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Hey Hey a shout out to Glintlock for being the first winner of the sphinx one shot challenge. He would have lasted longer than Y’all at least. His educated request was that of the elegant mad hatter. A choice that I found myself not disappointed with. Any ways I am going to go ahead a put my all into setting and development in this one. So I’m going to use forbidden jutsu. Razzang Fuc-er-umm T-Third Person Writing. Prepare to meet your end abstinence!

P.S. a shout out to Myrdrax for getting the riddles as well.

 

 There are many legends in this world. Those of terror and depravity. Those of adventure and intrigue. And what seem to be the most common now are of love and well… ‘Love’. But here I give you a tale of a slightly different kind today. One of brains and skill and, well you’ll get the idea as we go along. Enter the protagonist.

We will find him chopping wood. Yes. Just the place for a future hero to start his day. Or that is what he was told by his mother. Ah it looks as if he is saying something. “s-seven hundred twenty. Seven hundred t-thirteen. Seven hundred six” he left clouds of steam in testament to the cool morning air as he counted backwards from 1000. By sevens none the less. Why? You ask. Well I’ve been told that this is in fact a way to keep the mind sane during torture. Over reacting though he might be it kept his mind off the cold. He chopped away at logs, gnawing them down to small sticks just the right size to start the fire inside.

Finally done with his quota he and down to 273 he gathered what he had split and made his way back towards a little cottage on a hill. Although beautiful it was bear. And Jory was not very eager to be back inside even with the cold of the morning penetrating his thin coat. He proceeded inside and started the fire before setting a tea pot of water to heat. “Seventeen, ten, six, negative one.” he ended with a smile. And may I just say the roughish grin he gave himself would have caused a whole flock of harp to drop form the sky.

But unfortunately for him his mother came down the hall at exactly the moment he decided to pat himself on the back for job well done. “If you have time t’ stand there grinning like a fool heathen then ya’ got time enough to get ya’ sisters out o bed. Go on geet!” colder than the morning air and sharper than a polished bladed was the tongue of a woman who kept it prepared for lashings. Jory nodded and trudged down the hall only a little ways before turning down another and gently knocking on a pink and white door. It seemed terribly out of place with the plaster and wood that adorned the rest of the house. But gaudy was a fashion statement it seemed.

“Mother said it’s time to get up” he called softly before opening the door just a crack. He left it like this to let the warm air inside. Having heard the groans and complaints that signaled his sister’s gaining consciousness he retreated back towards the woodstove.

“Jory!” He burst into the living area where the stove was. “Oh no. Never mind just leave me ta do everythin‘. It’s not like I can pull you away from ya’ fool schoolen ta get ya ta do anything.” He knew what she was talking about, the tea bag was not in the pot when he left it. She seemed to insist that it was better if you warmed up the water with the bag in. quite absurd but he would never dare to tell her that. He simply resided himself to more scolding before being tasked with making potage and more nasty tea for his three sisters before going to find his “Bloody useless old man” in the fields and tell him it’s time for breakfast.

You may have a very poor opinion of his mother by now, but don’t be too hard on her. She sent him off with a squeeze and a smile telling him that someday he’d make a fine hero unlike his dead beat dad. It was how she was raised and was the only way she knew. As she had reminded them many times. Men where to have total abstinence from all kinds of pleasure so that they would become strong order knights.

But a credit to Jory she couldn’t steal the pleasure of a walk in the now brisk morning air. He imagined casually that he was a noble out surveying the land he owned. One of his fondest dreams was to be “High class” as his mother put it with disdain. Like his father once was. Speak of the ex-card shark there he was. Off the road and through the tree’s a bit Jory found a pillar of smoke rising. At the base was a ring of stones well blackened with the ashes of thousands of fires and plenty of good talks.

“Good morning son” like black silk words flowed warmly as his now slightly crusty father. You could see where the looks in the looks in the family came from at this point. Local legend had it that his father had actually won his mother in a 13 hour game of poker. But Jory secretly suspected that he had lost that bet. Either way it was rude to keep a response from a gentleman so long.

“Why good morning Sir. How do the lots fair on the start of this fine day.” Most children hate formality, and etiquette, and proper schooling in general. But Jory or Jeffory as his father called him couldn’t get enough. It was all a game of words, a way to explore the people around you and gauge their character and intelligence. But only here around the campfire with a few stumps was it any good to try, especially in such a backwater order village. The study the two of them called it secretly.

“As well as can be expected for the time of year. But if the sun dose decide to make an appearance earlier as the season goes on, I expect a healthy return on our season’s labor.” Jory could see the dirt already coating his father’s boots and pants all the way up to the thighs. But despite that he still rose from the ground on Jory’s approach and gave a firm hand shake. “And yourself dear Jeffory? How has the morning air been? I understand you have been feeling rather poorly as of late.” It had been two days sense he had been under the weather with a cold. But it was still a nice gesture seeing as how he had gotten in trouble for sleeping in from his mother.

Taking a deep breath in as to test that his nose worked properly; “I do believe the worst is behind. But thank you as always for your concern”

“Not at all.” Jory knew what was going to happen next and thanked God that his mother didn’t know what went on up here. Odds were she’d burn the forest down to purge the land of the sin. “Pray tell, may I interest you in a game of cards?” producing a pack of 52 from seemingly nowhere.

“Don’t you always?”

So while the educated gentlemen indulged in their pass time. A knight of the order approached steadily on his mighty steed. Passing by the two in the forest he made for the house on the hill. He delivered what amounted to excellent news for the house hold and waited for the man of the house to arrive. Meanwhile the eldest daughter only a year younger than Jory fell head over heels for the simple minded solider. Much to her mother’s delight.

The games in the forest done Jory’s father headed back for breakfast and Jory himself down to the fields for his share of work. It was still early spring so tilling the field was the order of business that day. He would work until lunch when his father would bring down a meal and the deck of cards again. Then they’d wager on the jobs for the afternoon and then meet once more before heading up to the house for the night. What they found when they arrived was a shock though.

