A/N: Hello again, everyone and welcome to Mamono One-Shot Collection S2! I'm your host (and author) Drake Kanto, and allow me to extend my deepest regards. Please excuse me for a moment. *Sounds of a dying animal fill the room, followed by the scent of blood* Now then, it's time to welcome you all for real! This is the second Mamono One-Shot Collection, so I'm going to make a wild guess and assume that you all know what you're getting yourselves into. Those who haven't read the prequel should do so right away or else you might not get used to my antics very well. Also as a side comment for that, "You are unpredictable, lazy and somewhat of a thorn in my side...I love it!" Before I explain my unreasonably deep hatred for 'weaklings' (those without courage), I should probably introduce the vanguard of our collection, eh? Ahem, for today's story we have the famed huntresses from the Mist Continent who shun all their female emotions except when in heat, Jinko! This is a species that I found to be quite interesting and making this one-shot only served to nurture that interest; "n-not b-because I adore anything related to Werecats, b-baka." Anyway, before we start the reading, who wants to know the poll results? *Almost all hands in the room are raised* "Yoshi! Ikuzo!" The winners of the poll are: Scylla, Dullahan, and the combination of Wyvern and Salamander. Cue appropriate reader responses...*some cheers, some boos, some smashing*...done well within expected boundaries. Obviously some of you disagree with these results, but that's how it is. If it makes you feel any better, there was a 4-way tie for the last spot after Scylla and Dullahan which was broken due to the author's picks. Don't worry, I voted neutrally mostly due to the fact that (in my opinion) each one-shot was just too good to pick favorites from. So that's that. The stories will most likely be 5-10 chapters (1000+ words each) and I'll be working on them alongside these one-shots. Dullahan is most likely the one I'll start first, so that'll be fun for me. I think that's all I need to say, so without further- "Hey! I'm interrupting you!" *Unmarried Minotaur brought in* Damn interns; they never realize how expendable they are. Lucky for us, I enjoy tormenting them. Now, while I grab some popcorn and find a good seat, enjoy the reading!
The paper fan folds and the game is over. My king has successfully lead his men to victory through cunning tactics and careful attacks. My opponent is still aggressive, but well-practiced in using risky moves to reap even greater rewards. Although it has been one year since I started training my student, we have reached a point where this is little more that I can teach aside from honing her current skills past my own level. I stare at the chessboard, impressed with Torahime's brute force tactics that pressured me severely during the game. However, once I gained a strong foothold and stripped away her pieces, the game was all but won. Sitting across from me in a cross-legged position, Torahime glowers at the board in frustration as I defeated her while retaining more than half of my original pieces.
“Master, how is it possible? How did you learn how to counter all of my new moves?” She asks me, always eager to find some sort of weakness in me.
“The true value of a tactician lies in the ability to adapt to any changing conditions, while still being able to keep alive as many forces as possible.” I speak from experience, having been deployed by several kingdoms during times of war.
“When will you teach me your fighting techniques? It has been a whole year since you showed me during our first meeting, so why have we only been focusing on tactical knowledge?” Torahime stands up, looking down at me as I do the same, her expression dark and barely hiding her impatience.
“Power and aggression are not the only tools of combat. Sometimes battles can be won without shedding a single drop of blood or even letting loose a single punch. If you are able to make your opponent surrender without violence, then the victory is all the more rewarding.” I point the folded fan in my hand at Torahime and direct her to a soft grassy area against a tree for us to sit.
As we sit down next to each other, she leans against me and looks up at the morning sky. There's something mysterious in her expression, something uncharacteristic of her species. Her ears are drooped, instead of tall and alert like they usually are. Normally, she would enter an aggravated rant about her shortcomings with herself and what she should do differently, but now I don't see any of the negative emotions that she usually expresses. For the first time since we've met, I see her furry paws fidgeting as if she was actually deciding upon something. In this moment, I can only sense thoughtfulness coming from her as if she finally realized something that had been there from the beginning.
“Do you remember how we first met, when I was overtaken by my instincts?” She whispers to me.
“Of course. That was the first day you had known defeat and learned that there is someone even a princess like you cannot control.” I smile at the memory, somehow content with having someone around who is as eager as myself in learning.
“I also learned what it was like to have someone you admire, even to wanting degree...”
“You don't mean that, do y-” However, she cuts me off with her lips pressed against mine in a daring move that no one could've predicted.
The kiss ends as abruptly as it came, and Torahime apologizes before turning back to head home. I grab her wrist just as she gets up and bring her into another, deeper kiss which she returns wholeheartedly. I feel much lighter and clear-thinking now that I can finally resolve this sexual tension with her. Her tail pushes me closer into her as she thrusts her tongue through my parted lips in a greedy manner. Torahime explores every part of my mouth, taking in my every reaction while pinning me against a tree. We both hate to admit defeat, so I counter with an attack of my own, feeling around with my tongue for weak-points in this unbearable storm of emotion that she is stirring up.
It all ends not by her hands, but mine. Somehow, kissing her and laying down all of these feelings are making me remember the deep betrayal I try so hard to forget. She looks me in disbelief, almost like I did when I discovered the truth about human desires in war. Tears well up in her eyes as her hands grip my shoulders hard to keep me from moving. I can do nothing but avoid her eyes, those very same eyes that I am falling in love with.
“I'm sorry. I can't go any further than this, and I don't think we should be doing this anymore.”
“Why...? Why? Why? Why?” Each time she says that word, the tears flow faster and everything gets quieter.
“You're not the only girl who has taken an interest in me before. I thought I had found love long ago, when I in the employ of a certain ruler. He sent his daughter to recruit me and she succeeded of course, but when I asked her to marry me, everything became clear to me. Her every move towards me was purely political, solely to keep me from leaving her family's service. The pain I felt back then is not something I want to repeat, so I ask you now, my princess: can you prove to me that you truly love me?” I need to know what her true colors are, even if it costs me my life.
“I can. I love you so much that I can't bear it any longer! I'll show you how much you mean to me. I'll become the queen of my kingdom, with you as my king. So please, wait for me. I promise that I'll come back for you...” With those final words, Torahime gets up and runs away from me without looking back even once.
“Torahime...I'm sorry for crushing your feelings with such a difficult task. If you really want me to wait, then I will wait as long as it takes.” I whisper to the wind, hoping it will carry those words to my student, the Tiger Princess.
A/N: Waaaahhhhh! *Sniffle sniffle* That's such a sad story! That's some Clannad-level tragedy right there. Just kidding, there is nothing that can match the emotional armageddon that is Clannad. For those of you who were confused on the Jinko's name in this one-shot, 'Torahime' literally translates to 'Tiger Princess' in Japanese; at least according to my knowledge. I've actually made the ending for this one-shot, so don't get too sad. The next monster girl on our schedule is the...wait what was it again? *Flips through clipboard* Ah, multiple personality disorder aka Chimaera! This one has sooooooo much potential; who wouldn't want all of their fetishes (read 'preferences') combined into one girl? Anyways, I'll tell you more about the Chimaera I created next time, so thank you all for being with me again and don't forget to leave a comment below and drop me a message if you have anything to tell me. Thank you!