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/elit/ - Erotic Literature
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Felicis Felinae Orphanotrophium Anonymous 23/07/21(Fri)20:14 No. 27884 ID: d0356a

Inspired/influenced by another of the greatest masterpieces of our time comes another story of "Young man arrives at a new place and must establish a harem of cute, young animal-eared girls in a medieval setting."

Tags: medieval fantasy, kemonomimi, interspecies romance, M/f, harem

I'm honestly not sure if it is yet worth posting, or ever will be, but considering the slow state of this board, it might be better than nothing. Ideas, suggestions, and comments are welcome.

Story will be super slow and so will updates. No sex yet.

Chapter 1 Anonymous 23/07/21(Fri)20:15 No. 27885 ID: d0356a

-... with the conclusion of the last grand conflict, after which the world’s major powers were re-organized with the explicit goal of creating a new order that would ensure peace and stability for the remainder of time. A new moral code was agreed upon by all, from which the laws of every sovereignty are now based and in general equal. Whence life in the olden days was rife with violence, it is now universally forbidden to cause any unjust harm. The greatest achievement is the expansion of this new moral to not only all humans, but to all living …

A famous author once said “To travel is to be alive”. I disagree. To travel is trying to survive. I hate traveling. And yet, here I am… Trying to survive a ride in a wagon that, despite the extra amount I paid for comfort, fails to protect me against the bumpy ground it is rolling on. I still have a long road ahead of me. Several days, in fact. Every major bump and shake of the wagon makes me sigh with fear of what it might do to my head.

My first memories are… unpleasant ones. Not terribly so, by any means, and nothing traumatizing either. But rather unpleasant. You see, I’m… sick. I don’t know what it is. Nobody does. When I was young, I was simply referred to as a “sickly child” with the implied hope that I would get better when I grew up.

I did. Not because my sickness went away, but only because I’ve come to understand it, and learn how to manage it. Now that I’ve reached my early twenties, it barely causes me to suffer any more in my day to day life - with extraordinary situations, such as embarking on this trip, an exception, of course. The price I had to pay in order to gain relief has been a relatively heavy one, however.

Some people - even among my own family members - don’t even believe I have a sickness. They say I am simply weak. Maybe they are right. My sickness does indeed make me weak, and frail. I feel it very clearly, but unlike other illnesses - leprosy, smallpox, the black death, and so on - mine do not show at all on my body.

It is mostly in my head. And mostly, it just… Hurts. A lot. It is also in my eyes, like someone puts a curse on them. I see strange lights and colors, and my vision becomes blurry. Then I often get sick and forcefully expel the contents of my stomach. I become unable to do anything, and must remain immobile - preferably in my bed with the curtains drawn - to minimize the pain, usually for a full day or two. I become completely drained of energy.

Some say that my skull has a wrong shape and is putting pressure on my brain. Others say that there is an imbalance between my blood and biles. Unfortunately, many ended up with the conclusion that it was something I was making up in order to escape having to put an effort into anything, or perform any type of work. I don’t blame them, really, because that is exactly what triggers my illness. Activities that are physically or mentally demanding, or activities that take place in noisy and chaotic environments are most often what sets my suffering in motion.

This has caused me to become somewhat akin to the black sheep of the family. Truthfully, I have been very lucky to have been born into this family, I must say. First of all, as one of the oldest and wealthiest families of our country, there has never been an urgent pressure for me to earn a living. I shudder to think of how my life would have been if I had been born into a regular, peasant lineage.

Secondly, it has also been beneficial to me that I am the youngest out of several siblings. My older brothers were already successful and honorable even as I was a small child, so the responsibility of maintaining the legacy of our family had already been satisfied. Thus, I have graciously been allowed to exist without too many demands or high hopes having been placed upon me. I am still regarded as somewhat of an embarrassment, however, a relative hidden away and out of sight. Which, considering my illness, is indeed what was best for me.

To focus my mind on something else than the sound of the wheels grinding against the gravel underneath me, I take out my copy of the very important document I am keeping in my pocket, and re-read it for what must have been the tenth time. I can still barely believe what I have done, but I’m excited. I then take out the key bundle I also keep in my pocket - a still unfamiliar large iron ring with old, slightly rusted keys. They feel heavy in my hand, my fingers fidgeting with the coarse metal.

I now own an entire castle and its surrounding lands in another province in the kingdom. I can’t believe my luck. I had never had a plan to depart from my family’s estate like this, but I had been blessed with the chance of obtaining my own independence a few weeks ago - something I had never considered I could do, due to my illness.

I had unexpectedly been contacted by a fellow noble from a neighboring country who informed me that he, due to sudden circumstances in his family back home, had to leave the Kingdom and return home. Since he had to leave in a hurry, he was forced to offer the castle he had been inhabiting during his time in the Kingdom at a steep discount, and after briefly getting to know me, considered me fit to make the purchase.

While I had been hesitant at first, he was very reassuring and told me that he would leave the castle in pristine condition and that a large staff of servants came with the estate. Everything would be taken care of for me, I wouldn’t have to lift a finger myself in the day to day matters. It sounded perfect to me. While the castle did not come with any authority or titles, I could lease out the large plots of the surrounding agricultural areas to the local peasants. In short, I could become an independent man, but still live in a comfort that would make my illness bearable.

Since the nobleman was already on his way back to his home country, he couldn’t offer me much time to consider his offer. It was a now-or-never situation. After hearing his descriptions of the wonderful life that would await me, I took the deal. The rest of my family wasn’t so sure about the whole thing, but I made a decision. I’m gonna show them that I can make it on my own.

An entire castle, with a full staff of servants, all in my possession… It wasn’t cheap, of course. It actually cost me practically my entire fortune - the admittedly large amount of wealth I had saved up from the allowances and gifts I had received from my family throughout my life. And now I had spent it all, save for a small remainder I was bringing with me. There is no going back now, but that’s okay. I’ll earn back my wealth from lending from the peasants who will work in my fields.

Just thinking about the sweet life that awaits me makes this hellish trip more bearable. Ahhh… I close my eyes and picture myself in a month or two. Well, it’ll be winter in two months, but in my fantasy it’s already summer again. I’ll be sitting in a lavish chair in the finely manicured garden attached to my beautiful castle, surrounded by cute servants who flutter around to bring me tea and biscuits. I still don’t know what races the servants of the castle are composed of, but it’s probably mostly catgirls. I hope it’s mostly catgirls. They’re the most abundant of the servant races, too.

Ah yes, thinking about that brings me back to my childhood. Yes, while many of my early memories are painful ones - in the literal sense - there is one thing I think back on with fond memories. Like any family with sufficient status and wealth, there were a number of servants employed at our residence. Well… “employed” is what we call it nowadays, but only the wording has changed. While they are not treated as slaves as they were in the old days, they are not exactly free beings either. And how could they be? They are not humans, after all.

They are… Human-like, yes. But they are obviously not humans, neither in physical appearance or in mental capacity. First of all, they have a tail - long and sleek, covered in fur. Second of all, their ears are not placed on the sides of their heads, but on the top - again, covered in fur. I think there are scientific terms for these semi-human species, but in everyday speech we just call them catpeople, dogpeople, wolfpeople, and foxpeople. Or even more commonly, the gendered form of those words. Those are the four species that exist. Since they almost always live as the servants of humans, they are also simply called that - servants.

It is one of these servants that I have fond memories of. While my mother was sufficiently involved in child-raising to not necessitate nannies, we still had a few catgirls who spent time with me and my siblings when we were little. One of the slightly younger ones, Sophie, took pity on me when my sickness began becoming a real problem when I was around six or seven. She was around the same age as me, which is probably why we bonded so well. She became my regular playmate.

I remember that Sophie was very understanding of my frequent needs for silence and comfort. She was always very kind to me, and let me rest with my head on her lap whenever I needed a break during playtime. I always loved that, in fact I might have loved it a bit too much. It was so nice to be close to her that I slowly progressed from only laying my head on her lap when I felt unwell, to doing it even when I was fine.

Sophie didn’t mind - she was slightly more timid than her fellow servants, and she was too young to yet have to do any real labor. She was thus allowed to spend much of her time sitting still with the young master’s head in her, casually stroking my hair. It was tiring sitting upright for long periods of time, though, and I could easily lie down like that for an hour or two. So, at some point, Sophie began lying down as well.

This meant that I no longer only had Sophie’s thighs to rest my head on, but the rest of her body too. I began lying directly on top of her with my head resting on her stomach or her chest, even though there was not yet anything at all to soften her ribcage. There was a secluded spot in the garden where we often went to lie down, a place where we were hidden away from the rest of the household. It’s not like it was a secret that we were often sneaking off together like this, but nobody cared about what we kids did as long as we weren't unruly.

I vividly remember that Sophie was very soft and very warm. I first took advantage of this on a summer day when it was too hot to wear anything but our lightest clothes. The fact that there was only a single thin piece of fabric covering my playmate’s immature body for some reason made the pain in my head much less severe, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. At eight years old, I didn’t think that there was anything weird about laying my head on Sophie’s chest. I also didn’t think that there was anything weird about me thinking that her dress was in the way, and of me pulling it down to her stomach so I could rest my cheek on the bare skin of her torso.

I don’t know if Sophie thought it was weird. She probably did - this level of intimacy between humans and their servants isn’t normal. But she wasn’t in any position to protest or complain. As long as she wasn’t being physically hurt, she had to follow the young master’s wishes. And the young master - me - wished more and more often that summer to rest his head on Sophie’s bony, flat chest. It helped ease my headaches, after all.

What a great time that was… Ah, as good as those memories are, they are also bittersweet. It was only many years later I realized how much I had liked Sophie. Probably much more than a human is supposed to like a servant. But I didn’t think about it that way back then, which is also why I didn’t notice that we grew apart when we approached our teens. That was completely normal: Sophie had more and more to do around the household the older she got, and I likewise had to spend more of my time studying - or trying to study, as much as my head would let me. Teenage boys aren’t supposed to keep playing around with the household servants anyway, though I don’t really know why.

I can still remember it all very vividly, even through the noise and the bumps that are disturbing my attempts at daydreaming inside this damned carriage. Sophie was as pretty as she was sweet, with fluffy hair and fur in a very light pink color. That was another thing that was special about Sophie - while servants can sometimes have hair and fur that are more colorful than the hair of humans, it is rare to see someone endowed with such a brilliant pastel color. It was beautiful.

But that was again not something I really thought about at that age. I only thought about dragging Sophie over to our secret spot in the garden whenever I could feel a headache forming in my brain, wanting to quench it with the comfortness of Sophie’s warm body. Then, on one of those hot summer days, I was dozing off with my head resting on her chest and was apparently drooling in my slumber. Sophie woke me up with a hesitant complaint that her dress was getting wet, so… I did what I had done before and pulled the spaghetti straps down from her shoulders, and pushed the fabric down to her stomach.

I laid my head back down on her bare breast to resume my nap, but I began drooling again which once more made Sophie shake me awake. In a daze - and still with an unpleasant headache - I thought that the least I could do was suck up the spit I had spilled on Sophie’s skin. Putting my lips to her body, I began cleaning her up which eventually brought my mouth over to her tiny nipple. I probably hadn’t even drooled right on top of it, but I had discovered that the mere action of brushing my lips against her warm skin felt good.

Sophie didn’t say anything, but I noticed the tactile difference in moving my lips across her softened nipple compared to the rest of the skin of her breast. Still somewhat half-asleep, I began nibbling on the tiny circle and found it quite enjoyable to do so, since I continued to do that for a while. Sophie barely reacted - and I doubt that she was really feeling anything - but she watched me with a curiosity of having the young master half-sucking on her breast.

Nothing else came of it, but my head felt considerably better afterwards. That’s probably why I, subconsciously, began gradually shifting away from resting my head on Sophie’s lap during my breaks with her, to resting my head on her chest with my mouth idling on one of her nipples. It just felt… Comfortable. And relaxing, somehow.

This continued for a few years until we, as mentioned, drifted apart. We didn’t do anything else either, other than one single time where I childishly wanted to see what Sophie had under her bloomers - it looked very weird to me that she was completely different from me down there. But that was that. I wasn’t interested in that kind of stuff at that age. And when I did reach that age, my sickness had worsened to a degree that made me unable to attend any of the social functions where young men court the members of the opposite sex, and I didn’t have Sophie to ease my pain anymore either.

But all that is going to change. Now, I will be the master of my very own castle with my very own staff of servants. I will set up a life that is as accommodating to my illness as possible, and the status of owning a castle will take care of the rest in regards to attracting a wife. That’s what I’m fantasizing about, to pass the hours during this tortuous journey. It’s now the fourth day of traveling. I’m so worn out that I can barely keep my head up. I already laid my upper body down on my seat several hours ago, wrapping my arms around my head in a feeble attempt to shield it.

Chapter 2 Anonymous 23/07/21(Fri)20:17 No. 27886 ID: d0356a

-... land-locked province in the south. One of the more affluent regions of the Kingdom, the regional capital of Novioda has for centuries been a center of trade and commerce, especially in garments and clothes. To the south-west of Novioda is found the Igniferi mountain range. On the mountainside closest to Novioda is an ancient castle that used to belong to the Durand dynasty, but since the beginning of the peaceful times it has laid dormant with only occasional inhabitants. A stream of water flows from the mountaintop and past the old fortification, and the water has been said to …

I don’t realize that I have arrived at the last stop before the final leg of my journey until the coachman halts the wagon, disembarks from his seat, and walks around to open the door to my cart. At first I thought that we had to make an unexpected stop in the middle of the road for some reason, but as I raise my head I begin hearing the sounds of a bustling city. People walking, people talking, people… existing. Bad news for my head.

While I’m feeling pretty sick, it’s not yet bad enough that I am incapacitated. I step out of the cart and look at my surroundings. I’m in the city of Novioda, the regional capital of the region of Albescia. My castle isn’t too far away from here, just half a day's travel from Novioda. But before I set out for my new property, I have some business to do: I must register my purchase at the regional chancery.

Just as arranged, the coachman has dropped me off as close to the regional administrative offices as he could. After paying him his wage for today, he sets off to a nearby inn to arrange for my accomodation for the night. Then he’ll finally take me to my castle tomorrow, but before that… I need to get the paperwork in order. I’m eager to get it over with, but my poor head… I can feel that I need to take a break after the bumpy ride. Even though it’s pretty cold - it’s late in the autumn - I just need a moment.

I step over to the nearest building and lean against it, wrapping my cloak tightly around my body. It’s funny how your body gets tired after being immobile for several hours, you would think I’d be full of energy after sitting still for most of the day. But I’m not. While I’m waiting for my limbs to be ready to carry me down the street to the office buildings, I figure I might as well get my brain used to its new surroundings as well.

Since the chancery is located close to the center of Novioda, I’m standing at a pretty busy intersection. The street is full of people, and carts are coming through from time to time as well. It’s rather noisy and unpleasant, but I force myself to take it in. This probably won’t be the last time I have to come here. It’s the largest city in the vicinity of my castle and the regional capital, so I will likely be forced to come here from time to time.

Looking at the colorful wooden buildings with their steeply pitched roofs and timber-framed walls, it doesn’t look too different compared to the cities from back home. Well, I’m still in the same country after all, just another part of it. I then switch my attention to the people walking past me, and they don’t seem too outlandish either. Since this is the central part of Novioda where all the high-class establishments are located - the governmental offices, trade guild headquarters, residences of rich merchants, and so on - the pedestrians here are likewise rather stylish too.

That is where I spot the first real difference compared to my home region. The clothes. Ah, yes, I remember that Albescia is the region of the Kingdom most famously known for their tailoring and fashion. While I’m wearing the finest wool cloak and leather boots that I own, the men walking past me are sporting silk doublets and velvet breeches and… Items of clothing that I don’t even recognize. The women, too: Fine dresses belonging to ladies who obviously do not need to burden themselves with any type of labor.

While the styles of this city’s clothes are slightly foreign, it’s not weird that the upper classes are fancily dressed. No, what’s weird is that… Their servants are, too. Much more than I have ever seen back in my home region. While there was the occasional eccentric lord or lady that liked to dress up their favorite servant in a pretty dress now and then, this is on a different level. The amount of servants following behind their owners is surprisingly great, too. They are easy to spot, due to the ears sticking out on top of their heads, and the tails that are prominently sticking out through holes in their clothes. Many have silk dresses that almost seem to rival those of their mistresses, and many of them are adorned with delicate and decorative ribbons. It’s a sight to behold.

One thing seems to be the same here as in the rest of the Kingdom, though: The servants are primarily catgirls. Oh, over there is a foxgirl, and on the other side of the street is a doggirl, but… that’s it. No wolfgirls at all. Despite being only one out of the four sub-human races, catgirls here too seem to account for eighty percent of the servants. I wonder why, actually. As far as I know, it’s not like the other races are inferior servants in any way. My family, too, have only ever had catgirls.

Well, no matter. While it could be fun to stand here all day and look at the pretty servants walking past me, I have stuff to do. I’m also sure to develop a proper headache if I stay in the middle of this bustling street, so I get a move on to find my way to the chancery. The instructions I received from the coachman prove to be correct, so it only takes me a few minutes to find the building that contains the regional chancery.


They’re… closed.

This building houses several other administrative functions, but the chancery is not open today. The attendant informs me that, without a prior appointment, they are only open two days a week. He is very confused why I don’t have an appointment, if I am really here to get a deed to a castle validated. I sigh. I don’t have the patience to deal with bureaucracy… Well, in the end it won’t matter. When I arrive at the castle tomorrow with my deed in my hand, the staff and the servants will recognize me as their new master. Everything will be fine, I’ll just have to take care of the paperwork another time. They won’t be open tomorrow either, so I’ll have to return to Novioda at some later point.

I leave, and have to take another break to counteract the stress from having my plans go wrong. I might as well head directly to the inn now. I’m spent and need to lie down in a dark, silent room. The coachman also gave me directions to the inn, and that’s also only a short walk away. I should be able to manage that… And then I can crash into slumber and recover before the trip to the castle tomorrow. It’ll be nice to be sheltered from the cold weather, too.

To spare myself from the noise of the main roads, I stick to the smaller streets while I walk through the city. The coachman had instructed me in the general direction I should go to reach the inn, and I’ve always had a good sense of direction, so I’m not afraid of getting lost. I’m also thankful that I don’t have to be afraid of wandering through side alleys and narrow passages in a foreign city. Crime has been virtually non-existent for centuries.

I’m not completely alone either while I walk through the twisting and turning streets. To my surprise, there are also plenty of servants here - again, still mostly catgirls. But they seem… Different from the ones walking on the main streets. First of all, they’re not as nicely dressed as the ones who were accompanying their masters over by the administrative offices. These ones are wearing much simpler clothes - plain and dull dresses and tunics. They don’t have any bows in their hair, their hair is actually… Kinda dirty. So are their clothes.

Even more puzzling is how most of them are just… lingering around. Sitting in the shadows, huddled together in the corners, or… just sitting on stairways with a blank look in their eyes, their unkempt tails wrapped around their waists and their ears, which for catgirls are usually always fluttering and moving, immobile. Some of them are really young, too. Tiny little kittens. Maybe they are done with their household chores already? With this many servants around, perhaps they don’t have a lot of work to do and therefore spend a lot of their time idle. But it’s weird that they’re just loitering around outside, especially when it’s this cold.

After a brisk but cold walk, and only having to ask for directions from the local townsfolk three times, I arrive at my destination. It’s a completely average inn, a deliberate choice even though I could have afforded a more elegant establishment. I don’t want to attract any attention until I am firmly rooted in my new home. I go inside and immediately appreciate the warm air. Since it’s pretty late in the day by now, it’s also pleasantly quiet. I immediately feel better.

A single wolfgirl is cleaning some tables by the bar. She doesn’t look impoverished compared to the ones I just saw on the streets, and her ears immediately turn towards me. After a quick glance my way she returns to her work, but her ears are still pointed my way. I step over to the innkeeper to confirm my booking. Or… I guess this is the daughter of the innkeeper, since the bar is manned by a girl who can’t be much more than sixteen. She has slightly curly hair that reaches her shoulders, its brown-beige color almost identical to the hue of her apron. She peps up as I approach, having obviously waited for me.


I lean against the counter, again needing a moment to collect my thoughts. Just a short moment, though - I don’t want to look like a weakling in front of strangers.

“... Hi. There should be a reservation for me.”

“Master Lundberg? Yes, we’ve got a room ready for you. Is this your first time in Novioda?”

They were expecting me? Oh, of course… The coachman must have checked in around an hour ago and let them know that I would come.

“Yes. It is. But not my last, I’m sure.”


The girl’s voice is actually quite pleasant. Some people have a grating voice that immediately pierces my brain, but this one doesn’t. I could probably survive having a short chat with her. I straighten my back and put on my most impressive smile.

“Yes, indeed. You see, I’ve acquired some property in the vicinity of this beautiful city, and I am now moving my residency there.”


Hah, she actually sounds impressed. She’s staring at me wide-eyed and mouth slightly agape. I’m too slow to come up with my next line, though. Damn my worn-out head.

“Have you bought one of the farmsteads outside of the city, Master Lundberg?”

