Later, as the guards outside Narrisha’s room let them in, after noting them that the banquet would begin in about an hour, they entered, seeing Narrisha stand by her drawer, two maids helping and suggesting what dress she was to wear.
“Ah, do come in” she smiled and gestured the group in, nodding to her maids as they silently backed away for Narrisha to have a talk with her guests.
“Yo Narrisha; it seems like those little brats Jiki and Kiro snuck this with us” Shica grinned, handing Narrisha the DVD case, while Breeze looked sourly at Shica for calling her mistresses something as childish as ‘brats’.
“Before I look into this, how’s Vinya?” Narrisha asked, curious how the young shin’saras girl would think of her manor.
“She’s fine; Mirinda’s taking her around for a tour” Jiraz assured, mentally smiling as she knew perfectly well what little stories Mirinda could tell Vinya of herself and the manor.
“Hmmm...” Narrisha nodded as she looked closely at the DVD case; sensing something, she giggled.
“Hihihih! Those silly girls; must’ve thought I wouldn’t know...” she smiled turning to face Jiraz, Shica, Chinyi and Breeze; “they’ve put an enchantment on it, hiding the cover.”
As she now began waving her hand over the case, suddenly an image appeared; holding it up, a picture of Jiki and Kiro were clearly shown, while a text underneath simply said; ‘gotcha, hihih!’
“Hahahahah! Those silly little brats!” Jiraz laughed, Shica and Chinyi joining in; although she did not understand a lot about magic, Chinyi kind of liked the joke, and the girls on the cover was, to her surprise, even more cute-looking than her.
“Judging from what’s written behind...” Narrisha now said as she read from the other side of the case; “it’s both a home video, and also a video of you guys’, theirs, and Rhanar’s last concert.”
“What? Who’d have a camera set up to film it?” Shica asked, partly herself, partly the others.
“Ye never know, sweetie; betcha they asked those White Guardian Security Force fellows for a copy of whatever their cameras recorded under that concert” Jiraz suggested, Shica nodding in silent agreement.
“Nevertheless, I’d say we watch it later tonight” Narrisha nodded to herself.
“A good idea, mistress” a voice were heard from the door; a girl with long azure hair and clad in a heavy suit of steel full-plate armour stood in the doorway; on her gauntlets were small, glided symbols of a roaring, golden dragon.
“You wanna watch as well, Allisia?” Chinyi asked eagerly.
“Need you ask? Friends of the manor are friends of mine” the girl lightly and politely smiled, as she now turned her eyes to Shica and Jiraz, obviously searching for any signs of danger from them.
“Don’t try and mess with Allisia...” Chinyi whispered in their ears; “...she’s a Dragon Knight!”
“A what?” Jiraz asked, apparently to the azure-haired and armoured girl’s amusement as she silently giggled.
“I was once a Dragon Knight of Silvarcira; I was one of the very elite warriors of mankind’s most glorious kingdom...” she began, but dramatically made a short pause; “...but, alas, I tired of fighting and all the blood that had to spill by my sword; thus, I came here, to this very manor, to settle for the rest of my days, in service to a mistress I once foolishly and blindly thought to be an agent of great and accursed evil.”
By that, Allisia stepped up besides Narrisha, her blue skirt, trimmed with gold threads, fluttered from the waist of her armour.
“Allisia got tired of all the fighting a knight does, so she came here and settled with us” Narrisha smiled at her ‘knight in shining armour’; Jiraz and Shica, however, strongly felt that Allisia, like Rhanar Narra-Jar himself, was more of a warrior than a more pleasant-minded person.
“As of yet, my mistress, I came with a request” Allisia now spoke, sending a look at Jiraz and Shica; “as I only know of them by their reputation, I will be bold and say that my request is to test if their brawn and strength matches that of their beauty.”
Jiraz and Shica chuckled; while Allisia’s tone was formal and elegant, they clearly felt that she hoped to exhaust them for her own ‘gains’; she would be surprised, though, that they both knew how to fight.
“If they wish so, it shall be” Narrisha nodded, gesturing Jiraz and Shica towards her, whispering them; “girls, ye better be really sure; even if she only trains with you, Dragon Knights are some of Varran’s best fencers!”
“Don’t worry, we’ll not toast her or something!” Jiraz joked, Shica giving her a teasing slap over her right horn.
