There are moments in life when one has to admit to have made a mistake, or at the very least to have grossly miscalculated.
Such were the considerations that Emiya Shirou was forced to make, as he laid on the forest floor at dawn, with Busujima Saeko straddling his body and with her sword mere inches from his face.
Yep, nothing had gone as planned. Not at all.
[LV 15 – 8100/15000]
[HP: 1500][MP: 35][MC: 27][ST: 740 ][SP: 15]
[STR: 37][DEX: 37][INT: 21][WIS: 31][CHR: 52]
As time went by, Shirou grew increasingly concerned with Busujima-sensei’s health. Each time they met, she looked more tired and more haunted than the time before. Of course, she was adamant that everything was fine and casually dismissed Shirou’s concerns.
Needless to say, his concerns were not assuaged in the least. Coincidentally, it was time for him to stay over at the dojo for the entire weekend as they had agreed after he had been accepted as a student.
Perhaps it was bold and improper, but Shirou resolved to take a look around while he was there and see if he could figure what troubled his teacher so.
Having packed his bag, Shirou left for the dojo, ready to solve this problem once and for all.
Busijima Saeko’s body was covered in sweat. Her naked form was writhing on the covers of her futon, while her fingers danced madly across the sensitive spots.
“Hmm,” she moaned, bucking her hips as umpteenth, self-imposed orgasm of the night washed across her.
The sun was dawning over the mountain, casting its damning light over the sins of a young woman. She laid there, body trembling in the afterglow, with an arm resting over her face to shield her eyes and hide her shame equally.
She was going mad. No, she had always been mad and now she was going crazy. Something had broken within her.
After the first time she had pleasured herself with the twisted fantasies of abusing her disciple, things had started to go downhill and she had been powerless to do anything about it other than let this ruinous fall carry her further and further down.
Not a day went gone by that she wouldn’t indulge in her madness at least once and on the days she trained him, she would spend the entire night masturbating furiously until dawn.
She had tried not to. She had forced herself to sleep, ignoring her body’s demands but she winded up dreaming of him, waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, feeling in equal parts horrified and aroused.
In the end, she had to give in. Sleep would elude her until she yielded to her rotten heart, after which she fell into a brief slumber filled with shame and self-loathing.
It only got worse when he had asked about her wellbeing.
Emiya Shirou was far from unobservant, she knew, but the fact that he brought up her condition while completely unware that he was the catalyst of her plight served only to magnify her condition. She felt disgusted with herself, while the twisted part of her mind suggested her to show him exactly what was wrong with her and make those delirious, delicious fantasies into reality.
She would reign herself in every time, of course, and pretended that everything was fine. If she ever did listen to the whispers of her wicked heart, she would have to commit seppuku.
Death was becoming an increasingly appealing solution to her. She wondered whether or not she should just take the blade and free herself from her misery before she forced it on Shirou.
However, she still had a duty to perform, something that the samurai in her could not just abandon. Perhaps, after Shirou had learned all the secrets of the Busujima family, she could leave the task to him and see herself out in a permanent fashion, before he could also figure out the secrets of her heart.
However, that was neither here or there. He was still too young for that, even if his skills would soon catch up with hers. What she had to worry about now was the fact that he was going to stay over for two days, and she had no clue how to bear with it.
With a resigned sigh, she pulled herself up. He would be arriving soon, and the least she could do was looking presentable instead of a sticky mess of dried sweat and arousal.
Shirou arrived at the dojo shortly after dawn. Having walked the path up the mountain several times in the previous weeks, his [Sense the Unnatural] had reached level 10, which meant that he could detect supernatural forces in a hundred-meters radius.
He was a bit earlier than expected, on account of the buses finding less traffic in the early morning hours. He had considered waiting around until the agreed upon hour, but ultimately decided not to, mostly because the forest creeped him out, and also because he had already made up his mind to look around the place. Being discourteous by arriving early was the least of his worries.
“Busujima-sensei?” he called out as he knocked on the door.
“Emiya-kun? Come on in.”
He did so, removing his shoes, putting on a pair of slippers and making his way to the living room where he guessed her voice was coming from.
She was indeed there, as expected. What he did not expect was finding with her still damp hair draped across her shoulder, wearing a simple white yukata, slightly loose across the chest, but otherwise clinging to every curve of her body.
“Huh,” he stuttered. “I’m sorry, I’m a bit early. I’ll come back later.”
He was feeling strangely warm around the face and didn’t exactly know why. Her figure was making his heart beat faster.
“There is no need for that Emiya-kun. I’ll be ready in a moment. Have a seat and I’ll be right there,” she said, standing up to her feet and leaving the room.
The scent of flowery shampoo made him feel strangely dizzy and his heart skipped a beat when she brushed past him. Shirou didn’t know what this feeling was, but it wasn’t unpleasant. However, he had the strong impression that it was not polite to stare at the retreating form of his teacher, the white cloth hugging her strong back and firm bottom almost like a second skin, following the slight sway of her hips.
He shook his head to clear up his mind. This wasn’t the time to get strange thoughts. He had to focus on the task at hand.
Saeko closed the door to her room with her heart hammering in her chest.
Even though he was early, she hadn’t been worried about him seeing her like that. He was still ten years old, after all-far too young to be entertaining certain thoughts about women. She didn’t take into account that his exceptional mental maturity could well also manifest precociousness in other areas.
Seeing his gaze flicker from her face and down to her chest surprised her, but not in an unpleasant manner.
She was not a stranger to lustful stares. She might have been socially awkward due to her upbringing, but she was not outright naive. Both her male schoolmates and some of the prospective disciples had cast more than one glance at her form in the past. She had been entirely unperturbed at the time, feeling neither pleased nor displeased about it.
However, when saw Shirou losing his composure for the first time in over a month, her heart skipped a beat. Without thinking and with more mischief than she ever felt like in her life, she purposefully walked past him, putting an extra sway to her hips, shivering as she felt his gaze caressing her back.
What the hell was she doing?
