(NOTE: This story is a direct sequel to a previous one, found here: )(http://touchfluffytail.org/?story=the-archivists-apprentice-madness-or-the-curious-case-of-philip-howard)
***From the Journal of Lysander, Apprentice to the Royal Archivist***
I can’t even begin to remember how long I sat there, screaming, though I do remember that shining smile in the face of the purple monster in front of me. It faltered at my cries, falling into a look of grave concern. She approached, a comely torso slithering along the lower mass of teeth, eyes, and purple slime. As she came closer, I could do nothing but scramble further backward. The bookshelf rocked precariously above us, threatening to topple over onto me, but I was in no condition to think of anything but putting as much distance in between the slithering creature and my person as I could. The Madness of Philip Howard still gripped me, for his memories latched onto my mind like the writhing tentacles of the shoggoth snaking out to ensnare me.
“Goodness.” she said, her voice low and soothing to my fractured mind. Despite myself, her words made me calm a bit, but I knew this otherworldly magic was just the madness ripping more of my sanity away. I screamed even louder. She came to kneel beside me, or whatever passed for kneeling to someone with an amorphous lower body. I remember seeing my reflection in her glossy surface, the atypical nature of her form distorting my features until what started back at me was a twisted visage of abject terror. My own screams sounded like they came from far off, and in retrospect, I almost feel bad for screaming in her face like that. She looked so concerned, trying to help but being unable to. Nothing she could have done nor said would have served to assuage my terror, for it was her very presence that served to horrify me so completely.
That damned book, The Curious Case of Philip Howard, was at fault. I still don’t quite understand it, and I may never will. Perhaps Philip’s sanity was only ever tenuous at best. Perhaps Shae was an exemplary shoggoth, for the memories of the depths of pleasure she lavished upon Philip was enough to crack a man’s sanity like a dry twig. I suppose he was the lucky one. His mind was able to give in to the madness, while my sanity still gripped me in crushing clarity. Sanity was a cage too small to contain my mental state, and my mind was forced against the cold, choking bars until the pressure threatened to make by brain bleed through them like a sieve. Madness was a gift to the mind, allowing it to discard the weight of knowledge and experience that would otherwise be far too much to bear.
The madness would have provided relief, but it was a gift denied to me. I would later learn that this was a result of protections placed upon the tome, magics to prevent the shattering of sanity for glimpsing that which ought to be left unseen so closely. My own sensibility was far too aware of just how deep into that abyss I had stared. It was a memory I wished I could forget. I would gladly have thrown myself headfirst into insanity if only it would have afforded me some reprieve from the memories so fresh in my mind.
Madam Bianca had never before been so right as when she told me I was not ready for the memory books. She was so infallibly right. The mere memory of the love between Philip and Shae was enough to send me to such a precipice that I would have flung myself off if not for the magical charms that prevented me from doing so. The intensity of the sensation was so complete in its bliss that it shone like the sun, burning anyone who got too close. I found myself immolated in the glare of its corona.
Monsters find deep love with their husbands. Even a lower tier monster experiences more love and affection for their husbands than two humans could ever hope to share. The depths of a demon’s emotions is often too intense for a human mind to appreciate, and the effects of such a deep well of pleasure and love to a human mind and soul is well documented. It is this reason that a lot of the scholars theorize facilitates a monster husband’s transformation into an incubus.
It is with this in mind that I think perhaps the fault lay in the fact that I never knew love. I was a virgin, minus the few experience books I was allowed to have under my Mistress’ supervision. I had experienced sex, and even love, through other people’s memories. However, the vicarious nature of even those memory books was no substitute for experiences of my own. That is not to say I never wanted love. If I am true to myself, I can honestly say love is something I always wished for.
When I was younger, I’d often fantasized about the daughter of the local baker. A bit cliche’, but I was more than willing to give myself to the banality of my crush. She was fair of skin, her hair a burnt red. To tell it truly, I would have had to say that her heavy bosom did more than its share to attract my interest. Sometimes I find myself wondering whatever happened to her. Whatever the answer, the truth is that I spent many a night fantasizing about what it would be like to have a girl like that on my arm.
Though I was born a potter’s son, I was given over to the Historical Society as soon as my gift for memorization was clear enough to my teachers. The Order’s aptitude tests determined that I hadn’t the makings of a Hero, but my mind was sharp and I easily took to routine. My work as an apprentice to the Historians marked the death of my social life, and perhaps the advent of a tendency to live a life vicariously through fantasy.
My life under the Historians was not hard, but it was lonely. The aged scholars offered no company for someone as young as me. Sure, they dolled out unsolicited life advice as the old are wont to do in the presence of the young, but it was a poor substitute for actual socialization. The propensity of the Scholars to feel that outside human contact was a luxury only served to make the lonely nights in the Tower Historia all that much colder.
I loved books, and I had more than a comfortable romance with the written word. That it was my only romance only served to stoke the fires of my imagination until I had built up quite the fantasy life between the baker’s daughter and I. Armed with descriptive verses cherry picked from the most fantastical of tales, I imagined her scent, her eyes, and her smile. I imagined a simple life, where I’d inherited my father’s pottery shop. I imagined our children, always a healthy brood. The image of such a life gave me some comfort, but most importantly it gave me hope. Hope that one day I would find someone to laugh with. To smile with. Someone to love me. In all honesty, it could have been anyone filling in that void, but the baker’s daughter was a good benchmark. In truth, I think all I wanted was a reprieve from the ever present loneliness.
That isn’t to say that all I did was mope around the Tower. No, I did my duties. I served the old scholars, and dutifully listened to what they had to teach. I learned the history of Lestrath, our glorious Empire. I learned to read the old languages, and the new. I learned sums, figures, and abstract math. I learned medicines, I learned the stars, and I learned the family crests and histories of our great nation. It was only when the day was over with, when the evening grew long and I was retired to my chamber, lying upon the straw of my bed, did the chill of solitude find me. The ever present longing for someone to hold always managed to find me in the dark.
