The Shadow Out of Blackmarsh

Story by Searska_GreyRaven on SoFurry

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Another request for Roureem:

Not gonna lie, there's some heavy Lovecraft influence to this one. ^_^

The Shadow Out of Blackmarsh

By Searska GreyRaven

Concept by Roureem

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It was a bright day, as days in Blackmarsh go, when the red panda and his nezumi body guard plodded into the town of Reeds, on the waters of Blackmarsh. The red panda was draped in red silk robes embroidered with silvery thread, bearing the crest of the Emperor. His shoulders were straight and square, his whiskers trimmed, and his lips were curled into the haughty, faintly disgusted grimace of the minor nobility. He trod upon the faded boards of the town on feet ill-used to walking for any length of time, let alone the damp roads of Blackmarsh. The tip of his ringed tail twitched behind him, spattered with filth. And each time it twitched, it flicked more road muck onto his resigned guard.

The nezumi beside him stepped lightly upon the floating walkways of Reeds, the pads of his feet bare and spattered to his knees with sludge. He wore little armor and less clothing, only wrist guards and plain, mud-spattered cotton breeches. It left his other attributes--his athletic frame, his sleek black fur, and his pale pink tail--on full display. His sword was a simple one, but its edge still wicked sharp. He, too, bore a crest of the Emperor, but it had been burned into the lean flesh of his left arm; the brand of a bonded servant, bound to the service of the God-Emperor for life.

It was the nezumi, not the red panda, who carefully observed the town as the pair approached. The village of Reeds in the province of Blackmarsh was very much like every other nezumi settlement in the marsh. Worn wooden boards and reed homes drifted back and forth across the water, moored only by greyed hemp ropes. The nezumi warrior's dark gaze flitted from house to house, and finally settled on the oldest of them. An old lady rat with shriek-white fur hunched in front of the door, sweeping away leaves and dead insects with a cattail broom. The nezumi warrior dipped his head, his ears twitching slightly, and the old woman looked up. She smiled a gap-toothed smile and tamped her broom smartly upon the deck, drawing the attention of the red panda.

"Where in the name of my Ancestors have you brought us?" the red panda growled between clenched teeth.

"Reeds, sire. A nezumi settlement. We will be able to find food and shelter here," the nezumi replied softly.

The red panda snorted. "We don't need food and shelter. We need mounts! I doubt there's so much as a single old nag among them!"

"We will not find any such thing so long as we stay within the bounds of Blackmarsh," the nezumi explained wearily. It had the tone of an argument oft used and running thin. "The trails between the fens are perilous at best, and lethal at worst, for horses of any kind. My people have no call for them."

"Then what good are they? If we cannot find proper mounts, nezumi, I shall be riding your naked ass all the way back to Imperial City!" the red panda hissed.

"You already are," the nezumi muttered, but in the nezumi tongue, so that the red panda would not sense his insubordination.

The red panda continued, ignoring or oblivious to his guard's dismay. "You should be grateful a member of the Emperor's House found you attractive enough to use as a royal concubine! Where would you be now, I wonder, if I had not chosen you?" the red panda crooned, placing one manicured paw upon the nezumi's left shoulder. His red silk robe slipped down his arm, revealing fur and flesh untouched by labor or hardship. Not a single scar marred the red panda's sleek form. "It's an honor for a brand such as yourself."

I would be warm and dry in the Forbidden Palace, making love to your sister,_the nezumi thought ruefully. _She, at least, knew the value of good massage oil.

The red panda looked up at the old woman nezumi, his expression shifting suddenly to warm and inviting. Like a chameleon changing its colors, the nezumi warrior marveled darkly. "Hail, old woman! We are emissaries of the Emperor, and come seeking food and shelter. I am Zhao Jie, and this is my...companion, Kai."

The old nezumi bowed stiffly in greeting, her back unable to bend quite low enough to be truly proper. "I know your face. You are the Emperor's youngest nephew, are you not?"

The red panda smiled wider, baring straight white teeth, and nodded. "You have a good memory," he said.

The old nezumi turned to Kai, and spoke the nezumi patois. "Little brother, are you well?" she asked.

Kai shifted awkwardly and replied, his voice level, "You know the nature of nobility. I have found it difficult to sit for long since coming into his service. I have had...more attentive masters."

