The Chronicles of Dame Gabriela's Mansion Chapter 1: The Unruly guest.

Novella Mar 24, 2021

To my lil' kitten Zia~

Chapter 1

It was the 13th of April, Monday if I remember correctly.  It started like as any day in the mansion did.  One could say that it was supposed to just be another boring day.  As always, it began with the attendants waking up at dawn, in their quarters, to slowly begin their work.  Despite every single one of the maids and butlers having top-notch qualifications for their job, the whole crew was always very busy of a morning.  After all, they have to clean the corridors, wipe the dust off, prepare breakfast for everyone living in the manor and follow numerous procedures related to the security of their home.

If that wasn't enough, the Dame herself had very peculiar habits which all cooks and attendants were required know.  For example, the Lady always woke up at 5:59 in the morning.  The very first thing she did is have a cup of 2nd flush Darjeeling brewed in 96.1 Celsius Degrees for 46 seconds. The tea itself must have a temperature between 65-68 degrees, so had to be prepared very carefully and at the correct time.  After that, the lady proceeded with her self-care routine, assisted by her maidservants and heads to her office.  On her way there, both TG and Kip presented her with the report of the recent events and things she had to address today.

Finally, upon the Dame's arrival breakfast was served. Given that her diet is very strict and she eats certain dishes on certain occasions or days, it takes a lot of practice and experience to rise to the challenge of satisfying her tastes. During breakfast, she prepared directives for the staff for the rest of the day and read the correspondence from the previous day, so at least one butler is to always be at her disposal to issue her orders at once.  As soon as she was done with her first meal, the Dame progressed with her day accordingly to what was needed.  Be it meetings, dealing with papers or even intervening if needed; the Lady is usually occupied.  On the rare occasion when she has a free day, she either spends time with her family or devotes herself to developing her passions.

Those hobbies of hers are often very...peculiar, and sometimes even dangerous.  Of course, poetry, music and other user-safe activities are on the list, but when you realise that the Dame loves to conduct extensive research on all objects contained in her mansion, it sometimes gets out of control.  For example the incident of "Voluptatem Abyssi".  The object that was observed during the experiment was... well... basically a butt plug.  In spite of being a... sex toy, it wasn't an austere one. Made of slender dark mahogany, almost everyone would be able to tell it was carefully made by someone very proficient at woodwork. What caught Dame's interest in this...object then?  The answer is simple...it showed signs of spacial abnormality.  Apart from its lewd properties, which were utterly boring and irrelevant to the Lady.

What's the incident all about then? Well, the aforementioned toy is known to appear in random locations in the area with a radius of 20 kilometres. Whoever encounters the mysterious phallic object feels a great urge to well... "use it". After approximately 24h from the moment the object has been spotted, it disappears only to reappear in the same area but a different place. Everyone exposed to the anomaly agrees that the feeling of having "direct contact" with it is pleasurable, despite the fact of it being rather small, and therefore incapable of providing "more experienced users" with what they want. What matters here though is that everyone aware of the abnormal properties of the plug are immune to it. In order to gather that knowledge and to determine how the toy teleports, the Dame unleashed it on the unaware staff of the mansion...mostly the young maidservants, for unknown reasons.

These innocent occurrences were nothing compared to real accidents, that weren't part of experiments conducted in strictly controlled conditions. On that day, one of the most serious security breaches happened. One of the maids responsible for attending to the dining room was verifying the quantities of various ingredients stored in the warehouse; a very repetitive and boring activity. Even if that was one of the easiest jobs in the mansion, the feeling of being lackadaisical and listless after hours of counting every single bag and can of food, as well as all the other necessities was able to tire out even the most experienced servants. But the young maid, named Constance, wasn't at ease at all...quite the opposite. She was stressed and nervous...anxious even. No matter how many times she tried, no matter how many times she recounted these wares, no matter how hard she looked, she just couldn't find 10 packs of chocolate cookies...they were missing. She knew that being accused of theft means big trouble for her...lashes would be lenient. She was on the verge of breaking down when she heard some odd sound behind the shelves where the sweets were stocked.

Startled at first, she cautiously approached the source of the noise. Carefully placing her feet on the ground... watching every single step... after all, you never know what dangers may loom around the corner...only waiting for you to make one mistake. Suddenly a loud din of multiple objects falling to the ground echoed from the opposite direction.

"Huh?! What...? What's going on...?" The maid asked herself trying to figure out how the mysterious intruder might have managed to get to the other side so fast and without her noticing.

"MRRREEEEEW!"

