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Tale of Two Kings (FSN Medieval SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by JBukharin, Feb 23, 2020.

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  1. davelll

    davelll Not too sore, are you?

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    oh that poor dumb bastard on the bright side training from the original scathatch means he will not be so squishy

    hmm the gate could be a great way of making sure the kings that come after him are not dumb.idiotically evil or led around by there nose
     
    HumerusBoneAus likes this.
  2. AldariSiradla

    AldariSiradla Spirit Boy, Police Girl

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    Well, it looks like our little King has a new teacher.
    The best teacher at that!
    Nice.
    Nice.
    Now I'm excited as to what his new blade would be...
    With the work of the a Grade-S legend at the helm of its creation.
     
  3. Dark0w1

    Dark0w1 LuRK3r-07

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    JoJo will be initiated to Scathach's "Friendship of the Thighs" so he better be prepared both mentally and physically.
     
  4. ANGRY PUFFBALL

    ANGRY PUFFBALL Not too sore, are you?

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    If Joseph manages to survive his training (or otherwise hold on long enough to finish it) he'll go beyond human for sure. I don't think there was a single person Scathach trained who didn't become some sort of incredible badass.
     
    Killerfox116 likes this.
  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 14: From Shadows (2)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 14: From Shadows (2)


    I could feel my breath starting to itch within my lungs as I tried to keep up with the surreal pace I was being put through.


    To be fair, I should’ve expected for someone as stern-sounding like Scathach to be a strict teacher with those that managed to get hold of her attention.


    The beautiful woman was deadly just as I had expected, but it wasn’t her that I was having issues with.


    While my first visit to the Land of Shadows had been pretty much peaceful and successful, the same wasn’t for those that followed.


    Not that I risked any of the good rep I got from the first encounter with the violet-haired woman, but I was now seeing why Cu Chulainn was one of those ‘lucky guys’ that ended up living through the hellish training of hers.


    These lands weren’t as abandoned as I had initially thought. The monstrous shriek of the Demonic Boar was deafened by the battle roars of three more.


    Three weeks had flew away after the first visit, and I was starting to understand many things about my new ‘teacher’. As respectful and polite she might sound early on, she wasn’t exactly the one that entered the fray if her apprentices were getting owned by some ‘low grade monsters’.


    The first week was just plain humiliation. With the fact I was forced to retreat more than once out of fear of getting cornered by the numerous populations of abnormally big boars that festered the forest, I was also being ‘entertained’ by the dry comments delivered by the ever-so irritating teacher of mine.


    The idea of just retrieving the swords’ pieces, closing the gate once I was safely back home, and try elsewhere was one that tempted me more than once.


    The deterrent from giving up? I knew that there was no other option to follow after this one.


    Scathach was pretty much the only individual I could ‘easily’ access to and request for her to accomplish such a complex task.


    And as much as I was hating this place, I ended up noticing that I was indeed improving the more time I spent fighting endless rounds of monsters.


    This was proven when Marcus deemed it amusing to test my fighting capacity after training for a couple of days and… he was stomped when I managed to push him around without much of an issue.


    The pace was slow but steady, and the difficulty of each day seemed to follow this very pattern too.


    I struggled at first, but then I started to see the light through this dark tunnel.


    My bloody sword took one last swing at the final creature in front of me, bisecting it vertically and killing it instantly.


    No squeal of pain, nor any dying shriek. The resulting silence was something of a blessing as I took a moment to scan around for any sneaky assault. The boars were big fans of rushing from behind their enemies while those were distracted, so I quickly looked around for any of that.


    A sigh left my lips as soon as I concluded that I had indeed cleared the area.


    “It will suffice for now,” Scathach commented from one of the trees’ branches she had been standing by. “I guess your determination isn’t flaunted wrongly by your fierce spiels.”


    “If I want to accomplish something, then I will,” I remarked giddily, then pausing for a moment to see her clean her lips with a handkerchief and I was reminded of something I did earlier this morning. “I hope the cake was good.”


    The woman nodded, sporting a happier look for a brief moment. “You should send my good praise to the one behind such a delicious desert. Truly a masterful work.”


    It was kind of amusing how I was receiving less compliments over my current achievements in monster-slaying compared to Mya’s own endeavor by the kitchen.


    To be fair, I was partly to ‘blame’ over the fact I had shown her how to do a simple apple cake through the use of precise magecraft and ingredient using.


    Unsurprisingly enough, the first efforts to get a proper cake out ended up in minor failures for the two of us. The issue was that fire runes weren’t easy to regulate even if wind and water ones were employed as well.


    Still, despite the first setbacks, progress at the kitchen was smooth and quick as I was quickly overshadowed by Mya’s unexpectedly amazing talent as a chef.


    Even the servants that were assigned to the area were impressed with the delicious treats prepared by the white-haired girl. Sure, I was the one that offered her the recipes with some variations of the ingredients to fit with the current situation, but she seemed to take cooking like a fish in water.


    This development ended up sparking in me a degree of interest in trying to mollify Scathach’s strictness of a little bit.


    The baked goods that were employed as bribes resulted in sound successes in keeping the woman from chiding too harshly during my training sessions.


    Who would’ve thought that the tough lady had a prominent sweet tooth?


    But while this did well for me in soothing the sternness of the former Queen, I was also reminded more than once that this wasn’t true training each time I left to return back to the castle.


    Scathach did recognize me as her student, but differently from previous cases, I wasn’t exactly legitimized by a great feat.


    When the Land of Shadows was still connected to the real world and was bordered by Dun Scaith, the fortress could only be accessed through a thin tightrope that spanned over a gorge filled with malicious ghosts and boiling water. Many died in the Land of Shadows, while the rest failed to get through this final but difficult obstacle.


    Only a couple managed to do the miraculous deed and ended up becoming true apprentices to Scathach.


    I had expected for this to never actually happen to me since Dun Scaith was no longer under the woman’s possession and the Land of Shadows didn’t have any place that could be used to replicate such a complicated task.


    Which is why I was expecting for something equally difficult and deadly to replace this very challenge.


    Three weeks went by without a single hint was given about what she was planning to do to replace the known task, and I was kind of expecting this to never come considering how restrained she was with her conversations.


    Then, as I managed to finally to clear out the large group of boars, I was finally taken for a ‘special lesson’ that was meant to cement my worth as her disciple.


    At first I was surprised, but I quickly accepted the growing eagerness to replace my shock into something a little more positive.


    It was only as she led me to a large clearing away from any of the monsters that lingered within the forest and then stopped in front of me to drew her lance that I knew that something was very, very wrong.


    “Many of my students died because of arrogance. They believed that nothing could stop them, that the battlefield could never see them losing,” Scathach said with an ominous tone. “Which is why I think it’s only fitting that I train my students to become less accepting of a glorious and shining victory, and more into the possibility of finding peace within the battle itself. To not allow the lust for fighting to dominate their minds and souls.”


    I was tempted to point out that she was the one that scolded me for being quick to back away from deadly confrontations. But then again, I wasn’t planning to get killed because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut in front of someone that could easily erase my existence.


    “For this occasion, I will tell you just this once that I will not be your teacher,” She stated coldly. “I shall be your enemy. Your truest nightmare embodied in the form of a single tangible opponent that doesn’t care about rules and restrictions.”


    Tensing up at this proclamation, I couldn’t help but unsheathe my sword once more. She sounded so serious and… so threatening.


    A smile adorned her exposed face as she regarded my reaction with a degree of interest.


    “I’m glad to see that you recognize the truth,” The woman commended. “But now I will come at you as if you’re my greatest enemy.”


    I took my usual stance, expecting her to be somewhat restrained with her approach.


    Well, I soon discovered that she wasn’t lying over the fact she wanted to attack me as vehemently as possible.


    A blur, I saw a sharp red object approaching and I moved to block it-


    Pain erupted as Gae Bolg stabbed my shoulder, pushing beyond the flesh and through me.


    My eyes widened at the sudden sensation, but my mind didn’t get too distracted with the suddenness of her brutality.


    I tilted my sword, swinging to the side and expecting her to either dodge or move away and allowing me to move out and limit her fighting prowess by leaving the weapon stuck on me.


    So I was quite horrified when my attack successfully separated her arm off her body.


    The limb limped down as Scathach backed away to recover from the sudden strike, a mirthful look plastered on her face despite the damage I inflicted to her.