The old woman's eyes narrowed dangerously for a moment, and then she gave the pair a wide grin that didn't extend to her onyx eyes. She switched back to Imperial speech. "Speak to Bao, in the largest hut. He will give you food and shelter for as long as you stay here. Tell him Old Lady Dai sent you," she replied, "and he'll see that you are given proper care."

Kai inclined his head, but stopped. The old nezumi matron tilted her head slightly and twitched one ear, a bauble flashing into view just long enough for the warrior to glimpse it before it was tucked away once more. It was a sliver of silver, barely enough to attract the attention of a fish, coiled intricately around a gleaming black stone to form a single blackened sigil, a warped spiral. No, that is no spiral. That is the mark of the Oni.

"Zhangyu grows restless, brother. Will you yield and serve, or resist and know peace?" Old Lady Dai said softly in nezumi-speak.

The branded nezumi's lips turned ever so slightly upward, but he didn't reply.

Zhao and Kai thanked her, and continued down the battered boardwalk towards the building Old Lady Dai had indicated. After a few steps, Zhao paused, frowning.

The sun had vanished. In its place was a thick shroud of mist, silvering the yellow sun and turning the marsh into a shadowy wasteland.

"Does that happen often here, Kai?" Zhao demanded.

The branded nezumi shrugged. "It is Blackmarsh, my lord. I can no more command it than the Emperor can command nightingales. The mists come, the mists go, and we nezumi carry on."

"Savages," Zhao muttered.

In the center of the floating town of Reeds, there was a single thatched hut, just barely large enough to hold all of the village. This single building served as a meeting hall, temple, and home to the town's only shaman, Bao. Zhao Jie and Kai entered through the hanging curtain of old snail shells, drawing Bao from his slumber. The rat twitched and opened one ebon eye to regard his guests.

Zhao frowned, unused to such a disinterested response to his presence. "Greetings, Bao of Reeds. I am Zhao Jie, and this is my companion, Kai. We are seeking food and shelter for the evening. Old Lady Dai said we would find succor here."

Bao looked at the pair. "Emissaries, hmm?" he said.

Zhao nodded. Kai stood still, the palm of his paw resting comfortably on the hilt of his sword.

"Li Xia, we have guests," Bao hollered, and he closed his eye once more. "There is a mat by the fire, Zhao Jie and Kai. Make yourselves at home."

Zhao's frown deepened, but the nezumi warrior touched his arm and shook his head. "Many thanks, Bao, for your hospitality," Kai said softly.

A few minutes later, a nezumi who could only be Li Xia entered the room through another snail shell curtain, bearing a tray laden with bamboo bowls. Her russet fur was combed but dusty, and her blood-red eyes gleamed like rubies in the shade of the hut. "Please, my lord. Eat," she bade. Zhao and Kai dug in with relish.

There were steamed buns, turnip cakes, thick fish stew and hearty lotus leaf rice, enough to feed both of them to bursting. The fare was poor, but honest, and hunger made it taste sweeter than any Imperial feast. Beside the trays of food, Li Xia placed a tray holding plain clay cups and a simple clay tea pot. She poured tea for each guest and stepped lightly back. Zhao nodded a curt thanks and washed down his meal with hot, oddly sweet tea.

Kai eyed his cup, and looked up at Li Xia.

"Please, brother, drink deep," she said, and then, in nezumi, whispered, "To the Oni, everything is eternal. To an Oni's followers, nothing is forever."

Kai blinked slowly and swirled the contents of his cup for a long moment before finally tilting back his head and downing the contents in a single gulp. Li Xia smiled warmly, but Kai barely noticed. His limbs had already begun to stiffen and his eyelids drifted shut. Zhao's eyes were already distant, the clay cup falling nervelessly from his paw.

Not a minute later, both Zhao and Kai were unconscious.

"The red panda will do just fine. Must we...with Kai?" Li Xia murmured softly. "He is one of us, despite his brand. Reeds could use another fine warrior. We could score the Emperor's mark, ruin it. No one would have to know."

Bao shook his head and frowned. "The Oni will give him a choice," Bao replied, his twisted whiskers brushing hers. He eyed the drugged pair with his black eye, his other eye still closed. "It always gives our people a choice."