When Jory’s father had went up to breakfast he had just missed his eldest daughter Angel leaving to give the knight a tour of the cottage and farm buildings. So the news he brought came as a complete surprise. “Well hi there kid y’all must be the new squire we’ve all been talking bout!” Jory felt numb all over except for the vice grip excuse for a handshake that the thug had him in.

“I don’t believe we have been properly introduced good sir. Might I ask your indulgence?” indicating his hand that was turning purple “as well as your name” He got a stern look from his mother but she didn’t scold him for using fancy words in front of company. Truth was she wasn’t really sure what he said.

“wha?” Jory wiggled his hand side to side, his accent having gone over the  “Oh dat.” he laughed with a snort “no worries lil guy you’ll be able to strangle a mule with one hand before I’m done with ya.” the image of a mule’s esophagus rupturing in his hand came to Jory’s mind just before the pressure was released. He shook his both his hand and head to free them from the lingering impressions he wished he didn’t have to endure.

Jory’s mother always loving to put a spot light on the elephant in the room spoke up “Sir. Bud ’ere has agreed ta take our Jory ta train with em’ in da’ order! ’el start ‘em out a squire but wid Sir. Bud’s connections ‘e can be a fut man in a year!” Jory had been expecting the day his mother would sell him off to the order. But he just didn’t think that I’d be so soon. It was as if everything that he’d ever done, little though it may be would be swept away.  All his dreams of class or highlife traded for decapitating farm animals with his bare hands. The death sentence for Jeffory, and the realization of Sir. Jory.

That night was what passed for a celebration in that household. White bread galore and enough cabbage and milk to choke a mule as Sir. Bud put it. It was all a haze and a bore as Jory for once in his life earned his mother’s approval at dinner by slouching and ignoring any kind of manners. He knew he was not going to make it through the muck and toil of the order with them in tact so why even use them anymore. His father was surprisingly quiet all during dinner and afterwards by the fire as Bud told tales of wicked monsters. Jory excused (old habits die hard) himself outside.

It was settled that they would leave in the morning, much to Angel’s dismay. The night wore on and Jory’s mother warned on the evil of staying up to late. It brought demons of the night, and everyone, including Bud bought the superstition hook, line, and sinker.

Now as it happened Jory’s father was not the hapless farmer that most though him to be now a days. As you already know he was once a master card shark with a silver tongue to boot. So he found reaching into his proverbial bag of trick for the first time in years to be a genuine pleasure. With words of pure dissentient he made sure that Sir. Bud found himself enjoying the sparse comforts of Jory’s room over those of the barn. And himself enjoying the punishment of the couch over his own bed.

“Jeffory dear boy. Where are you son?” He whispered as loud as he dare while creeping around the barn, a bundle tucked under one arm. “Jeffory!”

“Father?” it came from the loft.

“Good morning Son” he whispered back throwing a sack into the loft earning him a grunt and sleepy groan. The face of his son peaked back over the edge, yellow straw polluted his shoulder length black hair. A sorry sight with bags under his eyes, the torch light doing very little to soften the look of misery painted on his face. It made his father’s insides turn with guilt. But he was here to make it right, it was his son’s seventeenth birthday after all.

As a final gift to his son and only joy for seventeen years now. Jory’s father gave him the three most valuable things he could. One being the mule that Sir Bud was so intent on slaughtering. Two was a set of professional shark cards that he had kept back all these years. And number three he needed to wait until he was out of town to use less I be found out who he was before it was of any use as a disguise.

With many respectful and kind words he sent away his only son in the night to save him from the order’s foolishness. His only comfort was the son was a better card player than he was. Hopefully he would know better than to make a bet to marry a farmer’s daughter. With one last wave and a shake of his head at his own past foolish self he entered the house once more.

Jory could not have been more pleased about the entire thing. He rode the mule, whose name was Scot by the way, off down the road. Careful to avoid the excuse for a village he headed west and towards the edge of order territory just like his father instructed. Meanwhile his father played world class dumb as to where the boy could have possibly gotten lost at a time like this. They concluded that he must have been too excited to wait and set off ahead of them eastward towards the nearest fort.

So with pursuit evaded and friendlier lands ahead Jory set off to become the high class hustler that he knew was his destiny. He ended up in a little town known for its hospitality. There was not much to see or do but he was easily able to secure a bath. Having the muck off of him did wonders in own right. None may have noticed him entering town a dirty vagabond on a mule but every eye turned to see the eccentric young noble who walked out of the rear of the barber shop after changing his clothes.

He stopped in front of the mirror to admire his new self. His jet black hair free from its chains of dirt flowed in a gentle way back around his head tied in a way that kept it tame. While the stubble on his face had been scraped clean and a well-trimmed moustache gave just the right amount of accent to his lady killer grin. But they are right when they say clothes make the man. His father’s suit fit him like glove and screamed class in every way short of writing it on his forehead.

It was made from Arachne silk. The finest work ever done by only the most adept hands. The trousers where pure white panels sewn together vertically giving his legs the impression of being columns of marble. While the shirt was black and made from a single piece of cloth without a single seam on it except for the button holes. The vest was red with brass diamonds and spades for the shapes. An odd and almost mix matched choice but when he had put the coat on it made sense. Made from something Jory couldn’t even begin to identify it was made up of innumerable tiny stiff red ridges on the inside. On the outside it was grey with an unfollowable yet refined pattern of hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs all in red and black. The sleeves where adorned with red and white spotted cuff links and somehow it irreversibly smelled of tea. At least it must have been the good kind as it was exactly the kind of coat the former king of card sharks would own.

Now officially coronated he made his way along the coble stone streets to the towns inn. Drawing along half the town’s maidens in his wake. This was a strictly Human settlement though still being slightly inside order territory, so it was no more than clumsy attempts at flirting with the exotic stranger. Entering the inn he was faced with his first challenge as a gentleman. Namely not throwing up from the way every one stopped to stare. They couldn’t help it. None of the merchants and tinkers hand dreamed of much less seen get up quite like that. More than one of them ended up laughing on the floor or checking the contents of their drinks.