    Many would’ve found that injury enough to surrender, and yet she was shrugging it off as if it was nothing to worry about.


    I was genuinely shocked when she merely shrugged.


    “What’s with the confused look, disciple of mine? Didn’t I tell you that I can’t die?”


    Frowning at that, I glanced once more at the arm still attached to the spear… still stuck inside my shoulder.


    “Teach, I’m not going to lie. But that doesn’t seem much of a ‘flesh wound’ to me-ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!


    I almost tripped backward when I saw her blur again, successfully taking hold of her spear and pulling upward… until a good part of my shoulder was forcefully removed from my arm.


    I shrieked for some time, my wide eyes regarding the extensive damage in a mix of panic and fright.


    Scathach merely chuckled as she calmly fixed her arm through her runes.


    “Are you… afraid?”


    The slow query was returned with a snarl from me as I tried and failed to stand up after that pain-induced fall. The excruciating and searing sensation disabling my left size kept me from properly move away from danger and my hold over my simple sword was already wobbly because of the horrible escalation I was being subjected to.


    “You should just surrender, and allow the pain to lull you out of this misery.”


    AS IF!


    I frantically stood up, a bloody grin shot at my enemy with the most prideful of display.


    “T-Tis but a s-scratch!”


    She blinked. “Truly?”


    This time I managed to move just in time to dodge another attack from her weapon, almost tripping again in the process but managing to keep myself up and focused on my current problem.


    I don’t know what she was planning to do by maiming me this maliciously, but I was really regretting having not brought my rifle with me for this occasion.


    “Your footwork is steady despite the damage I’ve given you. If I was still your teacher, you would receive a big praise out of me.”


    I chucked. “And yet you turned into a bitch and made my life quite complicated.”


    Flattery will take you nowhere.”


    And thus I found myself barraged by a senseless amount of attacks. Gashes and wounds opened all over my arms and legs. Some of the new injuries reached my exposed half-shoulder, sending extreme chills of pain across my entire body and making my stance falter more than once.


    I was coughing blood like a damn fountain, but I kept on defending myself the best I could, leaving her no mean to end me at once.


    It was an unfair situation that saw me shoved left and right without any mercy or hesitation. Heck, she was smiling through the entire carnage.


    My stubbornness kept me from collapsing under the hits of fatigue, pain, and fear.


    Everything was hitting me all at once, and nothing under my current arsenal was enough to satisfy the unfair amount of damage I was sustaining.


    And if until now my luck had been bad, things got worse when one of Scathach’s strikes finally broke the piece of iron I brought with me. My sword wasn’t anything special and thus it broke under the duress exerted by the ferocious warrior-witch.


    I fell on my butt, failing to get up and resume the fight as she slammed her knee on my chin. I fell on my back and stared up as she pressed her reinforced shoe onto my chest, causing me to groan.


    “Did you already lose? Is that who my apprentice is? A coward?”


    “You know, you really need to get your shit straight. Do I need to surrender or… or-!!”


    My throat tightened as I felt blood cascade over me. I blinked in shock as I tried to connect the sudden splash of red to the origin of the liquid and I felt my heart and mind freezing at the same time before the most chilling of sight.


    It was a head. It was a familiar head.


    You were so busy trying to get your own belongings restored that you didn’t consider that I could’ve easily vaulted over the gate, killed all those you cared about, and set fire to your little kingdom,” Scathach pointed out eagerly, her stare turning at the white-haired head in her hold. “This one… she was quite silly. She thought you were going to rescue her. She called your name even thought I stabbed her numerous time. She was so loud that I had to put an end to the shrill song and… you know.”


    M-Mya?


    Her grin was feral, but it didn’t matter to me as I felt extreme anger take over my entire self. Gone was the pain, gone was the fire.


    In its stead, I was incensed to a degree I never felt before.


    Pissed? Yes. Furious? A few times.


    But outright murderous? This was a novelty, but a legitimate one as I pushed myself off the ground and reached for the woman.


    The former queen kept on smiling as she speared her weapon through my damaged shoulder, expecting me to falter at the renewed damage-


    Yet she gasped as I stabbed the broken blade up to her chin. Blood erupted from the injury, and she gasped for air that wasn’t going to arrive to her as my hands were onto her neck.


    I started to choke her, my mind conquered by the primal need to see her die by asphyxiation.


    Silence ruled this cruel scenery, and my eyes refused to leave the infuriating grin on her face.


    But the more I waited for this to come to an end… the more I realized that something was wrong with everything around me.


    Blinking, I realized that Mya’s decapitated head was no longer around. My shoulder… it didn’t feel in pain, nor it was sporting the same injury as before.


    My anger left me slowly, and with its retreat came a grand sense of drain and tiredness.


    My sword was now intact, the entire place looked more like a normal forest than the one within the Land of Shadows and…


    An unscathed Scathach sighed calmly despite the unpleasant chokehold I still had her into.


    “It would seem I was right,” She muttered quietly. “You truly mean everything you say, you naive fool.”


    My lips parted to try and formulate a question, but I couldn’t help but feel breathless at the shocking reversal.


    My brain was burning, hurting from the absurd developments I was being subjected to and while I wanted to really inquire about what was happening, the answer came in the form of a bright light exploding from Scathach herself.


    W-What is going-


    ----------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------


    I woke up with a panicked gasp, my chest hurting and my heart drumming painfully as I tried to stand up from my resting place… only for a pair of hands to press me back on the surprisingly comfy pillow my head had been left into.


    “You’re finally awake.”


    My wide eyes turned to the origin of the unpleasantly familiar voice. Scathach was staring from above and… she was rather close.


    Blinking, I realized that my head was currently settled on her lap and that she looked particularly calm about the current disposition.


    Then I started to grasp more at our surroundings and I realized that there were numerous runic barriers erected around the perimeter of the hill we were staying atop.


    “You… what did you do to me?”


    My throat felt tight, painfully so. I almost reached to massage my neck, but I refused to be at ease around her.


    She gave me a long look, perhaps surprised by my raspy and still furious tone.


    “Do you remember the two healing potions I gave you?” The woman asked calmly, almost ignorant of what had just happened to me.


    But still, I could remember the circumstances quite perfectly.


    It all happened earlier this morning, when I first started to attack the boars in what then turned into an extermination campaign to eradicate a large group of those.


    One of those had managed to sneak behind and leave a noticeable gash on my thigh. Scathach then deemed it right to give me something to soothe the pain and aid the healing of the injury.


    I didn’t pay much attention to it as I just drank the potions, and I was quite sure that those were actually working since my injury was quickly healed once I had digested both.


    I blinked again, this time connecting dots over this reminder and what had just happened.


    The potions were at fault, but… why?


    “You… you tricked me.”


    “I did,” The woman responded easily, sounding incredibly unfazed by my furious stare.





    “You look angry. And I can tell your anger is directed at me,” Scathach pointed out. “As if I’ve done something unforgivable and beyond this silly trickery. As if I’ve done you the greatest of slights.”


    I looked away.


    “You did.”


    This time it was her turn to blink. “Is that so?”





    “Yes,” I answered fiercely.


    “And I suppose you’re angry because you dreamed of me tearing apart everything you care and love for,” The former queen guessed calmly, and I found my irritation flaring over the confusing situation I was in.


    “What was the true purpose of the potions?” I demanded, knowing that I was entitled to that answer.


    “The first one was to put you in a deep sleep. It was created with the feature of triggering when a specific ingredient was brought close to you,” She explained calmly, huffing at my scowl. “The second was to bring out the worst nightmare you could ever be forced to live through. By bringing you in that state of fright and failure, I wanted to bring out your true emotions and confirm that you’re as genuine as you sounded when you first came in this realm.”


    Groaning, I finally looked back at her, yet she looked surprised when it was a glare to greet her curious red orbs.


    “Well, it bloody worked,” I rebuked sternly. “But now I’ve to ask, was that the task to cement my position as your disciple?”


    “Yes-”


    “I’m half tempted to outright refuse right now.”





    Scathach looked perplexed at my response, almost intrigued by what could’ve driven me to become this ferocious and unwilling to spare many words to her.


    I was surprised myself that she could fail to see the uneasiness and the distress I had to go through. I wasn’t expecting to be coddled under her care, but I didn’t want to be tortured like that just for her to confirm how truthful I was about it all.


