Hour Empty Child
They got out of the long Ame, getting Hikari to lead the way as her two maids, Shokan and Chui, followed behind her. Kudo, along with Kasara and Kagero, followed afterward towards the entrance of her mansion.
They entered to what Kasara tells Kudo the loggia, a large hall decorated white with beautiful carvings on every pillar, made out of white marble, supporting the ceiling, creating a royalty-like atmosphere.
Walking on the floor with tiles that shined with various jewels, Kudo felt if he would be fine if he stepped on it wrong. He looked up to see Hikari in front of two brown sleek carved doors, showing a picture of two similar looking warriors appearing to be ready to tear each other apart.
She grabs the two handles and turned them. She pushed them forward which grated the hinges of the door, but again, there was no sound, showing what’s inside.
The entrance room of the mansion was widely spacious, the white-colored walls with golden lines on the borders, the floor made out of jewel-encrusted tiles that created ornated art that would leave you gaping, and a giant crystal chandelier hung at the top shedding light on everything in the room.
But it wasn’t the entrance’s ambiance that caused Kudo’s jaw to be left hanging, but the amount of beautiful woman standing in the middle of it all, wearing each the black and white uniform of a maid.
They all stood in rows as if it was a rally, and each line had a different color on their headdress. Though, none of the headdresses were as differently colored as Shokan’s.
What’s even more surprising was the fact that each maid was part of a different race. Not only Humans, but Elves, Beastmen, Pixies, Dwarves, and Dragmers each stood symbolically, showing off an air of grace around them.
Once Hikari entered into the room with her guests, each of them bowed simultaneously, as if it was a natural instinct, and spoke aloud:
‘Welcome home, my masters,’ each said, not a single mistake was made, and every voice had resonated together in harmony.
Hikari walked forward, spreading her arms wide like a lavish bird.
“I’m home, my adorable girls!”
A smile that seemed to be brighter than even the chandelier formed on the master’s face.
Kudo sweated after seeing such an exaggerated way of greeting their master. He looked back at Kagero and Kasara, where Kagero was scratching his cheek with a wry smile and Kasara was smirking at the sight.
But then, he felt several dozens of piercing gazes on his body, causing him to whip his head back to the maids.
Each one was eyeing Kudo with such heavy stares, it left Kudo to shrivel up in fear as he took a step back. He started to sweat after receiving pangs of stares onto his face particularly.
The room erupted with shrill screams which made everyone’s eardrums blew up.
Suddenly, the air of grace and professionalism have vanished, and now there were only gossiping girls in the wide room which chatted up a storm in loud whispers that seemed to resemble that of a bazaar.
Kudo was left in more of a shock than before after seeing them change personalities so quickly. But then, some of the voices were made clear in Kudo’s ears.
“So that’s her son?!”
“This is a miracle!”
“Oh my gods, her son looks so cute~!”
“Finally, our master’s son has come back!”
It appears that the maids have caught notice in advance that Kudo, the legitimate son of their master, has returned to Roprase. Kudo’s cheeks reddened after hearing several praises for his appearance.
“Is that a way to deal with our new housemember?!”
Hikari’s voice cuts through every whisper in the room, and made everyone silent in an instant.
Each one spun around and faced towards their master, and each one bowed and spoke aloud once more:
‘We apologize, our masters,’ their voices resonated once more, creating a harmonious sound.
Their air of grace has returned again, leaving Kudo left amazed.
(T-They all changed so quickly…) Kudo’s mind couldn’t handle such quick transitioning.
Hikari’s hand moved to the top of Kudo’s shoulder, getting him to look up to see her smiling at him.
“It’s been a long day. How about we rest up by having dinner?”
She looked back at the two who went along with the ride.
“Kagero, Kasara, would you two like to have dinner here?”
Kudo’s ears picked up a strong vibration from within one of their pockets. Kasara then took out something from within her pant’s pocket to reveal the same object that Kudo took a glance at before in Vipory.
