---- One Month Later ----
POV: Leonard Von Wickten
Why couldn’t she see what I could? That thing was a fiend. I was quite content with letting Juliana keep that demi confined to a cell, but I was fuming when she allowed it into the manor. How could she let such a dirty beast lay her paws on my estate? I had heard several rumours circulating the manor, that my wife had been teaching it Ortheanian in secret.
I was reaching my limit. How insolent could one be? She allowed our holy language to be corrupted by such a heathen. Over the last month, I’ve begun to see more and more of ‘Kuro’. Recently, my wife had been teaching her how to act like a proper ‘assistant’.
I had seen her letting the beast to accompany her throughout the day. Being sensitive to mana, the dark miasma that cloaked her repulsed me, and I could hardly finish my meals anytime she showed up at the table. I asked my wife to cease her brazenness, but she vehemently insisted on letting Kuro continue to follow her everywhere. Every so often when we met, I saw the ghost of a Cheshire grin appear on the cat’s face, and disappear just as fast.
My wife was a lost cause and would see no reason. Kuro had somehow seduced Juliana away with poisonous words and cursed magic. She was blind to the viciousness lurking beneath her that innocent façade. I could see the servants were getting restless and I was beginning to feel rather anxious myself. My wife’s pet seemed to be getting a little too presumptuous. Perhaps it was time to remind Kuro of her place.
POV: Juliana Von Wickten
Either I was brilliant at teaching, or Kuro was a prodigy. In just the first few weeks, she had managed to cobble together enough terminology to understand much of what I said. Now, she could even hold simple conversations and read books unaided. As expected of someone who’s lived in isolation, she knew little to nothing of our Orthean customs or culture.
She had a stunning lack of etiquette, even for a demihuman, as she often acted unbefitting of a woman. I had at times, even questioned myself of her gender. I had more than once caught her sitting with her legs apart like a man’s, and I was swift to correct that particular habit of hers. If she was going to spread her legs, it would be on my terms.
We found ourselves in the library, which had quickly become one of Kuro’s favourite places in the manor. She was diligently reading through a book of the history of Orthea. Engrossed in our history of international relations, failed revolutionary schemes and an endless list of impressive warfare operations, she was in no rush to flip through pages quickly. I don’t expect her to grasp even the simplest of tactics, but any reading practice was good for her development.
She shivered slightly and grimaced, the hair on her tail standing end-to-end. She was frowning... Ah, the book contained the genocide of the demi country of Steolia. She was probably perturbed by it.
“Kuro,” I called out.
“Yes, my Lady.” Lowering her book with a slight rustle of pages, she marked the current page with a fold before looking up expectantly at me. “What do you require of me, nya?” I felt a sense of satisfaction. She had come far from a wilderness-prowling beast. If one to were meet her for the first time, she could almost pass for someone who had lived their entire life in a civilised society.
“I think you are ready to assist me in simple administrative duties.” Her face lit up. It seems she was eager to assist me in my work. Whenever she accompanied me to the office, she was always curious as to what all the ledgers and forms were. I deemed her competent enough to deal with the unimportant forms that only waste my time.
She had proved her prowess for arithmetic, it shouldn’t hurt for her to audit some logs. “We should head off.”
Throughout this month, I had slowly and steadily exploited Juliana’s naivety to earn her complete trust. She thought she had me on her leash, but I’d like to think the opposite. I was leading her around by the nose. She didn’t find it a bit suspicious that a wild animal knew how to solve roots of quadratics without even slight exposure to mathematics before? A rather amusing thought.
After following her around enough, I had her pinned as an emotionally starved individual, looking for something to fill the void. That something would be me. I hardly ever saw her husband, Leonard. When I did, he was always playing around with (who I could only assume were) his other lovers, completely ignoring Juliana at the dining table.
I found it rather reprehensible conduct for a man to relinquish his duties to his wife. Was this the norm in this world, or an exception? Why was a woman managing the demesne and dealing with nobility as well? The former may be acceptable, but definitely not the latter.
I was growing weary of the looks the members of the house were sending me. They did not want me here, preferably dead if the Orthean history book in front of me was anything to go by. As my only safeguard against hostilities, supporting and raising Juliana’s standing would only see to benefit my safety. There was already a close call a couple weeks ago.