    “On which basis?” She unconsciously dared, and I really wanted to really grin madly at that ignorant query.


    “On the basis that I can’t trust you,” I stated, pushing myself off from her lap to sit at her level. Her stare followed, but she tensed up a little bit at my staunch glaring. “This task, which you’ve created quite recently, was far worse than the one you had your former students train for. Do you want to know why?”


    “...”


    She remained quiet, maybe not expecting this little rant from me.


    “The challenge of reaching your castle was known to anyone seeking you. The Land of Shadows was known to be infested with monsters and those that died there were those that stupidly felt entitled to some higher power,” I explained in the simplest of tones. “There wasn’t the trick you employed against me. There was no mean to bring distrust to anyone trying to get that blasted position confirmed. It was all on them if they failed your task.”





    “You didn’t grant me this minor mercy. The only thing you gave me now is a reason to distrust you because I will never know if I will one day die of something sudden and unexpected since you deemed it right to ‘test’ me and tell me nothing about it,” I remarked with an angry voice. “Do you think I should genuinely accept such an unfair exchange out of the fact that I was facing something I wasn’t prepared about, something that was surely meant to result in my mind collapsing if I failed?!”





    “No,” The woman admitted. “I suppose I could’ve been… mindful of the fact you seem to have a surprisingly strong connection to those you care about. I thought you were just over-zealous about your attachment to your kingdom, but this… this is more than that. You were whispering a name while you were unconscious. I think it was My-”


    “Stop,” I interjected. “Don’t… say it. Don’t say her name now. I don’t want to hear you say it.”


    The vivid nightmare was still leaving a bitter taste on my tongue despite it being fake. It was… fake.


    It wasn’t real, I refuse to ever consider it the truth.


    Instead of staying quiet as I expected her to be, Scathach took my serious voice as a reason to barrage me with inquiries.


    “Can at least you tell me why you care so much about them?” She pressed on, regardless of the fact I was glaring daggers at her now. “What drives you to put your entire self on the line?”


    “I think you know the truth. I told you already, so I don’t see why I should-”


    “Why do you feel so happy and unhappy at the same time?”





    “What?”


    “As much as you try to hide this from me, it’s easy to see that your expressions alternate between truthful and faux,” The warrior-witch pointed out. “You find happiness, but at the same time you feel sad in those moments of success you achieve during your rule. So why? Why do you fake this?”


    My scowl shattered at that final query, and I couldn’t help but shake my head at that unwanted question.


    It was hitting too deep, too strongly. I wanted to flinch, to look away at the truthful assessment of what had of my life in the last month.


    I was tired of dealing with everything, but my tiredness wasn’t one behind my current life.


    I was tired because I was constantly missing what I can no longer reach out for. My family, my home, my friends…


    It was all gone because of an unexpected take of events that saw me here to tackle the worst period of British history.


    The glory was nice, so was the praise and the warmth of those people I was slowly getting to know as my new family here. But I still couldn’t hold myself from missing who I had been forced to leave behind.


    “I don’t know.”


    My response was met with a frown from Scathach, but I really didn’t give much of a dime as I turned around and started to walk away from the woman.


    I took a moment to see around and recognize where I was at the moment so I could start tracing my steps back to the gate to the castle.


    Musing over the chances of finding more monsters along the way, I failed to notice that my left leg was stiff and I tripped down to the ground. I snorted at the dusty ground, ignoring the little pain caused by my fall.


    “You shouldn’t leave now.”


    “I will come picking the swords tomorrow morning,” I muttered calmly as I slowly stood up. “I’m sorry for disturbing your wait. I will no longer bother your lonely stay in this desolate land.”





    “The swords will be repaired-”


    “The request is rescinded,” I replied sternly.


    “Then I shall not allow you out of my domain.”


    I paused at that rebuttal, my entire body tensing up at that.


    “What?”


    “You’re in no conditions to leave the Land of Shadows,” Scathach pointed out. “If you walk back to the gate, you will only find a hungry beast that will make easy prey out of you.”


    I snorted. “I will take the risk.”


    I took just another step, and soon I felt her hands grasping at my shoulders from behind.


    I was expecting for her to just stop me from walking away. It was a stupid clash of two different degrees of stubborn souls that was never going to see a clear victor.


    Or so I thought before she slowly lifted my right arm and put it around her shoulders.


    “I shall personally escort you back to your castle,” She proclaimed sternly and with a hint of… defeat? “It would be wrong of me to let my student be devoured by a stray monster because he is too stubborn to accept help.”


    “I told you that-”


    “I heard you. I just decided to ignore the foolish display of idiocy you just committed to,” The woman rebuked sassily. “And I will personally make sure you’re left under proper medical care before returning back in my domain.”


    She was planning to leave the Land of Shadows even for just a couple of seconds? Could she actually do this?


    I didn’t have any proof that she was bound to this place, but I thought that it was the case since she preferred to live there instead of the proper world.


    We started to make the path through the forest, and I easily spotted several creatures shying away from approaching us.


    They knew that they couldn’t exactly challenge Scathach even in that degree of unfairness directed at her. The woman might be cruel, but she was tough enough to deserve that much fear from the inhabitants of those lands.


    “I shall start teaching you about the art of war. You clearly need more strategy when fighting, and your footwork can use some improvement,” The former queen started to explain without hesitation. “Runes are a must. You need to know how to create barriers and healing stones.”


    I ignored what she was saying. At this point, I knew my input didn’t matter to her line of thoughts. She looked so focused on just doing what she wanted to do with me than actually pause for a moment and ask if I was fine with it.


    And I really didn’t have the means to rebuke this kind of disrespectful approach at the matter.


    Seriously, why the hell was she demanding this commitment? What was I missing about this big topic that would just make things understandable for me.


    “And finally, I shall make sure that you’re capable of being a man,” She muttered with a nod. “I call it… ‘Friendship of the Thighs’. But first it’s best for you to learn how to employ the Isaz Rune.”


    I blinked, feeling like this very notion was familiar but also not. Why was it named like that to begin with?!


    “The what now? And why that rune?”


    The woman didn’t reply to any of those, but her ominous smile caused me to shiver unconsciously as I knew that something sinister was hiding behind her happy-looking expression.


    But seriously, what was she planning to do with me?!


    ----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d---------


    AN


    Let’s just say that Scathach’s plans are going to suffer a strange development quite soon. Let’s just say that she fails to see a real problem in her ambitious mission.
     
  6. AllyDoodle

    AllyDoodle Lewd Cthulhu

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    Probably make you her meat dildo like she did with Cu.
     
    Illariai, Travius and Victory00 like this.
  7. Potates

    Potates Are ya ready kids?!

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    Friendship of the Thighs? Hoo boy. Scathach has survived and killed demons, monsters and gods. But she will soon face her most dangerous threat: A smol white haired cinnamon bun who won't let some old hag take her husbando.
     
  8. Lucidum

    Lucidum Verifiably Bored

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    Tsundere get? Or well I suppose in some cases Yandere get? Either way, yet another for the Once and Future Harem King Joseph!
     
  9. AldariSiradla

    AldariSiradla Spirit Boy, Police Girl

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    I give you a slow clap sir.
    You deserve such a clap.
    And I raise my glass to you...
    As I pray for your soul and dignity...
    Maybe your sanity too.
    You got this bro...maybe!
     
    Victory00 and Asdercol like this.
  10. ATP

    ATP Not too sore, are you?

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    Joseph,do not stick in crazy ! besides, you arleady get 2 future waifus, right ?
     
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  11. MasterOfDragonsGod

    MasterOfDragonsGod Connoisseur.

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    This is my Personal favorite story of yours.
     
    Asdercol likes this.
  12. Delta Green

    Delta Green Know what you're doing yet?

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    ... Unforeseen... consequences...

    *They come out of the Gate. Gate closes. Gate refuses to re-open. Scathach is now stuck in Londinium. Morgan pays another visit/tries to kill Joseph. Scathach is not happy.*
     
  13. Ryan Lozano

    Ryan Lozano Versed in the lewd.

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    I hope Merlin stays the good guy as in neutral
     
  14. davelll

    davelll Not too sore, are you?

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    so how long till he accidentally seduces mordred too?
     
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  15. ATP

    ATP Not too sore, are you?

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    She is still unborn,and thanks to changes made by SI,probably never would be.
     
