Shedding by Nathan Anton

Today Leros was pleasantly surprised to have Alwa wake him up. The elves and fairies had grown accustomed to the palace and started living happily without much worry. Neither had any reason or desire to return to Earth Alpha and took up jobs in the underworld instead.
Shedding by Nathan Anton
Alwa was embarrassed when Leros looked at her petite elven face, he caressed her cheek as she pulled away to increase the effect. Alwa liked being given attention, like a teenager, and got energetic all of a sudden at Leros’s touch. Leros smiled at Alwa before noticing the strange taste in his mouth, dust? Glitter? He was confused and tried to lick it out. “Oh erm, the fairies tried to wake you up but they couldn’t,” Alwa said after noticing Leros’s discomfort, picking fairy dust out of her own mouth. “Ah, what did they do, rub their bodies on my tongue?” Leros joked, but Alwa’s expression said it all, her innocence made it difficult to hide things. Alwa’s expression then became slightly serious, meaning she had a message to convey. “Nobody has seen Cobera for a while and everyone is worried, do you think you can go check on her?” “Sure, I wonder what the problem is,” Leros said before getting up and making his way out with Alwa. Cobera was the shy and timid member of the dark palace family, and was usually seen with Scorpina, a mutant and her strong desert-native counterpart. “See ya,” Alwa shouted as she skipped further down the stairs, no doubt to continue her duty as guardian, and watch over the massive forest behind the palace. Leros approached and quickly knocked on a door to Cobera’s room, “Cobera… Cobera can I come in?” he shouted. “…Lerosss,” she hissed in response. She sounded ill or tired so Leros decided to take responsibility and walked into her room, swiftly closing the door behind him so Ghost the sneaky spider didn’t follow. “Cobera?” Cobera was nowhere to be found but Leros had a hunch where she might be. He walked through the bright sandy floor, past the ‘shedder’ mat and arrived at the playful towers and burrows in which she usually hid. Cobera popped her face out from a dark hole and slightly startled Leros because of her vastly different appearance. Her see-through eye scales were peeling off; giving her a frightening and droopy expression, and the rest of her scales had begun to malt. “Ah you’re shedding,” Leros stated. Cobera nodded and slithered out of the play area, revealing the bits of skin falling off her back. Cobera was relatively embarrassed and it was probably the reason why nobody had seen her for a while. “Will you help me, Lerosss,” Cobera hissed, her forked tongue continuously licking the artificial air as usual. Leros nodded and went over to the shedder with her. The shedder was a rough mat laid out amongst the sand so Cobera could wriggle on it to get the old skin off her more easily. Leros noticed she had been using it but her back and tail still had a lot left, as well her face. Clearly she wasn’t using the tool properly. Cobera started wriggling on the mat in a flailing manner, akin to a fish out of water, but it didn’t seem to do a thing. There wasn’t enough friction on her body and she ended up just looking silly from her adorable movements. Leros saw the problem immediately and began instructing her on how she could use the shedder better. He erected a large sturdy pillar at the bottom of the mat and told her to use her tail as an anchor to push herself back and forth. She followed his instructions; she coiled the tip of her tail around the pillar and began moving back and forth, getting all the loose skin off her back and tail almost immediately. Leros had to look away after seeing her do those movements as lewd thoughts arose in his willing mind. Cobera’s slender body and soft torso scales were all that he could think about now. However she was oblivious to her suggestive motions, tossing and turning on the mat. She finally managed to get the skin off, but was unsure how to get the excess skin off her face. Cobera moved towards Leros who sat beside her and she coiled her shiny fresh scales around his body. She peered at his avoidant face and sulked. “Do I look ugly Lerosss,” Cobera said in an upset manner. Leros’s eyes widened in horror Why would she think that? He soon realized the misunderstanding and turned to face her confidently. “Of course not Cobera, I was just having a… naughty thought is all, pay it no heed.” Cobera moved her face closer to his in an innocent yet seductive manner “Naughty thoughtsss,” she said. Leros gulped and brought his mouth closer to hers, closer and closer they got until he could feel her thin forked tongue licking his lips, teasing him. The room felt like an oven at this point as Leros’s body felt the warmth of Cobera’s face, which automatically elevated his body temperature. A moment of silence passed until they both thrust their mouths forward and began passionately kissing each other. Lewd noised erupted as they played with each other’s tongue. Cobera’s was very thin and was flexible enough to coil around Leros’s as he threw it around the shared mouth, swapping saliva and