Part 23: Decadus' Story: Everything is for YouDecadus' Story: Everything is for You
Would you sacrifice your life for me?
Those were the first words I received from my master, Lady Four. I remember every detail of that day. The expressions, the glimmer in her eyes, the way she stared at me, everything. Yet before Lady Four spoke, she stared at me as if she were looking at a strange creature. I wager seeing a disciple in person for the first time perplexed Lady Four greatly. Of course, I was well aware of my duties as a disciple. A disciple must constantly accompany his Intoner and meet her every demand. Disciples must protect their Intoner at all times and even throw themselves into fire or dive into the depths of the oceans if their Intoner desires it!
...Into fire. Fire... Such magnificent, blazing flames... Ungh.
Err... I mean... that was my understand of my duties. However, I was at a loss as to how to best serve Lady Four's desires at that time. It was our first meeting, after all. With all those thoughts floating through my mind, I did not immediately respond to Lady Four's inquiry. But she did not punish me for my hesitation. In fact, she continued as if she were the one to blame.
Oh, I'm sorry. That was inappropriate, wasn't it? Let me rephrase my question. Could you sacrifice yourself for an Intoner tasked with protecting the world? Could you sacrifice yourself for this world? It's not about me.
Of course, my lady. I, Decadus, shall bear any punishment, any torment, if you so wish it. Punishment... Such immaculate pain... Ungh.
Decadus? Are you all right?
Oh, pardon me. It's nothing. I'm quite all right, my lady.
I'm sure we can overcome any obstacle, no matter how difficult, with the two of us. I think that's why an Intoner is paired with a disciple.
...Oh, but don't take it the wrong way. I didn't mean anything weird with that "two of us" bit. I know there are those who misconstrue everything to mean something profane. My younger sister is a perfect example. Even if I...
I completely understand, my lady. I shall serve you in that regard to the best of my abilities, as well!
Yes. We disciples are also tasked with attending to an Intoner's nightly desires. But am I worthy enough to serve Lady Four in such matters? I am but a mere pebble, trash in the presence of her magnificence. Trash only worthy of being steeped on and kicked about... Kicked? Kicked... Ungh. How amazingly wonderful!
Th-That's not what I meant! Are you some kind of idiot!? I-I'm not like she is! E-Even if we are sisters, I'm not some simpleton whose only saving grace is her overdeveloped bosom! We're nothing alike! She only thinks with her skirt! That... that's right! It's what's on the inside that counts! I couldn't care less about physical attraction! Got it!?
Yes! My apologies, my lady!
I bowed before Lady Four and begged for forgiveness repeatedly. It's the least I could do, having caused her such undue stress.
A thousand apologies, my lady! Words do not suffice! I, Decadus, shall bear any punishment! Yes, any punishment whatsoever! You can kick and whip me to death if you so desire!
Kicking... and whipping... How exquisite... Uuungh.
Now, Lady Four, please dole out my punishment! Punish meee!
H-Hold on. Raise your face, Decadus. Look at me. Punishment? That's a little extreme, don't you think?
No, my lady! You are mistaken! To displeasure you, my master, is most unacceptable indiscretion! Now, be on with it!
That's enough! There will be no punishment!
None!? No kicking or whipping!? Postponing my punishment after all this is too much! Hm? Postponement? Oh! Can this be!? Is that it, Lady Four? Postponement! This is... such... such a delectable game!
Now, that's enough. Hey? Are you listening?!
Ah, Lady Four. Although this was our first meeting, you quenched my greatest desires as if we've known each other for ages! Oh, how blessed am I to be allowed to serve such an amazing Intoner as yourself.
Would you sacrifice your life for me?
Lady Four posed that same question to me a second time not long after she had been tasked with ruling over the Land of Mountains. We were to depart shortly on an excursion to slay some fiends. Although the despotic lords had been overthrown, the Land of Mountains was still littered with ferocious beasts roosting in every corner of the realm. The rugged terrain must be ideal for monsters to nest. It goes without saying that Lady Four could not sit idly by and let those fiends torment the people. She even volunteered to slay the monsters herself. However, the solders were much opposed to this. Their apprehension is well warranted, for what would we do if our precious Intoner were to be injured?
Thank you for your concern. But I'll be fine. I have the power of my song and a disciple to protect me.
Lady Four turned to face me just as she had smiled at the soldiers. And then she asked me that question again.
Would you sacrifice your life for me?
I knew she asked this time in order to assuage the soldiers' fears. This was to be expected of my lady, and I understood all too well.
But of course! I, Decadus, shall protect you from all my might! No mater what fiend may cross our path, I shall be your wall, a shield to protect you... Yes, a shield... to be slashed and pierced by the sharpest of blades... Nnngh...
For a moment, I though Lady Four had frowned. Perhaps I was not clear. Believing that my words had not been enough to quell the undercurrent of worry concerning my lady's well-being, I continued:
I shall take on any role to protect you, Lady Four. From a shield to protect you against any assault, gloves to keep you warm, boots to traverse any terrain, or even the soles of your boots! There is nothing I would not do!
That's a little extreme...
It sounded as though Lady Four was not pleased with the proposition of me becoming the soles of her boots.
The monsters had frequently been spotted along a steep and treacherous mountain path, where landslides and rock falls were common. Suffice it to say, this made our trek an interesting one. It appears that the old lords gave no consideration to improving the comfort or safety of their subjects.
I think we need to have the soldiers improve the roads in this land. Neither the old nor the young would be fit enough to navigate this area. Have the solders go on patrols routinely. Oh, but make sure to leave the path leading to the shrine overrun with vegetation and difficult to traverse. That should prevent it from receiving any unwelcome guests.