Satisfied, Li Xia and Bao bound the red panda and the warrior nezumi with thin hempen rope, held by knots known only to the nezumi clans. Nothing, not even a samurai warrior, could undo a proper nezumi knot. Dark black rope pressed tight into the red panda's silk robes, but it was almost invisible against Kai's coal-colored fur.

Their charges bound, Bao and Li Xia turned their attention to the rest of the room and prepared for the evening ritual.

It was nightfall before Kai and Zhao awoke.

And when they did, the room had changed dramatically. They were still in the large meeting hut, but the center of the room now held a large open pit into the waters of the marsh. Small pots of green-black fire flickered along the walls, and a ring of gaunt nezumi faces surrounded them. Kai's whiskers twitched, and though he flexed once, he didn't test his bonds a second time. He knew the craft of those knots, and knew that no escape was possible.

Zhao, on the other paw, was frantic. He struggled mightily, the ropes creaking and groaning with the force of his writhing, but not giving. He bent his head to bite the ropes, but some trick of nezumi rope work caused the loop around the red panda's throat to tighten, and Zhao was forced to cease his thrashing lest he pass out. Black lines of nezumi rope criss-crossed the emblem of the Emperor on the back of Zhao's robe, staining the red silk with marsh water and marring the emblem.

"I am a messenger and nephew of the Emperor!" he snarled indignantly. "By what right do you dare lay your paws on me?"

"Ah, your eyes are finally open, my lord. Good, good," Bao said. He turned his attention to the bound nezumi and smiled. "How are you feeling, Kai?"

"What is the meaning of this?" Kai asked, his voice low and menacing.

"Why, you are a sacrifice to our Oni Zhangyu! It is a great honor."

Zhao blinked and shook his head. "You worship...demons?"

"Just one. And it is no demon. It is a force of nature. So long as we keep our Oni happy, the marsh nurtures us and our nets overflow with fish. In return for our bounty, we must offer to the Oni fresh, virile males."

"Oni worship is a crime punishable by death!" Zhao snarled. "Only our God-Emperor is worthy of worship!"

Bao chuckled, a sound like the rattle of bamboo in a storm. "Your god cannot help you here, little red panda. You're beyond the reach of your God-Emperor. Here, there be Oni."

Zhao growled, the ropes binding his arms squealing with the strain. The red panda was small, and wiry, but Bao's skill at rope and knots was greater still. The bonds held strong. Kai gave his companion a look of disdain and didn't struggle. He bowed his head, resigned to his fate.

"You will be given a choice. To serve willingly, or not. Those who go to our lord are rewarded. Those who fight...will know peace."

"Peace? Peace? You have assaulted a messenger and nephew of the Emperor Himself! He will call down his armies upon this little floating pimple of a city and his Celestial dragon will blast it into a thousand filthy pieces!" Zhao shrilled.

Kai closed his eyes, his breathing even. He might have been meditating, so tranquil was his expression. He didn't spare his master's antics so much as a single side-long glance.

The villagers began to chant. It was a low, hissing, gurgle, the song of something slick and black in the dark. It undulated and curled through the darkness, coiling and grasping and filling Zhao's ears until he felt like he was choking on it. Drums thudded, slow at first and then faster, and faster. The nezumi chanting became more frenzied and frantic, and they bobbed and undulated like the reeds of Blackmarsh before a storm.

The water in the middle of the room began to bubble.

Zhao hissed and recoiled, but Bao held him. A rusted dagger, its edge keen as a knifefish's stiletto, was pressed to the red panda's panting throat.

"Oh, we have a fighter tonight," Bao crooned. "Our Oni loves a good fight."

Zhao hissed again, but stopped thrashing. Something was coming out of the pool. Something long and slick, the color of swamp muck. Tentacles as black as tar emerged from the dark water and slithered along the worn floor boards. They twisted and undulated, coiling in upon themselves but never truly knotting, leaving trails of black slime in their wake. Each tentacle swept across the floor, its dripping tip feeling, searching for something.

