A Short Message From Duchess Gabriela:
Heya Everyone! I'm truly sorry that you had to wait for the next chapter so long. I've been really busy with other things but the Mansion is back! And I promise to upload at least two chapters monthly. Additionally we're back with very special content. This episode is special because it is not written by me. I'm so excited to show you the wholesome work of unparalleled Alex! He was so kind to write this lil' story for me and it made me so happy that someone decided to give it a go!
The Mansion is a fictional setting created by me with few purposes in mind:
1) As a setting for RP
2) A setting for your fandom stories
3) To have fun
So I'd like to say it clearly, as long as you feel like writing anything or RP-ing in it, I am more than happy to give you all my blessings! After all, nothing means more for the author than the sight of people enjoying their work. As to this little story, as you will see when you reach the end of this chapter, it's unfinished. So as you might expect, there will be a sequel to it! (written by me this time). I hope you all enjoy his masterpiece and that you'll be looking forward to the follow-up! I shall deliver it to the blog soon! So once again, props to Alex for writing it and now without further ado; I hope you will have a great time reading it! I did, and I hope that will be the case for the lot of ya <3
This land seems green. Beautiful. Yet the clouds are grey. Dark grey. The wind is blowing leaves, covering the stone road in front of me.
A storm is coming. I better hurry. Judging by the rumours I gathered, I should be able to stay in that establishment. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a long night. It's not like I haven’t had those numerous times. But it’s always better to sleep dry than not sleep at all, wet in a cave somewhere. And I haven’t seen any caves around…But this is the life of the Ronin…
Roaming the world… looking for something… will I ever find it?
I feel tired…
I wonder what this duchess is like. Probably it’s best that I don’t meet her…haven’t found any decent royalty yet.
She could be mad with power, forgot her mortality. Making the poor serfs suffer. Seen that way too many times.
Or some born in noble child, that has been encaged in luxury all her life, bored of the attention that she gets for her title…a trapped soul like a genie, getting colder by the days, waiting for the bottle to shatter along with her inside.
Does it matter? No.
Better I don’t meet her.
But it’s good to have these thoughts. Times pass faster that way… makes travelling easier.
As I approached the gate, the wind was already blowing stronger. Two guards and their commander were already waiting for me in front of it, amour shining and looking well-fed. Holding their pikes with a strong grip. Probably saw me coming from the mansion towers. I sensed they didn’t like my mount - a komodo, with scales like a dragon.
"Hold there! What do you want?" The commander shouted.
I stopped, my face tired but serious.
"I’m looking for a place to stay for the night. I can pay. Don’t need much," I added sensing they might not need my money here.
"That thing you are riding. Looks dangerous. We haven’t seen such animals around. Can’t let it in!"
"It’s not from around here. And yes…it is dangerous." Better to be honest I thought. "But It’s tamed. It will behave. Plus I was told your duchess was hospitable. Are you going to turn away a weary traveller in this weather?"
The commander looked to the side, as if I struck a cord he didn’t want to hear. He thought he could just send me off and not bother with the troubles that I might bring.
"She is! Fine, you may come in, but if that thing does anything, we will put it down!"
I pushed the komodo forward, slowly moving between them. "If it tries anything I’ll put it down myself." I dismounted and looked him in the eyes as I said those words, giving him the notion that I mean it.
I started to prepare the lizard for his saddle-free evening while the gate was opening, taking some items from the packs strapped along its torso. Suddenly the commander put his hand on my shoulder and extended his other with its palm open.
"The swords stay with us. We will keep them safe for you."
Looking down at my hands; at the two katana swords that I just pulled out and was about to attach them to my belt. My face turned to him; "I can’t give them to you. You are asking way too much." My grip on the sheath got tighter, as I was about to be stripped from my means of defence.
The commander reached back for the handle of his weapon. "We all have something to defend…"
Fellow knight. I sense honour…maybe he could be trusted…but a single knight does not make a kingdom good. My eyes glanced at the servant that came through the open gate.
"Please, follow me!" He said. Well dressed fellow. Clean. The face seemed enthusiastic to see me…and the lizard…
They all seem taken care of. Maybe the duchess is noble… maybe I won’t face any danger here… Should I take the risk?... I’m so tired… deep breath… eyes closed… my hands slowly handed the swords to the commander, without a single word spoken. He understood - it was hard for me.
I was led to a stable where I had to tie my companion in its separate cage. Cruel, but the lizard didn’t mind, he sensed there would be food. Not the first time people treated him like a wild animal. But I always made sure he was well fed. Don’t want him eating some poor goat or worse - a poor human.
A few minutes later I was in a shack, near the mansion. The servant had shown me around my “home” and closed the door behind as it had already started raining outside.
Rough bed, a simple table with a chair, a lit fireplace in the corner with a pot, all the comforts that you need. I looked to the ceiling…the wood above my head seemed well maintained. Transparent oily coat to protect it from moisture…yet the room still had this damp smell. I smiled; it’s better than most places I’ve stayed in.
Reaching under my left arm, I started unstrapping the black armour that was on my body, making it loose before lifting it and placing it on the table. Then the armoured sleeves, the greaves, then eventually reaching into my hemp bag and pulling out the black samurai helmet - scaled, two horns on the sides and a petrifying metal mask. Everything placed in an orderly fashion, easy to put on in case of emergency.
I moved towards the fire, dropping my robe on the floor, letting the warmth touch my rough skin. I needed this for so long. A bath would have been wonderful…but again, I’m asking too much. My hand traced a few long scars on my muscular chest, as I gazed in the playing fire…
The Great Spirit Realm…heh...what's so special about these lands...
Did I make a mistake coming here? Will I burn tonight?
No…there is nothing left to burn in me.
My eyes stopped on a fork and a simple knife near the pot. “Civilization,” I smiled.
Took the knife and placed it near the bed as I laid down and closed my eyes...
You will give me comfort tonight. I don’t know these people.