I in no way shape or form own Fate/Stay Night or Queen's Blade. They belong to their respective owner. Fate/Stay night is property of Type-Moon, and Queen's Blade belongs to Firelight Game Company. And I in no shape or form make a profit of writing and publishing this.
Welp, here's the next chapter! As for why it came so "soon" especially when compared to my usual writing and update cycle, it's because this been in development for years now, I wrote this bit by bit and just now found the time to got at it and connect them. So hurray for you guys!
So, if it wasn't a bit obvious by the pairing for the fic, that and the hint given in the previous chapter, it's going to be for Claudette.
I will only say this, Claudette's best girl...
That is all.
Honestly, with Claudette, it was a bit tricky getting it down and get right. I think I managed to get it as good as I could, but I'm not completely satisfied, but in the end I viewed it as acceptable. Hopefully it's coherent at the very least.
Once more, this is a more self-indulgent fic, but then again when has fanfiction ever not been one? So expect some sweetness sprinkled in here and there for the chapter much like the previous one.
But yeah, that's about it. Enjoy the chapter!
Chapter 2 – Crossing The Thin Line
The fortress castle of the Vance household was massive in scale, large enough to fit with all manner of rooms for any single occasion. Perhaps the largest room within the estate was their ballroom. The room was massive in size and scale, capable of accommodating hundreds of people easily with enough space and room left over for any decorations.
Night had descended on this day but the light from the castle served as a beacon within the blanket of darkness. In particular, the ballroom for where all the light originated from.
Within the ballroom, a celebration was happening.
Serene music played in the background, a mini-orchestra was centered at the back performing a wonderful performance for all. Bountiful music filling the joyful theatre.
The furnishing for the room was filled with various decorated couches, tables, and seatings.
High above on the ceiling hung beautiful and sparkling crystal chandeliers, giving off a golden glow that illuminated the entire ballroom. Casting everything under a radiant glow.
A large banquet was prepared, spanning several tables long filled to the brim with wonderful and delectable food of any nature along with a variety of vintage wine. Numerous maids and butlers were walking around, a tray in their hands of either glasses of wine or small snacks for any of the guests to grab.
The sounds of hundreds of voices filled the air, from idle chatter to rambunctious laughter.
They crowed around one another, a mass sea of flesh and colorful clothing.
Noblemen and highborn ladies were conversing, either idly or interacting and holding conversations with one another.
Scions and heiress were with their peers, sharing stories or gushing over rumors.
Children that were in attendance were giggling and having the time of their life.
Within the center of the ballroom was the designated dance floor. Here, couples danced happily the night away in the arms of their chosen or lover to the soothing music. Heirs flirting or asking for a lady's hand for a dance. Many watched on the sideline, commenting or whispering at such a joyous sight.
While everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves, there, off in the corner of the room, away from the crowd stood a lone girl. A little girl that looked no older than thirteen years old stood by her lonesome, away from the fun and festivity.
It was none other than Claudette, dressed in a simple white and red dress. There, she stood, hidden away, watching from the corner as the nobles had their fun, paying no attention to the little girl. Not even the various maids or butlers dignified her with a visit. They were all content with ignoring her and she was fine with that.
Claudette played with the hem of her dress, trying to distract herself.
"Why am I here?" she sighed.
Nearly any and all nobles of importance within Vance country were in attendance for this event. The reason for such a massive congregation?
It was Leina Vance's name day.
Claudette never once understood what was so important that nobles would spend a ludicrous amount of time, effort, and money into what amounted to be a birthday celebration.
As a bastard such luxury and rights were lost on her.
Yes, it was that fact that she was all by herself. None of the nobles, be they adults or children would dare associate themselves with a bastard. Even if she belonged to a powerful family as the Vances. Bastards were shunned in such a society as this, viewed nothing more as unwanted and unloved spawns. The fact that she was present during such a celebration extremely unorthodox in itself. The few disgruntled stares thrown her way also cemented this. Many wondering and questioning, why someone like her was present.
Of course, none would ever dare say or voice such opinions out loud in fear of upsetting venerable Count Vance.
Young she may be, but she never once forgot where she stood within the family.
Claudette was a bastard, a child born out of wedlock between the Count and a plebeian mother. Of whom died when she was very young, leaving her with the Count as her only parental figure. Due to this fact she was an illegitimate child.
Unlike most nobles who sired bastard children, Count Vance chose to keep her and raise her. Instead of dumping her and letting the Gods have their pick. Were it not for his mercy Claudette doubted, she would have a good as of a life as she had now. In turn, she was raised to be a servant, loyal to the Vance household entirely.
It was this reason that she was perplexed by the Count's order for her attendance. Despite her reservations, she did as she was told. Dressed for the occasion alongside her 'sisters' she would attend. It didn't take long before they crowded around Leina and Elina. Completely ignoring Claudette as a whole, which was fine with her.
Such pleasantries were lost on her.
She wanted the night to end as quickly as it could and to finally get away from all their judging stares.
"So, this is where you've been hiding."
A single voice startled her out of her musing. Claudette quickly turned, only to be caught by surprise by who it was that snuck up on her.
There, a twelve-year-old Emiya stood, his presence partially concealed by the many luscious colorful drapes that hung along the aligning windows.
"Broth—I mean…Lord Emiya." Claudette corrected.
Emiya crossed his arm and raised a single eyebrow.
"Lord Emiya? We're alone for the moment, you don't have to address me stiffly like that Claudette. Come on and try again!" Emiya replied with a teasing smile.
Claudette blushed but regained control. Seeing her reaction the silver-haired scion sighed and leaned back, concealing himself further in shadows.
"What are you doing here my lord?" she asked him.
"I'm going be hearing that, now aren't I?" Emiya muttered. Shaking his head, he answered her previous question.
"Wanted to get away from the little snobs." Her 'brother' inclined his head over to the partygoers.
Claudette glanced back seeing a small gaggle of girls near her age running around, as if they were looking for something or rather, someone.
"You would not believe how persistent they were!" Emiya began. "Not to mention their parents. They would not shut up about themselves or their daughters. They weren't even trying to be transparent with their intentions. Almost had to fight tooth and nail just to get away from the attention."
'At least they aren't looking at you as if you were a filthy animal!' Claudette fired back mentally. A small burning pit of jealously burned within her. The twisted feeling coiled in her guts, threatening to break loose. Claudette clenched her hands, hard, to curtail the sensation that threatened to make itself known. It was petty, she knew, to blame her brother for something neither he nor she could control.
"Was that all my lord?" Claudette asked, regaining her composure.
"No. I also wanted to check up on you as well." Emiya replied with an easy smile.
"You shouldn't be associating with me my lord, it wouldn't look good for you."
"Oh? Why's that?"
"Because I'm a bastard."
"So am I."
Claudette was momentarily caught flatfooted his Emiya's immediate response.
"Y-yes…but you are Count Vance's heir." Claudette recovered. "You were legitimized Lord Emiya, by fath—I mean, Lord Vance. Thus you are no longer a bastard."
"Funny how a simple declaration like that can change people's tune." Emiya mocked, his face making a slight sneer at the group of nobles. "Anyway, I was a bit bored, so I decided to drop by to ask if you wanted to dance."
"A d-dance?" Claudette repeated. She looked down, staring at her feet that were in a set of uncomfortable heels. "I-I can't. I don't know how to." She shyly admitted.
"Well, you know what they say, 'no time like the present.'" Reaching out for her hand, Claudette pulled it back at the last second.
"They'll talk." Claudette stressed.
"Then let them." Emiya countered.
"B-but…we can't! It might hurt the lord's standing. Count Vance would…."
"I doubt father…cares much for what they think. That, and they'll probably shit bricks in fear of the old man catching wind of it." Interrupted Emiya.
"Brother!" Claudette gasped, scandalized.
Emiya's smile only grew. "Ah-ha! Finally got you to drop the whole 'lord' talk. Progress!"
Claudette grew red, stewing in embarrassment and frustration.
This always happens. Her brother always had the infuriating talent to get under her and so many other's skins. A deviously silver tongue and lashing quick wit, one would be forgiven for mistaking his actions and words of an adult rather than a young teen on the cusp of adulthood.
It's almost as if he had a natural talent when it came to annoying people.
While she was lost in thought Emiya reached out and delicately took one of her hands and guided them away from their little far-off corner with little resistance. Claudette snapping back to reality, but it was a bit too late.
The bastard daughter of the Vance could feel them. The jeering gazes directed at them. Claudette looked away, unable to withstand their looks. Trying and failing to pull herself away from her brother. Her own reputation paled in comparison to Emiya's, yet he was stubbornly persisted. Being around someone like her would only hurt him in the long run.
It was frustrating as it was endearing to hear and see him defend her and going out of his way for her when she accepted that she would be nothing more than a bastard. This was her role in life.
Glancing back, Emiya saw the conflicted look on her face.
"Let me tell you something, Claudette. People are capable of truly ugly things, discrimination most of all. Many will try and ridicule and mock you for what you are rather than who. All to feel superior to others. We're bastards, but so what? Do you care for every nutjob that accosts you in the street, or do you listen to every sleazy merchant you meet? No, of course not. Why? Because they aren't worth it." He imparted.
"But b-brother...they are nobles."
"All I see are monkeys in dresses with nothing but hot air and inflated ego." Emiya flippantly dismissed.
On one hand, his words borderline on contemptuous, even if they were among the higher clique of the nobility. Those with high standing wouldn't take too kindly to his words. Yet, his confidence never failed to make her admire the way he faces reality head-on.
Claudette said nothing. Mulling over his words. Wisdom that was far out of place from someone as young as he. Her hand squeezing his own, a measure of support.
"Point is, don't worry about every single person barking your way." He summarized.
"You make it sound so easy..." Claudette muttered.
"Never said it would be..." He continued, shrugging. "Nothing in life ever is. But then again if it were then everyone would be doing it. We strive to better ourselves not because it's easy, but because it is worth it."
His advice rang in her head as she looked back towards the partygoers. Their hushed voices and whispers growing louder all around them as they drew closer to the dance floor. Many were giving her stink eyes or incredulous looks. Some were questioning why Emiya was touching, let alone associating with one like her. A few, in particular, were particularly scathing where they were mocking Emiya as a bastard himself associating with 'their' kind.
"Will it ever get easier?"
"Maybe. But that's not for me to decide now is it, dear sister? Every journey starts with a single step after all."
Claudette tried to ignore them all, no matter how biting or cruel they were, calling her a bastard and all. With dignity and grace, she held her head high like she'd seen so many others do and straightened her back. Refusing to allow a single ounce of concern or worry, to show that their words won't affect her. The two pushed past everyone and were soon centered stage.
All eyes were on them and Claudette shuddered faintly at the intense and scrutinizing looks. Yet, she kept her eyes focused solely on him, her brother.
"Ready to take that first step?" Emiya held out her hand, inviting her, his lips twitching into a familiar smile that always comforted her.
Gathering her courage, she curtsied to him, gently offering her hand onto his own. Her brother's smile grew as he took her in. Wrapping his arm around her back and settled on her waist. Claudette followed along by resting one on his shoulder, leaning on him. Their right hands intertwined, and their body pressed against one another.
Despite being only a year older the difference in height was prevalent amongst the siblings, with Emiya looking down at her.
Claudette released a breath she didn't know she was holding. Two shining pools of silver gazed down on her, like a shining moon in the night. A playful but gentle expression and smile greeting her.
She could feel the heat rising to her cheeks. Her mind and body suddenly self-conscious, taking in his presence.
Nearby, the previous gaggle of girls that were looking for Emiya whispered and whined how someone like Claudette was dancing with him. A small smile graced her lips and she leaned further onto him.
Soft music played and their bodies slowly moved in rhythm. The world around her blurred, colors and sound warping into a strange but peaceful melody. The ballroom disappeared, the nobles with their unwanted stares and whispering leaving. It was only them left, all alone.
Only Claudette and Emiya dancing away, slowly fading away. But before they disappeared, he began leaning in. Seeing this, she closed her eyes readying her lips. And as they met, it was over.
It was to this lingering dream that Claudette woke up from. Slowly, the redhead rose from her simple bed. Her senses slowly coming back to her and in mere seconds she was wide awake. Her constant training over the years instilled in her a quick wake-up routine.
The room around her was small and simple. Consisting of a single bedroom and adjacent bathroom. There was little in the way of decoration or anything for that matter. The room was rather spartan save for a small desk in the corner, a simple mattress for her bed, and a lone window. Well, there was one rather out of placed detail about the colorless room. It would the numerous soft plush's that decorated the side of her room close to her bed. An odd addition that contrasted to the rather drab room.
However, her three most important ones were coincidentally the first of that she received from her siblings. A stuffed bunny from Elina, sitting next to her pillow. A plush angel from Leina, that was in the corner. Finally, a plush sword from her brother, Emiya. Which was the one she was currently cuddling.
Incidentally, she noticed the tip of the plush's blade was wet. But the only way that could be would be if she had bit on it during her sleep. Or perhaps, been sucking on—
Getting out of bed Claudette began her routine. She meticulously fixed her bedding and sheets to then arranging the various stuffed toys in a particular order. Satisfied, she picked out her attire for the day, the same one she wore every day for that matter. In the bathroom was a simple basin that served as her bathtub. As the water slowly poured in Claudette undressed and piled her used clothing for the maids to pick up and clean.
Once filled, Claudette took a dip in the chilling water. The ice-cold water tingled her skin, causing a small shudder to spread across her body. The red-haired warrior let out a soothing sight as she submerged herself in the basin. Allowing the cold water to drain away her lingering drowsiness.