Not one minute into what promised to be the longest two days of her life and she was already stirring trouble for herself and the one person she wanted to spare from her ugliness.
She thought she knew how rotten she was, but this was a new low. Teasing a ten-year-old with her body? There was really no hope left for her.
While his teacher was getting ready, Shirou looked around the place. He felt like a burglar, snooping while keeping an ear out for owner of the place.
He didn’t even know what he was looking for, he just wanted to find something that would give him a hint on how to help Busujima-sensei.
His search produced nothing and he was forced to abort the mission when he heard the a door sliding open and close, followed by approaching footsteps.
“I’m ready,” she said, sounding frostier than ever. She didn’t look relaxed in the first place, but it was like her mood had soured in the span of five minutes. “Let’s get started with the training.”
Shirou couldn’t help but think it was his fault somehow. He knew that he shouldn’t have looked at her like that.
Wrong. It was all wrong.
Just a few hours earlier, she had been reprimanding herself over her behavior, but within a morning of furious sparring she was right back to square one.
The Beast in her chest roared while they exchanged blows. He had already gotten to the point where he could hold his ground against her well enough for a while and she didn’t have to hold back much anymore.
She still had the advantage over him, but it was a close thing. He had yet to score a single hit on her, but that was only because she did not let her guard down in the slightest. He had gotten good enough that she could not afford a single distraction.
‘I want to break him.’
Wooden swords clashed repeatedly against one another, echoing loudly in the otherwise empty dojo.
‘I want to break him.’
Sweat flew as the two danced around one another, seeking the fatal opening.
‘I want to break him.’
Strike, dodge, parry. The two combatants were at a stalemate. Neither one of them would get the upper hand at that rate.
‘I want to break him!’
Her focus wavered, mind caught in thoughts that didn’t belong on the battlefield. Her opponent saw it happen and struck without hesitation. Her honed instincts took over and she reacted with more strength that she should have, hitting him squarely across the face. She watched with growing horror as he flew across the dojo, rolling on the floor until he stopped with a sick thud against the wall.
She had killed him. There was no way he could have survived that. It was a blow meant to kill things more resilient that humans and she had used it against a kid simply because she could not control herself.
In that moment the Beast was utterly silent. For all the sins of her heart, Busujima Saeko did not truly desire to harm anyone. To prevail and dominate yes, but not to harm.
And all it took for her figure it out was killing the person she respected the most and-
“Whoa!” he said standing back to his feet, looking no worse for wear. “That was one hell of a counter, sensei.”
The ice that had taken ahold of her heart shattered and she was left staring at an impossibility.
“I… let’s take a break,” she managed to stutter.
“Already? I’m still good to go.”
“I said, let’s take a break,” she all but snarled and then recoiled at the viciousness in her own voice. She did not wait for him to acknowledge her decision as she walked out of the dojo. She needed space. She needed time to figure him and herself out.
Shirou didn’t know what the hell had just happened. First, Busujima-sensei had struck him with enough power to score a critical hit worth 500HP-a third of his total life-force, that also made him gain 25 levels in the Busujima style at once-and then she stomped away after lashing out at him verbally.
Yeah, say what you want but she did have a problem with him. It was maddening, because he didn’t know what he could have done and because their relationship meter was at 4999 out of 5000 which meant that they should have gotten along better.
Something was afoot there and he didn’t know what. He opened his STATUS menu and stared at his STATS intensely.
He had 15 SPs to allocate as he wished. Fifteen hard-earned points. He kept them in reserve in case he ever came across a situation he could not solve with his current strength, if he used them now, he’d lose a trump card that could get him out of a pinch.
Of course, Emiya Shirou did not even falter in front of such a decision. Without hesitation, he poured all of his points into CHR and confirmed his decision.
Nothing seemed to happen. No new skill or title had been unlocked but that didn’t mean anything yet. Rolling his shoulders, he followed after Saeko, fully intending to wriggle the truth out of her once and for all.
She sat on a bench under a tree behind her house.
She didn’t know what was going on with herself and the world anymore. Her heart was a jumble of opposing emotions and her mind was lost amidst an ocean of confusion.
Just a few moments before, she had believed to have accidentally killed her pupil, only for him to get back on his feet like nothing had happened.
That just wasn’t possible. She had hit him with enough strength to send him flying several meters and he wasn’t even bruised. Emiya Shirou was even less normal than she first thought he was.
However, that was the least of her concerns. In that moment, when she thought she had killed him she felt as if something immeasurable had been lost. It wasn’t only the extreme guilt that had gripped her heart.
For the past month, she had grown increasingly obsessed with him. He had started as a small curiosity, which soon changed into frustration because she could not make him yield. She was so taken by this that she had not noticed that another part of her had come to greatly respect the young, relentless man.
He was everything she wished she could be. Skilled, yes, but also perceptive, determined, and pure-hearted. Under the guise of teaching him, she lashed out at him every time in an attempt to break him for her own pleasure, and at the end of the day, when satisfaction escaped her, he worried about her.
He worried about the person who tried to break his spirit every time she had the chance. How could she live with that? How could she live with herself?
“Sensei?” his voice called a few meters behind her and she stiffened. She did not want to face him right now.
“Please, leave me alone, Emiya-kun.”
“Sensei, please, tell me what’s wrong,” he insisted, getting closer and closer until he stood right in front of her. She couldn’t bring herself to look up.
“Go away,” she told him in a whisper. Her soft, quiet tone belied her inner turmoil.
“I can’t,” he replied equally softly. “Not until you tell me how I can help you.”
This time she did look up. She wanted to tell him that he could not help her, that he could not save her. But she could not.
The sunlight piercing across the leaves above them had cast dancing shadows across his face, but even then she found herself trapped in a mesmerizing shade of gold. His eyes appeared to be shining with a light of their own, as if a shard of the sun itself had found its way in there. His gaze seemed to pierce right through her like the swords both of them were so attuned to, exposing her soul.
“You can’t help me, Emiya-kun. No one can help me.”