    Silverwing15 likes this.
  16. Silverwing15

    Silverwing15 Not too sore, are you?

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    Maybe born from 'Turia and Si?
     
  17. ATP

    ATP Not too sore, are you?

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    Maybe - but,would be still Mordred,then ?
     
  18. Silverwing15

    Silverwing15 Not too sore, are you?

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    Of course not!
    Different circumstance (and hopefully childhood) will lead to a completely different person.
    But the child can still be named Mordred and raised with love cant it?
     
    ATP likes this.
  19. Fullmetalblazer

    Fullmetalblazer Getting out there.

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    The story is too intriguing I need more please update soon.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Chapter 15: From Shadows (3)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 15: From Shadows (3)


    The first thing that struck my mind when I woke up was the fact I was being pressed onto a soft mattress-like surface by something equally soft but warmer.


    My brain took a few moments to properly reboot and start the proper queries needed to address the situation.


    I was no longer in the Land of Shadows. In fact, I could see from the architectural style of the hospital ward that I was back in my castle and… nobody was around at the moment.


    A sigh left my lips as I leaned on the tiny pillow the bed had and decided to waste some time to think back at what happened before I fell asleep.


    I remember falling asleep after listening to an explanation from my former teacher. I was still aggravated by the nonchalant effort taken by Scathach over my refusal to confirm my apprenticeship.


    It was annoying, if not disrespectful of me. I was furious, incredibly so, but also calm enough to look at the subject without getting too incensed about it and too distracted by my emotions over the matter.


    The former Queen of Dun Scaith was someone that didn’t seem keen to consider how her apprentices handled the harsh methods she delivered. Especially when those were given without notice or contingency to prevent the worst.


    This very episode reminded me of when Cu Chulainn was poisoned with a sleep potion by his teacher, all because Scathach wanted to fight her sister alone and without having her apprentice harmed by this sibling-related rivalry.


    Eventually that situation solved well and it had a proper reason to happen since Cu Chulainn was known as a brash and battle-oriented warrior that easily disregarded warnings from others.


    Heck, he got the title of ‘Hound of Culain’ for killing the guarding dog of Culann, the famous Irish smith because he found the mutt a threat that had to be killed.


    I didn’t give her any reason to compare my mindset to her former apprentice’s, and yet I was given a similar treatment despite my calmer disposition.


    I was pissed, but also confused as to how her mood just was unfazed by my heated refusal. There was just a degree of unwillingness to let go, a mix of confidence and faith in her decision that just burned me more than the situation itself.


    How could she just ignore me like that? While I understand the whole ‘teacher is wiser thus they know best’ kind of pattern, I was at least entitled to a sliver of trust and minor respect.


    The explanation of what she intended with ‘Friendship of Thighs’ did little to lessen up the attrition that was born from that infuriating attempt of hers to a test. In fact, that very description got me stuck in a moral dilemma that only worsened up the opinion I had for her.


    While I hadn’t spent as much attention to Scathach’s legend as I did with the rest of the heroes from the Ulster’s Cycle, I was baffled by the fact that this legendary warrior queen had this tradition of bedding her students as a matter of developing kinship and trust.


    The very concept was bewildering and absurd. I knew Celtic Britain was a crazy can of mystery and obscenity, but to think that something like that existed…


    It was equally disturbing as morbidly intriguing.


    I paused for a moment, frowning as I pondered over that mixed opinion I had over it. While it was true that such a tradition was horrifying in a modern connotation, it was also true that it made sense to a Celtic-based individual stuck to a couple of centuries old mindset of loyalty and bond deepening.


    Plus I wasn’t certainly someone that would deny the incredible beauty the Lady that owned the Land of Shadows had. And the skintight suit she would wear each day… and the resulting sweat-inducing training sessions that would make it glisten to one’s eyes-


    And now my body was reacting to my creative imagination and… with that, something else reacted as the cover above my chest shuffled for a moment.


    My eyes widened as I tried to decipher the phenomenon, dread forcing my face to pale as a theory slowly started to build up at this very instance.


    Scathach was the last individual I was with before falling asleep. She was explaining to me how the ‘Friendship of Thighs’ worked.


    Now, I had something soft and warm pressing onto my chest and I could see my clothes folded on the chair in front of the bed with the armor lying beside the piece of furniture.


    I wasn’t completely naked, but I was limited to my underwear. And yet I was worried since I could feel naked skin pressing onto me.


    Mustering all the bravery that survived through that wave of terror, I slowly peeked below the sheets and… stopped at a pair of red eyes staring back at me.


    I blinked, and I received a blink back.


    “You’re awake!” A giggle, then the happy intruder rushed her arms around my neck as she nuzzled her cheek on mine.


    “M-Mya?!” I muttered in shock, my hands moving to return the sudden hug as my brain failed to compute what I was dealing with.


    Much to my instantaneous relief, she wasn’t completely nude. She was wearing some proto-underwear that covered well enough her modesty, and yet this appearance was still enough to warrant a prominent blush out of me.


    This wasn’t just how I had expected to wake up but…


    Not gonna lie, me likey.


    “I-I thought you were going to be more hurt. That woman, I think her name was… Scathach?”


    I nodded to confirm her pronunciation and she continued.


    “She said you just needed to rest. But we thought she did something to you and I kept her away and...”


    “And how does that explain your current state of undress?” I decided to press, knowing that the explanation was going to be equally innocent as indirectly created by some known meddlers.


    “Oh? That was something that Altuos said would work as a… deterrent against the lady. And that I had to make my ‘claim’ known to her.”


    Oh God.


    “And Felicianus said that now we had a ‘commitment’ or something like that, and that he wanted to see us both as soon as you’re capable of leaving the bed.”


    Of course the old man would try and set up a marriage between Mya and me thanks to this opportunity.


    I knew that more paperwork would do well against Altuos, but Felicianus needed a stern talk now more than ever. He was getting a wee bit annoying with his efforts to make his ships sail.


    But while I was distracted by these thoughts, I felt Mya hum as she carefully set her face closer to mine. I frowned as soon as I felt her warm breath right onto my chin.


    “Joseph… can we talk about… us?”


    Oh. Oh boy.


    A stern talk? Maybe I should directly set up a new bishop by the time this is over.


    “What about it?” My throat felt tight all so suddenly, and my voice cracked at the end.


    Mya didn’t notice much to my relief, yet the situation itself was tense as it was despite this tiny mercy.


    “Do you remember what you told me when I was sick and… about how everyone deserves a chance at happiness, even me?”


    I nodded, surprised by this strange turn of the conversation.


    The young woman sighed. “Can I ask you a question that… I wanted to ask you for some time now?”


    Frowning, I nodded again. I decided against pressing her too much about the matter, still unsure myself about what she was exactly trying to bring up.


    “Do you feel happy?”





    What?


    I blinked, my stare turning up at the ceiling as I contemplated the difficult question.


    Do I feel happy?


    I should be happy by all means. Londinium was doing great, the prospect of the next few years was quite impressive and I knew that people were living a better life ever since I started to introduce some social rules and work to this society.


    We were ready to defend our territories if the situation demanded the deployment of troops, and I was already working on having new war-related equipment created for the occasion. Nothing too big, and nothing too absurd just yet. The weapon-makers weren’t just there to make a decent step forward.


    But as I felt ready to deliver a solid yes to that query, I found myself held back by a detail that was surprisingly compelling to listen to.


    I was fine with this, but this wasn’t what the girl had just asked me.


    The realization was slow and painful to digest, especially when the idea that I was the one that made a compelling case to Mya that everyone with good intentions deserved happiness.


    I really screwed myself by being so open about the topic, and I knew I couldn’t just try to ‘fix’ it by delaying this very simple question. Changing what I had said to her after months had gone by ever since I told her that… I knew Mya wasn’t going to accept it.


    Not when the young woman had grown intellectually stronger in that regard.


    But could I tell her the truth?


    “I am happy.”


    No. I just wasn’t ready for this.


    I expected for the discussion to shift elsewhere, with the white-haired lady taking another topic of this conversation instead of lingering too long on my answer.


    And yet my expectations weren’t just subverted, but forced to do a double backflip before my eyes as she huffed and shuffled closer to my face.


    Her nose pressed on my cheek and I felt her stare aimed so intensely at my face much to my confusion. She didn’t look much elated with my response.