She found a long time ago that it helped in getting rid of any fatigue and a quick way to wake up.
The eldest Vance quickly cleaned herself up until all that was left was her hair. Which always took up the most time for her. Her crimson locks were messy, attributing to her bed hair, needed to be properly washed and combed.
As a warrior, she knew her long hair could sometimes get in the way. However, her dear sister, Elina always spoke at length about her beautiful hair and so she kept it, making it worked.
That, and she knew her dearest brother has a preference for long, and luscious hair.
As her thoughts wandered back to Emiya, the lingering dream resurface.
Her fingers fell to her lips, idly puckering them against her fingers. The sensation of the memory of their final moments tugging at her mind. It would last no more than a few seconds before she focused back on the task at hand.
Quickly and efficiently, she finished up. Properly dressed for the day, Claudette left her room, giving one last glance at her bed and plushy before beginning the day. From her room, she made her way out of the castle and towards the barracks. On this particular day, she was overseeing some training exercises with a few of the regiments, and her personal led squad.
Passing through the halls of the castle, she looked out the windows that lined the hallway. The sun barely peaking through the clouds, indicating it was earning morn. A few servants passed her, bowing more so it was expected of them than anything else. Not that she cared, walking past them all with a stoic visage.
She entered the dining room, a flicker of surprise crossing her face as she spotted her father, Count Vance breaking his fast.
He calmly looked up, regarding her with a cool gaze as Claudette bowed to him.
"Claudette." He simply greeted, turning back to his meal.
She remained there, unsure of what to do next. It would be improper for someone like her to dine at the same table as her father. Before she could leave, holding off on feeding herself, Count Vance spoke up.
"You are breaking your fast?"
He dabbed his mouth with a cloth and quickly stood up, all but finished with his eating. He walked towards her as the maid went to pick up his finished plates. On the way out he passed her.
"You may continue." He said, leaving her alone.
Claudette remained rooted, glancing as the lord of the hold walked away. It was only when he was out of sight did, she allowed herself to sigh. Of course, she quickly collected herself and ordered a maid to fetch her morning meal.
Silently, she broke her fast. Cutting into the rather mediocre spread, for she knew it was leftovers from yesterday. While bland, it still managed to fill her up and was all that mattered. Though, it didn't stop her thoughts from drifting, once again going back to Emiya albeit for an entirely different reason.
Her brother was gifted with all sorts of talent, an adept cook being chief among them. She could still remember the last time Emiya cooked for them, all of them, her father, their sisters, and even all the servants within the entire castle. A feast celebrating Elina's previous name day. Bringing a host of delectable food. Never failing to bring a pleasurable taste that was beyond anything she or anyone else had tasted before.
What she wouldn't give to taste his wonderful cooking again instead of the bland meal she was currently eating, she mused. Only to chastise herself a second later. Her brother, a lord, had better things to do than to get his hand dirty and serving someone like her.
Quickly finished, Claudette left at a brisk pace, heading straight towards the barrack wing of the castle where the soldiers and guards under their employ were housed. Within several minutes she was walking down a corridor leading to her vanguard squad chambers.
As she came closer, she noticed the door was opened slightly and she could hear the soft noises coming from the room.
Normally, Claudette would simply walk on in and they would be ready, saluting her as was standard practice, but seeing as she woke up earlier than normal, she decided to wait. The sound of shuffling clothes, ringing of armor, and idle conservation idly filtering from the room.
Through a small gap from the opened door, Claudette carefully glanced inside as to not alert any of them to their presence. They were all up and slowly getting ready. The general leaned up against the wall, arms crossed and quiet. All the while keeping her ears open so that she'll know when they'll be done and make her presence known.
"Do think Lord Emiya hates us?" A lone question was asked.
Instantly, all conversation died down as the question captured their attention. Claudette's ears instantly perking up, latching onto the sudden topic, and found herself leaning in further to catch their conversation.
"What makes ya say that?"
"Well he's been avoiding a lot of us, and not just the guards but from what I hear also the other servants."
"More like he found someone else to take up his time." One of her vanguards snarked.
Other voices quickly joining in, grumbling.
"Yea, I think it's a maid."
"A maid? Which one?"
"The one with the big tits."
"...That doesn't narrow it down at all..."
"Wait, are you talking about the blond-haired one?"
"No! The other one, the one with the brown hair, always squeaking when talking to anyone else."
"Oh! Her...Night, or Nux...?"
"Pretty sure it's Nyx."
"Damn...I'll admit that she got a nice chest. No wonder why Lord Emiya picked her out."
"Damn her." One cursed. "The least she could do is not hog up all his time. Some of us want a chance as well."
Murmurs and agreement were had as the conversation continued.
Claudette frowned, listening in on the proud regiment of the Vance Royal Guard reduced to gossiping girls. Bickering and trading curses of how they were unable to spend a night with the Vance scion like before.
The eldest Vance remembered the maid in question, Nyx was her name. The only reason she knew of this was thanks to Elina. One day out of the blue she came to her and vented. Something about how her and Emiya disagreeing on the matter of the maid. Around that time the two started to spend a lot more time together.
At the time Claudette paid the servant barely any attention. It wasn't the first time a servant or another caught his attention and in less than a day or two he would move on, was what she figured would happen. Except, a week had passed, and their relationship was still going strong.
A frown wormed its way to her face as she thought more and more about it. Always catching glimpses of them spending more and more time together, so happy, so joyful. The way her brother's face would light up, his smirk giving away to an earnest smile...
Claudette immediately shook her head, ridding herself of her thoughts. Bringing it all to an end, her expression smoothed into her usual impassive expression.
Without any preamble she entered into the room, the door clattering open and making her presence known. Her soldiers jumped, surprised, but discipline and training kicked in as within a second, they stood at attention, saluting her.
Claudette walked down, her keen eyes traveling from one soldier to another, inspecting them. A normal procedure like any other day, but this time her gaze was sharp. They stood at attention, watching with bated breaths as if they were being stalked by a wolf.
"Come. We have much work to do." She said, turning and leading them out.
"Umm, general..." One of them spoke up, Talia – her second in command to be precise, just as she passed her.
"Yes?" Claudette answered without looking at her.
"D-did you happen...to hear anything that was said...?"
The eldest Vance said nothing, choosing instead to turn her gaze towards her second in command. Who was sweating under her cold glare.
"A-apologies ma'am." She quickly said, looking away.
Claudette said nothing, turning and leading the way as her vanguard squad quickly followed.
Within one of the many sprawling yards, Claudette stood, watching as her soldiers began their training routine and exercise with an impassive gaze. Occasionally barking out orders and calling out one of them that was lagging. The first two hours quickly passing by before it was time for combat training.
Claudette stood in front of two vanguards, one wielding a spear while the other wielded a sword and shield. It was originally a squad of four, but the other two were knocked out, lying and groaning on the ground, leaving only them remaining. Sweat and shortness of breath visible on their face while Claudette didn't so much as breaking a sweat.
The two quickly circled her while Claudette watched them with little fear. Hefting the training sword from her shoulder, she dashed forward.
She and spear wielder fought, with the latter struggling to keep her distance, her thrust all but easily deflected.
"If it's two on one, and even against an overwhelming opponent, one must always capitalize on that, even if it means sacrificing your fellow soldier." She drilled, parrying a thrust and dodging out the way, making the soldier trip forward just as the sword and shield wielder charged to attack at Claudette's flank.
The two stumbled, all but slamming into one another. Without pause, Claudette attacked as the two hurriedly separated. The spear wielder managing to bring it up her weapon in the nick of time, the redhead slamming her training sword into her subordinate. With excessive force, she knocked the vanguard back and to the ground.
Without breaking her stride, Claudette charged at the remaining soldier.
"You're holding your weapon too tightly." Claudette admonished as the two traded blows, her opponent trying and struggling to keep up with her assault.
Battering her shield, she broke the soldier's guard and swung. The vanguard brought up her sword at the last second to defend but the force of it sent her weapon flying, knocking her down as well.
"Now too lightly..." The general gazed down at her, sword poised for her throat.
Claudette turned, hearing a familiar voice. It was Leina with Elina by her side. Leina was dressed in a rich white and blue dress, one that complimented her beauty and stature but was clearly out of place in the field. Elina on the other hand was the exact opposite, she was dressed ready for a fight.
Similar to Claudette, her armor was light, covering only the necessity. On her chest, she wore a metal brassiere partly painted blue and silver along with a white and black striped vest that has high ends and opens on her torso but closes and forms a front and back tassel as it descends below her navel. Her left hand. She wears a white and black striped full-length glove on her right arm and a metal arm guard on her left arm with sharpened claws at the end of her fingertips. Lastly, were protective white wrappings with black stripes supporting her knees, shoes, and tassel, very reminiscent of a lion's pelt and metal cat-eared headband. Her entire attire bearing a feline motif.
"Lady Elina, Lady Leina." Claudette stepped back and greeted, bowing to them.
"Come now Claudette, we are all sisters here. There is no need for formalities." Leina smiled.
"...Of course, Leina." She acquiesced. "May I ask what brings you two here?"
"Well, I figured you'd like an actual sparing partner than weak trash." Said Elina, her face confident and half a sneer as she regarded the downed soldiers.
A small indecision took her. While Elina was far from weak, being a captain of her royal guard unit, everyone knew that Claudette was the superior warrior of the two. Though she could hold her own, the redhead held some reservations about accidentally hurting her. Then again, it wasn't as if Claudette had the right to deny her sister's wishes anyhow.
"Very well." She turned to look at her unit. "You're all dismissed, go take your break."
The others letting out sighs of relief for a brief respite from the arduous spar and training. This even extended to the other squads as they were quick to vacate the area, eager to take their break.
The two took to the field, Claudette taking a basic stance, two hands on her greatsword as Elina took a forward stance, her spear at the ready with her body hunched forward, much like that of a cat on the hunt.
Claudette made the first move, dashing forward with an overhead strike. Elina jumped back, evading the attack, and retaliating with a forward thrust. From there, the two battled it out. Back and forth the two traded blows, Claudette's heavy and decisive swings versus Elina's swift and nimble thrusts. Despite her speed, the youngest of the Vance sisters was unable to land a proper hit on her older sister, who easily repose and blocked any attack her way.
It was clear to everyone who held the advantage. The elderly Vance was doing everything she can to end the bout as quickly as possible and not hurt her sister too much in the process. Leading to her being rather half-hearted throughout the fight. More to disarm and then to defeat.
Elina jumped back, twirling her spear before grabbing onto the end of it and pulled. Part of it separated, revealed a long wire connected to the bladed edges segmented along the wire at the end. With her bladed whip, she lashed out.
Claudette brought up her massive sword, the wire hitting and wrapping around it. There, the two entered a brief tug of war.
Sensing an opportunity, she tightened her hold on her weapon and pulled, dragging Elina forward, tripping her, and robbing the youngest Vance of her balance. Recovering at the last second, she lunged with her claws. Only for Claudette to block Elina's iron claw with her arm guard.
With a strong tug, Elina lost grip on her spear. With a swing of her sword, Claudette untangled the wire and knocked the spear away, disarming Elina.
"I believe this bout is over, Lady Elina." Claudette lowered her sword, but Elina was far from finished.
"I can still fight!" She exclaimed back, flexing her claws to show her point.
"Perhaps, but with you disarm and myself still armed, it will not be an easy fight." Claudette coolly replied.
Elina glared, though it would be more correct it a pout, her cheeks puffing up. Claudette held back the urge to fawn over it, and especially the urge to pinch her cheeks. She had the temperament of a cat, but that only made her more adorable in Claudette's mind.
"Fine." Elina sighed, growing dejected and pouting.
"That was a wonderful fight you two." Leina complimented, coming up to them.
"Thank you, sister, you always know what to say! I love you!" Elina's attitude quickly did a one-eighty, her face lighting up from Leina's presence as she jumped to embrace her sister, all the while puckering her lips for a kiss.
Claudette only nodded.
"Say, since we're all here, how about I give fighting a try. It'll be a regular bonding experience!" Leina proposed with an excited grin.
Only to be shut down immediately.
"Lady Leina..." Claudette began, taking a reproaching tone. "Count Vance's decree was that you are not to fight under any circumstances. It has already been decided that you have no need to trouble yourself with this."
It was far from the first time Leina has expressed a desire to try her hand at fighting. However, there was one absolute rule within the Vance household, that under no circumstance or any reason was Leina to take up a sword. A rule Count Vance enforced almost fervently.
While Emiya was his lawful heir of the Vance household, Leina was still a princess. Though his circumstances were unique, Leina was expected to uphold the Vance name alongside their brother. While Claudette was the oldest of the sisters, she was illegitimate and thus the heiress status went to Leina instead.
It was no secret that her sister watches and would gaze longingly whenever Claudette or Elina were training or sparing. Taking an interest in the training regimen of the royal guard than anything else. For Leina too possessed a fighter's spirit. But unlike Claudette and Elina, she was destined for something much more. There was no need for her to learn how to fight when it was their role.
"Please. Just one time?" Leina pleaded.
"I'm sorry, Lady Leina but I cannot disobey his ruling." Claudette shook her head.
"Indeed, sister! What would happen if you were to get hurt?!" Elina gasped, tears building in her eyes as if such a thought was beyond horrifying.
"I can take it. I've been training too! See."
Leina pulled back her long sleeves to show off her arm and flexed. Though that did little as her arm was still soft and thin with hardly a hint of muscle. Compared to Elina, or even Claudette's firm and fit physique, Leina was severely lacking.