But manners where made for exactly this purpose Jory told himself. Keeping his head high and steps light he found a seat at a clean looking wooden table in a well-lit corner. The inn keeper quickly found him and gave a deep bow. “What do we owe the pleasure today young Sir?”

“A cup of your finest tea if you please.” He tried and failed to keep his happiness at being called ‘Sir’ off his face. But this is how people should act towards each other. Not slurring in drool and demanding. It made him cringe even thinking of the sight.

“That’ll be one silver lad” as the white cup and saucer were set down. Jory merely smiled politely and gave a small laugh.

“Surly you jest good Sir. The price of a horse and cart for a cup of tea.” he laughed again, showing that he wasn’t some rich man’s foolish son. “You must have meant that it was on the house, which I do thank you for as it is quite well made” setting it down and patting his lips with his handkerchief.

“No I’m serious son.” the keeper tried to scam him into thinking it was from another world and assured him that it was worth every copper. Jory may have been sheltered but he could tell when someone mixed black and white tea to muddle the flavors. He wasn’t falling for it but with all the eyes turned his way he couldn’t simply call him a liar.

“Ugh why do people have to be so difficult sometimes” he thought to himself “Oh dear, I’m afraid I haven’t a purse of silver. But I’m sure my escort can find something to square the bill. If you take my meaning Inn keeper” just the barest hint of venom in his words as he sipped the sub-par brew.

“Oh did I say a silver? I said it usually is, but for you my lord it’s on Me.” the fat man retreated to tend other customers keeping as far away from Jory as he could. Meanwhile Jory scanned the room slowly taking in every detail.

It was only about the size of his barn, with about the same amount of light. But instead of coming from open flame it was provided via magic lamps. The characters where clean farmers and merchants for the most part. With a few less exotic travelers thrown in for color. “Ah there he is” His gaze fell upon a ragged grey coat and shifty eyes of a common card shark. “Time to show him who is king” his thought to himself as he crossed the room.

“Good day dear Sir. Mightn’t I interest you in a game of cards?” He was met with a delighted although almost toothless smile. He of course took every copper that the poor man had and left him with a sizeable debt before retiring to the inn’s modest rooms courtesy of the keeper’s generosity once more.

This was the trend from town to town as he hopped ever closer to the border of the order’s influence. Having quite an impressive carriage and even an armed guard he thought it would be safe to finally leave the terrible tyranny of the order. So off into monster territory he went.

Like all good little order boy’s he had been brought up to know that monsters where blood thirsty and savage creatures of evil. But when an Ogre and a salamander joined his rank of guards his opinion quickly changed. He came to depend heavily on the salamander and her husband (one of the guards who beat her). As well as the Ogre, even though she would always stare at him a in a strange way.

Eventually he came to a promising town with a descent looking Inn. It was weeks away from order territory by caravan and quite lovely. Surrounded by green hills and farms the mixed population seemed content yet growing. He had plenty of funds from his travels so all there was left was to buy property and start cultivating it. He was actually almost missing the stability of a single place to stay, if only to have somewhere to come back to. This is where he would set up his estate. It just felt right.

“Watch your step boss.” The feminine voice warned kindly as a scaled claw helped him from the carriage. Her a face with hard features but soft eyes met him upon exiting into the town center. By the way the female populating where salivating he decided she was going to have to see her husband a bit less until their business here was done.

“Thank you Miss Sara.” He exited the gilded black box and led the way back to the four wagons following behind. “It’s four by three for the guard tonight Ashley” he spoke to his third in command. The Ogre driving the first wagon nodded once before shouting out to the rest of the caravan. Four by three meant four on duty and three off for each cart. The he found that the monster girls would usually only pester them a little if they grouped up according to sevens. Something about a magic number.

Not that he disliked them but they seemed to bring unneeded issues. He stepped aside and allowed the whole procession to pass him and his second on their way to the edge of town. She had been through the routine enough times to know that the next stop was whatever gaming tables that the town had to offer. But today he surprised her by going to the town hall instead.

“My My.” The scantily clad succubus at the reception counter chided “What can I do for a delicious morsel such as yourself?” she said in her most seductive voice.

“Good day miss. We would like to enquire about the town directory.” He had learned to be polite but short with mamono, as any attention was taken as sexual interest. That is why Ashley was still around it seemed. The others where well paid professionals or those who were working off a debt but Jory just couldn’t seem to get rid of her. He thought it best to not pick up too many interested parties so it was best to be brief.

“Just a sec hansom” She winks and bends over giving him ample view of up her dangerous skirt, witch try as he might he couldn’t quite ignore the fact that she was suspiciously bear underneath. Sara smiled knowingly at the blush that came to his face. She after all was married to his former chief of guard who had the same problem for some time. “Oh no” she said repositioning herself to drape her sizeable bust from a pouty face.  “I think I left it at home” another seductive smile and wink “would you like to come over and help me look for it?”

This was obviously a ruse and one of the many opportunities Sara had to earn her pay. Despite her almost constant pestering for him to settle down with Ashley or any good girl for that matter, she had her honor as a salamander to keep up. “Now my boss here is spoken for miss, but one of his men would be quite the catch. I speak from experience when I say that.”

She is usually less polite, Jory seemed to think that he is rubbing off on her and gives her one of his dashing smiles he has become somewhat famous for. Which completely ruined any chance of getting the succubus to leave them alone peacefully. Which lead to a fight, and lead to the succubus’s boss coming around the corner. The mayor on the other hand was extremely helpful as she is was already a married Shinnori.

The piece of land that was in question was unowned and ready to be claimed for a small donation of 20 gold. It was called a donation but somehow it was given the impression that it was one of those that you didn’t decline. But besides another attempt from the succubus at eye rape they made the exchange without a hitch. The document giving Jory the full rights to over 4 square miles of forest and plains just a few miles outside of town was secure.