    “Liar.”


    I blinked. “What?”





    “Liar. You’re lying to me.”


    “I’m not.”


    “You are,” Mya continued without hesitation. “In fact, I think you’re also lying to yourself even now.”


    How could she just see through me like that? I mean, sure, we spent months together and she got to see me a lot but… how did she get this much accustomed to how my brain works?


    How?


    “Mya-”


    “Do you miss your family?”


    I tensed up at the sudden query, my eyes widening as she continued to press on me.


    “Do you miss them?”





    “A little bit, yes.”





    “Joseph, I think you deserve happiness.”


    I blinked. “I guess-”


    “I mean it,” Mya interjected fiercely. “You’re the one that has been doing the most to bring happiness to everyone in this city, and yet you deprive yourself of asking for something.”


    “I do this because it’s the right thing, not because I want something out of the job.”


    She huffed. “And yet you still should. But I’m not saying you should ask an object or… money. I mean… you should ask for something that makes you happy yourself.”


    I blinked at that rebuttal, but before I had the chance of saying anything about it, Mya moved in with another unexpected affirmation.


    “And… I think I should be the one to help you. Just like you were the one that helped me stand up from where you found me.”


    “What-”


    “I want to be beside you when anything bad happens, I want to be there to offer you a smile when you need to have someone to give you trust and faithfulness,” She started to say with a serious tone. “I want to… be there when you want to be sad, to allow the frustration wash away from you. And I want to be there to cheer you on when you need someone to hold onto.”


    “Mya-”


    “I want to hold your hand, to give you hope, to show you kindness, and allow you to find happiness.” Her smile widened. “Joseph, I know this is difficult to accept this and… I think words will not fit with what I want to say.”


    I was stomped, but my confusion barely reached for the immense sense of awe at the words I was bestowed with. It was so mesmerizing that I felt her lips on mine once the kiss had begun.


    There was nervousness from both parts and my reluctance clashed with my genuine sense of completion.


    This wasn’t the first relationship I had been in, but this was perhaps the only one I felt this much invested in and surprised by the pace and the intensity it created from knowing Mya for a few months now.


    With my hesitation crumbling before my resolve, the girl’s own uncertainty before the lack of an early response ended up fading away as the kiss grew a little more… sure.


    It was still chaste, and nothing genuinely sexual in nature. It just felt wrong to ruin the serenity of the intimate act by going that far. It just felt too much for the moment.


    Mya was inexperienced in kissing, and yet she was far better than other girls that I had the chance of meeting that were in her same situation.


    The little session lasted for a couple more seconds, with both retreating to get some air to our lungs. I smiled awkwardly, and her now pinker face looked incredibly adorable since it matched well with the cute smile in there. A victorious smile at that.


    After that, we continued to speak a little more about this and… then people decided to visit. It was bizarre to ‘explain’ to Altuos and Felicianus why we were both stuck in that situation, but they seemed to understand properly and without any issues when I mentioned some punishment over any meddling from their part.


    Marcus just chuckled at the goldmine of blackmail he had stumbled on, while Lancelot regaled us with a happy look as he had ‘expected this union to happen’.


    It took me even longer to explain to him that we just kissed and nothing else, surprisingly enough leaving the knight to grimace over the ‘lost opportunity’.


    It would seem like the conspiracy was extended a little more than the two elders that were usually bickering with other subjects.


    ----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------


    With the formalization of my engagement with Mya and some more private kissing with my fiance, I decided that it was due time to handle the situation with Scathach.


    I would’ve preferred to spend a day or two to ponder over the matter but… after talking this to Mya, I came to the conclusion that I needed to settle this now instead of hesitating over it.


    I needed to show a degree of respectfulness to the violet-haired woman instead of behaving childishly, and that would start by addressing an element in the predicament I hadn’t taken in consideration.


    Despite my unwillingness to accept her attempt to turn me into her new apprentice, she went out of her way to personally escort me out of her domain instead of just allowing me to leave on my own.


    While many wouldn’t think much of this, it was incorrect to believe the action was meant to be considered a minor one.


    The last time Scathach left the Land of Shadows was way before the Roman Empire came to be, and she barely knew what happened in the centuries that followed her self-exile in these disconnected lands.


    To her it was a matter of trust in the new generations of humanity to persist and grow in front of adversities set against them. That by allowing herself, a part of the past, to emerge and meddle with the fate of the world, even if it was all for the sake of good, would just be a discourtesy for those willing to take on the deed and become great through the hardships of their lives.


    The mindset was ruthless if not appealing from the perspective of ‘ancient good’.


    The concept of being a good person wasn’t tied and permanently the same from mankind’s birth to the modern world I was accustomed to.


    Morality expanded with the expansion of virtues, the growth of the ever-complex sense of justice and worth.


    From a general sense of good that Scathach was accustomed to, I was detached from this simplified view by what I was taught to believe in during the years I spent growing and becoming a capable adult.


    The same applied to the way teaching was dealt with.


    I remember the initial struggle I had when Marcus started to train me. The sessions felt so difficult and tough, and there were times I felt like the man was just trying to get me to snap.


    But then I got the strain and drain diluted with determination and tenacity.


    I needed to train as the world was still unforgiving.


    And that’s where the problem with Scathach was really born from.


    I had expected the woman to have at least the basis of training similar to the one I knew from either Marcus or Lancelot.


    The need to be aware and ready to strike when needed. To be prepared for the worst but also be quick to trust your mentor when the time demanded that kind of price.


    Yet I was proven wrong when Scathach’s way of training was more strict. Brutal. Based on a need to be always guarded at the chance of being attacked. At the possibility of being killed by a wandering monster.


    The idea would’ve worked well if it wasn’t for the fact that the world had changed from the times when people had to keep track of creatures trying to kill innocents.


    Which explained why training became more lenient towards knights, warriors, and soldiers.


    Still, I knew that the only way I could’ve salvaged that situation was to find a ‘common ground’ for Scathach and I to stand on for the reminder of this bizarre apprenticeship. And that was if I managed to convince the woman to take a more ‘current’ version of the method of training and trust.


    Entering the Land of Shadows, I was greeted by a quiet gust of wind. It was warm, and I blinked in surprise when I took notice of this.


    Until now, these lands were a perfect display of a surreal forest stuck between autumn and winter, and to feel this hot wind was… confusing.


    It was just the first sign that something I hadn’t expected to find this early in the morning.


    The sky was clouded as usual, but instead of the odd blue-red combo of clouds, I was provided with a strange mixture that created a… copy of a dawning sun.


    There was no sun in the Land of Shadows, and yet the clouds were formed in a manner that resembled one with the way some were a brighter tonality of red.


    I approached the spectacle, eventually making my way through some of the silent sections of the land as I wanted to find a place where to see the sight unfold in a better way.


    Eventually I reached the top of one of the few hills in there and was surprised to find the person I was trying to find sitting by one of the rocks in there. I stared at her for some silent seconds, unsure if she had sensed me or not while her gaze was locked to the strange scene before us.


    Instead of hesitating and lingering in that tense position I had taken, I decided to take steps forward and… sit on the free space available on the rock she was sitting on.


    Her red eyes finally greeted me quietly and I tried my best to make it seem I was paying attention only to the strange sky-related phenomenon rather than her.


    Scathach didn’t speak, but I could tell that she wanted to speak about the current situation and not what happened before.


    And I knew that I had to be the one to make these steps or else this circumstance was never going to get solved.


    “I wish to talk with you. About… what happened yesterday.”


    Her eyes were once more on me, and I finally glanced back at her to make it clear I was serious about it and not just fooling about the matter.


    “I wish to… apologize for the harsh way I behaved,” I continued with a serious tone. “I should’ve been less impulsive and… less blunt. I believe I was partly at fault for what happened and-”


    “Don’t.”


    I stopped, looking a little bit surprised at the curt interjection.


    “While you’re correct in saying that you could’ve handled the situation better, I don’t believe you should fault yourself about it,” The woman admitted calmly, looking to the clouds once again. “You weren’t thinking straight because of the extreme duress you were put through, but you aren’t wrong to find my ways of teaching… too harsh.”


    ...What?


    “Your castle. It’s different from Dun Scaith, and not just by its size and appearance,” Scathach continued with a sigh. “The people in it. Those that stand behind you, they look so different and behave with softer mannerism compared to how my former subjects used to address me.”