It was a small device, rectangle-shaped and black colored. There were several markings on the cover of the device which made it look appealing to the eyes. She peeked at the screen, the same one that Kudo saw on the side of the gigantic building, revealing numbers and a picture of someone.
She presses the screen and a *beep* was heard, getting her to put the device near her ear.
“Yes,” Kasara spoke into the device, getting Kudo surprised to hear her apparently talking to someone.
“…I see. Is that so? Then, we’ll be heading there.”
Kudo could hear someone talking on that device, but he couldn’t make it out. Then, Kasara pressed the screen again, making it completely black again.
“I’m sorry, it looks like we’ll have to take a rain check on that. Some trouble arrived at our store.”
“What sort of trouble?” Kagero asked with a blink.
“Our loot. Apparently, she said that it was ‘overpriced’.”
“And now she wants us to talk with her about lowering it.”
Kasara wrinkled her brows as she said it, putting away her device into her pocket.
“We’re sorry, Master,” Kasara turned to apologize.
“It’s fine. Would you like to have a ride home?” Hikari courteously asked.
“Don’t worry, we can walk our way back. You all should enjoy your reunion as much as you can.”
Kasara waved aside the offer, getting her to smile alongside Kagero as the two of them turned around and headed out of the mansion. Before closing the doors, Kasara spoke to Kudo.
“I’ll come by to help teach you when you’re well acquainted with your home, Kudo.”
Kudo offered a smile, but to Kasara, it was a reluctant smile, a mask to hide his discomfort.
(Of course, he would still be on guard…)
Having been taken out of his country, and was now expected to stay in a luxurious mansion with a biological mother he just met for the first time several hours ago, Kasara formed a gentle smile after seeing Kudo go through so much in a single day.
Seeing such a smile, resembling that of his partner, soothed Kudo’s soul a bit as Kasara and Kagero closed the ornated doors behind them, leaving Kudo alone with his mother and dozens and dozens of maids.
“Now then,” Hikari claps her hands. “Let’s get goin’.”
Following her order, Kudo did so without hesitation. Hikari and Kudo moved towards the inside of the mansion, followed by several maids behind them as if they were escorts.
Once they went through the middle entrance between two large spiral staircases—made out of solid marble—Kudo saw more of the majesty of the mansion.
They entered into the vast hallways adorned with such lavish decorations, it left the castle in Olinia in shame. Kudo saw various mannequins that stood like old knights in each section of the hallway. They would have been just ordinary mannequins, but it was the armor they wore that made Kudo drop his jaw in admiration.
(T-They’re all so high-level…)
Kudo saw various armors that seemed to decorate that of a noble Knight. There was one which reflected that of the sea, colored blue with parts looking like the corals underneath the torrents. There was another that looked like it was literally a white, shining armor, and showed off its simplistic yet majestic design of sleek silver.
Not only were they pleasing to the eye, but each one was carefully crafted and brought out to their fullest potential. Kudo remained in awe, as a crafter, from such powerfully crafted armors.
Hikari noticed and chuckled at the awe-inspired face on Kudo.
“T-That’s… yeah… I took a blacksmith skill, so I thought these equipment look really nice.”
Getting asked on that made Kudo become self-aware on how he acted, and tried to reign in his excitement.
Though his blushing cheeks were visibly seen by Hikari which made her smirk.
After a few minutes of walking—which really surprised Kudo on how big the mansion is—they finally got to the dining room.
Similar to the entrance, the walls and floors were pristine and beautiful. The large chandelier that hung from the ceiling was different in shape, but still glamorous in design. This time, however, there was a large table that extends for several meters long with its own beautiful markings on its glossy exterior. There were large portraits showing the bits of nature Kudo was used to seeing in the outside world, possibly hung on the walls to provide comfort for eating within this vast hall.
Lining up on the walls were the maids who stood by with a solemn air around them. Kudo became surprised at how maids even got there before they did.
Hikari stepped forward, and like a caller, her voice rang loud and clear.
“Today marks a joyous day, ladies. Tonight, we welcome Kudo into our home!”
