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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2316309
Carter, aka Camille, gets an education from books.

Carter's eyes opened at the sound of the lock opening. A knock followed shortly. “Can we come in, Camille?” came a familiar voice. Carter pictured a set of large breasts in his face and then shook the thought away.

“Yes, Ursa,” said Carter as he started to get out of bed.

The door opened, and Ursa, Rita, and what looked to be a small girl with cat ears walked in.

“Good morning, Camille,” said Ursa.

Rita and the cat girl both curtsied behind Ursa. Ursa pointed at the other woman and said, “This is Iris. She will be your new servant.”
Iris smiled and curtsied again.

“Glad to meet you,” said Iris.

Carter looked confused. Ursa approached him and said, “We are Princess Caroline’s servants. She might not look it, but she is a handful for both Rita and I.”

Rita shook her head up and down.

“I have brought you your breakfast, Camille,” said Iris as she brought a tray out from behind Ursa and Rita. She had a nice smile on her face as she placed the food down on the desk.

“I’m pleased to help you,” said Iris. At that point, Carter saw that she had a white tail to go with her cat ears.

Ursa walked up and hugged Carter, as did Rita. They both said goodbye and walked out the door. Carter looked back at Iris, and she smiled back. Iris was a little taller than Carter and looked like a normal human, except she had cat ears and a tail. She had straight white hair and a body proportionate to Rita: skinny, large-chested, and slender hips.

“If I have to have a warden, she might as well be pretty. Wait. What? Why am I thinking about girls now?” thought Carter.

Iris pointed to the food and drink and said, “You should eat before Bethan arrives.”

“Bethan?” asked Carter as he walked over and sat at the desk. He placed a bite of food in his mouth. It tasted like bland chicken.

“Bethan is your tutor. Can you believe she is a half-elf that lives here in Dale?” said Iris excitedly.

Iris walked in front of his desk and smiled. “Do you need anything else?” said Iris.

Carter looked up at her ears and probably stared too long before he said, “No, thank you.”

Iris laughed and said, “Have you never seen a Grimalkin before? I am half-Cambian and half-Grimalkin.”

Carter looked down at his plate and said, “No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare.”

“It’s okay, I’m here to help you,” said Iris sincerely.

A knock on the door interrupted Iris, and she walked over and opened it. “Bethan, you’re here early,” said Iris.

Carter turned around and saw a tall woman who was pale white, skinny, and with a look of apathy. Her clothes were a gold silk robe that hung down past her feet. A large pink pendant hung from her neck.

“Give this to Camille and tell her to read the whole thing by the end of tomorrow,” said Bethan as she handed the book to Iris.

“I am running late, so I’ll be on my way,” said Bethan as she walked away from the door.

Bethan abruptly stuck her hand back in as Iris closed the door and handed Iris another book. “Oh, and this book, she can take her time on,” said Bethan as she disappeared again.

Iris closed the door, walked over to the desk, and placed the books on Carter’s desk.

Carter looked up and saw that Iris still had that smile on her face. She lifted the red-covered book and said, “Bethan would like you to read this book and finish...”

Carter interrupted her and said, “I heard her. Thank you. What is that red book?”

“It is called the Magic Reader Book of the History of Thresh,” said Iris.

“And the green book?” said Carter.

Iris picked it up and saw the title. She had a weird look on her face. “It is a Prime Reader of the Thresh language,” said Iris.

A delightful smile came upon her face. “It’s a book for little children,” said Iris.

Carter held out his hand, and Iris handed it to her. Iris had a sorrowful look on her face. “Can you not read, Camille?”

“No,” said Carter.

Iris approached the other side of the desk, bent down, and hugged Carter. He didn’t mind the hug, but it was a pity hug. Iris stood back up and composed herself back into her smiling self.

“Bethan will help you, Camille. You’ll be smart in no time,” said Iris.

Carter looked a little bit dumbfounded. “They all think I’m an idiot,” thought Carter.

Carter held up the primer and said, “Shouldn’t I read the primer book first before reading the history book? The History book is in the Thresh language.”

“It’s called the Argot language. That’s what the language everyone speaks,” said Iris as she patted Carter on the head.

“The History Book of Thresh is magical. It reads out loud to the blind or illiterate. It has the magic of many wizards engraved in it,” said Iris pedantically. She smiled, allowing herself to feel smart. She looked down at Carter, and a light bulb went off in her head. An idea of extraordinary deduction came to her head. Carter was almost sure he could see that metaphorical lightbulb glowing.

“Oh! That’s why she gave you the Magic Book edition, because of your illiteracy,” added Iris as she patted Carter on the head again.

He was starting to get mad again, but as he looked at Iris, he saw her cute smile and furry ears, and his anger faded. Her little tail was wagging back and forth, and her furry ears were standing straight up.

He placed both books down and finished eating. Iris picked up the tray and said, “I’ll leave you to your reading. Do a good job!” She walked out the door, and Carter heard the door lock again.

Carter let out a little sigh and grabbed the primer first. He was good at codes and languages. His mom spoke French, and his dad spoke German, and he understood both of them. He opened the book and started learning.

He was halfway through the primer when he heard a noise outside. Standing up slowly, he walked over to the balcony window and observed a group of warriors practicing sword fighting with their wooden swords. Carter recognized one of them as Princess Caroline, with her bright blue hair braided into one thick braid. Even with his limited knowledge of swordplay, she was pretty impressive.

