A shrine maiden hurried over to where Saki was. The Priestess was sitting on a spider-like chair of sorts, Shiori in her lap and having her hair combed by the Priestess. “Saki-sama! The magic inhibiting communication to the outside as been dispelled.”
“It matters not,” Saki said nonchalantly. “With the large number of Kumobito in this village now, no outsider would dare attack.” She finished combing Shiori’s hair and was tying part of it into a ponytail. “By the way, it looks like our guests have arrived.”
No sooner had she spoken than several girls appeared in the large chamber of the temple. There were quite a few Japanese girls although there were several foreign ones as well: Caucasian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and a few others. These were Kumobito whose mothers had mated with foreign women but displaying more traits of the foreigners. “Welcome, sisters from the other countries!” Saki exclaimed happily. “Welcome to Fushigumo Village!”
“Always a pleasure to be here, Priestess,” one of the girls, of Japanese and British descent, said as she bowed, sweeping her arm in front in a style reminiscent of a butler.
“So today is the day you awaken the Spider Princess?” one of the half-Chinese girls asked. “Do you have presents for us?”
“Yes, I do, Lin-Mei” Saki smiled. “Several young girls are waiting for you to claim them as your brides. But first, would you care to rest for a while? The ritual will not start for a few hours and I have asked that refreshments be prepared.” She motioned for several of the shrine maidens. Nodding, the shrine maidens motioned for the girls to follow them into the dining area.
“How long has it been here since we last came, Sang Mi?” one of the Russian girls asked a Korean girl. “Lady Saki still displays the same amount of charisma, huh?”
“Indeed, Elizaveta-ssi,” Sang Mi said. “What sort of girl will you be looking for?”
“I prefer an older one,” Elizaveta said. She herself looked around sixteen, one of the younger girls in the group. “Someone who is older but also shy. I like shy girls.”
“I see…” Sang Mi said. “Personally, I prefer an extroverted girl; I’m not much of a conversation starter, and I hope that the one I get is good at ice breaking…”
“Are all the girls available going to be Asian?” a French girl asked. “I hope that there will be a variety…”
“Probably not,” a Japanese girl said. “My friend’s older sister was once in a similar ceremony and she ended up mating with someone of Irish descent.”
The room they were in was filled with tables with meat on them. Beef, pork, chicken, mutton, duck…the smell of roasted meat filled the Kumobitos’ nostrils, causing their mouths to salivate. One of the shrine maidens bowed towards them. “I hope you enjoy the refreshments…” she said quietly. As soon as she said that, the Kumobito gave a cheer and started to help themselves to food.
“Hey, do you think Lady Saki will let me have a shrine maiden?” the British girl asked Lin-Mei as the two of them sat together. “There’s one I particularly like…”
“I’m sure she would, Victoria,” Lin-Mei replied. “She’s always been nice to us. All the more reason to help her out, right?”
“Yeah…” Victoria agreed. “I wonder if that injury still bothers her…”
Saki knocked on a door in the temple. “Sadako-chan, can I come in?”
“Sure, come on in,” Sadako’s voice called out. Saki opened the door and walked inside of Sadako’s room. The room was filled with spider webs as well as wall scrolls carrying haikus on them. Sadako herself was lounging in a web hammock with a sobbing Sachiho tied up inside. Sachiho had been stripped naked, her arms bound behind her back by spider webs. Sadako looked up, smiling. “How may I help you, Saki-sama?”
“The Kumobito from the other countries have arrived,” Saki said. “I’m just here to let you know that you need to prepare for the awakening ceremony. Oh, and I’m glad you’re enjoying your girl…”
“She’s quite delicious…” Sadako giggled as she stuffed two fingers into Sachiho’s mouth, smothering the girl’s cries. “It’s really here, huh? The day that the Spider Princess finally wakes up again…”
“Yes…” Saki agreed. “How I waited for this day…”
“Hey, rumors say that the Spider Princess will grant the wish of the person who awakened her, right?” Sadako asked as she pulled her fingers out of Sachiho’s mouth, running her fingers down Sachiho’s breasts and leaving a trail of saliva, taking pleasure in the girl’s shivers and quiet whimpers. “What are you going to wish for if she really does grant you a wish?”
Saki said nothing, but Sadako noticed that Saki’s hand unconsciously wandered towards her belly after hearing the question.
Handa-sensei couldn’t tell where she was; when she had been grabbed by one of the monsters back at the inn, the beast had bit her and she had passed out. Now, awakening, she realized that she was in a cell of some sort. “This place…”
“Ah, so you’re awake,” a voice said. Handa-sensei looked up to see one of the girls that had attacked her.
“You…you’re…!” Handa-sensei scrambled backwards, her eyes wide with fright.
“Takagi Kaoru,” the girl simply said.
“Hey, if it isn’t Kaoru!” a voice called out. Handa-sensei realized that the Japanese sounded a bit awkward and a bit accented. When the speaker revealed herself, Handa-sensei saw why; the girl that appeared was Caucasian. “So this is where all the girls are being kept, huh?”
“What are you doing here, Christine?” Kaoru asked. “I thought you would be with your younger sister as well as your little toy…”
“Hey, she’s not a toy, she’s my mate,” Christine said, her face filled with mock-hurt. “Besides, she’s pregnant now as well; she’s due in about a month. I’m here to see what kind of girls my little sister would like. You know how picky she can be…”
“I see…” Kaoru said. “Anyways, the ceremony will start in a few hours so you better conserve your strength; we’re going to need a large amount of demonic energy for this and we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to you…”
“Aw, you’re so caring…unlike your psycho of a sister…”
“Mitsuko is a good girl…she just tends to be a little energetic sometimes.” Kaoru turned to look at Handa-sensei. “Don’t worry, we won’t kill you.”