"The answer is still no." She repeated, taking a firmer approach while keeping herself respectful.
The second of the Vance sisters said nothing, grimacing, but relenting in the end. Looking away with a downcast face. Elina tried cheering her own, as usual, trying to sneak in a smooch while Claudette bore it all.
"Y'know. The more you try and cage a bird, the more it'll fight to be free."
A fourth voice joined in.
Turning, all three were greeted with a surprise by the appearance of Emiya. Much like with Claudette and Elina, he too was dressed in his combat attire. Noticeably, he appeared winded, sweat glistening down his face and neck with a hint of red coloring his cheeks.
"Lord Emiya." Claudette was the first to greet him.
"What? No brother or just my name? How come Leina and Elina get the special treatment and not me?" He teased with a sweaty smile.
"It seemed you had the same idea as us, huh brother?" Said Elina, jumping in, eying his tired state.
"Yeah, just finished up a light exercise in just under an hour. Headed here because I needed something." He replied, wiping some of the sweat from under his chin.
"A light exercise?" Leina raised a curious eyebrow.
"Oh you know, a hundred or so push-ups, sit-ups, some warmups, and exercises, topped off with several laps around the castle." Emiya answered to the three sister's widened surprise.
The amount he described, it was about the same amount Claudette and what her vanguard would perform, yet he did it in a fraction of their time. It was no wonder he looked so winded.
"I...see. And what is it that you require exactly, my lord?" Asked Claudette, bringing up his second point.
"You." He answered.
Claudette felt her heart skip a beat as he turned his gaze to her. She gulped, all too suddenly aware under his focused gleaming silver eyes.
Before she had a chance to speak up, a fifth voice called out.
Looking, they spotted a maid running while carting a cart with her. Recognition dawned on Claudette; it was Nyx. On the cart were several glass pitchers of water along with glass cups.
"I-I've brought w-water for you, as you requested."
"Thank you, Nyx."
The maid gave a smile, fidgeting happily from his words. Emiya poured himself a cup, but instead of drinking it, he splashed it against his face.
Claudette could feel her heart speeding up as she focused in on it. The way the water ran down his cheek and neck, leaving a slick trail. Even further down as it dripped from his chin and neck to his chiseled chest. A hand combed through his silver hair, particles of water flinging like dew from a cool morning night.
She could feel her wet tongue parting her lips, licking them.
The redhead instantly fought to control herself. Thankfully, none had caught her momentary slip.
"H-how may I be of service, my lord?" She coughed, hiding her slip up and bringing the matter back.
"Well for starters, what say to a small match? You and me." He revealed to her surprise.
"Forgive me, but would it not be best for you to rest for a bit first?" She offered, seeing as he would be reasonably exhausted.
Emiya didn't answer immediately, instead gave a small smile before turning back towards the maid.
"Nyx." He called out. "Mind if we do it again?"
"H-here? I-in f-front of e-everyone...?" Nyx stuttered, eyes frantically going from one to the other.
"If it's ok with you. If not, then I understand."
Nyx continued to fidget, her face lighting up red as if embarrassed. A small frown made its way to her lips. Though Claudette was unsure of the context, for a moment it looked as if the maid would reject him. Before Claudette had a chance to reprimand the servant, the buxom maid slapped her cheeks, a determined look overtaking her once previous meekness.
She and the others watched, taken aback as Emiya leaned and kissed her. It wasn't a simple chaste kiss either, but rather a fully intimate kiss. How one would kiss a lover. The two locking lips, their bodies leaning in close, holding onto each other.
The eldest Vance couldn't find herself to look away.
Claudette heard Elina clicking her tongue, her face scrunching up as if she had bitten something sour.
"I still don't see what brother sees in that peasant." She grumbled.
"Now, now Elina. Don't be rude." Leina said, more the romanticist, smiling in support of her brother.
Finally, after almost a minute they parted. The maid's eyes shining with pure adoration and affection, a contrast to her earlier meekness and though Emiya had his back to them and his face hidden, Claudette could all too easily imagine the expression on his own.
"So, ready that match?"
Emiya turned, catching her by surprise as he appeared almost rejuvenated, no longer exhausted as before. Though she held her reservation and questions, she conceded, holding off on the matter for the moment.
Emiya held out his hand, light pouring forth as it coalesced. In his hand was an exact copy of her signature weapon, Thunderclap, her personal greatsword. He handed it off to her, and her hand running down the blade, feeling the blunt and dull edge. Though they were to fight, it wouldn't be with live steel for obvious reasoning.
"Don't hold anything back, Claudette. Let's make this a good fight." He told her, knowing her propensity for curbing her strength when it came to fighting him or Elina.
"I will fight you to the best of my ability." The redhead simply gave.
"That doesn't sound like a yes to me. Hmm...Maybe an incentive is needed. What'd you say about making this a marriage match?" Emiya proposed with a smirk.
"S-surely you jest, my lord." Claudette's eyes widened, a hint of pink taking over her cheeks as her passive face cracked slightly.
"If it's willingly to make you go all out, that's fine." He continued.
"Wait, but if sister were to beat brother, then what would that mean...?" She heard Elina wonder aloud, her face ponderous and looking up as if trying to imagine such a scenario.
"I believe he was joking Elina." Leina clarified with a sweatdrop.
Shaking her head, Claudette said no more, taking a few paces back and gripping her sword with both hands, taking a stance. Seeing this, he quickly dropped the topic and took a stance of his own, his signature curved swords appearing in hand
With Claudette and Emiya taking to the field, they earned the attraction of soldiers that were milling and resting about, their curiosity roused at seeing their commander and lord sparring. A small crowd gathered, all eager to watch the fight between them.
Then as if through some unknown signal, the bout began.
Emiya reached her first, his black and white blades lashing with a flurry of quick strikes. Claudette played defensively, using her greatsword's size and length to parry and block the slashes. She attempted a swing only to be repelled by further slashes.
Her lips thinned, seeing her attack repelled once more. His tactic was quite simple, led with a rapid chain of attacks before Claudette has a chance to fully swing her blade. Dancing around her with nimble speed.
Parrying another attack, she managed to stagger him back, allowing her to wind up an overhead swing. Emiya quickly brought up both blades, intercepting and halting her attack. Despite the size and force that she put into her attack, Emiya had little trouble withstanding his ground.
Her eyes trailed down to his arms and torso, where bright, neon pulsating lines ran down his limbs and chest. Reinforcement, he called it. A type of strengthening magic, unique only to him. And as the name suggests, capable of reinforcing and empowering his strength, speed, and resilience.
With a shove, Emiya repelled her attack, forcing her back and reeling. He swung, capitalizing on the opening. It was Claudette's quick thinking that allowed her to quickly parry the attack, knocking back the slash with her right armored arm with enough force to stagger him.
A quick step back, and using one hand she thrust Thunderclap forward, intending to knock him out with the blunted end. Using his free arm, Emiya reversed his grip on Bakuya, intercepted the attack with the white blade, diverting its course, and allow it to miss his body by a hair's breadth. He ran his blade alongside Thunderclap towards her, sparks glittering off the two weapons as he slashed towards Claudette, who leaned her head back, allowing it to sail over her.
The two quickly disengaged, keeping their guard up and distance. On the sidelines, everyone watched with bated breath and wide eyes at the brief but impressive exchange between the two warriors. The strongest of their class.
Though their audience was enthralled by the fight, for a reincarnated Counter-Guardian, he was less than impressed.
"I thought I told you not to hold back."
"And as I said before my lord, I am fighting to the best of my ability."
Emiya scoffed, almost offended.
"Please, we don't know that's a lie." He leveled one of his blades at her. "You've yet to use your magic for one. Secondly, I know you are stronger than this. Much stronger."
He said, this word coming out as a compliment. Claudette said nothing, maintaining her stoic expression, unwillingly to budge on the matter.
A short, tense pause overtook the field.
"General Claudette Vance." He said, his voice firm and authorities, very reminiscent of a certain Count.
Claudette herself snapping to attention almost instinctively upon the authoritative command.
"Mercy on the battlefield, while admirable, can be nothing more than a sign of weakness and an insult. I thought you of all people would know me best and you should know that I won't be hurt so easily, and yet here you are coddling me. Is it because you're afraid or simply weak? Which is it, Claudette." He asked of her, his voice challenging and sharp.
Claudette knew full well that her brother was baiting her but did little to swell the quivering in her heart at his words.
A disappointment. That was what she feared above all else. A disappointment to her father. A disappointment to the Vance name. And lastly, a disappointment to him.
'I need you to be strong, my daughter. Not only for yourself, but for your family. Your sisters, and your brother. For when that time will come, you'll show the world what it means to be the strongest.'
The echo of a memory replaying inside her mind.
Her grip on Thunderclap tightened as there was a shift in the air. The faint sound of sparks popped through the silence. For someone like him, with a heightened sense of smell, he easily picked out the scent of ozone and it was only growing stronger.
Claudette's stance shifted, a more forward and aggressive stance. Her emerald eyes sharp. Arcs of bright lightning, not too dissimilar to Emiya's own streaks of leaking prana arched forth from her body and sword.
Seeing the shift in her, Emiya cracked a smile.
"Shall we continue?"
Claudette answered by dashing forward, her foot stomping the ground and cracking it as she propelled herself forward. She swung, Emiya blocking the attack, but skidding back from the force. His arms vibrating a little from the force of her blow.
The duel began in earnest. A fierce exchanged between two skilled combatants as they launched attack after attack. With Claudette revealing just how much she was holding, attacking with greater speed and agility than before compared to her fight with her soldiers and Elina. Even when struck, they continued to fight unrestricted.
Those watching from the side struggled to keep up with the sheer speed and ferociously that the two displayed. But among the many watchers, Leina watched the battle in earnest with gleaming eyes. Her mind racing, what it would be like to be just like them.
Briefly overpowering Emiya with a full-force swing, he staggered back. Giving her room to launch a special attack. With a roar, she stabbed Thunderclap forward, a bolt of lightning firing forth.
This was her magic, and what earned her the distinguished title as the Lord of Thundercloud. The power to imbue her devasting strikes with electricity and manifest lightning to attack her enemies, Thunder Force.
Emiya reeled back and threw his blade, his curved swords cutting through the air and intercepting her attack. An explosion rang out, kicking up a cloud of dust. Though he managed to stop her attack it wasn't completely so, as residual arcs of electricity hit the tips of his finger, his hand reeling back and trembling faintly from the simulating electricity.
"I've almost forgotten just how strong your magic can be." Emiya chuckled under his breath, flexing his fingers to rid himself of the lingering numbness.
A new pair of blades appeared in his hand.
Claudette shifted her foot, anticipating that he would charge at her and make the first move. Instead, he threw the second pair of blades at her, catching her off guard.
With a wide horizontal swing, she slashed them to pieces, only to be caught off guard when they exploded – Emiya willing them to detonate just as she hit them, producing a cloud of smoke, blinding her.
From the side, something emerged from the smoke, shrouded in it. The general swung, believing it to be her brother closing the distance by using the smokescreen to obscure her vision. Thunderclap made contact only to find that what she struck wasn't him, but another one of his thrown sword.
Emerald eyes widened, realizing her mistake.
Emiya appeared from the other side, her open flank, as he had planned.
Claudette quickly pivoted, readying her swing back at him only for his hand to shot out, and grabbed onto her biceps, holding it in place and stopping her momentum from ever beginning. Closing the distance, he raised his single sword to her neck.
There the two remained, locking eyes, their faces but centimeters apart. Claudette could feel his hot breath prickling her skin, ragged and quick and she was no different, sucking in air to regain her breath.
For a moment, time seemed to stretch. Their eyes locked onto each other. Emerald met silver, and at that moment, it was only them. The moment quickly passed.
"It is your win." Claudette conceded, letting go of Thunderclap as it hit the ground and broke down into light a moment later.
Emiya removed the blade, allowing it to dissipate just like Thunderclap, a smile coming to his face.
"See, that wasn't so bad now was it?" He lightly joked, earning the barest twitch of the corner of her lips.
"That was amazing!" Leina exclaimed, clapping, running up to them with, eyes wide and dancing with awe and excitement. A giddy smile plastered across her face. With Elina quickly on her heel.
Emiya smiled, Claudette bowing in return.
"Brother, would it be possible to teach me? Pretty please?" Leina begged. Seeing as Claudette nor Elina was willing to help her, she decided to turn to her brother instead.
"L-lord Emiya, we can't. Count Vance's order was clear. Lady Leina is not to train no matter the circumstances." Claudette intervened, repeating her earlier statement with Elina nodding along.
Leina frowning once more, looking to him for help. The Vance scion sighed, crossing his arms while passing a look to the three siblings.
"I get the old man's desire to keep Leina safe, but keep denying her this, and I wouldn't be surprised if she decides one day to just run away and go off adventuring on her own just for the chance to fight."
"I would never do such a thing!"
Emiya looked at Leina with an arched brow. She managed to hold his gaze for a few seconds before looking away sheepishly, fidgeting on the spot.
Claudette frowned, her opinion quite clear on the matter. Seeing her apprehension on the matter, Emiya held out his hand and another sword formed. He openly showed it to them, inspecting it.
"Look, completely blunted and smoothly ended. Not too heavy and almost impossible to cut with unless you actually put in a ton of force. Even safer than practice swords we use."
He handed it to a wide-eyed Leina who eagerly took it, throwing a couple of practice swings to get a feel of the weapon. Claudette opened her mouth to object once more but Emiya was quick to stop her.