What came after was a roar of applause from the maids with ecstatic looks on their faces. Inside the large room, the applause and cheers reverberated.
“That’s why, for tonight, we will have a feast!”
“Master, don’t you have feasts every other day?”
Shokan stepped in behind Hikari to speak to her.
“Yes, but for tonight, bring in the expensive meals!”
“As you wish.”
Shokan stepped forward, letting the maids who stood ready to listen closely.
“Let us show Master Kudo how we Valkyria maids work! Hop to it!”
With one thunderous clap from her hands, the maids acted in response.
Each one headed to the west side of the room, entering through the large doors—also ornated—that enter into the pantry.
Leaving behind the two, Hikari turned to Kudo.
“Kudo, head to that chair over there.”
Kudo felt as if his legs went numb before moving towards to the seat at the top corner of the table.
The seat was made out of polished, glossy wood, and the seat on the chair was extremely soft for the rump. It made Kudo feel like it was heaven just sitting on it.
Then, Hikari moved towards to the seat at the top of the table, right next to Kudo.
She offered a smile as she did. Kudo looked away, his cheeks reddened.
(She’s really overbearing... Why is she so into being my mother?)
Kudo tried to give a glance at her, but he was caught immediately as Hikari answered with another smile.
When Kudo thought that he would feel rather uncomfortable sitting alone with her like this—*Blam!*—the doors to the pantry swung open with force, revealing the maids once more, and this time, each maid brought in a cart full of delicious looking cuisine.
Kudo felt that their cooking speed was insanely quick as he felt that only seconds passed by. Each maid lined up near the table, and each one took a plate off the carts and put them on the table. Seeing the exquisite meals, Kudo’s eyes bulged out of his head as the amount of plates keeps increasing, filling up the large table one by one to the point that he thought that it would break down from the weight.
Finally, the table was filled to the brim with each tray of different kinds of meals—boiled crab, smoked ham, cooked fish, steaming vegetables, and several other kinds of food that are mixed in here which Kudo has never even seen before.
Soon, the sweet, succulent aroma filled the room, bringing Kudo’s nose into ecstasy.
He glanced at Hikari who nodded her head while saying ‘Mmh’ like it was a signal. And it was.
The maids understood her signal and headed towards the table. Shokan and Chui were also included as each one sat down on their chairs, filling the table at once. Of course, there were some lining up the walls as they were not hungry.
Hikari suddenly stood up from her seat, the seat’s legs scraping against the floor, surprising Kudo as she lifts up a grail from the table which seemed to be so outlandishly decorated, not even a king would have it, and proudly exclaimed:
“From today onwards, we have a returning member of the Valkyria family! His name is Kudo—remember him well!”
The maids have once more resounded with an ‘Oh!’ as they launched their fist into the air. It was too much for Kudo to comprehend as his cheeks blushed even more than before.
Once Hikari has spoken, the maids all put their hands together into a prayer, and shouted ‘Thank you for the food!’ before they started to eat the meals in front of them.
It became a royal mess hall as the maids, while still graceful even when eating, were chatting up again like normal girls from the city.
Hikari especially began to devour each meal as she goes. The plethora of meat before her stood no chance as her toned, well-figured body managed to down each meal as she went about.
Kudo was the only one unable to eat the meals. Rather, he couldn’t.
(There’s no way my stomach can handle this…)
“Kudo, is it not to your liking?”
He immediately jumped after hearing Hikari ask him, giving a curious glance with a tinge of worry on her face.
“N-No, no! It looks delicious… it’s just…”
How could Kudo explain that he won’t be able to eat so much? He wondered this as he folded his arms together, his eyes closed as he thinks of a good answer.
“It’s… because I can’t eat so much of this.”
He figured he would outright say it. Hikari put on a look of surprise before asking.
“What do you mean?”
Her question put Kudo in a tight spot. He scratched his hair as he tried to find the words of his past.
Though, the last time he spoke of his past, Hinota became in tears. He didn’t believe that it was such a tragic story himself, but and wondered how bad it could be.