“And now Sara off to the gaming tables. To celebrate!” thankfully the small tavern was only a few buildings away and the time of day put most traffic either indoors or towards their destination.

“Hey boss.” just before they entered the small establishment. Jory knew what was going to happen next, it was the almost the full moon after all. “I was wondering and all. It might not be a good idea to take the papers in there and stuff. I could head on back to the boys to keep it safe.” She really just wanted to be with her husband tonight but was too embarrassed to say. Not that Jory blamed her, it was something she could hardly help.

“An excellent idea Dear girl.” the light erupted from her tail and eyes so fast that she almost started a sprint to her destination without even stopping to grab her excuse. “Do tell Ashley not to drink all the liquor this time, she needs to learn to share with the lads. Don’t mind the supply tonight though dear, I’ll have a whole tavern full of it by morning.” he instructed her handing her the document. She would probably forget everything he had said by the time she got there. But that was beside the point right now he had a job to do.

This was after all the town he was going to be staying in for some time, so a steady stream of income was critical. First thing first. Send out the herald. He approached a shady looking man selling magic libido enhancers nest to the tavern door. “Ah a fine eye my lord, you have an excellent eye for quality product. It’s a full moon tomorrow too so I’m having a sale.” His sales pitch wasn’t terrible but it could defiantly use work Jory thought as he assured him that he was not that kind of customer.

“I was wondering if you might be kind enough to take a job I have to offer. It requires very little, in fact you may continue just as you are while doing it all the same.” at first he didn’t seem interested, but as soon as Jory flashed him a silver he immediately perked up. “All you have to do is spread the word my friend. That a challenge is being held. A card tournament where the fee of entry is a silver, and the prize is ten gold and all a man can drink for a month.” once the man calmed down from the shock he was all questions. Where was it? When, how, why?

Jory never being one for many questions told him it was happening now in the tavern and that for every entry before midnight. At this the man nearly started tackling people in the street telling them about it. Jory moved quickly to his destination to set up. After telling the tavern owner about it, who was quite pleased for the extra business (and the chance to enter himself) and agreed immediately. He even set Jory up in a private and roped off corner with a large and well-lit round table.

It was about two cups of green lemon tea in before the first batch of sucker- err um contestants showed up. Three at once, two men and a werewolf being cheered on by her pack. The set up was so that the silver was divided into 80 coppers courtesy of the tavern keeper, and that was your money to play poker with until you either lost it all or won everyone else’s silver. Jory limited himself to a silver’s worth of copper to start the game with.

Easy as statistical math. These people didn’t know how to play the game at all. They would raise on a pair of deuces but fold when they had the makings of full houses. It was easy to keep track of when they all laid their hands on the table after every hand. Some even showed what they had thrown away.

It was almost sad to see the werewolf’s last copper go. ”Bad luck dear, you can always buy in next game though” it almost looked like tears where going to fall as she whimpered back to her pack who looked extremely upset at loosing what might have been their last silver. That was how the game was played though no helping it. And besides the other two were quick to go as well.

They where replaced by a red and blue Oni pair in it for the drinks no doubt. Too bad they didn’t prefer tea, and their manners where unbelievable. The three humans accompanied them along with the most gifted woman, monster or otherwise Jory had ever seen. She had to be one of those holostaur that he heard talk of. Truly she was his worst enemy yet.

This group was not harder than the first though and the night was still young. Politely waving off the hypnotizing distraction he made it through group after group of men women and mamono. It was astounding how some simple knowledge could make such a difference when it came to cards. So long as Jory kept track of what was still in the deck he could predict what cards where most likely to show up. He had long ago given up trying more underhanded means against the sharp eyes of monster girls. Trick shuffling was utterly useless against them.

It was group 26 when she showed up. That last person that he would ever look to find in a shabby tavern full of sweaty men and horny monsters. A proper lady, or so Jory thought when she sat down across from him and ordered the peppermint tea in contrast to the complimentary ales the tavern keeper than been serving. She was wearing something very similar to what Jory was especially the coat, even down to the strange ridges on the inside. Although there seemed to be a substance like cob web covering some of her pants. It was the magnificent hat she was wearing that set them apart.

The hat had the bones of a top hat, but the brim and top flared out making it look curved and feminine. It must have been the same kind of material as the coat because of the green color and earthen real sheen it gave off. 

“Well dear Sir are you going to deal the cards. There are quite a few in line still.” Jory snapped back to reality realizing that he had been staring. Not that it was hard to do, her short black hair framed a pale face with sapphire eyes. Ruby lips delicately sipped spicy smelling tea from the plain white tea cup held by black gloved hands. Each digit moved with a grace that could hardly be described. She must be a noble of some kind.

“Y-yes ofcourse.” Never had a woman of any species appealed to him like the one across from him now. He simply had to have her name, time for some people skills. “I must say that is a wonderful hat Miss…?”

“Why thank you. My name is Alicia, Alicia the Hatter, and you Sir are well tasted. Pray what may I call you?” He made a note to find out about her after the tournament.

“Jeffory, will do I think. And you are quite welcome.” He usually made conversation during games to exploit breaks in concentration and to read the mood people where giving off. But this time he truly was interested in what the beauty across from him had to say.

“I must ask, was that you I saw in the woods to the north this afternoon?” she stirred her tea with a silver spoon she produced from somewhere while eyeing him in a pleasant way. She never broke eye contact even when she took a sip or reached down to pick up the cards dealt to her.

“Yes it was. My men and I only arrived today, but I think it is a pleasant spot to settle. What are your thoughts on the matter?” Two pair right off the bat for him he set his cards down and dealt the second round of cards, not really paying attention.

“Well if I had known the wagons had held such a man as you, I probably would have taken all of you to my own country. Then we would have been playing quite a different game right now” a slight smile spread behind her cup, but somehow her statement didn’t seem like a joke.