"It's fine to look out for her, but she isn't made out of glass. There's being mindful and there's coddling her. Leina's her own person, let her figure out what's right and best for her."
Claudette shut her mouth, staring weakly at Leina that was still swinging the practice sword, but it was clear to all that she was happy, smiling even though it was obvious she wasn't used to it. Combined with the patient look Emiya was giving, it was slowly wearing down her defenses.
"Claudette!" Leina called out, herself snapping out of her stupor and standing at attention in front of her sister.
"Would you please spar with me?"
Claudette's eyes widened. Though flattered, the thunder general was conflicted. She didn't want to harm Leina in any way, even in a practice duel.
"M-me? Surely there are better alternatives..." Her eyes flickered to Emiya at the last part.
"Yea, but I wish to fight you Claudette." Leina maintained.
She had nothing against her brother, but to her, Claudette was the benchmark. Someone she's seen train time and time again, someone that claw her way to the top and known throughout the continent as one of the strongest. It was only fair that Leina would look up to her.
"Pretty please." She pleaded, clasping her hand together as she looked up to her.
Those closest to her knew that she has a weakness and penchant for cute things, especially when it came to her siblings. Under Leina's powerful puppy dog eyes, it was only a matter of time before Claudette gave in.
"Very well...but only one match! That's all." She sighed.
"Yes!" Leina cheered, simply happy at the chance to finally try it out.
"Here." Emiya came in, providing Claudette with the training sword he'd made for Leina.
After dragging away a particular fretting Elina, it was just the two of them. Claudette took a stance, watching Leina tried to mimic it, though under her watchful gaze she easily picked up on the discrepancies in the heiress's form.
Though she was reluctant to fight Leina Claudette was also mindful that the sooner she finishes this the quicker it'll be to have her drop it.
"Begin!" Said Emiya, acting as the referee.
Claudette charged in quick, aiming to disarm Leina with the first and hopefully, the last attack. The middle child of the Vance sisters managed to clumsily parry the general's attack, her arm vibrating from the force and forced on the retreat as Claudette moved to disarm her.
It was clear from the outset which among the two was superior, but what surprised Claudette was how long it was taking as Leina was surprisingly stubborn, keeping up with her if only barely. It seemed that all those times watching from the sideline weren't as useless after all. Though, that only served to postpone the inevitable.
Blocking an easily telegraph attack from Leina, Claudette put in a bit more effort. Seeing that simply striking the sword hard enough with the hopes it'll fly out of her hand and disarm her wasn't working, the lightning user opted for an alternative else instead. Blades clashing, she angled it and ran the blade down aiming at Leina's hand, closing the distance.
Claudette struck Leina's backhand, causing her to let go of her sword. The weapon dropping immediately followed by a pained cry.
Leina retreated, clutching the reddening backside of her hand with a pained wince. Claudette's eyes widened in horror, realizing what she had done. Too focused on the task, she momentarily forgot to hold back her strength.
"L-lady Leina! I'm sorry!" She rushed to apologize but Leina managed a smile.
"I-it's fine." Leina managed. "This is nothing compared to what yours and brothers. How can I possibly strive to be better if an injury such as this gets to me."
She put on a strong front but it was clear to everyone that it hurt, the red spot where Claudette hit her visible against her normally soft, unblemished skin.
"Sister!" Elina cried out, rushing towards her with tears in her eyes.
"E-elina! I'm fine." Though the youngest of the sister didn't hear.
"Are you hurt!? Are you bleeding?! I'll have the servants fetch some medicine! No, wait. A healer! Do you need me to kiss to make it better?! Please, let me." Her frantic cries overwhelmed Leina, who was struggling against Elina's overreaction and attempt to kiss her bruise.
"Ease up, she ain't going to die." Said Emiya, grabbing her and pulling her away. He flashed a small smile at his sister. "Congratulation. You got your first bruising. A couple more and you'll be on your way to a warrior in no time."
"Must you be sarcastic all the time, brother?" Leina rolled her eyes at Emiya's sarcastic drawl.
However, the good mood was quickly shattered by the intrusion of a stony voice.
"What is going on here?"
As one everyone turned, there, Count Vance appeared, his arms behind his back as he walked towards them and by the tightness of his expression, he didn't appear all too happy with the situation.
Claudette could feel his glare, singling her out. She stood at attention, along with the others, trying to meet his stern gaze but averted her eyes slightly.
"We were just having a casual sparing match, father. No biggie." Said Emiya, stepping forward almost as if to shield her from their father's disproving watch.
"A casual spar." He repeated, his eyes trailing to his and Claudette's body, then to Leina. Bruised and red spots marred the two's arms and body where they struck one another.
However, that paled in comparison for when his eyes focused and hardening on the small welt on Leina's arm. Then again, it was expected that a spar would lead to some bruises and injuries. Though that did little to curb the Count's displeasure.
"Just be glad we didn't use live steel, or else there'd be something for you to actually get upset about." He quipped. "Besides, Leina is a big girl now and can take it. Don't tell me you're starting to go senile already, father?"
A hush fell over them, leaving everyone frozen stiff, their faces in shock. Leina and Elina looking back and forth between the two with wide eyes. Nyx, with her hand over her mouth and naked fear for Emiya in her eyes. Even Claudette was not immune, freezing up at the borderline blatant disrespect against their father and lord.
Count Vance on the other hand looked at him with an unamused glare.
"You are far too flippant for your own good, my son."
"And you're far too high strung, father."
From there, the two engage in a verbal spar, their words, and quick wit as sharp blades. Everyone watching couldn't help but skirt back, watching with trepidation but also amazement at seeing the heir and liege lord of the Vance got at it. After several long minutes, Count Vance gave in, more so because he was done with the matter.
"General..." Count Vance called out, his voice hard.
"My lord." Claudette answered, internal wincing, at the tone and name. She knew he only used that name whenever he was displeased or needed something done.
"Rather than spending your time pointlessly and disobeying my clear instructions, it would be better to use it towards something productive, general." Count Vance said no more, turning and leaving without so much as giving a glance back.
Claudette fought down the flinch that came from his words, watching as he walked away, an ugly sense of shame boiling inside her, looking away, her face downtrodden and grimacing. Only to be taken out of it by a closed hand bumping genially against her shoulder in rapport.
It was Emiya. His eyes narrowed and nettled.
"Don't listen to him." He said once the count was out of earshot. "If anything, it's my fault for egging you on in the first place. But even then, that's no excuse. Don't let what he says get you down, Claudette."
Claudette managed a weak, but grateful nod, his words alleviating some of her ails at the very least. With nothing left to do and the awkward mood left behind, the four of them went their separate ways. Claudette attended back to her troops, Leina and Elina left to do their own thing after a quick apology to her, while Emiya left with Nyx following behind him.
The next hour or so she spent training and running drills with the guards. Once that was done, it was already noon time and so she dismissed them. Most of whom choosing to head to the bathhouse to clean themselves up with Claudette following their example. Herself going to her personal chamber and attended to by a couple of servants.
A nice, long bath was in order to clean herself up and rid herself of the sweat and stench from today's training. Special herbs were mixed in as she bathed herself, speeding up her recovery. By the time she was done, most to all of her injuries were gone and healed up.
She walked through the halls refreshed, yet she was still reeling from the lingering words and reprimand earlier from that of her liege lord and father. Though Emiya's kind words wash away some of the shame, it persisted, nevertheless.
Hence her journeying towards the palace's kitchen, dressed in more casual wear instead of her usual armor to avoid any unconscious sounds. Pass the great halls of the castle, Claudette avoided the usual paths and traffic as to not allow the usual servants to spot her.
Light on her feet, she knew around this time that the kitchen and staff had finished up and wouldn't be in until at least lunch or dinner time. Perfect as to allow her to slip in unnoticed as she has done in the past.
Vigilant, she reached her destination with ease, one of the main kitchens, passing the hearths. The lingering smell of delicious food remaining. She noticed on one of the heated table stoves was a large pot slowly being settled and heated. Curious, Claudette walked over and lifted the lid, the scent of something sweet hitting her nose. Inside, being heated was some kind of sweet-scented transparent viscous liquid. She quickly closed it, chalking it up to perhaps something the cooks were cooking for later.
Walking towards a particular pantry, she opened the door that leads into a small storeroom. Kneeling, she moved to the back where she removed a loose brick from the wall. Reach in, she felt around before she found it. Bringing back her arm, she'd grabbed a special glass jar. Inside were small, cube shape brown and salted candy, salted caramel, Claudette's absolute favorite.
Years ago for one of Leina's name days, Emiya requested the kitchen and for her birthday made all kinds of sweets, some familiar and delicious and others new and exotic, one of which was known as salted caramel. Which required imported ingredients from across the continent, but it was certainly worth it.
Claudette could still remember biting into it and falling in love with the sweet instantly, becoming a guilty pleasure of hers.
The jar in her hand was a gift from Emiya on her sixteenth name day. One that she cherished forever since. As for why it was hidden within a pantry of all places, it was due to their lord father cracking down on Emiya's role as the Vance scion, for it wouldn't do for the heir of the family to be stuck in the kitchen like some common peasant.
Claudette knew that she could easily have moved it to her private quarters or solar, eliminating the need to sneak into here, but decided against it. He shared with her this and the spot, it became their little secret. Something only they knew. A small act of defiance. Whatever the reason may be, it remained, and it'll more than likely stay and continue.
Opening up the sealed tight jar, she picked one out, taking in the sweet aroma from the piece of candy, and quickly indulged.
Claudette shuddered from the sweet and tangy salted taste, the delectable sweetness spreading as she chewed.
Whenever she would feel particularly down or upset or stressed out, she would seek these delicious sweet out. Eating one never fails to lift her spirits.
There she remained, enjoying her treat in silence and amenity as the stress of the day ebbed away, replaced with a warmness that fostered through her body.
Amidst her haze of delight, her ears caught something, voices, and rumbling of footsteps. Shaking off her stupor her mind raced, panicking as she knew for certain that no one would be occupying the kitchen at this time, as she's done before. Clambering to her feet, Claudette closed the door to the pantry. The wooden door possessed a small gap, just enough at eye level where she could spy out to see what was going on.
To her curiosity, whom she had heard was none other than her brother, Emiya, followed by the maid from before, Nyx. The two were talking, their conversation all but lost on her as she gathered her thoughts. At first, she thought they would be there to simply grab something and then leave, allowing her the chance to escape. Instead, they were there to cook, going over to the pot she passed before. She soon realized that they weren't going to be leaving any time soon.
Claudette briefly pondered on the idea of revealing her then and there. Though embarrassed, it would certainly be a lot better than hiding in a pantry as if she was ashamed about something. Plus, it was her brother, he would understand, and the maid will comply as well and keep quiet on the matter.
As she mustered the courage to open the door, Nyx's word brought up a whole new matter.
"M-my l-lord..." Nyx's bashful voice called out.
"Hm, something wrong Nyx?" Emiya asked, craning his head back to look at her while still working. The two had their backs to each other, the maid gently stirring the pot and adding a handful of what looked like salt or sugar to it while he was doing something else.
"A-apologies my lord, b-bbut if I may...I-I have a q-question...if you wish to answer! M-my apologies for s-speaking out of line..."
"Don't think like that, Nyx. Your opinion is no less important than my own. Go on, speak your mind. What is it that you want to ask me?"
While the two had their backs to one another, from where the pantry was located Claudette had full sight of Nyx. She was quite red face, minute trembles racking her body, she looked very nervous for whatever reason. Inadvertently, in her anxiety-ridden state as she was multi-tasking the elderly Vance noticed that the maid was adding a bit too much to the pot. Her hands were still moving even if her mind was on something else. However, Claudette's attention was swiftly altered from what came next.
"I...I...I wish to ask...w-why me...?"
"Hmm, going have to be a bit more specific here Nyx. If we're talking cooking and general kitchen stuff, it's because I trust you to hold your own. Not to say your mother's bad, but—"
"N-nnot that m-my lord..."
Nyx stuttered, interrupting him. Emiya kept quiet, telling her to continue and after a few more seconds she did.
"I-I mean...why me? F-forgive me for s-speaking out of t-turn lord E-emiya but...you've rarely e-ever taken the s-same person multiple times. A-and of late, you have designed to take only myself as your partner... and y-you've requested kisses and...other favors...N-not that t-there's w-wrong with that! As a l-lord I-I could n-never q-question your intention my lord, but..."
Claudette watched on as Nyx tried and stutter her words out, each time going back on it on what she perceived as a faux pass against him. To the point where it appears that she was rambling.
"You're being bullied, aren't you?" Emiya said without any preamble, turning to face her, leaning against the counter with his arms crossed.
Nyx said nothing but her silence was all the answer he needed.
"Should've guessed something like this would've happened..." Emiya sighed. "Alright, tell me who they are, and I'll be sure to set them straight."
"P-please, w-wait!" Nyx jumped, whirling around wide eyes, her face panicked. In doing so, her jerky movement and elbow hit the pot, causing it to briefly shake. A small sound rumbled but was all but ignored at the moment.
"I-I don't mean to h-have them t-thrown out or anything! P-please don't l-lord Emiya! I w-was just saying..."
Before Nyx could tearfully continue with another one of her stuttering rambles Emiya calmly put a stop to it, assuaging her fears.
"Several things. Firstly, I wasn't planning on doing that in the first place. Secondly, I really was just going to have a word with them, I've made it clear that I won't tolerate any unfair treatment against anyone. Thirdly, why are you bringing this up, Nyx?"