Might as well, then…
“Well, you see…”
Kudo told the story to Hikari, and the maids listened in despite being far away from them at the long table. Telling his story about his past such, as the difficulties of raising money, being in a farm that hardly yields much revenue, and the fact that he had to accustomed himself to eat less food than normal. It resulted in him losing his need to eat more than a morsel of food.
After he told the story, bringing himself back from his past, he looked up to see Hikari, but her look left him stunned.
Tears began to well up from her jade eyes. Kudo then heard several gasps and sobbing, getting him to look to see that the other maids were bawling their eyes out. Some brought out a small handkerchief to wipe away their tears, and one was even on another maid’s arms as she wept.
Shokan and Chui were included. Though Shokan showed more resistance, a tear streamed down her cheek while Chui couldn’t stop gasping and inhaling sharply while wiping her eyes constantly to dry up the waterworks.
“H-Hey, what’s wrong? It’s not that bad!”
Kudo tried to make the situation less awkward as it is, but the tears wouldn’t stop. Then—
Kudo flinched as a fist slammed on the table, belonging to Hikari.
Her jade eyes now show fury. A shadow loomed over her face. A chill coursed through Kudo’s back like electricity.
“How could they let you starve? What sort of parents are they?!”
Kudo now sees that her righteous anger was directed towards his late parents.
Hearing such words, his chest swelled with rage. Agitated beyond measure, he snapped:
“My parents did the best they could!”
He stood up and slammed the table as his shout pierced through the crying, leaving everyone to be silent. The maids viewed with fright, Hikari in surprise. She sees the expression on his face.
His brows lowered, gritting his teeth. A look that otherwise didn’t fit Kudo’s face was shown.
But then, he began to realize his actions, and looked down at his empty plate. The sudden quiet atmosphere made him shrink even smaller than usual, and it was all thanks to him.
The maids looked back at one another without even a whisper. Hikari’s anger has subsided, revealing a gentle expression.
“I’m sorry,” Hikari put her hand on his shoulder, her eyes showing remorse. “I didn’t mean to insult your parents.”
“I-It’s… it’s okay.”
Kudo meekly answered, seeing that he misunderstood her intentions.
In Hikari’s eyes, she saw that Kudo completely sealed off his heart. It was expected as he had faced through such a terrible tragedy that involved him deeply. It’s not as if Hikari didn’t know that what she did to him was too sudden. And because Hikari mindlessly spoke about his parents, Kudo reacted strongly to that. Her heart stung in knowing that her son is suffering right in front of her, and she can’t get rid of it that easily
Looking at his downcast eyes, Hikari forced herself to steel her heart as she said these next words.
“However, Kudo, to deny eating is to deny your strength.”
Kudo looked up in surprise. Hikari put on a determined expression, as if it was necessary to say this.
“An adventurer needs to eat, and to deny eating is to deny the chance to live. You need protein, minerals that are essential to your adventurer: Sodium, Calcium, Sulfur—every single thing to keep your body in check for the battles to come. If you don’t eat a good amount, and I mean an extraordinary amount for an adventurer, you will not survive.”
There were no squeals or slight tease in her voice. Everything she said was a valuable lesson from one experienced adventurer. Kudo could sense it as Hikari’s eyes never left his.
Hikari then stretched out towards a plate where a delicious turkey with a sizzling brown skin that seemed to melt right off the bone stood, grabbed a piece of its leg and ripping it right off with ease. It was a large piece, so it made a big thud when she placed it on Kudo’s plate.
“For each bite you miss, you lose more chances of survival. So eat, Kudo. It doesn’t have to be for me, but you need to eat for yourself.”
Hikari was sure to not antagonize him as she spoke the words from her heart. Kudo looked down at his meal, seemingly bigger than his usual amounts before.
Now that he recalls, Kudo has not eaten at all these last two days. Thanks to the incident, Kudo has lost all interest in eating, despite his rumbling stomach saying so. Now that he sees the meal for himself, his stomach was practically roaring.