A blood-curdling roar reached maid's ears. Given her years of experience in the mansion, Constance didn't hesitate for long. She quickly dashed towards the exit, that was a mere 20 meters away from her. Usually one doesn't concern themself with trivial matters such as how long 20 meters is. Most of us would say it's not that much...but for the young maid, it seemed like an untraversable distance, like a deadly ridge that is clearly a death sentence for whoever tries to pass over it. Seven quick, almost dazzling steps were all it took her to reach the door. She threw her body against the door, pushing with all her might. But for some reason, the entrance was closed and the mansion's security wasn't something you could ignore. All entrances were made from high-quality materials, which guaranteed that no containment breach shall occur and that any section of the mansion can be closed at the Dame's discretion. She tried to push, pull...but no matter what she attempted the barrier keeping her locked with the creature didn't want to give in. Knowing she could neither stave the door in, nor she could open them, she made the toughest choice in her life. She knew she has to head back inside and try to find a way out. She took a deep breath and mumbled:

"Fuck it... Everything has to go FUBAR when I'm on duty"

With a deep sigh, she ran inside, with the scary roars still echoing in the warehouse.

By this point, the mansion's security had been already aware of the abnormal activity in the food storage. TG, Dame's first husband and the chief of security was already preparing his men for the action. A squad of 20 people were to be dispatched to the area of the suspected containment breach. All in heavy armour and with swords, spears and other weapons, enchanted with high-tier magic. Of course, firearms are a thing. But the Dame insisted on sticking to the conventional weaponry for some reason. After a quick briefing, it took them 3 minutes to get to the warehouse where Constance was fighting for survival...if she wasn't already dead. TG himself wasn't taking part in the direct action. Instead, he was overseeing the course of events and monitoring the other sections of the manor so they could continue their proper functioning. The squad was led by the Second Lieutenant Steve Hives. He knew he had to act swiftly. His men opened the barred door and got inside. Given that they had decided on the plan of action beforehand they split into groups of 3 and begun to search the place for the anomaly or anyone who might have been inside.

Suddenly one of the guards screamed.

Every single one of them knew that they weren't dealing with something simple. These men were the best of the best. Absolute elite. All of them have been through hellish training that was ongoing for years. They all have witnessed the terror...the danger...they all have seen their companions die. So if one of them screamed in fear, it had to be something truly beyond human comprehension. Even if they lost their confidence, years of experience did the trick as all of them rushed to the source of the scream. When they finally arrived there they all faced a terrifying sight. The young maid, Constance, or rather her cadaver, was lying in a weird position between the bags of sugar. A silent scream on her face and a crimson, yet very dense liquid that covered her whole clothing, skin and her closest vicinity were seemingly telling all the story.

The guard that was screaming, now finally calm, knelt near the girl and took some of the odd-looking blood and tasted it. Suddenly, his facial expression changed by 180 degrees. The mystery was solved as soon as he spoke:

"Blimey! Lieutenant, this crap isn't blood! It's ol' classic proper nosh!"

"You're flipping gobsmacked beyond reason, Johns!" the commander responded, "I know you're usually a git but you're overdoing it this time."

"No, seriously! I swear I'm not a muppet or anything!" Johns retorted

This unexpected discovery didn't make the guards at ease at all. They still knew that they were dealing with something beyond their comprehension. Second Lieutenant Hives didn't ponder for long. His team split up again and they continued searching the repository but to no avail. After securing the place they called for maids tho restore it to "acceptable condition" whereas the only person harmed by the accident Constance was taken to Dr Clara for examination. The victim was unsurprisingly alive but the massive shock caused her to pass out. No external injuries have been found on her body so as soon as she was interrogated she could go back to her duties.

Given that the guards weren't able to catch the culprit TG decided to report it directly to the Dame... He knew that they might be dealing with some antediluvian and powerful creature that could manipulate time and space, or maybe even alter reality. After all, you never know what abnormal being you may encounter in the spirit realm. When things were back under control, he took all the evidence, gathered from both his subordinates and the maid who suffered from the incident and headed towards the garden where the Dame was currently working on embellishing her beguiling thicket of forget-me-nots. She was as beautiful as always, wearing a gorgeous long violet-white dress with custom-made sleeves that ended with gloves covering her hands. Her stunningly pretty strands of blonde hair were casually falling on her arms and back reaching down to her slim waist. When TG arrived, she was sitting in her favourite armchair, enjoying her afternoon tea while admiring the view of the breathtaking landscape. She was accompanied by Kip, so based on that TG guessed that Lady Gabriela was about to take care of some external affairs. The very moment he approached her she turned towards him and with a vast and warm smile on her face she asked:

"TG~? What is it~? It's... unusual to see you here at this hour. Did you miss me so much to come here~?" she giggled

"My Darling...Even tho I'm thrilled to see you, I am unfortunately forced to interrupt your break. An unusual situation has taken place in the food warehouse."