“So you’re a former Dragon Knight? Dear Gods, it’s near a privilege to meet you” Breeze now walked up to Allisia, kneeling on her front legs in a respectful bow.
“And whom might you be griffon?” Allisia asked, holding her hand down, exchanging a handshake with Breeze.
“I am Breeze the griffon, servant and pet to the mistresses Jiki and Kiro” Breeze proudly spoke; although Allisia did not know of the persons she spoke of, she nodded and gracefully patted the purring griffon’s head.
“So you’re gonna fight Allisia? Hihihih! This’ll be fun!” Chinyi now commented as Jiraz and Shica went back from Narrisha, heading straight up to Allisia.
“We accept your challenge, miss” Shica and Jiraz said as one, Allisia nodding in admiration.
“Crossing blades with a knight? You are either quite courageous...or willing to face utmost humiliation” Allisia partly taunted, partly teased them as they followed her out the door.
“When she’s down, the first thing we’re gonna do is pull her outta that armour, right?” Jiraz suggested Shica, a devious and playful wink in her eyes.
“Yeah, then we can force her to look as we make out; I still can’t wait ‘till tonight, Jiraz” Shica commented, a clear hint of impatience in her voice.
However, to their surprise, when Allisia turned around and towards the door, they saw scale-formed steel plates on the backside of her blue cloak; it looked like dragon scales, but it could only be meant as extra protection of common steel.
“I made most of it myself” Allisia gave a small smile as she held the cloak up a bit with surprising ease; “but captain Faris knows the most about weapons and armour within these walls.”
“Wow, kinda neatly put together” Jiraz and Shica nodded, exchanging looks as they admired the near perfect arrangement of scales over scales, and that not a single hint of cloth could be seen in between.
“Much appreciated, but we have a duel awaiting us” Allisia noted them, Jiraz, Shica, Chinyi and Breeze following her out the door.
“I’d better check on Mirinda and Vinya, then” Narrisha said to herself, just as she noticed her still waiting maids with her dresses.
“Well, gotta get the dress code cleared, first of all” she smiled to herself, gesturing the maids over with her dresses; with over seven different ones to try, it might be taking a while.
“...And that’s how I ended up here” Mirinda were telling Vinya as they made their way on Mirinda’s tour of the manor; Vinya were amazed and fascinated by the shin’idun girl’s story, and the many hallways, corridors and hidden passages in the manor.
“Uhmm, Miss Mirinda...?” Vinya now tried her luck at the question that had been nagging her.
“Yes Vinya?” the shin'idun girl pleasantly lay a hand on Vinya’s shoulder.
“I...uhmm...I’ve heard some rumours over the manor, and they say that...that...” Vinya stopped up, not able to finish the sentence.
“That I, at day, go about as a normal well-mannered, polite and common shin’idun, while I at night turns into a horny, sex-crazed and seductive dominatrix with a weakness for cute and innocent girls?” Mirinda finished with a slight giggle at the look on Vinya’s face.
“Wh-what?? B-b-but I thought...that...!” Vinya stammered in what felt like panic, but looking at Mirinda’s smiling and pleasant face, she felt her fear melt away.
“It’s true, Vinya; I am not ashamed of what I become at night, and it shall not be a secret that I hope for you especially to witness that very heated session of lovemaking uncommon to normal shin’idun” Mirinda now spoke clearly, although her undertone betrayed a slightly, if not very amused undertone.
Vinya felt terrified once again; were she to be ravished by this blonde and likely crazy witch? Was she to suffer the arts of forbidden love, of which her mistress...
Suddenly, now, she remembered the time her mistress, the Imperial Highness Shica Narra-Jar, had ‘taught’ her of the forbidden arts, an act that she, to her complete surprise, had felt as pleasant and comfortable, if not a little fiery first experience.
“So...y-you want to ravish me tonight...?” Vinya carefully asked.
“My dear, I always go very easy on those you might call ‘first-timers’” Mirinda informed, a somewhat teasing undertone clearly noting Vinya that she by no means had the intention of letting her off easily.
“Mistress Shica has always taught me to stand up to what you fear...” she now spoke again, smiling seductively and mimicking a line she had heard her mistress and Jiraz whisper at each other hotly; “but why resist such an invaluable and blessed gift as that of your body in a fiery and passionate heat?”