“Is that so?” She made kidnapping sound as if it was the most natural thing in the world. “Where might this country you speak of be? Is it perhaps a place I have been?” She doubted that he had made it quite so far as “Wonderland” but told him of a road to it in the forest. Where he was welcome to come by for tea if he liked.

The game continued with the other player’s being quite ignored in the conversation being passed over their heads and the coins once again being steadily drained. The succubus from earlier was among them and getting very angry at being ignored. I can’t really blame her but it still didn’t warrant what she did next. “All in”

The table and surroundings quiet instantly. It wasn’t the first time someone had gotten desperate that night, but it surly was the most extreme. With over three-fourths of her silver still available she had bet everything on one hand after the indicial bet and before they even looked at the cards. Sliding her fingers back across the green carpet lining the table she let a single finger rest seductively on her set of five cards.

Jory would normally fold at a time like this but the Oni and that was obviously too drunk to really play right had decided the only option was to follow suit. If he was to fold now someone would win the pot, and it most certainly would not be him. The Hatter likewise seeing the futility of the situation pushed her slightly more than a silver in. This gave him absolutely now choice now.

Jory’s brain kicked into overdrive as he picked up his hand. “Junk” he thought. But not all was lost, an ace of hearts, five of hearts, six of diamonds, king of diamonds and a three of hearts. With a fresh shuffle only one hand away he could narrow down what was possible. The winning hand last game was the lovely Miss Alicia with three kings, followed by himself with a pair of jacks. So face cards were out, and sevens and fives where junk from the pairs that two others had managed to carve out.

It would make sense to anyone else to dump everything else he had and go for a pair of aces but by the time it was his turn to draw there where only three cards left. True he could shuffle the deck right now and reset the odds. But that would actually hurt him more that it would help. He knew that the best hands available where all straits. As he had one of the aces and one was spent last hand. So that left no better than a full house of queens over aces, otherwise he had to deal with a flush or possibly a strait flush. But the odds where not in favor of that.

The best option was to vie for bottom strait, possibly a strait flush. He tossed the six and the King and prayed for a two and four. Drawing the top two he set them down without looking. “Please show your hands ladies” The Oni smiles drunkenly with the three queens showing somehow. The hatter gracefully sets down two pair. And the succubus who started the whole thing mumbles something about ace high card and slumps away from the table.

Slowly turning over one card at a time Jory lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. Before him was his bottom strait. A growl interrupted the relief as the Oni Stumbled away to look for another sponsor. That was after all the third time that night she had been up to bat. That Hatter seeing she was beat as well stood up and bowed. Thanking him politely for the tea and saying something he didn’t catch at all.

“Alicia.” He called before she left. Her eyes once again on him he fought to remain composed “M-may I call on you sometime?”

“But of course” as if he had asked something that had already been discussed “And not even morning shall stop us from making babies. Do call soon.” The part about babies confused him, but he was quite welcome it seemed. Then she was gone, not even a path was cleared through the crowd, no foot step or flash. Only the faint tint of peppermint hanging in the air.

“A Hatter must be some kind of wizard” he reasoned. The rest of the night was very uneventful compared to the hatter showing up. Or at least Jory thought it was. Without knowing he had shifted his way so speaking ever so slightly. So if you tried to say how he was speaking different you would have a hard time pinning it down. But the effect was painfully apparent. Almost all the men had left at this point, and most the mamono had gone under just to play another game with him. When asked why they would say “even the sound of his voice turns me on”. And more than one had tried to take him by force. Being pulled off by the other girls who still had a chance if they won.

But exhausted and having more than 60 gold worth of profit he finally ended the night when the sun started to rise. The girls who had gone into debt where told to show up at their camp later that day or the next to draw up a form of working off their debt. Most where just glad that they had a promise to see him again, while others imagined all kinds of lewd forms of payment they could work out. One red Oni in particular was crying to her husband about how she had spent their last dollar on trying to win so she could buy more booze. He was trying to comfort here but it wasn’t really working.

“Pardon me but I believe that I have an issue that you can take care of for me. If you’re willing to humor me then I’ll clean up afterwards.” Even Jory was starting to notice something strange in his speech. He dismissed it as being tired.

“What kind of issue mate?” the man spoke up. Not looking too pleased at the swindler showing his face after taking all their money.

“Well seeing as how I have drawn the attentions of all the eligible females in town, I need an escort home otherwise I shall find myself extremely satisfied by mid-day and miss my morning tea.” they didn’t seem to take the hint by the way the man looked at him weird and the Oni downed another shot of amber liquid. “I would like to hire you and your wife to walk me home and keep the rabble form raping me.”

“And why should we after the stunt you pulled taking the town for all it’s worth?” It looked like the man was drunk too, maybe another choice would be best. But by the hungry looks he was getting it was probably not a good idea to wait.

“Because I am offering you a gold piece for a morning’s work.” at this both of them perked up and agreed to take him. The Oni led him to the edge of town fending off more than one attempt on his dignity while the man had gone to get his sword and rent a few horses. Before the sun was even fully over the horizon they set off in the pre-dawn chill with the Oni sinning some absurd drinking song. It when something like:

The harpy an’ da’ Oni drank and, til’ they passed the day awaaaay

Then da’ harpy when’t n’ few away the Oni drank and staaaaayed

Den a man whif lil sack of gold came a dragin inta’ town

But da Oni made em’ feel at home so he drank da’ day awaaaay!

Jory tolerated the terrible singing sure that it would at least keep the harpies away. But really where did she pick up a song like that. Unless it was her own life story… knowing this particular monster it was very likely that it was at least close.

But they rode into the forest for about ten minutes before the singing stopped and the two that where escorting him where nowhere to be found. Jory panicked thinking that he was betrayed and their where enemies close by, he kicked his horse faster into motion. But the fastest thing he had ever rode was his mule, who was safely back at camp being pampered at the moment. So due to some unseen force as he would later tell it, or merely his lack of skill in riding he found himself on the ground in a dusty pile. The horse whinnying in the distance.