Her words sank into his mind, and they branded themselves inside. She was right. When fighting to the death, one must need the valuable nutrition needed to survive. Every inch mattered. Every ion of nutrition was a matter of life and death.
In order to grow stronger, and to defeat his foes too powerful for him to stand up against, he needed to start from the very beginning. He needs to start from the ground up.
He narrowed his eyes, and grabbed the leg of the turkey and looked at its succulent meat before opening up his mouth wide and tore off the meat with his teeth, not just to enjoy its flavor, but to absorb the nutrition.
Though, the meaty smell that passed through his nose as he ate made him completely enraptured by the intoxicating taste.
He completely devoured the turkey leg, but he wanted more. He grabbed the fork and began to pick each food one by one, and bringing it to his plate. He began devouring the food without a second thought.
He stopped caring about his limit, and ate everything in his range. While his taste buds were practically in heaven, he was driven to eat more than usual.
Seeing him eat so much, a smile was formed on Hikari’s face. Each of the maids ceased their crying and looked with a satisfying look on their face as they see Kudo eating their meals with vigor.
(That’s my boy.)
Hikari thought proudly of her long-lost son.
An echo of his painful stomachache burst through Kudo’s mouth. He rubbed his engorged belly, hoping to soothe the pangs of pain beating against it.
He didn’t believe that it would hurt so much to eat to your fill. He wondered why people liked to eat till they pop as, though it was delicious, it was quite a lot. It was as if he ate enough to last for a week.
The maids stood up, finished with their meals, and picked up the plates while giving satisfied glances at their masters who enjoyed their feast. They’ve done so in a matter of seconds and quickly returned to the pantry, clearing everything away from the table left barren.
Hikari pushed off her grand chair, a smile growing on her face.
“Kudo, you look like you need to work it off.”
He answered with a grunt.
“Hehe, I’ll show you a place where I think you’ll be quite happy.”
Quickly soon enough, Hikari dragged the engorged Kudo off his chair and led him out of the dining room. Once they were back into the decorated halls, Kudo was once more entranced by the decorum of the place.
“Y-You really live in a big house.”
“Yes, and it can be quite lonely here if you’re by yourself. That’s why these maids are not only excellent workers, each of them are so pleasant to be around with.”
Hikari praised her maids as Kudo could see it himself. Along the way, Kudo saw various maids passing through, each glancing at Kudo as they giggled to themselves. He became embarrassed as if he was being showcased throughout the entire mansion.
“Of course, there are also many other maids that belong here, but are not here right now.”
Kudo felt his jaw drop as there were MORE maids unaccounted for.
“Of course. Each of them are doing their jobs specifically well. Some are even outside of this country, doing an excellent job of spreading the greatness of our guild.”
He tilts his head after hearing that word, but before he could ask, he finally sees the room which Hikari was leading to.
“Here it is.”
Kudo saw for himself the doors that lead to some kind of room. After Hikari pushed them opened, Kudo took a peek inside.
Before him was a large room. Dozens of machines were laying around. Some had wheels like a cart, and others seemed to have benches to sit on. There was a line of shelves which held weights of each different sizes that looked like they were in a store. What took his attention away is that there was a large mat at the back of the room, big enough to have people sparring in it.
“W-What is this place…?”
Kudo notices as well that there were several black screens around, the kind where he could see people inside, and large glass windows that resembled doors with their handles on the rims that showed the starry night sky, the moon visible through it.
“This is the mansion’s training room. Everyone here uses this to keep their bodies fit for their work. I personally guarantee that you’ll like this.”
Hikari could see the bait she put forward being caught easily by Kudo. His eyes seemed to sparkle as a burning feeling raged in his belly.
“In here, you can use these machines to keep your body fit. You can train your body to be adept in all areas, using each and every one of your muscles to the fullest.”
Hikari moved forward, leading Kudo into the spacious room. She moved towards to the shelves, and picked up a black dumbbell with ease.
She threw the dumbbell at Kudo, getting him to instinctively catch it. But then—
Kudo grunted as his entire torso was pulled down before he quickly got ahold of its massive weight. It wasn’t that heavy, but he didn’t expect it to be so much.