[NEW QUEST: A MAIDEN’S HEART]
[Objective: Solve the mystery of Saeko’s troubled heart.]
[Reward for success: 12.000 EXP, Upgraded relationship with BUSUJIMA SAEKO, ?]
[Consequences for failure: 5.000 EXP, BUSUJIMA SAEKO’S DEATH!]
The Quest prompt did not have an option for refusal, but it was not mandatory. It was not being forced upon him.
And yet he was not surprised in the least. This was a product of his own ability, of his own eyes.
And the world reflected in those eyes did not include the possibility of refusing to save the person in front of him.
It was that simple.
“So you say,” he replied, “and perhaps you also believe that for real. Even so, Sensei, I will save you.”
He turned around and walked away. He had intended to pry an answer from her lips, but he could see that would not work. Whatever plagued her was something that could kill her and there was no way she would share that with him.
He just had to watch over her and strike down this threat the moment it presented itself. He promised to himself that he would not fail.
Saeko sat there, stunned, with a flush spreading across her face and a hand over her chest.
Her heart beat steadily in her chest, making her feel in a way she never experienced before. It wasn’t arousal or excitement, but something quieter, yet more profound.
I will save you, he had promised, and for a moment, as she stared at his retreating back, she almost believed that he could.
But he couldn’t. After all, how is one saved from themselves in the first place?
And yet, she thought that if someone could truly save her, that person could be no other than him.
That much she could believe in.
Night came over Fuyuki and the surrounding mountains, eventually. Shirou did not receive any further training that day and Saeko insisted for him to return home for the day.
He looked reluctant, but ultimately he agreed and Saeko was finally on her own again.
The afternoon passed as a crawling trickle, the sun going through its arc without caring for the plights of men and women, until it settled beyond the horizon and clothed the world in darkness, save for the full moon.
Saeko cursed herself, seeing the pale disk hung in the sky. So taken was she with her own plight that she had completely forgotten about it.
They would come tonight, more so than any other time of the month. She didn’t have the spirit to face them, and a sword without spirit would not serve against them.
Yet, she had no other choice but to go. It was her duty, after all.
Shirou had returned home that afternoon, packed food, water, a sleeping bag and immediately jumped on the next bus back to the mountain.
Like he was just going to give up and go back home quietly. The only reason why he came back for any stretch of time was to let Busujima-sensei think he wasn’t around so that she wouldn’t hide her problems, as well as to pack what he needed for an extensive stake-out.
It took him a few hours to make the round trip and by the time he had gotten back it was already dark.
The forest at night was an entirely different beast that during the day. His [Sense the Unnatural] skill advanced a couple of levels just in the time it took him to go from the entrance to the dojo, where he hid in the bushes close to the clearing.
There was only one light on, which Shirou assumed was Busujima-sensei’s.
He sat there and waited, and waited and waited. The evening transitioned smoothly into the night. The single light still on in the house told him that she was still awake. Sometimes, he saw her silhouette move through the curtains.
In fact, he could see her right now, standing in front of the windows. She was… changing he guessed. Preparing to go to sleep, most likely.
Wait, not unless her sword was part of the sleepwear.
The light went off and a moment later, she walked out of her house.
Shirou couldn’t quite believe his eyes.
Her hair was gathered in a high ponytail that reached about halfway her back. However, while the practical look suited her, it was just about the only thing that Shirou deemed in any way appropriate.
She had on a pair of armored heeled boots that reached all the way up to her mid-thigh. He knew for certain, because that’s about where her black skirt started to cover her legs; however, that was true only for the front and the back, because both sides featured a slit that stopped only at the waist and that hinted at a very small piece of underwear, if the string he could see was any indication. On her torso she wore the shirt of her school uniform with the added protection of a set of armored gauntlets not too dissimilar from her boots.
What kind of outfit was that? It sure looked practical to move in. Shirou was quite sure it wouldn’t restrict her movement in the least, although he couldn’t vouch for the heels. Regardless, it was quite indecent.
Where was she going dressed like that at that hour of the night, with a sword at her side?
There was no other choice but to follow her.
That was easier said than done, though. She was perceptive, after all. He couldn’t follow her from too close, otherwise she’d detect him.
For that reason, it wasn’t long before he lost sight of her in the maze of twisted pathways amongst the trees.
“Damn it,” he swore under his breath. “Which way did she go?”
He tried to use [Detect Presence]; however, that skill was only level one. Skills developed with use and if he guessed correctly, it was considered such only when there was somebody hidden from sight within its existing range. At this point in time, it was completely useless.
He could only pick a path randomly, hoping that it would lead to her.
Saeko walked at a steady pace, using the time it took to reach that place to put her breathing and her mind under control. In this condition, she could not win. The best she could hope for was to contain them until dawn. If she was lucky, she would survive.
It wasn’t long before the trees parted and Saeko stood on the old, familiar battleground.
The clearing was a few hundred meters in diameter, but unlike the other clearings in the forest, this one was completely barren. Nothing could grow here.
Indeed, this was a place where death gathered. Nothing could thrive in this place.
The air was heavy with a malignant presence and the light of the full moon did nothing to ease this feeling. In fact, it made it worse. Saeko’s arrival was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
A strong wind started to blow, tearing the ground apart. Malice gathered and when the dust settled, they stood there.
Shambling corpses, both male and female, dressed in differing kinds of attire. From samurai of old, to soldiers from World War II-people who died violently and left an impression of their grudges in the world of the living. It gathered here, where the primal energies of the world were strong and took the shape of those who had died to visit their grudges onto the living.
The duty of the Busujima family was to see them returned to their rest, however temporarily.
With a hiss of steel, she unsheathed her blade. As if was a mutually agreed upon signal they charged at her by the dozens.
Gritting her teeth, she threw herself at them.
Emiya Shirou was facing a huge crisis.
He had come across several forks in the road, and he was, by now, completely lost. However, he couldn’t just stop. He kept running through the trees, searching for any clues and every hint.
He had been running for half an hour when he heard it. Somewhere, in the distance, the sound of steel echoed all the way to him.