“Perfect! Just fine!” he shouted at no one in particular not even noticing how odd the forest around had become as he dusted himself off. “Next I am sure I will be robbed for all I have and given to the nest pack of werewolves to wander by. Bloody full moon tonight to boot!” He marched forward in what can only be described as an angry shamble, totally oblivious that the light filtering through once green leaves was turning a shade of purple. All he saw was red even as the grass beneath the trees grew long and curved into heart shapes. And large mushrooms of questionable shape rose from the ground in almost regular intervals.

Farther and farther he walked until his feet where sore. He was sure that he took a wrong turn somewhere as the land he bought should look nothing like this. He was on the verge of yelling out at the top of his lungs except that the light of whatever odd sun was fading. And it was a full moon. Not wanting to draw any more attention to himself than he was probably already doing he kept trudging along with tired feet and an ever more messed up sense of direction.

“I know it was only just morning when I set out. How could the day have gone so fast without me knowing?” he said to himself. “I must be tired, I haven’t slept in almost two days now” his body agreed with a yawn.

“Awwe, you poor man.” a chilling maniacal laugh reverberated through the air. It seemed to come from everywhere at once.

“This is most defiantly not good” he looked for the owner if only not to run into her, but either she was exceptional at hiding or he was to frantic to find her.

Another laugh seemed to greet his statement. “Ohh~ I wonder how you’ll taste all covered in syrup?” this time he caught what looked like a purple and black tail vanishing from sight. It was defiantly a monster but he had no idea what kind. Not that he was an expert after only a few months around them but he considered himself at least well enough informed that he’d know what he was up against.

He knew better than to talk at least. He reasoned that if he ignored her she might get bored and leave. Though more likely she’d get more forward in her attempts at seduction. If the giggles where anything to go by she didn’t care if he answered or not. But onward he went not even thinking to turn around and go back at this point. He was utterly lost in this strange part of the woods and going back the way he came would only mean facing a town of horny monsters. Going forward at least would give him a chance at stumbling upon his camp.

But his invisible companion kept up with him teasing and cracking lewd jokes which she laughed at herself. He knew he should be offended at the indecency of it but instead and to his own disgust he was painfully aroused. “Oh come on that one was funny” she whined after one about an Ushi-Oni at a Sabbath meeting.

“No I’m afraid it was not.” he said trying to cover giggles himself. Even before the sentence was fully out he realized that he had broken his silent treatment. To which she laughed all the more. It was starting to make him very mad. It reminded him of people laughing at him for trying to be “high class” growing up.

“So you can speak can you~ hehehe” Jory felt the tell tail heat on his neck. He spun around only to see the white crescent of a grin fade from existence. Whatever she was he felt the need to run immediately. A foe who could disappear at will was one that he didn’t want to be around.

He took off as fast as his lags would carry him. Witch by monster standards was quite laughable. It must have been by the way the Cheshire broke into tears at his noble-man trot. To him though it was a desperate escape form certain rape. He looked right and left as he panted along, feeling way overdressed for a run in the woods and for once wishing that he looked a little less appealing to the opposite sex.

“Maybe I can lose her if I turn into one of the side roads” he reasoned seeing a turn to the left just a few feet ahead. He was in too much of a rush to see the ornate mail box witch read “Alicia Hatter”. He charged down the short walkway until he was met with a wrought iron fence. Without thinking twice he vaulted the knee length spikes and dove for the front door of the thatched roof cottage. He only hesitated for a moment before beating on the door.

He could hear the giggling catching up to him as it the voice broke out into a perverted song depicting a cat and a mouse chasing after a man. Thankfully the door opened and he was met with the last person in the world that he would expect to be living in a cottage in a perverted forest.

“Miss Alicia?!” he panted as she stood at the door seemingly unsurprised to see him there. She only smiled sweetly in answer while tipping her magnificent hat. “Did she forget who I am” he thought even in his urgent need he worried that he might have left no impression at all.

“Ahh Jeffory, nice of you to come on this most excellent evening for mating. Been for a run in woods have we? I do hope no young lady has had her way with you yet.” Well that dispelled half of his fears, but whatever she was saying was too much for him to think about seriously at the moment. The important thing was that she remembered his name and might be willing to let him in to get away from whatever was chasing him.

“I do hate to be rude but I am being pursued may I come in?” He normally would never be so forward with anyone. But the circumstances took priority over manners at this point. He was exhausted and nearly unable to stand but was sure that whatever kind of wizard a Hatter was could fend off whatever was following him.

“But of course where are my manners. We must get you inside and taken care of while you are still proud and tall” She seemed to make a regal gesture towards his crotch. But then again it might have just been an odd type of bow. Either way she let him in and shut the door behind them. A satisfied smile gracing her lips as the lock slid into place.

All right readers. I have a riddle for you; what happens when you are exhausted and stubble upon a Mad Hatter’s house? Not only that but are invited in and have the door shut and locked behind you? The answer? Raaaaaazzzzang- Fuc-er umm… well if you are at all familiar with my writing you will know that this is the disclaimer. I am not responsible for anything that may come after. If you do not want to read about echhi tea parties and possibly reverse loli sex then please stop here. If you do stop then let me just say that he didn’t make it back to his manner on the hill. But that it was left in his will to one of his younger sisters who I will eventually write about.

 

The inside of the house was surprisingly frilly. Doilies and potted plants were almost everywhere on small tables and shelves lining the wall. And where they were not was filled with kettles and brewing devices. It smelled like heaven though after the thick and cold mist that was prevalent in the night air. It was warm and inviting like hundreds of different teas all at once. He was instructed to remove his shoes for the carpet’s sake and he obliged only to feel his feet sink into the plush red stuff all along the floor.

“Good God” he exclaimed as she led him to a round sitting room that let the light of the moon in through a window in the ceiling. “What is this wonderful carpet made from?”

