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by David
Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Fantasy · #2313426
His body healed, but with winter coming the hunt waits.
Dar’mont’s strength renewed with each passing day. Yet as winter loomed, he knew he would no longer be able to leave. He knew traveling ill prepared in the midst of winter is a bad idea set to be wrought with disaster. He resigned himself to staying until the thaw. He took Kisera’s axe and walked out to the forest.

Kisera walked over to the door and watched Dar’mont walk into the forest. Her finger tracing along the lip of her mug, her eyes lingering on Dar’mont as he goes to cut some firewood before the snow came. She licked her lips subconsciously. Admiring his strong arms as he swung the axe to fell a tree. She longed to feel his arms around her, to feel his breath against her. She wanted to feel his rippling muscles, he was very toned, even after all these months. He pulled his shirt off, the sweat beading across his back. Her eyes lingering over the muscles flexing with each swing. His back was laced with more scars than Kisera had ever seen before. She slowly walked over to Dar’mont, the scarring on his back becoming more prominent, rising above the muscles of his back. When she got closer, she ran her fingers across the scars of his back.

He dropped the axe and spun quickly grabbing Kisera’s hand when he felt her fingers on his back. “Don’t touch me,” he snarled before releasing her from his grip.

She looked at him with sadness in her eyes and voice. “Katrina couldn’t heal your lashes?”

He looked away at the sound of her name, his voice got caught in his throat, before cracking as he spoke. “She did heal me the first couple of canings, but then they became more severe so I made her stop so she would not get in trouble with the temple or the elders because of me.”

Kisera sighed deeply. “You know she loved you and cared not for the trouble it may have caused. She was preparing to leave the order because of you. Her vows to the goddess were to be cast aside for you. Don’t you understand that?” Her pleads becoming tearful, until she began sobbing at the loss of her friend, rival, and sister of the order of Zoethana.

Dar’mont turned, picked up the axe and began chopping at the tree, each blow full of anger. “I know, more than any, and I know what that means for her in the afterlife.” His final blow splitting the tree in half, and the axe cleaving through the trunk. He dropped the axe devastated. “She will be rejected by Zoethana and forever wander the realm of the dead to never find rest.”

Kisera was stunned that Dar’mont knew the tenants of faith. She did not know Katrina shared that with him. Those were meant to be secret commands not to be shared. Why would Katrina tell Dar’mont, he seemed to not be a follower of the Lady of the Shadows, but Kisera would not press further, not yet at least.


“Darling, let Kisera in, she won’t hurt you. I don’t want you alone beloved.” The melodic voice was that of Katrina, but how would she know the Dar’mont was with Kisera. He felt her hand on his cheek, but he could only see darkness.

“Katrina, I could never be with her, she is not you and could never replace you.” Dar’mont pleaded.

“Dar, my sweet Dar, you are not replacing me. You are not meant to be alone.”

Dar’mont suddenly felt an arm wrap around him, beginning to rub his stomach and chest, then a pair of breasts he did not recognize press into his back.

He jumped up out of bed and saw Kisera in bed with him wearing only her night gown. He looked down at her.
“What are you doing here? How dare you get in bed with me.” His eyes burning into Kisera, angry that she would dare do that to him.

She looked up at him, her eyes half opened. “My dear woodsman I wanted to lay next to a man and be held. I ask for one night, and you refuse even that right now?” She spoke calmly, as she got up slowly, and let her gown fall from her as she walked back to her room. She stopped at the door, looking over her shoulder at him “You are welcome to come join me, if you would desire more than nightmares this night.” She then turned and finished walking to her room.

Dar’mont grumbled closing his door, then returned to his bed to try to sleep further.


It had been several days since he had the odd dream. When he woke that next morning he saw her gown still on his floor, so it was not all a dream. Those days passed by sluggishly, yet he always felt as though her eyes were constantly on him. Her words from that day stung as well. How could she think he did not know what Katrina was giving up? He begged her to teach him her tenants. She would teach him everything of course, and since he could not read, she was his only means of learning. He came to revere Zoethana and waits to be banished to the nether realms where he can search for his beloved.

He spent his time cutting wood, making arrows, and slowly began hunting for food to stock up for the winter. His gut told him it was going to be a cold and long winter he would have to survive. He knew for sure that he could not travel for long.