poison frantically… Poison… a factor Leros did not consider after giving in to his lustful feelings. His movements became sluggish and weak, so much so Cobera opened her eyes to see what was wrong. She immediately noticed his swollen mouth and backed away from him in guilt. Cobera must have let her guard down, while being stimulated so nicely by Leros she accidently extended her fangs, which secreted poison while she wasn’t paying attention. “Sssorry, Lerosss!” Cobera hissed in panic as his face now swelled like a bulb. “Ish ok,” Leros struggled to say. Cobera then advanced on Leros and began biting his face and lips softly while sucking strongly. The process took a few minutes but she managed to reduce the swelling by manually extracting the poison from him. Leros looked more or less back to normal now and he stared in Cobera’s droopy reptilian eyes endearingly. Cobera may be an adult but she was easily startled and not very socially adept. Despite this she had a kind heart and always tried her best to do what was right. Leros placed his hand over her face and produced an extremely vacuum, his signature black hole. The controlled mass sucked the old skin right from Cobera’s face and she looked adorable once more. She patted her new features and smiled happily as she felt normal again. Due to her excitement she slithered around Leros in sheer joy now that her embarrassing problem had been fixed. Cobera came to a halt and stared deeply into Leros’s eyes once more. She seemed hypnotised in her smitten state and attempted to say something. “Will you… help me shed nexsst month?” Leros couldn’t possibly turn her down. “Of course my dear, it would be my pleasure. Are you sure you don’t want to ask one of the girls though?” Cobera looked away. “Lilica said I looked grossss…” Leros rolled his eyes. Of all the people around the palace to ask, Cobera approached Lilica, the bluntest and meanest one. Leros would be having some strong words with Lilica later. “Lilica will be getting an earful for that, but next time if I’m not around ask anybody, except Lilica.” Cobera cheered up and smiled wide with her snaggle teeth on show. She had a strong grip, a hood for hiding in, poisonous fangs and a cute personality; all of which Leros adored about her. “Can I asssk sssomething elssse?” “Ask away.” “Can you help me fertilissse my eggsss?” Leros would normally say ‘Of course’ and get down to business, but seeing as it was Cobera asking, he had a suspicion that she meant something else. “Do you know what that means Cobera?” “Eh?” “Did Mimi teach you that sentence?” Cobera nodded innocently. Mimi was the succubus of the palace and loved to spread mischief and adult matters to the younger ones. Cobera was her regular victim as she was both naïve and inexperienced, the perfect combination. “Mimi was just being silly ok, what you said means something else…” Cobera tilted her head, awaiting an answer that never came. She looked down in embarrassment as Leros patted her head. It seems Mimi was in for a telling off too, but he may not come out of her room without being dominated himself. After awkwardly standing in the sand for a while, Leros decided to leave and told Cobera to see her friends as they were worried. Cobera waved at her shedding partner and energetically said “Bye Lerosss,” as the door closed. It was always uplifting seeing Cobera, her pureness seemed to cleanse him and made him feel much better. It was unusual for Cobera to be so romantic, he wondered if she was finally starting to take an interest into him. Being the ruler of the underworld had women (and men) of all species after him and not just for his title… Leros now seeked Lilica, the curt Petlan that tends the palace gardens all day. Lilica was very upfront and had difficulty in expressing her real feelings, she acted mean as a result and steered most of the other palace residents away from her. While walking down the spiral staircase and across the lobby, Leros thought of how to scold Lilica. Calling others names is never nice, even in a joking way it depends who is on the receiving end. Cobera easily gets upset; Lilica should know this but still offended her. The garden seemed as massive as ever as Leros entered the unusually tranquil setting, not befitting of the underworld’s image. The beautiful plants and neat lawn was a testament to how much Lilica cared for the place. The towering fence at the back was incredibly belittling but didn’t seem to impact Lilica as she moved from plant to plant and watered them elegantly. “What?” Lilica snapped as Leros approached her. “What indeed,” Leros retorted. Lilica merely ignored him and continued with her work. “So I saw Cobera earlier...” Lilica didn’t respond and continued watering the beautiful plants. “…she told me something interesting…” The pink petals acting as Lilica’s dress reddened slightly, it was clear she was frustrated. “…she told me you said she was ‘gross’ when she approached you for help.” Lilica was faltering in her attempt to ignore Leros and grew redder and redder like a tomato. “Is this true?” There was silence at this time, Lilica had stopped watering her