“You can train here to your heart’s content. I think this will be beneficial to your status growth as well.”
“M-My status growth?”
He immediately took interest as Hikari faced him.
“That’s right,” Hikari explained. “Sure, levels are important, but mostly just to show off to other people. What truly matters is the stats. If you train your core stats, you can do incredible things that not even adventurers your own level would match up to you.”
Kudo gazed at the dumbbell in his hand. Gripping it tightly, he looked up to Hikari.
“H-How do I use these machines?”
He might as well take the chance of this. If he has no other choice but to follow his mother, than he would take every advantage of it. Hikari made a smirk as her eyes seemed to glint.
“Well, then let me explain to you how treadmills work.”
Kuto tilts his head in complete innocence. Hikari’s body contorted, not able to handle anymore of this.
“So cute~!” Hikari lunged at Kudo, grappling him with her bear hug.
“A-Ah, get off me!”
Suddenly getting hugged, Kudo tried to get her off, but once more, he was completely by her outstanding strength.
After explaining every machine in the room, Hikari waved to Kudo before leaving the room, finally leaving Kudo alone.
Kudo stared into his hand with a furrowed gaze. Feeling intensity burning in his hand, he clutched it into a fist.
“Alright… Time for spartan training, Hinota.”
Using his other hand, he grabbed hold of the pendant within his shirt. He glanced at the marvelous red color of the ruby pendant, reminding Kudo of his friend whom he left behind.
His heart stung with a painful pang, knowing that he won’t be able to see her anymore.
However, it only made his resolve that much stronger.
“This time, I won’t lose.”
Putting the pendant into his shirt, he went to one of the machines to work.
Wanting to get rid of the extra weight of dinner, Kudo used every machine he could. He ran on the treadmill to work up a sweat, and then did body weight training as instructed by Hikari.
A warning phased through his head from his talk before:
‘Kudo, don’t push yourself. There’s such a thing as overworking your body, and that won’t be good for training.’
She meant it to help him be better, but it did not make him back down. Finishing his body weight training, he went on to use the weights.
He picked up the dumbbell he carried before, and putting it into one hand only, it made him realize how heavy it was.
He saw the number on one of the bells, and saw that it was 25kg.
His eyes popped out of his head after seeing such a ridiculous number. Then his head whipped to the side to see the other dumbbells.
Each one had a series of numbers on each row that reached up to 100kg.
“T-This is insane…”
Kudo knew that he stood no chance, but to actually see the difference himself completely destroyed his chance of ever being released from his mother’s grasp.
It made him wonder just how strong of an adventurer she was. Seeing the big mansion himself, he could tell that she was rich beyond belief. Her extravagant tastes and the hardworking maids were proof of her luxurious spending. But the artistry and the carvings he noticed seem to be tailored for an adventurer. He could tell that she’s more of an adventurer than even himself.
Keeping those thoughts out, Kudo kept training his body, using whatever means to do so. Throughout it all, it was like the entire room was filled with his sweaty scent as he kept training to his limit.
He finally finishes off his sit-ups, burning away whatever was left of his dinner.
He breathed heavily, sweat riddled his bare torso as his shirt was too sweaty to keep working out in. Then, he heard the door open, showing that it was a different kind of maid.
She stood tall with teal-colored tied in twintails. The maid was a rarity—an elf with darkened skin. Her long ears that tapered to a long point alongside her dark skin made her quite noticeable.
She was a Dark Elf, a rarity for even the elves he has seen. Just like the elves, however, the dark elf maid was quite beautiful, showing colorful yellow eyes as she bowed.
“Master Kudo, would you like to take a bath?”
“A-Ah, yes, please.”
Suddenly being called ‘master’, it made Kudo flustered. Picking up his sweaty shirt, he puts it on temporarily as the dark elf maid led Kudo out of the training room.
After getting into the halls, Kudo spotted Hikari who was waiting outside.
“I’ll be taking you.”