The yearning in the pit of my heart only worked against me as my mind reeled from the memories of Shae and Philip’s love. Part of me believes that glimpsing the very connection between two people that I had so longed for, and then being ripped away from it was far too much for my mind to bear. Philip had drowned in the love shown to him. I wanted to join him, but those waters were not mine to swim. I had been pulled back to the shore, cold, and once again, alone.The complete knowledge of what was missing in my life seemed nothing less than agony.
Someone once said that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
I would very much like a few words with that person.
As I noted before, I could not even begin to guess how long I sat there screaming. I remember the taste of blood, which I was eventually told was a side effect of how long I had been screaming. I’d strained my vocal chords until they bled, and my screams tapered off into a whimpering gurgle as blood pooled in my mouth.
At some point after, I saw a light cut through the darkness my mind had receded into. It took me a moment to recognize the figure, but it was unmistakable. It was the face of my Mistress, Madame Bianca. I had never seen her face contorted with so much fear and worry. Her lips moved, and I could do nothing but watch the ebb and flow of her full, pink lips. They danced back and forth but I could not hear the words. They didn’t matter, for I found my thoughts focused solely on a single goal. I wanted to ease her fear. I remember thinking that she shouldn’t be so afraid. I wanted to do everything I could to reach out and comfort her.
Slowly, the world came back into focus. Sight returned, followed by sound. The creature, the shoggoth, still knelt beside me, but I did not seem to find much to fear about that now that Bianca was here. Her face obstructed most of my view, and I found comfort in the sight.
“Lysander!” she cried, “Just relax, everything is going to be okay!” I heard her words, but comprehension was the last sense returned to me. Feeling had already found me, and I became aware of the soft touch of hands about my head.
“Shhh. Don’t try to speak.” she said, though I was not aware that I’d said anything, or even attempted to. “Just relax.” she said, her voice low and soothing, but I was able to notice how forced it was. Bianca was worried. Apparently I mumbled something again, because again came the “Shhhh. It’s okay. I’ve got you now.” Her words filled my head, easing the turmoil in my brain like salve over a burn. The intensity of Shae’s love, the loneliness I felt, and the fear of the creature kneeling beside me all seemed to fall away like water draining through cupped hands. I became aware of a soft white glow on either side of my eyes, and I realized that Bianca was working her magic, her fingers gently pressing on my temples.
As a Hakutaku, Bianca had an affinity for memories. It was the same magic that helped her create the experience books. I had no magical ability to speak of, so the complexities were lost on me regardless of how well Bianca explained them. When clarity found me at last, I knew Bianca had worked her magic in my head to stop the memories from overwhelming me. It wasn’t as if she had taken the experience entirely away, but she would eventually come to explain it as ‘blunting the blade so it didn’t cut as deep’, much as how the memory of a pain is a lot more bearable than the reality of it.
“Madame Bianca.” I said at long last, my own voice unrecognizable as a hoarse croak that sent fiery pain shooting up my throat. Bianca put a finger on my lips. “How many times do I have to tell you? Shhhhh. Your throat is bleeding and your memories are healing. Just calm down and stay still for a bit. I’m going to take care of everything.”
I couldn’t say if it was a spell or just the inability to go against the wishes of my Mistress, but I did just as she said. “Can you help me get him to the bed?” I heard her say.
“Of course.” said the shoggoth, who slithered forward. Some part of me wanted to scream, to recoil again, but the instinct was faint. I allowed myself to be picked up by the purple tendrils, secure in the knowledge that no harm would come to me as long as Bianca was here. Her very presence was comforting, and I took solace in the mere fact that she was nearby.
“Thank you again.” Bianca said, “I came as soon as I could. The alarms in the Library had gone off, and I worried that he’d met some trouble…. Foolish boy.” she said, shaking her head so that her long white hair appeared to dance about. Bianca had always referred to me as a boy. Though I was not yet nineteen summers, I certainly did not feel like I was still a boy. For Bianca, though, I can only imagine my limited life experience and my youth likened me to such. “I warned him about that section… Tch, I’m terribly sorry for your trouble, I don’t think he quite intended to summon a starspawn.” came the voice of Bianca again.
“I don’t think he did, either.“ the shoggoth said, concern evident in her voice. “I just felt the vibrations, and wanted to investigate. It’s not often that we get a mind floating about and poking around Y’quaa. I simply had to see for myself.”
“It’s to be expected, really.” Bianca said. “Phillip and Shae came to me saying that lots of your kind find themselves without husbands. They wrote the book as a way to let people know of the love you can give.” Bianca said. “They were a nice couple.”
“Mmhmm! Shae is my second cousin.” the creature said cheerily. “I’m Shoan, and it is such a pleasure to meet you.”
“Charmed, Shoan. I must apologize that my apprentice was poking around in books he ought not to have. I’m terribly sorry you’ve had to come all this way.”
“Well I’m not.” the voice of Shoan the Shoggoth came again. As I struggled to follow the conversation while my mind swam in a haze of memory healing magic, I became aware of being lowered into my bed. The familiar soft white bedding settled about me as if I were sinking into a cloud. My bed was always like this, and I considered it the highest luxury. The Tower Historia had bedding made of straw and no pillow to speak of. A scratchy fur blanket was the only thing I had to chase away the chill of the night. Such was not the case in the Imperial Library. Bianca had assured me that as Lady Arabella’s personal library, it was afforded every luxury that her Palace enjoyed. Bianca was quick to muse that this was probably just to impress anyone important that bothered to come by the Library. Lady Arabella was not apparently known for her love of books, but she was certainly known for her love of flashy displays of wealth and extravagance.
“Phillip and Shae wrote the book for exactly this reason, you know. This one’s a single boy with a curiosity that leads him to look into things he shouldn’t. He’s perfect~” the shoggoth declared, her voice now a bit too cheery. Again, the word ‘boy’ seemed to unsettle my thoughts, though I could understand the term’s context coming from a horror such as her. There’s no way of telling how old she was. It could very well be in the thousands. “Though, his room is pretty well kept. So I guess he doesn’t need a maid too often, but I’m sure I could find some way to serve him…” Shoan said, her voice getting low and sultry. “He looks really cute, too~”
“I’m afraid that’s quite impossible.” Madame Bianca said, her voice cold and sharp. I tried to sit up but my body refused to move. I wondered if Bianca had worked some sort of holding spell to keep me still and quiet, or if it was just the effects of her memory magic still coursing through my brain.