I only now realize that I revealed why I’m here. Oh well… Even though I hadn’t been planning on making it publicly known that I had bought the only castle in the vicinity of Novioda, I’m sure it won’t be a problem letting this girl know. Or… Well, to be honest, I just want to impress her. What can I do… I’m an unmarried guy in his twenties, after all.

“No, not exactly. I will be moving into a truly spectacular establishment. An old castle, actually.”

The barmaid’s eyes widen even more in surprise. Oh yeah, she’s obviously impressed.

“Castle? Oh, you… You bought Emberhold Castle…?”

What…? How does she know? Did the coachman tell her? Well, no matter. She seems like a nice, honest girl. I’m sure it won’t become a problem that someone in Novioda knows that Emberhold will soon have a new resident. I nod and straighten my back again, basking in the look of awe on the barmaid’s face. She really seems flabbergasted… But of course, it’s not every day that a man in his twenties comes around and buys a whole castle.

“That’s right. I just arrived here in Albescia, and I’ll continue on to my castle first thing in the morning tomorrow.”


She looks unsure of what to say. Just the same, I’d like to get up to my room now. After shifting her eyes away for a few seconds, she speaks again in a soft voice.

“Well… I hope you’ll… Enjoy your new castle.”

“I’m sure I will. Now then, I’ll have to excuse myself. I’ve been traveling all day and need to rest.”

“Of course, Master Lundberg.”

She can probably see in me how tired and worn-out I am. She hands me the key to my room, and we give each other a nod before I go upstairs to retire. The room, while much more basic than the lavish chambers I’ve been used to, is perfectly fine for what I need, and I quickly undress and get into the bed. Ahh, finally… This feels nice. I managed to lie down before my head began aching too bad, so my headache will probably be gone when I wake up. Looking forward to arriving at my new home tomorrow, I fall asleep.

The excitement makes the final part of my trip almost bearable. It only takes a few hours to go from Novioda to my castle. It is located on the slope of what I was told is called the Igniferi mountain range, but it’s not so far up that it can really be said to be on the mountainside. The mountain peaks are visible from Novioda, and the closer we get the more I can make out of them. After a while, I’m able to see a village through the window of the cart - Cindervale, I’ve been told it is called. It is quite small and cozy, located in a shallow valley between the farmlands of Novioda and the beginning of the Igniferi mountain range. From the looks of it, we’ll be going straight through it. Then, above the roofs of Cindervale and above the treetops beyond the village, it finally appears.

Emberhold Castle.

Even from afar, it looks just like I have been picturing it in my mind. The nobleman explained how it is actually not really a castle. It’s more like a palace, or a manor, with a couple of defensive elements. It wasn’t built to be a fortress, but a grand summer residence and hunting lodge of a prince many hundred years ago. Even though it’s quite ancient, the noble I bought it from assured me that it had been kept in good shape throughout all those years. That suits me perfectly. Due to my fragile body, I need a functional and well-kept residence for me and all the cute servants who are currently waiting for their new Master. I wonder what species they are? It might be nice with a mix between the four species, since it’s said that they are each good at different things - with catgirls being the best at traditional housekeeping, of course.

I almost disappear so deeply into daydreams containing fluffy ears and tails that I almost miss out on the fact that we’ve entered the village now. I press my face against the window again to take a look at it. It seems like a completely unremarkable grouping of homesteads inhabited by people living off the land, with a simple village square housing a market where the villagers trade their goods. I’m relieved - I don’t see any signs of poverty or misery. It seems like a quiet place with hard-working farmers and honest craftsmen.

I lose sight of Emberhold when we exit Cindervale and enter the small strip of dense woodland that lies between the village of my castle. After another thirty minutes of traveling, the trees thin out enough for it to appear again and I watch Emberhold grow larger and larger as the cart draws nearer. After fifteen minutes or so we’ve come so close that I can make out the details of my castle. It looks absolutely huge against the rugged landscape of the Igniferi mountains, the turrets and towers protruding from the colossal stone walls looking like the whole structure has been frozen in time for centuries. The gray walls are dotted with stained glass windows, their colored lights glittering in the afternoon sun. The roof is made of copper, shining brightly green from oxidation. Even here from a distance, it actually has a very romantic style to it.

The nobleman told me that it has been built in a style that varies slightly from what I’m used to back home. Emberhold is built as a single grand construction, and is not surrounded by walls or a moat like they were thousands of years ago. With the breakout of permanent peacetime, I think castles were primarily built as palaces for the rich and powerful, and not as defensive fortifications. From here, I can make out the main hall and the smaller series of corridors branching out from it, containing what must be the living quarters, library, dining hall, as well as the parts of the castle that houses the various ancillary functions that were required in its heyday. I’m looking forward to exploring it all, whenever my stamina will allow me.

Chapter 3 Anonymous 23/07/21(Fri)20:18 No. 27887 ID: d0356a

-... their lives in conflicts, of which the grandest were known as “wars”, and more shockingly, were regularly executed by their peers as punishment for crimes. Even more gruesome were treatment of other species, which were viewed as inherently lowly enough to slaughter at will, primarily to be consumed. Beasts of burden and beasts of service were counted as nothing but possessions, with no repercussions for abuse and murder. The initial shift of dogmatics argued that having any kind of living beings in service of humans should also be forbidden, but it became evident that to maintain order in the world some species were meant to serve, particularly …

Not only is my castle in itself pleasing to the eye, but this whole area is actually pretty breathtaking. Even though we are still passing through the fields, there is a beautiful vista of the Igniferi mountain range. Tall, snow-capped peaks extend both left and right. To the west, the sun is just beginning to set, casting a warm golden glow over the mountains and the rolling hills below. Ah… If only I could have taken Sophie with me. I’m sure she would have liked this place. The only thing I can complain about is the temperature - it’s cold. That is to be expected since we are only a few months away from winter, but I didn’t expect it to be even colder up here than in Novioda.

We finally drive into the main courtyard in front of the castle. I gather my strength and stagger out of the cart, stepping down onto the barren gravel road. I’m not doing too bad, the long trip considered, there’s just a slight discomfort in my joints. I am upset by an emotional discomfort, however, when I lay my eyes on the grand structure in front of me. Now that I can see the building up close, it becomes obvious that the nobleman had over-promised a bit when he said that it had been kept in a pristine condition.

It’s a dump.

From the outside, at least, it is obvious that Emberhold Castle has seen better days. I tell myself to limit my usual pessimism; it’s probably only the exterior that needs an overhaul. The rest of the castle has surely been kept in a much better condition. The coachman doesn’t look impressed either - I had already asked him if he knew anything about the castle, but he had never even heard of it before. Well, I had never heard of it before I met the nobleman who sold it to me either.

I’m confused, and I take a look around while the coachman disembarks and unloads my trunk. I don’t see anyone coming out to greet me. I didn’t expect much, but surely some of the servants should come out here to welcome their new master. Alas, it is deadly quiet, and the windows all around me are pitch black. Not a single sign of life. I’m starting to get seriously cold, so I ask the coachman to help me carry my trunk up the five steps of stairs to the main door of the castle. He is just as puzzled as to the lack of a welcome party, but his job is now done and he has to return to Novioda before it gets dark. He wishes me good luck and disembarks.

I can feel the familiar pain building up in my head. The physical strain of handling my trunk, combined with the confusion of the situation, are pushing my vitality to its limits. With a heavy, ominous feeling in my stomach, I sit down on my trunk and breathe heavily for several minutes in an attempt to prevent, or at least delay, a debilitating headache. What is going on? What happened - have I arrived at the wrong location? Did the nobleman accidentally give me directions to a different castle? I can’t make sense of it.

I quickly begin to get seriously cold, my legs twitching as my muscles try to produce some heat. I have to get inside. I just need to gather my strength before I can move on. Once I pass through the door in front of me, I will surely be met by some kind of caretaker who will show me the comfiest bed in the castle where I can lie down for an hour or two. I ate the last portion of the bread I had brought with me on the trip here, and I was looking forward to getting something proper to eat when I arrived. Yes, that’s what I need… A hot meal, a warm bath, and a soft bed. I know that all of that is waiting for me on the other side. Just a few more steps…

I stand up, put my weight down on the handle of the great, oaken door, and open it to peer inside.

Darkness. Only the gray light streaming in through large, but dusty windows in the stone walls illuminate the interior. I’m met with a grand lobby, extending a full three stories up into the building. No burning lamps or torches or candles or fireplaces. And even worse… Silence. It’s even more silent inside than it is outside.


I yell loudly into the building, wincing at the sting of pain I feel in my head from my own sudden sound. My voice echo back to me, and then nothing. I sigh. Where are all the servants? Assuming I am at Emberhold Castle, did they all have to relocate temporarily somewhere else until I showed up? I really want some answers, but I can feel that that will have to wait. First, I need to find some food, and somewhere where I can recover from the headache that is at this point inevitable.

I drag my trunk inside, feeling my head get even worse, and close the door. It is… pretty eerie. I have to reassure myself that I am unlikely to be met by any burglars or bandits - there are no signs of intrusion anywhere, and while I can’t exactly see any valuables in the lobby, it doesn’t look like anyone has searched for any either. What it does look like, though, is that I actually am at the right place. The lobby is flanked by two large, swooping stairways that go up to the upper floors, and the marble of the mezzanine in the middle has the words CASTRVM IGNIS TENETIS inscribed in it. Castle Emberhold.

At least it is warm and dry in here, which feels unnatural considering how… Abandoned the castle seems to be. I close the door behind me. Since I no longer have any hope of meeting anyone in here, I’ll have to explore my new home by myself. Just a quick walk around - the dull pain in my head is clearly telling me by now that I needed to rest. There are random objects strangely scattered around in the lobby. I can see that I need a light if I want to venture further into the castle, and after searching around for a minute, I find a rusty lantern with a candle still inside. Next to it is a crude box containing flint and steel. A tinderbox, I think… How do they work again?

With a few tries, impeded by my hurting head and my cold fingers, I manage to light up the candle. I take the lantern and proceed through the nearest open door, only hoping to find a bedroom of some sorts at this point. My mood sinks even further as I walk through a couple of dark, dusty rooms and hallways. This place is truly in as bad a condition inside as it had looked like from the outside. It doesn't make any sense - the nobleman told me he had lived here until a few months ago, but this place looks like it has been abandoned for years, or even decades. I am also puzzled by how it is still warm and dry in here, not cold and damp like I would expect from a derelict castle. I don’t see any moisture or mold anywhere, but I can’t figure out where the heat is coming from.

The silence is suddenly broken by the faintest hint of a sound echoing towards me. I freeze. What the hell was that? Another series of three or four sharp, but muffled sounds bounce against the walls. The echoing distorts the noises, making me unable to tell what it is, but it’s obviously something living. But… Surely, I’m alone here. I’m still not afraid of running into bandits, so it’s probably just a bird or a bat, or perhaps a deer that has gotten lost in the hallways, or… Worst of all, the tax collector. With my heart hammering away in my chest, I follow the sound through another dimly-lit, empty hallway. Only the faintest orange glow is streaming in through the windows from the setting sun. Good thing I brought the lantern with me.

I reach the end, where I find three closed doors. I stop and listen, but I hear nothing but my labored breath. I’m feeling quite sick by now. I check one of the doors, but it doesn’t budge. About to turn back, I look at the other two and notice that one of them is actually not closed, but slightly ajar. Stepping over to it, I cautiously open it and peek inside. This room is pitch black. I’m now further inside the castle, and this room doesn’t seem to have any windows. Holding the lantern in front of me, I take a step forward to let the fire illuminate the space.

It seems to be some kind of storage room, with old furniture stacked together near one of the walls - chairs, tables, dressers, and so on. I take another step inside and swing my lantern over towards the other side of the room, finding a couple of shelves with tools of various sorts. I’m about to turn around, but then I notice… something, down on the floor by the shelves. I stare at the things for a second, but I’m too far away for the candle to really illuminate anything but the general shapes of whatever I’m looking at.

Then the things move.

My head is pulsating with pain by now, and my eyes are beginning to hurt too, so I initially think that it must have been the flickering of the flame. I take yet another step forward, and become able to recognize the shape of the stuff on the floor.

It’s humans. Not just one, but three of them. Three small children.

No, wait… They’re not humans. They have cat ears on the top of their heads, all three of them. They are huddled together on the floor, clinging on to each other and staring up at me with frightened eyes, their tails wrapped around their thighs. Gosh, they’re tiny. Two small catgirls, and one slightly older catboy. I’ve stopped dead in my tracks, not believing my eyes. The kitties are also frozen in place, almost looking like one big, detailed statue of three creatures staring right up at me. But there is no doubt about it. They’re real.

One of the catgirls suddenly contract in a fit of coughing, snapping me out of it. After recovering from the shock of discovering that I’m alone in the castle - my headache returning in full force to let me know that my brain is working again - I begin to panickedly think it over. Have I finally found the servants that live in the castle? If so, why did they hide in here instead of coming out to greet their new Master? Hmm… looking at them, I wonder if they really are the servants of the castle. First of all, their clothes are in tatters. It’s hard to make out, since the lantern isn’t giving out a lot of light, but I can see that the two girls are wearing simple, sleeveless linen dresses, while the boy seems to be wearing some kind of equally simple shirt. None of them are wearing shoes or anything else.

Second of all, it’s not only their lack of proper clothes that worry me. They themselves are a sad sight to behold. Their hair is messy and dirty, and their bodies are nothing but skin and bones. Lastly, they’re too young - the girls can’t be more than ten years old, while the boy is perhaps around twelve. A bit too young to be employed as maids or housekeepers. Maybe the previous servants had been bred and had given birth to these children? If so, why had they been left here? From what I’ve seen of my castle so far, it’s been lying dormant for quite some time. No, they must have arrived here while it was still empty.

Well, what better way to find out what is going on than to ask them? It’s not like catgirls can’t speak. Despite my still worsening physical condition, I instinctively take a step forward and open my mouth.

“Hey, what are yo--”

I’m instantly met with a loud hiss from the catboy, who bears his fangs and glares aggressively up at me. The two girls cower and try to hide themselves even more against their older companion. The girls have their ears flattened against their head, while the boy’s are at an angle to pick up any sound I might make. I stop, actually getting a little scared. While I probably won’t have any trouble fending off an attack from such a small catboy, I’m too weakened by now to want to take any risks. I slowly walk backwards, my eyes locked with the boy as if we had already entered a fight to the death.

Nothing happens, though… And this sudden stress is more than my body can take. Even through the adrenaline, I can feel that I’m now reaching my limit. I keep backing away until I bump into the wall opposite the kitties. With barely any strength left in my body, I slump down to sit on the hard floor up against the wall, just like the kitties are sitting up against the shelf. I miraculously managed to not drop my lantern, so I place it on the ground as well. Its orange flame is just barely illuminating the room, allowing me to make out the outlines of my feline companions.

I still can’t make any sense of it. Why has the splendid castle I bought turned out to be such a dump? Where are all the servants who should be living here? And… Why does the stone wall feel so warm against my back? The kitties are watching me intensely, though they seem to have calmed down a little now that they can see that I haven’t come here to harm them. I expect them to get up any time and run away from me, but for some strange reason they don’t. They stay immobile.

And so, we sit here. In silence. None of us makes a sound, except for one of the kitties, who coughs again every now and then. Sitting down is making my head feel a little better, so that’s always something. I use the time to study the three kitties sitting across from me at the other side of the room. I only grow more and more confused the more I look at them. Why haven’t they run away? While they are not staring at me anymore, the boy is still eyeing me suspiciously with regular intervals, his ears flickering every so often. If they are so scared of me, why are they staying? What catpeople might lack in wit and intelligence, they more than make up for it in agility. They would have no problem running out of the storage room, especially not now that I am sitting on the floor far away from the door.

It’s a shame that the kitties are so dirty and downtrodden. Even though I still can’t tell whether they are intruders in my castle or not, I begin to feel sorry for them. How could I not? They were just little kitties, after all. And the two girls look quite cute too, despite their grimy looks. They have semi-long hair reaching down to their shoulders, and it would probably have been all smooth if it had been taken care of. Due to the monotone and dim light from the lantern, I can’t really make out the colors of their hair and fur, but one definitely has darker features than the other.

Then there’s the boy. He definitely has a very light hair color, and it has been a while since he has had a haircut, since it is actually a bit longer than my own - and my hair is slightly longer than appropriate, with my bangs falling over my forehead and ears. I begin studying his face, something he clearly notices with annoyance. He has a hard look in his almond-shaped eyes, glaring at me occasionally as if frustrated that he can’t shield himself from my gaze. He has a surprisingly pleasant face too, with a small, pert nose and a round and still childish head shape. He is actually… kinda… cute.

Wait a second…

Is he really a… she…?

I can’t tell… Maybe there’s a way to find out.


No answer. He… Or, she, simply glares at me again, obviously frustrated that I attempt to speak to them once more.

“What are you doing here?”

Still no answer, except for another series of coughs from one of the girls. Are they sick? Are they mute? The girls don't say anything either, but are simply looking at me while still clinging to the older one. All catpeople learn to talk, they are no different from us humans in that regard, so I’m sure that they could understand me.

“How long have you been here?”

“What’s your names?”

Finally, one of the girls - the dark-haired one - opens her mouth.

Chapter 4 Anonymous 23/07/21(Fri)20:19 No. 27888 ID: d0356a

- … that differs from man in three major ways: having a furry tail, having their ears on the top of their head and likewise covered in fur, and possessing an inferior nature of the spirit. Servants are most often found employed in families of status and wealth, though it is not uncommon for individuals to also have bonded with a single servant. When harming and killing all living creatures indiscriminately was outlawed, so was the practice of slavery. However, it soon became clear that the sub-human species needed to be …


“Quiet! Don’t talk to him!”

She is immediately and harshly silenced by the boy. Except now I am pretty sure that that isn’t a boy. While the tone of her voice hadn’t exactly been pleasant, it sounded too soft to be that of a male.

“What? Why not?”

I try to get a conversation going, but without success. The smaller, dark-haired girl follows the order from the white-haired one, and doesn’t reply to my question. They all three just keep staring apprehensively at me. I sigh and give up. I don’t have the mental energy for this.

Sitting still like this for a couple of minutes, fiddling with the handle of the lantern, helps me recover and I eventually feel myself being able to think straight again. While I’m starving at this point, I still primarily just want to find somewhere to lie down and sleep. I can’t do it here, on the hard stony floor without anything to keep me warm. And I can’t just go to sleep right in front of these catgirls either. While servants acting violently is unheard of, I… Don’t know if I can trust them to not mess around with me. They seem to be pretty feral.

There has got to be a bedroom around somewhere, with a door I can lock or barricade. I just have to find it. All four of us lock eyes while I slowly stand up and exit the storage room, the ears of the kitties laying flat against their heads in fear of me moving again. I take the lantern with me, feeling a little guilty of leaving the girls in the dark again, but I know that their eyes are way better in the dark than mine. I leave them behind and go back to where I came from, and decide on a different hallway which takes me further into the depths of the castle. It is deadly quiet again..

Messy rooms behind half-closed doors… cobwebs… Dirt, and the occasional piece of furniture here and there. There really isn’t much of value in this building. I can’t tell if the place has been looted, or if the nobleman sold as much of his belongings as he could before selling the castle to me. Well… I doubt that the nobleman actually lived here at all.

I try to remember where it looked like the residential chambers should be, from the view I had of the castle in the cart. I don’t find rooms that contain as much as a blanket, however, but I find something else. Swinging yet another big, heavy door open, I realize I’ve found the castle’s kitchen. I’m more hungry than I remember ever being in my entire life, so I step inside to take a look around. It’s just as sad and empty as the rest of the rooms I have seen. No sign of food anywhere, there are only a few pieces of cooking utensils and tools scattered around.

At the far wall is a closed door behind which I assume is the pantry. My headache is returning now that I am moving around, but if I’m lucky, there might still be something in there I can eat. I make my way over to the door, noticing that it is hanging slightly crooked on its hinges. No matter, as long as I can get it open. I give it a push, and… Nothing. I can’t get it open.


This can’t be happening… It’s not like I’m in any danger of dying of hunger just yet, but I really don’t want to starve tonight - or tomorrow either. I take a step back and launch myself at the door. With an awful screeching sound that hurt my ears, it budges slightly open. The crookedness is making it scrape against the stony floor. I give it another hard push, but even when using all of my strength - and now with great pain in my head - the bottom part keeps getting blocked by the floor. Alright, I’ll have to do this the hard way. I begin alternating between repeatedly kicking and slamming my shoulder against the door, and centimeter by centimeter I force it forward and into the darkness of the pantry.

It hurts my shoulder, but I keep doing it. It’s not like I have any better options if I want to find some food around here. And finally, after slamming myself against the door more times than I can bother to count, the top hinge suddenly breaks loose and the door abruptly pivots open, swinging on only its bottom hinge to fall forward into a shelf behind it, creating a gigantic racket from all sorts of jars and boxes falling down onto the floor. My ears now hurt as much as my head, but I got it open! Regaining my balance, I pick up my lantern and step into the pantry.