Hearing that Mirinda could not suppress a short and obvious giggle; she had imagined Vinya to be a very virtuous and shy little girl, but it seemed that something had convinced her to play Mirinda’s ‘game’ by the shin’idun’s own rules.
“Vinya, might I ask you a forward and somewhat direct question?” Mirinda now pulled herself together, facing to still smiling Vinya, who were quite happy her rather dirty joke had been so appealing to Mirinda.
“Surely you may, Miss Mirinda” she nodded.
“Do you still carry your virtue?” Mirinda asked.
Blushing violently and any hint of prank gone from her mind, Vinya looked directly into Mirinda’s eyes.
“Yes...” she sighed, letting the words fly out with her breathe; “...I am a virgin.”
“I shall be sure not to use any extraordinary means, then” Mirinda lightly bowed, respecting Vinya’s assumed wish to keep her virtue.
“I am honoured by the respect you show me, Miss Mirinda” Vinya now smiled and stretched her hand out and offering a handshake; she truly began to like this bizarre, weird, and yet very appealing place.
“The honour is mine” Mirinda responded, smiling as well as she accepted the handshake.
“Yo, yo, yo; black n’ white power, huh?” Hiroi now greeted Mirinda and Vinya as she came out from her room not three meters from them; while Vinya were taken aback by the brashness of the human girl, she politely curtsied.
“Heheh, a little formal one; hey girlie, what’s ya name?” Hiroi asked, zipping her jacket a few centimetres further up.
“My name is Vinya; I am a maid in service to Her Imperial Highness, Shica Narra-Jar” Vinya now curtsied again.
“Wow; serving an imperial family, huh? And you’re going to stay here for a week’s time?” Hiroi asked, walking towards Vinya.
“Yes, that I am; my mistress thought it to be a good idea, since I do not know much about humans” Vinya said.
“So-o-o-o-o...” Hiroi now knelt down in eye-height of Vinya; “...we’ve gotten us two sex-crazed girlfriends who can’t their paws off each other, and a little cutie pie who’d faint if I groped her...?” she finished with a teasing wink.
“I am to deal with that ‘issue’, as you might call it, later in the evening” Vinya snapped back, sticking her tongue out in tease and smiling teasingly back at Hiroi.
“And who’s the lucky girl who gets to have you in their grasp then?” Hiroi asked, slight signs of disappointment that she was not the one.
“Her, Miss Mirinda” Vinya turned around and pointed at Mirinda, who sent Hiroi a taunting smirk.
“...Ye know how lucky you are, cutie? That elf hottie’s gonna make you wail out before she even begins getting in the mood, herself!” Hiroi partly warned, partly teased Vinya and Mirinda.
“I doubt that; she has promised to go easy on me” Vinya assured.
Looking over Vinya and seeing the look on Mirinda’s face, Hiroi was quite convinced that Mirinda were sure to go easy on Vinya...at least for the first five minutes.
Meanwhile, in a room that strongly resembled an oriental, Japanese dojo, Jiraz and Shica simply glared at the amazing collection of armour, weapons and helmets which sat in on displays or hang down from the ceiling.
“Oh my Gods!” was all Jiraz could utter as she got her eyes on a finely crafted scalemail, clearly of shin’idun design judging by the slight hue of green and the small carvings and symbols of leaves in each individual scale.
“How did you get all this stuff?” an amazed Shica asked Allisia as she carefully opened a small cupboard, contain nothing but different coins and crystal shards.
“As a Dragon Knight, I went on a lot of adventures for my order; while I gave most of my spoils and loot to them, I kept a small part for myself” Allisia explained as she were tightening a second, black leather belt with a matching black leather scabbard with steel trims to her waist.
“So, uhmmm, why did you leave your order in the first place?” Shica asked.
“That is somewhat of a sad tale, one that most local bards still sing of to this day...!” Allisia mumbled and gritted her teeth in frustration; “the grandmaster of my order assaulted me...!”
“What?! Why’d he do that?” Jiraz asked, feeling her eyes, hair and claws starting to burn from inner rage.
“He came to me a day after my training, claiming I was becoming one of the order’s greatest knights...and by that, the tried and take advantage of me, claiming he had secretly loved me since I joined the order...” Allisia now spat, her voice barely controllable with anger.