“Ahh? Impossible?” asked Shoan incredulously. “He’s single and he’s already touched by madness. That is exactly what the book is for, right? To help my kind find husbands? Even if someone already left their mark on him, I wouldn’t mind sharing someone as cute as he is~” The bubbly voice of the shoggoth started to laugh, then paused. Her voice took on a knowing, teasing quality. “Ohhh, are you making that face because you want him? Fufufu, he doesn’t smell like anyone’s left their energy on him, so I think you might have been too slow.”
“That is neither here nor there.” came the voice of Bianca again. If her tone was cold and sharp before, now it was icy venom. “I’m afraid I need my Apprentice at his station, and I can’t have monsters abducting him. You can be quite assured that he has no need of a maid’s service, so you are best served looking elsewhere.”
“Fufufu, we can share him if you want~. He smells tasty, so I don’t mind. I know you white cows are usually slow to move, but it’s okay. I can prepare him until you’re ready to make your mark~”
“I said that is quite impossible. I need my apprentice at his duty station, not fornicating with starspawn.” Bianca said.
“Awww, that’s no fun. You know, sharing isn’t so bad. Lots of my cousins do it. Here, I’ll show you how fun having me as a sister could be~”
“I will have to ask you not to touch me.” Bianca said.
“But the pleasure is going to be… maddening~” Shoan said.
“The answer is no.” Bianca said with an air of finality. “Remove your… tentacles, at once.”
“That’s no fun… Are you even really a monster? You’re talking like a human. I think all these books have made your brain dusty. Don’t worry, I’ll dust it off and make your heart more honest~” said Shoan.
A long, heavy sigh escaped my mistress and I heard the crinkling of paper. “Then I will have to issue you a citation for unwanted touching of Library staff.”
“Ah? You’re thinking of something like that when I almost have you all bound up?” Shoan said.
“Yes, please read it. It’s sigil writing and it says something very important.” said Bianca, the poison in her voice now given way to a distinct weariness.
“Oh, the little symbols… I think… I can almost read it. Im… Imperial Flame Sign… Trap Bomb…? Wait, trap wha-”
At this point I must have lost consciousness because I cannot remember anything but a dull, muffled roar and feeling really hot.
I awoke some time later in my bed. I cannot tell how long I’d slept but I found that light was streaming through the windows and I felt unbelievably refreshed. I sat up and yawned loudly. I cannot remember the last time I’d felt so rejuvenated. The memories from before came back to me, though their effects were dulled. Playing my most recent experience back in my mind’s eye, the memories unnerved me but there was a haze over them that prevented them from searing my mind again. Their heat had cooled and all that was left was the memory of how hot they’d burned. It seemed my brain could no longer touch the madness now that the Curious Case could not push me toward it. I was thankful for this mercy, though I did not know if it was my own mental fortitude or the magic of my mistress. Either way, I was glad the danger had passed and that once again my mind was my own.
“Good morning.” came the voice of my mistress, close to my ear. It seems in my waking haze, I had not noticed how close she was. I jumped immediately and turned my head. The sight I saw caused me to freeze as every muscle in my body tensed.
Madame Bianca was sitting side-saddle in my bed with only a few tatters of clothing covering her. These tatters appeared to be burnt, though her white skin showed no sign of injury. Her hair hung messily about her shoulders as her mouth slowly widened into a smile. My eyes must have swollen to the size of dinner plates, for my mistress spoke again. “Lysander, you look alarmed.”
“Erm. Just a bit, mistress.” I managed to say. My brain searched the vast catalogue of knowledge but came up empty for precisely what to do when you wake up to find your mistress almost completely naked in your bed. “Is everything all right?” I asked, at a complete loss for anything to say. Bianca laughed. “Shouldn’t I be the one asking you that?” she said, her voice soft and soothing to my ears.
“Well, I mean… You look a bit burned.” I said, then immediately regretted it. “Shall I fetch your clothes?” I asked, also immediately regretting it. The sight of Bianca’s mostly naked body was more alluring than my fantasies ever imagined. The fact that my reflexive words were to immediately offer to cover her filled me with a frustrated sense of betrayal. My brain screamed inwardly at my tongue for saying such blasphemous things when the object of my desire was so close.
Perhaps it is some predisposition to fantasy that Mistress Bianca had so often visited my thoughts when I was alone. The hakutaku had stolen the focus of my nightly indulgences from the baker’s daughter ever since I came to the Imperial Library. Saying this, I must endeavor to stress that the two cannot be compared. The baker’s daughter was nothing more than a childhood crush, while I am convinced that my feelings for Bianca were nothing less than raw, primal attraction.
So it was more than a relief when Bianca shook her head, laughing a bit. “No, it’s alright. I’ll get them shortly.” she said, and I found myself already regretting that the view of her body would eventually come to and end. From the way she was sitting, I could see her thighs pressed together and her arms holding her up as if she had been leaning over me as I slept. Her skin looked perfectly smooth, neither muscular nor bony. It was as if she had been carved by an artisan. Her full lips smiled at me and her horns shone in the light like porcelain. I wanted to kiss her and never stop. Her breasts hung perky and full against her chest, her position accentuating their erotic allure. I wanted to reach out to caress them, but I stayed my hand. She was a goddess, and I felt unworthy of seeing such a divine form.
“But I’m feeling much better, mistress. You look burned.” I said, concern welling in my chest as I noted the singes on the cloth that failed to hide her body’s curves from my eyes that drank in every last detail and committed them to memory.
“Just a bit of mana feedback.” Bianca said casually, her tone aloof but clear enough that I was not to press further. Bianca was good at that tone. “Now about you. How is your head?”
I ran my fingers through my hair, taking some quick mental stock of myself. I honestly felt much better. A lot better than I’d felt in a while, though that could be attributed to the naked form of my mistress sitting beside me. She was close enough that I could smell her, the parchment and beeswax aromas of the library hung about her like a cloak. She hadn’t had her coffee recently, for I detected no trace of the rich dark aroma about her. Individually, her scents were ones that I was more than familiar with, but their combination was something that Bianca wore like a perfume. I found their singular note nothing less than intoxicating. It was a scent I would try to catch whenever she passed by, and the earthy, sweet smell of my mistress had more than once sent me scurrying to any nearby seclusion to rub out the stiffness underneath my robes. There was one thing that seemed a little off, I noted, and that was the faint smell of ash and smoke. Apparently mana burn was quite troublesome.