I almost begin crying tears of joy when I see that my hard work hasn't been for nothing. It isn’t appetizing, but the pantry still contains dried and salted foods of various kinds. Grindgreens, chewstalks, savorshoots… It’s the most basic of foods, but most of it looks edible. I remember learning as a child that after the War some foods were cultivated to, if conserved correctly, be edible for decades. I’m just about to decide which one to try first when I hear the echoes of a voice bouncing between the walls of the hallways behind me.


Startled, but remembering that I’m not exactly alone in the castle, I spin around and see a face peeking out from the hallway through the kitchen. It’s one of the younger catgirls, but it wasn’t her voice that just yelled out. It came from somewhere further away. She’s looking at me with a scared, but also curious gaze, one of her ears turned sideways and her tail sticking straight down towards the floor from underneath her dress. The voice from before repeats itself. I can hear the fear and desperation in it.

“Ari! Get back here! You don’t… argh!”

The stern words are interrupted by a painful cry. Ari, which is apparently the name of the curious catgirl who had followed me here, turns her head around and looks over her shoulder. I slowly walk out of the pantry and into the kitchen, unsure of how to interact with my unexpected stalkers. I’m not surprised that Ari could sneak up on me, since I remember Sophie also being very agile and able to move silently around. I can hear some very faint sounds of discomfort coming from the hallway, and Ari is still looking at whoever is making them, her ears flickering as if they can’t decide whether to have their attention towards me, or the hallway. Ari then opens her mouth.

“Maaya…! He managed to get the door to the pantry open!”

I stand still, waiting to see what happens. But… Nothing happens. After a few seconds, it sounds like whoever is in the hallway is having great difficulties moving around, but they don’t say anything. After a few more seconds, Ari turns her head to look at me. She doesn’t look that scared anymore, but rather like she’s unsure of what to do, her tail more relaxed and swaying slightly from side to side.

Wanting to see what is going on, I slowly approach Ari but walk past her to peer down the hallway, holding the lantern out in front of me. Six meters or so away from us, I can just barely make out that the older catgirl is half-kneeling on the floor and leaning against the stone wall. She stares at me with reflective eyes that are at once full of fear, anger, pain, and embarrassment. She tries to make another step towards me and Ari, but stumbles and cries out again. She is obviously in great pain.


The smaller catgirl rushes over to her friend, whose name must be Maaya, and drops to her knees next to her. She puts her hands on her shoulder, but she’s obviously unsure of what to do. I also slowly make my way over towards them, my approaching figure making Maaya scramble around on the floor. I want to know what is going on. This is all very unusual behavior of catgirls. Maaya is now holding both of her hands around one of her ankles, and even with the dim light from my lantern and the last rays of daylight coming in through the dusty windows, I can see that it doesn’t look good. I’ve never seen an ankle that swollen before.

“Ari, get… get back to Isa!”

Maaya stops moving and almost hisses at me while at the same time trying to speak to Ari, but the smaller catgirl doesn’t move away.

“But…! He got the pantry open! I can smell food!”

Huh, I couldn’t smell anything from the preserved food I was looking at before, not even when I was standing inside the pantry… Maaya looks up at me, and the pieces start falling into place inside my tortured brain. These girls didn’t have the strength to get that door open, so… They’ve probably been starving. That’s also why they look so thin. I can see the two of them a bit more clearly now that we are out of the dark storage room. They really look dirty and frail, I’ve never seen someone - humans or servants - in such an unkempt condition.

Ari stares bewildered at Maaya, and Maaya stares at me with clear hostility, and I stare back at the two of them. We are all silent. What the hell should I do? They’re most likely trespassers and squatters. At least, I’m sure they’re not servants that used to live here back when Emberhold was still inhabited. This place has been deserted for longer than these kitties have been alive, and since they haven’t been able to get into the pantry by themselves, they must have gotten here somewhat recently.

But I can’t just grab them by the hair and throw them outside either… They’ll freeze to death. They’re weakened enough as it is, and the older one, Maaya, barely seems to be able to walk. Even when I approached her just now, she tried to scramble away from me but gave up with another look of pain on her face. She is still clutching her swollen ankle… Weird. Catgirls are agile, it’s rare for them to hurt themselves. It must be because she’s weakened by starvation. Her ears are flat against her head again, while Ari’s are pointed towards Maaya.

I’ll have to think of what to do with them later. My head is killing me, and I almost have trouble walking around myself at this point. I’m also starving, and getting some food into my stomach would help. I stagger away from the two catgirls and back through the kitchen to get to the pantry. It’s gonna be a sad dinner for me tonight, but at least I’ll get some sustenance. I take some dried savorshoots and chewstalks out of their jars, looking at them for a moment. This isn’t right… I’ve got all this food for myself, basic as it is, while there’s those two kitties sitting out in the hallway, probably starving even more than I am. And the third kitty somewhere else.

I pick up as much dried food as I can carry in one arm, I head back to where I left the two girls. It’s quite difficult handling the food while still having to carry the lantern in one hand, but I manage it. They’re still there, kneeling down on the floor. I feel a sting of pity in my heart… I think that the older one is unable to move any longer, and the younger one doesn’t know what to do. They instantly have my eyes on me again, still being on guard. I kneel down in front of them, with Maaya backing slightly away, but their eyes light up and their ears perk up when they confirm what their noses are probably telling them. I’ve brought them something to eat.

Once I show them the food, I can almost see on their faces how their hunger overcomes their fear of me. But it doesn’t completely go away. It’s not that easy to win over a feral pair of stray kitties, it seems. Well, that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m just being considerate to animals, as I’ve been brought up to be. I offer them the chewstalks and while Maaya is hesitant, Ari slowly reaches out and accepts it. Leaning back, she sniffs the long, dark-green vegetable and gives Maaya some. Once the older catgirl also validates the editability of the food, they shove it into their mouths to devour it. It’s gone within seconds.

“Wow, you must be really hungry.”

They look at me again, still unsure of what to think of me. I show them that I’ve got more food, and their faces light up again. I smile softly, trying to show them that I don’t mind sharing. Their ears have become slightly more relaxed at this point.

“There’s plenty of food in the pantry. You can have some more.”

Ari leans forward and accepts it again - she has an easier time moving around than Maaya - she shares some with her friend. Then Maaya turns her head towards the younger catgirl.

“Go get Isa.”

That must be the third catgirl I saw. Ari nods and stands up, and runs down the hallway while simultaneously eating a savorshoot. Maaya turns her attention back to me, large eyes and fluffy ears still cautious towards me. I can’t blame her - I’m much larger than her. I move a little closer so I can hand her a savorshoot as well, and our fingers briefly touch once she takes it from my hand, one of her ears flickering. I put one in my mouth to eat myself, and we keep our eyes locked as we both begin to chew the dried food. Like two animals that are still ready to fight or flight.

The savorshoot is entirely palatable, despite the taste being far away from the food I’ve been used to eating. It’s still better than what I could have hoped for, considering my situation, I guess. While I still got a terrible headache, it does feel good to get some food into my stomach. After a few savorshoots and chewstalks, I even feel my head clear sufficiently to make another attempt at talking with the catgirl in front of me.

“... This place is a dump, huh?”

She doesn’t say anything, but keeps her eyes and ears on me while she eats a chewstalk, albeit slower this time. I try again.

“Good thing I got the panty open. We might all have died of hunger otherwise.”

While I would have been able to walk down to the village and get some food somehow - perhaps by selling some of my clothing - I would probably have just laid down to die before degrading myself to that. Maaya, for the first time acknowledging my words, nods slightly. It’s now pitch black outside, and from the yellow glow of the lantern I can just make out how her tail has started swaying slowly behind her.

“Have you been here for long?”

Maaya stays still for a couple of seconds, and then shakes her head. While she’s still suspicious of me, at least I’ve got a line of communication open now. Sharing a meal with someone really brings people together, huh. I can use this opportunity to introduce myself; that’s the first thing you should do when trying to get to know someone, right?

“So, uh… My name is August. I’ve… I bought this castle. I don’t know why you girls are here, but… I just arrived, and… Then I found you.”

What am I doing…? I’m usually better with words, but my aching head is making it difficult to articulate myself properly. Oh well, I might as well give up any act of trying to look like someone who’s his things together. I probably look just as much like shit as I feel like shit. And what does it not say about me, that I’ve been tricked into buying this goddamn ruin and are now bumbling around it like an idiot in the dark. Oh well, at least we’ve got something to eat.

Or… I had something to eat. We finished the food I brought with me from the pantry. And with perfect timing… Because there comes Ari, bringing the third catgirl - Isa - back with her. Ari looks hungry and Isa looks scared, holding on to Ari’s hand. Isa breaks out in a fit of coughing, holding her other arm up over her mouth. So she’s the one who must be sick. Maya is keeping a watchful eye on me, her ears twisting and turning, probably nervous that I’m gonna do something bad now that they’re all three together again.

Shadow 23/07/24(Mon)00:05 No. 27889 ID: 11f6e3

I would say it's worth posting. You've taken some time to do some proper world-building, some of which our protagonist isn't aware of. I like that while he's self-centered, it's because of his upbringing. He's a good person at heart, just woefully ignorant of how the world works. Partly because of said upbringing and partly because of how his illness treats him (migraines before medication must have suuuuuuuuuucked). He's had one rude awakening so far, and I'm looking forward to more as he learns and expands himself. Also looking forward to learning more about the girls and seeing their relationship develop.

I like where this is going. 322 23/07/25(Tue)05:12 No. 27891 ID: 890a58

As shadow said, good foundation giving us life to his world. So far I'm enjoying the plot and it's promising. I think we've got the idea now he's hurting and we might not forget it, ever. ;). All of them are in dire straits so do they have a rescuer on the way or are they going to tough it out together?

Anonymous 23/07/27(Thu)03:04 No. 27892 ID: cbfee9

Definitely worth continuing. Good world building and character construction. The castle has a certain House of Hammer vibe with catgirls instead of damsels in distress. MC isn't super smart and worldy wise, unlike many Mary Sue characters. Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan is the only crippled MC I can think of and he is a genius and super manipulator as compensation.
Underpeople stories have had a following since Cordwainer Smith wrote The Ballad of Lost C'Mell. He was a glowie's glowie, State Department from birth and the president of China was his godfather. You are wearing his shoes well.

Chapter 5 Anonymous 23/07/29(Sat)22:49 No. 27893 ID: e7fdd6

… far back as written sources exist, with some of the earliest descriptions being in NECESSITVDINEM DESIDERII which mentions a particularly resourceful lord, Orlando, and his several servants of which his most precious was a vulpes. While vulpes (and their related species, canis and lupus) are still occasionally seen in some households, the servants most often encountered today are feline. The original meaning and etymology of these words has been lost to time, and today they are …

“Where’s the food?”

Ari lets go of Isa’s hand and steps closer to me, sniffing the air. She can probably smell that I’m not carrying anything anymore. We might as well all go back to the pantry and eat there, so I stand up and raise my arm in the direction of the kitchen.

“There’s more in the pantry, we can… whoa…!”

Dammit… I stood up too fast. I almost pass out, and have to crouch slightly down again to get my blood pressure under control. Damn my head. Ari and Isa take a step back. I just need a moment…

There. I stand up straight.

“I’m okay, I just… Anyways, I’ll show you the way.”

I immediately feel stupid - Ari already knows where the pantry is. Whatever. I take a step down the hallway but the three catgirls don’t move. The two smaller ones are staring at Maaya, who then slowly tries to stand up on her feet, still leaning against the wall. But she doesn’t even get halfway up before she lets out a pained grunt, and then plops back down on the floor with a painful cry.

Ouch… It’s almost painful for me to look at too, I can see that she must really be hurt. Did she crawl all the way here from the storage room? There is a mix of frustration and embarrassment through the painful distortion on her face, her teeth gritted and her eyes tearfully staring down at her tiny hands pressed against the floor, ears drooping down in sadness. She must really be injured somewhere.

Ari and Isa - coughing a few times - rush over to her, but it’s obvious that they have no idea what to do. They just keep quietly saying Maaya’s name while staring helplessly at her. With how injured Maaya is, it’s probably impossible for her to lean on her small companions to walk. I watch the three of them for a moment. I don’t owe them anything, but… They’re starving. And one of them is seriously injured, and another one is sick. I can’t just ignore them.

Summoning the bit of strength I still have, I step over to kneel down next to Maaya. She glares up at me with fear overruling the pain in her eyes, her tail becoming straight with apprehension. She likely feels completely defenseless, something I know catgirls hate. Ignoring her hostile attitude, I look down over her legs. She’s pressing both of her hands onto one of right knee. That must be what’s hurting. Further below, her ankle also looks… Bad. The skin has scar tissue after a recent and big scratch, and her tiny, bare foot is slightly swollen as well. No wonder she can’t walk.

Without saying a word - I don’t even think I have the mental capacity to speak anymore - I forcefully put an arm around her shoulders and an arm underneath her knees to pick her up. She immediately becomes frightened and begins to struggle, but stops almost as quickly and grits her teeth in pain again. Oops… This is what happens when I can't think straight. I shouldn't touch her leg if it is injured.

Almost by instinct, I try to shush her while readjusting my grip to something that won't put pressure on her leg. The only way to get that to work is to put my arm under her butt, and then hold her up against my chest. Just like you would carry a little child. Well… I guess this kitty is still a child. She is certainly small, compared to my grown physique. And lighter than I had expected. Even with my pulsating headache, I have no trouble carrying her like this.

I don’t know if she can sense the care I am taking in holding her, but she stops resisting and accepts being carried. Good, I would have given up trying to help her if I had to do it by force. Standing up, I slowly carry her to the kitchen with the other two kitties following close behind me, the bare soles of their feet clattering against the warm stone floor. The light from the lantern is strangely following us, and when I turn my head around I see that Isa and Ari are working together to carry the lantern with them, looking up worried at their older friend. Maaya herself is keeping her head down, probably still ashamed of her vulnerable situation. I carry her through the kitchen to get into the pantry, wanting to put us as close to the food as possible. Good thing we didn’t have to go that far, I feel like I am about to pass out. I carefully set Maaya down on the stone floor, before almost collapsing right next to her.

I’m not super happy that we have to degrade ourselves to sit on the bare, dusty floor. Through the pain in my head, I notice that the stones beneath us here are also comfortably warm. I sense Ari and Isa being in the pantry with us, and I sluggishly instruct them to bring something to eat for both me and Maaya. A pair of small hands gives me something I don’t even register what is, and I bring it to my mouth to eat it. It’s not exactly good, but it’s not bad either. I’m given another one, and then another one. Tap tap tap, small feet keep pattering around me and Maaya. Once my stomach is full, I lie down on my side.

I’m completely done.

I can’t do anything more at this point. I can only hope that the catgirls aren’t gonna slit my throat, and that I’m not gonna throw up and choke on my own vomit. My headache is worse than I’ve ever experienced before. But it’s nothing compared to how utterly destroyed my mental state is.

It’s over. I’ve been had.

I expected to arrive at a beautiful castle where an abundance of cute servants would tend to my every whim. A true paradise. Instead, I’m now laying on a filthy floor in a derelict ruin that is only inhabited by a couple of young, semi-feral catgirls. I traded almost everything I had for this. I gave it all up, and there’s no going back. I feel so bad, so stupid, and so ashamed of myself. The mental and physical pain I’m in almost makes it feel like I’m dying. I might as well.

I pass out.

Losing conscience is a funny thing. It’s not like sleeping, where you do in some way sense the passing of time. When passing out, everything quickly fades to black and you then immediately recognize that you are conscious again, no matter how much time has passed. I have no idea how much time has passed just now. I feel… Extremely weakened and sluggish, of course, but also… Surprisingly comfortable. Where does this pleasant feeling come from? Is it from the heat of the stones underneath me? Partly. After an indeterminable amount of time, I become able to tell that it actually comes from the back of my head. My head still hurts pretty badly, but not as much as before. There’s something warm pressing against the back of my head, and it’s not the floor. It’s much softer. It’s… skin.

The signals from my eyes slowly begin making sense to my brain. I’m looking up at a familiar face. Oh, if it isn’t… Sophie? My cute little friend from my childhood. So, I must have died, and gone to heaven. I’m back in the garden, having napped while resting my head on Sophie’s lap. But… Something looks off. Why is Sophie’s hair not pink any more? I blink a few times, and notice the two other Sophies in the periphery of my vision. Those Sophies also look weird. I blink a few times more. Why do they all look so… worried? They are all observing me. I blink a few times again, my short-term memory returning.

Oh, right.

I’m in Castle Shithole, or whatever its name is. And these three faces staring down at me aren’t cute, obedient servants belonging to my family, but run-away catgirls that are squatting in the ruin I’ve been conned into buying. I close my eyes again, wishing I could fall back into the nothingness. I can’t. At least I’m somewhat comfortable. Maaya’s thighs are nice and warm. I am only allowed a moment's respite, however, as my headache suddenly registers in my brain again. God, it hurts. I can barely stand it. Why couldn’t I just have stayed unconscious?

The pain makes me restless, but my body is too broken and exhausted to do anything but rest. The only thing I manage to do is open my eyes again. I find myself staring up into the pair of eyes above me, the cat-eared face of Maaya hovering above my head. Grey… She has beautiful, almost sparkling grey eyes. In the golden candlelight, they are so brilliant that they seem to radiate a light from within. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see a pair of additional flames providing illumination. The smaller kitties have probably found some more candles in the kitchen, and brought them here. It’s not as dark as before. I can now see the features of Maaya’s face more clearly.

She’s super dirty. Her skin is almost as dirty as the dusty floor. But she has a cute, round face, with slightly plump lips and long eyelashes. Her locks of hair are flowing over her forehead and the top of her neck, but I can’t say it’s very pretty. I still can’t really tell its real color, since the candlelight is bathing everything in orange, but it seems ashy-grey and messy. Even so, it feels like it is an angel that is looking down at me from above. Her triangular ears are standing straight up from the top of her head, her attention fully on me. I return my gaze to the almond-shaped eyes. They are super-focused, staring at me, but she does not seem to be scared of me any more. Rather, she seems to be looking at me with… worry.

There are so many things I try to think about, so many questions I want to ask. But I can’t. My headache is killing me. I find myself beginning to drift away again, floating off to sunny grassy fields and pink, fluffy hair. But another ache of pain pulls me away from that too. I am not allowed any respite. I’m afraid. I’ve never been this sick before. Almost in a delirium, I pry my dry lips apart to unconsciously mutter something.

“Can you… Can you do me a… favor? … Can you… lift your shirt up for me?”

I register a slight flutter of Maaya’s ears. Her bright grey eyes frown slightly, and I can see the confusion on her face. What the hell did I just say? I can even show that I’ve immediately regretted my words. I’m too weak. Maaya is just staring down at me. She must think I’m crazy. I probably am - the headache has finally driven me insane. But then… She slowly begins moving, and I look over to see that she has gripped on to the hem of her shirt, and is now pulling it upwards. She is… Actually doing it? I turn my head towards her torso. She is wearing a skirt in addition to her shirt, but it’s not that long. I look up, and I can see her belly button, her pronounced ribcage, and then… I see the fabric of her shirt going over two, dark spots on her chest. A very, very small chest, I might add.

It looks lovely, though, bathed in the soft candlelight. I’m only a couple of centimeters away from two tiny, but beautifully defined breasts, their budding roundness standing out from Maaya’s bony torso. I barely even register all of this, because all of my focus is on one thing. The dark, round spot that is breaking the pale orange-glowing skin right at the tip of her right breast. It’s identical to the dark, round spot on the left chest, I probably just ended up focusing on the right one at random. I’m not thinking any more, and I realize my body has begun moving on its own. I’m slowly raising myself, but instead of sitting up, I shift my face closer and closer to Maaya’s chest. I briefly see that she is holding her shirt up to her neck while staring down at me, before returning my gaze to her nipple. It looks soft and almost completely flat, just an almost non-existent bump on the skin. I then close my eyes, and simultaneously close my lips around it.

Or, rather, I’m pressing my open mouth against Maaya’s bare breast. There’s not really anything to close my mouth around. But that doesn’t matter. I’m instantly… Calmed. At first, I feel nothing but the warmth of her naked skin and the slight, natural taste of bare skin. But then something begins happening. It feels like an explosion in slow motion of… Something. I can’t explain it. There’s definitely not anything actually coming out of her breast - I make a check by running my tongue across her nipple. There’s nothing. But I can feel it. A calmness spreads from her breast and into me, and steadily envelopes my entire head. My splitting headache, it’s… Diminishing. Ever so slowly, I feel less and less sick. It’s… Just like I’m back in the secret hiding place in my parent’s garden again.

I heard Maaya take a sharp intake of air when I made contact with her skin, but otherwise she is completely silent and immobile, except for her breathing which has gotten slightly more pronounced. The poor girl must be frozen in shock. I can’t bring myself to break away from her, though, it just feels too… Good. On the contrary, I find myself putting a hand on her collarbone to gently push her down on the floor, following suit myself so that I do not break the seal my lips are making around her nipple. I don’t feel any resistance from her, she is probably confused about what I am doing. But this is much better - I’m now lying halfways on top of her, my mouth firmly pressed against the tiny amount of flesh of her right breast.