They found Kai first. The tentacles flowed across the nezumi's body, wrapping around his muscled torso, the delicate tips caressing the lines of his Adonis belt before slipping past the frail barrier of his tattered breeches. Kai gasped as the cold tentacle gripped him between his legs. The clammy length of rubbery flesh engulfed his crotch, swallowing every inch of him before its grip tightened almost painfully. Something lapped against his length, coaxing the nezumi until he was fully erect beneath the hold of the tentacle. He panted, unable and unwilling to stop his passion from rising. The Oni's touch was like cool mud over a burn, cool and soothing, arousing in its relief. Kai sighed. His muscles slackened and his eyes became glassy. The tentacles responded, their grip loosening as they gently manipulated the nezumi's bound body. They licked across his fur, feathering across the sculpted muscles of his back and chest, caressing his nipples, his cheek, the tips of his ears. They stroked and fondled the nezumi until he was panting, overwhelmed by sensation.

Zhao watched, horrified, as his guard came undone in the grip of the Oni's tentacles.

"Do you come of your own free will?" a disembodied voice whispered. It sounded like the gurgle of water through reeds, a sweet, primal sound.

"Yes," Kai breathed. His hips undulated against the tentacles' grasp, his eyes rolling back in ecstasy. Zhao watched his branded companion panting at the tentacles' touch and he began to struggle again. No nephew--and no soul pledged to the God-Emperor--would so debase himself! But Bao held the unwilling Zhao still, and Kai continued to writhe, lost in lust.

The tendrils coiled gently around the bound nezumi, almost tenderly, and pulled him quietly below the water. Kai flopped bonelessly in their hold, moaning in pleasure. His final cry became a stream of black bubbles as the tentacles vanished beneath the water.

"What? What was...? Kai? Kai! No!"

Bao's knife pressed harder, drawing a single ruby drop from the red panda's throat.

"I'll kill you," Zhao growled. "I'll kill you all!"

But the tentacles returned, this time seeking Zhao. They licked across the floorboards like black tongues, lasciviously slithering towards him. But rather than allow the tentacles to ensnare him, the red panda snarled and snapped, wriggling like a fish on a hook. The slow, ponderous movement of the tentacles quickened, as if invigorated by the struggles of its prey. Bao snickered and released Zhao just as the tentacles came into range. The slimy appendages snatched Zhao, coiling like eels around his legs and leaving behind lines of filth in his red silk robes.

"Do you come of your own free will?" the voice asked a second time.

"Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng!" Zhao snarled.[*]

The tentacles went still for a moment. Then, suddenly, they tightened, squeezing the red panda and driving the breath out of him. Zhao felt like a sparrow caught in the coils of a serpent, his bones aching from the pressure. And just when he was certain the Oni was going to squeeze the life out of him, the tentacles yanked him sharply beneath the black water.

He clamped him mouth shut tight and tried to struggle free, but all it did was use up his air faster. The tentacles were relentless, pulling him deeper and deeper under the marsh. Zhao couldn't see an inch in front of his own nose. There was nothing around him but black water and black tentacles. His chest ached for air, but his pride refused to yield even a single bubble of air to the Oni. He snapped at a passing tentacle, and it reflexively clamped around the red panda's snout, forcing slime up his nose and between his teeth.

The slimy thing pried open his mouth, forcing itself inside. Zhao bit down, sinking his fangs into the tentacle, but it was like biting jelly. His teeth stuck fast, and the slime coated his lips and tongue with filmy, stagnant swamp water. He snorted, clearing the sludge from his nostrils, but the thing was wrapped around his tongue, sticking to his teeth like taffy. He couldn't get it out of his mouth without his fingers, and they were still bound uselessly behind his back.

Suddenly, he felt air on his fur. The tentacles deposited the sopping-wet panda on the floor of a dark cave, lit only by a single pot of green fire near the water's edge. The tentacles still held him, and terminated somewhere beyond the reach of the fire pot's dim light. It's as if the shadow itself has come alive! he thought.

He coughed and gagged, trying to spit out the tentacle in his mouth, but it wouldn't budge. The slime congealed rapidly once exposed to the air, and in minutes, it had hardened like amber. The tentacle tugged him, and Zhao tugged back like a willful dog on a leash. The tentacle went slack for a moment. Suddenly, Zhao felt something cool and sweet squirting from the tentacle and down his throat. He gurgled and tried to spit it out, but the tentacle was sealed fast around his lips, solidifying like glue. He could do nothing else but swallow. Ancestors, whatever it was, it tasted sweet and intoxicating, like the finest _jiu_the privileged Zhao had ever tasted. Still, he pulled and struggled, refusing to give so much as an inch to the strange tendrils holding him. He would not be baited so easily!