"I-I w-was just wondering w-why me. I'm nothing special m-my lord. Surely t-there are others better and m-more suited to s-satisfy your needs if needs be... Better than I..." She said, though whether the maid was truly altruistic or simply self-sacrificing was something that evaded Claudette at the moment.
"Are they forcing you to say or think this?" Emiya's eyes narrowed.
Nyx shook her head.
"It's just...I wonder...why me? Besides my large b-breasts, I don't think I have m-much to offer as compared to your p-past b-bedmates. I'm clumsy, my hair is always frazzled, my skin isn't as nice as others, and I a-always stutter...My mother used to work as a tavern wench while my father left when I was born. It was only by chance that mother found an opening at the Vance estate. I-I think there are those better suited than me, those more deserving of your time...your a-affection...y-your love..."
Nyx looked away, her voice trailing off into a whisper, so faint that Claudette barely was able to make it out. She hugged her arms, pulling in as if to make herself smaller.
Silence descended into the kitchen, nothing but the soft rumblings from the pot occupying the room but even that was nothing more than white noise as Emiya gave Nyx his undivided attention.
"Nyx, if you're going to let the world walk all over you, it will." Emiya told her, his voice imparting, serious but soft. Something Claudette recognized, having heard from him in the past whenever he would impart wisdom onto whomever.
"Maybe you're right. Had I given them a chance, perhaps I might've taken a liking to them instead of you. Perhaps they would be standing in front of me now instead of you, and I would've never given you more than a passing glance."
Nyx flinched, her body trembling at the perceived scenario.
"I will admit that you indeed have a lovely pair, but it wasn't solely your body that made me choose you over the other. Yes, you have a nervous habit and prone to stutter. Yes, a few others I've slept with in the past are objectively better looking. That's all true..."
With each statement, Nyx grew downcast, her gaze squarely on the ground.
"But..." He countered, his lips twitching in a small smile. "In the end, I decided on you and that's enough for me." He continued, surprising them.
"Also, saying that I should just sleep with other or more women. Do you think I'm that shallow that I choose you because of your body? What do you take me for, a man whore?"
Nyx's head snapped up so fast Claudette would've suspected her to have suffered whiplash, her eyes wide and fearful at the perceived insulation.
"That was a joke." Emiya quickly dismissed with a wave before Nyx had a chance to begin one of her stuttering apologies. If anything he looked quite amused at the insult. "And considering my habits, it's not wrong to call as such."
Before she had a chance to say anything, he stepped forward and closed the distance. Emiya's height allowing him to gaze tenderly down at her. Leaning in, he kissed her, and Nyx, while hesitant, was receptive of it.
"I heard what you thought about all of this and you've just heard what I think, but we haven't talked much about what we want instead."
Emiya leaned back but kept his face focused on her. Resting his head against her own.
"Do you want this to end?" He asked of her.
Nyx said nothing and for a moment Claudette would assume she would say yes after everything that was spoken. Instead, the shy maid surprised her.
Nyx mustered, staring resolutely at him. Earning a soft smile beaming from his lips.
"Then you've got my answer. And mine as well."
Watching the tender moment unfold, Claudette wanted to look away, her presence and the fact that she was spying on a clearly private matter made it all the more reprehensible. Seeing the affectionate looks passing between them, the eldest Vance felt something gripping her heart.
Before she could dwell further on it her eyes caught something. The pot from before, it was bubbling. A large white bubble was foaming up while the two were distracted, looking ready to burst.
It didn't take long for Emiya to catch it, eyes comically widening with Nyx turning around to see what caused such a reaction from him, the maid joining soon after. Faster than anything of them could react it popped.
Claudette shut her eyes, waiting before opening them. When she did, she saw that the entire kitchen was transformed, covered in a white viscous substance. It was an absolute mess with the white transparent substance covering nearly everything. Granting a glossy sheen to everything it covered. The overpowering scent of sweetness contaminating the air.
Nyx was covered in head to toe in it as if someone had jumped a large quantity of honey onto her. Emiya was sparred much of it thanks to Nyx being in front of him and taking the brunt of it for him but some did manage to splatter on his face and body.
"Nyx! Are you alright?!" He called out concededly, wiping free his eyes, his worried gaze immediately seeking her out.
"I-I'm f-fine." She answered, reeling from the shock, her hand coming up to wipe her face clean. The sticky substance clinging to hand and fingers.
More footsteps could be heard alongside voices, no doubt servants or kitchen staff that heard the rather loud pop.
"W-what the?! My lord? What happened?"
"Let's call it an accident. Thankfully nothing too bad happened."
"I-I see... Then please, we'd asked you to leave lord Emiya so that we may clean this up."
"No. That won't be necessary."
Claudette was startled, the servants sharing in her surprise. She could hear their confusion in their words.
"I said that won't be necessary. Because I'll be the one cleaning it up."
"L-lord Emiya! There's no need for that. This is our duty."
"True, but what kind of man would I be if I can't even clean up my own mess? It's my fault that it got this way, that means I must be the one to clean it up."
Though Claudette couldn't see his face, his back turned to her as Emiya faced the doorway, she could tell the determination on his face. He wasn't going to accept anything but a yes. The exchange lasted a few more seconds before the servants finally relented. Though they would be ready to be called upon if need be.
"Geez, you'd think someone owning up to their messes is considering an outrageous thing or something." She heard him mutter, turning back around and giving the kitchen an inspection. A soft grimace on his face.
"Go on Nyx, get yourself cleaned up. I'll take care of this." He said to her, dismissing the maid but Nyx was quick to object.
"W-wait my lord! This was caused because of my negligence! T-there's no need for you to dirty your hands with such menial tasks."
"This again?" Claudette heard the sigh. "It's fine. Besides, technically this wouldn't have happened had I not distracted you."
"B-but o-only because I-I brought up the matter m-my lord. T-this was all because of me."
Again the debate continued, one trying to take responsibility for the other. By the end, Emiya held onto a slightly exasperated, but playful look.
"Alright, how we agree to disagree then? Come, I can sure use a helping hand. This mess isn't going to clean itself up on its own."
"Y-yes!" Nyx nodded, accepting the compromise.
From there, the two quietly began working on cleaning the kitchen.
"I-I'm sorry my lord." Nyx apologized again. "For ruining your this."
"It's fine. No use crying over spilled milk." He assuaged, shrugging.
Emiya then used one of his fingers and flicked a bit of the sticky substance from a wad safely on the corner of a table. He brought it up and gave a taste.
"Sweet." He idly commented.
"What about you Nyx? You took the brunt of it. Nothing got in your eye or anything serious, right?"
"I'm fine m-my lord. Though, it did soak my body, however." The maid muttered at the end.
Claudette watched as Nyx leisurely pulled at the top of her uniform, an opening at the front top behind all the frills that revealed the upper valley of her breasts. Showing the same glossy sheen all over them, and presumably the rest of her body underneath her clothes as well.
Claudette wasn't the one that stared as Emiya had paused what he was doing, staring unabashedly at Nyx. His silver eyes sharp and focused, one usually reserved for battle, directed solely at the maid's enticingly ample breasts.
Nyx noticed his gaze, a blush splayed across her cheeks. Claudette expected the maid to turn away or perhaps cover herself back up. Instead...
"W-would you like a taste m-my lord?" She offered, finger pulling down her already loose front, allowing her breast to spill out unabated.
Her hands coming to rest underneath her voluptuous breasts, pressing them up, slathered in the sweet syrup. As if presenting them to him as if they were a treat or dessert. What could be described as a sultry smile taking root despite her burning red cheeks.
Claudette couldn't be helped floored by the quick heel turn. One uncharacteristically daring for someone of her status and usual demeanor.
Emiya stared before a small, but eager smile stretched.
"Hmm, don't mind if I do." Walking up to her, instead of going immediately to her breast he instead attacked her lips. One which she quickly and readily returned.
Claudette had seen them kissed before, first back during the field then again recently within this kitchen. All the previous kisses from before were tender and loving, this one, however, was more much fervent. One far more passionate.
Parting, Emiya began licking down her neck, kissing and sucking on her bare skin, targeting the sticky patches, savoring the taste.
Nyx shivered and mewled, enjoying the soft, warm sensation of his tongue against her bare skin. Slowly moving he made his way downwards until he finally Nyx's buxom valley and eagerly sought a taste, leading to further squeals of delight. The maid let out a squeak when his teeth briefly closed down on her rosy nipple, followed by a suckled, sending waves of pleasure down her body. Her arm reaching around and bringing brought his head closer to her chest. A warm and hazy look overtaking her as she watched on.
During this, one of Emiya's hands snaked it way downward, and up her skirt. Nyx's head arched back with another squeaked. She could feel his arm finding her lower sex. His fingers running along her undergarments, highlighting her moistening folds. Her whimpers growing more and more as he continued before finally plunging his phalanges in.
The maid continued to whimper as she could feel every thrust of his finger into his moistened slits. Shuddering breaths leaving her as his dexterous fingers continued pumping in quick, hitting the pleasurable spots he knew would make her moan out his name in a breathless euphoria.
All the while Claudette was privy to this, watching on from afar as if some voyeur. The sight, the sound, the smell, she had a clear view of it all. It was wrong, the redhead reasoned, to be a witness to an intimate moment. But despite it all, Claudette continued to watch, unable to tear her gaze away. Or perhaps it was more accurate to say she didn't wish to it.
Her breath quickened as she watched the scene unfolded, following along. Sometime in the beginning when Emiya was sampling the maid, her chest started to tingle. An itch that persisted, spreading throughout as her thighs rubbed together, something warm spreading through her body from crown to crotch. She fought to control herself, but it was a losing battle.
With one final heated thrust, his fingers driving in, Nyx climaxed, letting loose a cry of ecstasy. She hugged him, her body shuddering from the pleasure that was released, her knees trembled and almost buckled were it for him catching her.
"Are you alright?" Emiya gently inquired, running his other clean hand down her hair and back, soothing her.
"Y-yes m-my lo-ord." She breathed out. Steadying her wobbling legs, she managed to continue standing.
"Good." He said. "Do you mind lifting up your skirt, Nyx?"
Nyx did as she was told, gathering up her skirt and front and lifting them up. Emiya beckoned her to go higher and higher till she was holding it to her chest. Giving him a full view of her bottom half. His hand reached out, giving a gentle squeeze of her luscious thighs. He lowered her previous white panties, which were now stained and soaked, down her thighs.
Nyx let out yet another squeaked when she felt it. His tongue, his amorous kisses, and lips trailing upwards from her flesh, savoring the sweet sticky nectar running down her curvaceous thighs. Up and up he went until he reached his final destination.
Nyx was unable to hold back any further when she felt it, her hands letting go from the surprise and pleasure that consumed her. Her skirt dropping and covering him not that he seemed to mind, more focused on the task at hand. A hand reached down, rubbing where his head would be, protruding from under her skirt. Whether to stop or encourage him, she couldn't say.
"l-l-l-loor-d E-em-iya..." She breathed, moaning out his name, unable to say anything else. A full blush taking over her face.
Claudette couldn't see exactly what Emiya was doing to her, but Nyx's reaction was enough. One that spurred her own imagination. She could feel her inhibition loosening, the itch slowly becoming unbearable.
She rubbed her thigh together in a poor attempt to keep them abated, trying to hold out but the fire wouldn't be quenched. Unable to keep her hands from roaming any longer, one reached down. It didn't take long before she was pleasuring herself to the sight. Her fingers tucking between the center of her panties and slit. The moist spot growing.
Emiya continued, Nyx's soft cries grew and grew, reaching a crescendo as she let moaned out his name as she came again. Knee's shaking, she leaned against the counter for support, eyes closed and slowly regaining her breath.
For a few seconds, she was allowed a moment of reprieve.
"Has anyone ever told you that you have a very nice butt, Nyx?" He asked seemingly out of random, peeking from under her skirt.
"I...n-no, my lord..." Nyx blinked.
"Hmm..." Emiya hummed.
His hand caressed her derriere lovingly, even giving it a small pinch that earned a squeak of surprise from her.
"Well, it's a very nice butt." He complimented, earning a blushing thank you from the maid.
Slowly rising from his knees with his hand still hugging her buxom bottom, he snaked around and from the back up her spine, his free hand working dexterously to take off her already loose uniform. With little effort removed the last article of clothing, tossing the stained uniform
Standing in full, Nyx craned her head back and the two kissed again.
Breaking away, he leaned in, his body hovering over her own.
"Now, bend over." Emiya all but order, his normal baritone voice an octet lower, sending a thrilling shiver down both Nyx's and Claudette's spine, with Nyx's body shuddering underneath his form.
"Y-yes, my lord..." The voluptuous brunette breathlessly compiled all too eagerly, her eyes smoldering with passion.
With her hands safely gripping the counter, she bent and lowered her posture, raising her derriere to his hips. Her soft mound rubbing against his breeches, where his erection would be seen straining against his pants.
Poising her ass to him followed by small shakes as if imploring him to take her. Which Emiya readily reciprocated. With practiced ease he loosened his breeches and with his pants no longer obstructing it, his sword was in full view.
Claudette found herself gulping, swallowing a heavy trail of salvia building from before.
He quickly and easily inserted it in, Nyx yelped before giving away to grunts and moans of pleasures as Emiya fucked her from behind.
Claudette didn't know how long she remained there, drinking in the sight in front of her, lost in the haze of pleasure.