“Ah. That my lover is March hair fur.” She asked him to sit in a comfortable looking wicker chair as she left to get a pot of tea that was whistling from one of the many odd shaped heaters. “My good friend Genevieve spent a great deal of time securing it for me. We have tea quite often, in fact if she were here now we would probably share you. Although my tastes are somewhat odd.” she arrived and poured a light brown liquid into a waiting cup. A trail of steam hinted at the warmness, but the smell of it somehow aroused him even farther.

“Clam down. This is not the time nor the place.” He thought to himself. “I must thank you again” he took a sip of the tea. It was a kind of spice tea he decided as the flavor was cool on his tongue but warm in his throat. “And apologize for dropping by so suddenly.” he took another sip of the tea and relished in the warmth sliding down and spreading to all parts of his body. Somehow it gathered around his crotch and would not leave making him uncomfortable. He fought the urge to squirm in his seat and adjust himself.

“Not at all. I do remember inviting you to call soon, and quite frankly I was pleasantly surprised finding you on my stoop so excited. Please have a cookie, they are my own recipe.” Jory was in all honesty not really paying attention to what she was saying. Having been transfixed on her moving lips and how her grey vest with mushroom-like buttons contained her sizeable bust.

He was jerked out of his stare by the plate being offered to him turning a deep shade of red at being caught staring somewhere so lewd on such a noble lady. But she just smiled gracefully and offered the plate again insisting they were quite good. “T-thank you” his words having lost some of their luster as he fought to keep himself from ogling her again.

So they drank several more cups of various teas the conversation always seeming to go over Jory’s head when she talked about what she did to keep herself company and how her friend Bethany Alice had found a husband recently. All the while he continued to stare at her breasts and mouth. But she didn’t seem to mind and kept offering him more tea and those wonderfully sweet cookies. This when on for as long as he could remember before she asked him a rather odd question. “Tell me now sense it is drawing close on to midnight and I shall be undressing in a moment, do you prefer the top or the bottom?”

“I do beg your pardon Miss but I don’t understand the question.” his voice felt wrong, it was higher and much less flowing. He dismissed it as the tea as he adjusted his crotch for what mush have been the hundredth time his hand coming back just a little damp and sticky before he wiped it on his pants and took another sip of the lemony tea they had moved on to. Oddly enough it took both hands to hold the cup now, but he simply dismissed it.

“Oh I suppose it don’t matter, but if you don’t mind I shall take the top then.” It seemed to him that the room had steadily grown larger around him. But it was such a slow change that he hardly took any notice until she rose and took the empty plate of cookies with her. He watched her scandalously round and perky but peak out for just a moment before she straitened and her coat tails covered it again. “Do come into the drawing room. I think it would be more comfortable by the fireplace.” she called her hips swaying back and forth like a pendulum.

He slid down from the chair and walked with small steps over towards the river rock hearth. Not at all like the one he had used to start fires in. it was warm and inviting and open so you could see the flames merrily crackling behind a grate made from whimsical shapes. It was what one would describe as a cheery fire. He took a seat in the large and cushy sofa in front of the hearth and waited with his feet dangling off the edge.

“Wait my feet should at least touch the floor. And what about my hands, and my voice.”  The realization striking him all at once that he had somehow shrunk. In actuality he had been given the body of a 10 year old boy due to the cookies Alicia gave him. But right now all he could think about was getting out. He had been tricked and lured in here by sweet words and an amazingly beautiful lady.

“But no. I must be imagining it. There is no way that it could happen“. But now as he looked at himself in a hand mirror he found on the table he confirmed his worst fear. His brain already tainted by the Madness, Alicia took her time in letting him discover his new body as she watched stealthily from the nest room.

At first he was sure that it was a mistake, but sure enough he found the mistake to be mistaken. And if this mistake was a mistake then how many other things might he be mistaken about. He did admit begrudgingly to himself that he looked like quite the lady killer even at ten. His clothes shrinking according to size he did a small dance in front of the fire place to test if his legs still worked properly.

“What am I doing? I must tell her to change me back at once! This joke has gone too far.” he exclaimed looking in the mirror once more to find a ten year old him looking back.

“Ah my lover but this is no joke. Merely my taste in mating partner, I did warn you that my tastes where odd.” Alicia strolled into the room towering above him so that his head only came to just below her more than ample chest. “Come now and sit on the couch it’s time to show you how to properly impregnate a monster. Don’t mess about on the sofa” He would have rejected but she just looked so sure of herself. Every move and gesture was the absolute idea of poetry in motion.

He climbed onto the couch somehow convincing himself that it was only natural to accept the request from such a gracious hostess. He sunk back as she shed her coat and straddled his small form. She leaned in and kissed the top of his head. “Umm the sweetest brew is locked up deep in your balls. I am going to take my time bringing it out. It will be quite enjoyable.” everything she said was just somehow right in Jory’s mind. Her sent was like the finest and warmest tea he had ever smelled and then some. Her lips where hotter than the hearth and fire that cast a wreath of light around her curvy form.

Her lips traced lower and around his jaw, every point of contact becoming electric at her touch. His groin witch had been aching for hours now was soaked with pre-cum and was starting to show through his trousers. She knew it all though he was totally under her spell, unable to resist if he wanted to. His brain kept telling him that anything a wondrously graceful wom-monster such as her did must be right.

“I must apologize, I have been neglecting my role as hostess for allowing you to suffer so long.” Jory opened his mouth to assure her it was not the case but as soon as his mouth opened it was filled with her tongue. It explored every inch of his small mouth. First his lips and teeth, then his own tongue. Then deeper. The taste and feeling of her totally in control made his eyes lull back in his head for a moment. She was unexpectedly sweet, like pure liquid sugar pouring down his throat and filling his mind.