“My head feels a lot better.” I managed to say, unwilling to let Bianca’s question go unanswered. She had always been a forgiving mistress, and my time in the Tower Historia serving the aged scholars had instilled me with a stiff servitude that she often brushed to the wayside. Still, her propensity for forgiveness did little to assuage my terror when my thoughts turned to the full nature of my transgression. I had gone into the forbidden section of the Library, and what’s more, I had delved into the experience books she had instructed me to leave for when we studied together. “I am sorry, Madam Bianca.” I said, the formality and rigid servile nature snapping my mind into the familiar place. “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to disobey you.”
I saw her look away from me, breaking eye contact for the first time as her eyebrows darted up in a shrug. “Well you certainly made a mess of it. Though I find myself curious, what with all the books in that section, what made you choose Madness? It’s certainly not the most popular book, nor the most attractive tome on its shelf.”
I felt my hand instinctively rub the back of my neck as if to massage the guilt from my muscles while my eyes looked away and my head turned. “Well,” I said, “You were gone and I was… Well, I was waiting for you to get back. The Library gets quiet without you, you know? I finished up all my transcriptions for the day, and I wasn’t tired enough to go to bed. So I just kind of wandered the library, and I mean. I guess I just found myself looking through that section. I figured what’s the harm in looking at the titles?”
“What, the written word not stimulating enough for you?” Bianca said. Her words alone would have been easy to misconstrue, and I immediately thought to be defensive. I was instinctively worried that she was angry at my trespass, but when I turned to look at her I saw her grinning from ear to ear. “W-Wha-” was all I could say before she interrupted me. “I know how it must be, experiencing other people’s lives. It’s okay, to enjoy it, you know. That’s basically what they’re for. Reliving the memories of fucking a monster wife has to be quite the sensation, right? Aren’t you a virgin?”
“I-erm. Well, yes.” I said, unable to form any proper defense at this new line of questioning. Bianca was smiling widely still, and her expression was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Never before had she openly spoken of the erotic nature of the experience books. She was right that the sensation of love and sex within the pages of those books was remarkable, and certainly made for an immersive read. Only now did I realise that sex wasn’t just a byproduct of their nature, but a key part of it. From what I had learned, monsters valued sex and love as an integral part of life that held the same importance as things like water and food. It only served to reason that the nature of a book that told the stories of married couples would include their sex life.
“I am still a virgin, as long as those books don’t count, heh.” I said, finding a bit of humor in the situation as Bianca held her wide smile. I thought I would have felt awkward discussing sex with my mistress, but for some reason it didn’t. It felt comfortable, almost natural. I found myself laughing a bit with the absurdity of the situation. “I don’t think they do, but wow. Yeah, those books… They’re quite something, miss Bianca. I really enjoy them.”
“It’s only natural, Lysander, so don’t worry about it. I’m actually really glad you like them. I know I didn’t write them, but they are a labor of love. To see you so drawn to them almost makes me forgive you for the trouble… almost.” she said, her smile betraying the playful nature of her words. “A bit more fun than your hand, hmm?”
“Sooo much, heheh.” I said, once again laughing at how casually we were discussing things even as she alluded to my masturbatory habits. There was a time when I would have been mortified by the mere thought of my mistress knowing about my indiscretions, but in the moment, it felt comfortable to not hide it. “And I guess, if I’m honest, I was looking for something to read while you were away. The Library was quiet, and a bit lonely…” I said, going silent for a second before a thought cropped up in my head. It was a fleeting idea, and it left my mouth before I could stop it. “Really, I only read that one because I couldn’t find anything I was looking for, and it happened to just pop up right in front of me. I actually wanted to see if there was a hakutaku book…”
Madame Bianca’s smile fell as her mouth hung open, agape with shock as her eyes swelled to almost half again their size. I immediately regretted my actions, seeing her smile vanish. “I-I’m sorry, I don’t know why I said that. Please, just forget it, mistress. I didn’t mean that.” I stammered out, apologies blending together until it was just a haze of regretful babble.
“You… You wanted to experience a hakutaku book? You want to know what marriage is like to one?” Bianca said, her voice low and, to my surprise, shaking a bit. I waved my hand in what I tried to make a dismissive manner, but even I could tell it came off as frantic. “Don’t worry about it, mistress. Are you all right? Just forget I said anyth-”
My words froze in my throat as I felt her warm, soft hands cup my face and pulled my gaze to meet hers. Her eyes were deep pools of amethyst and I could not help but feel I would be lost in them, even if they were half-lidded. She smiled wide, her mouth hanging a bit open as the joy was evident in her face. My heart skipped a beat, seeing her radiantly happy and I could only dare to hope that I was the cause.
“My heart fluttered when you said that, Lysander.” she said, her voice little more than a satisfied sigh. I feared those words would still my heart, but I felt it only beat faster and harder. “So be honest.” she said after a short silence, her facial expression hardened just a bit as if to tell me she was serious about her command. “Shoan said something and I think she’s right about one thing. I don’t think I’ve been honest with you. So, I’ll make you a promise. You be honest with me, and I’ll be honest with you. Deal?”
I could not begin to decipher her words, as I thought clearly she had much to hide from me. She was the Head Librarian and I was just her assistant. She did not owe me anything, much less any sort of truth. I felt like I should tell her such, but seeing her expression, I could do nothing but nod. “All right.” I said.
“Good.” she said, smiling warmly. “Now answer me honestly. Do you want to know what marriage to a hakutaku is like?”
I shook my head, what little I could from having my chin resting in her hands. “Well-”
As I started to speak, I saw her smile fall, and my chest grew tight. Words flew out of my mouth unbidden, attempting to explain my response before I could form them into coherent thoughts. “Not just hakutaku, mistress. I wanted to see what it might be like to be married to, well, you.”