The calmness is still flowing through me, and bit by bit my headache continues to dwindle. I can even feel an effect when I, by instinct, begin lightly sucking on her nipple. That also seems to have an effect on Maaya’s body, as I can then tell that her nipple begins to swell. It’s not much, but it eventually becomes just a bit harder, standing out from her breast to clearly make itself noticeable by my tongue.

After several minutes, my headache is gone and I can even feel that life is slowly returning to the rest of my body as well. A couple of more minutes pass in silence, save for the occasional coughing fits from one of the younger kitties, before I slowly break away and sit up right. Maaya, laying on her back, is still staring up at me with her piercing silver eyes, her mouth slightly agape. A bit of my spit is glistering on her breast, and the nipple I was sucking on is now a bit more pronounced compared to the other. I sit back against the wall, and breathe a sigh of relief. I’m still super tired, but… I almost feel completely fine now.

“... Thank you.”

Maaya nods hesitantly and slowly sits up as well, letting her shirt drop down over her body. She then carefully feels around on her right breast through the fabric, looking down over herself in slight confusion. I’m not sure what just happened, I just know that… Whatever it was, it helped with my pain. I glance over at Isa and Ari, who are huddled together at the opposite wall. They are staring at me with innocent curiosity, having watched the whole thing play out right in front of them. Isa coughs again. She really sounds sick. But I have no idea what to do - whenever any of my family’s servants became ill, they just took her to the veterinary. I don’t know the slightest thing about catgirl health.

Maaya eventually ceases her examination of her chest, and - with difficulty - scoots over to also sit up against the wall next to her friends, knees drawn up to her chest. And so, we’re almost back to square one. We sit here, in the dirty pantry, in silence. At least there’s a bit more light for us now, thanks to the candles the kitties had lit up while I was out. I wonder how long I was unconscious for. I feel like it was for a long time, like several days. Or a few hours, at least. But thinking it over, it was probably not more than a couple of minutes. It’s still dark out in the kitchen and hallway, and there is no reason the kitties would have been sitting here with me for very long. I sigh deeply, remembering my situation. The clarity that the disappearance of my headache is bringing me is not doing me any favors.

Looking at the three catgirls, I can only describe them as a bunch of ragged outcasts who have given up on life. Even though I’ve made some food available to them now, they’re just… Sitting there. Staring blankly ahead. I close my eyes. I feel like giving up too. I gave up everything - I traded all I had for this. And this is… Nothing. Nothing… is all there is left for me now.


OP!T1tXaJv9os 23/07/31(Mon)07:52 No. 27896 ID: ade356

..... go on.

I like the world building so far.

Chapter 6 Anonymous 23/08/01(Tue)16:24 No. 27898 ID: 477c5b

… species differ in some specific areas. Like their fellow beasts, they enjoy increased senses of hearing, sight, and smell, especially to a much larger degree than humans. Furthermore, their bodies possess both more strength, dexterity, agility, and flexibility than do man, though only to a small degree. This is ultimately useful in helping servants complete their tasks, as it allows even small and slender servants to perform physical labor with more success than a human of the same weight and size would be able to. This does not mean that servants are used as laborers in that sense of the word, but instead …

Unfortunately, my body does not agree with being content with nothingness. As long as I am alive, it still has something: Needs. I realize that I am terribly thirsty. I don’t want to, I honestly don’t care anymore, but the feeling of thirst is so primal that it gradually overshadows everything else. I need something to drink.

I look around. I doubt there is anything drinkable here in the pantry. The foodstuffs might have been able to keep edible for this long, but any stored water would have either evaporated, or gone bad. I doubt that the kitties have been able to refill the kitchen’s water barrels with fresh water. But then… What have they been drinking? Opening my eyes again, I think it over. I think and think and think, but the only thing I can think of is that I’ll have to ask them. They didn’t want to talk with me before, but maybe they’re more willing now that we’ve helped each other out, and now that I’ve… Um… Had that moment with Maaya. In any case, I should warm them up with some smalltalk, before I start making demands.


All three of them immediately look at me, their ears perking up in synchronization. Isa coughs.

“... How long have you been here?”

Maaya narrows her eyes in suspicion, and her tail starts swaying ever so slightly. She still doesn’t really trust me. But then she and her younger companions exchange some glances, the ears of Isa and Ari fluttering a few times. Maaya turns her head back to me.

“Almost a week.”

We are both keeping our voices down, probably by habit since it is the middle of the night. I nod.

“... And you haven’t had anything to eat until now?”

Maaya shifts her gaze up at the boxes of chewstalks on the shelf beside her, then looks back at me and slowly shakes her head with a defeated look in her eyes. Her ears droop down.

“Good thing I got here, then, and got the pantry open.”

“... Mmhh…”

She just hums in agreement. Isa coughs; both she and Ari are watching the conversation between me and Maaya with guarded curiosity. We’re silent for a few seconds before I speak again.

“... In return, may I know your names now?”

I’ve already figured them out, but I think that a proper introduction is in order if we are to… Work together. It seems like I will be stuck with them until morning, at least. Maaya takes a deep breath, then talks in her soft, low voice.

“I’m Maya.”


I twist my head slightly in confusion. All three of them have a slightly different accent than what I’m used to - the same that the barmaid had in Novioda, almost melodic, but Maaya’s pronunciation of her name just now was different from how her two friends have been saying it.

“I thought it was Maaaya?”

I draw out the first syllable to highlight how I’ve heard Isa and Ari say it. Maaya rolls her eyes slightly, one of her ears fluttering in annoyance.

“That’s just how those two say it. It’s MAH-ya.”

“Oh. Okay.”

I turn my gaze over towards the two smaller kittens. One of them immediately lights up, now that she can tell that she is finally allowed to talk to me.

“I’m Ari!”

“Ari, huh.”

Ari seems friendly enough, and is actually smiling. I smile back and then look at the last kitty - the sickly one.

“And what about you?”

Isa coughs and straightens her back, but she still seems nervous.

“I’m… Isa… It’s---”

She’s interrupted by a another cough, but then continues.

“It’s short for Isadora.”

“Okay… So we’ve got…”

I look at all three of them.

“Maaya, whose name is actually Maya, and Isa, whose name is actually Isadora. Then what about you, Ari, what is your name really?”

Ari just stares blankly at me for two seconds before shrugging.

“It’s just Ari.”

I facepalm and sigh loudly. I can feel my headache returning. No matter - I’m making progress. I’ve finally broken the ice with these three small kitties. I regain my composure.

“Well… As I think I’ve already said; my name is August Lundberg, and I’ve--”


Ari cuts me off. I hold up a finger to show that she pronounced my name wrong.





I sigh again.

“Yeah… Sure… August. And I’ve… Well… I bought this castle. All of this…”

I wave an arm out towards the kitchen.

“Everything here is now mine.”

Ari and Isa doesn’t really seem to understand what that implies, but Maya clearly does. She’s staring at me with confusion.

“You bought… This place? This… Ruin?”

“... Mhm.”

It stings. Yeah, I bought a ruin. I have no reason to admit that I was swindled into doing so, though.


“Well, you know… I… I…”

Dammit. My headache is beginning to make it difficult to talk. Coming up with lies is not me at all, and having to strain my brain to do it is wearing it out. I wave my hand to dismiss the question.

“Anyways, I am here now, and I will have to make the most of it.”

She’s not buying it… Even though I am trying to keep my cool by looking off into the distance, I can feel Maya’s silver eyes piercing me. Strange. She’s not like any other catgirl I’ve ever known. I’ve never heard a servant question the reasons and motives of a human. Well, whatever. I think this is enough chit-chat; my thirst is killing me.

“You said you’ve been here for almost a week. What have you been drinking? I need some water.”

Maya breaks her stare and looks down at the floor.

“We… We found a place in the basement where there is water, but…”

Ari suddenly chips in.

“It’s scary! And it smells funny.”

Isa nods and coughs again. Maya shrugs her shoulders, and glances down at the scar on her ankle.

“It… It is strange down in the basement below this… Castle… It is where I slipped, and…”

Her voice trails off, but I get it. There’s somewhere down below with water, likely a well, and the floor got wet and she slipped and hurt her leg. But that doesn’t make sense to me. Catgirls are too agile to let some slippery rocks get the better of them. In any case, I’m going to have to go down there. I don’t want to die of thirst. I stand up, getting dizzy for a second due to my head. My goddamn head. It’s not used to all these hardships.

“I… I’m going to go down there. I need something to drink.”

I step out into the kitchen, but it’s pitch black. I remember the maze-like halls I went through to get here; it’ll likely be a maze to find my way to the well Maya mentioned too. I need a guide. I turn around and see that Ari has moved over to shake Maya’s arm.

“Maaya…! I’m thirsty too!”

Maya has put her hands on the temples of her head, bowing her face down between her knees, her ears pointing downwards. Is she ignoring the pleas of her younger friend? I’m puzzled again - servants are always attentive to the needs of others. Ari keeps bugging Maya, and Isa keeps coughing, and Maya tries to make herself smaller and smaller. I step back into the pantry.

“Hey. I need someone to show me the way to the water you found. Then you can get a drink too.”

Isa and Ari looks up at me with excitement, and Ari begins to rock Maya back and forth with an increasing amount of pleas to her older friend.

“Maayaa..! I’m thirsty! Let’s show Augus the way!”

Maya slowly lifts her head, first to look at me, then at her leg. Oh, right. She can’t walk. She looks like she is about to cry. I take a few steps towards her, and motion for Ari to give her some space.

“Why don’t I carry you again? Then you can show me the way. And Isa and Ari can follow us.”

Maya sits up straight as I come near her, and I can see how she tries to suppress her emotional state from me. She then gets a look of annoyance on her face when I lean down to pick her up again, her silvery eyes locked with mine. She doesn’t want to be held again. Hmm. Despite the now constant, dull pain in my head, I get a bright idea. I turn around and kneel down, and pat my lower back.

“Here, see if you can climb onto my back.”

Looking at her over my shoulder, I see Maya thinking it over for a couple of seconds before hesitantly nodding once, her ears perking slightly up. This will probably make her feel less vulnerable, and it will also be more convenient for me. I scoot back to get closer to her, and she slowly grabs onto my shoulders to hoist herself up. I reach around in an attempt to grab her legs to support her, but she immediately hisses into my ear.

“I don’t need any help!”

Right, how stupid of me. Catgirls are good at climbing. And I immediately get to feel that for myself, since it doesn’t take Maya long to pull herself up and wrap her arms tightly around my neck. I even find myself to be surprised at her sudden nimbleness. She has quickly latched onto my back, with her legs - even the injured one - wrapped around my stomach. I stand up, thankful that she is lightweight. Isa and Ari are staring up at us with awe, their tails curled upwards, and I smile softly down to them.

“Can you two help each other out and carry the lantern again, and light the way? Then we can all go down and get something to drink.”

They nod and Isa gets on her feet, stifling her coughs. I can feel the warm air of Maya’s breath on my right ear, her head peeking up above my shoulder. This actually feels pretty weird. It’s like I’m wearing some kind of heavy and warm rucksack, a bag that slowly expands and contracts against my back ever so slightly as it exhales and inhales. She has got a tight grip on me, leaving my arms free. Isa and Ari pick up the lantern again, but Isa has to let go when she’s overcome with another coughing fit. It looks like Ari, with some difficulty, can carry it alone, but I’m worried about her friend.

“Isa, are you okay?”

Isa pitifully tries to clear her throat and then nods, but I can see on her drooping ears and tail that she is not doing too good. Through the corner of my eye, I can sense that Maya’s gaze keeps shifting between me and the other girls. I consider asking Isa to stay behind instead of coming with us, but I don’t want to split the girls apart either. Catgirls - along with doggirls, I have heard - are very social creatures, after all, and don't like being alone.

“Tell us if you need to get some rest, okay? We’ll all go together, slowly, down to the basement.”

I think all four of us need some proper rest, honestly, but we also need to get rehydrated. I leave the pantry and pass through the kitchen to enter the dark hallway again. It’s dead quiet. Maya tightens her grip around my neck slightly, and almost whispers into my ear.

“.... Left.”

I nod and set off, making sure to walk so slowly that Isa and Ari - carrying the lantern - can keep up with us. Moving slowly also lessens my headache, which is gradually becoming worse and worse again. Dammit. I just have to bear through it, though the added weight of Maya on my back - even though she doesn’t weigh much - isn’t exactly making it better.

This place is really like a maze. It probably wouldn’t be too bad if we weren’t wandering around in the middle of the night. Maya keeps muttering directions into my ear, and I can hear, and feel, that she is on her guard too. Isa has grabbed onto the hem of my shirt, being more scared than her friends, her tail having wrapped around one of her thighs. Ari is thankfully doing a good job of lighting the way for us, though the lone candle in the lantern doesn’t shine its light very far.

I’m eventually directed to a large and wide stairway going downwards. I hate to admit it, but even I am beginning to get a little scared now. Who knows what we might find in the cellars of the castle? I have never done anything like this before - the most dangerous exploration I’ve ever done was in the dull woodlands near my family’s estate, and always in the middle of sunny summer days. Sometimes together with Sophie. This is the exact opposite. I take a deep breath, and take a step down the stairs. I have to be extra careful - it’s dark, and I’ve got the weight of a small girl clinging onto my back. I have to keep my balance, despite my frail body.

We all go down together, and I stop at the end of the stairs to take a break. Just as I had expected, there are more dark and stony hallways waiting for us down here. But my other expectations of what a castle cellar should be has not been proven right. I had imagined dusky, damp air and a cool temperature that would make the moisture in the air condense on my skin. But it’s still warm, and… Even comfortable. The stones of the wall I am leaning a hand against are warm too, just like they were at ground level. Weird.

Maya shifts her weight a bit, but is patient in letting me gather my strength. I check on Isa and Ari, and while Isa is still coughing, they look okay too - as okay as a pair of starved, dirty strays can look.

“Let’s move on.”


Maya hums into my ear, and she resumes giving me directions. I’m impressed with her memory of the place; I would never have been able to memorize the route we are taking if I had only been here a single week. We don’t have to travel far down here, though, and after a couple of more warm, empty hallways, I’m standing in front of another staircase going down, though this one only has six steps or so. At the end is a large wooden door, slightly ajar. Here the air is actually pretty damp, but also warmer.

I get Ari to come a little closer with the lantern, and with its orange glow I see the source of the moisture: The bottom of the stairs are covered in water. It looks like this part of the cellars are flooded, with around a meter of water covering the floor of the small landing in front of the door, and probably whatever is behind it too. Maya takes a deep, nervous breath, looking down at the blank, still water. I turn my head towards her.

“Is this the water you were talking about?”

She nods, and tightens up when I take a step forward.

“C-careful! This is where… This is where I slipped.”

I look down at the steps. The moisture has not only made them slippery, but also covered in… Something. It looks like some kind of milky-white mineral deposit. I better be careful indeed. Taking a closer look, it seems like the walls and ceiling around here are also glistening with the white residue. Weird, I have never seen anything like this before. The white growth becomes more and more pronounced the further down I look, almost like it is originating from behind the door. I’ll have to examine that later: I’m so thirsty that I don’t want to do anything but get down to the water right away. I turn so that I can go down the stairs sideways, keeping my hands on the wall for balance. It’s also warm, but likewise covered in dampness and white, powdery residue. I look at the door. I really want to know what is on the other side.

“Do you know what is behind that door?”

Maya shakes her head. Ari is also slowly making her way down the steps, while Isa has resorted to getting down on all fours to crawl after us, feet first.

“N-no… We just quickly drank from the water at the bottom, and then went back up. That’s when I slipped. It…”

I sense her sniffing the air.

“It smells… weird, down here.”


I agree with her, but I would have expected a flooded section of an underground portion of a derelict castle to smell weird. It doesn’t smell unpleasant to me, though.

“Yeah… Not in a bad way, just… Strange.”

Even though I am moving extremely slowly and carefully, I almost slip. The white stuff on the steps is not solid at all, and it easily scrapes off on the soles of my shoes. No wonder Maya injured herself here. I stop when I reach the final step before the water. The last two steps are submerged. I did not think this through… It wouldn’t be a good idea to try to kneel down on these slippery slopes to get down to the water, so I’ll just have to move on and get my feet and trousers wet. Expecting the worst, I step down into the water.


It’s warm. I had expected to set my foot down into icy cold water, but it’s actually really warm. Almost as warm as the walls. I continue until I’m standing in the middle of the landing, in front of the door, a space roughly two meters by two meters large. The warm, clear water is reaching up to my waist. This is all very weird.

“It’s… hot…!”


Maya hums in agreement again. What the hell is this place?!

Chapter 7 Anonymous 23/08/02(Wed)14:25 No. 27899 ID: 477c5b

… with servants is their inherent lack of modesty. Like human children, servants are not born with shame or embarrassment regarding their body and will happily (temperature allowing) remain undressed unless disciplined to cover themselves. This does not change even when reaching sexual maturity, and it is said that in some households in countries to the south, servants are simply never given clothes. Of course, this is rarely an issue in the Kingdom as all households instruct their servants to cover themselves, and the climate also …

I’m so thirsty. I’m waist-deep in water, but I’m having second thoughts. How safe will it be to drink from water that has flooded the deepest part of a derelict castle? But looking down at it, it’s not like it seems uninviting or anything. It’s clear and I can easily see the floor. But it’s really warm - so warm that I feel entirely comfortable standing in it. It simply feels wrong to drink warm water.

I think it over. The kitties have drunk from it before, and they seem fine, right? Except for Isa. I turn to her, watching her crawl the last few steps down to pause when she dips her feet in the water. She stops and coughs, her ears twitching.

“Isa, you drank from this water too, right?”

Isa looks up at me and nods. Ari, having set down the lantern on the last steps above the water, jumps down to join me and Maya in it. It reaches all the way up to her torso. She looks up at us, probably waiting for Maya’s blessing to drink the water. Isa does so, too. Their tails are slowly swaying from side to side underneath the water.

“Did you get sick--.... I mean, did you start coughing before, or after, you drank the water?”


Hmm. So it’s not the water that made her sick. That wouldn’t make any sense either - if the water had been bad, it would have affected her stomach, not her lungs. I glance sideways at Maya, and then at Isa and Ari again. Screw it, that’s good enough for me. If they survived drinking from the water before, it can’t be that bad. I carefully get down on my knees, letting my upper body become submerged again, and then greedily start drinking by cupping my hands and bringing water up to my mouth. Maya slides off of me to sit almost fully submerged on the last step of the stairs. She also begins shoveling water up to her mouth, and Isa and Ari immediately follow suit. I wasn’t the only one who was feeling like dying of thirst, it seems.

I feel so degraded. This is far removed from the comfortable, semi-luxurious life I had been living until now. Here I am, kneeling down to drink stale water from the ground like some animal. I am even doing it together with semi-animals, the three catgirls around me messily swallowing down big gulps of water as well. It’s a sad situation, but above all, I’m relieved that I get to satisfy my thirst.

I drink until my stomach begins hurting. I stand back up. Damn, that felt good. It felt unnatural to drink warm water, though, and it had a weird taste. I wouldn’t exactly call it unpleasant, and it was entirely drinkable. Much better than dying of thirst, that’s for sure. Ari and Maya also finish drinking, but Isa isn’t done yet. Her movements are slow - she likely can’t drink as fast as the rest of us if her throat hurts. That’s okay, we can wait.

I grow more and more curious as to what is behind the door that is right besides me. Now that it is silent once more - only Isa is coughing every now and then while she drinks - I think I can hear something coming from the other side of the door. It sounds like… Water. Duh. My headache is again making it hard to think straight. But I can now definitely tell that there is the sound of running water on the other side.

“I want to see what’s in here.”

Maya and Ari perk up, Maya out of worry and Ari out of excitement, watching me wade over to the door. It’s also covered in the white powder. I pull it open, only able to do so very slowly due to all the water it has to push out of the way. My blood freezes when I realize that there is a light beyond the door. Is there someone else down here? I stop and listen, but I can only hear the faint sound of running water coming from the room in front of me, and the silent splashing of the three girls behind me. I pull on the door again.

I am utterly in shock when I finally open the door all the way and get to see the room beyond. A large space is bathed in a bright, silvery light. Three of the stony walls are illuminated, but the fourth one, the wall to my right, is broken up by a series of large, black plates, and on the far one is placed a round, bright white lamp of some sort, lighting up the whole room. What sort of lantern can be so large and shine such a brilliant shade of silver?

I take a step inside, and my pained mind finally realizes what I am looking at. Those are not black plates on the wall, they are windows. And the round lamp is the moon. What? But we are underground. How can this be possible? I narrow my eyes, and become able to see the twinkling stars in the sky and the outlines of trees on the mountainside in the distance. The only explanation I can think of is that we are at the far end of the castle, where the terrain is dropping sharply downwards into a valley of some sorts.

I hear soft splashing behind me, and turn around to see that the kitties are following me to join me in the moonlit room. I can only describe their motions as floating, since the water reaches all the way up to their chests. Even Maya can move by her own here, kicking off against the floor with her healthy leg. The slippery floor - the stones underneath our feet are almost pure white with the strange residue - is not a problem for the girls now that they are submerged in the water, but I still have to be careful not to slip myself. The kitties look around with curiosity, except for Ari, who is using all of her strength to carry the lantern above her head. I immediately wade over to take it from her, much to her relief. She speaks up with excitement.