    “So you think that-”


    “I’m a teacher, but I’m also an individual that long forgot that sometimes learning never ceases and that the only way to handle it is by keeping a close contact with the newer generations,” She added with a nod. “By growing distant from the world, I also forsook the chances of keeping in touch with how society grew and… I didn’t expect for things to become safer… but also more complicated.”


    Silence ensued, but it was a brief one as the woman quietly brought up a book on her lap. I glanced at it, my eyes widening a little bit as I realized the content from its title.


    De Bello Britanniae


    I frowned as the title reminded me of books written by a certain Roman, and I was given confirmation of this when Scathach spoke once more.


    “Julius Caesar. The Romans came and swept away the old ways to give them ‘civilization’ and prosperity. Rebellions, wars of independence and ultimately the retreat of the empire,” She started to list up. “The world has changed so much since I’ve left my domain, but the thing that surprises me is the sudden lack of monsters lurking in the isles.”


    “The connection to the mystery is fading,” I muttered dryly and she nodded in agreement.


    “Which is why society is no longer centered around warriors set against enemies of humanity. But knights aimed at fellow men and women.”


    It was truly saddening how war became more prominent only because the world was deprived of problems that would usually rally humans with different interests and ambitions under a single banner.


    Despite my silent musing, the woman was far from done with this conversation despite the worst mostly dealt with. At least, that was what I thought to be the worst until that was asked.


    “I actually have a few questions I wish to ask you.”


    I frowned, surprised at this strange interruption, but still nodded and allowed her to ask.


    “What did you see in that nightmare?” She interrogated patiently. “What got you to react like that?”


    Blinking at the unexpected queries, I decided to answer as curtly as possible.


    “You… killed some people I care about.”


    “The girl? The one with white hair and-”


    “Yes.”





    “Why do you think I would kill her and others?”


    I took a moment to breathe, pushing back the memories of that ugly scenario as I answered this new question. There wasn’t much to hold back and… what could go wrong with some honesty?


    “Because… you wanted to disprove my capacity to protect those I care about,” I remarked and Scathach nodded, gauging my words carefully and with some fascination.


    “So you believe the test was… the test that was shown in that illusion?”


    I nodded, waiting for her hums to come to an end as the violet-haired woman studied the matter some more.


    “What is your relationship with the girl? Is she a friend, a sister or-”


    “I’m engaged with her.”


    I mean, it was a recent development but… I wanted the news to deter the woman from pursuing the whole ‘Friendship of Thighs’ she was trying to push onto me.


    Much to my surprise and grimace, she merely nodded and didn’t give any signs of being perturbed by this development.


    Would she attempt at that despite a holy union akin to marriage? I was really unsure about it...


    “You believed I had ordained the test to be that harsh and complex, and yet the true issue was how ‘creative’ you are when conceptualizing your own fears,” The woman analyzed out loud. “It’s still my fault for expecting you to elaborate something more tame and easier to manage, but then again you don’t seem capable of fearing this much.”





    “Next time I will be less inclined to trick you in this kind of mind-related test now that I know how complex and unpredictable you react to this potion,” Scathach guaranteed with a truthful tone. “But I want you to assure me that you will not hold back from giving your best in any training sessions.”


    So that was it, I was still going to train under her and accept the apprenticeship.


    “Only if you can offer me at least a minimal degree of trust. I think I warranted it.”


    She nodded. “I suppose I could. But I think it will be best to gain it by going through the first training session without getting too injured by it.”


    I stood up as soon as the woman began walking off the rock, and then we stood one looking at the other as we both took a stance without taking our respective weapons out.


    “We shall start from some simple steps. Nothing too complex.”


    I nodded, accepting that we were going through the basics.


    Then I was given the ‘simple steps’ and I started to feel regret when her mean punches struck at my nose and at my ribs. I moved away, handling the pain a little bit as I was barely standing after two punches.


    “You’re strong and quick, but you don’t have much endurance to hold yourself against strong attacks. You need to build up some resilience to physical hits.”


    Sounds fair, but incredibly brutal considering how she wanted to do this.


    “Until now you got close to defeat because you didn’t have much defense. So I’m going to teach you the best defense that you can know of,” She stated with a serious tone. “And the best defense-”


    The ensuing punch drove onto my stomach, slamming quickly and painfully as I found myself recoiling and brought to my knees.


    “Is more offense.”


    Why does this seem so familiar? And why do I feel the need to call Scathach my sensei?


    ----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------


    AN


    Kudos to anyone spotting the final reference. It’s a little amusing bit I got from a recent show and… yeah, I can kind of imagine Scathach pulling a similar teaching act as the guy the reference is based from.
     
  21. Lucidum

    Lucidum Verifiably Bored

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    Waifu get! I suppose Artoria will be heartbroken when she finds out.
     
  22. ATP

    ATP Not too sore, are you?

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    Dear Joseph - if you are happy with Mya,then how happy you would be with BOTH Mya and Arturia ?
     
  23. Rhomanion1

    Rhomanion1 Getting sticky.

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    Well Artoria's already getting married to someone else, so it wasn't like she was expecting to marry him. Plus that would blow up the whole "secretly a woman" thing to the world so she couldn't afford to marry him.
     
    Xion930 likes this.
  24. AldariSiradla

    AldariSiradla Spirit Boy, Police Girl

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    Eyyyy!
    It happened.
    Nice.
    Now...
    Joseph...
    My lord...
    You must unite the nation...
    With Artoria...
    Change history even more!
    Still, as expected...
    This outcome.
     
  25. Lunahaile

    Lunahaile The Fox-Queen of Misunderstandings

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    Watch as her solution is to arrange an affair between Guinevere and Lancelot while she courts Joseph in secret.

    Being entirely truthful, they should be able to figure out a way to be happy. Maybe a divorce+exile to Joseph's court? There is always a way to weasel your way into our out of trouble...
     
    Xion930, shinighoul6, Tobi and 2 others like this.
  26. Tobi

    Tobi Versed in the lewd.

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    Shishou is treating Jospeh well. By the time he's done training with her, he's probably going to get a new spear as a gift.

    Also damn, if he gets summoned and meet Cu. They will communicate saying Burh.

    A single burh will convey everything they went through due to their teacher.
     
  27. Threadmarks: Chapter 16: From Shadows (4)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 16: From Shadows (4)


    If I had to be honest, I have to say that I wasn’t expecting to be burdened by this much ‘homework’ all at once.


    Scathach proved herself true when she said that she was planning less subtle approaches. She gave me some trust in exchange for some faith from my part in her training skill and… the result was that the training got a far lot more intense.


    The woman was vicious, but there was now a touch of concern mellowing the entire thing to actually nor kill me. And in return I would show utmost determination against all challenges she would put against me.


    Sometimes I would win, others I would be beaten without a chance to recover and retaliate.


    But the sheer intensity was something I had no reason to truly condemn. It was unpleasant, yes, but I wasn’t planning to go back on my words after what happened last time.


    She was receptive to my comments as much I was receptive to her teachings. This relationship was only productive now as we both gained something from it.


    While I was busy learning how to fight and how to make use of runes, she would take the opportunity to visit the castle. At first everyone was tense. Legitimately so.


    Despite her calm and composed personality, Scathach still exuded a degree of inhumanity.


    Not that she was willingly causing it to be but… the sense of detachment coming after centuries of being isolated in her realm was enough to leave in her something of an aura. A very unpleasant one at that.


    After almost a month of this becoming a thing, she kind of was ‘accepted’ by most of the castle. Some were still hesitant to trust her to the extent of an ally, but they were well on the way to see her as such.


    Mya was the first one to open up, feeling rather interested by the fact that Scathach had found her dishes worthy of notable praise. After their differences had cleared out, the two women had established something of a work relationship.


    Every time Mya would be making some food in the kitchens, she would make a meal assigned for the Scottish warrior to try out when I would visit her.


    In exchange, the Lady of the Land of Shadows would offer constructive criticism for the girl to improve from. While this seemed an unfair exchange, and so I did think of that at first, I quickly realized how those small ‘fixes’ actually brought a higher quality to the dishes created by the white-haired young woman.


    Speaking of the girl that had confessed to me a while ago, I decided to spend the full month offering a good portion of each day to keep around Mya.


    May it be for a silly activity, or something a little more private, the two of us grew more accustomed to this change of pace.