She was fighting against an unknown enemy and he wasn’t with her. Biting his lip, he resumed running in the direction he thought the sounds came from, completely forgoing paths and trails.
“Hold on, sensei. I’ll be right there,” he promised, hoping that he would not fail to fulfill it.
Saeko lost herself in the familiar rhythm of battle.
Her heart might have been in disarray, but her body still knew what it had to do. The undead kept coming without relent; hundreds of them now filled the clearing, and she was unable to lessen their numbers.
A simple blade was not sufficient to disperse the malice that gave them form. It also required for the wielder to channel their own spirit into the steel and untangle the knot that held them together.
However, Saeko was in no condition to do something like that. Over the previous month, her mental fortitute had been slowly eroded by uncertainty and self-loathing and she was unable to bring herself together.
Every time she struck one of them, they reformed in mere moments, all the while more and more rose from thin air and swarmed her.
It was a hopeless battle, yet one from which she could not retreat. Were it a different night, even if they got loose and spread through the forest, they wouldn’t get far before dawn forced them away, and she could hunt the strays effortlessly in the course of the successive nights.
A night of full moon was an entirely different matter. They were born by the dozens and they kept spawning until morning. They were also unnaturally faster and stronger than normal. If one of them got away, chances were that it would get too far out before she could track it, and if an unlucky soul stumbled upon it, well, the fate of those slain by them was to join their ranks.
As long as she was there, alive and breathing, they would focus their grudges on her, but the moment she fell, they would swarm down the mountain and toward the city.
That could not be allowed. Even if Fuyuki had its own protectors, many innocent bystanders would fall before the threat could be contained.
Therefore, Saeko would keep fighting a battle that could not be won.
Even with her superior body and skills, she was hard pressed to keep up. They came from every direction, unafraid of injury and uncaring of self-preservation.
Her sword blurred, severing head after head, but they just kept coming. She didn’t know how long she had been going at it. It felt like hours, but it was likely only just a few minutes.
She had underestimated the threat. Never before she had been pressed by such overwhelming numbers. The Busujima style emphasized on killing with a single strike, for the express purpose of facing an enemy with superior numbers.
Right now her blows could only incapacitate them and for a few moments at best. Even then there was no respite to be found, as for each one she struck down, two others were ready to take its place.
Only her superior speed and flawless technique gave her a semblance of even footing, but they had another advantage on her as they would never tire.
How long could she hope to hold up? How long before she started to slow down? How long before she started to falter?
The light of dawn seemed hopelessly distant.
Shirou kept running through the trees, completely ignoring the branches that scraped at his face, tearing at his clothes. He had abandoned his backpack sometime earlier in favor of a higher mobility, keeping only his bokuto.
The sounds of battle were getting closer and closer. It felt like an army was waging war on the mountain and his sensei had to be right in the middle of it-there was no other possibility.
He pushed his body even further, briefly thanking the heavens for his high stamina and for having had the foresight to pack his own home-made food, which had restored the energy he had spent during the day.
He charged ahead. He had to make it in time.
Time had lost all meaning for Saeko. The only things that mattered was the endless waves of malice, the sword that stood between it and her, and the aching of her body.
They had finally started to get past her defenses. Glancing blows had struck her, nibbling at her clothes.
Her shirt had ripped open; the bra underneath holding together by a single thread. Her skirt was almost entirely gone as well. Only a small portion of cloth remained to cover her backside, doing a very poor job at it. Even her ponytail had gotten loose and her hair was whipping wildly in the air as it followed her high speed moment, like a dark comet trail.
She wasn’t going to make it.
Her lungs burned and her heart screamed in pain. Every single fibre of her body was demanding that she stop-a need held at bay only by survival instinct. Even her body knew that if she stopped of a single moment, she’d die.
She was getting pushed back, completely forced on the defensive. Desperation was abandoning her in favour of resignation, her sword getting so much heavier with every passing moment.
She would die here, in this place. They would tear away at her flesh and rip her soul out, forcing her into their ranks.
Perhaps it was for the best. Someone like her should be on the side of the monsters, after all.
And yet, even though she acknowledged this, even though she had come to accept it as her fate, when her sword was finally wrenched away from her hands, she felt sorry.
Sorry that she had not been able to be honest with him, sorry that she had not been able to tell him how much she had come to mean for her, sorry that he had to disappoint him and lastly, sorry that he would not get to keep his promise.
She would have really, really wanted to be saved by him.
She closed her eyes, and she let them claim her.
[You have entered in a special Area]
[BATTLEFIELD OF THE UNDEAD]
[While in this area the use of arcane techniques does not break the Masquerade]
Shirou did not even glance at the message. His eyes were focused on the form of Saeko, fighting for dear life, surrounded by hundreds of moving corpses.
He did not care for their origins-spared no thought for the circumstances other than getting there where she stood, alone and overwhelmed.
He saw in ever growing horror as she was disarmed and his heart screamed as she was swallowed by the sea of rotten flesh.
“SENSEIIII!” he shouted, leaping over the mass of corpses with his bokuto posed to strike. He swung the blade with all the power he had and simultaneously crushed several skulls, landing besides her and immediately engaging the enemies to keep them away from her.
Saeko blinked. On the verge of dying she must have been granted one last dream. She thought he had heard his voice and then a moment later, the hands that had been pulling at her in an attempt to tear her apart vanished and he stood above, sword poised to protect her.
“Shirou…?” she asked, almost expecting to wake up right in that moment and that the figure of his back would be replaced by the rotting faces of the undead.
“Sensei, please get back on your feet,” he said as he fended off the sea of corpses. She was so stunned by this apparition that she got back up without even noticing the pain from the cuts that she had suffered.
He was striking them and they disappeared completely, unable to reform.
How? She had yet to teach him how to infuse his spirit into the sword. There was no way he could have learned on his own.
Or could he? To infuse spirit, the heart must be void of any and every doubt. No fear must be felt even in the face of death.