Claudette had a full view of everything. Emerald eyes traveled, observing and catching everything single detail. Engraving the sight and sound of it all into her mind. Emiya's body pressed against her back, one hand on her hips, the other messaging her chest. Their ragged breaths filling the room, each calling out the other's name.
The way they were going at it, Emiya especially, taking her like a man possessed. One could almost be mistaken it for pure lust, yet she felt something more. It wasn't solely about his pleasure, but also her as well. Something far tender but equally full of ardor, as indispersed through this were moments Emiya craned Nyx's head back to kiss her.
Had Claudette been sounder of mind and more observant she might've noticed the odd, faint glow emanating from her just beneath her skin. Almost like lines of light were running down her body. Instead, her attention was focused solely on themselves.
It all came to an end with one powerful thrust, Nyx letting an orgasmic yell, her body trembling as she reached her third and final climax.
Strength leaving her, her head drooped, resting on the countertop. The maid's face was the picture of bliss, a dazed euphoric smile parting her lips as her glazed eyes went crossed-eyed, looking ready to roll back in her head.
Emiya curled forward, leaning onto the maid while he was still inside her, resting and recovering his strength.
It looked as if they were going to begin anew were it not for a voice calling out to them, thankfully the servants didn't walk in, asking if they require any further help.
A brief look of contriteness crossed Emiya's face. Despite his earlier statement and wishes, he'd done very little cleaning, and if anything, only made it messier. His eyes traveled down to Nyx and seeing the state she was in; they weren't going to be finishing up any time soon.
Swallowing his pride he admitted defeated and said yes, taking the servant's help.
"Nyx, I'm sorry but we'll need to put a hold on this for the moment. Come on."
Nyx only nodded, still recovering from the haze of euphoria, and obeying his words without question. Following after him as he supported her.
As Nyx steadied herself, Claudette caught something on the brunette's body, just over her stomach. However, the observation of it was quickly filed away as she silently watched on as Emiya helped clean Nyx up and clothed in her admittedly dirtied maid uniform for the moment if only to keep her semi-decent as they walked out.
Claudette trained her ears, listening as he spoke to the servants, leaving it to them followed by several footsteps. Without a word, she opened the door and bolted out the pantry, zooming past the kitchen. Her nose catching the lingering smells as she ran past it all.
Claudette only had a narrow window of time to move before the servants would make their way in and she needed to escape, no matter what.
Fortune favored her as she didn't run into any immediate servant as she was leaving the kitchen and making it through the hallway.
She didn't even look up as she ran through the numerous hallways that dominated the castle, her destination set, even almost running into a few servants but she ignored them all. Their cries and calls all but lost on her.
Reaching the final hallway that leads to her room, the eldest Vance broke into a sprint at the final stretch. Kicking her door opened, Claudette rushed inside before locking it. She just managed to make it inside the bathroom before she cut loose. Her last dreg of resistance wearied thin and she gave in. Uncaring of any possible outsider to hear her, her hand tore past her undergarment and attacked her already wet snatch.
Her body shuddered uncontrollably, feeling the protruding finger rapidly moving in and out without a care. Hitting the sweet spot and sending short bursts of euphoria throughout her lower body. Fighting to satisfy her yearning lust.
Her finger moved furiously, fingering herself as she was finally allowed to cut loose. The memory of what she witnesses still clear in her head. Her pace quickened and so too did her heavy breathing, openly moaning. The sense of pleasure spread throughout, her knees shaking, and looked ready to buckle.
It didn't take for her to lose it and climaxed then and there.
It one final and powerful thrust of her fingers, Claudette orgasmed. A shuddering moan leaving her mouth.
Warm fluids dripped down her womanhood, coating her fingers and legs, staining her lower half. Her knees gave in and she collapsed with her back sliding against the bathroom door onto the floor in a pool of her juices.
Rigidly, Claudette locked her door of the bathroom, taking off all her clothing. Filling the basin with cold water she jumped in and lied back. The water was cool to the touch against her, prickling her heated skin. In a manner of seconds, the heat died down, but it far from diminished.
This allowed a reprieve, a rather short one.
Just like before she felt her limbs moving on their own. Only this time, in the sanctity and privacy of her room, she offered no resistance. One of her hands snaked its way down her stomach, in between her thighs towards her womanhood again. The other cupped her left breast, her fingers twisting and tweaking her hard nipple.
A ginger touch was all it took to took Claudette that they were aching. That they were unsatisfied and wanted to more. It was long before she lost herself in the haze of her desire and longing. Fondling her left breast in one hand and masturbating with another.
Claudette moaned freely, a sound that was unthinkable for someone of such integrity and fortitude.
Here, away from prying eyes, she allowed the mask to drop. To indulge in her thirst and desire, and she did.
The memory of before played back in her head as her fervor increased. Claudette could still see and remember every single vivid, little detail of the scene.
Her daydream shifted, an image of herself naked superimposed over Nyx, replacing her. Soon, the image of herself and Emiya fucking dominated her mind. One that sent a whole new wave of desire. Her imagination running wild, fantasy spilling over. The thought of it only made her wetter and more willing to indulge in her self-pleasure.
Different images and scenarios played in her mind, each one as enticing and perverted as the next. Emiya fondling her, touching her, licking her, and so much more. The thought of him taking her from behind nearly sent her over yet again.
Her arms pulled backward by his, unable to properly moved and affixed in place.
The sound of slapping flesh resonating as he thurst his pelvis over and over again into her rear.
The feeling of his manhood hitting her insides before finally unleashing its load into her.
Him moaning out her name.
Her fingers pushed even further inside, renewed and faster than before. Unable to stop the raging fire within her.
It wouldn't take long before she came again. Her juices mixing with the cold water, leaving nothing in its wake.
This was the third one in a row and yet the burning desire still raged within. With little else, she indulged, losing herself to her imagination. Her mind conjuring scenario after scenario. Each one making her climax over and over again.
It took almost half an hour before her burning desire was quenched. The bathroom stench heavily of her sweat and sexual fluids.
There, she laid in the bathtub filled with a mixture of lukewarm water stained with her fluids. Unlike previously, the itch was finally satiated, and she was content. Her face, a picture of calm and collectedness that contracted with her earlier action and behavior.
Inside, however, a mixture of shame and guilty pleasure swelled with her.
Her hands crossed, clutching their respective other upper arms, hugging herself. The water was calm within the tub, allowing for a clear reflection of herself to stare back at Claudette. The images stared at one another, both in silent contemplation.
This wasn't the first time she had done this, and she doubted it would be the last.
It all started when puberty finally ran its course. Her body slowly changed and matured both physically and mentally. Her first bleeding at the age of five and ten, the raging hormones that eventually came with it.
Claudette could recall with perfect clarify when she finally caved in to her body's wishes and need. It was when she was six-and-ten, staving off the urge for a time until she could hold back no longer.
Emiya was sparring on that particular day, him against a trainer. She remembered the day being particularly warm and humid, the sun shining down on the field fully.
He fought under the glaring sun rays. Even at the time, he cut an imposing form, one that was pleasing to the female eye. His workout shirt wet from the practice, clinging tightly to his body, outlining his chiseled pecs and defined abs. Sweat running down his natural and healthy bronze-tanned skin yet it only seemed to accentuate what they already knew.
Claudette wasn't the only one that day sneaking amorous glances towards the Vance scion while he was training.
In the past, she was typically able to hold out and resist, using her training to help alleviate her stress and libido but no longer was she able to resist the calling. It wasn't long before Claudette couldn't hold back the call any further and indulge in self-pleasure that night. The memory of Emiya's form as her muse. Finally allowing the sweet release her body craved.
In the beginning, it was roughly once every two or so weeks for when she would indulge, during which stress would build up over time and she would go to relieve it. With the passing of years, her self-control grew sparse.
Most were done in the cover of night, under the blanket of darkness to hid herself and her shame for the morrow.
As the years continued, her imagination only grew from then on. Gossip and whispers soon passed from accompanying maids and ladies that lay with the silver hair scion. His tremendous stamina. His near-limitless vigor. His monstrous girth and size. His loving and caressing hand. Many were actively boasting and comparing experiences, prompting the rest in a bid to outdo the other. Each one fueled Claudette's imagination and fantasy as they continued.
The throes of carnal desire proved too great. She continued her routine masturbation whenever she could. Imaging many scenarios and fantasies of herself being taken by him. Ranging from normal and tame to perverse and hedonistic. More so the latter that Claudette got her jollies off to the most. Reveling in the images and acts of pleasure her mind would conjure up.
Besides, it wasn't like she was the only one that did this. Claudette was willing to bet all the gold in the Vance family coffer that roughly 80% of the female staff masturbated as well. An unspoken open fact amongst the residents of the castle. Though that did little to lessen the embarrassment that came with it. Before, it could be somewhat justifiable had it been only her imagination. But after peeping on them like a voyeur and using what had taken place for her perverted self-pleasure, that went too far.
For years, she'd walked and maintained herself behind a line, careful to never cross it. Always vigilant. A fine line between love and affection, so similar and yet so different. Never holding the courage to cross it, constantly skirting around it. Until now.
She knew. She knew that was it wrong on some levels, to hold such feelings for him. Longing affection and lust. Yet, she couldn't help it.
Though many would often dismiss Elina's love for Leina to be a form of extreme infatuation, Claudette could see it. She loved Leina not simply as a sister, but also as a woman. Just as she holds for Emiya.
It was an unrequited love.
No matter how much of an impossibility it was. Theirs could never meant to be. For much like an outstretched hand reaching for the stars, it'll forever be out of reach. Unattainable by mortal hands.
A single droplet fell, splashing against the calm water, her reflection rippling, dispelling the once tranquil clarity as if her reflection was crying alongside Claudette.
In the middle of the night, wandering through the vacant halls of the great Vance mansion was Emiya. It was late at night, everyone reasonably asleep at this time. Serving the perfect time as it allowed him to wander freely as his thoughts roamed freely. The light of the moon shining through the windows illuminating his dusky hallways.
It had been about a brisk week since his encounter with the Writer, a week since he took Nyx to bed with him.
Emiya could still remember the feeling of that time. The memory of their first night, though faint, resonated. And what came the morning after, a feeling of utter rejuvenation, better than anything he'd felt before. It was almost indescribable. The closest thing he could use to describe it was as if they performed a tantric ritual – only twice as potent. One that carried over as well.
It wasn't just their coupling but also other display of affections.
Further experimentation revealed that chaste kisses would offer a brief spark but nothing substantial. However, deeper and more passionate kisses yielded a burst of energy. One that was capable of wiping away any fatigue or exhaustion he felt at the moment, leaving him refreshed and energized.
What happened this morning was but one test of this that he conducted over the week. Working himself to near exhaustion on purpose and kissing Nyx to test its limit alongside Claudette.
However, he would be remiss to say that it was that facet alone that made him choose Nyx solely over everyone else. Lately, Emiya noticed that he's been quite docile to any advances made towards him. In the past, many of his bedmates sought to catch his attention with either flirtatious glances or provocative hints. Which he would return, making it into a game. Yet, of late, he found himself giving these same actions no more than a second longer glance or stare before moving onward, his mind already putting them behind.
They simply couldn't compare to Nyx. For whenever they were together, he held at ease. A comfort that few could match and few he could truly recollect ever experiencing along his long journey.
However, there was a caveat to all these supposed benefits. There always were.
That weakness, peculiarly enough, came in the form of his nonexistent inhibition whenever the two decide to make love to one another.
Emiya liked to think that he wasn't that much of a horndog since he expressed his newfound freedom in this world. He enjoyed the freedom and the liberty it brought, most certainly, and though he indulged from time to time, his self-discipline was unmatched. Tempered by his time as a Counter-Guardian. He knew when to enjoy the moment and when to control himself.
However, when it came to Nyx, all of that self-control and restraint were all but thrown out the window. His mind and focus giving away to one single purpose, a singular base instinct.
Thankfully, it wasn't driven purely out of wanton lust but rather a mutual desire and affection. But recent ventures have made him mindful and considerate of their actions moving forward.
The last thing he wanted was to give Nyx a permeant limp from all of this because he couldn't hold it in his pants. Not that the maid ever seems to mind it, leaving satisfied and seemingly ready to serve whenever he wanted.
However, that brought on another set of questions with potential concerns.
Who else would they be?
He knew it wouldn't just be Nyx, Pride and his previous comment about a harem proved as much. There will be more, that much he could say for certain. However, the question quickly becomes, how many? He couldn't say and that was what gave him doubt.
If just Nyx alone could have such an effect on him, then what would happen if another joined in? Or two, or three, or five, and so forth.
As Emiya was mulling over his thoughts, planning for the future, he caught something. Walking towards the window, there in the corner base of the fortress at one of the sprawling fields, he caught something. The faint flicker of light.
Emiya quirked a brow. It was the dead of night and everyone would be reasonably asleep, all but the one that that out and about it seemed.
His pace resumed, a new destination in mind.
Outside, in one of the open training fields, it was kept illuminated by torch stands, granting a soft glow that provided enough light to the surrounding.
There, Claudette was dressed in her usual battle attire, sweating trailing down her body from the training she just did.
She charged, sword in hand before striking a dummy, unleashing a flurry of slashes, each swing producing heavy but muted thud as the redhead hacks away at it. After a minute she took a step back, catching her breath. Her eyes narrowed as if the training dummy had warranted such an offense against her.
So focused as she that Claudette didn't hear the approaching footsteps at that time.
"Any reason why you're picking on that training dummy?"