“It’s kinda cliché, ye know...” Shica pointed out, sitting on the floor, admiring two Silvarciraian war swords; “...it’s the classic ‘fall in love with the cool girl’ thing; I don’t even think he really meant it.”
“Nor did I; as none of the other knights knew of him being in my quarters, and as he’d refrained from loosening his grip on me, I had but one call for it...” Allisia now sighed; “...as I apparently have some slight sparkles of Mystic Magic in me, I concentrated the best I could, but my spell ended up in a disaster...”
As silence now fell over the room, Jiraz and Shica felt bad about pressing Allisia too much.
“...I blasted him; my spell hit him directly in the head, sending him flying unconscious to the floor...” Allisia continued; “...harming the master of the Golden Dragon Order is just as bad as if I had knocked down King Arathasa himself!”
As Allisia now headed for a chest in the corner of the room, a smile slid over her face.
“I had to flee, and so I did; in the middle of night, hoping no-one would see me leave Sarrania...but I was terribly wrong...”
Making a pause as she opened the chest, she took out a fine-looking steel sword of Silvarciraian craftsmanship; the golden guard of the sword had the form of a roaring dragon’s head, one to each side, while the hilt, with its sharp and pointy end, looked like a dragon fang; the grip was of rough black leather, and fit well in Allisia’s armoured gauntlet.
“I met someone that night; a dark rider, but his mount was not that of a horse, but a giant, black-scaled lizard; he was clearly a shin’saras, but the most polite shin’saras I’ve yet to meet...”
As she paused in her wondering who the mysterious rider might have been, Shica and Jiraz began laughing, as they, of all people, would know the that ‘dark rider’.
“That would have been my brother, Rhanar; he’s head and leader of that Sharas’Car Order, you know, the ‘defend women’s right at all costs’ kinda fellows” Shica teasingly told Allisia.
“Was he...Rhanar Narra-Jar?! I-...I did not know he existed! I thought him to be some sort of...fairy tale monster to scare youngsters to sleep!” Allisia now lost her rather impressive self-control in a fit of direct horror.
“Hey, hey! Clam down; look, I know he’s kinda ‘Dark Lord’ish, but heck; I’m a freaking demon, and while he hates most demons’ guts, he didn’t slay me!” Jiraz corrected Allisia from above as she soared around the ceiling; receiving a flirty wink from Shica, Jiraz smiled and added; “and yeah, he’s OK with me being girlfriends with his sister, so that’s a lot of respect if you ask me!”
“But...he’s evil! He’s the second greatest evil of Varran! He...!” Allisia started, but now remembered that the rider had not had the same kind of terrifying effect on her as she had expected; instead, she had spoken to him openly, and he had advised her to travel eastward, towards the town of Istan at the brink of the Azure Sea; what she had found from there, was Nightwind Manor, and the rest of the story was well-known to her.
“So...he knew where he sent me...interesting; he must have felt my dislike of men and their lust for power and that of the flesh more than anything else...” Allisia mumbled to herself.
“It kinda makes me wanna ask, Allisia; you’re a knight, and I’ve got full respect for that, but tell me...” Jiraz now openly flirted, much to Shica’s amusement as she had not thought that Jiraz would dare flirt with Allisia; “...you got any naughty fantasies?”
By that, Allisia barely lifted an eyebrow, but she still smiled at Jiraz.
“Miss Jiraz, asking me that gives me yet another reason to wish to fight you, but yes...” Allisia made a dramatic break, which Shica ruined by letting out a loud yawn, making the three girls exchange short giggles before Allisia put herself together and continued; “...however, I'm not rather willing to reveal it, as you may understand...”
Exchanging looks, Jiraz and Shica felt disappointed; they would have liked to tease Allisia a bit.
“That’s quite alright; newbeginners kinda act shy with their fetishes all the time” Shica joked.
“Uhmmm, ‘fetish’?” Allisia asked confused.
“I’ll tell ye about it after our little duel, OK?” Jiraz asked, as she had found great interest in a rather simple-looking but still very efficient-looking staff.
“Oh, yes, of course; I think we’d better go ahead and start; just let me get my helmet” Allisia nodded politely, heading over to a small table, on which were a few pencils, papers, and a steel helmet with the golden Silvarciraian Dragon.
“You can see through there?” Shica teased as Allisia closed her visor, her now metallic voice slightly taunting; “oh, I ‘do’ believe I can see well enough; now arm yourselves.”