An eternity seemed to pass in silence, Bianca looking at me with an unreadable expression. I looked at her, my face the picture of worry reflected back at me in her eyes. She had asked me to be honest, and I had answered honestly. I didn’t want to know what marriage to a hakutaku was like. I wanted to know what marriage to Bianca was like. Bianca was a hakutaku, but had she been any other manner of monster, my sights would have been set on whatever book let me experience her the closest.
The only thing I could hear was the beating of my own heart, and finally, Bianca took a deep breath. As she exhaled, her smile returned, and my heart raced again. “How honest.” she said, her voice low. Social cues were never my strong point, but I could hear the happiness in her voice. “I should be honest, too…” she said, though her tone made me wonder if she was talking to me in that particular moment. Whether it was to me or to herself, she stared into my eyes and I saw a strong determination come to life behind them.
“Hakutaku are not… overt creatures, Lysander. We don’t rape men that we like, and there are plenty of monsters out there that think we are too uptight. Well, monsters are taught from a young age that hiding our feelings in any capacity only leads to suffering. Both for you and the person you like. To deny your feelings is tantamount to heresy, and honesty about the way you feel is the true path to happiness…” she trailed off, looking a bit unsure, but then her voice grew to a strong resolve. “I haven’t been honest with my feelings. I think I love you, Lysander.”
With every word from her I felt the tightness in my chest grow tighter. I felt it may very well burst through my ribcage and I felt every muscle in my body tremble.
“Lysander, you’re shaking.” Bianca said, her voice full of concern. I felt my own face crack into a wide smile, my hands coming up. I placed them over hers, “I think I’ve loved you since the moment I saw you.” I said.
Our hands fell to rest between us, hers still held in mine. “Since you first saw me? That soon?” she said, tilting her head in what I thought was the most adorable manner. “How can you love me just seeing me?”
I looked up at the ceiling, the white paint reminding me of clouds and making me wonder if I was in some sort of coma dream. If it was, then I never wanted to wake up. The happiness welling in my chest was a feeling that if it had been ripped away from me, I would have gone mad all over again. I thought back to my first day coming to The Imperial Library after learning I was to be apprentice to the Royal Archivist. My feelings were only fledgeling back then, but they were there. Studying under Madame Bianca would only feed the flames of my one-sided passion, but I’m certain that even on that first day, I felt the same.
“You were the most beautiful sight I’d ever seen.” I said, looking back to Bianca. I saw her cheeks flush red. It was the first time I’d ever seen her blush. “Only because you spent so much time in the company of those wrinkly scholars…” she said, not meeting my eyes. She looked back to me and gave me a cute little smirk. “You’d probably have felt that way from just seeing the mailmonster, ne!” she said, sticking her tongue out a bit as she teased me. It was probably the most unrefined gesture I’d ever seen her make. Was it because she was finally relaxed around me?
She held the gesture for just a moment before she broke down in a course of laughter, and I could not help but join her. We laughed together, and when we caught our breath, I spoke. “Well, I’d seen monsters just coming through the city, even my escort was one. But you were the first one I’d gotten to actually spent time with. So I’m glad it was you. I think coming here was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You’re smart, and you’re beautiful, and you’re the nicest person I’ve ever worked under. You don’t treat me like a slave, and you teach me lots of interesting things I’ve never known before… So I think that’s why. I guess I was just instantly attracted to you, and the more I found out about you, the more I found that I loved you. Eventually, there was no doubt in my mind. I love you, Mistress Bianca.”
“Saying such things…” she said, her voice low and sweet again. She brought a hand up to her chest, “Trying to make my heart go even faster?”
“Eh, just saying the truth. Like you asked, mistress.” I said.
She sighed again. “And there you go again.” she said, laughing again but softly this time.
“Well,” she said, “I thought you were very cute when you first showed up. You smelled good, your spirit energy was strong… I think it’s because it was so pent up, ne.” Bianca stuck her tongue out again. She looked almost goofy like that, but when we laughed together I knew that it was just one more thing I found to love about her. “You were a fast learner, and you worked hard to do a good job. You’re a little stiff, but I think humans are just like that. That’s why there are monsters to loosen you guys up, ne.” she laughed again. “You took great care of the books, and you always tried your best… Though I think it was when I watched you practicing your calligraphy that I fully knew.”
“Calligraphy?” I asked. It was an odd thing, for I never considered myself to be great at it. Sure, I practiced my symbols because clear handwriting was important to an Archivist and I always considered myself to have poor writing, but I did legitimately enjoy the practice. It was relaxing, and I often used it as a form of stress relief. I never expected to be great at it, and I definitely never thought Bianca would cite it as a reason to love me. She placed a hand on my shoulder and nodded. “Mmhmm. I watched you practice over and over. I saw the care in your brush strokes, and the attention to detail on your symbols. I saw you practice again and again and I thought to myself… well, there’s someone with dedication to what he loves. And… I wished that someday I might have a man who was that dedicated to loving me.”
As she spoke, her words struck a chord that resonated with shattering clarity down to my very soul. Beneath the surface of her tone, there was a wistful sadness. I knew because the same feelings resounded in my heart. Beneath her words lurked a loneliness that mirrored my own, and I knew the taste of it far too well. Before I knew it, I threw my arms around her and drew her close into a hug.
A thousand platitudes came to my mind, but none of them seemed to fit. I wanted to comfort her, to tell her that I would be there for her if she would have me. Every phrase, every sweet nothing I’d read from books and come to know through the experience pages, they all seemed insincere. In that moment I realized that I could not rely on anyone else’s words here, and so I simply spoke the truth. It had gotten me this far, after all. “If I was your husband, you’d be what I was most dedicated to.” I said.
I heard Bianca gasp, and I pulled back from our hug. She was misty-eyed, tears welling up at the corners. “Mistress, are you okay?”
“Yes!” she said, her voice full of enthusiasm as the tears started to come freely. “I’ve just never had anyone say such sweet things to me before. My heart is pounding and skipping far too many beats, ne. My eyes are all watery, but it’s because I’m so happy to hear you say that.” She said, wiping the tears from her eyes. She then leaned forward to hug me again. “I’ll dedicate myself to you, too! Neither one of us has to be alone again! Just us, and the books.”