Claudette nearly leaped out of her skin at the intruding voice, her heart skipping a beat as instinct took over, turning with her training sword raised. She was surprised once more to find Emiya standing there, a small innocuous smirk as always on his face.
"L-lord Emiya!" She exclaimed, immediately putting her sword down.
"Shhh. No need to yell, Claudette. Some people are naturally trying to sleep." He jested, holding a finger to his lips.
Claudette's cheeks reddened.
"So, if you don't me asking, what are you doing here instead of in a cozy bed? You had a pretty rough day, today Claudette." He asked her, walking and taking a seat at one of the benches around them.
"I...wasn't feeling tired, my lord." She offered, glancing away as if unable to meet his gaze.
Emiya let out a hum, glancing at her but offered nothing more.
"What about you my lord? Should you not be in bed as well?" Claudette returned the question at him.
"Couldn't sleep." He simply shrugged.
The two said nothing, a small and awkward silence filling the night's air as the two kept to themselves. Claudette, because she had nothing to say or offer while Emiya on the other hand was contemplating to how to begin this.
It didn't escape him that Claudette appeared awkward around him, as if unsure. Her hesitant cadence, the way she was fidgeting, and almost actively avoiding his gaze. He knew what was going on, the only issue was addressing it.
It was just the two of them and despite being in the open like they were, it was doubtful there would be anyone intruding on their privacy at this time at night. Since Emiya had Claudette here with him, he might as well nip this whole issue in the bud right here and now. He'd never been one to dance around an issue and allow it to fester and persist.
Taking a deep breath, he took the first step.
"Were the one peeping on us back in the kitchen?"
As soon as those words left his mouth, Claudette immediately locked up, followed by a strained gasp.
A gasp and then, as if all the air were sucked out of the surrounding, there was naught but silence. Nothing but a numbing ringing echoing through the night. There, the two stood, seemingly locked in place, unfaltering and unmoving.
There was build-up, no indications, or hint to his question. It simply came forth right then and there, allowing Claudette no time to react, let alone prepare for such a question.
'H...how...?' Her mind sought. How could he possibly know?
As if called upon her thoughts, he continued, answering her internal query.
"When I was in the kitchen, I felt as if someone was watching us. And on the way out, I happened to glance back, catching a glimpse of something red turning the far corner away. Later, I asked around if anyone happened to be acting strange with several servants pointing out that they saw you running around the same time."
Despite his passion-driven escapade with Nyx, it wasn't as if he had completely lost himself to his libido. Thankfully, he retained some of his cognitive senses, albeit smothered. He was gradually building up a resistance the more he took Nyx as his bedmate, but it was still far from satisfactory.
Hearing all of this, Claudette said nothing, but her silence said more than she ever could. They were small but incriminating details, ones that added together to come to a damning conclusion.
Claudette had her back facing towards him but even with that, Emiya had a fair idea of what her expression was at the moment.
"I-I have no words to excuse my action... If by your order, I shall accept any punishment for my indignity." She said, and he could feel her tight, and grim expression.
"A bit of an overreaction, don't you think, Claudette? Yeah, you caught us while we were doing it, but I mean, there's no harm in an accident like that. It's not like you masturbated to it or anything." He threw out.
Another pause of silence, one that was even more damning. The silence persisted until it became almost insufferable. Claudette refusing to turn around or even move, content to remain there, still as a statue.
His eyes and ears easily identifying her shaken state. Her shallow ragged breath pealed thunderously in the strained night silence, trembles rattling throughout her entire body. Emiya could practically smell the fear rolling off of her in waves, fear, and greatest of them all, shame.
Emiya had to admit, he was expecting more of a reaction out of her especially from such a matter as this. Just as he opened his mouth to speak again Claudette acted.
Turning on her heel and facing him, her head downcast with her red locks draping over her eyes, hiding her face from the rest of the world. All but teleporting in front of him, she kneeled, her head low and bowing before him. Her gaze was inscrutable to all.
"My lord, I offer no excuse for my actions. Should you feel it necessary, and by your orders, I shall never show my disgraceful self in your presence ever again. And I shall—"
"Alright, stop." He said, holding up his hand and halting the tirade against herself.
Claudette said nothing more, obeying for fear of further displeasing him. But that was far from the truth at hand. Emiya sighed, nursing his hand against his forehead.
Even kneeling and bowing before him he could sense just how skittish and strained, she was. If not more so now, no doubt her mind conjuring up a dire dilemma. He started this; it was up to him to bring it to a close.
"First of all, that's a bit of an overaction. I'm not going to punish you or exile you, or anything for that matter."
"That does not excuse my shameful acts nor the shame I've brought upon you and the Vance name. I shall design to accept any punishment for my inexcusable behavior." Claudette remained adamantly fixated on this, refusing to heed his words.
"Oh for the love of. I know that you're in love with me, Claudette." He bluntly said, forgoing any tact. Emerald eyes widening for the umpteenth time and for a moment, she'd forgotten how to breathe.
He was an archer once upon a time. Perception was kind of his whole thing. Besides, he would have to be both blind and ignorant to have not noticed the small signs and small slip-ups throughout the years.
Kind of like his younger self – Shots fired!
Anyways, Emiya knew, or at the very least held onto some suspicion regarding Claudette's true feeling for him over the years. But he never gave it much thought or priority until now.
It was time to face the music.
Her lips parted and before Claudette could launch another apologetic diatribe and further self-deprecation, he intervened.
"No, we're not doing this whole song and dance a third time." He quickly put down, deadpanning. Honestly, it was starting to sound as if he was talking with Nyx with how many times, she constantly self-deprecated herself.
"One, there is going to be no punishments or anything of that nature. Period. Two, we're going to talk this out like civil adults. And three, no, I do not hate or despise for you or anything in between, Claudette."
Another bout of silence, one he allowed so that she could finally take in his words and show that he was being genuine.
"Y-you're not d-disgusted?" Claudette cautioned a look, one of the few times Emiya had ever heard sounded so unsure, so frightened. She was still hesitant to look him in the face, afraid that of whatever expression he could be making.
"Truth be told, I don't know how to feel, to be honest." Emiya admitted, tucking his leg up and leaned on it. His eyes drifting to the starry night above them.
As for the matter itself, he truly couldn't quite say or judge it. He'd seen and done so much during his time as a Counter Guardian that something such as this was nothing short of mundane compared to them.
What was considered normal was completely relative. Dependent on one's view.
For who was he to decide what was objectively and morally right and wrong?
Besides, considering the period and the world they were living in, it wasn't as if incest was that uncommon when it came to the aristocracy and nobility. He was pretty sure he heard about a recent, young minor lord marrying a cousin from a cadet branch of the family a few days ago.
"But I do know this. I don't hate you or anything of the sort, Claudette." He answered sincerely.
"That doesn't make it any less improper..." Claudette muttered, her faint words drifting almost invisibly in the wind. Clinging to her belief as if unsure.
"What about Elina and Leina? One could easily classify Elina's love for Leina as improper." Came Emiya's instant response. He didn't receive an answer.
From her knelt position she glanced at him, ultimately looking away. Despite his words and assurance, it did little to lessen the gnawing shame within her.
"You should..." She whispered, her voice beyond quiet. "I pleasured myself to the thought of you. Watched you and the maid like some voyeuristic pervert. I'm dirty..."
Claudette admitted, almost as if she wanted him to hate her, to be disgusted by her admission. For it would be a lot easier settle and accept being loathed then it was to believe in a false hope otherwise.
"Maybe, but I don't." Emiya reinforced. "Besides, can you really call it incest when you're not even related to the whole thing in the first place?"
The air stilled; both of their eyes widened but for different reasoning.
"W-what...?" She let out breathlessly, her emerald eyes reflecting confusion and shock at his word.
He clicked his tongue, realizing all too late his slip up before sighing. He really must be slipping if he was making amateurish mistakes such as that. Peace truly does rust away a sword's edge.
Taking a fugitive glance towards Claudette, Emiya weighed his opinion. He could either play it off as a jape, which he knew she wouldn't buy, or confide in her the truth. In a split second, he came to his answer.
"Claudette, can I trust you?"
Claudette was taken aback. The look on his face, it was of grave importance. A seriousness that she'd only seen on him that could be counted on two hands alone.
"Claudette. Can I trust you?" Emiya repeated.
Even before her mouth opened, her body was already moving. Her face schooling into a resolute look, a fist clasped for her heart. At that moment, she embodied the definition of dutifulness.
"Yes." She answered.
The two locked eyes and after a few more seconds, he allowed himself the moment, and he began his tale. Explaining and clarifying his earlier words, what they meant, and what was exactly was going on. Naturally leaving out the subject that he was a reincarnated being chosen by the whim of some Writer.
By the end, Claudette was left shaken, to say the least. A hand gripping the side of her head, her mind trying to wrap her thoughts around the revelation given to her.
"I...but...how...Does F-father—I mean, Count Vance know...?"
"Of course he does. Pretty sure he was there with her when she birthed me."
"But...brother...that means you hold no blood relationship to any of us... You're illegitimate..."
"And yet the old man still made me his heir. Funny how that works."
Emiya tried to crack a smile but his attempt at a joke flew over her head. Her face remained contrite, trying to process her thoughts and the information that was revealed to her.
"Blood isn't the only thing that determines family." He said, bringing Claudette out of her musing. "He could've left me or dumped me off somewhere, but instead, he took me in and raised just like Claudette. No matter how many times the two of us may argue or spat, he'll always be my father."
He looked up to the sky once more, a nostalgic smile tugging at his lips, reminiscing on times past. Besides the likes of Kiritsugu, Count Vance was the closest thing Emiya had to a genuine father figure. No matter their differences, they were still a family. Emiya as a son to him, and Count Vance as a father to he.
"The same goes for Elina, Leina, and even you. Even if we had shared blood, my answer wouldn't have changed."
"It's ok." He said, offering his hand to her.
Two simple words. Yet, they held more than anything she'd ever hoped for.
Hers was a story of success. From the beginning, clawing her way from the very bottom to where she was now. Earning fame and prestige, rising through the ranks despite her status as a bastard. She shut up her detractors through action and merit and was acknowledged and respected across the entire continent as among one of the strongest warriors there was. One worthy of the Vance name and legacy.
Yet, in spite of all of her accomplishments, she did not feel content.
She has always strived to reach that which she could not possess. She strove to gain her father, Count Vance's approval. She strove to be worthy of the Vance name, to be called alongside her brother and sisters. She strove to be strong, not only for her sake but that of the family as well.
Perhaps greatest of them all, she strove to be accepted and loved.
Hearing those words from him. It meant more to her than anything in the world.
It was ok, that she held certain feelings for him.
It was ok, that she loved him.
It was ok, she did not to be afraid for he will accept her regardless of anything else.
Her body moved even as her mind wandered, taking his hand as he helped her up. Even after all these years and despite being the oldest, Emiya towered over her, just like back then.
Emiya looked at her and at that moment, Claudette found herself captivated. Two silver pools of silver, shining splendidly in the night, like two moons. The light of the pale moon shined down on them, his form enshrouded by it as if some benevolent being.
Something pulsated within her. An urge bloomed within, growing and growing.
She felt the urge, pushing her forward.
What would happen next, whether it was the result of all the budding emotions and passion within her boiling to the surface, her emotions getting the better of her, or something else entirely, she would never know.
For Claudette leaned in and kissed him.
Emiya was caught completely off guard as Claudette, without warning, took his lips with hers. Reacting he found himself kissing back instinctively as he has always done before.
And lightning struck. This time, far more apt.
A sensation like no other ran down Claudette's back, one that spread as she moaned in her kiss.
For Emiya however, it was an all too familiar feeling. The same one he experienced with Nyx in the beginning. The same spark, the same burst of energy and adrenaline.
Where Nyx's was warm and abundant, like a fire had been lit within their core, Claudette's was much different. Hers was far more powerful and galvanic as if pure electricity was coursing their body. Energizing them.
No different from last time, the kiss brought upon an intoxicating high, one that spread quickly as they continued their kiss.
Soon after, Claudette must've regained some of her senses as her eyes widened, the reality of what she just did hit her. With a choking gasp, she flailed, removing herself from him as a thin trail of saliva extended from their lips. Conflicted emotions passing through her eyes, ranging from shock, terror, satisfaction, want, and so much more. All swirling within her, desire and rationale warring against one another.
As for Emiya, he too was wallowing in his thoughts since the beginning of the kiss, or as much as he could as he tried to fend off the encroaching haze that he knew for certain was coming.
Their kiss just now all but confirmed it. Claudette was just like Nyx; she was a part of this.
Though he was a bit unsure on how to feel about this. He would be a liar to say that he didn't find Claudette very alluring and stunning as a woman and that his eyes wouldn't wander on occasions with her curvaceous but fit body.
He could feel his rationale slowly ebbing away, replaced with that all too familiar desire and haze.
He made his bed; he might as well lie on it and enjoy it for what it was worth.
Before Claudette would act again, his arm reached forth, cupping her chin, and brought her back. The two kissing once more.
The Vance scion could feel the redhead's reluctance, her trembling frame against his. However, it didn't take long before her resistance turned to anticipation and acceptance, losing herself in the heat and moment. Their bodies pressed together, arms securing around the other, roaming.
Eventually, Emiya's back found itself leaning against one of the walls around the field. This kiss growing more passionate, teeth parting as their tongue assailed the other's mouth.
Emiya noted that she was surprisingly rather passive, comparable to Nyx. Who had a preference of leaving him in charge and for her to follow suit.