Gradually, his struggles diminished. He felt...warm. Too warm. Under his russet fur, his skin flushed. His loins began to ache. The soft caress of his sodden silk robe against his sheath felt...Ancestors, it felt wonderful. He writhed, trying to rub against it more, the need for touch over-riding any apprehension the red panda had about his sudden, perverse interest. The pink tip of his member brushed the silk, and he shuddered with pleasure. He rolled onto his side, his arms still bound behind his back, and rubbed himself against the silk harder, the muscles in his thighs and belly straining. It felt so cool, so soothing. It eased the burning ache that only seemed to be increasing, and he urgently thrust himself against his robe again. Ancestors, it's as if it's wrapping around me. No female, not even the Emperor's favored concubine has ever felt so--

Zhao's eyes flew open, and he tried to scream. Another tentacle had slithered under his silk robe and inverted over his swelling phallus. It melted, oozing through his fur and coating his testicles in gelid slime. It pulled taught and pulsed, squeezing his shaft for a moment, then releasing. Zhao moaned, caught between writhing in pleasure and horror as the tentacle worked. His hips thrust against his will, rutting into the tentacle even as he desperately tried to withdraw. But the slime was congealing, just like the tentacle in his maw. In minutes, his loins were encased beneath a layer of blackened lacquer. The rubbery tentacle extending from the shadows slackened, content to allow Zhao to wallow while it worked him over.

Once the slime set, the tentacle's undulations began in earnest. The still-unseen Oni dragged the unwilling Zhao across the slick floor of the cave, and there was nothing the red panda could do to stop it. He was a captive to the tentacles now, by way of his maw and groin, and it seemed the Oni had no intention of letting him go until it was finished with him.

He fought it. Ancestors, how he fought it. The congealed tentacles locked to his loins and face tugged Zhao, pulled him to his knees, and still the red panda struggled. But the tentacle-creature had danced this dance before, and for every step Zhao tried to take away, and Oni forced him to take two more closer to the velvet darkness at the far side of the cavern. His knees weakened each time the eldritch thing suckled against his sensitive phallus, allowing it to drag him forward another half-step. His body wanted to mount the tentacle like it was one of the Emperor's geisha, but his mind desperately tried to rebel. The thing was an Oni, a monster, a beast that fed on the seed of men! But no matter how Zhao's mind fought, his body was more easily enticed. More of the inebriating fluid trickled down his throat, and Zhao began to swoon. Soon, he would be too drunk to stop the Oni from having its wicked way with him.

In desperation, Zhao dug the claws of his feet into the muck and sand and finally halted his progress. The tentacles hesitated, the slime-sheath around his maleness pulsing uncertainly while Zhao breathed heavily through his nose. Zhao twisted his shoulders, praying to the Ancestors that one of the ropes had frayed or a knot had come undone, but he was still trussed like a goose. The ropes hadn't budged at all. If anything, the water had made them tighter.

A long minute passed, and then another. The Oni didn't pull again, and Zhao didn't relax a single muscle. The trickle of jiu came to a halt, and not a moment too soon. Zhao felt the muscles in his legs shaking from his effort to stay upright.

He thought he had managed to thwart the Oni when three more tentacles whipped out of the shadow. Two spiraling around the hemp ropes still binding his arms while a third slithered through the mire between his legs. The two tentacles holding the rope tightened and flexed, forcing Zhao to his knees. They bent him over and squeezed, flattening out until Zhao's entire upper torso was encased in gummy slime.

The third tentacle slid between Zhao's knees and climbed up his thigh. Zhao grunted, struggling, but he was too encrusted in hardening slime to move. The tentacle at his loins shifted, and suddenly it began to suckle.

