breathing freely in the water and his vision clear, the goddess in front of him smiling back happily.
“W-w-what?” He asked, his question coming out perfectly clear as Kohaku’s lips danced across his cheeks and neck, leaving behind a trail of delicate kisses.
She brought a claw to his lips, silencing him. “Shhh, don’t ask, just do.” She said smugly, leaning in for one more kiss from the man. One of Michi’s hands found her hip again as they embraced beneath the surface, the Ryu’s tongue parting his lips and invading his mouth to allow a rush of water in as well.
He jumped at the odd sensation of water filling his lungs despite still being able to breathe, Kohaku’s claws resting firmly in his hair as she continued to kiss him. Subconsciously, Michi’s free hand wandered up, slowly grabbing at one of the Ryu’s large breasts, his fingers sinking into her skin as he squeezed.
He felt Kohaku moan into his mouth as he groped, spurring him to bring his second hand up to her other breast, and begin massaging that one as well. The Ryu broke the kiss as her head flew back in pleasure, purple strands of hair floating out behind her as she spoke. “That’s it, my worshiper, tend to your beautiful goddess and ma-ahhnnnn!”
Kohaku didn’t finish, her own lewd moaning silencing her as Michi leaned up to her reptilian ear, kissing it before gently biting down and prodding at it with his tongue. “Ahnnn~!” She moaned again, her long tail coming to coil up around the man’s legs. “Y-yes! Just like that!”
The young man continued to play with the goddess’s breasts and nibble on her sensitive ear as the tip of her tail traced up and down his thigh, causing him to shiver. “You’re doing a fantastic job already, Michi,” she said breathlessly, one of her hands sneaking down to where her human body turned into the serpent-like one. “But I know you can worship your goddess much, much better than that.”
Kohaku’s tail wrapped around the man’s hips, bringing him into to rub his erection along the scales of her underbelly, prodding slightly at the slit her claws rested around to part her folds. Arching her own back, Kohaku pushed the two of them together, Michi’s cock sliding against her entrance, before entering and sliding slowly into her warmth.
His hips instinctively tried to buck forward deeper into her, but failed thanks to the powerful hold the Ryu’s tail had on him. She moaned as she felt her worshiper enter her, her insides clamping down on him as he continued to play with her sensitive breasts and ear.
Finally hilted, Kohaku gasped as she felt Michi spasm and release in her, the energy pouring into her causing her to cum as well. The lovers sat suspended in the water for a few moments, enjoying their respective blisses as Kohaku’s walls pulled and prodded at Michi for all he had, the warmth and tightness of her insides prolonging his orgasm.
With a sigh, Michi pulled back from clinging onto the Ryu, now holding onto her shoulders as her eyes stayed closed, a wonderful smile on her face. Carefully, he tried to pull himself out of her, but found that Kohaku kept her tail locked around him, preventing escape.
“You did an absolutely wonderful job, Michi,” she said, kissing him on the cheek and grabbing him to bury his face between her large breasts. “But I’m afraid it will take more worship than that to please me.”
Michi looked up at her as he felt her walls contract once more around him, causing him to shudder as she began to move his hips for him. “I-I-I th-”
“Shhh…” Kohaku murmured, pulling his face deeper into her bust to silence him. “I need this, Michi, especially from someone as faithful as you.”
He clung tightly to her as they continued to make love, orgasm after orgasm coming on and filling the goddess, who made sure to never let up at her ministrations. She would help the man ride the wave through each climax, cooing softly in his ears as she played with his hair.
“You know…” she said lustily as she forced Michi’s hips against hers. “I’ve wanted this since the day we met. I knew from the moment you walked through the gate that you would be mine one day…”
Michi could only shudder in response, the creeping of yet another orgasm building up within his loins. “I want- ahn~! Want you to st-stay with me, Michi.” She said between moans, just barely keeping herself together. “You have no idea how-ahhh! Long I’ve waited f-for a man like you!”
The two cried out together as they came once more, Michi’s seed spilling out into her womb as she pressed them as close as possible together, his cock still twitching as she mercilessly worked at him.
After a few moments, he felt Kohaku moving his hips again, and he felt his consciousness beginning to fade as she ran him ragged. As the blackness began to creep into the corners of his vision, he heard his goddess say one final thing before he succumbed. “W-will you stay with me, Michi? Be my husband, and the father of my children?”
He gave Kohaku one final squeeze, a faint “Of course…” escaping his lips before he passed out from the exhaustion.
Michi opened his eyes, the pattering of rain just outside stirring him from his sleep. Taking a deep breath as he stretched out his limbs, he looked around the slightly familiar room. Wooden beams and supports crisscrossed the chamber, a low table sat off towards the left of the large bed he found himself in, and the feeling the room gave him could only be defined as ‘divine’.
Sitting up and rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Michi looked around the room once more, spotting a neatly folded pair of white robes next to the bed, causing him to remember just what had transpired beforehand.
Smiling to himself, Michi slid over to the edge of the incredibly large bed and stood, donning the robes and looking around. Through the window beside him, he could see grey clouds off in the distance, light rain falling to the ground outside.
Walking over to the doorway, he braced himself against its frame and looked to his left, spotting a familiar green tail folded on the wooden deck, the purple-haired woman now sporting a white robe, not much unlike his. Her head turned towards him as he stepped out onto the deck, a smile forming on her face and happiness apparent in her amber eyes.
“How are you feeling, husband?” Kohaku asked quietly, just audible above the pattering of rain on the roof above them.
Michi had to do a double-take at the name, sitting down beside the Ryu as she coiled her tail around him. “I’m feeling alright, my goddess.”
She giggled at the title, leaning over and planting a kiss on his cheek, running a clawed hand through his messy hair. “I believe you can call me ‘wife’, now.” She teased, snuggling up against him.
“You may be my wife,” he said, resting his head against her shoulder as her claws danced across his scalp. “But you will always be my goddess, too.”
Kohaku flushed at his words, suppressing a squeal as she wrapped him in a tight hug. “I love you, Michi.” She confessed. “I always have, and always will.”
Michi sat in her embrace for a few moments, reveling in her warmth as he gazed out at the still lake below them, light fog resting on its surface as the rain fell. “I love you too, Kohaku.”