We were in the dining room together, I was standing behind her as a 'maid-in-training'. She was confronted by Leonard demanding to return me to the slave quarters, but Juliana was resolute in keeping me “by her side”. Following that, I had realised how key Juliana’s support of me was, and I did everything in my power to secure it, no matter how degrading. I pretended to enjoy her pats, wagging my tail and flapping my ears whenever. I looked at her with adoration, to remind her that I was the only one in the house who ‘cared’ for her.
Everything I did was to form an unshakable bond between us that would tie her emotionally to me. Only, there was one thing that would see it everlasting… I had to make her fall in love with me, only then could I rest easy. I furrowed my brows. Even if she was emotionally vulnerable, it would be tricky to bridge the gap between species. I didn’t know if either inter-species or same-sex relations were taboo in this society. I could not be the one to initiate it. She had to. That meant that I had to seduce her.
The question remained, how? I had no clue how to seduce a woman… as a woman. As a man, it was simple. All you needed was a wallet. However, she was of nobility and probably cared little for riches (not that I could acquire any anyway). The only thing I could offer to gain her love… was my body. I shivered and felt my tail puff up in response.
A few seconds passed in silence before Juliana called my name. Snapped out of my reverie, I remembered that I was supposed to be reading. I folded the corner of the page into itself to serve as a temporary bookmark, before rising.
“Yes, my Lady. What do you require of me, nya?”
“I think you are ready to assist me in simple administrative duties.”
This was incredible. A wild grin almost threatened to escape. I had managed to wrestle it down to an innocent, gleeful expression. She was letting me near the record books. My first taste of authority in this new world. How I missed the feeling. “We should head off.” She continued.
“Of course. My Lady, allow me.” I got off my seat, walked over to the door and opened it for her.
As we made our way down the hallways, I couldn’t hide my elation, my extra appendages giving me away. Juliana had noticed it. “So, Kuro… are you excited to help me with my work?” she queried. Is she probing me for my intentions, or just wants to make small talk? What am I thinking? Of course, she just wants to make small talk. She doesn’t suspect me even a little.
“Helping my Lady with her duties brings me the utmost joy. Kuro wishes to repay my Lady for her kindness.” Juliana smiles and giggles to herself. Too easy.
“You will be checking that the calculations submitted by the head of finance are all correct. I hope it is not an issue?” Ah, this is an excellent opportunity. I have no grasp on the value of currency here. Being able to see how much is spent on what will help my financial judgement.
“Of course not, my Lady. Kuro has been taught by my Lady herself. Kuro will not make a mistake, nya.”
---- Three Hours Later ----
Sitting in Juliana’s private office reminded me of my own. Head down, papers piled up next to me, the sound of a quill rhythmically scraping paper. I almost felt at home sitting at this desk. The only thing missing now was a computer loaded with accounting software… How I miss modern luxuries. I quickly realised that this world used single-entry as opposed to double-entry bookkeeping. It was horrendous. In a single-entry system, you record all transactions in one log. However, the method doesn’t track assets or liabilities. How about casually revolutionising the accounting world then?
Double-entry bookkeeping provides a complete overview of someone’s financial transactions. Over the past few hours, I had been transcribing all those ledgers into the double-entry system. Looking at my handiwork, I had to stifle a laugh.
Assets = Liabilities + Equity
A golden rule in double-entry bookkeeping. Here, it seemed that something was amiss, the numbers did not lie. Cash was leaking somewhere. In other words, embezzlement. Not even I could have managed to spot this had I abided by their primitive system. I’d better not raise this concern. I should investigate it myself.
If I manage to publicly unveil the culprit, my reputation would be raised. If nothing else, I finally had some dirt on someone. Now to find out who it was… Knowing that there was an error in the ledger was all well and good, but I had to pinpoint the exact transactions that led to this imbalance to track down the perpetrator. Was it the tax collector? A rogue businessman? Time to find out.
I picked up my quill and dipped it into the inkpot. I hadn’t been this enthusiastic about doing office work in a while.
---- One Hour Later ----
POV: Juliana Von Wickten
Kuro started off this endeavour rather enthusiastically, but she seemed to lose steam half an hour ago. She was looking rather glum and confused now. Staring at numbers all day does that. I couldn’t blame her, adding and subtracting numbers was nothing too exciting. I had finished all the paperwork for the day, and I was starting to think that Kuro was tired of this too.