Zhao threw back his head in a muffled howl. Ancestors! What was it doing to him?! It didn't matter. All that mattered was that it not stop, never stop. Propped up by the tentacles, Zhao's hips began to move, his thighs flexed in rhythm with whatever eldritch mouth was sucking between his legs. Harder, faster, tighter, it moved, sliding cool-slick lips across his shaft and burying him in yielding slime. He felt his need building, growing heavy between his legs. The tentacle squeezed, its hold on his stiffening member growing more urgent, until finally Zhao howled, his orgasm shivering through him. The tentacle seemed to swallow, kneading his shaft until every last drop of seed had been extracted and driving Zhao begging wordlessly to his knees once more. He felt something release his phallus, but the amber casing was still there, caging his loins, and the tubular tentacle was still attached to it. He watched something seem to swim through the tentacle, vanishing into the velvet darkness from whence all the tentacles came.

He was still recovering from his orgasm when the third tentacle coiled around his thigh thrust itself into his anus.

Zhao screamed, more from shock than pain, as the tentacle violated him and forced itself inside him. The red panda bucked and tried to push the tentacle back out, but it was too late. Like the other tentacles, this one was already turning tacky, sealing itself inside him. It writhed in his bowels, wriggling and probing, until Zhao's back arched in pleasure and he cried out. The tentacle paused, adjusted, and thrust again, sliding itself deeper, filling him until it was pressed fast against Zhao's prostate.

He felt more tendrils groping around his testicles, fondling him and arousing him again. His shaft engorged once more, felt another ring of cool slime begin working his length.

He tried to fight it, but the sweet nectar from the tentacle in his maw began to drip down his throat once more, and his struggles to escape became ever more frantic efforts towards release of a different kind. In the back of his mind, Zhao knew he should keep fighting, keep trying to break free of the Oni's seductive and enthralling grip, but with every thrust, every drop of jiu, his grasp on rational thought attenuated until it snapped.

Nothing mattered anymore. Nothing mattered but the tentacle beast, thrusting his hard cock into the slime and feeling it fill him, feeling it feed on him. He'd never felt more aroused in his whole life, never felt so alive, so virile! He felt like he could ravage the Oni's tentacles for hours!

More of the intoxicating jiu flowed, revitalizing Zhao every time he flagged, and with every drop, his lust burned hotter, his phallus grew hard once more, and he bred the tentacle suckling his cock like a stag in rut.

The tentacles brought him to orgasm four more times before he finally slumped, exhausted and unconscious. But even in his sleep, they continued to suckle, and to drag him further into the darkness.

To feed.


Zhao moaned and twitched, his muscles working under his russet fur. He was on his knees, his paws no longer bound behind his back but submerged in tacky slime. Somewhere along the way, he'd lost his silk robe and knelt in the mire completely naked. He was propped up by several other tentacles, wrapped around his limbs and drawing close to his chest, where they spiraled into a thick column and melted into the mire. A similar twisted length of tentacles was attached to the black amber casing between his legs. Zhao tried to lift one paw, but the tar-like slime was too strong. The movement caused the tentacles at his loins to shift, and felt the now-familiar undulations of the Oni demanding tribute. He ground his hips against the shaft between his legs, rocking back and forth, mindlessly humping it as the Oni drew another tribute of seed from him. He threw his head back, howling around the slime gag between his teeth. It responded by giving Zhao another shot of intoxicating liqueur, which he gulped greedily. His red and white tail swished back and forth, flashing the ring of his anus where another ebon tentacle pulsed in slow, deliberate motions.

Behind Zhao, in the deepest shadows, something darted forward.

Zhao didn't see it. The tentacles had him fully in their thrall, and he bucked mindlessly into their grasp. The tentacle filling his ass swelled and diminished, swelled and diminished, until Zhao cried out, begging for release. Zhao humped the mound of tentacles with a will, the muscles in his hips working tirelessly as the tentacles suckled him harder and faster.

The thing in the shadows crept closer.

Zhao's orgasm ripped through him, his seed swallowed down again by the Oni, and Zhao was allowed a moment of rest. The red panda slumped, spent, for the moment at least. His loins ached from the Oni's constant attention, ached to be suckled again. He had a fleeting sympathy for the cows in the Emperor's barn, but he didn't know where the thought came from anymore. Hadn't he always been here, in service to his Master?

"My, how the mighty have fallen."