“Augus!! What is this place?”

“... Hmm..”

I take a closer look around the room. It is huge, and like most of the rooms at the upper level, largely empty. Some big, heavy tables are lined up at the wall opposite the windows, above which several rusty iron bolts poke out. I slowly walk around, and at the other end of the room I see what looks to be a huge oven of some sort, and in front of it, a large anvil standing up from the floor. Everything, except for the top of the oven, is submerged. Apart from where we entered, there is another closed door in here too.

“I think it’s a… Workshop of some sorts? This looks like a forge.”

“What’s that?”

All three girls slowly float towards where I am standing, probably wanting to keep close to me. I only now notice how it is not only the girls themselves who are buoyant in the water, but so is their clothes. Both Isa’s and Ari’s loose dresses are floating around by their waists, their long white legs visible under the water. The same goes for Maya’s skirt. The surface of the water has too many reflections and refractions from the small waves the girls are making to let me clearly see anything in detail, but for a moment it looks like all three girls are… Not wearing any undergarments at all.

After I recover from the initial shock of being presented with so much bare skin, I become able to tell that they are wearing something. It looks weird, though; They are not wearing the traditional puffy bloomers that girls and women, both humans and servants, wear where I am from, but some sort of skin-tight fabric that is tightly clinging to their bodies. I look away from the white undergarments with a slight embarrassment.

“Uhm, It’s-- it’s a place where you make tools out of metal, and… stuff like that.”

I’ve got other things to think about than what the kitties are wearing under their clothes. But this room doesn’t make any sense to me. This feels more like a giant bathtub than anything else; how can the water be so hot? It’s pretty much the perfect temperature for us to wade around in. That reminds me - where is all of this water coming from? I can hear it trickle down somewhere, the room quietly echoing with the noise of a stream of water. I go past the anvil and, swinging the lantern around, find the source. From high above me on the wall, a steady stream of steaming water is coming out from behind what must be gaps between the stones. It runs down over the wall towards the floor. I reach out to touch it.


I immediately retract my hand, scaring the girls who recoil back. The water coming out of the wall is almost boiling…! I wave my hand around to cool my fingers, trying to make sense of it all. But I’m stopped again by my headache. It’s gotten pretty bad at this point… Too many new impressions, too much stress. None of this is making any sense to me, and I’m unable to think things through. I take a step back and give the kitties a pained smile to show them that I’m okay. They become relaxed again, floating peacefully in the water.

The moon is sure shining bright. And with its silvery light mixing with the orange glow from my lantern, I can finally get a good, proper look at them. As I know from my childhood, it doesn’t hurt my brain to look at cute catgirls.

Maya’s eyes are still standing out, having an almost metallic shine to them in the moonlight. The moonlight and the lantern are combining to fill out enough of the color spectrum to let me see that Maya’s hair color is actually… No, nevermind. Her hair still looks grey.

But wait… It didn’t have two different shades of grey before, did it? The last couple of centimeters of the hair around Maya’s neck is now a much lighter shade than the rest. I begin wading closer to her, wanting to shine more of the candlelight on her. She looks at me with slight hesitation, but doesn’t shy away.

“Maya… Keep still for a second, please.”

She observes me quietly with her bright eyes. She is keeping almost all of her body submerged, only the top of her shoulders above the water. I lean closer, trying to make sense of the two different colors her hair and the fur on her ears now displays. My headache is getting pretty bad, but I think I know what has happened. I cup some water into the palm of my free hand and bring it up to Maya’s head. She immediately closes her eyes tightly, but obeys my command to keep still. I bring my hand up and let it splash down on the side of her head, just below her left ear. Yes, it’s just as I thought. It’s the water that has rinsed the dirt out of her hair.

I do it again a few times, giving one half of Maya’s head an impromptu washing. The difference the water makes to the shade of her hair is… I can only describe it as unnatural. The dark ashy-grey color is being replaced by an extremely light, almost pure white, shade of grey. It is even lighter than the silver in her eyes. Isa and Ari are just as dumbfounded at me, staring at their older companion with mouths agape. I look over at them, and we all stare confused at each other, Maya having opened her eyes again. She is the most confused out of the four of us, since she hasn’t seen the change in her hair yet.

“Maaya…! Your hair…!”

Ari speaks up, and Maya turns her head in a silly attempt to look at her own hair, but it is too short. She then leans forward to look at her own reflection in the water, and her confusion turns into the same degree of surprise that the rest of us are experiencing. She brings up her hands to feel around on her head, the wetness only washing even more of the dirt out of her hair. Was she really just that dirty, or is there something about… this water…? I look down over her body, trying to ignore the fact that I can still glimpse her underwear. It is not only her hair that is being washed clean; a clear difference has formed on her neck, with the skin that has been submerged under the water has become a much lighter color than her still dry face.

Is it only Maya that the water is having this effect on? I wade over to Isa and Ari, who are sticking close together next to us. Their hair is longer than Maya’s, and most of it has gotten wet already. The same thing has happened to them: The top of Isa’s and Ari’s heads are still dirty and grey, but the bottom half of Isa’s hair is now a beautiful light-blue color, while Ari’s is a deep dark brown, not entirely unlike my own, but hers has streaks of autumn orange in it. They have already figured out how the water is making the colors of their hair come out, and they have both grabbed onto the locks of their hair to swirl it around in the water. Just like with Maya, the skin of the two small kitties are also being washed into a very pale white.

Funny. Now that I am able to get a proper look at the catgirls, it is striking how colorful the younger ones are compared to Maya, whose features all fall within a band of white and grey shades. I can now tell that both of the small catgirls have fiercely colorful eyes. Isa’s are a dark opal green, while Ari’s are an intense copper orange. They are actually a pair of really beautiful, young kitties. But they are also still very childish - they splash more and more around, trying to pour as much water onto the top of their heads to wash the dirt out of their hair. Maya is doing the same, albeit at a more controlled pace. Even though they are servants, I guess they are the same as human girls - they want to be pretty.

“Oohh..! Isa!”

Ari suddenly stops and stares at her friend with a huge grin.


Ari reaches under the water to grab the front of her tunic, and pulls it up into the air. She twists the fabric to wring the water out of it, and we can all see the discovery Ari has made: The water is not only washing our hair and our skin clean, but also our clothes. While still worn out and scruffy, the fabric is almost pure-white again. I’m still so amazed at all of these changes that I barely register that Ari is revealing even more of her body. Isa’s eyes light up, and she whispers in an excited tone.

“We can wash our clothes!”

Ari nods frantically, and they both simultaneously begin pulling their tunics up over their heads. For some reason, I’m stuck wondering if my clothes could do with a cleaning too when Maya snaps me out of it with a harsh voice.


I turn around, worried that there’s a problem with her leg again. But she doesn’t seem pained, she is looking up at me with a stern look and… Is that a blush on her face?

“I… I want to see what else is down here!”


Why does she suddenly want to explore more of the castle? She puffs out her cheeks in a cute pout, floating over to me.

“Carry me over to… Over to somewhere else!”

She really sounds determined, her ears sticking straight up from her head. Arguing with her would only worsen my headache, so I better do her whatever favor she is asking of me. I turn around so she can climb up on my back again, which she does with ease despite the extra weight from the water her clothes have absorbed. She lightly kicks the side of my stomach with her heel to signal that I should get going right away. What am I, a horse?! What’s the hurry?

“C-come on!”

“What? Where? Where do you want--”

“Anywhere, just… just go!”

I grunt in annoyance and quickly take a look around the flooded workshop. It would be easiest to go back the way we came, but… Maybe I should see if I can get the other door open. This room has already blown my mind; maybe I will find another piece of incredible architecture behind the closed door too? I try to take one last look at Isa and Ari, who are both fully occupied with their tunics, but Maya forcefully puts her hands on my head and makes me look away.

Oh, I get it now. She doesn’t want me to stare at her half-naked friends. But that’s weird… Servants do not care about being seen without clothes on, as far as I know. They’re not humans, so why should they? Sophie surely didn’t care, and Isa and Ari don't seem to mind me being here either. It feels like pure madness for me, a human, to be taking orders from a servant, and a stray one at that. But madness is the only thing I have known ever since I set foot in this damned place.

Chapter 8 Anonymous 23/08/03(Thu)10:17 No. 27900 ID: 477c5b

… compromise was found in regards to the master-servant questions of how humans and the sub-humans species should co-exist. As it is written into the law of every civilization today, and as is in agreement with the inherent nature of the world, servants who belong to a household or an individual must do their every bidding and follow their every order (within the permissibility of the law). However, servants are allowed to proclaim their freedom and independence if they so choose, though this is extremely rare due to their inherent loyalty and desire to serve and be part of a social family or group, as well as the fact that this effectively renders them homeless which is …

This girl…! Doesn’t she know how much my head hurts? No, probably not. She keeps squirming violently around on my back, trying to steer me away from her friends. I wouldn’t mind doing her a favor as repayment for showing me the way down here, but who does she think she is, ordering me around?!

“Hey, stop it! You have no right to--”

“I said let’s go!”

“Alright alright, I’m going, but you can’t--”

“Don’t tell me what to--... aah!”

I try to resist her attempt at controlling me while we argue, which only makes her even more aggressive in trying to get me away from Isa and Ari, which only makes me even more stubborn in trying to stand my ground until she calms down, which only… results in Maya making me lose my balance. My foot suddenly slips on the white stuff on the floor, and I skitter around on the slippery, submerged stones. Incredibly, I manage not to fall over. After regaining my footing I stand still, panting heavily. My headache has now almost returned to full strength. My entire body is tense, my fingers holding the handle of the lantern hurting from how tight I am gripping it to keep it above the water.


Isa and Ari are looking fearfully up at us. Maya has stopped trashing around, and are instead clinging to my body tighter than ever, holding her breath. She got as much of a scare as I did. While it wouldn’t have been dangerous for me to take a fall, since the water would have cushioned me, the same can’t be said for Maya if she had been so unlucky to somehow land on her injured leg again. Ari, holding her tunic in her hands, take a step over to us.

“Maaya? What are you doing? Why are you being mean to Augus?”


Maya hides her face against my neck and groans in embarrassment. I take a deep breath.

“It’s okay. It’s okay, Ari. I just lost my footing. We’re gonna go over and check that other room out, alright?”

Ari nods slowly, seemingly not understanding what made Maya react the way she did. I do kind of understand it, though. I can’t deny that it’s a very delicate scene in front of me: Two young, cute catgirls are standing in the moonlight in only their skin-tight underwear, their completely flat chests poking out of the water. While they don’t seem to care about being half-naked in front of me themselves, I respect Maya’s wish and turn around to head over to the door. My headache is not allowing me to find any enjoyment in watching their skinny bodies float around in the water anyways.

Maya calms down and lets me wade through the water to get over to the other end of the workshop without throwing any more hissy fits. Even though I am taking the lantern with me, Isa and Ari should be okay. There is plenty of moonlight in here, and as catgirls, they have an excellent sense of sight. Just like the walls around it, the heavy wooden door is covered in the white stuff too. Its handle has almost rusted away, but there is enough of it left for me to grab on to. With Maya watching what I am doing, I slowly open the door, expecting to find… Anything and everything. I fully expect this castle, this crazy funhouse of madness, to give me another puzzling room to explore. But I open the door, and find… Nothing in particular. Just another small room, likewise flooded.

I am again immediately proven wrong. A wave of extremely hot air suddenly hits us. It is like opening the door to an oven. I brace myself, and Maya does the same by hiding her face against my neck again. What is up with this madhouse of a castle?! Has it been built on top of the fiery pits of Hell itself? The built-up temperature quickly dissipates into the workshop, and both me and Maya open our eyes to look into the dark room again.

“W-what was that?”

She is still clinging tightly to me, but nothing else happens. While I can still feel warm air coming from the room, it doesn’t seem like there is anything dangerous in there.

“I don’t know… I don’t know what is going on at all down here. But let’s have a look inside.”

Maya hesitantly nods, and I step forward. This seems to be another kind of… Workshop of some sorts. It is much smaller, approximately the same size as the storage room where I found the kitties earlier. Only half of this room is flooded, though. The middle of it is divided by three steps, leaving the other half at a higher level. Maybe the geological foundation below us forced it to be built this way? In any case, that means we can go up to get out of the water. The white mineral-like powder is in here too, covering almost every surface. I swing the lantern around as I go up the steps, both me and Maya looking around. While it seems I let most of the hot air out when I opened the door, it is still considerably warmer in here than in the rest of the castle. It is actually almost uncomfortably hot. My trousers, and Maya’s skirt and shirt, are clinging to our bodies.

“What is this place?”

This room is not as empty as the others. Like the workshop, the walls are lined with heavy tables, and what looks to be a form of large stone altar occupies the middle of the raised half of the room. There are several shelves on the walls as well, some of them broken and tilted downwards. Most importantly, the tables and the shelves and the altar are all littered with items. I go over to let Maya drop down to sit on the altar - while I don’t mind carrying her, my body is almost at its limit again. We both look around at all the artifacts littering the room - there are old, dusty mortars and pestles, glass vials, chunks of different kinds of rocks, thick books which have been eaten away by moisture… On the walls are also blackboards where, through the white powder growing on them, astrological charts and arcane symbols are still visible… I sigh loudly and facepalm.



I set the lantern down on one of the tables. Maya is looking at me in confusion, her tail swaying behind her.

“This room looks like it was used for alchemy.”

“What’s that?”

I lean against one of the tables, accidentally knocking over some old candles. My head is spinning with confusion and a throbbing pain, and my body is dead tired again. That’s understandable - it’s been a long day for me, and we’re wandering around here in the middle of the night. I haven’t gotten any sleep yet - the time where I was passed out probably doesn’t count for anything.

“It’s… An old belief that you can magically change one kind of material into another, and stuff like that. It’s all… Fake. It’s not possible. All of this in here is bullshit.”

Maya watches me in silence. I must look absolutely pitiful now, I can barely keep myself upright against the table. But I don’t care about trying to look my best in front of the kitties any more. This is all too much for me now. Empty mazes, flooded basements, rooms used for pointless pseudo-magick… I’ve had enough.

“Goddammit…! I should never have come here. This place is worthless. Worthless! There is no way I can live here…! No way… No way…”

My voice trails off. Maya’s ears flutter, and she is visibly worried at seeing my despair.

“Can’t you… Can’t you go back home? To where you came from?”

I smirk and shake my head.

“No… Not exactly.”

“Why not?”

“I… I…”

I gulp and look down at the floor. I might as well be honest with her. There is no use keeping up a facade any longer.

“I didn’t exactly leave my family on good terms.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was… Well, to make it short, I had always felt like my family looked down on me… So when I had the chance to leave them and go to this place, I… Said some things… I…”

I don’t really want to remember the way I departed from my family’s estate a few days ago. I can see now how arrogant I was. None of my family members thought that buying this place was a good idea, but I let it get to my head and thought that I was gonna show them, that I was going to go out and become successful and never needing anything from them ever again. Ugh.

“Let’s just say I’m not exactly welcome there any more.”


“... And now I’m stuck in this dumb place… This cursed pile of rocks…! Ughhh…”

I bury my head in my hands. I almost feel as bad as I did in the pantry earlier. There is nothing but regret left in me. I’m about to lie down on the dusty floor and wait for everything to end when I notice a faint sound of sniffling. I raise my head to look up, and see that Maya has, almost like I just did, lowered her head and put her hands against her temples again. Wait a second… Could it be that she also suffers from headaches? I have never heard of anyone else with the same condition as I have. No, wait… I don’t think she’s in pain. Rather, she’s silently crying.


I push myself off the table and take a step over to her. Maya begins shaking her head slowly from side to side, and she speaks out in a shaky, sad voice.

“We’re… Also stuck here… it’s all my fault…”

Of course. I’m not the only one stuck in a terrible situation. Arguably, Maya has it even worse. She is just a child, and can barely move around on her own. But what does she mean by saying it’s her fault? I realize that I still have no idea how these three little kitties ended up in Castle Emberholm.

“What do you mean…? What happened for you to end up here in the first place?”

Maya sniffles loudly and glances briefly at me with red eyes before looking down at the floor again, lowering her hands to hold on to the altar she is sitting on. Now that she has seen me at my worst, it feels like she is also beginning to open up to me.

“We… We belonged to a large household on the outskirts of Novioda… There were a lot of other servants, but… We… We were not treated very… We were treated really…”

Her throat tightens up, unable to end the sentences. Whatever she has gone through, it has obviously hurt her. I look in shock at her.

“What…?! But it’s illegal to… To hurt servants in any way, or to… To not provide for them.”

Maya shakes her head slowly, still trying to keep her emotions under control. I can’t believe it. I have never heard of servants being abused in any way. But then again… I have never met any other servants than the ones we had in my household. Maya’s ears are drooping down, and she loses the battle against her tears. She begins silently crying, closing her eyes tightly.

“There was… There were some other servants who were younger than me… Another catgirl, and a foxgirl… I tried taking care of them, but they were sold off… I…”

Hmm… Selling your servants to another household is not illegal. Technically, you are being paid to transfer the status of employment of the servant. The servant can choose to refuse the transfer, but I don’t think that ever happens. They never have any reason to… Or, so I believe. But from the sound of Maya’s voice, I’m beginning to think that things might be different in this part of the Kingdom.

“I then began taking care of… of Isa and Ari… And when they were about to be sold off too, I took them and… And we ran away. And we walked and walked and walked… But…”

She shakes her head in frustration, tears spilling down over her cheeks.

“... It began getting cold, and… Isa started coughing. We ended up here, to find shelter, but then I fell and hurt my leg, and... We… we can’t go anywhere now. We’re…”

Her story is breaking my heart. I thought II had it bad, but it’s nothing compared to what these kitties have apparently been through. Maya is still struggling to speak, and to not break out into outright wailing. Her voice drops in volume even further.

“We’re… gonna die here… I’m so scared… I’ve been so scared…!”

She suddenly starts hyperventilating, her eyes opening with a panicked look in them. Seeing her like this almost pushes my headache completely out of my mind, and I am suddenly able to think very clearly. I step over to her and put my hands on her shoulders, looking down at her. She tilts her head backwards to look back up at me, her silvery eyes swimming with fearful tears.

“Hey…! Hey, calm down… Here, listen…! Listen. Can you hear that?”

Maya’s ears flutter, and I lean my head back to make it look like I am listening for some distant sound. After a few seconds, Maya whispers out.


“Just listen.”

The laboratory we are in is completely silent, but from behind me, from the workshop, the faint sounds of splashing water is echoing against the walls to reach us. Maya forces her breathing under control, and we become able to hear the voices of Isa and Ari. It sounds like they are quietly, but almost playfully, talking to each other while splashing around in the warm water of the flooded workshop. I smile down to Maya.

“They’re doing fine. They’re doing just fine. It’s alright. You have nothing to be scared of.”

It’s not something I’m just saying in an attempt to cheer Maya up. I somehow sincerely believe it. I opened up the pantry to provide them with food. We have water to drink down here, even if it’s hot and tastes weird. I can carry Maya around. And if it comes down to it, I can protect the three kitties from any dangers we might face… Or so I believe. For some reason, I feel like I have to protect them. Maya listens to the sound of her friends, and she begins to calm down. With a heavy, but still sad sigh, she leans forward to press her face against my chest. I reach up to stroke her almost-white hair, giving her a moment to calm down.

“Hey… Can you also hear that?”

Maya leans back again to look at me once more, tilting her head in confusion.

“W-what is it now? I don’t hear anything.”

“... Exactly.”


Her ears are twisting and turning, trying to pick up any sounds there might be, other than the girls wading around in the water behind us.

“Hasn’t it been a while since Isa has coughed?”

Maya thinks it over for a second, then nods slowly. I just now realized that Isa stopped her constant coughing soon after we entered the workshop. I have no idea why, but… That’s a good thing, right? We need to count every last we can be happy about, right now. Maya nods again, and it seems like she has almost fully calmed down now. Everything is good again. Aaaand with that, my headache returns. Like a hammer hitting the side of my skull. Wow, it’s bad. It’s just like it was in the pantry. The sudden change makes me stumble, and I have to brace myself against the altar. Maya looks scared at me.

“A-august? What is it?”

I grit my teeth and shake my head in frustration.

“It’s… it’s my damn head again. It hurts…! Dammit… I… It’s always been torturing me.”

I take deep breaths, but it doesn’t help. I’m going to pass out again if I don’t do something. I’m still standing right in front of Maya, leaned slightly in over her to hold onto the altar she is sitting on to keep my balance. I inadvertently lower my eyes to her torso. I don’t really want to do this, but… I can’t think of anything else. I look up into her eyes again. She looks really worried about me.

“Maya… Can you… Can you lift up your shirt for me again?”

We keep our eyes locked for several seconds. She doesn’t seem to be disgusted or repulsed by my request, but more like she can’t understand the connection between my headaches and her breasts. I don’t understand it either, all I know is that I’m desperate for any relief I can find for the pounding pain in my head. The orange candlelight is making her eyes shimmer with a mix of silver and gold. Just like her younger companions, she is actually a really beautiful catgirl. Finally, she bites her lower lip softly and reaches down to grab the hem of her shirt.

