Having cried out her tears of worry the Head Priest had sent her with the Head Miko’s priestesses to clean off the summon ritual paints. Much to her surprise she was escorted into the Head Miko’s private bathing area and pampered with being cleaned by their hands. She was laying on her front as a pair of them worked on her back. With nothing else to do but think she kept trying to distract herself.
She felt embarrassed to have this done for her, but at the same time, she felt good that she hadn’t been sent back to the girls bathing area. At this time of day, some of the girls who had been sent on duties out in the town would be returning and so she avoided their looks and stares. Also, the amount of time she had been laying here being cleaned would have tired her out before she even finished scrubbing.
She already had enough stares and looks to deal with on exiting, no doubt plenty of rumors abounding the temple about the robed man no one saw entering the shrine walking out with distraught, teary-eyed. and half-naked miko walking out shortly after. It almost made her begin to tear up at the thought of the rumors no doubt staining her reputation, the other girls would probably add harlot to their list of insults about her now.
“Please keep your head leaning forward just a little more, Lady Emiyo.”
One of the Priestesses interrupted her thoughts and she laid her head back down as she felt a washcloth scrubbing along her back. The pair had now changed with a fresh set of hands to continue the cleaning. Another was diligently scrubbing along her leg, the paint having done too good a job of sticking to her skin and was smearing quite badly before it was washing away. After all the worrying about smearing before the ceremony, and now the paint was being very difficult to remove.
She jumped as the cloth brushed up close to her lower lips, tickling her and making her jump slightly. The tingle sending shivers up her body as she tried to hide her blush, though the ladies seemed not to mind or care about her self inflicted shame.
“My apologies, Lady.”
These women had changed some of their attitudes around her, becoming more respectful and calling her Lady instead of Miko. She was now the conduit of the Hero, a position that seemed to be placed second to the Head Priest and Head Miko, and this now earned her a place to enjoy things that only those at the top could. Perhaps she could have found some enjoyment from this. If only the hero wasn’t the lustful monster that raped her mother…
She sighed and closed her eyes, letting them work to clean off all the paints they had painted all over her body. It was taking almost as long to remove as it had been to put on. Though she was finding she didn’t mind all that much anymore, it prolonged the time she would have before dealing with the hero again. Perhaps her last chance to relax and have a moment to her own thoughts without the monster being close by.
Her virginity was now the only thing keeping that beast under control, demon lord couldn’t be trusted, the second he got his full power he’d probably take over the kingdom again. The overwhelming pressure seemed unfair that the one thing she had just started to discover as a weakness of her body was now such that if she failed to guard against it could spell disaster for the entire world. And not even her teacher believed she could hold out for long…
It cut deep but at the same time, she realized that he had good reason to not believe it. She was a young girl who barely knew anything about sex, and the demon lord had thousands of years of experience to make girls like her fall for him. She ground her teeth in frustration of it all.
“I’m sorry, Lady, did that hurt?”
Opening her eyes she looked down at the concerned Priestess and shook her head, blushing deeply.
“No, I was just thinking… about- um. Things.”
The Priestess returned to her work and gave Emiyo a quick smile.
“Ahh to be young again. The Hero is very handsome, isn’t he?”
“Yes… He is…”
“I’m sure you will be very happy if he decides to stay in our world.”
She looked at the priestess with confusion before the comment dawned on her. Her cheeks and most of her upper body reddened even more as she understood the comment. That was the last thing she wanted to think about! If only that was simply the case. What would this priestess think if she knew that lying with the hero meant awakening the full power of a demon lord?
Closing her eyes again, Emiyo tried to focus on something more pleasing, trying to take her mind off the hero. Quietly reciting the litanies in her head, her mouth moving with the words as she meditated and relaxed her body. The massaging of the washcloths was starting to feel nice as her skin was buffed and polished clean bit by bit.
She didn’t know how long she stayed in there being cleaned from back to front when she was finally released the outside windows were darkening with the onset of sunset impending. They had pampered her with their cleaning and then prepared her with lotions, perfume, and makeup before dressing her in a Hero Attendant’s Kimono. Shivering a little as she adjusted her obi. Feeling much less exposed now that more cloth was covering her, and yet she felt very vulnerable wearing this outfit.
It was a white silk Shiromuku covered with an Uchikake, made of light red coloring and accented with drops of golden strips that lined the openings, but it strayed heavily on the transparent side of things with the entirety of the doura, ushiromigoro, and sodes. Even with woven blue and gold pattern throughout the Uchikakae, her figure was out on display when any light greater than a side room torch shone through the silken robes. The one saving factor was that the shiromuku was solid white if very form-fitting. [1 Author Note: For anyone wondering, a Shiromuku is a traditional Kimono usually worn by a bride. The Uchikake is sort of an overcoat the bride also wears.]
She couldn’t hide the blush on her cheeks as she walked down the halls of the temple toward the Hero’s Quarters on the far side of the temple. For once she found a traditional moment she wished she could pass on, this was going way too far in her mind. Any other hero she might have hesitated only a little, it was only from the pressure of the priestesses and the weight of tradition behind this that kept her from refusing to wear this outfit at all.
The Head Priest had left word for her to come here as soon as she was done. She could feel the stares of every person she walked past. From half-naked painted on Miko, to wearing this outfit she was starting to feel that perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing that she would have to leave the temple for a while. Not that the rumors about her would stop. Maybe she could do like her mother and become a traveling demon hunter, never set foot in the temple except when she was called by the Head Miko.