He hadn’t learned on his own at all. In the first place, Emiya Shirou did not doubt his actions and did not fear for his own life. She could see it now.
She found herself picking up her sword again, marveling at how light it felt.
Why? Just moments before it felt like it weighted like a mountain and now it was like a feather.
‘He came for me.’
Was that enough? Even though she was a such a wicked woman, the fact that he came for her was enough to patch her heart back together? When, exactly did he became so important that his mere presence was enough to give her strength?
She did not know. She did not understand. All she knew for certain was that he had come and that her blade was singing in her hands once more.
She stepped forward and joined the fray once again.
[Normal Undead slain: 100XP gained]
[Normal Undead slain: 100XP gained]
[Normal Undead slain: 100XP gained]
[Normal Undead slain: 100XP gained]
[You have gained a level]
[Normal Undead slain: 100XP gained]
[Normal Undead slain: 100XP gained]
[Normal Undead slain: 100XP gained]
It went on and on and on. Shirou kept striking down at the seemingly endless army of corpses, but he did not care about it in the least. All he was focusing on was keeping these creatures away from Saeko.
Their horrid appearance did not faze him in the slightest. Even if he hadn’t been so focused in protecting her, the sight of human corpses did not bother him in the least.
He just struck and struck and struck again.
[You have gained a level]
[You have gained a level]
[You have gained a level]
He kept going for so long that he completely lost every notion of time. Only when dawn finally came and the last remaining corpses faded into nothing did Shirou become once again aware of himself.
Immediately his eyes sought for her and he found her standing a few meters away, sword in hand, staring right back at him.
She looked fine, save for a few minor cuts on her legs and torso.
Then he blinked and finally took notice of the condition of her clothes. Little was left of her shirt, other than a scrap of cloth that fell on her generous breast to barely hide her nipples. Her skirt was completely gone and her lower half only had her boots and a small thong to cover her private parts.
Shirou went red in the face and he averted his gaze immediately.
That’s was when Saeko unexpectedly tackled him to the ground, pinning him down with her weigth and promptly stabbing her sword on the ground beside his face.
“You,” she nearly growled. “Why did you come?”
Shirou was surprised by her question, but replied without missing a beat.
“I told you I would save you.”
She stared at him for a very long moment, seemingly looking for words that escaped her.
“I am not the good person you believe I am, Shirou. I cannot live without doing others harm. I am a wicked woman that this world could do without. A monster that only looks like a human.”
Shirou was perplexed. Sure enough, his sensei wasn’t a simple person and by her own admission, she had sent several kendoka running, but so what? Did she ever harm someone who didn’t wield a sword against her?
Shirou didn’t like violence and he’d rather that people didn’t fight, but… he never wished for something like a world without conflict. The only thing he wanted was for the people in front of him not to cry.
“Even if you truly couldn’t live without causing harm, sensei, you still wouldn’t be a monster. A monster would never feel sorry about the pain it brings; certainly it would never believe it reason enough to die. This desperation you’re feeling it’s proof that you are human like everybody else.”
He wasn’t quite sure were those words came from. They rolled off his tongue almost naturally. A combination of INT, WIS and CHR, perhaps? He didn’t know, but it seemed like it had an effect.
Something in Saeko’s chest loosened. With each of his words a tight knot in her heart begun to unravel and with it, the burden that weighed on her soul finally fell in the form of watery drops from her eyes.
Her tears fell on his face, but he did not seem to mind. He just looked at her with those gold eyes that saw right into her soul and told him the words she needed to hear.
She was a human being, after all. A deeply flawed creature, more so than others, but not a monster. As long as he believed that, she could do the same.
“I’ll have you take responsibility for those words, you know?”
He nodded. Of course, he wasn’t the kind of man to run from the consequences of his actions.
She stood up and reached out to him, pulling him up with her. He promptly blushed and looked away. Why was he suddenly acting so shy around her?
he looked down and finally realized that there wasn’t much left of her clothing.
She felt her own face flare up in embarrassment, but an amused smile found its way on her face all the same.
“Well then, Shirou. Let’s go back to my place and get ourselves cleaned up,” she said nonchalantly, turning around and walking in the direction of her house, pretending not to care that her bottom was nearly completely exposed.
Perhaps she was not a monster, but she was still a very, very wicked woman.
Shirou followed after Saeko doing his utmost best to look anywhere but at her and failing several times. He wasn’t quite sure what this feeling swelling up in his lower abdomen was and it wasn’t altogether unpleasant, but he felt the urge to do something and he didn’t know what. However, removing his gaze from Saeko’s butt was the most difficult thing he had ever done in his life and he had been mauling his own nerves for years.
At some point, he just gave up trying and kept looking, feeling his mouth begin to salivate.
‘Am I turning into a Dead Apostle?’ he wondered.
No, Dead Apostles craved only for blood as far as he knew. Human flesh didn’t attract their attention and he had this strange need to squeeze the curves of her ass between his fingers. It looked so soft and firm at the same time that he had to restrain himself from doing something that would certainly be inappropriate.
He just followed the hypnotic sway of her hips, savoring how her heels seemed to extend her already long legs even further.
Fortunately, before he could do something he would probably regret, they arrived at her home and he finally managed to steer his eyes elsewhere.
“Come on, Shirou. Take a bath first,” she urged him.
“Are you sure, sensei? This is your home and you have been fighting longer than I did.”
“It’s okay. I would be a very poor host if I let my guests wait.”
“Alright then,” he agreed. There was no point in arguing about something so trivial.
In the bathroom antechamber, he quickly disrobed and started clearing his body from the accumulated sweat and dirt from the battle, in preparation of stepping into the bathtub.
He was just starting to relax, when he realized that he hadn’t seen the message for having completed Saeko’s Quest. He was wondering what he could have forgotten, when the door suddenly slid open and a towel-clad Saeko stepped inside.
Shirou had gone inside the bathroom a few minutes earlier and Saeko was still standing in front of the door, weighing her options.
