The Chronicles of Yōkai Dame Gabriela's mansion Chapter Zero: "The Staff"

Novella Feb 27, 2021

Preface

Dear reader,

I have the great pleasure of presenting you with the following series of short stories from the universe of Yōkai Dame Gabriela's mansion!  But before that, I'd like to write a few words about its origins and help you understand the most basic things if you aren't up to date with them already!  The whole Chapter Zero will be dedicated to the explanation of everyone's roles and the stories' background.

The whole thing started very casually with me getting close to one of the ex-members of the EF Welcome Committee~  I must say that back then I didn't expect it to escalate at such a pace and to this scale.

Something that started with two people and an idea: I was still a fairly new user on EF, but my RP was decent enough to have a 6-hour match with Valeria~  At the end of this astonishing RP, she won the right to propose to me (Obviously, everything here's a role play).  Not long after I finally had an opportunity to play with marvellous and deft at writing Countess Sasha~  Despite losing the match, we both enjoyed ourselves so much that we stayed in touch ever since.  She even pulled me into the writing team, to work on the Hentai Branch of the Chyoa Story!

But that didn't stop there.  After a seemingly peaceful period, I started to expand my circle of acquaintances and friends~  It was burgeoning fast enough to grow by the overwhelming amount!  Some of them joined me as my lovers or pets~  I must say I cherish every single one of them since they're my close friends and I'm happy I can write about something we made together!

When it comes to my expectations from the project, I hope that you will find it to your liking and that you will enjoy the story~  All of the dark, mysterious moments as well as the happy, maybe even romantic moments you'll find here.  I'd also like this work to be an encouragement for all of you to go with the current and try new things!  Maybe something amazing will be born from it!  If you have doubts, hopefully you'll find support in your close friends, just like I did.

Lastly, before I proceed further I'd like to thank all of the people who were supporting me in the tough times when I had doubts or was feeling down.  Without you, I wouldn't be here the way I am and this piece would probably never be written.  I hope you can stay the way you are since there is no way friends like you can be replaced.  Ever.

I'd like to dedicate this specific chapter to Tim and Sasha.  You two helped me when I was making my first steps on EF and I hope that you will enjoy witnessing the first chapters of this new series.

XoXo ♡ Yōkai Dame Gabriela ♡

CHAPTER ZERO

The Chronicle, which you're currently reading, serves as a record of all the events concerning the mansion's inhabitants.  These are strictly confidential and shan't be shared under any circumstance without the Dame's direct authorisation.

Amid the misty mountains of the Spirit Realm, there's a vast mansion, hidden from the sight of passersby.  Protected by gargantuan summits, it's a perfect place to build a mansion in which one can lead a life free of any disturbances. In addition, the calm murmur of the stream, forcing its way through sturdy rocks and beautiful and various flora and fauna made it a very enticing place to live.

The mansion itself has an area of 60 hectares and covers almost the whole valley with numerous pavilions, palaces and gardens standing out from the natural landscape, but somehow still remaining in a feeble state of equilibrium with their surroundings.  The residence itself is divided into 5 districts.  On the South, near the main gate and with a road directly leading to the mountain passage – the only way to make it to the manor through via usual means – there lies a large sector comprised of a network of roads used for communication between the disparate parts of the mansion.  The manor is cross-shaped and despite being visited frequently remains clean and in perfect condition, thanks to the outstanding work of the mansion's staff.

If you move to the East and then go back South, you'll find yourself in the Servant's quarters.  That vast piece of land is inhabited by, as the name indicates, all the maids OwO, butlers, cooks and fundamentally everyone who can be considered an employee here.  In charge of the facility is none other than the best-of-the-best menservants, who was specifically brought here by the Dame Herself, Head Butler Kip.  He has many duties so as such, he can't take care of every single matter going in the mansion.  Fortunately, all the matters relating to maids and their duties are taken care of by Head Maid Ramona.  Her unparalleled skills in the management of all the daily affairs of the manor have been proven irreplaceable countless times and her stern hand has helped to bring order into the mansion.

Apart from these two, other important individuals who live in the servant quarters are two young Apprentice Maids, Yami and Caitlyn.  Some say these two are involved in some sort of romantic relationship but don't be fooled by all the rumours and flirting in the broad daylight.  'Cause they really are together.  Those 2 often tend to the Dame's requests and as such are a crucial part of the staff.  One of these requests concerned room 14-A in the southern-wing of the vast pavilion where all the guests are accommodated.  Apparently, there was some spacial anomaly there and the room served as a passage to the Realm where humans live.  After briefly taking a look at the issue the two didn't find anything suspicious at first; until they tried to leave the aforementioned room that is.  When they opened the door they noticed that they weren't in the mansion anymore...instead, they were standing inside something that seemed like a restaurant or at least a place where food and drinks are served.  Numerous cooking utensils and booth seats looked weirdly similar to these in the servant's dining room.  When the two wondered outside the restaurant they discovered that the mysterious place they managed to get to was located in a plain valley that, well...clearly looked like one of these paintings they had seen in the mansion.  Knowing that they travelled to the Middle Realm (the Realm of humans) they quickly ventured inside only to have a very unusual encounter.