“What…what about my other students? Did…did you…”
“Oh, you mean the boys?” Kaoru asked. “Be thankful it wasn’t Mitsuko that handled them. I merely spirited them off somewhere with their memories partially wiped. They’ll be found by authorities with no memory of this place. Fortunately for you, I do not enjoy killing as much as my younger sister.”
“You…” Handa-sensei didn’t get to say anymore as Kaoru turned to leave.
“Christine, let’s go. Your sister can come herself if she wants to check out the girls.” With that, Kaoru dragged a protesting Christine away while the horrified teacher could only await her fate helplessly in the cell.
Rie sat in the basement, still stunned at what she had heard. Masako had been called away again, and the mother had decided to give Rie some time to ‘make the right choice.’ The infant, looking at Rie curiously, waddled over and poked her in the side.
Rie looked down at the baby, who gurgled happily. ‘She’s got a point…how could you call this a monster? But…but what about the girl that had to give birth to her? How many times was she raped before she was successfully impregnated? How much did she suffer all those months of having something grow within her? How could my mother do this to an innocent person?’
“Rie-chan…” Teruko crawled towards her sister cautiously. “Are…are you alright, Rie-chan?” She reached towards Rie as though to put an arm around her shoulder but drew back, almost as if she were afraid that Rie would recoil from her touch.
“Teruko-neechan…what should I do?” Rie whimpered. “I…I don’t want any innocent girls being forced into something against their will, but if what that woman said was true…then I…I…”
Teruko looked at Rie, distressed that her little sister was so upset. However, in her current state of mind, Teruko was in no condition to give any sisterly advice. The older girl could only sit there as Rie agonized over her dilemma. “Um…you could do nothing, right? Don’t involve yourself anymore…”
Rie turned around, stunned that her sister would suggest something like that. “How could you say that?! What about those girls that could be turned into…into…” She stopped before burying her hands in her face. “I…I’m so scared…I don’t know what to do…I don’t know…”
Rie suddenly stopped as soon as she heard voices. “H-Hatsune-san…are you sure that it’s this place?” “No other way to know besides checking right? Wait…there’s something down there. Kanako, be careful…” “But…what if we’re seen? What if the owner comes back?” “No one’s here right now…that’s strange…I wonder what’s going on in this place…”
“Kanako…wasn’t that the name of one of the girls?” Rie wondered out loud. “That…that means she’s safe…” She suddenly noticed that Teruko was all tensed up, the anguished face expression disappearing into a frightening snarl.
“T-Teruko-neechan?” Rie asked, looking frightened. The little infant let out a little snarl as well, though it seemed more like an expression of fear and she scuttled behind her mother. “What…what’s wrong?’
“Webs?” a voice said, bewilderment in her voice. “Don’t tell me…” The speaker soon came into view: a girl with red eyes and long black hair. “Wait, Kanako! There’s a Kumobito right here!”
“Teruko-neechan, no!” Rie shouted as Teruko let out an unearthly shriek and launched herself at the intruder.
Saki came into the room where the rest of the Kumobito were waiting. Shiori followed closely behind, the younger girl bound and held closely by the Priestess’s side. “Fellow sisters, it is time,” she said. “I hope you are all well-rested; this ritual will take quite a lot out of all of us. But our Princess shall be awakened today!”
“So it’s finally here…” Sang Mi said quietly. “The chosen day…”
“To be honest, I’m kind of nervous…” Lin-Mei said. “I wonder what kind of person the Spider Queen will be…”
“Well, if she decides to eat us all, it wouldn’t make much of a difference what she’s like, right?” Victoria said jokingly. “I’m sure that she’s going to be alright; Lady Saki believes so, and I trust Lady Saki.”
“Well then, let’s go then!” Christine said as she stretched her arms. The rest of the Kumobito followed Saki down the main room of worship in the temple and walked towards the large statue of a spider woman. She chanted a few words and a part of the floor separated to reveal a set of staircases leading down. “Watch your step.”
The stairways led to an extremely large underground chamber. There was a large statue of a spider in the room with an altar in front of it. Several shrine maidens were in the room along with the Takagi sisters and Sadako, who cradled Sachiho close to her. The student had fallen silent now, her voice hoarse from crying. The girls that Sadako had brought over were sitting on the floor, stripped naked with their hands bound behind their backs, shivering in fear as the rest of the Kumobito arrived. There were also several other girls that had been kept in the shrine for a longer amount of time.
Several shrine maidens were finishing up some sort of drawing on the ground, a magic circle with an emblem resembling a spider drawn in the middle. Saki came over and admired it. “Excellent work, girls.” She stroked Shiori’s head as she walked to her place. “Soon, my love…” she whispered to Shiori. “Soon it will come true…”
Saki held up her hands and started to chant in a language that sounded like some sort of lost form of Japanese. The magic circle began to glow and Saki stepped into the middle of the circle. The rest of the Kumobito, as if prompted by some invisible voice, started to transform into their true forms. As spider legs came out and limbs stretched, the prisoners could only stare in horror as the Kumobito revealed themselves in all of their eight-legged glory.
Saki motioned for the shrine maidens to bring forward one of the students that hadn’t been transformed. The screaming girl was forced onto the circle and stripped naked while heavy weights on chains were locked onto her legs. Saki, finishing her chant, walked over and tilted the girl’s chin up. “Don’t worry, you’re not going to die. You have been granted quite an honor; you are going to be the Spider Princess’s first concubine.” As the girl continued to scream through her gag, Saki pulled out a paintbrush and a small pot full of some strange red ink. She began to draw patterns on the girl’s body as the rest of the Kumobito began to chant.