She gave a nod to the dark elf maid, getting her to bow back as she left to the other side. Hikari then led Kudo through the hallways.
Hikari led him to the east side of the mansion, where the scenery was slightly changing from royal-like decorations to simplistic decorations which were not as colorful, but still pleasing to the eyes. Soon enough, they stopped in front of two sliding doors called tatami doors. The doors had pink flowers painted flowing about on it.
Hikari pulled the doors and revealed the red-colored room filled with shelves on rows in the middle, where inside were several baskets made out of thin fibers. There were also what seems to be soap boxes and several hair products that Kudo has never seen before.
“This is the changing room. And this one here…”
Hikari introduced the changing room to Kudo as she passed through the shelves to see two more sliding doors, this time made out of glass that fogged up.
She pulled them aside, getting Kudo to widen his eyes as he felt a warm air bursting through the opening on his heated skin.
In the spacious room, the sounds of water cascading downwards filled his ears. He could feel the heat nearly warming his entire body as he sees a pond-like bath that looked as natural as a hot springs, with rocks put to the side to provide ambiance.
There was a large waterfall that continuously pours hot water into the bath, making a blissful sound that pleased the ears. The walls were made out of polished wood which made Kudo head inside in excitement.
“Wow…! It’s so big!”
The size of the bath alone made Kudo gape. He never saw any bath that was bigger than a few meters wide, but this bath was practically 20 meters in diameter cut in half thanks to the wall.
“Please, enjoy yourself, Kudo.”
She smiled at him, knowing that he can do this himself as she left the bath, getting Kudo to not realize as he was too busy on the bath that Hikari’s eyes glinted as she left, a mischievous smirk on her face.
Making sure that she has left, Kudo looked back at the bath with a gleeful expression as he returned back to the changing room. He spotted a basket he needed and proceeded to change out of his clothes.
His sweaty black shirt, long pants, and even his boxers, Kudo stripped himself bear, only using the small white towel to tie around his privates.
He got back into the bath, and felt the warmth on his skin which alleviated his stress a little.
Seeing the large bath, he gave a wide smile as he took off his towel before bending his knees, and jumped forward.
A cry of pleasure phased through as the bath water explodes upon entry, producing waves from the epicenter as Kudo lands on the flooring of the bath.
Quickly enough, he resurfaced, a wave of clean air hitting his face as soon as he got out, feeling completely refreshed.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t so.
Once he entered, he failed to account the aching burns on his abdomen. The warm water easily made his scar even hotter, getting him to grunt out in pain and contorted his body.
He looked back down, seeing the large burn wound on his abdomen, the one left behind by the killer.
“It still hurts, even after I healed up…”
It was strange for the potions to fail healing him up completely despite drinking so many at the time. He recalls Hinota telling him that she saw his… insides for a moment which made him shiver in disgust.
He was about to die if Hinota hasn’t been there for him. However, when Kudo asked how she was able to get him to drink potions even though he was knocked out, Hinota became strangely quiet and avoided the topic altogether.
Even now, he still has no idea how she managed to make him drink potions.
However, he put those thoughts aside to try to relax for the first time in a while. He felt the water’s embracing warmth as the cool breeze being let out by the open windows around the bath, as if he was enjoying an open air bath.
He looked out to the sky, the stars being in the same place as he always saw them as he felt his fatigue being blown away. However, he had to be careful to avoid dipping his scar into the hot water.
As a few moments passed as the flow of the water echoed in the bath, he hears a strange sound of bubbling from behind him.
His ears perked up after hearing that, and turned around, only to see strange bubbles coming to the surface.
His heart started racing as the bubbles started to come up furiously. Before long…
A being came out of the water. Kudo widened his eyes after seeing what that being is.
Dark skin, ample chest, a thin waist, and wide hips, and strangely enough, the same headdress was still on her head. Kudo’s eyes widened as could see the same teal-colored hair that caked her chest where he avoided seeing her breasts completely, but the rather trimmed hair underneath failed to hide her own privates which got his eyes to pop wide open.