“Just us and the books.” I agreed. I felt Bianca tense, and then she pounced on top of me. We rolled back into my pillows, and I gave a startled “Gyah!” as she showered my face with kisses. Her hair fell into my face as she lay on top of me, and I could smell the floral shampoo she used in the bath. She laughed heartily again, her voice full of happiness and mirth. She was positively giddy, and I had never seen her so animated before. It was like a weight had fallen off of her, and now she was bubbly and frisky. As she bent down to kiss my neck and my shoulders in her frenzy of affection, I saw her fluffy tail swishing back and forth behind her. It was almost impressive that she managed to avoid poking me with her horns. “I never thought I’d be able to make you this happy, heh.” I said, still amazed at the situation I’d found myself in. Never had I dared to hope that Madame Bianca would profess the same feelings of love that I had.
“Monsters don’t handle loneliness very well.” she said, pushing herself up to look down at me. Her bangs fell in front of her face and she pushed them back behind her ears. It was a graceful, fluid movement and I noted the curves of her body as they moved. She looked incredibly soft, and the smell of her continued to intoxicate me. “I’ve had apprentices before, but only other monsters. They always ended up leaving to find husbands in the world. Most monsters in the capitol do. There’s not a lot of unmarried men in the city, so staying here is not a good way to find a darling.”
I pulled a face, looking up at her. “Did you not want to go find one?” I asked.
“I did. Every monster does. Like I said, I guess I just was dishonest with myself. I told myself that I wanted to stay here with the books. That I was needed at The Library and that if I was meant to find a husband, it would happen eventually. Looking back, it was stupid of me. But, I can’t say too much because it led you to me!” she said, her smile coming back as she leaned down to kiss me on the lips.
I can still remember her taste. Sweet, and alluring. She was a drug I wanted to get addicted to, forever. I can’t say how long the kiss lasted, but I wished it to be an eternity. When we finally parted, she pulled back and I saw her eyes still closed. She ran her tongue over her lips, as if to taste the vestiges of me. She opened her eyes and smiled again, “Delicious~” she said.
“I’m sure not as much as you are, mistr-” I started to say, then she put a finger over my lips to stifle my words. “Not mistress.” she said, shaking her head. “Bi-an-ca!” She stressed the syllables of her name, playfully grinning down at me. I laughed with her, nodding.
“Mistress makes me think I should be wearing leather and whipping you while calling you awful names… which I can do if that’s what gets you off, but don’t call me that for my own benefit.”
“As you say, mis-” I said, purely out of reflex before I caught myself. She raised an eyebrow before I corrected myself. I had always called my superiors Master, as was custom in the Tower Historia. Since Bianca was the only female I’d been subordinate to, I always called her Mistress, and she never corrected the title, until now.
“Bi-an-ca!” I said, mimicking her before we started laughing again. It just felt both good and right to sit there, laughing. When we’d exhausted our laughter again, I sank back and looked up at her.
“Hey,” she said in a mock indignant tone. “Where are you staring?”
I became aware that my eyes had instinctively drifted to staring at the large bust hanging right above me. Her nipples peaked out from underneath the burned rags that hung about her. I blinked and shook my head. “Ah, sorry.” I said, “They’re just kind of right in my field of vision. I don’t mean to ogle you.”
Bianca’s eyes grew narrow, her smile lascivious. “If we’re going to be together, I’m the one you need to ogle, Ly-san-der!” she said, stressing my name out playfully. “You can’t have eyes for other women, you know. And it’s bad to repress your desire. So if we’re going to love each other, then you need to get all the ogling out of your system. I don’t mind your staring eyes as long as they’re staring at me~”
“I don’t need to ogle anyone!” I protested, looking indignantly up at her. In my mind, I didn’t want her to view me as some sort of helpless perv that would be taken in by just any woman’s charms. “I do have self control, you know.”
“Ah, Lysander.” she said, holding up a finger and tapping me on the nose. “It’s bad to repress yourself.”
“I’m not repressing myself.” I said. She only giggled.
“Then why do you need to run off and jerk yourself every time I walk too close?”
I shifted uncomfortably underneath her, “W-Well…” I said, at a loss for anything that wasn’t a blatant lie. She already called me out for my self-gratifying habits, so it wasn’t as if I could backpedal without breaking her request to be honest with each other. She took my silence as guilt, though I’m sure it was written as plain as day across my face. “Ne, Lysander. You’re a pervert who likes ogling his teacher!” she said, teasing me again. I felt the blood rise in my cheeks as my face flushed a deep red, and I looked away. I felt her lean down to rest her head on my chest. Her horns grazed my skin lightly, and she spoke again. “That’s okay. A monster’s husband is better off being pervy~”
The feel of her laying on top of me, her body pressed against mine, and the smell of her hair, and the sweetness in her voice… I felt the anxiety leave my body like leaves being swept away by a cool breeze. “Well, I did say you were beautiful… I guess I didn’t say you were also the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“And what was the sexiest thing about me?” she said, the teasing creeping back into her voice. I could feel her smirking as she lay on my chest.
“Do I have to say it?”
“You have to be honest~”
I took a deep breath, and slowly let it out. Composing my thoughts, I finally spoke. “Your sweater could never fully hide your chest… and even if your dress is long, I could still make out the shape of your thighs and your hips…”
“Ne, Lysander… your heart is beating faster~”
“It’s ‘cause it’s embarrassing to say!” I retorted.
“When you imagined us doing it, while you were jerking yourself… how were we doing it?~” she asked sultrily.
“I have to say that, too!?”
“Well, it’s not a lie if I don’t say anything.” I said, a bit huffy.
I felt Bianca stir, and a slight trepidation came over me. She propped herself up on her elbows and looked at me with a serious expression. “You have to be honest, remember? Otherwise I’ll have to punish you.”
I lifted my head to look down at her, my brow furrowed a bit. “I thought you said you weren’t into the whips and such.”
Bianca just smiled at me, a smile that showed far too many teeth. “I’m into a lot of things if you make me mad, Ly-san-der~”
“Okay, okay…” I said, falling back defeatedly. “I’ll tell you.”