Zhao swallowed and tried to swivel his head. His eyes settled on a strange, yet familiar shape in the darkness. His lust-drugged brain stuttered, a memory flickered behind his eyes, then vanished beneath another tide of carnal fervor.

"In a way, I'm glad it happened this way."

Zhao made a muffled cry, but the tentacle stuck fast between his teeth robbed him of his voice. Another stream of lust-inducing demon jiu trickled down the red panda's throat, inflaming him further. Zhao moaned, grasping at the memory as hard as he could. He was...nephew. To the Emperor. And this...this nezumi was his brand, his slave. His flesh to do with as he willed, he remembered, dredging the memory from the recesses of his mind.

Ancestors! How the branded nezumi had bucked under him! The thought made Zhao stiffer than ever, and the tentacles took full and complete advantage. He could do nothing but grind his rigid cock into the tentacles harder as his former slave came closer and closer.

"No, no, don't speak, my lord," Kai whispered. "You have no idea how I've longed to see you like this." The branded nezumi stepped fully into the dim light and rested one paw upon Zhao's bare back. The red panda shuddered, his blood so saturated with the Oni's lustful fluids that even such a simple touch made his body ache with need. He flexed, his muscles straining, and Kai smiled.

"Nephew to the Emperor, now a plaything of the nezumi Oni. You lovely, lovely thing," Kai crooned. The tentacles shifted through the black water, caressing Kai but in no way restraining him. They rubbed against the nezumi's ankles like strange, slick cats, arching and caressing and coiling, then falling away.

"It feeds on the seed of males, Zhao. Our Oni Zhangyu demands tribute, but it doesn't need to be nezumi. Any male will do. And when our Oni is breeding? As many males as we can provide." Kai paced around the captured red panda, his claws raking gently through his former master's matted fur. Zhao's back bowed into the touch, and the tentacles began to attend to him once more. Zhao moaned, his hips rocking against the stiffened pillar of tentacles encasing his loins. He tried to follow Kai as the nezumi paced slowly around him, but the sheer pleasure of the Oni's ministrations forced Zhao's eyes to flick back in his skull. When he pried his eyes open once more, the nezumi was no longer in his range of vision.

He was behind him.

Zhao felt the tickle of whiskers against the ruff of his neck and shuddered.

"I came willing to my Master's service, and so, I am to be rewarded. You're quite the prize, Zhao Jie. I can think of no better reward than taking you, as you've taken me these past few months," Kai whispered into Zhao's ear. The red panda whimpered and struggled, but the tentacles held him fast.

Kai laughed and pressed his groin against the curve of Zhao's backside. He lifted his former master's striped ochre tail and tossed it over one muscled shoulder. The tentacle inside the red panda's anus withdrew, and four smaller tendrils no thicker than the tip of the nezumi's tail penetrated Zhao, opening him to the nezumi.

Zhao gave a muffled howl of outrage, even as his body yearned to be filled once more by something, anything.

"Oh, I know. I know how it will shame you, to have a nezumi rut you like a common peasant, nephew of the Emperor as you are. But you've already been studded like a prize stallion to our Oni. What's one more black mark on your honor?"

Zhao gave the branded nezumi a pleading look, but Kai only smiled wider. His naked tail flicked behind him like a lash.

"What was it you said to me? Ah, yes. I should be grateful that one of the royal family found me lovely enough to use as a concubine." Kai ran the tips of his claws through the red panda's fur and down between his legs, caressing the smooth, hardened slime holding Zhao captive and the thick shaft of tentacles rising from the mire. Zhao writhed in spite of himself, his body seeking the nezumi's touch even as he abhorred it.

"You get one chance, Zhao. Come willingly, or I leave you here in my Master's tender care. An Oni can keep a favored plaything alive and bound indefinitely. You'll never die, Zhao. Just go on rutting forever and ever, a wet nurse by way of your Imperial cock, until the end of time. And even if he lets you go, you'll never be the same. You've taken far too much of the Oni into yourself. But I can convince him to release you from this cave, if you'll submit to me. Do you submit, Zhao?"