    There was no real reason interest in rushing things up as I knew that we were both trying to adjust to the novelty… but I knew that I couldn’t just go for the ‘safest route’.


    I couldn’t exactly try to drag this state of relationship for too long and without actually marrying her. While I did so much to change aspects of the current society to ‘advance’ to something close to what I was accustomed to, I made no real pushes for changing how ‘relationships’ worked in this age.


    Courtship could be used to camouflage the whole ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ stage, but courtship wasn’t expected to last too long in medieval standards. Especially when both targets were of age and ready to be wedded.


    If a marriage wasn’t issued in a little less than another month, then things were going to take a turn I really wasn’t ready to consider. I would have to deal with a full fall out with Felicianus, and maybe even Altuos… and surely half of my kingdom over my hesitance over something ‘as simple’ as setting up a wedding.





    To be fair, this job isn’t as easy as they wanted it to sound like.


    People marrying for convenience just numbed their brains into believing that it’s fine to rush things and if things don’t work out then there are solutions to avoid any bad outcome.


    But… I wasn’t marrying Mya for convenience. There was no gain for me, nor for her.


    She already had a safe home, a place where to rest and nap- a place where to experiment and learn.


    So the question was apparent for me to pick up. Why was I having cold feet when things looked so fine all in all?


    There was no doubt that she loved me, and that I loved her in return.





    But what if I ended up messing things for her? What if I failed to stand up with my duties as a husband?


    It was a big step up from any relationship I had. And boy, my cousin would be grilling me about being mindful of my recklessness when around someone like Mya.


    There was nothing noteworthy happening with the kingdom’s affairs. The current improvements were still undergoing to be implemented with the rest of the settlements, and I wasn’t in a proper position to do some more without screwing too much with my limited resources.


    So I just had to juggle what tasks I had been having for some time now… while also handling my own issues.


    One thing led to another and… this uneasiness reached out for my usual state of mind.


    I was busy getting my ass kicked again from Scathach, this time putting on a bigger fight than I did a month ago and… I ended up losing focus of my stance. It was sudden, and I felt somewhat annoyed as I started to think that later that day I would have to tend to the garden with Mya.


    The mere thought got me distracted and… the vicious punch sending me flying onto some trees was enough to take me back to reality.


    And while I was back from my thoughts, my teacher seemed to notice my unusual state of mind.


    “Enough, you’re not putting the usual effort.”


    I frowned at the harsh comment, but I sighed as she gave me a glare that just hinted at her unwillingness to resume the spar.


    Instead of stopping the session altogether, the woman was quick to lead me back to the area we would go to practice runes.


    The scene was eerily quiet, and while it wasn’t unusual for things to be silent while we were busy producing enchanted minerals, I could tell that the former Queen was trying to understand what was wrong with me while also trying to be all silent and unwilling to directly ask.


    I was inclined to believe she was bored and that my current mood was a puzzle for her to solve without ruining it by literally getting a straight answer out of me.


    The entire situation lasted about twenty minutes of solid staring and… I sighed.


    “I’m having some dumb thoughts about marriage.”


    My voice broke the little game for her, and her annoyed look turned the normally dull session in something fairly hilarious.


    “You’re planning to marry? I didn’t expect you to be already aiming at that kind of relationship?”


    “Let’s just say that it is more of a tradition since I’m courting Mya,” I answered with a sigh. “We have been like this for a month now, and there is some pressure to see us married before the next month comes to an end.”


    Silence resumed shortly after, and for a moment I thought that Scathach wasn’t going to press for more details on the matter since her attention was once more on her runic stones.





    “Are you two having troubles as a couple?”


    I paused with the engraving process I was going through.


    “No.”


    “You seem sure of it.”


    “That’s because I am sure of it,” I confirmed, drawing a perplexed look from her.


    “Then why are you making it seem like there is something wrong between you two.”





    “What?”


    “Times might have changed, but I reckon that problems need to exist for one to be using those as a reason to be worried or unhappy,” The woman explained without hesitation and… I actually nodded at that.


    “I suppose the problem is… a worry of mine. A big one at that.”


    She stopped her own work to stare at me. And she was really confused by what I had just said.


    “A worry? You’re worried about… marrying?”


    “Something like that.”





    “Why?”


    I sighed. “I’m… it’s tough to say but… I’m afraid I might mess up with Mya. She is so happy, so lively and… what if I do something while we’re married and that hurts her.”


    “She is stronger than she looks,” Scathach pointed out. “And you shouldn’t worry about that. Especially since you’re not planning to do something like that willingly.”


    “Of course I wouldn’t plan to hurt her. That’s- but that’s not the real issue,” I said, completely forgetting about the runes. “What if after we are married, I end up too busy with my work as a king? What if a war comes and I’m busy away from home because I need to be there for the battles?”


    Scathach stared at me with renewed annoyance.


    “And is this worry… based on something logical, or are you just trying to complicate your life with mostly baseless possibilities?”


    “Knowing how the situation is with the northern region, I’m already planning to go to war in two months from now,” I admitted grimly. “I allowed Morgan too much time to recover, and I can’t allow the Lothian to integrate their new territories.”


    “And if that happens, then I will make sure that your wife is given plenty of friendly and amusing sights while you’re away,” Scathach rebuffed with ease. “You’re worrying about this, because deep down you feel that you’re not enough for her.”





    “What?”


    She sighed. “It’s common for men to worry about flimsy issues, but Love is not something as easy to scoff at as is picking swords over lances,” The woman calmly explained. “You might have picked the best of choices, and yet you will always feel you’re just a step too short to fit in with the needs of being enough for your other half’s happiness.”


    I blinked at her words, and I found a sense of rare melancholy within those. It was uncommon for Scathach to be this open about her own emotions.


    Sometimes it was because she didn’t feel the need to indulge in those… but most of the time it was because she was ‘limited’ with her picking.


    Some feelings just weren’t as refined as they were a long time ago, and the bitterness of the lonely realm left her apathetic to any attempt to bring those back.


    ...Yet now she was looking particularly at ease, a sight that was as unnatural as slightly concerning.


    In a world where everything could kill you and where one should always keep the guard up for any ambushes, it was purely odd for her to appear so calm and relaxed.


    And for a moment, I lulled myself in an unexpected hope of having my curiosity quenched.


    “Do you miss what once was?” I inquired. “The time when you had a reason to believe in living?”


    Her red eyes were away from me, yet her head bowed just so slightly at my questioning in a feeble response.


    “While many would weep over better days, I’m well-beyond that sorrow,” She admitted without hesitation, her voice hollow and devoid of emotions. “But I will always miss those that I’ve lost. I might see their passing as a necessity, a part of nature that everyone is blessed and cursed at the same time to have. Yet I still feel saddened by the fact they are no longer there to… be here.”





    “Teacher. May I ask you just one last question and… I will let you be with your thoughts?”


    At this point, there was no reason for me to stay there if I had her set with this topic. I could recognize I had left her so vulnerable, and in need of time to ponder about this tragic taste of nostalgia.


    “You may.”


    I stood up from my seat, setting down the unfinished runes on the proper boxes and… I spoke.


    “Do you believe that, if they were there, they would be happy seeing you saddened over their disappearances?”


    She blinked, as if handed a sudden slap that woke her up from her reverie.


    Her stare moved up to my face and for some intense moments, I felt my soul undressed by her vicious, hurt and regretful glare.


    I expected her to just look and do nothing. To watch and not rebuke with violence.


    I was wrong. On several accounts at that.


    I barely saw her move off her rock, my brain sickened just momentarily as I felt my footing lost under a sudden pounce for her. My fall was painful, but nowhere deadly or leaving me with a bloody injury.


    Yet I was far from safe as her stare felt even scarier and more difficult to handle as it was so close to me.


    “You think you can just expect me to bow to something you believe is a moral high ground? That your beliefs can easily berate mine from a pedestal you’ve built out of luck and easy planning?”





    “Right now, I’m the teacher and you’re my student. I know things you don’t, I believe in things you have yet to, and I’m the one that holds the keys to your success… or failure,” She continued without restraint. “I hold your destiny, and I will decide if I should bless you with greatness, or leave you a dumb fool of a king.”


    Her face lowered down and without speaking any further, she pressed her lips onto mine.


    Cue the immense dread suddenly becoming confusion, with my mind blanking out at the sudden powerful kiss.