Seeing the same dark elf maid from before, but now she was in her bathing suit, Kudo quickly covered himself by instantly covering his crotch. But then more bubbles started to surface. It made him shiver as the bubbles have completely surrounded him.
Soon enough, more of the maids, each completely bare, came out of the water, surrounding Kudo with a harem of beautiful maidens that, for some reason, still wore their headdresses.
Not only that Kudo was blushing from the bare bodies, he was also frightened. His body shook in fear as he does not even have his armor or weapon on him.
Truly, being naked is a terrible time to be attacked.
Kudo heard what it seems to be cackling from a woman, getting him to look at the front entrance, trying to avoid seeing any more of their bodies as he got to see the one responsible.
Hikari showed herself to Kudo, standing near the edge of the bath with only wearing a white towel tucked cleanly onto her tone, voluptuous body. Her cleavage is clearly shown as the towel did a barely fine job of covering it. She had her hands on her hips, a mischievous smile on her face.
“What’s going on?!” Kudo demanded an answer, his eyes completely wide open in shock. He wasn’t even taken in by her almost-nude body as he was too panicked to care.
“Kudo, I know that you’re very uncomfortable right now. Being in a new home in such a faraway land, completely surrounded by strangers you have never met before…”
Kudo was talking about the current situation right now as Hikari continued.
“That’s why I decided to use the ‘Rebirthing’ method.”
Kudo’s body shivered after hearing such dreadful sounding words. He swallowed his saliva as he asked:
“W-What does that do?”
“It’s psychological therapy for a child who has gained a new parent. Basically, we’ll pretend that you will be birthed as you did when you were born, and I will act as the mother giving birth. Well, I am your mother, so we’re repeating this all over again.”
Kudo felt the color drained from his face. It was completely insane, but Hikari isn’t the type to shy away from doing this method. Fear taking over him, he tried t back away, but his arms were suddenly grabbed, getting Kudo to shriek as the dark elf maid and Shokan kept hold of his arms, their chests pushing up against him as their soft skin rattled Kudo’s brain.
“After that, for every 15 minutes, we’ll replay the last 15 years you spent with me as your parent, from when you were a baby to now.”
After hearing the rest of the plan, Kudo has now realized exactly what is happening to him.
He believed that this moment could be worse than him being injured at the incident. He tried to escape, putting more force into his arms and legs, but the maids easily countered his strength with their own, leaving him completely disabled.
(Is everyone super strong in this mansion?!)
Kudo felt his heart sank as the maids moved him closer to Hikari who was waiting for him to come up.
Kudo’s breath became sharper as he tried to wriggle his way free, but there was no luck. The maids were too strong.
(I-I’m going to be violated!!!)
Tears welled in his eyes.
Walking along the white halls of the mansion, footsteps filled the air. The young man known as Kagero casually walked along the halls after being invited by the maid at the front entrance.
The reason he came here despite having business was because he was too worried for Kudo. For a moment, he went back to the mansion to see his well-being.
“I hope Master’s not doing anything weird to him. He’s already traumatized as it is.”
He brushed his head as he silently prayed to the gods above that Hikari acts like a respectable biological mother.
Then, his ears perked up after hearing a sudden wail and several footsteps that reverberated in the halls. He looked in front of him to see someone running at fast speed, dust clouds created in his wake.
It was Kudo. He was running at full sprint, tears welling in his eyes. He wore nothing but a diaper as he ran like his life depended on it.
Shrill screams filled the halls as he ran past Kagero in terror. Then, Kagero spotted the group running after him.
Hikari only wore her pants as she ran after Kudo and shouted:
“Kudo, hold up! I have to breastfeed you!”
She shouted with a smile on her face as several other maids, dressed like doctors with a blue scrubs, ran along after her, also creating dust clouds from their path.
As the sounds of footsteps started to vanish, Kagero was left standing there, completely paused.
Then, he turned around, and said:
“Man, I can’t find Master anywhere. I better get home, or Kasara will get mad.”
He deleted the memory of every single moment that have just transpired.