There was something she wanted to do, a desire born of both her body and her heart. It was wrong, she knew, no matter how she looked at it. Society would not approve of it and yet she could not find it in herself to care.
She was a wicked woman and she had come to accept it.
He had told her that it was fine, that he accepted her for it. He had told her to live when she had wanted to die.
In return, she had told him she’d have him take responsibility for it.
The decision was already made.
She stepped into the antechamber and removed the tattered remains of her clothes. She had clearly felt his eyes on her back all the way there and judging from his reactions he was interested in what he saw, whether he understood it or not.
She stood naked and examined herself. She had never given much importance to how her body looked, although she was aware that many found her attractive. Until today, she didn’t care about it.
Now, she felt very self-conscious. She was relatively sure that Shirou liked her, but how much of it was actually being attracted to her and how much of it was a lack of experience?
She almost laughed at herself. Here she was, a proud warrior who had been facing horrors every night of her life, worrying that the ten-year old she was in love with did not find her truly attractive.
He had accepted her already, there was nothing left to fear.
Putting on a towel, more out of habit than anything else, she stepped inside.
“S-s-sensei?” he yelped, scampering to cover himself. “I’m not done yet.”
“I know,” she said with a tone laced with an emotion he could not discern. “I thought I could help you wash your back.”
“T-there’s really no need. I can take care of it just fine. if you’d just wait outside a couple of minutes I’ll finish up.”
She just kept smiling. “There is no need to be shy, Shirou. Let me take care of it.”
Her voice held a tone of finality that told him she would not relent. He was so embarrassed that he considered, briefly, to run the hell out when he recalled that the Quest was still ongoing and that the price for failure was her death.
He forced himself to remain seated on the stool and turned his back to her.
“Well… if you really insist,” he conceded. It is to be noted that Shirou wasn’t afraid of her; rather, he was afraid of the emotions he was feeling. He was afraid to hurt her in any way.
“Good,” she acknowledged and promptly kneeled behind him, grabbing soap and sponge and immediately starting to wash his back.
His heart was beating so fast that he could actually hear it and his face was so red that he could probably light up a room at night.
Saeko kept scrubbing his back delicately, and Shirou would admit that embarrassment aside it was a fairly pleasant feeling. He was finally starting to relax again, when he felt the sponge leave his back and two other softness were pressed against him.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Shirou?”
“I- You- Yours-!” he stuttered.
“My what?” she asked softly exhaling in his ear.
“What about them? Aren’t they soft enough?”
“T-that’s not the point!” he squeaked, feeling blood flowing down his body followed by a swelling sensation between his legs.
“Then what is the point? You don’t like them?”
“N-no! Yes! I don’t… this isn’t about me liking them.”
“Then, please, tell me what this is about, because I quite like where they are right now. Unless you’d rather hold them, Shirou. I wouldn’t mind that either.”
By now, steam was threatening to come out of Shirou’s ears. He didn’t know what was going on anymore, or rather the thing he thought was going on didn’t quite make sense.
“Do you hate me, Shirou?” she asked, and he could feel the barely concealed fear in her voice.
“No, never,” he replied, voice free from uncertainty. “I could never hate you, sensei.”
“Saeko,” she whispered, “please, call me Saeko.”
He nodded and gulped heavily. “Alright, Saeko.”
“Good. Now, don’t worry about a thing and let me take care of you.”
With her breasts still pressed on his back, she started to wash the front as well. Shirou didn’t stop her, afraid of the consequences of pushing her away, but also fearing that she’d find the thing he was desperately trying to conceal between his legs.
It wasn’t that he didn’t understand the situation or his own body’s reaction. He had studied and read enough about human biology to know what was happening down there. It was only that his knowledge theretofore was purely academic, and he didn’t know how he was supposed to behave.
More importantly, he didn’t understand why Saeko was behaving like that with him. Was that because of his charisma? Yes, of course, but he already knew that it didn’t force people to do things they didn’t want.
Which meant that Saeko was doing this with him because she wanted to. He didn’t know what to think about it. Frankly she was so very beautiful and he didn’t care that she was way older than him. Also, he wasn’t in any condition to ponder about society’s norms too much.
Even though Shirou was a sticker for propriety, his issue wasn’t with age difference or social acceptance. What he worried about was treating her right, and he had no clue how to do that.
He was troubled with the same doubt that had gripped the hearts of many young men for centuries. He was afraid of not being good enough.
Slowly, Saeko’s hand descended further down his body. Shirou dreaded and anticipated in equal measure the moment it reached its intended destination. Slowly, entirely out of instinct he opened his legs just enough for her hand to find its way through and yelped when it wrapped itself around his young shaft.
“Hmm,” he moaned at the intense sensation, pushing his back further against her.
“Shirou,” she called out, voice once again laced with fear. “Do you understand what’s going on?”
He nodded, not trusting his own voice.
“Do you want me to stop?”
He shook his head after only a moment of hesitation.
“W-why me?” he asked with some difficulty. Of all the things he could have said, it didn’t seem like she had expected that.
“Because I like you,” she admitted and Shirou found himself relaxing. He was afraid that it was some twisted form of gratitude for helping her. He could not have accepted that.
Taking his relaxing as her cue to continue, Saeko started to stroke him.
“Ah! Hm!” Shirou squirmed. He didn’t know what to do with himself. With her being behind him he was in no position to return the favor in any shape or form. In the meantime, she kept stroking him, slowly and delicately at first but soon increasing the speed of her ministration.
Shirou found himself pushing his hips forward, sitting on the very edge of the stool, giving Saeko full access to his manhood. In an attempt to steady himself he wrapped his arms behind her neck, the only place he could reasonably reach.
The pleasure kept getting more and more intense, so much that Shirou had unwittingly started bucking his hips forward.
“Ah! AH! Sensei! Sensei!” he called out, accidentally reverting to her title. “Something… something’s coming, Sensei.”
“Yes,” she purred, “Yes, come for your sensei.”
“Aaah!” Shirou shouted, bucking his hips forward one last time. A thin spray of white semen erupted from his cock, splattering on the floor and onto Saeko’s fingers. Then he finally slumped back on the stool, breathing heavily.