Standing at the doors she knocked softly, quite surprised as the door opened almost immediately, she shivered as she greeted by the Demon Lord standing before her. He smiled looking her over, she could almost feel his eyes tugging on her clothing, swore she could feel him pulling her uraeri open to expose her chest. Her breathing quickened as she looked back at him, caught between running for her life and screaming for help.
He was dressed in a black kimono and hakama, looking quite striking on top of his normal handsomeness. His hair seemed to have been cleaned and combed and his facial hair trimmed so that he seemed less wild than before, though no less dangerous. She wondered if he had chosen his outfit on purpose of if it was merely coincidence they wore contrasting colors.
There was a chuckle from his lips as he gave her a slight bow and spread his arm in a slow gesture into the doorway. His movements were graceful and strong as a dragon, smooth as liquid, like he had practiced such things for decades.
“Please, My Lady, come inside and join me. I’ve been told they should be sending us food to eat together since we both missed out on the dinner hour earlier. The Head Priest will be joining us shortly.”
“Thank you, Lord Hero.”
She wanted to wait outside, she even wanted to tell him so but she couldn’t. Her mind trying to stop her feet as she curtsied and automatically walked into his room. He left the door open, much to her surprise, and escorted her into the room leading her toward a set of cushions by a dinner table. He didn’t touch her, though his hands hovered over her body, letting her feel the heat from his palms hovering just over her lower back.
She took a glance around the room while he adjusted the cushions for her to kneel down on. The room was just slightly more ornate than the rest of the temple. Designed for a hero to stay during a visit to the temple it was designed to be almost a separate as it’s own house. The place was separated by several screens throughout the main room, though he had moved most of them to the sides leaving the area much more open.
A large futon was tucked up in the rear left corner was close by a door that most likely led to the private bath. A desk was centered along that same wall, with bookcases lining either side of it. On the opposite wall was a closet filled with clothing for any hero of shape and size, and near that was a dummy stand for practicing hand to hand and a small stand to house weapons and shields that the hero might be carrying with him.
“May I help you sit down, My Lady?”
She looked at him with surprise, his voice was steady and his eyes seemed to hide nothing behind them with his statement. Her suspicions rose but she could find no reason to deny him as long as he did nothing more. She gave a slight nod and leaned closer to his hand as it brushed her lower back.
He helped her kneel down at the table, his movements easy and surprisingly noninvasive as he let her go as soon as she was settled in. She gave him a strange look to which he smirked softly and took his place on the side of the table to her right. He looked at her again, making her tremble as his eyes seemed to pierce into her.
“You are wondering why I’m being so nice, aren’t you? Why I’m not trying to rape you?”
His voice was blunt and to the point, she coughed and blushed a moment before managing to gather her thoughts and looking back at him with determination.
“The thought was crossing my mind why you aren’t trying to seduce me.”
He laughed and leaned up against the table.
“Who is to say everything I do isn’t toward the goal of seduction? Seduction is a very refined skill, it isn’t so crass as to beat someone down with it. Only a fool believes that seduction is guilting someone, making them feel bad, or coercing them into doing something you want. Oh, no.. that kind of seduction does nothing for me. Rather literally.”
She tilted her head at his seemingly easy confession, feeling a bit confused at his comments.
“Then what was all that earlier?”
“That was just me having fun with a virgin girl who just learned that sex can feel really good. Simple teasing and pushing buttons to make you squirm a little. I enjoyed every moment, and I think you did too… Deep deep down.”
She could feel the heat rising in her cheeks, she would never admit to such a thing, especially not in front of him. Somehow he just smiled all the more as she remained quiet like he knew what she was thinking. She swallowed and tried to change the subject.
“Why does it do nothing for you?”
“For the simple reason that I am the Demon Lord of Domination.”
“I don’t get it.”
He chuckled again, looking at her with a smile that made her feel like a prey he was calculating on how to catch and eat. Which was probably very real. The problem for her was that it was making parts of her get warm and excited in ways she didn’t want to think about right now.
“Domination requires submission to feed upon. It is the only thing that makes me stronger, any act that someone shows submission to someone else gives just a tiny bit of power to grow with. The greater the submission the more power I can feed on. Those methods people call seduction, those do not inspire real submission, instead, it is merely surrendering to avoid a greater wearing down on the mind and body.
“You can bully someone into submission, but that is extremely shallow, a survival ploy to stop the bullying. Often it breeds resentment and hatred and that is not domination but a tyranny over the weak. It encourages rebellion and strife and does nothing but wear down a person.
“You can attack them emotionally, guilt them into doing what you want. Again that is not submission but surrendering for survival. It is not domination but manipulation and it breeds resentment, anger, and envy. It wears down the used until there is nothing left and they lash out with the remaining emotions they have against their abuser.
“You can coerce or blackmail someone, but again submission is nowhere to be found. It is on the level of betrayal and it does nothing be leeches off the usee, and the worst of the three for this thing is a parasite that has nothing in it save the goal of devouring everything it gets its hands on.”
She sat there listening to him, the edge in his voice as he talked as if such things disgusted him gave her pause in her thoughts. Well that only meant he cared about what way he was feeding, these ways didn’t do anything for him, so why shouldn’t he be repulsed by them? Could someone evil not find certain evils just as repugnant as a normal human being?
“So what do you consider real domination?”
He chuckled and drew himself up looking into her eyes with a dark grin on his face. She trembled inside seeing that look in his eyes, hungry, almost sadistic look that demanded something from her and she didn’t know what it was though she could almost feel it.
“My Lady, the real question is, ‘What do I consider submission?’”
She waited for his answer but a knock at the entrance killed the moment as one of the kitchen staff poked his head in and called out to them.
“My Lord Hero, Lady Miko, we have your food prepared.”