He sat down on the bench on the balcony and watched as she bested everyone. The instructor was the only one who beat her, but that was very close. Carter looked around and saw Cape and Cern on guard, holding the hilt of their swords in their hands while they watched the practice. They looked around with eagle eyes, and Cern spotted Carter watching her. She placed a smile on her face and waved her hand at him. Carter waved back. Cape, on the other hand, ignored Carter and continued her vigil.

The door unlocked behind him, and Iris walked in with another tray. “Lunch is served,” she said as she sat the meal on the table. She looked at the book on the desk and walked towards Carter. “You’re supposed to be reading the History book first. That one will be easier for you,” said Iris.

“I’ll get to it,” said Carter, still watching the fighting match. Iris walked up to the balcony and leaned on the armrest. Her tail was wagging back and forth as she watched the combatants.

“She’s really good. A magician and a warrior. I look up to her,” said Iris.

Carter sat up, walked over to the edge, and looked at the field again. He stood next to Iris. Her tail started to hit him on the side. She looked over at Carter and saw that her tail was hitting him, and it stopped. “Oh, sorry,” said Iris.

“It’s okay,” said Carter. Her furry tail started rocking back and forth again as a smile was plastered on Iris’s face.

“Are there any male Grimalkins?” asked Carter without looking at Iris.

“Not that I know of. All the Pilgrims from the Shore have been females,” said Iris as she watched the sparring below.

“The Shore?” asked Carter.

“The place where Grimalkins come from. Humans come from Earth. Lapins come from Burrous, Kin come from Torus, and Grimalkins come from The Shore,” said Iris.

Iris looked over at Carter’s face and saw his perplexed look. “Poor girl. Doesn’t know anything,” thought Iris. “Did you live in a cave?” said Iris earnestly.

“Sure, why not?” said Carter.

“Really? Wow!” exclaimed Iris. Her tail started moving back and forth faster.

She looked down at the field and said, “Humans, Cambians, Magnates, Elves, and Kin look like you. Lapins look like Grimalkins but have a smaller tail and longer ears.” Iris said that as she grabbed her furry little ears.

“Oh, like rabbits?” asked Carter.

Iris frowned at Carter, stopped her tail movement, and said, “You shouldn't compare Lapins to rabbits. It's offensive.”

“Sorry, I apologize if I offended you,” said Carter.

“That’s okay!” said Iris, and the smile came back on her face.

“We don’t like being called that because this world has real rabbits and cats. They don’t talk,” said Iris.

“Understood,” said Carter.

“Most Pilgrims live at the Elve's Capital except the older, non-breeding Pilgrims. My mother was a Pilgrim. Pureblood. She had claws,” said Iris as she wrinkled her nose and held her hands in a menacing gesture.

Pilgrims must be travelers from other worlds. “I guess I’m a Pilgrim,” thought Carter to himself.

Carter and Iris watched the Princess and her fellow students below practicing. The day started getting hot, and sweat glistened on their faces. The woman sparing with Princess Caroline was just as good as she was. Carter recognized the woman as her servant, Rita. It surprised Carter that Rita was good at fighting.

“Is that Rita down there fighting Caroline?” asked Carter.

“That’s Princess Caroline to you, and yes, that is Rita. Ursa and Rita are wonderful fighters. The Princess allows them to practice with her,” said Iris.

The Princess and Rita stopped sparring and walked towards the benches near the field. Before they reached the benches, Caroline and Rita had pulled off their protective armor, showing their wet, drenched shirts underneath. They then removed their shirts and whipped them both down on the bench. They turned around and sat down, exposing their bare breasts to the sun. Carter turned his head so he couldn’t see their nudity. Iris noticed this and smiled.

“Princess Caroline is beautiful, isn’t she?” said Iris.

“I wouldn’t know,” lied Carter as he looked back slowly towards the field.

In Thresh, nudity must be normal. A woman removing her shirt here is like a man removing his shirt on Earth. They don’t have to worry about some man leering at them in this world. Carter then thought of the irony of what he just said and looked away again.

Iris turned around, pointed at the desk, and said, “Your food is getting cold.”

Carter turned around, walked towards his desk, and sat down. More chicken and unknown vegetables. I want to ask what this is, but I already look stupid. He started reading his primer as he picked up his fork and ate.

Iris noted the book he was reading from, frowned slightly, and said, “I’ll be back at dinner. Don’t forget to read the History book.”

“Thank you, Iris,” said Carter as he sat engrossed in the Primer. Their spoken language was the same as the English, but their written words differed. Thresh had different symbols for the alphabet and some esoteric rules. Iris closed the door and locked it again.

After a few hours, he had finished the Primer book and grabbed the History book.

"Let's see why they want me to read this book so bad. Must be a real page-turner," thought Carter.

He opened the book up, and it started to talk.

“The New History of Thresh. Abridged,” said the magic book of History.

Carter picked up the book and walked over to the bed. He laid down on his back and set the book on his chest. The words on the first page said something different than the spoken words. He read it slowly using his newfound knowledge from the primer book, “Witches Grimoire. The Spells of Magic.”

That was the only machine-written text in the book. All the rest was handwritten. The scribble was very hard to read, like the doctor’s notes he used to receive. His curiosity was peeked.

“Do you want me to read to you?” said the book in a woman’s voice.

His eyes darted back and forth across the scribble on the pages until he came to a word that meant “More Black.” He decided it was too hard to read, so he would let the book do it.

“Yes, please,” said Carter as he closed his eyes.
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