“Good, good. No secrets~” she said in a voice that made me gulp.
“You were on top of me.” I said hastily, hoping to just spit it out and that Bianca was not sadistic enough to demand more details. It seemed I was not destined to be that lucky.
“Like laying on top of you like I am now? Bit of an awkward position.” she said with the air of someone trying to figure out a puzzle. I noticed her eyes taking stock of our bodies as we lay in bed, then looking back at me with a clearly inquisitive look. I continued, if only because I knew she was about to demand more. “No, you were sitting on top of my lap… straddling it.” I said, again trying to just spit out the required information.
“Ohhhh, like this?” she said before I felt her movement. The mattress under us rocked and bounced as Bianca sat up and moved to straddle me. As she sat up on her knees, she started to remove her clothes. I lay there, frozen, as she peeled away the burn strips of clothing. She caught my eyes staring, and her words of approval echoed in my head. So I watched her, and she cast salacious looks at me until she was completely naked.
Her breasts bounced free of the tatters of her white sweater, and her alabaster skin caught the light and made it seem as if she were radiant in her beauty. Her white hair cascaded down from her head, over the base of her horns, and down past her shapely ass. She removed the remains of her long purple dress, revealing a silky, dark purple thong with lacy black trim. My blood turned to fire as I watched her slowly slide these down, the garment slipping over the curvature of her ass and sliding down the downy soft fur that started on her thighs and continued down her legs. Her eyes looked down at me with a lascivious hunger all the while.
Her enjoyment in the fact that I was so transfixed by her allure was evident in her predatory smile. I watched her breasts bounce with her movement, playfully jiggling as she climbed over my body. “Y-Yeah. Like that.” I said as she spread her legs and rested her knees on either side of my hips. The fur on her legs felt soft against my skin.
“Ah, Lysander. Your cock is already so hard~” I heard her say as I felt her fingers wrap around it. I looked down to see her holding my erection and looking down as if inspecting it. Her spread legs ensured that her pussy was mere inches away, and it would take only a movement of her hips before my tip was kissing her entrance. I saw her grin down at me, and she said, “You got this hard just from the sight of my naked body… ” Her voice sounded panting now, almost labored. I could see her cheeks flush red and her body trembled on top of me.
To my surprise, it didn’t feel like she was apprehensive. Though I had been jittery but moments before, my own tension was born of anxiety and nerves. The tension I felt in Bianca, seemed like she was holding herself back.
“Ne, darling, your body is just as honest as your mind!” she said cheerfully. I saw her lick her lips and felt her fingers maneuver my cock into a more direct angle. “So maybe I won’t punish you… as badly~” she said, adding a mischievous little afterthought before she moved her hips to sink down.
My breath caught in my throat as I felt my cocktip spear open her pussy. It kissed her entrance until the weight of her hips caused it to slide right inside; she was so wet that the slick friction glided right from my tip to my base. I closed my eyes and groaned out as the pleasure I had never tasted before threatened to send me over the edge right there and then. It took all of my self control to not cum in that instant. As I struggled to maintain my composure, I could hear Bianca giggle again. “Much better than your hand, isn’t it? Monsters are born to give this kind of pleasure, and now you know why humans can’t resist it. You almost popped just from putting it in! Ah-” She seemed to catch herself, pausing before smiling down at me, eyes half lidded as she grinned maliciously. “Not that I’m making fun of you, darling, it’s just so cute to see you struggle like that~ The more we do it, the longer you’ll be able to last. The first time is supposed to be…” She cocked her head to the side, maintaining that devious grin. “Intense~”
She had not been moving since hilting us together, so I was able to stave off my orgasm through an effort of will. I caught my breath and slowly took a few deep ones as my cock slowly got used to being inside of her. “Hey hey, now!” she said admonishingly. It was the tone I’d heard her use on library patrons that were too loud. It was her stern librarian voice. “I didn’t say you could get comfortable!” She said, raising her hips before sinking them down again. Once more my breath caught, and my body tensed as I tried not to be such easy pickings for Bianca. I don’t know why I struggled against it, though I expect pride was to blame.
Bianca reached forward and ran her hand through my hair. “Ne, darling, it’s okay. Just let it go, and you’ll feel amazing~” She said, grinning from ear to ear. “…Of course, just because you cum doesn’t mean I’m going to stop.” My eyes went wide again and her smile only grew wider, curling more sinister. “That’s your punishment game! You can cum all you want but I’m not stopping until I’m done. It’s your punishment for making me wait this long!”
I felt her hands position themselves on my chest and she began rocking her hips. She drew her tight pussy along my length, easing off to the tip before plunging back down again, leveraging herself against my own chest to push herself away right until she started sinking back. The incredible pleasure coursed through my body, and it was too much to bear. My cock started to twitch even against my efforts of willpower and soon enough I felt myself erupt with white hot electricity coursing through my spine. I felt her press her hips down against mine and she kept pressing into me, keeping my cock as deep into her as she could force it.
“Ahhn, Lysander, you lasted longer than I thought you would have!” she said in between gasps of pleasure as my cock flooded her with as much pent up cum as I could offer. “Thick and goopy, ne. The semen of a repressed pervert~” she said, smiling down at me with her sultry, purple eyes. She rocked her hips, gently this time, eliciting a few final twitches of my cock that deposited yet more semen into her. She leaned down to whisper into my ear, the feel of her warm breath sending goosebumps down my spine. “It’s okay, darling, I’ll take every drop~”
My body finally relaxed after my orgasm finished washing over me and I went limp. Well, mostly limp. My cock remained rock hard and nestled firmly inside of Bianca, who giggled again. “I hope that’s not all you have… Otherwise you’re going to go crazy again~”
I winced at the mention of the madness, and her expression softened. “Ne, Lysander, don’t be so jumpy. I’m only kidding. You’re just going to feel lots of pleasure because now you’re even more sensitive!” she declared before she started rocking again. Sure enough, my post-orgasmic sensitivity meant the sensations of her sliding up and down my cock were enhanced to even further capacity. My body squirmed under the onslaught of pleasure, but was held down by Bianca. I tried to grab her hips to move her off but she grabbed my wrists in turn and denied me leverage, smirking all the while. Instinctively I recoiled from her touch just to get some reprieve from the heightened pleasure, but all I could do was retreat into the bed. The springs therein only served to bounce me back forward, thrusting up into Bianca who more than enjoyed the game.
