Arc 1, New Moon
This was the last night he could stay in the palace of the Crown Prince. Tomorrow, he would have to leave the palace.
He had lived in this palace ever since he was born. Ernst was the firstborn child of the King. Of the various women the King had held, Ernst’s mother was the first to become pregnant, and she spent the last month of her pregnancy within the palace. His mother safely gave birth, and a few days later, was sent out of the palace; thus, Ernst had no memories of spending time with his mother. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that all he knew about her was her name.
From the time he was born, he was now 60 years old. That seemed like a long time, didn’t it?
But, if you think about it, the people of Kleber lived for 200 years. If he lived properly, Ernst would have spent less than half of his lifetime in the royal palace. Thinking about it that way, the time he spent in the royal palace was actually short.
He didn’t really have much luggage. A few pieces of clothing and several books. No one would be coming with him. He wasn’t foolish enough to ask if anyone would be following him. No matter who it was, they would rather serve the next King rather than Ernst, who had become just another noble. He had briskly packed away all of his sixty years of life in two small clothing boxes.
In the bathing chamber, as usual, the large man kneeled with his head down to receive Ernst. Even though he knew that this man would be here as always, Ernst had still held some anxiety deep inside his heart somewhere. Today, his dinner had been forgotten.
Every minute of Ernst’s time had been scheduled with things to do. There was his morning walk time, his meal time, his studying time, his bathing time, and his sleeping time. These were the primary duties of the Crown Prince, and unless his body suffered in a way that prevented him from completing his schedule, the schedule was something that couldn’t be broken. If Ernst broke his schedule on a whim, the butlers, maids, and cooks who served him would all be thrown into confusion. Ernst was never allowed to choose what to do with his own time.
But today, though the time for dinner passed, no food ever came. The cooks had misunderstood and thought that Ernst had already left the palace today. For the first time in Ernst’s life, the last meal of the day in the palace didn’t come at a fixed and determined time. It was delightful. To be able to move around without having all of his actions decided for him was delightful. When Ernst finally left the palace, he would be able to eat as he pleased and sleep as he pleased, he thought.
As usual, the servant washed him carefully. He covered Ernst’s shoulders in a plentiful amount of foam, and slowly and gently washed his back. His large hands sometimes rubbed against Ernst’s skin. The hands washed him as if checking each and every part of his spine, and Ernst held his breath as if trying to keep the servant unaware. The thick fingers washed Ernst’s thin neck, and slowly traveled down to his chest. He then washed Ernst’s small nipples, holding them between his index finger and the meat of his thumb.
He touched Ernst’s knee, and Ernst stood. As the servant rubbed Ernst’s soft and white thighs as if gently caressing them, a strange and unfamiliar feeling that Ernst wasn’t sure how to describe – almost ticklish, but not quite – flooded his body.
Was this, perhaps, what something sexual felt like?
Once he understood that despite being a man, he wasn’t able to make ‘it’ stand, he threw himself as if obsessed into reading books, books, and more books. What manner of state was sexual arousal? What kind of state was being erect, and what kinds of feelings did one experience then? He wanted to know more about these feelings that he would never be able to have.
But the understanding he could glean from theories was limited. There were things beyond what could be communicated through words which Ernst knew nothing of.
As the servant washed behind his knees, Ernst gazed down at his head of curly brown hair. Large fingers moved back and forth through the crevice of his small ass. A rough-skinned fingertip slipped into his narrow entrance and gingerly washed there. Ernst felt the tips of his toes spark with an electrifying feeling. So this, too, could feel this way, huh?
His large hands touched Ernst’s small sack. He held it in his palm, and with the fingers of his other hand, kneaded it as he washed. He did so with a serious look, taking care not to make it hurt. Though Ernst felt as if his thighs were trembling, his small manhood still hung down lifelessly. Thick fingers gently picked it up, and the servant enveloped Ernst’s slender and small manhood in his large hands. As if handling an incomparably precious treasure, the servant’s unrefined hands moved slowly.
Something swirled in Ernst’s stomach. Once he finished washing here, everything would be over. Yet, Ernst felt like he had grasped something. Something inside him was awakening from servant’s hands. Ernst couldn’t bear to let this end without knowing anything. Right now, if he could take hold of that ‘something’, he felt like he would be able to live as a ‘man’ from now on.
When the washing had ended, Ernst quickly touched the thick arm that had just been about to leave. Just at the touch of Ernst’s thin fingers, the servant stopped moving. Thinking it was good that the servant had stopped, Ernst began to rub against that large hand between his legs. This large, thick, and hot hand, which could easily cup both Ernst’s balls and cock within its grasp. Like this, Ernst had clenched the servant’s hand between his thighs, and he clung to the servant’s arm. Ernst’s cheek came closer to the servant’s muscular arm as he gently reached toward the servant’s groin.
The large man’s groin was tightly bound by thick cloth. Wanting to know the shape of it, Ernst stroked it with his thin fingers, but he couldn’t make anything out due to that thick cloth in the way. Ernst ardently rocked his thin hips, grinding against the muscular hand between his legs. The servant just let it happen to him, and did not move or have any reaction at all.
Ernst heard a drop of water fall from the ceiling into the bath.
A sigh escaped Ernst, like the sound of someone who had resigned themselves and given up. He stood as if nothing at all had happened just now. His small manhood still hung down without having shown any change whatsoever. Ernst glanced down at that useless decoration. When he had been touched by the manservant’s hand, when the manservant had touched him of his own volition, Ernst had lost control of himself. But Ernst didn’t have any regrets. He didn’t think it was awkward. This was the end of any relation he had to the royal palace. Whatever happened now, by tomorrow, everyone would have their minds full of only thoughts about the new Crown Prince.
The manservant gently poured the water on him. Ernst bathed in the hot bath, laughing at himself mockingly.
It was such a large bathtub, for no reason at all.
Early in the morning, Ernst got on the carriage. There wasn’t any breakfast today, either. There was nothing more that Ernst could do in this palace. Everyone and anyone only just wished for him to hurry up and leave. Right now, without having any care at all for Ernst, they were running around in order to care for the newly-arrived Crown Prince.
Ernst lifted the thin curtain of the carriage with a finger. In the morning mist, he saw the flowing cobblestone pavement. This was the first time he had ever left the Crown Prince’s palace. The King and the Crown Prince were never to leave the royal palace. As they stayed deep within the chambers of the royal palace, throughout their entire lifetime, their eyes would never catch sight of the world beyond its walls.
The carriage approached the bridge connected to the royal palace. So this was the bridge that connected to the lower world. Once he crossed here, he would be ‘outside’. There, he would find things like towns, and villages, and forests. This was the world in which Ernst would live from now on.
Turning around to face the back, Ernst pulled up the cloth hanging from the back of the carriage. The royal palace grew ever distant.
Such a large, yet puny world it was.