[As a result of a special action, you have learned Sexual Interaction]
[SEXUAL INTERACTION- Lv.1] The ability to pleasure yourself and others sexually. You are new at this and not good at all. It will take a lot of time to make your partner(s) reach their climax. Each orgasm you reach costs you 50 ST.
‘Well,’ Shirou thought numbly, ‘I should have seen that coming.’
Saeko was absolutely ecstatic. It had taken a whole lot of courage to initiate the contact, but she had grown bolder and bolder with each passing minute. Shirou’s awareness and acceptance of the act had made it much simpler, but even then Saeko had not expected the absolute thrill of it.
Shirou’s embarrassment, his reluctance and finally his pleasure-struck expression were absolutely delicious and it had only taken her hand to achieve it.
The power she wielded over him just from a simple touch had ignited a fire without precedents between her legs. She wanted more of it, more of him.
“Shirou,” she purred. “That was very naughty of you, having fun all on your own.”
Shirou nearly jumped turning his head so that he could look at her. “I- I’m sorry?”
“Hmm,” she said, putting a finger to her lips. “Sorry won’t do, I’m afraid. I’ll have to punish you thoroughly.”
She grabbed his still erect dick once again and resumed stroking it. Shirou was more relaxed this time and soon, she could tell, he was about to reach yet another orgasm. That was when Saeko decided she would be having her own fun.
When she thought he was right on the edge, she stopped. Shirou bucked his hips but found no friction to please himself with.
“What is it, Shirou? Do you need something?”
“N-no,” he shook his head. Saeko immediately grabbed his dick and resumed stroking. When he was about to come she once again let of him.
“Hhhm!” he moaned pitifully.
“What’s wrong, Shirou?”
“Almost what? Almost came on your own again, you naughty boy?” she smiled predatorily, stroking his cock ever so slowly. “Didn’t I just say that’s not a very nice thing to do? If you want me to make you come, you have to ask politely.”
“Please what, my naughty little pupil?” she teased.
“Please. Please, let me come. Please, Sensei, let me come,” he said almost desperately.
She jerked his cock one last time and Shirou gasped, throwing his head backward and furiously bucking his hips forward. Even more semen shot out this time, splattering against the opposite wall.
Saeko shivered. Her pussy was a wet, sloppy mess and her nipples were hard as rock without so much as touching herself.
She was a wicked, filthy-hearted woman and for the first time in her entire life she was perfectly fine with it. So long as Shirou accepted her for it, she could live with herself.
There was no describing how intense her feelings for him were. How grateful she was that he had come in her life.
“Did you have fun, Shirou?” she asked coyly.
“Y-yeah,” he admitted shyly, not looking at her. He was absolutely adorable.
“Good, because I think it’s my turn now.”
“What should I do?” he quickly asked, all hesitation gone.
“Will you do anything I ask?”
He nodded quickly.
“Well then,” she said, pulling away from him. She was so embarrassed for what she was about to do that her head was spinning, but she really, really wanted for him to do that.
Shirou turned, just as she laid down on her elbows on the bathroom floor. She saw him swallow heavily at the sight of her naked fullness and his eyes nearly popped out of his head when she slowly spread her legs, exposing her most precious place. She always kept clean shaven down there, a peeves of her about cleanliness, therefore her pink womanhood was perfectly visible.
“Put your mouth there, Shirou.”
He nodded, unable to move his eyes away from it. Slowly he inched forward, joining her on the floor. He did not hesitate in the slightest in putting his mouth of her nether lips.
Saeko gasped loudly at the unexpected shot of pleasure, even more so when Shirou licked her moist womanhood without needing any instruction. He wasn’t particularly good at it, she thought in her own inexperience, but seeing him lapping her so obediently in addition to being extremely worked up from their previous interactions, it didn’t take long for her to reach her own climax.
She grabbed his head with both hands, pushing him further down. Shirou took it as a signal and pushed his small tongue into her snatch.
“Ah! AAAAAHHH!” she shouted, wrapping her legs around his shoulders and bucking her hips out of instinct. Her nectar dripped out in copious rivulets and Shirou lapped them dutifully and then kept on licking.
She was still so very sensitive and he was so passionate, that she immediately felt another orgasm approaching. She did not have time to tell him to stop that her body convulsed again, drenching Shirou’s face with more of her juices.
“That,” she breathed out as she tugged gently at his hair to make him pull back, “was quite well done.”
“T-thanks,” he replied bashfully.
“Two for two. That should make us even, right?”
“I guess,” he nodded.
“I think something is missing, though.”
“Hmm,” she pondered for a moment and the pulled him toward her until their lips met. Of all the things she could have thought, Saeko never imagined that her first kiss would be with a ten-year-old and would taste of her own arousal.
As she slipped her tongue between his lips and felt his manhood throb against her abdomen, Saeko couldn’t bring herself to mind.
Their tongues wrestled together for a while. She enjoyed the way he moaned cutely, while the tried his best to stop himself from thrusting his hips against her abdomen and getting off just from that.
Finally, when breathing had become an issue, they broke apart. She stared into his gold eyes for a moment and then she rolled both of them until their position on the floor were reversed and she was straddling him.
His young cock was pinned right against her labia and she could feel his heartbeat through it. Shirou wore an expression of expectation mixed to surprise. Saeko grinned and grinded her hips against him, relishing in his cute gasps as well at the friction with his member.
Oh, she could torment him like this forever. He was completely under her control.
“Ah! Sensei! I’m almost…”
“Oh, that won’t do,” she said, immediately stopping her movements. “You know what you have to do, right?”
“Say it properly,” she told him flatly, jerking her hips ever so slightly.
“Please, let me cum, Sensei. Please let me cum!”
“That’s a good boy,” she smiled and pushed her weight onto him, grinding back and forth, until he ejaculated, splattering semen on both her legs and his abdomen.
