Morning arrived, but my eyes wouldn't open.
I was in the classroom again. You know the one, with the kids just chatting away like it was lunchtime and the substitute teacher attempting to get the class under control.
The Head Teacher would just be inconvenient.
So I screamed at them to shut up, a scream so loud that it must have come from the very abyss of my soul. A scream so loud that it rocked the entire school.
Everyone else was quiet for a bit, but then one kid turned around and replied:
"You shut up."
That spurned a wave of other kids telling other kids telling other kids to shut up.
If there was any drama from that time, I didn't remember any. I was too busy crying my eyes out waiting for middle school to end. Nothing changed except for more bullies, an anti-bullying campaign and a medal to reward my victimhood.
I opened my eyes to see Teia awake beside me wearing a plain wool maid's dress.
As far as I could tell, she had gotten in the way of my arms while I had turned over in my sleep. Naturally, the only real way to deal with this is for both parties to be embarrassed to the point of paralysis.
"Master Ash… are you awake ye-" Diana, garbed in a similar dress to Teia, stopped in the doorway.
"Teia!" Diana scolded, "Why were you in the Master's bed!"
"—I-I-I-I-" Teia stammered, struggling to find her reasoning.
"I woke her up when I woke up a few seconds ago."
"Master Ash, forgive me, but I was asking why she is in your bed."
"So she must have fallen asleep in my bed after…" I stopped for a moment, trying to piece together what could have happened last night.
"She did. What happened between you last night!"
"I only woke up now so-"
Diana wasn't having any of it. "Then it is Teia's fault, not yours. Come along now, dear sister. We must prepare the Master's breakfast."
Teia simply nodded as brushed down her dress, glancing back at me as she left the room.
Diana then turned to me with a piece of folded paper in her hand. "Master Ash, Lady Seraien asked me to give you this."
I studied it as they left the room.
I don't think I'll be able to talk much with you these next couple of days.
If you want to ask me something, write on the back of this paper and get one of your new maids (*wink wink* Diana *wink wink*) to give it to me.
One thing about sucking blood that I COMPLETELY forgot to talk about.
Try to avoid sucking on a daily basis. Everyone uses blood at their own rate so try to use the time we have to understand how much you use.
If you really need a pick-me-up though, like I saw your body lying on the bed with Teia cuddled up adorably next to you, then don't forget to tell me what you did.
For research purposes of course.
Mister FBI-san, if this turns out like they're thinking it might turn out, then please send Inks to jail too.
The second day of training involved horseback riding. My ass hurts. That is all.
The third day was cancelled in due part to that tournament that I had been invited to. Instead, Herzt told me to stay in the stands and just watch people fight in the dirt. I have no idea what's so fun about all of this, but they were having fun getting pummeled into the dirt. I don't get this. It was a boring day and I think I'd prefer to just sit and learn how to do some magic, although Herzt would just drag me out and I'd have to participate in the tournament while stuffed in the Rust Bucket.
The fourth involved field work with the company's druid Gareth. The druiding was sort of interesting, but I wouldn't consider Gareth as being much for conversation outside of his backstory. Apparently he was a Adept of Thunder and his proficiency in lightning spells was renowned throughout Erztein Castle, but thick, dry underbrush wasn't much of a time to be using lightning on account of the fire hazard and he had a heavy 'Spirits of the Forest' feel to him. He also could complain about how mundane fire had become and some of his quotes included "It's normal for animals to eat raw meat so I don't see how Pestials are much different." The guy was weird.
The Fifth was a Sunday. Religion didn't exactly function here in the same way it did back home due to one worldbuilding absurdity. The Divine Right of Kings, where the King was directly chosen by a god to lead the people, was very real and very potent. Vladimir von Erztein was, quite literally, the vessel of Artemis, the Ancient Greek Goddess of the Deep Woods. As King, he was responsible for the power bestowed upon him and God's Old Followers, in this case a druidic order where people like Gareth had come from. Shrines to other gods were allowed under "Jure Vampyr e Daemon", the Demon/Vampire book of Law, provided that they did not exceed the size of the local well and that idols were not comparable to the King's Throne.
Naturally, as part of my duty to the King, I had to sit through about four hours of more Gareth and the old stories of the Druids of Artemis, who were all variations of Gareth and the faith generally peddled an idealized coexistence with nature, with Hell being a variation on that same woodland turning on you the instant you stray from the Goat's Path.
As a non-theist, consider myself not exactly convinced by it. Still, I had to bear with it for those long hours.
The sun set over the woodlands, but there was a dusk wake to be had. This involved a lot of booze, local Pestial women, and Vampires being Vampires. I snuck out from all this to just head back to my room to sleep, only to find Diana standing in the middle of the hallway awaiting my return.
"Master Ash, Lady Ser-ser…" She started, trying and failing to pronounce Seraien.
"Ser-ai-en, although she doesn't mind if you call her Inks."
"H-how could I do such a thing! To call a Lady of her stature would be completely out of bounds!"
"Oh, okay. I assume that you're working on saying Lady Seraien then?"
"Yes, Master Ash."
"In that case my actual name is Amai'ishi Satoshi, but due to how last names work around here it's more along the lines of Satoshi Amai'ishi."
You could almost pinpoint the moment her brain gave up.
"Don't worry, I'm just messing with you. Master Ash is fine. In any case, why were you outside my room?"
"I was waiting on you, Master. Please come in."
There wasn't anyone else in the room and nothing seemed out of place except for the solitary Diana sitting on the bed, her right shoulder illuminated by candlelight.
"Please sit, Master Ash." She said with a betraying quiver, although it sounded more like a quiver of inexperience than actual fear.
Oh, I need to drink too.
Diana undid the top of her dress, sliding it down to reveal her left shoulder.
Steadying her with my hand around her waist, I placed my mouth on her soft flesh and drank.
Diana grimaced in pain, unable to fully support herself. She sank into my lap before curling her fingers through my free hand, breathing heavily like she did with Inks.
As I stopped drinking, she slumped into me, her breath slowing down from the brief intimacy. Diana tasted like some kind of sweet tea, not in the usual sweetener sort of way, but an earthy, root-like aftertaste.
Lowering her onto the bed, I-
I retreated from her, the thought piercing my every thought.
"It's fine, it's just… I kind of want to stop here."
"Master Ash… I understand."
"Yes Master Ash?"
"You mind if I just lie beside you for a while?"
"Of course, Master Ash." She said, shuffling over.
I lay with Diana on the covers in complete silence.
I want to sleep. I really should just sleep.
It's kind of cold.
I got up off the bed quietly to try to tuck myself underneath the covers, but Diana was already deep in sleep a few inches away from me, weighing down the covers on this side. I could easily go around the other side, but she might catch a cold if she just lies here like this.
I need to get her under the covers, although…
Shit, she's way cuter when she's sleeping.
Getting her body underneath the covers was probably going to be the toughest question on the Isekai exam.
Personally, I chose to go with getting her feet under the covers first, pushing the bottom corner of the covers past her human feet and then getting as much room away from her tail and stomach to get as much leverage as I could to pull the covers under her wings and head.
This way, I'd not have to really deal with being close to her face. I did have to manually make sure some of her feathers didn't get caught, but I managed to get her under the covers.
Getting under the covers myself, I managed to get some sleep.
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