“Kuro, I am finished. Are you?” Kuro jerked her head from the desk and looked at me, her face cycling through many emotions before settling on a bright smile.
“Yes, my Lady. I have finished a while ago and was just checking the numbers. Kuro found nyo~ mistakes.” Well, of course not. The ledgers were all completed personally by the Wickten duchy finance minister. If Kuro had found a mistake, his allegiances would have to be called into question. I smiled back.
“Good job, Kuro. Let’s head back.” I received a quick nod before we both left our desks, entrusting clean-up to the maids.
This didn’t make any sense. I checked my maths over and over again. There was no doubt somebody was manipulating the numbers to cover their tracks. Unlike the usual fraudulent reporting of a few numbers, it seemed the entire ledger was doctored.
This was no small issue, somebody very high up was completely fudging the numbers, and they managed to do so very convincingly. He had experience in finance, not some wannabe trader who misreported his profits to bag some extra. The signs were there. Slight discrepancies between credit and debit that slowly exacerbated as more entries were tallied. There were only a few suspects I had in mind.
Firstly, Leonard. It stood to reason that the head of the house had the authority and ability to manipulate the forms in such a way. However, I didn’t understand why he needed to use such underhanded tactic… Surely, he could just demand that a portion of the cash flow would be redirected to his private vaults and no-one would object. That left the other option.
The original single-entry forms bore a wax seal of the ‘Wickten Finance Guild’ and signed by a certain Albertt Vetter. He was my prime suspect. The man who ran this farce.
“My Lady, who is Albertt Vetter?” I toss out an innocent question, hoping for some information on the man who sanctioned such a blatantly fraudulent register.
“Hmm… Well, he is the Wickten duchy’s head of finance. He rarely visits the estate in person, but he has been doing his job for years and knows all about money.” Juliana replies. We continue to walk down the hallway, both in quiet contemplation. There was no doubt about it. This man, Albertt. He was the leech. Having years of experience in finance, the trust of the Wicktens and an entire guild’s backing, he was as good a suspect as any. There were two options ahead of me. Did I rat him out now to improve my reputation, or blackmail him for some other benefit? The answer was obvious. Why not both?
“Why do you ask, Kuro?” Juliana asks. This a great opportunity, I had to exploit this to its fullest.
I replied nonchalantly, “Kuro saw his signature on the bottom of the papers. Kuro wants to help my Lady with her work, nya. Can I send a letter to mister Vetter so he can teach me?” A little forced, but it should do it. I crossed my fingers that Juliana would let me send that letter. It is my first step on my climb to the top in this world. I held my breath.
“Hmm… you would rather have him teach you than me, Kuro? I am hurt.” She pulls an obviously teasing sad face, but I had to follow along as the ‘hopelessly naive’ catgirl I am. I vigorously shook my hands and head.
“My Lady! I did not mean it like that…” Look down, clench my fist… “K-Kuro just wants to help my Lady…” Start gathering tears, flatten my ears against my head. Pause for effect. “P-Please don’t abandon me! Kuro will do whatever my Lady wishes!” I look straight back at her, crocodile tears streaming down my face adorned with a quivering lip. Ah, a perfect performance. Just the right amount of desperation, devotion and turmoil to inspire the appropriate sympathy.
She flusters and tries to console me, “I would never abandon you Kuro! I was just teasing… That’s all.” She looks guilty and turns to the side, avoiding eye contact. “Kuro…” Juliana pauses. “I would never abandon you. I will prove it to you.” She smiles back with conviction, obviously some plan formulating in her mind of how to ‘convince’ me of that fact. She stops walking, and I halt in tandem. She whips around and turns to face me, her immaculate bright blue eyes piercing my own. “Kuro, do you love me?”
What kind of question was that? Was she some callow schoolgirl? I mentally groan before acceding to her challenge. It would be an injustice to chicken out now. The show must go on
“M-My Lady! Kuro loves you more than anything! You were the first one to show me such kindness…” Wipe my tears, look to the side, “to rescue me from such a cold and dark fate…” Look back at her. Give the most reverential smile I can muster, “Kuro loves nothing but my Lady!” Her face turns a few shades redder and her breathing speeds up a little. Uh… What’s going on? She starts to fidget and looks a little embarrassed standing here in the hallway. Did I make a mistake?