“Ahn, Lysander. Thrusting back already? Maybe you’re even more fit to be a monster’s husband than I thought! A beast, you are, ne? An insatiable, absolute beast!” she cried out as she rode me, and I could see my cock disappearing into her silken folds again and again. Her moans were sweet on my ears, and her words stirred my lust even further. At long last, the torturous sensitivity wore down to a comfortable numbness that dulled the pleasure to south of mind-searing. I was able to settle back down, as Bianca continued to bounce on top of me. She nodded her approval.
“See, darling? I’m not about to let you fall~” she cooed, continuing her bouncing. I could see her breasts dancing up and down, and I settled to enjoy the show. My arms came to rest on her thighs, and she reached down to rub the back of my hands. “Is that what you fantasized about? How my thighs would feel gripping your hips as you used them as armrests? Resting back while I bounced up and down on your cock? Bouncy bouncy bouncy~” She said playfully. I found myself returning her smile as I came to enjoy the sensation in earnest. Having come down off of my first orgasm and now able to enjoy the lovemaking at a comfortable pace, I found that it was everything I ever dreamed of.
“I’m not stopping any time soon, you know~” Bianca said down at me. “My hips can go for days, and I have to take everything I missed because you were dishonest!”
“You were dishonest, too!” I challenged back up at her. She just smiled and nodded. “We both were. So you just sit back and enjoy, okay? Just drink in the pleasure. We could have been doing this the whole while you were jerking off! So we have to make up for lost time, ne?”
“Right,” I said, settling in to enjoy the ride, or rather, being ridden. The sight of her, and the sound of her sweetly licentious words spurred on another approaching orgasm. “I’ve fantasized about this for soooo long,” she said, and I ventured a smile up at the beautiful figure lavishing me with so much delicious pleasure. “Mmmn…It’s everything I dreamed it would be.” I said in between deep breaths, my own moans mixing with hers into a blissful cacophony of our lust.
Bianca put a hand on her chest, right at her heart. “Ah, you’re making my heart flutter again.” she said, her sweet words a stark contrast to her bouncing tits. “Keep that up, and I may never stop drinking from you!” she said in a warning tone. I grasped at her thighs and massaged the soft flesh. My fingers played through the white fur, enjoying the sensation. “Drink as much as you want. I’m not going anywhere.” I said. I heard her sigh lovingly, and she increased her pace.
The pleasure came again, another orgasm wracking my body as she held me down, drinking deeply of everything I gave her. She joined me this time, crying out in ecstasy as her own pleasure found her, and she grabbed my hand to hold herself steady as I felt her walls clamp around my cock like a vice that refused to let go. True to her word she did not stop even after she came down from her own orgasm, and kept riding me. Again, I lost sense of time, but this was a sweet madness I was willing to get lost in. As long as she was guiding me through it, I would traverse any abyss. The day melted into a blur of blissful agony as we both drank deeply of each other’s pleasure, collapsing into each other’s embrace long after the sun had set.
I remember that was the first night I’d ever had where it did not feel cold.
A smug laughter echoed around the chamber as Arabella, the Lilim of Love’s Faire leaned back in her purple high-backed chair. Seated on a dais surrounded by her council, she had been listening to drudging reports about things she more or less didn’t care about but pretended to. That is, until a courier brought in a cardboard box emblazoned with runes. Arabella instantly recognized them as binding and sealing runes, and gleaned their cause from the letter that had accompanied the package.
“Ahaha ha! I knew she was repressed, but not even I suspected she was ‘literally hand someone a fire trap for suggesting to share her darling’ crazy. Holy shit, how mad do you have to be to firebomb a shoggoth inside of a library? Oh, that is great.” Arabella said, laughing heartily, so loud that some of the council seated close to her winced from the sound.
“Should we send someone to reprimand her?” asked the manticore sitting on the dais.
Arabella leaned back in her chair, shrugging nonchalantly. “No, she’d probably just firebomb the messenger for interrupting her. She’s probably still fucking that human we gave her as an apprentice.”
“Yes, ma’am. I could hear them through the door when I picked up the package.” said the courier. Arabella looked over the tall man, her trademark smirk crawling across her face.
“See?” Arabella said to the manticore. “I know Bianca well enough that she’s got those books protected from anything short of… well, me. Poor shog, though.” she said, looking over the package. “Still, though. We gotta find something to do with this…”
Arabella sat up in her chair and turned to an imp in a maid’s outfit that was standing nearby. “Astrid.” she called, and the imp bounded over. “Yes, Princess?”
“Go fetch the Census Taker and bring her here. Tell her to bring a list of names and addresses for any unmarried male in the outskirt towns known to have a messy house and no magical schooling whatsoever.” Arabella ordered. Astrid curtseyed with a “Right away, Princess!” and hurried off.
“No magical schooling?” asked the ryu sitting at the council table. Arabella smiled smugly. “Someone who won’t recognize a sealing rune when they see it. Someone who can identify runes might not open the package. ”
The manticore laughed. “Fufufu, you’re going to just leave a box with a starspawn in it on some guy’s doorstep? How devious~”
“Well she came here looking for a husband, right? It’d be irresponsible of me to just let her out into the world. Besides, everyone knows the outskirt towns is where you find the humans. A shoggoth wouldn’t know that, so I figure I better help things along lest she bark up all kinds of wrong trees.” Arabella said.
She gave a satisfied look toward the manticore, and stood up from her chair, stretching out. She wore an open robe, always one to show off her naked, lilim body at every chance. She strode forward on the dais, “Well, Mister Courier~” she said sultrily, shooting devious glances to her court. A fire seemed to light behind the eyes of her assembled council as they stood up, grinning widely to mirror Arabella. They strode forward and lined up at the edge of the dais.
“Y-Yes, ma’am?” the courier said, shifting uneasily on his feet.
Arabella’s grin curled sinister.
“It looks like we have a bit of time to kill~”