Shadow 23/08/06(Sun)23:59 No. 27901 ID: ccee3d

Curiouser and curiouser. I have ideas about what this white substance might be and why it cleans them, but everything I come up with would hurt their stomachs. Then again, that has yet to be seen. This slow burn continues to intrigue me, and with some character and relationship building added in, I'm looking forward to more.

Chapter 9 Anonymous 23/08/07(Mon)23:26 No. 27902 ID: 477c5b

… of the sexes of the sub-human species. Through selective breeding, nineteen out of twenty servants born today are female as their submissive nature makes them better suited to being employed as maids, housekeepers, nannies and such. Male servants are thus a rather rare sight. Though many male servants excel in professions that require manual dexterity, such as tailoring and jewelry, and in roles that require prolonged exposure to the elements, they are …

I’m not as mentally incapacitated as the last time Maya pulled her shirt up, and while I still only have the dim light of the lantern, I’m able to take in the sight of her bare stomach and chest in much more detail now. Well, not that there is a lot of detail to take in, really. Her skin is white and smooth, and still glistening with the moisture from the warm water she was bathed in just a while ago. She’s got a cute little belly-button above the hem of her skirt, a drop of water running down over it. The water really washed her skin clean, it looks super soft and pure. I’m again struck by how awfully thin she is, though. We better head back up to the pantry when we’re done down here.

But first, I need to take care of my headache. I move my attention up and across her clearly visible ribs to take in the view of her bare breasts again. Either she is at that age where they have just begun to grow, or perhaps her body hasn’t had enough sustenance to put anything but the bare minimum amount of tissue into them, but in any case - there’s really not much there. It’s pretty much only because of the how the lantern, placed directly to our left, is making her mounds cast shadows over her skin that I am able to tell there is anything else than a flat torso at all.

I wonder why I am stalling… Well, it’s probably because this is really the first time that I’ve been able to look at a pair of bare breasts for the first time since those summer days with Sophie. I obviously never had much luck courting a lot of women in my youth, due to my sickness. The only girl I’ve seen naked was Sophie, and that was back when I was just a little boy. Sophie’s chest wasn’t any different from my own back then, so I did not find it interesting in the slightest. I do now, with the pair of breasts I now have in front of me. I’ve heard my elder brothers and cousins talk among themselves, boasting about their escapades and the enjoyment they have found in the curvatures of the girls they have been with, but I didn’t really get it back then. I get it now. Maya’s chest, even if it is tiny, is absolutely beautiful to me.

She is watching me again with a curious, but still slightly guarded interest. She takes a deep breath and holds it once I finally move in to place my mouth against one of her nipples. It immediately has the same effect on me as it had back in the pantry. She’s warm, and her nipple soft. I can slightly taste the weird taste of the weird water, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. A serenity streams into me, and I have to limit myself not to let my greed take over and suck hard on her nipple. After a few seconds of light nibbling, I hear Maya slowly exhale, her torso shrinking slightly. She then begins breathing in a slow, calm manner, almost as if she is… relaxed…?

I take this as a sign that I can continue. I was worried that she doesn’t like what I’m doing. It is pretty weird, after all, but I’d rather be weird than be in deliberating pain. I give her nipple a light suck, and soon enough it’s grown hard and firm. I’m now so relieved of my headache that I get the thought that I should switch to her other breast, so that I will not… Well, I don’t think I can wear her nipple out, but I would figure that it would be best to balance things out. I shift over and quickly get her other nipple hard as well. Maya’s breathing becomes more and more relaxed, and I then feel her putting her hands on the top of my head. I expect her to pull me away, but… she doesn’t. Instead, she is more like… Cradling my head.

“Au--… August.. Wait…”

Nevermind. She does want me to stop, after all. Dammit… I’m still not fully healed. I lean back to look up at her, worried that I had gone too far. But she doesn’t seem to be mad.

“It’s… It’s too hot.”

Oh. Well, it really is hot in here, yeah. For some reason, this laboratory is much warmer than the rest of the castle. It is no longer the water from the workshop that is running down over Maya’s bare skin, but sweat. I’m sweaty too. Maya looks down at her shirt, the front of it still bunched up under her neck. It’s soaked from when she was submerged in the workshop. Oh, right. The wet fabric must be super clammy against her skin. It’s the same with my trousers, and the back of my shirt from when I carried Maya to go in here. Our wet clothes are conducting the heat into our skin, making the temperature in here affect us more than what it otherwise would. We look at each other for a bit, probably both thinking of what to do.

Maya takes the first step. I can’t tell if she is blushing, or if it is just the hot air that is making her face fill with color, but she slowly grabs her shirt again and pulls it all the way up over her head. She drops it on the space beside her, the soaked fabric making a wet sound against the altar. She is topless now, and we both glance down at her skirt. It’s a simple piece of clothing made of linen. Grey and unremarkable, and also soaking wet. It can’t be comfortable for her either. I’m not comfortable either. My own clothes are wet and clammy as well… Wait, why am I still wearing them, then? My stupid headache is still making me unable to think straight.

I take a step back, and without saying a word, begin stripping myself of my shirt and undershirt. I breathe a sigh of relief from freeing my upper body from my soaked clothes, the warm air actually feeling nice against my moist skin. It shouldn’t take long for us to dry like this. I push some rocks out of the way on one of the tables, and spread my clothes out on it.

The table is rather dirty, but I don’t care that it will sully my clothes. I am far beyond the point where I care about appearances. If I had the energy I would wash my clothes in the water like Isa and Ari did with theirs, but I’m too tired and… I’m still weak. With some difficulty, I strip out of my shoes and trousers and spread them out on a table as well. I’m then forced to lean heavily against the table out of fatigue, and I put my hand on my head due to the remaining headache still lingering within. Maya is looking at me a little funny, but I can’t tell if it’s because of my pitiful condition or if it’s because I’m standing in only my underwear before her now.


I turn around to glance at Maya. She has tilted her head slightly, looking worried at me.

“Your head… Does it still hurt?”

“... Yeah…”

I nod in frustration.

“Why does it do that?”

I shrug and shake my head at the same time. Maya’s big, silvery eyes blink with worried curiosity, her tail swaying back and forth in the air behind her. It probably needs to dry off too.

“I don’t know. I’ve always had it. If I have to move around and do a lot of things, it begins to hurt. Really bad. There’s no cure, and nothing I can do about it. Nothing helps, noth-...thing…”

My eyes come to rest on Maya and her naked upper body. Her small breasts are still glistening with moisture in the warm glow of the candlelight. Her nipples are just two dark, hard points on her chest. She follows my gaze downwards for a second, her ears twitching.

“Does…Does it really help when you… When you…”

We stare at each other in silence. My headache isn’t critical, but it’s still pretty bad. I want it. I want relief. I want… I slowly nod. Maya glances down at her chest again, then back up at me while biting her lower lip.

“I-if… If you’ll do me a favor, I’ll let you… Um…”

I know fully well that it’s not normal, what I want to do. Not that there is anything morally wrong with it, it’s not illegal, it’s just… Odd, I guess. And doubly odd that it works the way it does. But it does. I’ve experienced it two times now, tonight. I hate the pain. I hate it. I want to make it three times. I nod again. I’m almost ready to agree to favor Maya might ask me. I’ll do anything, as long as she will… help me again. Maya looks down at the floor, obviously uncomfortable at having to admit that she needs the assistance of a human.

“It’s… Warm upstairs too, but not enough for us to… For me and Isa and Ari, to… You know…”


Maya glances at me, frowning at the fact that I don’t understand. She reaches up to run a hand over one of her fluffy ears, and then makes a flick with her wrist to send several droplets of water flying. Ooh.

“We have to get dry before we go back up. Our… Our clothes too.”

“Uhuh? Yeah?”

I still don’t see where she is going with this. I’m in the same situation. She looks down at the floor again.

“We can’t… I can’t get through the workshop without getting wet again. And our clothes will get wet again. So… Will you…”

She raises her head to look at me with pleading, but also anxious eyes.

“Will you carry us through the workshop when we’ve gotten dry? Me, and also… Isa and Ari?”

What? That’s it? I almost break out into laughter at the banality of her request. I really thought that she would ask something big of me, like… Paying for a cart to take them somewhere far away, or something. I raise my arms in a big shrug, smiling at her like she is crazy.

“Of course…! Why are you making such a big deal out of something as small as that?”

Maya’s silvery eyes narrow slightly in confusion, one of her ears making a twitch.

“But… But… We’re just… servants.”

“So what? Yeah, sure, servants usually, well, serve humans and work for them. But if someone asks someone for a small favor, it doesn’t matter what race you are. You help each other out. It’s the law in most cases, too. You have to assist others, if they would otherwise suffer any harm.”


Maya moves her head a little bit, staring hard at me. She really can’t believe that I don’t care about carrying the three of them a couple of meters through some water. I can’t believe that it is so shocking for her.

“... No human has ever… Helped us out like that before. I thought you didn’t…”

Her voice trails off. I have to put a hand on my head; the pain is still there, and I want to finish this strange conversation so that she will agree to make it go away. I’m super tired too, and just want to lie down.

“That sounds crazy to me. Of course I’ll help you with something as small as that. I helped you with getting the pantry open too and carrying you into there, right?”

“M-mm… Oh, your head…!”

Looking at me being in pain makes Maya remember what I need her to do. She’s still visibly embarrassed about it, but she glances down at her torso and slowly arches her back to stick out her chest, signaling that she’s making her breasts available for me. I stagger over to her, and lean in over her again. Ugh, it’s an uncomfortable position, though. The altair Maya is sitting on is too tall to allow me to kneel on the floor, and standing bent over like this isn’t relaxing at all. I need to be comfortable if my headache is to completely go away.

“Can you… Move down here?”

Without waiting for an answer, I wrap an arm around Maya’s torso and one around her hips to pick her up. She yelps in surprise, but doesn’t struggle. I carefully, using the last of my energy, lie her down on the floor. The stones here are just as hot as I would expect, so Maya should have no issue with laying with her bare back against them. I get on top of her, my head above her naked chest, and immediately put my mouth over one of her breasts.

The relief is instant. I find myself lightly sucking on her nipple again, the pain in my head fading away once more. Maya sighs and just lies there in the beginning, but puts her hands on my head again after a couple of seconds. I guess she wants to feel like she can still be in control - to pull my head away if I go too far. But I don’t. I switch to her other breast after a while and close my eyes, and we lie there in silence for a minute. The room is quiet, and only the faint splashing of Isa and Ari can be heard. Their splashing then begins drawing closer, and I hear them enter the laboratory. I don’t lift my head or get off of Maya, though. I want to get as much relief out of her as I can.

“What are you doing? Are you making babies?”

I recognize the voice as Ari’s. Maya tenses up underneath me, and I feel her gripping onto my hair.

“We… We are NOT making babies! August’s head hurts, and… it helps when he does this.”


One of the kitties shakes her body and head to get dry, sending a sprinkle of water down my back. I don’t care - the room is so warm that any water on our skin dries pretty fast. I don’t bother getting up, but Maya scolds Ari briefly for getting water on us and then tells them both to spread their clothes out on the tables to dry. They sit down next to us afterwards. Isa asks what kind of room this is, and Maya tries to repeat the explanation I gave her. After a while, Maya lightly taps the side of my head. I realize I am about to fall asleep, resting my head on her chest with my lips still pressed against her breast. I shift around slightly.


“August….? Is your head okay now?”

Maya asks softly, and I nod my head sleepily. I’m about to sit up, but she quickly holds me back down against her body.

“W-wait… Please.”

I’m sleepy and a bit confused. I can’t see anything from how my head is positioned, but I can hear the soft, steady breaths of Isa and Ari right next to us. It sounds like they have fallen asleep too.

“I have… I have another favor to ask of you.”

“Hnn… What is it?”

Maya takes a deep breath, her bare chest expanding and contracting underneath me. She still doesn’t like asking me for favors.

“I asked Isa and Ari to dry their clothes. They… Their underwear needs to get dry too.”

“... Uhuh…?”

Okay… The two small kitties are naked right now. Alright. Maya gulps.

“... My skirt and my… Underwear… I also want to get them dry.”


It sounds like she is having a hard time making another stupidly simple request. But I better be polite and hear her out. Maya continues speaking in a low voice.

“Can you… Can you take the lantern and go over to the other end of the room, and… If you’re going to sleep, put out the light?”

“Mm… Sure.”

That’s not an entirely unreasonable request, I guess. Maya still doesn’t want me to see them naked, for some reason. They’ll probably be fine without the candlelight, while it’ll prevent me from getting to look at them. I nod and slowly get off of Maya. My headache is completely gone. I’m still sleepy, but my head feels fine. It really works. Putting my lips to Maya’s breasts really makes the pain go away, just like it did with Sophie when I was a child. Even though my head doesn’t hurt anymore, I still want to go back to sleep. It’s still in the middle of the night - I can see the reflection of the moonlight through the doorway to the workshop.

I stand up, and only look at Isa and Ari to take note of their location. Just as I thought, they are now naked. To honor Maya’s request I turn away from them and give Maya a nod, as if to say good-night, and I take the lantern to sit myself down at the other end of the laboratory. Me and Maya glance at each other one last time before I put out the candlelight. It’s time to get some real sleep.

I follow the girls’ example and take my underwear off, laying them out on the warm floor so they can get dry. Through the darkness, I can hear Maya take her skirt and underwear off to do the same. I then lie down, wanting to go back to sleep. It feels terrible. I’ve always slept in comfortable, luxurious beds. Now I have to sleep on the hard floor of a dirty laboratory, white powder rubbing off on my naked skin. No matter. I can wash it off tomorrow. That is the last though I have before I fall asleep.

Chapter 10 Anonymous 23/10/21(Sat)19:32 No. 27924 ID: dc5094

… of selective breeding. Not only does their docile behavior point to this; so does their physiology. For instance, they do not grow a single hair anywhere on their body except for on the tail and on top of the head, including on the ears. This greatly increases hygiene and decreases the infection of parasites. More obvious is the fact that the development of their bodies slows down sooner than that of humans. While the physique of humans continues to develop until around twenty years of age, the bodies of servants cease growing once they reach sexual maturity at around twelve years of age. Even when reaching twenty years of age, they will seldom have developed anything but a delicate and slender body, and even henceforth does age seem to impact them. Just like with humans, this is partly due to the fact that after it was made illegal to consume animal flesh, it is extremely …

Sun… Moon… Grass… Shadows… Sunlight. Fluffy pink hair. Fluffy, light dresses. Light skin. Bright skies. Fresh air. Soft grass. Hard tree trunks. Hard stones. Stars. More moonlight. It’s bright. The ground isn’t soft. I’m not standing on the ground, I’m standing in water. My limbs hurt. Hardness. Softness. Hardness.


It’s hard underneath me. But also warm. It’s dark. I can’t tell what I’m looking at. Grey stone walls. The air is hot. What is this place? I’m not alone. I turn my body. It’s hard… Literally. I feel stiff. I’m lying on a bare stone floor. The stones are warm. There are voices. Quiet, but close by. I turn my head. There’s a girl… Slowly spinning herself around. Oh, a catgirl. Long, sky-blue hair and fur on her ears and tail. She is holding onto her white dress, spinning in place. Another catgirl, short-haired and sitting down, is watching her. Yet another is lying on the floor, just as I am, still sleeping.

Oh… Right. I come to my senses. I don’t want to, but I do. I keep still. I don’t want to… to do anything.

“... how pretty it is. I’ve never seen clothes this white…!”

The catgirl standing up is trying to keep her voice down, despite being rather excited about something. The catgirl sitting down… Maya, that’s what her name was. I shift around. This floor is so goddamn hard. I can’t get comfortable. I groan and sit up. It’s still pretty dark in here, there’s no windows. Isa and Maya immediately freeze in place, having noticed me, and they now stare cautiously at me. I wonder how long they have been awake. They are both dressed in their clothes - Ari too, still sleeping - while I am naked. Not that it really matters - humans have no reason to cover themselves up in front of servants.

But these are not normal servants… Or, at least one of them isn’t. I remember that Maya, for some reason, doesn’t seem to be entirely comfortable with nudity. To prevent a potentially awkward situation getting even more awkward, I slip on my underwear and undershirt. I then send Maya and Isa a tired smile.



Isa brightens up at seeing that I am awake, her tail lifting upwards. She is smiling shyly to me, and begins swishing the front of her dress around. The fabric is surprisingly white and pure, even here in the semi-darkness.


“Oh, yes, it’s very pretty.”

Maya watches us in silence. Isa suddenly stops moving and looks at me with a worried expression, as if she suddenly remembered something.

“Augus, I’m… I’m hungry.”

“Oh… Yeah. Me too. Oh, have you been awake for long?”

I have no idea how long I’ve slept, or for how long the catgirls slept. Isa shakes her head.

“Nuh-uh. Well Maya might. She doesn’t sleep for v--”


Maya cuts her off with a harsh voice, and Isa’s ears drop down. Hmm… I don’t understand why Maya is so harsh with her two companions. I’ve gotten quite friendly with the three of them now, I’d like to believe, but… Well, what do I know. I stand up, feeling my own hunger, and grab my shoes and the rest of my clothes. Everything is dry and crisp… and pretty dirty. Eh, I don’t want to bother washing them. Unlike the girls, I fortunately have spare clothes I can wear. They’re in my trunk, which is still sitting in the lobby. Dammit… I can already feel my head worsening. There’s so many things to take care of, so many things I have to think about. Food, water, clothes, finding a proper place to sleep, finding out if there’s ANYTHING of worth at all in this damned castle…

I finish buttoning my shirt and take a look through the doorway to the workshop. Instead of moonlight, there is now a gentle shimmering of early sunlight being reflected in the water. The sound of the stream running down over the wall is constant as ever. I notice Maya moving around next to Ari’s sleeping body. The poor girl still can’t walk, so she is crawling around on the floor. Her ankle isn’t that swollen anymore, but the skin is still red and lightly scarred. Maya shakes Ari awake… Or tries to, at least. Not even Maya raising her voice gets her up. I step over to them, slightly worried. Isa was sick before. Could there be something wrong with Ari now?

“Is she alright?”

Maya exhales deeply and glances up at me.

“She’s just a sleepyhead.”

“Oh. Well, it is quite early, I guess.”


Maya hums in agreement. She then raises her eyes to look up at me again, a hint of uneasiness in her silvery eyes.

“You… You’re still willing to… Carry us through the workshop, right?”

I snort in amusement at the fact that Maya is still in disbelief that I don’t mind helping them out.

“Of course. Don’t worry. You help me out with stuff too, right?”

“M--... Mmm…”

“Let’s go back up right now. I’m starving.”

“Mm… Yeah…”

She’s still not entirely comfortable with having to rely on me. But I give her a smile, and then turn towards Isa who has been standing still, listening to us. She’s a pretty quiet one, that girl.

“Alright, who wanna go first? Isa, how about you?”

“... okay.”

Both Isa and Maya agree, and I kneel down so that Isa can climb up on my back, just like how Maya held on to me yesterday. Maya is still unnecessarily worried, even though I have no problem stepping down into the warm water with Isa on my back. Remembering how I almost slipped yesterday, I’m being extra careful now. Damn, I had forgotten how hot the water is down here. It still doesn’t make sense to me… The stream of almost-boiling water coming out of the wall in the workshop shouldn’t be enough to keep the entire body of water flooding these rooms this hot. It’s weird.

“Be-- be careful, okay?”

Maya stares at us, still deeply worried, while I slowly make my way out of the laboratory. While I don’t want to fall either, I don’t understand her anxiety. Both me and Isa would probably be fine landing the water if I lost my balance, the only problem would be our clothes getting wet again. We enter the workshop and I make a small detour to go over to the windows. Maya was light but Isa is even lighter, so I’m not afraid at all of getting worn out from carrying her on my back. We both take a moment to take in the view of the landscape outside.

What looked like a valley last night is actually just a small but flat plateau. I narrow my eyes while they get used to the sunlight, and become able to spot… Yes! There’s definitely a creek, or a stream of water, snaking through the rocks of the grassy grounds down below, just a few meters away from the castle. No more drinking this warm basement water! Except… Maybe it’s where the water from the flooded rooms up here drains to. It is actually weird that these rooms can stay flooded when we are above ground level. Beyond the other side of the stream, the mountainside resumes its climb towards the skies. While the rising sun is bathing everything in a sharp light, there are also a lot of huge, dark clouds in the sky. It’s beautiful.



I turn my head to look at Isa, her long, light-blue hair flowing down across my shoulders.

“Are you going to stay here?”

“What? No, I’m just looking out through the window for a bit. I’ll go over to--”

“No, I don’t mean here. I mean… In the castle.”


I begin slowly wading over towards the doorway leading to the stairs. I shouldn’t take too long, or Maya will get worried. Isa is keeping her voice down, for some reason.

“Yeah… This is my home now.”

“... Can we stay here too?”