Lady Four came up with various plans to improve the Land of Mountains as she observed the terrain while on our journey to eradicate fiends. The well-being of her subjects is always on her mind. Lady Four has unparallelled skill as a ruler.
<stops and shrugs> But you know... You really have to hand it to those old rulers. I mean, the way they could just neglect the land to this point is unbelievable.
What is it? Is something wrong, Decadus?
U-Uh, it's nothing.
Lady Four looked perplexed but said nothing more. Before she had a chance to consider the matter further, monsters jumped at us and we were quickly thrust into battle. I protected Lady Four just as I had sworn to the soldiers. Though in this case, I was able to act as Lady Four's sword as well as her shield, as I slew my fair share of the fiendish horde.
I have to admit that I am not skilled with swords. Instead, I excel in hand-to-hand combat, preferring to use my fists and kicks to dispatch my foes. The benefit to using one's body as a weapon in close quarters combat comes down to the direct feedback received when landing a blow, making it easier to gauge how much damage you have inflicted, unlike with swords and spears. The same can be said of the impact you feel yourself. A wild sensation ripples from the back of your hand to your brain with every punch... The intense pain you feel with every jab or kick, especially against powerful foes... Take pummeling the rock-hard body of a golem for instance. The pain in my hands is... is... Aaahhh! Just thinking about it... I... I can't...!
You seem to be enjoying yourself, Decadus.
There is no greater pleasure than to be able to protect you with my life, Lady Four! Yes, even if my body were to be torn to pieces protecting you... Torn to pieces... Ungh. It's absolutely delectable~
Really? Weren't you saying something about your hands hurting?
Wh-What?! My hands? H-How did you--
Try to be quiet when you talk to yourself, okay?
Lady Four's words seemed eerily cold.
I feel as though Lady Four speaks to me less than ever since that excursion. Her eyes seem colder now, as if they're full of disdain. It's not that I'm complaining. Oh no, it's actually quite the opposite. Those chilly eyes! Her piercing glares! Piercing... Oh, how they pierce... Ungh. It's enthralling. It's amazing how she can punish me so without laying so much as a finger on me... What... what luscious play!
Oh, ahem. Getting back to my point, I think Lady Four averts her eyes from me. Or could it just be my imagination? Never mind. It couldn't possibly be a figment of my imagination. Lady Four said it herself when we first met. It's what's on the inside that counts. Therefore, Lady Four wishes for me to become a disciple capable of understanding her intuitively, even if we do not clearly exchange words or make eye contact. I would be a complete failure as a disciple if I were not able to understand her wishes.
Lady Four acts as though she is alone even when I accompany her. This is to be expected. Disciples are essentially an Intoner's shadow, nothing more. I must crawl on the ground and be stepped on... like a shadow...!? A shadow to be stomped on... Nnngh. Ah, Lady Four, how is it that you understand my greatest desires so easily? The joy it brings me to serve such a perfect master such as yourself. The pleasure can be absolutely frightful!
Would you sacrifice your life for me?
The third time she asked me that question was just the other day. It was the first time she had directly addressed me in some time. Words are unnecessary now. My life is yours, my lady. I exist solely for you.
But of course! I would endure any torment, any punshiment... to the death for you! To the death...! Nnngh.
Lady Four gave a curt reply and turned her back to me. I thought I heard her say, "Then die." But it did not sound like Lady Four's voice. It was too low to be hers. And it was the first time I had heard that voice. Maybe I imagined things. Or maybe I mistook the creaking of the door hinges for a voice. The door is quite old. I should lubricate the hinges before Lady Four awakens tomorrow.
I face the door that had made the sounds and bow.
Good night, Lady Four. Sweet dreams...
Then I sat down in front of the door, keeping guard. This is where I usually rest.
Not only is this door old and poorly made, but the soundproofing is also shoddy. How could I put it? You can hear every sound coming out of the room. It's especially noticeable in the middle of the night when it's absolutely quiet. I can hear the sheets moving or Lady Four's breathing as I sit on my heels in front of this paper-think door. A sense of guilt would overcome me whenever I heard Lady Four talking in her sleep, like when she called out for her sisters.
Some of the soldiers go on with their insolent gossip about how...
She's clearly trying to entice him. She has to be seducing him, right?
They are absolutely mistaken! That is not the case! Having me sit in front of such a flimsy door that could easily be kicked down, one without a lock no less, is by no means seduction. She simply has me sit outside for a purpose and with easy access to the room. Furthermore, she has me sit on my heels on this cold, hard floor. My legs eventually go numb and I lose all feeling in them on this cold floor... Every once in a while I hear some moaning and rumbling of the sheets from the room. Oh, what fantastic... magnificent... frustration! Oh, how I love to be frustrated! Such delectable... pleasure!
Shortly after I began serving Lady Four, I would indulge myself in hours of self-pleasure delusions of her trampling me with the soles of her boots or tearing me apart with her long, sharp nails. But looking back on those days now, I see how shallow I was. Boots? Nails? Such things are meaningless to Lady Four and me. Lady Four needs no such tools in order to punish me... to please me. That's it! This is what she must have meant about "overcoming any obstacle with two of us"! We have formed a mystical bond!
This insatiable urge continues even though we never caress, never touch one another. No... no, it is because we never caress that this feeling continues! My body burns with the growing excitement, the continued frustration, the neglect... If only time would stand still, this sensation would continue for eternity... Oh, just the thought... Aaahhh... I-I can't... Aaahhh! Oh, what... what magnificent... games! What a supreme game! No, that's not it! This is pleasure! Sitting here and doing nothing is pleasure incarnate!
Truly, there could be no greater bliss!