An impulse ran through his inebriate mind, one that tugged at him to indulge in.
Twisted, he turned them, with Claudette's back pressing against the wall now.
Breaking the kiss, Emiya leaned back, taking her in. Claudette was surprised and for a moment she looked cutely lost, her eyes and mouth seeking his once more. In that time his arm descended between her soft thighs.
Claudette gasped aloud, feeling the touch against her sex, her legs tightened around the intruding appendage though that did little to stop him. Two of his fingers idly roaming back and forth, rubbing against the fabric that was her panty that protected her slits. From merely a quick touch he could feel the moisten spot.
"Wet already? I wonder if this was how you were when you were watching me fuck Nyx from behind, while you masturbated."
Emiya whispered directly into her ear, his head resting against her shoulder.
His words, they sent shivers and goosebumps down her spine, her entire body trembling in both excitement and mortification. Earning a breathless pant from the redhead as he continued to dig his fingers into her. His lithe appendages hitting her sweet spot.
It was difficult to tell if his words were meant to be a tease or a reprimand, but whatever it was they had the desired effects. Her loins growing wetter and hot.
"It's rude not to answer a question when asked." He cooed.
"Y-y...es..." Claudette managed through her mewls.
"I bet you enjoyed it, huh? Hiding in your little spot, touching yourself while knowing we were just there, all but right in front of you."
His whispered insinuation struck, Claudette mewing as she didn't deny his words. Emiya could feel her inner walls clamping, responding to the stimuli.
"What a lecherous girl you've been Claudette." Emiya growled in her ear, nibbling on her earlobe.
That proved to the straw that broke the camel's back as she couldn't hold it anymore. His thrusting fingers, his inveiglement words, his teasing bites, she'd reached her limit. A finger rose to her mouth as she bit onto it, silencing her organismic scream that would've awakened the entire household if let out. Mewls and whimpers leaving her as she climaxed by his hands, or fingers to be precise. Emiya could feel her buckle against him, his thighs squeezing around his arm as she came from fingers. Warm juices flowing and slicking down his arm and her legs.
Strength leaving her, she slid down with her back against the wall, fighting to regain her breath while Emiya stood over her.
Emerald eyes peeled, with her collapsing on her knees her gaze focused on his lower half. More specifically his pants, where she could see his erected member pressing against his breeches.
Breathing heavily, her face flushed and eager, Claudette leaned forward.
A certain glint entered his glazed silver eyes, an indulgent ready to be fulfilled.
"Stop." His words were soft, but clear.
Claudette halted instantly. Emerald's eyes sought him out, wanting and pleading. Before she could offer a word in, Emiya began walking away. The eldest Vance tried to follow but his words stopped her once more.
Seeing this Emiya couldn't help but chuckle under his breath. Claudette's always been one to obey orders given to her. This wouldn't be anything new.
Founding his seat from before, he sat down and made himself comfortable. A glance back showed Claudette growing restless, her pants filling the air.
"Come." He said, a finger beckoning.
Without bothering to stand up, she crawled on her hands and knees towards him. Whether on purpose or merely because it would be easier, she made her way over until her face was all but in front of his crotch. Again, she moved forward, and again she was stopped.
There she sat, docile and compliant.
A hand reached out, parting and fixing some stray strands of her beautiful crimson locks, a gentle caress of her cheeks. Who was receptive to the touch, rubbing against his warmth.
"Good girl." Claudette preened at the praise.
With little trouble, Emiya loosened his breeches, his sword on full display. Claudette gulped, seeing the erect member in person, anticipation trembling across her form.
Emiya had just finished pleasuring her, now it was Claudette's turn to return the favor.
Before Emiya let her off, she couldn't hold back any longer and struck. Emiya leaned back, biting his lower lip, his head tilted backwards as a satisfied groan left him as he felt his phallus taken in by her mouth, warm and wet.
Where Nyx was often slow and methodic, taking her time, Claudette was the complete opposite. Aggressive and passionate. His cock moving back and forth through the tunnel of her lips and throat as the redhead brought a wave of pleasure with her throat. Her tongue working the shaft, bringing a host pleasure.
It wouldn't take him long before he came, buckling as he felt it exploding forth. At the time his hand rested against the back of her head and when he came, he held her in place as he ejaculated, submerged in her pleasant mouth. Not that she seemed to mind it, relishing in his flavor.
To her credit, Claudette managed to hold it better the first time around compared to Nyx. After a few intense seconds, leaned back, swallowing every droplet of his.
Claudette smiled, a glazed and dopey smile. Hearing him praising her, it made her happy. Purring and rubbing her head affectionately against his palm, enjoying his touch.
Claudette didn't mind it, obeying his words like a pet. If anything, she delighted in it.
She held the Vance name and various titles, but in the end she would always be a servant of the Vance household. To Count Vance, her lord father, to Elina and Leina, her true born sisters and heiress, and of course to Emiya, the heir to Vance name and future liege lord.
After all, good servants followed orders.
Emiya patted his knee, beckoning her up. Standing, a hand reached out and she took it. With a gentle tug, he guided her onto his lap. Arms and legs reaching and searching, wrapping around him as she all but straddled him.
Despite coming once already his member was still fully erect and raring to do. Wet and lubricated with her saliva, rubbing against her own moistened sex.
As he was removing her stained panties Claudette's thought must've settled back down as brief cognition returned to her, especially when she remembered where they were at the moment.
"E-emiya..." She stuttered out as he tossed away her wet garment. "We're outside..."
"Hmm." Emiya hummed, he didn't look all that bothered. "Yes, yes we are." He returned factually.
"W-we c-can't...someone...might...see..." She managed out between pants.
Again the urge bloomed within and he couldn't resist.
"Then should we call it here, Claudette?"
Emiya felt her stiffen, capitalizing on the moment he hugged her closer, whispering into her ears.
"If that's what you want, we can always hold off."
At the same time, he began gyrating his hips, his sword pressing and rubbing aggressively against her wet folds, her pants growing laborious. A hand gently reaching around to her firm ass, giving it loving squeezes.
"Is that what you wanted, Claudette? Do you want it to stop here?" Emiya asked again, waiting for her answer.
He would have it soon, her hip and body moving and rubbing in sync with his. In the end, desire kicked rationale out the window.
He couldn't help but smile at her soft squeak. This was a side that he found adorable in her. One that he couldn't hold back his teasing from.
"No, what? What do you want, Claudette?"
"I...I w-want it..."
"Want what? You're going be a little more specific."
"I w-want y-you..."
"Me? What exactly do you want me to do, Claudette?"
"I-I want y-you...E-emiya! I want you to make m-me yours!" Claudette all but begged.
Since she asked so nicely, it was only proper to respond in kind.
With a searing kiss, they were joined as one. Lowering her gently and easily onto his member. Slick and lubricated, entry was easy as his cock slid into her all the way in.
Claudette jolted, nearly growing crossed eye from the suddenness and pleasure that it brought. Her legs wrapping around Emiya for support as her hold tightened. That pain that came was temporary compared to the mind-numbing pleasure that spread throughout her body. For it take long before her body acclimated to it, desiring more. And he felt it too.
It was completely electrifying.
Up and down she bounced, riding him as the sound of slapping flesh reverberated softly through the softly illuminated covered field. The cool night winds blowing serenely, sending a wash of shivers and goosebumps down her spine and body. Their well-toned bodies grinding against one another.
Claudette knew that their situation was a precarious one. Out in the open where anyone could easily spot or stumble upon them, so late at night, their near-naked form exposed to the outdoor elements, doing it so openly.
They were tap-dancing on a very delicate line and all it would take was one loud noise, one curious servant catching them, one small slip up and it would come all crashing down.
Yet, it only made her more excited, just like in her fantasies. Her body reacting accordingly, her inner walls clamping down on his member begging to be painted white by his essence. The danger, the excitement that came with it, it all blended, forming a cocktail of pleasure that Claudette was losing herself to it.
Claudette could feel it, the penetrating tip of his cock hitting her entrance, every thrust sending a wave of euphoria without fail.
She'd always wonder what it feels like, having heard of the pleasure and experience that came from bedding him and pleasure herself to the thought. But at that moment, it surpassed any of her wildest thoughts and expectation.
'If it was a dream, I don't want to ever wake up.' Her mind fostered.
She didn't know how long they continued at her, the fog of bliss dominating everything within her mind. It could've been minutes or it could've been hours. So close together, their heartbeats melded as one, beating passionately. Nothing matter in that moment, only Emiya, only him.
And then, she felt it. Something warm invading her, the two reaching the climax together.
For several seconds they remained, joined together, basking in the afterglow of their union.
Claudette could feel her strength leaving her body, replaced with nothing but a content lethargy in its wake.
Claudette heard, it took a moment before she realized that it was her own slurred voice that said this. Slowly her eyelids grew heavy, dark spots encroaching on her as her consciousness faded.
The general fought to stay awake, to continue, but it proved too much. The last thing she saw before darkness took her was the beautiful silver eyes of the man she loved.
As her eyes closed shut, sleep taking her for but a moment, they just as quickly snapped open as she jolted awake.
It took a second before her senses returned, and with it, she realized that she wasn't outside anymore; thankfully. She on a bed, her bed to be exact, in her room.
Claudette blinked, stupor overcoming her.
A part of her wondered if it was some lucid dream, nothing more than a desire conjured from the deep recesses of her mind. Before her mood could plummet even further, she noticed a few things.
One, she drenched in dried sweat. Her body feeling languished and sticky. Two, she could feel herself naked underneath the blanket. Further inspection showed her armor and clothes from the night on a pile off in the corner. Thirdly, she noticed something bright and colorful on her desk. Getting out of bed, not minding her naked state she walked over to it.
A simplistic animal made of folded paper, origami, if she was remembering the word correctly from when Emiya introduced it to them.
It was that of a small bird, and underneath it was folded piece of paper.
Taking it and opening it, Claudette learned that it was a message from her brother.
"Sorry for you leaving you, Claudette. I wanted to say with you when you woke up, but if the two of us were seen walking out of your room, that would raise a lot of questions.
When you're ready, we'll talk some more and work this whole thing out.
Get as much rest as you can or need, don't worry about rushing.
I'll always be here for you.
Claudette read it one, and then a second time.
She felt something wet out of the corner of her eye and before long she wept openly, tears flowing freely. Trembling with both happiness and relief.
It wasn't a dream after all and she couldn't be any happier. Perhaps it was wrong of them, but in the end, she didn't regret it. He accepted her, and that was enough for her.
She allowed her tears to run their course and once she finally got it out of her system, she smiled.
With a dazzling smile stretching ear to ear, she walked to her bathroom, eager to start the day and feeling beyond rejuvenated. In fact, she couldn't remember the last time she felt so spirited, so strong. As if every cell in her body was energized.
Entering, Claudette filled up her basin to wash up only to catch something. On the wall was a full-body mirror. Her reflection stared back at her, but this time there was a noticeable addition.
There, resting on her well-toned stomach was a red marking, strikingly similar to the one that Nyx had as well, her memory resurfacing. Conjuring an image from when she first saw it on Nyx. Two crimson arcs with a stroke down the middle.
She gingerly touched it. Her lips pursed as her brows furrowed, trying to remember when, let alone, how such a noticeable mark could've manifested without her knowledge. As she continued touching it, perhaps it was just her imagination, but it was almost warm to the touch.
Claudette's thoughts traveled back to Nyx and her own. As far as she could remember, no one after they had slept with the Vance heir had mentioned or shown anything like what they possessed. Her mind processed this, concluding that it perhaps something recent. First Nyx and now Claudette.
It was a mark of some kind, that much could be gleam. If so, what did it signify, what did it mean? Was it purely aesthetic? Merely a tattoo, perhaps? Or perhaps, even something more. Something special even? If so, then what was it then?
Whatever it may be, what was without a shadow of a doubt in her mind that it was related to Emiya.
It belonged to him.
Her smile shifted as the thought settled in. Her hand nursed over it, idle rubbing it, enjoy the pleasant warmth from it. Her eyes half-lidded, reflecting nothing but a glazed and smoldering emerald gaze.
That was right.
Emiya accepted her, her love, her body, and her very being.
They became one together.
In that moment, as if responding to her thoughts and feeling, traces of lightning and electricity crackled outwards. Magic overflowing and resonating.
Claudette belonged to him and she wouldn't have it any other way.
So yeah, that's the end of the second and Claudette's chapter.
As for Claudette's motivation and progression, well consider this. In Queen's Blade, she strove constantly to live up to Count Vance's expectation, and all. Though respected, she received little in terms of affection or care, save for Leina and Elina, but to her, a bastard child, did not believe she was worth it. Here, there's Emiya, which shakes up the entire board. Emiya serves as a sort of buffer for those issues. As he returns her affection and acknowledges her, she begin pinning for his attention, instead of solely father's, and then it just spiral onwards.
While I do enjoy Claudette as one of my favorite characters, I will admit she was a bit bland in Wandering Warriors, hence the way I've decided to go with her progression and characterization forward.
For anyone wondering, we're still not at Queen's Blade canon just yet. However, unlike Fake Player, I'm not going to take more than a dozen chapter just to get to it. It's more of setting up the board and characters for future chapters and plot progression that I've got in mind. We've got one more pre-canon chapter left, that being chapter 3, before the plot starts to kick off. I promise.
With that said, thank you very much for reading. Please review if you feel so incline, reading your reviews helps a great deal in showing that you enjoy this little story and keeps me fueling to strive for more and more chapters.
Next chapter: The Bandit Queen or You steal things, I steal you!