Hmm… I hadn’t thought about that. Ever since coming here yesterday, I have been forced to take care of my most immediate needs - food and water. Things that I have had servants take care for me my whole life. Now I have nobody to take care of anything for me… In fact, the roles have been reversed. I certainly haven’t had the chance to think about the future at all so far…

“Let’s talk about that when we’re all upstairs again, okay? I’m sure Maya and Ari also have something to say about that.”


Isa sighs with sadness.

“... I want to stay here.”

But this is a dump, I think to myself. We reach the stairs, the hallway above us still cast in darkness. Man, I’m tired already. I don’t feel rested at all… Sleeping on a hard stony floor didn’t do any wonders for my body. I grunt at the stiffness in my joints when I take the first step up, but I manage to ascend the slippery stairs far enough for Isa to slip down on dry ground. She crawls another step up and then turns around to look worried down at me. I probably, just like yesterday, look like shit.

“Augus…? Are you okay?”

“Yeah…! Yeah, it’s nothing, it’s just… It wasn’t exactly comfortable sleeping on the floor down there, was it?”

I give Isa a crooked smile while I arch my back to stretch it out. Isa still looks worried. I can barely see her in the darkness.

“No… We’ve always slept like that, though.”

“What? Really?”

I look at Isa with horror. That is illegal. She glances off to the side, folding her hands behind her back while her ears droop down.

“We’re used to it… so…”

“Aww… We’ll find somewhere today that’s nicer than sleeping on the hard floor, okay?”


“But first I need to go back for Maya and Ari, and then we need to get some breakfast. Go up to the top and wait for us, alright?”


I like Isa. She is soft spoken, and easy to deal with. We hesitantly smile at each other before I turn around to return to the laboratory. As soon as I enter, Maya tries to stand up but is quickly reminded by her leg that she is not able to do that. She lets herself flop back down on the floor, staring at me with worried eyes and a tail rapidly swishing from side to side.

“What took you so long? Is Isa okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, relax…!”

I sigh quietly at how nervous this catgirl is. It’s very unlike their nature… as far as I’ve known them. Ari is now standing up, a bit behind Maya, swaying back and forth with half-closed eyes. She almost still seems to be asleep.

“It takes time to walk through waist-deep water while being careful not to slip, alright? Come here, Ari, your turn.”

Maya nods with hesitation before turning around to tug at Ari’s dress. The sleepy catgirl drags her feet over to me, and I turn around and bend down so she can climb onto my back. She does so slowly, but without any problems, and I carry her through the workshop and over to the stairs. She gets off and goes up to Ari, and they both wait obediently while I go back to get their older friend. Maya almost seems relieved that I came back to her and didn’t… I don’t know, run off with her two smaller companions. Carrying my shoes and trousers with her, she crawls up on my back and… Holds on to me really tightly. It’s not even because Isa and Ari are a few kilos lighter than Maya that I can feel a sudden difference, she is really gripping onto me.

“Hey, are you okay?”


Maya hums quietly into my ear, and presses her chin against my shoulder. I can feel her breathing on my neck. I assume she’s just afraid that I will slip on the slippery white stuff again, so I don’t mention it. We pass through the workshop and get up the stairs to join Isa and Ari, and Maya gets off so I can use my shirt sleeves to dry off my feet and legs, and put my shoes and trousers, on before crawling up on my back again. It feels great to be back up here again. While it wasn’t unpleasant down in the workshop and laboratory, the humidity and hotness was getting to me. Back up here, in the first level of the cellars, it’s comfortably dry and warm.

But it is also… Dark. I sigh and lower my head.

“What is it?”

Maya asks softly into my ear.

“... We forgot the lantern. I can’t see.”


There is barely any light coming up here from the windows in the workshop. I’m so tired… I just went back and forth through the workshop three times, and I’ve had enough of wading through the water and being careful not to slip. I don’t want to go back one more time, but I guess I have no choice. I’m about to turn around when I hear Isa and Ari move.

“Augus…! There is a torch over there! I saw it when I was waiting for you and Maya!”

“What? Where?”

I recognize the energetic voice as Ari’s. Sounds like she has fully woken up now. Maya’s grip tightens around me, and she points to somewhere down the hallway.

“Over there. I see it.”

“Yeah! It’s over here!”

I follow the sound of Ari’s voice. I can just barely make out where she is. Walking very slowly through the darkness, I come over to a lone torch hanging on the wall. We must have passed it yesterday. But it’s no use, I don’t have anything to light it with. I don’t have… Wait a second. I check my pockets out of habit, and find something in them. It’s the tinderbox I found yesterday. When did I…? I must have put it in my pocket by instinct. I manage to get the torch lit, and take it down from the wall. I have obtained the power of fire once again.

“Thank you, Ari. I have no idea which way to go now, though.”

Maya easily takes care of that. She tells me where to go, just like yesterday, and we soon walk up the other set of stairs to reach the ground floor, and then through the empty hallways to get back to the pantry. Finally, we’re back. At last. I breathe a sigh of relief.

Maya has been clinging tightly on to me the whole way here. I don’t understand why - once we had gotten away from the stairway leading down to the workshop, there hasn’t been anything on the stony floor that could make me slip. But she was pressing her thighs against my waist and her arms against my torso the entire time. Even now, once we’re back in the pantry again, she seems… Almost reluctant to let go of me to slip off. But she does, and after fixing the torch to the wall I sit down next to her, tired and in need of a break.

Isa and Ari prove to be good kitties again. Pattering around in the pantry, they bring me and Maya some chewstalks and starleaves for our breakfast. After giving us our portions, they sit down right in front of us to eat. While it’s the worst breakfast I’ve had my entire life, I’m… Actually feeling kind of happy, for the first time since I first laid my eyes on Emberholm yesterday. Unlike last evening, where I sat far away from the catgirls while we ate, we’re now sitting huddled closely together in a small circle.

It feels good to get something to eat, but we still have the same problem as yesterday. There’s nothing to drink here in the pantry. I groan, feeling my thirst while I chew on my food. Why didn’t we take a sip from the water in the basement before going up? I don’t want to go all the way down there again already… And I don’t want to drink that hot, weird water again either. None of us seems to have gotten sick from drinking it, but I’d rather have some fresh, cold water… Like the water from the stream I saw from the workshop, hopefully. While I have no idea how easy it is to get down there, we’ll have to find a way to go down to there.


We’ve all stopped eating by now, with the exception of Ari. Isa and Maya look at me.

“Isa, remember that stream we saw outside? Have you been down there?”

Maya’s ears perk up, and Isa looks upwards while she thinks.

“No… We followed the road up here, so… we haven’t been outside at all or know what--”

She’s interrupted by a sudden, violent cough. Dammit, she’s still sick. It looks like several hours worth of pent-up coughing is forcing its way up through Isa’s throat, and even Maya looks scared. She leans over to repeatedly slap Isa hard on the back, and after several seconds of coughing, she finally gets it under control. She’s catching her breath, and we all wait a few seconds before Isa speaks again. She’s being brave and trying to push through it.

“... we didn’t even know there was a stream behind the castle.”

Maya moves back to her spot, and I notice that she sit herself down a little bit closer to me. I ignore it and go back to the topic at hand.

“Okay. Well, I don’t want to drink the basement water anymore. I want to go down and check that stream out.”

I stand up. It’s still early in the morning, but it’s not like I have anything else to do. Ari immediately jumps up on her feet.

“Take me with you!”

Isa slowly follows after, coughing before speaking.

“Me too…!”

I guess these kitties don’t have anything else to do either. I nod, but notice Ari and Isa are looking at Maya, their ears and tails tense. Maya doesn’t look happy at all, and she slowly shakes her head.

“N-no… No…”

Isa and Ari don't say anything, they just keep staring at Maya. Her eyes flicker back and forth between the three of us, and I can even see how the fur on her ears rises up a bit.


Maya manages to move up on her knees, having a sour look on her face. Isa and Ari move closer together, but they don’t back down. They must be as thirsty for fresh, cold water as I am. Maya becomes more and more upset.

“You’re-- we’re not going outside! It’s dangerous! There… there might be people!”

Isa and Ari are still keeping quiet, but I can see that Maya has the final word in regards to those two. I’m confused. Why is Maya so much against going outside? I really doubt we’ll run into anyone out there. We’re rather far away from everybody and everything, as far as I know. Maya’s voice grows more and more panicked.

“What if someone sees us?! What if someone falls and gets hurt again? What if the water is… is… What if--”

I feel sorry for Ari and Isa. Maybe I can get Maya to change her mind. I kneel down next to her, cutting off her bewildered speech by speaking in a low voice.

“Hey… Hey! Relax. There’s not gonna be anyone out there. We’re just gonna go out and check out the stream, okay?”

Maya’s eyes and ears flicker nervously, and her breathing quickens.

“But…! But…!”

“I’ll be there and I’ll take care of it if anything happens, okay? Besides, I… I need your help.”

“My help? For… what?”

I came here to be independent, but I already have to admit to someone that I need to rely on them. But I can’t afford to be embarrassed by my own weaknesses. I reach out to grab onto Maya’s shoulders, staring into her eyes. She is breathing so fast.

“I need you to be there if I… If my head starts hurting again.”

“But… But we might…”

“I’ll look after you. We need to find some proper water to drink. Maya, I need you.”

Maya stares back into my eyes with a hard look on her face, and we are quiet for a few seconds. She glances quickly at a point behind me, probably at Isa and Ari, and then looks back at me. I don’t break eye contact. Eventually, her breathing slows down and she determinately nods her head. She understands. I breathe an internal sigh of relief and try to smile, and I gave her shoulders a comforting squeeze.

“Thank you. Let’s all go out and help each other out, okay?”


Maya nods again. I smile even more and move a hand up to pat her head. To my surprise, she immediately recoils away with a look on her face as if I am about to hurt her, her eyes shut tightly. How strange… It wasn’t unusual for my family’s servants to enjoy a pat on the head now and then. Maya doesn’t move away - her injured leg is probably preventing her from doing so - so I carefully continue until the palm of my hand makes contact with the top of her head. After a few soft strokes, she gradually opens her eyes again to look at me with slight confusion. I’m confused too, but I mentally shrug it off. I don’t want to waste any more time in this dark and warm pantry.

I look over my shoulder to check on Isa and Ari, who have been watching us in silence. I give them a nod to signal that everything is okay, and that we can get going. I then turn around so that Maya can climb up on my back again, which she does without any fuss. She’s not holding onto me as tightly as before, but she is still… Really hugging her body in against me, much more than she needs to. She is probably just worried about falling off and landing on her injured leg. With my thirst urging me on, I grab the torch and leave the pantry together with the three catgirls.

Chapter 11 Anonymous 23/10/21(Sat)19:33 No. 27925 ID: dc5094

… similar, and quite different from that of humans. This is thought to be the natural result of the fact that male servients are so rare, so that when breeding happens it must be guaranteed to be productive. Firstly, sub-human species seem to have much greater sensitivity in their reproductive organs than do humans, and the climaxes of females especially come easily and with great intensity. Secondly, females seem to have developed a chemical sensitivity to seminal fluids, and react strongly when …

Passing through the kitchen, I get Isa and Ari to find a bucket each in case we will really be able to get drinkable water from the stream outside. Even though Isa is coughing again, she is still willing to do her part. With the ascending morning sun casting its light in through the windows of the hallway, I extinguish the torch and leave it in the kitchen. With a little help from Maya, we then find our way back to the lobby and venture outside. No headache so far, thankfully. It’s a crisp autumn morning, and a cool breeze immediately makes me worry that my feline companions will not be able to keep warm if we stay out here for long. I’m also worried about their bare feet, but Isa and Ari were admandant on coming with me, staying close to my sides. Walking down the steps - these ones are thankfully not slippery at all - I look out across the courtyard. With Castle Emberholm to my back, there is only an unspoilt forest beyond the courtyard in front of me, with the path my cart took yesterday leaving a small gap behind the trees.

I’m almost blinded by the daylight, after fumbling around inside the dark castle for so long. Now that we are blessed with the full spectrum of light, Isa’s light-blue and Ari’s golden brown hair, ears and tails really stand out against their snow-white tunics. Anyways, ogling the pretty catgirls next to me is not the reason we went outside. I close my eyes and think. I try to remember the view I had from the workshop. There should be a way to get down to the plateau that is behind the castle, right? I suddenly shiver. It is cold up here in the mountains. It’s colder than what I’m used to. But my back is warm. Maya is warm. Despite the added weight, it actually feels nice having her cling to my back.

Isa coughs, and it snaps me out of it. I can’t afford to stand around here all day. I lead the way while we follow the rugged wall of the castle. It doesn’t take long before we turn the corner and are standing in front of an ancient set of stairs leading downwards. I look out into the distance. It’s a funny landscape to me - I’m not used to mountaneous regions. It is not exactly a valley, but more like a great, empty basin. At the bottom of the stairs, I can just about make out the small stream of water snaking through the plateau. It looks like a giant, shallow bowl has been dug out on the side of the mountain, with Castle Emberholm sprouting up on one of the slopes, and the mountains climbing up on the opposite side. The ground is a mix of rocky soils and grassy slopes as far as I can see, with some sparse pine trees here and there., and I begin to understand how what I thought was the cellars are not so much underground, just at a different level due to the shape of the landscape.

I take in the view while we carefully descend the stairs. It truly is beautiful out here - the majestic mountains are in the distance, and large clouds are casting their shadows down on a landscape that is as scenic as it is barren. While grassy, the ground is also very rocky with an occasional bush or tree here and there. While it is very picturesque, it is also a very sad sight for me. I have yet to see any fields or arable plots of lands, like I was promised there would be near the castle. We are too far up on the Igniferi mountain range to have any soil to farm. Another lie. I feel so stupid again… I feel so… I feel…

“August…? What’s wrong?”

Maya speaks softly into my ear, and I stop walking. I shake my head.

“Nothing, I just need a short break.”

For strays, these are actually rather well-behaved kitties. Isa and Ari don’t run off on their own, they give me a moment to rest without complaining about it… something I’m not used to. My family was always impatient with me, which is one of the reasons why… Ah, this isn’t the time to think about that. I’ve got something to do. We proceed to go down the stairs next to the wall of the castle until we reach the bottom. I focus my eyes on the stream of water flowing only a few meters away from the foundation of the castle, and head towards it with Isa and Ari following after me. Their hair and their dresses are flowing in the cool wind, but they still don’t make any complaints. Maya isn’t complaining either, even though she is as lightly dressed as her two companions, she just keeps… Squeezing herself against my back. Fine with me.

The sound of running water is music to my ears, and I feel Maya perking up as well. It’s very rocky down here, with barely any vegetation. I kneel down by the water and motion for Maya to get off of me, which she does. The stream is crystal-clear and runs rapidly over the stony ground. The three catgirls watch intensely as I extend my hand down towards the flowing stream. Remembering the burning sensation from the water that scalded me in the workshop, I’m being a bit more cautious now. If this is from the same source as the water flooding the castle, it’ll probably be pretty hot too.


I dip my fingers into the stream and immediately recoil back. This time I didn’t get burned; quite the opposite. The water was icy cold. It must come from melting snow high in the mountains. The catgirls looks worried at me, and I smile to them to tell them I’m okay.

“It’s really cold. It should be safe to drink.”

Ari, being the more curious one of the three, is quick to kneel down and feel for herself. Her ears and tail stand up once she feels the icy temperature for herself.

“Yeah! It’s cold!”

I help Maya into a position where she can reach down as well, and we all cup our hands into the water to drink it. It is uncomfortably cold, but fresh and delicious. There’s no weird taste in it, as there was in the water in the castle. We all drink and drink, and I only stop once my fingers have gotten so frozen that I can barely move them. One by one, we move a couple of meters back to sit on the rocky ground, our stomaches full of delicious alpine water. Not even comparing it to the warm water in the workshop, this was the most delicious drink I have had in my entire life. It didn’t seem to do any good for Isa, though, as she is still coughing.

I let my eyes rest on my three companions. They’ve all been careful not getting their white clothes dirty, but I’m reminded again that it must be freezing for them out here. We better go back inside soon. Maya is visibly on her guard, scanning the slopes all around us. But I think she is beginning to accept that we really are all alone up here. It’s serenely quiet, with only the sound of the stream, the wind, and the occasional bird chirping flowing through the crisp air. A large cloud rolls underneath the sun, softening the light around us. It’s all very nice, except… Yeah, you can probably guess it. My damned head. It’s not bad, but it’s beginning to hurt. I better take it easy. We found what we were looking for - a fresh source of water.

“Isa, Ari? Can you see if you can fill the buckets with water, so we can bring it back to the pantry?”

Almost as if she is happy to be given something to do, Ari jumps up and eagerly accepts her task. She and Isa scoots back down to the stream and begins fiddling around with their buckets before Isa tells Ari that they should clean them out before filling them up. Maya is keeping a watchful eye on them. The clouds in the skies rolls away from the sun, and I’m almost blinded for the second time of the day from the sunlight reflecting off of Maya’s short, slightly messy hair. She looks so out of place, sitting on the ground with her knees drawn up to her chest, rubbing her arms for warmth. A little cat-eared girl with pure white skin, shiny white hair and fur, only wearing a brilliant white shirt and skirt. Like an angel that has fallen down from the heavens.

“Hey… What will you do once your leg gets better? Are you-... are you gonna stay here?”

Maya turns her head to look at me. Her silvery eyes are sharp, and also slightly sad. She then gets a hard look on her face, her ears turning out to the sides.

“No…! We’re moving on as soon as I can walk again.”


I’m actually surprised. Maya lowers her eyes, but still looks bitter.

“I’m just waiting for a few… A few days until my leg is healed.”

“And then you’re planning to leave?”


“But… It’s autumn. You’ll be walking right into winter… Without knowing where to stay, or where to go?”

“I don’t care!”

Maya almost hisses at me, probably trying to keep her voice down so that Isa and Ari doesn’t hear her. Those two are busy trying to fill the buckets, which looks to be more difficult than I thought. The stream is pretty shallow, so Ari is trying to… Dig downwards with some stones she picked up to increase the depth, or something. I turn back to Maya. Has she not learned anything from the fact that the three of them would be starving right now if I hadn’t shown up?

“Why don’t you want to stay in the castle? At least until spring arrives again.”


Maya raises her head to glare at me. Her eyes are full of hate for a split second, before she softens again.

“Because you are here!”

Maya must recognize the look of shock on my face, since she forces herself to calm down again. She looks down at the ground once more, bitterness on her face.

“I… I’m thankful that you are helping us… August… You’re not like… the others. But I HATE humans…!”

The silvery eyes glows with anger at the words others and hate.

“As soon as I can walk again, we are… we… I… I promised myself I would never aga--”

A sharp scream cuts through Maya’s voice, and we both snap our heads to see what happened. Maya yells out.


Ari is splashing around in the middle of the stream. She probably slipped while trying to dig her hole. She gets up on all fours, and even though the water is too shallow to present any danger of drowning, Maya is scrambling like crazy. She is in full on panic and trying to get up, but her injured leg only allows her to yelp out in pain while she frantically yells Ari’s name. Isa is frozen, kneeling down next to the stream. I take a deep breath and stand up, and wade out into the water. Holy fucking shit, it’s cold…! It feels like a thousand tiny needles press against my feet and lower legs. I reach down to put my hands under Ari’s shoulders, and thanks to her small stature I easily lift her up. She immediately clings to my body, soaking me with more icy water. I wade up from the stream again.

“Are you okay?”

“Y-y-ye-ye-yea-yea-yeah, I-I ju-j-just fell, I di-di-din-din’t hurt mys-s-self an-an---”

She’s not injured, but the situation is almost as bad. Her entire body is shivering and shaking like crazy. I begin shivering as well, but what I feel must only be a quarter of the freezing coldness that Ari is experiencing. I look down at Maya, but she has become paralyzed. She is just staring right back up at me with panicked eyes.

“It’s okay, she’s okay. She’s just cold. We just need to… to…”

I try to think straight. I realize that my head is now being pounded with pain. I groat, but force myself to ignore my headache. I look up at Castle Emberholm. The windows of the workshop are right up there, only three or four meters above the ground, along with several other windows of rooms we have not explored yet. Underneath some of those windows is a large set of doors, even bigger than the one at the front of the castle. I just need to get Ari in there, and find our way to the workshop so she can get warm and dry.

I take a few, controlled breaths. Ari is panting rapidly against my neck, her teeth clattering non-stop. I shift her around so that she is hanging onto my chest, and then kneel down next to Maya.

“Get on. We have to go back inside.”

“What? No, just… Just go! Just leave me and take Isa with you! Just leave me here!”

“Are you crazy? It’s enough with one of you getting frozen out here! I don’t want to come back and find you with frostbite all over!”

Maya and I have a battle of will for a few seconds, staring hard at each other. She then grunts and climbs up onto my back. I steady myself and slowly stand up. Oouucch… It’s not bad carrying one catgirl around, but now I’ve got the full weight of two of them hanging on to me. The physical strain is multiplying my headache. I take one step, and then another. I can do this. I have to do this. We reach the wall of the castle. I turn my head to check that Isa is coming with us, which she of course is. But she is carrying both of the buckets. Granted, they are only half full, but that is still a lot of weight for such a small catgirl. She coughs, obviously strained from the weight. Just like I am.