As soon as they have reentered the restaurant, they heard a very radiant voice from behind the bar:
"Welcome to Cottontail Café!  What can I serve you today?" - that question, posed by some unknown stranger, was left to hang in the air as the two remained cautiously silent, before the source of the question stood up and showed themself.  A very adorable bunny maid appeared before Yami and Caitlyn.  The two, of course, readily took up on the offer.  When they returned, by reentering room 14-A, they have reported their findings to the Dame.  After examining the issue, the Lady of the Mansion estimated the spacial anomaly was neither dangerous nor threatening the balance between the two realms.  Nonetheless, in order to oversee the multidimensional-breach, the Dame decided to hire the Bunny maid who's now working at the mansion.  The mysterious Cottontail Café still appears in the human world from time to time but none of its guests managed to get into the Spirit Realm.  Apparently, only its inhabitants may use it to pass the barrier between the two worlds.

If you continue your journey and move to the North, from the Servant's Quarters, you'll find yourself in the Emperor's District.  It's a place where all the relatives of the Dame live and where some important facilities such as the Doctor's surgery are located.  In its centre, there are private quarters of the Dame's First Wife, Valeria.  As the wife with the most authority in the mansion, she's responsible for managing the Dame's family issues and overseeing daily stuff in the mansion such as organising parties and other events.

A bit to the west from Valeria's house, there's a place where the Dame's Second Wife, Sasha lives.  You will certainly be able to tell which one is it since its style and overall look stand out a lot from its surroundings.  After all, you don't get to see buildings looking like the eighteenth-century noble's Palace too often.  The Countess (that's both her title and nickname) is in charge of the finances of the mansion and she's also responsible for managing all the staff.  Given that, she's spending a lot of time With Kip and Ramona, since their duties and responsibilities align.  Besides that, she's also the one who assigns different tasks to Weiss Schnee and Marko, accordingly 3rd and 4th wives of the Dame.  These two have no precise duties and therefore are often wandering the alleys of the mansion, involving in a vast variety of activities that aren't always in accordance with what one could call "common sense".  Despite that, they're both charming and the Dame cherishes them a lot.

On the other side of the Emperor's district, there's a small villa-like building occupied by TG; the Dame's one and only Husband.  These two are deeply in love with each other and their long poetic exchanges of compliments, sometimes take so long that one could say that it will never end.  He's usually in his study, taking care of urgent matters regarding the security of the mansion.  He's also serving the Dame with his counsel whenever she needs one since he's her personal aide.  Additionally, he oversees the Cherry Blossoms Pavilion, in which all lovers of the Dame are accommodated.

In the past, the Dame used to have more of them, but as of now, only two people live there.  Their duties are classified and known only to TG and the Dame herself, but there's a swarm of rumours regarding that.  Some of them sound convincing and some sound like utter rubbish and random conjectures.  What is known though, is that JayJay, the first of the two is well-versed in many matters regarding one of the sub-dimensions of the Spirit Realm and mansion's affairs as well.  On the counterpart, we have Shiky, who is constantly writing mysterious documents for the Dame in some foreign language...the contents and purpose of which are completely unknown.

Finally, there's a clinic that can be easily found, since it's standing out from the overall landscape full of palaces, villas and other extraordinary buildings.  The Doctor in charge of it, Clara, is very deft and experienced in taking care of every single person in the mansion.  Even though the Dame is able to cure herself, other members don't have such powers so her presence is necessary and the Lady of the Mansion doesn't hold back in her generous donations to this medical facility.  Besides tending to the sick, Clara's also part of the mysterious research team, that tries to examine and conduct different experiments on objects, living beings and relics found by the Dame.  It's a very dangerous occupation since all these items and creatures are anomalies that somehow influenced the equilibrium between the two worlds or defied their laws.

The remaining part of the mansion is either closed to the public or belongs to the Dame, who occupies the large establishment that overwhelms everyone who sees it for the first time with its splendour and vast size.  In order to get inside, you need to pass several security checks or use one of the Dame's inter-dimensional gates.  The place itself has many mysteries since its layout changes according to the whims of its owner and numerous protective spells prevent intruders from successfully penetrating the rooms and hallways.  Those few that actually managed to get inside, all claim different things about the way the interior looks.  Also, due to the Lady's powers, the time inside her Palace flows so slowly that it is almost completely stopped compared to the time-flow outside.

Because of all of that, it's the Mistress of the Manor who pays visits to its residents.  Not the other way.  It is also believed that such a state of things is caused by her personal preference and the fact that all the staff are her precious subjects about whom she cares so much.

And so the life in the mansion slowly goes on...with all its down and upsides.  With its peaceful periods between anomalous occurrences that threaten the balance of the world.  Well, maybe those occurrences aren't that serious all the time, but still, the residents certainly can't complain about being bored, awaiting the next adventure that's looming around the corner.

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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. ♥