"Unusual?" she inquired. "Something went missing or...?"

"Not exactly, my love. An unidentified creature has appeared. We haven't seen it directly but all data on the incident is gathered here." When he handed the file on the case to the Lady he turned to Kip, and with a manly voice he said:

"One of the servants has taken part in the incident. You might want to check on her."

After that everyone remained silent, allowing Dame Gabriela to focus on perusing the documents and reports. When she finished, she put it on the table before her and smirked.

"My my... Indeed... It seems that we have a guest~ But this one is harmless... You guys just made a lot of unnecessary commotion but since it has already reached my ears I might as well deal with the case~"

Both TG and Kip nodded and slightly bowed to the lady, who stood up and soon after vanished in the swarm of golden butterflies. She could have used a spell distinguished by less splendour, but one very peculiar thing about her was that she had her style and she always chose things suiting it, even if they were ineffective and very impractical.

Her destination was obviously the place where the mishap arose. She stepped in through the front gate with the sound of the heels of her knee-high leather boots echoing round the food storehouse. The Lady looked around but everything seemed in order. The shelves were stacked...the floor was clean...nothing...not a single thing could possibly act as a sign of recent events. She kept strolling inside thinking about the way of luring the culprit out. It wasn't easy, but after a couple of minutes, she figured it out. All she needed was a pack of cookies and herself. Given that the maidservant reported that her first encounter with the subject was near the place where chocolate wafers were stored, the Dame headed there and begun to move countless boxes aside.

Not much time passed before the same terrifying roar that the maid heard reached the Dame's ears, but she already knew what she was dealing with. She kept moving the packages until she reached the one in the back row that was seemingly open. After carefully moving it aside a truly adorable sight unraveled before Gabriela's eyes. A lil' black puss with white paws was nomming on the cookies. It was clear that it was frightened and shivering and that it has come here looking for food, since it must have been starving given its figure.

The dame smiled at the trembling kitty and said:

"Evening to you Zia~ Long time no see... I think I have last seen you in the kitten's village... Strange to see you wandering here..."

The kitty, recognising the voice, curiously peeked out from her hideout and hopped right into Gabriela's arms.

"M-mew!" The adorable intruder meowed and purred

"Oh, Zia~ You lil' goof~ If you won't speak on your own I guess I have to make you" The Dame giggled and snapped her fingers.

Almost instantly, the cat transformed into a young girl. She looked as if she were in her early twenties, with her shoulder-length purple hair and dark clothing she would have this cyberpunk look, if not for the fact she was generally famished and her attire was very battered.

"Well then? What brings you to my Mansion, Zia?"

"M-mew..." the girl meowed again, but noticing the stern expression on the Dame's visage she finally tried to speak; "I-I...I..." The words came with much difficulty for her but she did her very best. "I had been banished...s-so...I had no choice but to keep wandering...looking for food and striving, endeavouring through all these hardships til' I reached here since I knew...w-well...I h-hoped...to find shelter here..."

"Hmmm...I see..." The Lady fell deep into thought, pondering on her next step. After a while, she spoke again with a very cheerful yet decisive note in her voice; "you may stay...but under one condition. You must accept it. Do you want to hear the terms?"

The kitten vigorously nodded. The rest of the story is... well, known to the whole mansion. Zia accepted the condition and joined the manor. She responds to the Dame herself only and is sovereign from the rest of the crew. Of course, the accident wasn't ignored. The Dame cast several magic spells that form a protective barrier that shields the whole area she's governing. In addition, all members of the staff, be it a servant or a guard have to pass the security breach training in case of a disaster. The kitty is now living in one of the rooms of the Palace where Lady Gabriela lives. As such, her home is basically a containment cell for her since she can't move around it without a guide. Fortunately, she managed to get accustomed to her new life and easily integrated with every single one of the mansion's inhabitants. On that day, the Dame's family has gained a new member and they lived and thrived through the daily hardships that were interrupted by moments of peace. Just yet another casual day in the spirit realm, guarded and defended by the most powerful of all the Yōkai. Dame Gabriela herself.

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♡ Duchess Gabriela ♡

Your casual neighbourhood girl, mostly occupied with story-writing and chemistry~ My biggest dream~? To have a substantial amount of forget-me-nots in my vicinity. ♥