Kisera sat with her morning mug of tea, while her eyes lingered on Dar’mont outside her mind wandered. She thought back all those years ago to her time in the temple.

Kisera sat on the steps to the temple, looking out at the fields of grains before her. Wondering which sect she should join of the temple. She knew vowels of chastity were never appealing to her.

She heard the whimsical voice of Katrina. “Kisera, sweetie, get up you need to get up off these dirty steps, you’ll simply ruin your dress.”

Kisera rose, turning to see the radiant beauty of Katrina. Kisera stood slightly taller than Katrina. Katrina grabbed Kisera’s hand “Come with me I have something important to tell you.”

“Katrina, slow down, stop dragging me, you know I can’t run as fast as you.” Kisera panted following behind Katrina as quick as she could.

Katrina hushed Kisera as Katrina guided them back to her room. As soon as the door was closed, Kisera stepped closer to Katrina and kissed her deep on the lips. Katrina’s eyes went wide with shock and pushed Kisera away. “What was that for?” Katrina’s face was flushed as she looked at Kisera.

“Katrina, oh I thought your news was you wanted to… um… never mind.” Slightly embarrassed Kisera became quiet and looked down.

“Kisera, I took my vowel of celibacy, and am now being trained to be a head priestess. You knew this already. That’s not my good news.” Katrina reached down her shirt to pull up a beautiful jade amulet on a platinum chain. “They want me to be the keeper of the Cordison le Etenitate. Can you believe they are entrusting this to me?”

“That’s wonderful Katrina, but what is the Cordison le Etenitate?”

“Umm I will tell you more in the coming days, but I had to tell my best friend first. This is our secret though.”

“Katrina, I swear I will take this secret to my grave.” Kisera leaned in to kiss Katrina on the cheek.

Kisera’s mind returned to watching Dar’mont working with his knives and some branches to make arrows. “I can see why Katrina would break her vowels for him.” Kisera’s mind wandered back to the last time she saw Katrina.

“Katrina, sweetie, you seem so tired these days.” Kisera brushed her hand along Katrina’s cheek. “What is happening with you? I haven’t seen you this tired since you started learning magic.”

“Kisera, my darling, I am using magic every night. It’s this.” Katrina tapped her chest where she wore the amulet. “I speak with the previous owners of my burden. I know I do it nightly but feel like I may no longer need to wait until I sleep to do this. I am doing this in addition to my normal duties. I have asked you here because I am being sent to a temple to run it.” Katrina had tears in her eyes, and her voice quivered as she spoke.

“Katrina, baby, that’s wonderful, but what’s wrong? Why are you so upset?” Kisera getting on the floor in front of Katrina looking up in her eyes.

“Kisera, you need to leave the temple, tomorrow, if you can’t leave tonight.”

“Why? I am so close to being assigned my own duties outside of here.”

“Kisera, the temple will burn in 2 days’ time, and I can’t bear the thought of you dying here. I saw it in my vision last night, and I need you to promise me you will listen to me. I won’t be going to the temple they assigned me either, I won’t tell you where I will be going but I need you to trust me it’s for the better.” Katrina kissed Kisera on the cheek.

At the thoughts of the memory Kisera unconsciously touched her cheek where she was kissed all those years ago. “Katrina, how did you know? The temple is gone, as is our teachers and sisters, all gone.” Kisera silently wept to herself again, mourning the loss of so many.

“Young woodsman you have much to learn. Your mind is your own, but you now have been opened to a wider and greater world than you knew before.” The elderly voice that Dar’mont heard began coughing, had a deep baritone sounding to it. “My boy, if you are willing,, I will teach you much.”

“Who are you, where are you for that matter?” Dar’mont demanded “I cannot see anything here at all.”

“When you are ready you will see.” That same baritone voice boomed.


Dar’mont woke early once again, as he was accustomed to. His mind was quite groggy, as he looked out the window. He decided today was another day to go hunting to continue his preparation for the coming winter.

When the snow came that year, they were particularly deep, and the weather was brutal. Dar’mont found himself trying to isolate himself in his frigid room instead of going in with Kisera. When he did see her, she would follow him with her eyes constantly. She spoke very little through that winter, but his dreams were constantly dark, and that voice was always booming in it. Demanding him to do things in the dream, yet he refused this disembodied voice constantly. Winter Dar’mont learned little about that voice in his dreams, rest little, and spent much time in the cold to avoid the advances of Kisera.
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