Author's Note: This idea popped into my head while flying to my parents' house for Thanksgiving today, and I just had to embrace the inspiration as I had it. Don't worry, I still intend to work on my other projects. I just wanted to at least get the prologue for this out, mostly to tease you all. ;)

The setting for this is an AU, in a parallel Garderobe. The nature of the world, Garderobe, and Otome are vastly different than in Mai-Otome though, so don't go making too many assumptions. I've also shuffled around the ages of some characters for narrative need.

Title: The Crimson Maiden

Rating: M (for strong sexual content)


Erstin screamed out and squeezed her eyes shut, bracing herself for the blast of flame. She was bound completely immobile by the Child's web, and she was too exhausted to break out of it, having used up all of her energy and lost her own Child just fending off the Maiden alone. When the Maiden had summoned her own Child, Erstin knew that all was lost. She still tried, putting up a good struggle, but she was simply outmatched, soon finding herself enveloped in the spider's web and at the Maiden's mercy.

It would be a stretch to say that the Maiden was merciful, though. She held nothing back in her final attack: a wave of flame which scorched across Erstin's body, disintegrating the remnants of her Robe and electrifying her skin with the knowledge of just how painful this would have been had their magic not been limited by the enchantment on the arena. When it was over, she was left hanging naked in the web, unable to even move her arms to cover herself and maintain the barest sliver of modesty.

In contrast, the Crimson Maiden stood across from Erstin almost entirely undamaged. It had been Erstin's hope to at least be able to do enough damage to the Maiden's Robe to pierce her glamour and reveal her true identity underneath the disguise she wore in her duels, but she had failed at even that. At least she wasn't the first to fail at this; so far not a single student had been able to uncover the Maiden's identity, allowing her legend to grow.

Adding to the legend was just how detailed the Crimson Maiden disguise was. She wore a stunning red outfit, consisting of a tight tube top which drew the eye to her breasts and their nearly perfect shape, and then a bit lower to her exposed midriff. The eye was then pulled down to the miniskirt wrapped around her waist, which taunted the viewer with the constant possibility of seeing what lay underneath as she moved. However, the skirt itself seemed to be enchanted to always cover just enough, whatever vantage point one might take or whatever action the Maiden might be engaged it. It was easily the most frustrating garment that Erstin had ever seen.

Finishing off the Maiden's crimson theme was her bright red hair. It was cut long, flowing behind her back and seeming to dance with a life of its own. The Maiden was the personification of burning passion, both in herself and in all who beheld her. The ultimate irony, though, was the taunt her name implied. Although she put her body on the line in every battle, she had never lost and been forced to surrender it. Despite all she'd done to her defeated opponents, she remained a maiden herself.

It was this knowledge of what the Maiden liked to do to her opponents that provided the sole saving grace to the situation Erstin found herself in. She could feel her nipples already hardening at the thought, and she was momentarily embarrassed at the thought that her opponent might see her excitement. She didn't want the Maiden to think she'd lost on purpose, or else she would be in for a truly torturous session.

"You are defeated," the Crimson Maiden stated. Her voice was flat, showing neither approval for nor disappointment in Erstin's performance. "Per our agreement, your body is mine for the period of two hours. The enchantment will remain in place to protect you from physical harm, but that is the only limit I will respect. If you wish to plead mercy, I recommend you do so now. You may not have the option once I begin."

Pleading for a reprieve was currently the furthest thing from Erstin's mind. The Maiden's frank description of what she was in for had simply served to make her more excited. The situation certainly wasn't how she would have preferred for such an encounter to go, but if Mai was to be believed, she was in for the ride of her life. Erstin shook her head slowly. "No. I'll honor our agreement."

The Crimson Maiden nodded. She raised her staff and casted a quick cantrip which caused a clock to materialize in midair. "Your time begins now."

Erstin let out a gasp as the Maiden's Child pulled up on the strands of webbing which bound her legs. They were pulled apart, exposing her lewdly before the Maiden. Erstin tilted her head up to try to get a look at what she was in for, chewing on her lip nervously and trying not to think about how exposed she was before a complete stranger – or even worse, before someone she knew but couldn't identify through the glamour.

The Maiden held up her staff, its head radiating white light. She muttered an incantation, and the glow from the staff soon grew into a blinding flush which filled the room. When it faded, the two were surrounded by darkness. The Maiden's Child had vanished, its web along with it. Instead, Erstin was bound up by what seemed to be tendrils of flame wrapped around her arms and legs. They didn't really feel like flames, though. They were smooth and slick against her skin, transmitting a warmth, almost like body heat.

A sudden burst of light from the Maiden drew Erstin's attention back to her. Her staff radiated dozens more of these flames, and her eyes glinted with lust. Before Erstin had a chance to wonder about her intentions, the flames shot off from the staff and enveloped her body. They seemed to be everywhere, moving in a delicate dance to stimulate every nerve in her skin at just the right time. A scream broke out of her throat as the shock of pleasure overwhelmed her, but it only got more intense from there.

Erstin's consciousness was seared out of her mind as the sensations fought for every scrap of attention they could get. When her mind was consumed with nothing but the thoughts of how good this caress felt, they stopped fighting for more space and simply started screaming out at her. It was only a matter of seconds before the limit was reached and she exploded in a world of glorious pleasure.

When Erstin's consciousness returned to her, the Maiden's words started to filter in. "Climaxing already? My my... I do hope you won't pass out on me. This is only the beginning of the fun I have planned for you."

One week later

The itch was starting to get at her again. Erstin hadn't put up much of a fight, but she was entertaining enough in the aftermath that the girl who masqueraded as the Crimson Maiden had been sufficiently satisfied for the time being. This week, however, she wanted a challenge. She wanted someone who could put up a fight, who might even be a match for her. Real risk made the reward all the sweeter.

She hadn't had a truly engaging battle since she'd fought Mai Tokiha. She'd come close to piercing the Maiden's glamour, but her inexperience had caused her to slip up at the critical moment. The experience was exhilarating, and she'd been sure to properly reward Mai in the aftermath. She'd even gone so far as to offer Mai a rematch, but she hadn't been taken up on it yet. Perhaps Mai still felt she needed to train more before she was ready.

This left the Maiden with the task to pick out a new opponent who might be worthy of her. It had seemed hopeless at first, until she overheard an offhand comment about a certain girl. Mai had been complaining about an antisocial girl who she'd nevertheless befriended, and she'd let it slip that this girl was actually something of a prodigy in battle. Recognizing the referenced girl as a particularly delectable morsel she'd spotted a number of times while they were both studying privately in the library, the Maiden made her choice.

Her target set, the Crimson Maiden began to lay her web to entrap her prey. Natsuki Kruger would be hers.