    The woman recoiled slowly and without notice, and she looked barely fazed by that intimate action.


    “For a month I’ve allowed you to wander my domain without paying a toll,” The woman finally answered my quiet question. “But today things will change. This is the price of entering my realm, this is the price of training under me after your attempt to prove a point you don’t have.”


    Scathach slowly stood up from me and made just two steps away from my weary form.


    “You may leave now. This session… I believe we both have much to think about.”


    I silently stood up, giving her a lengthy glance as to understand what had just happened.


    I merely started to make the first few steps toward the exit door that I felt her speak again.


    “And one last thing,” The teacher muttered suddenly and without hesitation. “If there was even a chance of you hurting someone you care… I would be there to put an end of it, either with words or with a taste of just violence.”


    The ultimatum was clear, but instead of making me worry for my life… It made me somewhat relaxed at the chance of this preventing me from hurting Mya.


    But that kiss? I sure as hell am going to ponder a long time about it.


    ---------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-------


    “Do you know how to dance?”


    The question took me out by surprise, my eyes widening as I stared away from the roses I was tending too.


    Mya was leaning close to my face, almost making me jump as I realized how close she really was.


    Instead of shying away from the proximity, I took the opportunity to give her a peck on her lips.


    She giggled in response, but seemed really interested in the topic from the way she was still staring at me.


    “A little bit. I never studied much about it.”


    The young woman hummed as she took a seat beside me, helping me with the pretty flowers.


    “Altuos said that important celebrations could have dances,” The girl explained, motivating her unexpected questioning. “And I’ve never danced with someone… it’s always alone.”


    I frowned. “Really? I thought you would’ve asked for someone to try it out.”


    “I did, but the guards were unwilling to leave their duties unattended for some petty request.”


    I suppose they were just trying to appear appeasing but… they are working for the defense of the castle. After what happened with Morgan when I first met her, it was just legitimate to have their patrolling reinforced as an order rather than just a duty.


    “And have you asked anyone else?”


    She shook her head, and I hummed.


    “Then why didn’t you ask me? I would’ve said yes.”


    “But you’re always busy and… I know it wouldn’t be nice if I came to interrupt your work,” Mya admitted with an uneasy tone. “And I don’t want to be a pest and-”


    “Mya,” I stopped her. “What’s wrong?”





    She sighed. “I know you told me that I could check on you, but now that we are close to a wedding… I don’t wish to become a bother-”


    “A bother- what?”


    What was she talking about? A bother? Who was the deranged bastard I had to have hanged?!


    “Since wives are to be subservient to their husbands-”


    “Felicianus?” I asked with a tense tone. “Who told you this, was it the Arch-Bishop or-”


    “I-I read it. In a book.”


    I stared at her a little longer, expecting her to give me a name to deal with but… it seemed that it was a book’s fault for her misconception.


    And what a big misconception at that!


    But the more I spoke with her about the matter, the more I realized how it was surprisingly enough the opposite of my own worry.


    I was afraid of spending too little around her, while she was afraid of overstepping her boundaries and taking too much time of mine from my work.


    It was so stupid, so incredibly dumb… but also a sign that I might have indeed made a mistake by being dragged down by this concern.


    And in that clarity of mind I decided to make something so insanely simple as incredibly absurd by all means of kingship.


    For a brief moment, I remembered that while the crown was on my head, it wasn’t my head.


    “Mya, forgive me if I ask you this suddenly… but if you had a full day with me around, how would you want to spend it like?”


    A blink, then two. The woman spent a moment reorganizing her thoughts at the immediate question, but she seemed to recover in record time as she spoke just a few seconds after I’ve asked.


    “W-Well, I… I think I would like to wander around the city and see how the people are,” She admitted with all the honesty she could muster. “You always told me that we couldn’t check around for too long because it was either too late or because you didn’t have the time to do so.”


    I nodded, remembering how difficult it was to wander around Londinium nowadays.


    It wasn’t like I couldn’t spare an hour or two, but it was generally late for me to check the city since my free hours were after training and after I was done with the daily paperwork.


    Mya always wanted to walk around in the streets of the city, to see that the castle wasn’t just the city and that there were other people other than the guilds’ members and the guards.


    I could see why that would be her priority.


    “And next? Like, do you have a place you would want us to have lunch? Or maybe dishes you would wish to eat for that day?”


    Instead of questioning why I had taken such a wild tangent from the previous topic we were discussing, she decided to humor me.


    “Well, I wanted to see if the soup kitchen Felicianus spoke about was offering food as good as he mentioned. Maybe even help if they needed an extra hand.”


    My smile widened at that sliver of selfishness.


    I always wanted to give a thorough look at one of my first ideas ever since I started to rule, but the paperwork made things so difficult and… and I wasn’t done yet.


    “What about the afternoon? A visit around the garden, maybe to tend it as we’re doing today?”


    Mya sighed, staring at the various flowers around.


    “Maybe. Maybe even dance a little around and forget about time and the world.”


    I should try to see if I had some classic music on my phone. I had the device working just barely thanks to electric runes being used on low currency, but it should hold a song or two about waltzes if I had some saved up.


    “Together and without a single worry to interrupt us,” I added quietly, gaining another sigh from her.


    “It would be so nice, but I know that you’ve duties and-”


    “Tomorrow.”





    “Tomorrow? What about it?”


    Oh my, this is going to be difficult to make it clear for her without getting yelled at.


    “Well, tomorrow is a good day to spend together with my fiance. To enjoy the beauty of the city, to check on the soup kitchens and… to maybe practice dancing in this beautiful place.”








    “Don’t you… have paperwork?”


    “For one day, I know I can delegate things to Altuos. Felicianus might be annoyed, but considering why I’m taking a day off, I’m sure he will be happy to have another addition to his ‘master plan’.”


    Mya giggled at that comment, but then gave me a concerned look as seriousness returned to the conversation.


    “But are you doing this because of our conversation or-”


    “I’ve been worried that I would end up ignoring you once we’re fully settled together. Once we set our marriage and… let the vows take place,” I explained with a patient hum. “And I don’t want to make you feel forgotten.”


    “Why- Why would I ever think that?” The young woman rebuked. “I know that your work as the king isn’t an easy feat. That you don’t waste time- that you handle urgent matters.”


    “Most of the time, yes,” I replied with a nod. “But I still believe that you should be forbidden from checking on me whenever you wish. From being allowed to be what I want you to remain as.”


    A frown adorned her beautiful face. “You want me to-”


    “Visit me. Humor me. Speak to me when you need to talk to me,” I listed out without hesitation. “I want you to be Mya, not a servant. I want you to be my wife, just like you want me to be your husband.”


    I proceeded to deliver a quick kiss to her, adding awe to her shock.


    “Y-You- but what about Altuos? Wouldn’t he be mad that you leave him that much work?”


    I gave her a devious look at that.


    “He told me that he was having less paperwork than usual while we were conversing on my own stack of paper and ink. I’m sure he will survive through it.”


    Mya giggled, this time being the one to lean towards me for a kiss, this one longer than the previous ones.


    And with that in mind, the setting of a proper date was planned. A date filled with love, discoveries, fixes, and a gran finale to remember for the rest of our lives.


    But as we plotted our little day together, two cloaked individuals were slowly making their way towards the Londinium. Their objective? Meeting King Joseph.


    ----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--------


    AN


    So much to say, so much to do.


    Scathach. What happened? She is slowly making moves. Beware, the unique friendship is soon to be enacted! Maybe!


    Mya. The cinnamon roll is making steps into a growth to maturity. But she will still retain some of her childishness, if not most of it through the way.


    Two new characters coming next arc- who are they? Enemies or allies?
     
  28. MasterOfDragonsGod

    MasterOfDragonsGod Connoisseur.

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    I forget is it canon that Homunculus gives birth to Mini clones of themselves?
     
    EJ Maybe Writer and Weeb Anime like this.
  29. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Depending on the kind of homunculus. Mya is the closest to a real woman, so any products are going to be the same version of her... but with the same quality. Maybe some details from the father too. It's difficult to say how 'accurate' to life-like the original Homunculi were.
     
  30. MasterOfDragonsGod

    MasterOfDragonsGod Connoisseur.

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    That could be a problem people in the Middle Ages wouldn’t want to be ruled by a woman.
     
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