The red panda whimpered, flexing against the Oni's tentacles, and finally, slowly, nodded. The tentacles squeezed, and the nod became more emphatic. Zhao whined helplessly as Kai dragged his short claws down the red panda's back. Zhao wriggled, presenting himself like a bitch in heat, begging with every inch of his mortal frame that the nezumi take him.

Kai sighed, enjoying the view. Zhao was a lovely creature when he was clean and composed. Now, covered in filth and bound by the Oni's tentacles, the Emperor's nephew was a thing of tarnished beauty. His russet fur, once as soft as the silk robes the panda fancied, was now matted and spattered with black muck. You lovely, tragic thing, Kai thought. With a grunt, Kai mounted Zhao, driving his murine shaft into the panda as deep as he could. The tendrils reacted immediately, swelling and coiling, twisting tightly around the nezumi's phallus so that he filled the panda every bit as completely as the tentacle had, binding the pair together. Kai snarled and humped, driving himself into Zhao hard and fast. Zhao cried out, writhing and bucking beneath the smaller nezumi, tears of abject pleasure streaming down his cheeks. Not even the tender mercies of the tentacles felt as divine as Kai, driving himself into Zhao again, and again, and again. He grabbed Zhao by the scruff of his neck and pulled him close, whispering softly in his ear.

"Do you feel me inside you, Zhao? Do you feel the Oni binding us? When we are finished with you, you'll crave nothing else. Nothing else will satisfy you except Oni Zhangyu's slick, slippery tentacles around your royal cock, or my nezumi phallus buried in your ass," Kai growled, thrusting harder.

Zhao couldn't reply. He could only moan louder as the nezumi pounded into him. The warrior nezumi's body flexed, working like a well-oiled machine, the muscles in his legs bracing and his own naked tail whipping through the slime of the cave.

Zhao wanted to scream. He struggled harder than ever before, but the tentacles tightened their grip, doubled their efforts, until the red panda was lost under a wave of all-consuming lust. He needed to come, needed it more desperately than anything in his entire life. But the tentacles held him, balancing him perfectly at the threshold and wouldn't allow him a release.

Kai held on, gripping the red panda with muscles grown strong from years of wielding a blade, and wouldn't let go. He thrust into Zhao, again, and again, and again, until the red panda rocked beneath him, pleading wordlessly for release. Kai cried out and slammed into Zhao on final time, his seed spilling forth and filling the red panda. Zhao howled, feeling hot nezumi semen filling him, the sensation bowing the red panda's back and wrenching from him the most intense orgasm he'd had in his entire life. The tentacles sucked greedily, absorbing every drop, and Zhao slumped bonelessly into the arms of his former nezumi slave.

Kai chuckled darkly, his cock still buried deep in the red panda's body. He could feel his hot seed filling his former master's bowels, mingling with the Oni's slime. "You're mine, Zhao. And I know you'll never tell a soul. No nephew of the Emperor will ever admit to being a nezumi's lover." He bent down, his whiskers tickling the black tips of Zhao's ears. "But this isn't over. Nothing, save my Master's tender touch or the murine phallus of a nezumi, will ever satisfy you again. What luck, that I'm your royal concubine!"

Kai grinned and withdrew from Zhao slowly, making sure his former master felt every inch of his rodent shaft as it pulled out of him. The tendrils withdrew, and the large tentacle wasted no time in stuffing itself back into the violated red panda. It solidified once more, locking the nezumi's seed inside him.

Zhao whimpered, and Kai waded through the slime to face him. He kissed Zhao gently, almost delicately, on one cheek.

"I'm going to enjoy our new relationship. You see, we've wanted to plant one of the Oni's offspring in the Forbidden Palace for quite some time. I think it'll be a simple thing, what with one of them bound to your royal jewels. You're mine, now, Zhao. Mine and the Oni's, for the rest of your days."

Zhao could only moan, as the tentacles once more began to suckle.

It was two more days before the Oni finally released Zhao Jie to Kai. The Emperor's nephew was ragged, his eyes wild, and his silk robe tied tight to his body. It bulged, ever so slightly, between the red panda's legs. And every so often, Zhao would pause as they walked, curl his toes, and moan.

Only Kai knew what pulsed beneath the red panda's chaste robe. It was going to be a long, pleasurable journey back to the Palace.

And then, well, who knows?

[*]Frog-humping son of a bitch!

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