“Ari… Ari…”

Maya keeps chanting Ari’s name, fear and desperation in her voice. I don’t think Ari is in risk of freezing to death anytime soon, but she is shivering non-stop. We follow the wall until we come to the huge doors, and I find myself begging that I can open them. They look old and immobile. I grab onto the large iron rings that makes out their handles, and pull on them.

“Please… please… please…”

I pull and pull, and then I push and pull again, but they don’t budge. I can’t put a lot of strength into it, due to the two catgirls hanging on to me as well as the ever-increasing headache that only gets worse the more I pull. It’s no use. We have to go back all the way around to the front. With a heavy sigh, I turn around and head back towards the stairs, with Isa in tow.

Just one step at a time. Damn these stairs. Just one more step… And then one more step… And then one more step… I can’t think at all anymore. I have to get the girls back into the castle before I pass out. Just one more step… There, flat ground… Then more pained steps across the courtyard. Then a few steps up to the front door of the castle. I’m seriously worried my brain is going to implode at any moment now. Maya says something into my ear. I follow her directions, but I’m not even conscious of what she is actually saying. At least it’s warm in here. But it’s not enough. Both me and Ari are shivering. Isa is coughing.

Darkness… Maya is leading me down to the cellars again. Down to the workshop. It is almost pitch-black, but just enough of the sharp sunlight is being reflected through the stony hallways to let me move forward. Maya has no trouble seeing, and before I know it we are standing in front of the stairs leading down to the workshop. I seriously hate stairs at this point. And now I have to go down the worst of them - the slippery ones. I realize Maya is hyperventilating with stress, pressing her face against the side of my neck.

“Please don’t fall please don’t fall please don’t fall August please don’t fall---”

I concentrate harder than I have ever done in my life. These girls are getting heavier on my body by the second. One step at a time, I manage to descend the stairs without slipping. This damned, white powder. These damn stairs all over the place, and all this damned slipping. All my negativity is washed away once I step down into the warm water. Ahh… I was getting seriously cold. This strangely hot water is a bizarre luxury considering all the hardships we have to deal with. But I can’t relax just yet, and my head is still killing me. I take a few steps to enter the workshop, and then lean down to release poor Ari into the water. Maya also slips off of me, and Isa is still following along as well. I think she put the buckets down somewhere once we got inside, but that’s not important right now.

All three of us look at Ari, whose face slowly melts into a blissful smile. Maya says something in a relieved voice, and Ari answers back, but I can’t make sense of it. I can’t make sense of anything at all any more, there is nothing but a pounding pain in my head and a tiredness in my body. I groan and stumble, having to balance myself against one of the submerged tables.


Maya rushes over to me. She says my name again, but I can’t respond. She puts her hands against my chest, and says my name again. Shit… I can’t pass out here. Not in the water. I’ll drown for sure. Maybe the girls can… I don’t know, float me over to the stairs, or something. I begin to lose my vision. I then feel Maya’s small fingers pulling at my clothes. Her voice keeps ringing in my ears, keeping me grounded. She uses me to hoist herself up to sit on a table, and I’m then pulled in towards her. She is tightly holding on to my head, pressing my face against her chest. The table has put her at just the right height, and she has already pulled her shirt down from her shoulders and down to her stomach.

I instinctively let one of her small nipples into my mouth. I immediately feel better. She’s so soft, she’s so warm… A different kind of warmth than the air and the water in here. A much better kind. My consciousness slowly returns, and I sigh with relief. The roundness of her breast, the curvature of her petite flesh, the subtle pointiness of her nipples… Maya’s chest is the only thing I care about right now.


Someone forces me to think about something else, though. I’ve only been healed by a tiny amount, and I only manage to turn slightly around before Ari practically crawls up on me to hug me tightly.

“Thank you thank you thank you!”

Ari plasters my face with countless quick kisses. They don’t feel as good as Maya’s breast, but… They don’t feel bad either. Maya shusses on Ari to get her to stop, which she does.

“Ari, easy…! August’s head hurts again.”


Ari looks worried at me, but I shake it off with a smile.

“I’m fine, never mind me. More importantly, are you okay?”


Ari nods energetically. She almost seems to be back to her usual, peppy self. She then looks down at her hands, which is clutching onto the front of my shirt.

“Oh..! I got your clothes dirty.”

“You only got them wet. They were dirty before.”

“We should wash them! Now we’re down here again!”

That’s right, I think… It hasn’t even been half a day and we’re right back where we started. A flooded workshop with two catgirls doing the laundry in the weird water, and another catgirl who helps me with my headache. It’s surreal. This place is surreal. At least the warm water feels good after our trip outside. And a bright sunlight is beaming in through the large windows, making the water cast a shimmering reflection on the walls and ceiling. Isa floats over to us, slow and graceful. She’s not coughing anymore.

“Ari, your dress got dirty too… You should stop being so clumsy.”

I let go of Ari to let her drop back down in the water. She narrows her eyes and crosses her arms.

“I’m NOT clumsy, I was just trying to get water into the bucket.”

“And we even just washed our dresses last night…”

“It’s not MY fault that the--”

“Girls, girls, please…!”

I cut them off before they begin arguing for real. My head can’t take much more.

“If you two want to, you can give all of our clothes a quick wash again, okay?”

Isa and Ari agree, and I begin stripping. I don’t really understand why having clean clothes is such a high priority for us given our situation, there are surely a thousand more important things we should take care of. Maybe the catgirls belonged to a household like my own, where you were taught from an early age to keep up appearances. It might also be a good thing that there is something for Isa and Ari to do, while I carry Maya over to the laboratory and… make use of her body. It’s not like I will be able to do anything more for today until my cursed headache goes away. I glance over at Maya with a pained look. She softly bites her lower lip and nods. She can see that I need more healing from her.

Chapter 12 Anonymous 23/10/21(Sat)19:34 No. 27926 ID: dc5094

… come with limitations. The authority of many ancient institutions were disbanded, and with it the taboo of many harmless activities such as blasphemy, usage of enhancing herbs, and intimate relations outside marriage. However, inter-species physical relations are still frowned upon, today most evident by how servants are only allowed to fraternize with human children but must be separated from them when their playmates reach adolescence. This does not always happen, and as long as …

I let my clothes float around in the water while I take it off one article at a time, and I hang my dripping wet shoes on the hooks on the walls. Ari takes her dress off as well, and then Isa does the same. It is admittedly pretty annoying to be wearing clothes while you are half-submerged in water. Then, to my surprise, Ari yanks down her undergarments seemingly without a care in the world. Isa glances briefly at me, then does the same. The water is again obstructing my view of the parts of the girls’ bodies that are below the surface, due to all the reflections coming from the bright sun streaming in through the windows. But I do get a brief view of a pair of tails sticking out just above their slender, narrow butts before I force myself to look the other way.

As for myself, I have kept my own undergarments on. I don’t exactly want to let it all hang out right in front of the kitties, and washing my dirty underwear is not something I want to make Isa and Ari do. Maya, likewise, seems hesitant about undressing for a moment. It’s not like she has much to lose, though; with her sleeveless shirt bunched up around her stomach her small chest is on full display, and even though her skirt is keeping her thighs and crotch covered, the white fabric has become transparent from being submerged in the water. With a small frown and a flutter of her ears, she removes both pieces of clothing and lets them float in the water too, leaving her in her undergarments just like me.

While Isa and Ari are busy washing all of our clothes, I get Maya to climb onto my back so that I can take her to the laboratory. The lantern is still down here, but now I don’t have anything to light it with. Thankfully, the sun is at an angle where its sunlight is being reflected directly in here, casting an even stronger shimmering of light on the walls and floor than in the workshop. I climb out of the water and get down on the floor, Maya laying herself down on the stony tiles. I lay down next to her. Damn, it’s hot in here. But the warm stones underneath us feel nice against my wet skin, even though they are uncomfortably hard.

It feels kinda weird, all of a sudden. I’m laying down on my side next to a small catgirl laying on her back, looking expectantly at me. We are both almost naked, and I take a moment to let my eyes run across her body - her small bare feet, long skinny legs, narrow boyish hips, thin waist, and her slender torso with only the smallest pair of breasts on her chest, the white skin only broken by two dark, tiny nipples. Her silvery-white tail is laying flat between her butt and the floor, and is half-curled around one of her legs. I’ve never laid with a woman in my entire life, and I never expected I will. Of course, it’s not that kind of laying we are about to do right now. But it almost feels like it. I lean over and scoot down until my head is level with Maya’s torso. My head hurts. And I want it to stop. With Maya watching me, I put my hands on her torso and bring my mouth over her breast once again.

Seconds pass. Minutes pass. Maybe even hours pass, I don’t know. All I know is that I’m in heaven. Just like yesterday evening, we can hear Isa and Ari chitchat while they wash our clothes, and I notice again how Isa isn’t coughing anymore. There is a slight taste of the weird water on Maya’s skin, but otherwise I do not register anything but serenity and calmness gradually replacing my headache and exhaustion. Both of Maya’s nipples have gotten hard at this point, and I switch between them with regular intervals. Not because the effect of sucking on one of her breasts diminishes after a while, but so that I don’t… Wear one out, I guess. Maya doesn’t move much, but I notice her occasionally squeezing her thighs together now and then. Her breathing has also gotten slower.

Eventually, my headache is completely gone. It’s nothing short of a miracle yet again. How does she do it? The headache I just had would normally have knocked me out of action for the rest of the day, but I feel completely fine now. I move back a little to rest my head on my arm, lying on my side with my face right next to Maya’s chest. I bring a hand over to the breast right in front of my eyes, cupping it softly while I admire its subtle roundness. I can feel the nipple poking against the palm of my hand, still hard. I’m not even thinking about how I’m actually groping the breast of a young catgirl, and Maya doesn’t protest either. I only wonder how in the world her chest has the effect it has on me, and… How such a small body, with such a small heart, can harbor so much… hate. Hate for humans.



Maya hums in response to my voice. She sounds almost… Relaxed. And when I glance up, I see that she has closed her eyes.

“Why do you… Hate humans so much?”

I feel Maya tensing up for a brief moment, and after some grumbling she slowly replies.

“I’ve… I’ve never met a human who was nice to us… Except for you.”

“Is that why you came up here? To the mountains? To get away from…”


Maya nods faintly.

“I just… Looked at where the humans were, and then turned around and went the other way.”

“But then you ended up with a human coming up here to find you anyways, hah.”

“... Mm..”

I think some more, idly fondling Maya’s soft breast while we relax in the silent, hot laboratory. I think about why no one has shown any kindness to the kitties, wherever they were before running away. They might be… a little odd, at least compared to the servants we had at my home. They are not as docile and obedient as catgirls are supposed to be, and I would have never imagined one talking back to me like Maya has. But they’re cute, and mean no harm. On the contrary, Maya has the ability to repel the harm that occurs inside my head… I absentmindedly give her breast a soft squeeze, causing her to gasp and sit halfways up, resting on her elbows so she can look down at me.

“What are you doing…? Does it help with your head when you… do that?”

“Huh? Oh, no no… My head is fine now.”

I lower my hand to rest it on Maya’s stomach. For some reason, I want to keep touching her. While the effect is nowhere near as strong as putting my lips to her breast, just having my hand on her bare skin calms me.



“You… You don’t mind that I hate… humans?”

Maya looks at me with a hint of vulnerability on her face, her ears sticking straight up from her head to hear my answer. I half shrug and shake my head.

“I get the feeling that you have your reasons. As long as you don’t hate me, I won’t complain.”


A few seconds of silence pass before Maya speaks out again.

“What do you think about… Us? Us servants?”

I chuckle slightly, being able to hear from the tone in Maya’s voice that she would normally expect a human to hate her kind too, just like she hates humans. I shake my head again.

“That’s not really something I’ve ever thought about. I liked the servants that were at my family’s estate… All of them.”

“You… didn’t think about it? Even though you were living together?”

“Yeah. Pretty much.”

“You just lived together, humans and servants, without…”

Maya’s voice trails off, and she’s looking at me with disbelief and confusion. Is it really so unbelievable that humans and servants can live together under one roof in peace and harmony? Maya must have grown up somewhere really bad… I am suddenly flooded with the feeling that I need to protect this little catgirl. And by extension, Isa and Ari. But I am especially reliant on Maya to heal my headaches. I am not going to make it in this derelict castle if I don’t have her by my side. I can’t let anything happen to her, which reminds me… I slowly sit up and turn my attention to Maya’s leg. The knee is still swollen and scratched up badly, but not as bad as I would have expected. While there’s not enough light in here to really let me get a good look, the scratches don't look infected or filled with pus at all.

“How is your leg?”

“It’s… okay. It doesn’t really hurt, as long as I don’t put any weight on it.”

“That’s good. It doesn’t look infected or anything.”

“... Mmm…”

“How did you get around before I got here?”

Maya looks down at the floor in shame.

“... limped… around… and crawled… around…”

“It’s probably helping that you are not doing that anymore. It needs to be allowed to heal.”

I look up and lock eyes with Maya.

“I don’t want you to try walking around until it’s fully healed, okay? Just let me know if you need to go anywhere, and I’ll carry you.”

Maya narrows her eyes in slight displeasure from having to be dependent on me, but she doesn’t say anything. She probably knows that that would be best for her. I turn my attention back to her leg, and reach out to lightly run my fingers over her shin.

“It’s only your knee that hurts, right?”

Maya flinches briefly at my touch, but quickly relaxes again.


“That’s good.”

I’m lucky - or rather, we’re lucky that Maya isn’t injured anywhere else. I only have the most basic knowledge of medicine, and wouldn’t have been able to treat her in any way. It’s good that all she needs is being carried around. That I can at least do. While I think, I absentmindedly run my fingers up over her knee and over her slender thigh. I can’t help it, her skin is smooth and soft and nice to touch. I’ve always had a weakness to things that feel good against my hands. I realize where my fingers are going, though, and I stop before they reach Maya’s hips, my fingertips just a centimeter below the legband of her underwear. That’s right, I think, she’s wearing some weird kind of super slim undergarments. That’s why my hand ended up all the way up here, they would have been stopped mid-thigh if she had been wearing regular bloomers… or so I tell myself, at least.


Maya blinks and looks hazily at me.

“What’s the deal with… With these things you girls are wearing?”

Maya tilts her head slightly, confused by my question.

“It’s just… They’re so small and… revealing. I’ve never seen undergarments like these before.”

Maya squeezes her thighs together in slight embarrassment, but I can’t help my stare. Maya’s underwear is nothing but a seemingly single layer of tight, white fabric that only covers her crotch, leaving her thighs completely bare. I can easily make out the shape of her body, and especially the shape of her… of her area where two slightly puffy mounds are divided by the hint of a straight line between her legs. In addition, the white fabric is semi-transparent since it is still wet with the water from the workshop. She might as well not be wearing anything at all; I can almost see everything.

“You haven’t…?”

“No… Back home, girls and women wears big, puffy bloomers”

“Oh…! Those old-fashioned things.”

Maya snorts to let me know what she thinks of the traditional female undergarments.

“Only old ladies wear those here in Albescia. These are called panties. They are easy to move around in, and easier to keep clean, so that’s what all servants are given.”


I don’t know why I’m suddenly so interested in Maya’s underwear all of a sudden. Admittedly, I’m probably more interested in what is underneath them. But I’ve never really thought about girls like that, because every time I do my heart starts pumping and something begins to grow bigger, both of which are immediately followed by a headache. But I don’t feel any headache now; Maya has just taken care of that. And while she seems a little shy with me looking at her like this, she isn’t saying anything either. I know perfectly well what I’m looking at… At least in theory. I bathed naked with Sophie when we were very young, so I know what girls look like down there. From listening to my older brothers and cousins talk amongst themselves, I also know the basics of what is what and what is where and what it does and what you do to it, but that’s all.

I’m about to shift my hand up to the waistband of Maya’s underwear, these so-called panties, when she suddenly freezes for a second followed by her ears beginning to panickedly twist and turn.

“Where is Isa and Ari?! I can’t hear them anymore!”

I listen for a few seconds. Sure enough, it has become eerily quiet. It has actually been quiet for some time. No more splashing or talking can be heard coming from the workshop, the only thing I can hear is the stream of hot water running down over the wall in there. Maya sits up completely and clumsily tries to stand up, but I quickly grab her waist to prevent her from straining her leg. I shush her and soothingly stroke the side of her bare torso.

“Relax, relax. I’ll go look for them, okay? Stay here. Your leg gotta heal.”


Maya has a big frown on her face, and she’s obviously not happy that she can’t go look for her friends herself. But after a reassuring smile and gentle squeeze on her shoulder, she nods and sits back down. Funny, I think to myself while I step down into the water and wade through the laboratory and workshop. Ari also followed me to the pantry on her own yesterday, resulting in the same panicked reaction from Maya… I guess it has only really become a problem that Isa and Ari wander off after Maya hurt her leg. I make my way over to the stairs, and… The white growth on them is gone. What…? I’m sure it was there when I carried the girls down here just a few minutes ago. Or was it a couple of hours ago? I lost track of time while I was laying with my face against Maya’s chest.

With the help of the light being reflected in the water behind me, I can see on closer inspection that the white stuff has been scraped off to the sides. In the corners between each step and the walls are now surprisingly large piles of white slurry. I test the first step above the water with my bare foot and sure enough, it’s much less slippery than before. Ari and Isa must have done this… Good girls, I think to myself. I wish I had something tasty I could give them as a reward.

“Ari? Isa?”

I call up into the dark hallway at the top of the stairs. No answer. I sigh - without any lights and without a pair of kitty eyes, it’ll be difficult for me to find my way around once I get up there. I ascend up the stairs and call out again once I’m at the top. This time, after a few seconds, an answer echoes towards me.


That’s Ari’s voice. I then hear a pattering of footsteps echoing between the walls, getting closer and closer.



I can only see a couple of meters down the hallway, and suddenly Ari appears from the darkness and rushes directly into me, giving my waist a hug.


At first I’m worried that something bad has happened again, but looking down I can just about make out that Ari is smiling up to me. She is not naked, but wearing… Something. I can’t tell what, though. She is also dried off, even her hair.

“Augus…! Where’s Maaya?”

“She’s still in the laboratory. What are you two doing?”

“Takin’ care of our clothes! Upstairs!”


“Come on! It’s much nicer upstairs than down here.”

“Wait, wait, I have to go get Maya.”

“Oh, right! Bring her back up once you’re done suckin’ on her bewbs!”

“I’m not--...”

Ari has already broken off from me and disappeared into the darkness again. Compared with Maya’s controlled, measured movements, she sure is fast. I take a deep breath and go back down to the workshop. Maya is still sitting on the floor in the laboratory, and her ears perk up once she sees me.

“I could hear you talking with Ari. What happened?”

“Nothing, they’ve just… Gone upstairs. They couldn’t float around down here all day, I guess… By the way, how long have we been in here?”

Maya slowly shrugs.

“Let’s go up then… Um…”

She shyly presses her thighs together, and raises her arms to cover her bare breasts.

“I… I’d like to have my clothes…”

“Me too. But…”

I’m just as naked as Maya is, only wearing my underwear.

“I didn’t see any of our clothes in the workshop. Isa and Ari must have taken it all with them.”


“Let’s go up and see what’s going on, okay?”

“... Mmm..”

Maya hums and I kneel down so she can crawl onto my back. She hugs herself tightly against me. Our skin is already dry, and hers feel soft and warm against my body. I then carefully step back down into the water. This will be the fourth time I will be carrying a catgirl through the flooded workshop today… Hopefully we won’t have to go down here again any time soon. Once we reach the top of the not-so-slippery-anymore stairs, I grunt in annoyance.

“I can’t see. And this time, I really don’t have any lights.”

“... I can guide you. Put your hand on the wall.”

With Maya’s help, I’m able to navigate the dark hallways to get back to the stairs leading up to the ground floor. It also helps that I’ve gone back and forth here a couple of times by now. It’s surprisingly not uncomfortable being in this state of undress, considering the cold temperatures outside the walls of the castle. Even my bare feet aren’t getting cold against the warm tiles of the floor. Once we are back up at the ground floor, Maya sniffs the air and wriggles her ears around. She is then able to guide me towards wherever Isa and Ari are, and before long I am able to hear them too. Sadly, the first thing I hear is Isa coughing again. I then become able to tell that she and Ari are having an argument.

Anonymous 23/10/26(Thu)21:27 No. 27927 ID: ac4cfe

Thanks for the chapters OP. Glad to see you're still writing this. Really liking it so far.

Big fan Anony 23/10/31(Tue)06:27 No. 27928 ID: 762ac3

Yea i love it so far too! Hope there's more exposure to the slavery aspect of society.

Anonymous 23/10/31(Tue)16:43 No. 27929 ID: 477c5b

Thank you for your comments. It's critical to know that I am not just writing to nobody.

There is only going to be a tiny bit more about the "slavery" of the world, or of the broader society outside of the castle in general. That would make this too similar to Hiraeth, which I am trying to avoid.

Pondering Anony 23/11/12(Sun)08:03 No. 27930 ID: d5ca9c

Well if the universe is already built around it, don't shy away just to be different, write what needs to be written. Just two cents from random fan lol

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