“Kuro. We are going to my room right now.” She commands. “I will prove myself to you there.”
Juliana Von Wickten’s Bedchambers
The walk back to her room was awkward. Her strange panting was bizarrely erotic, and she started walking strangely halfway here. I had a clue what her intentions were to ‘prove herself’ if her behaviour was anything to go by… Hell, even I was getting a little excited on the way here. I had no clue how our relationship had escalated from a supposed pet-master relationship to whatever this was. I suppose this was still a pet-master relationship… but now with sex? Of course, I could be completely misinterpreting this situation, but I had seen many a horny woman in my life.
Juliana had stripped me of my dress, leaving me with my aptly provided black panties and bra. She had disappeared into the dressing room, leaving me rather aroused on the huge bed. I had tried to avoid anything to do with my new sexuality since the beginning. Reminded by the prospect of sex, my unattended libido has come back with a vengeance. It would be a death sentence to attempt going a month dry as a man, I assumed it wasn’t the same in this body.
I was wrong. It screamed for pleasure. My heart quickened and I felt my pussy begin to get wet. I was sickened, but curious. I gently moved my hand towards my lower half, sliding it underneath my panties. “Nnnyaa~” Wh- What was this feeling? I guided my hand over my pussy, and I touched my clit. An indescribable feeling overcame me, and I keeled over onto the bed, my ass raised high. It- It’s like the pleasure of a dick, but centred on this one spot! I released a few stifled moans into the bedsheets.
I ventured further and heard the recognisable shlick of fingers invading my privates. “Fuahn~” Wh-What the hell?! It feels like the pit of my stomach is on fire! My entire body feels so good~.
“Kuro… are you getting all excited without me?” I ceased my finger movements and looked up at Juliana, who had just entered the room. What… what was I just doing? I was masturbating… in this body? As a girl? I- I had no words. My lust had clouded my judgement. I retracted my hand from my womanhood and pushed myself up. As I sat on the bed and looked towards the naked form of Juliana, who was looking at me with hunger in her eyes.
“M-My Lady… Kuro was just… jus-”
“Don’t worry, Kuro. I understand.” She interrupts, “I am getting a little excited as well.” She smiles deviously. She saunters over to me and climbs up onto the bed. No. Don’t fall to the temptation. I was a man… a proud, virile man… Juliana settles onto the bed, the mattress compressing under the additional weight. My tail betrayed my conscience. It swayed from side-to-side in anticipation of what she had in store for me, and Juliana giggled and crawled seductively up to me.
She rested her head on my shoulder, her breathing tickling my ear. “Kuro, I love you.” She whispered. That was a turn on. I felt my nipples go hard, and press against my bra. That was a weird feeling if anything. My fingers instinctively moved towards my breasts but were stopped by delicate hands
“Allow me.” She murmured into my ear. Her arms wrapped around my petite body, and unbuttoned my bra, letting it fall onto my lap.
“M-My Lady… Kuro canno-” Her lips touched mine. “Mmh…” Her tongue invaded my mouth, and fought against mine. I offered token resistance, my mind and body too overwhelmed with emotion and sensation to act on my will. She climbed on top of me, one hand stroking my left nipple while I felt her right slide down my abdomen; “Nya~” before sliding under my panties. She broke off our kiss, heavily panting, before lowering her mouth to my chest and wrapped her tongue around my nipple. A light squeak made its way out my lips.
“M-My Lady… n-no more~” My body was melting. I- I couldn’t think straight. Instead of listening to my desperate pleas, my words had the opposite effect. She decided it would be a great idea to up the intensity. I felt her fingers push against me harder, her lips suck my nipples more intensely. I moaned and quivered under her touch. “Kuro, my Kuro…” she called.
“Y-uwah-Yes?” I responded shakily.
“Please, call me Julia.”
Looking down into her crystal blue eyes, they flickered with renewed desire. Her mouth once again fervently pressed up against mine. This was going to be a long night, nya~
Kill Votes: 48 47.5%
Exile Votes: 30 29.7%
Nothing (wtf why would you pick this) Votes: 15 14.9%
Other (please comment suggestions!) Votes: 8 7.9%