He was awakened from this personal heaven by a warm and soft pressure on his chest. Both their tops gone without a trace he got a look at her breasts pressed against his tiny chest as she broke the kiss. Her hat was still on for some reason but all he could think was how lovely her half lidded expression was as she lowered herself to her knees on the floor. She rested her chest on his knees showing off the milky white skin and impossibly red nips standing tall out of arousal.

“Ah.” her lips forming a knowing smile “It is quite alright to touch them” as if it was a child asking to play outside “in fact please do, that would make me quite pleased.” he needed no farther prompting. His small hands could barely squish one in each hand but they played with the nips rolling and flicking. Smiles and tiny gasps were his reward when he pinched especially hard. At one point he tried to lean down and take one in his mouth but was intercepted and pushed gently but firmly back into his place.

“Now, now. Company first.” Never breaking eye contact with her deep blue and still half lidded eyes she slowly undid the buttons on his trousers and slid the damp and sticky garment to the floor. It seemed the one part of his anatomy that did not go back to being a child was his twitching shaft that was now exposed for the slimy twitching thing it was. “Just perfect, you do know how to spoil a girl don’t you?” he would have responded but she ran a single pale digit down the underside enticing a moan.

She took it as the signal to move forward. She raised her mouth the hover just above the tip still looking deep into his eyes. She smiled her knowing, motherly smile and lightly kissed the tip sending a tremor through his small body. His expression had long ago turned to a big stupid grin on his juvenile face but now it contorted as he thrust his hips up trying to feel more of her. But she pulled away not willing to give up the lead.

“Now now, patience is a virtue.” bringing her impossibly soft tongue to caress the underside of his member before taking it completely in. it was warm and soft like nothing he had ever felt before. The helpless state of his body making it all the more enjoyable as she bobbed up and down faster and faster, all he could do was grab at the sides of that amazing hat that she still had on. This enticed a moan of pleasure from her like it was somehow connected. The vibrations only added another level of the already brain wracking stimulus, he had no warning before it became all too much at once.

His entire frame shook and tensed against her soft breast and tight throat as he erupted inside of her. Sweet release in a way that he could never have imagined.

“Mmmm.” Alicia drew him back out of her mouth licking every drop of white and coming away with a pop. “The best kind of brew.” Even when she licked a stray drop off the side of her mouth she still remained utterly composed. If anything the deep blush and seductive smile only made her even more refined. “Now I think I have waited long enough, its turn my sweet.”

She was once again straddling him lightly grinding her still clothed crotch against his still erect shaft. Jory was utterly exhausted from the overload of pleasure, perfectly willing to let his lovely hostess do what she pleased. “Here you are, shall I teach you a bit of wonderland magic?” She raised an impossibly red nipple to his mouth to witch he latched onto drawing a sigh of contentment from the mature woman above him. At the same moment the magic must have happened, or maybe it was because of the odd rules of the land that the magic happened because of what they did. Either way they were now both fully naked and extremely wet down there.

His mouth was one sidedly dominated again as she locked her lips over his. Her taste was like even more potent and electrifying, but her gentle sent that seemed to stick all over him was calming. He found himself in a state of existence that he couldn’t quite describe. He was here yet it wasn’t him. He could think but they were not his thoughts. It was as if someone had gone to where all the thoughts came from and poured the thick sweet taste of Alicia on all the thoughts before they made it to his head. She was everything right now, a stately lady and at the same time a Hatter in heat. An angel that brought pleasure and a demon that brings shame.

But enough of this madness, she had been above him raining down her girl brew for too long. Not being able to stand it anymore he thrust up blindly, missing her entrance but getting his point across. She pulled back with a knowing grin and a cute sigh.

“So eager to be as one my dear? I am so glad we think alike.” with one hand on his pale babyish chest and another caressing the back of his head she sat down with an enraptured gasp. All Jory could do was melt. The throbbing never subsiding as she shook her hips slowly massaging the pain with her tender, deep inner folds. He was lost in the pain and pleasure, feeling so wrong and yet so right. But one without the other was unimaginable. Like two sides to a coin, like the light without the dark to see it by. Like him without her.

It was forever and a day before he woke up from what must have been the best time of his life. He was his old self again with his toned muscles and chiseled face. But he didn’t notice, simply taking in the bedroom he was in. Normally he would have panicked or at least wondered where he was. But things like that seemed so trivial with an empty stomach.

He found that he was naked, but somehow it didn’t feel wrong. “If one woke up in the world as such, then why should he not enter into every day in the same way” he thought to himself. Never the less he found his clothes folded and pressed on a chair made of an oversized mushroom. He dressed himself liking the feel of the clothes fitting into place, but somehow it made him even feel perversely satisfied to be dressed. “Clothes are only for taking off in the end”

He exited the room in search of food and his hostess. Witch he found lounging at the table they had taken tea at the other day. “Ah. He man of the house emerges” She narrates sweetly putting her cup down. He thought that it must be her favorite as she drank from the same one the other day. Or at least he thought two such cups would never exist. It featured black outlines hand painted to look like a harpy sitting on a writing desk.

Her blue eyes found his and everything else seemed to melt away. “I think I shall stay Alicia. It only make sense that likeminded people should be together forever.”

“But of course.” she smiled knowingly once more. “Might I interest you in a morning blend to stimulate you for the day ahead? The wedding reception is later this evening after all”

“I would be quite foolish to refuse.” sitting down in his place across from her but still holding on to some feeling that he was supposed to be somewhere else doing something else. “Ah well” He thought. Better to be where he was lest he lose track of himself.

So this one is long and possibly drawing on for longer than you’d like to read. But that is what happens with third person. Next time I’ll make use of dividers for transitions if I need them but this time I just went for a block of text. Any ways if you are reading this that means that you ignored my lovely disclaimer and decided to press on into the great unknown. Good for you! Has your mind been twisted? Next I think I will take up the story of poor Ashley the ogre and her unrequited love. We have seen one side of the “high class” situation now I think I will look at the other. Comments are appreciated, tell me the things you like and don’t. I it-t’s not like I w-want to write for you- b Baka!