Shirou laid there, breathing raggedly while Saeko’s cheeks were red from excitement and exertion. Then she noticed his dick, still throbbing against her womanhood and her grin returned.
“Still like this?” she asked. Shirou looked at her and then immediately turned his gaze in shame. “Whatever shall I do with you, my naughty pupil? Should I just keep on punishing you?”
He squirmed, but said nothing in either case. Of course Saeko would have nothing of it. She resumed grinding her hips against him, stopping whenever she thought he was about to reach an orgasm.
“Well Shirou? Should your sensei keep punishing you for being so naughty all the time?”
“Please. Just let me come.”
“No, no. You have to answer properly,” she insisted, pulling her hair up with her hands and looking down at him with a smoldering gaze. “Do you want me to punish you?”
“Yes! Yes! Punish me! Punish me more!”
Saeko couldn’t take it anymore. Right, wrong, she did not care. She lifted her weight, knowing that Shirou’s freed cock would stand right up, and then lowered herself again. With just the tiniest bit of guidance he slid inside her quivering womanhood effortlessly.
There was a tearing pain inside her and she knew that her virginity was gone. She did not care. There was no one else she would have rather given it to, and even in spite of the pain, she felt happier than she had been in many years.
She lifted her hips and then pushed them down again and again and again and again, breasts bouncing in rhythm, until she felt his release shooting inside her, painting both her womb and mind with a searing hot whiteness. The last remnants of her fears and desperation melted completely.
For a brief, flickering moment she worried about pregnancy, but decided that if it happened, she would wouldn’t mind being the mother to his children. She also had a duty to her clan to see their bloodline continued, after all.
Finally exhausted, both physically and emotionally, she slumped down on him.
[Quest: A Maiden’s heart COMPLETED]
[Reward: 12.000 EXP, Relationship Upgraded to: Lovers, +10 CHR for completing a Romance]
[You gained a level]
[Warning! Your Stamina has dropped below 0]
[Altered Status: EXHAUSTED. STR and DEX are halved for 24hrs]
Shirou had just come down from his latest climax and he had other things in mind other than worrying about Quest Prompts, although he was relieved that Saeko was finally safe.
He hadn’t expected things to escalate so quickly between them and in fact he wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. Saeko had alternated between being shy and almost fearful to being bold and domineering.
Well, he didn’t really mind as long as she was fine. He could see now why people were so interested in sex.
“Sensei. Saeko. We really should finish what we came here for.”
Saeko snorted and chuckled. “I thought we already had.”
“I mean cleaning up.”
“Oh,” she blinked. “Right.”
This time, it was Shirou’s turn to laugh.
They eventually finished cleaning themselves, sharing the bathtub without awkwardness. He got to wash Saeko’s hair, marveling at its silk-like smoothness, and she returned the favor eagerly.
It was almost like they were brother and sister. Almost.
Then Saeko finally asked him what Shirou had expected for a while now.
“Who are you, really? Your improbable constitution aside, you were not surprised by any stretch of the imagination about what you saw tonight. You are familiar with the supernatural, are you not?”
“My foster father was a Magus,” he told her simply.
“I see,” she replied. “Is that why you are so adept with the sword? Magecraft?”
“No,” he laughed. The very notion. “I’m not really good at that. It’s because my Origin and Element are both Sword,” as well as the Gamer Eyes and Body, but there was no need to talk about it.
“… a living blade,” she eventually said, a undertone of amazement in her voice.
“Yeah, I suppose I could be called that,” he agreed.
Having said that, the topic was abandoned and eventually they left bathroom. Shirou had no change of clothes, having ditched his backpack in the forest the previous night, so Saeko lent him one of her white yukata, which looked comically large on his small frame.
It was late morning when they stepped into the living room and shared a meal in silent companionship.
Eventually, Saeko yawned.
“Tired?” he asked, “You haven’t slept at all yesterday. Maybe you should go to bed.”
“And how do you know that I didn’t sleep yesterday evening before leaving the house?” she asked with a quirked eyebrow. They hadn’t discussed the details of his arrival yet.
“I… uuh… have been keeping an eye on you almost the entire time?” he reluctantly admitted.
“You were here all along, even though I had forced you to leave, watching over me?”
“I kind of lost you in the forest for a while, but yeah,” he scratched his head.
Saeko expression was inscrutable as she stared at him. After a moment she stood from her side of the table, walked all the way around it where he sat and took a seat beside him.
Then she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a searing kiss.
Shirou squirmed in her embrace for a while, but when he felt her tongue slip past his lips once more, he just thought ‘Ah, what the hell,’ and threw his arms around her neck, returning the kiss.
There were worse things in the world than being the object of the twisted affection of a beautiful woman.
Eventually they both went to sleep together but they did nothing else, being far too tired for any amounts of fooling around. They woke up in the early evening. Shirou washed clothes had already dried up in afternoon sun but they were ripped in many places due to his mad run among the trees. Saeko took it upon herself to mend them for him, despite Shirou insistence that he could take care of it himself.
Finally, it came time for him to return home for good.
“Are you going to be alright, Saeko?” he asked one last time before leaving.
“If I said I won’t, would you stay here and watch over me again?” she asked good-naturedly.
“Yes,” was his succinct reply and she sighed.
“You are making it very difficult for me to let you go, Shirou,” she grabbed his face and bent over to give him one last, chaste kiss. “I’ll be fine, don’t worry. They don’t stand a chance against me when I’m at my best. Trust me, I’ve been dealing with them since I was twelve.”
“If you say so,” he nodded. “But next I’m going to join you during the full moon.”
“Well, I suppose that’s fine, considering that’s the whole point of passing on the Busujima style.”
He nodded and bade her goodbye.
On his way back to civilization, he pondered how things had turned out to be. He certainly hadn’t expected things between him and Saeko to escalate sexually, but, well, he didn’t mind much being punished by her.
In addition, he had also found a place where he could fight and earn XP quickly. Finally, his path toward becoming a true hero was starting to become clear.
Clenching his fist, he smiled broadly. Things were looking up for him.