plants and stood still like a statue. The artificial breeze hit the garden and swayed all the lovely flowers and grass as Leros awaited an answer. “I… it is…” Lilica finally said. Leros was annoyed before but now he’d heard it from Lilica he was angry. One of the few rules he enforced in the palace was respect. Lilica didn’t have a shred of this and routinely had correctional visits from him. Whether out of spite, fun, or a need for attention, Lilica had once again disappointed Leros. Leros took a step forwards and started to speak “Lilica-” “Don’t!” She shouted and hardened her beet red petals defensively, inflating them in an intimidating fashion. Leros had never hurt any of the women in the dark palace and he never intended to. He was quite taken aback by Lilica’s outburst but understood immediately. She looked vulnerable and upset, it was clear she regretted her words towards Cobera. Whether out of fear or uncertainty, she resisted Leros’s advance on her, even though she knew he wouldn’t touch her. “Just… be sure to apologise to her ok, and try to be nicer.” Leros turned around and walked off, back into the lobby. He didn’t turn around as to not cause any unnecessary intimidation, even if it was cold. He’d said what he needed to and Lilica had received his message. Dealing with Lilica was exhausting; it wasn’t in Leros’s nature to be assertive or authoritative. He liked watching Lilica in her natural environment, where she was elegant, bouncy, and at peace. For some reason she always snapped at him but was occasionally nicer to others. Leros sighed, If only she was honest. The next order of business was to have a word with Mimi about inserting useless information into susceptible minds. Leros was always hesitant about entering Mimi’s room, there would be no way of knowing when he’d come out as it never ended in just a visit. “Mimi, are you there?” Leros knocked on her door. “Come in my dear,” a seductive voice responded. Leros entered the dim room and once again checked the door so nobody else slipped in. Mimi was in the corner of the room writing notes beside a lamp. Many strange tools littered the place, some were for magic and alchemy and others were for… different pastimes. “Cobera finally said it then?” Mimi said with a grin on her face while she still worked. “Ye- what?” “It seems you didn’t get it my dear, always looking straight ahead... or at my breasts mmm.” “I don’t always- ahem.” Leros cleared his throat, this was just like Mimi to get him emotional and riled up so that she could swoop in and take him in his vulnerable state. Leros walked up next to her chair and queried her on what she meant by only looking “straight ahead.” “She’s at that age Leros, she asked me for advice and so I gave it,” Mimi said as she put her pen down and turned around. “Really?” Leros was skeptical. “Really,” she answered. Mimi may be mischievous but the other girls looked up to her and it wasn’t in her nature to blatantly lie. Her sparkling purple eyes were locked onto Leros’s and he had to look away as to not be charmed by the gorgeous woman. He spoke again to distract himself. “So she was serious about… that?” Mimi stood up now and caressed Leros’s turned cheek. “You keep asking, and I’ll keep answering the same.” With a slight push with her other hand; Mimi said “Maybe I should show you what she wanted to… clear things up hmmhmmhmm.” Leros was being pushed towards her dark and foreboding bed against his will. There was no telling what she did to the other girls on this large pleasure surface but her intentions with him were clear. Before Leros knew it he was half laid on the bed with Mimi standing over him. Her large purple wings stretched wide in an effort to cut off her target’s retreat, and her sharp dagger-like tail swung about dangerously in excitement, anticipating the next event. Leros kept his composure during this tempting scene. “Mimi I should probably-” To halt his words, Mimi brought her lips firmly down on his. There was no escape now, the devils kiss had caught him; he was under her spell of seduction whether he liked it or not. All Leros’s thoughts turned to Mimi now, the past and future had been forgotten and only this moment existed… The heat of Mimi’s room was sweltering and the energy was boundless as the inevitable happened. It was never just a visit with Mimi; Leros had confirmed that once again today and left the room exhausted yet thrilled at the same time. Leros’s mind was still numb from Mimi’s spell but it had started to wear off. “She’s a devil,” Leros thought to himself happily. The more pressing matter at hand what Cobera’s feelings, he had never advanced that far with her before and would have hurt her feelings when he dismissed her honest question. He’d have to apologise. Leros turned back to the room that was Mimi’s and placed his palm on the door as usual. His thoughts of Cobera powered the magic in the air; the Dark Palace had heard the call. With a flash of light erupting from the doorframe, Cobera’s room now stood before Leros. Knock, knock. “C-come in,” Cobera answered rapidly. Upon entering, Leros saw a heart-warming sight. Cobera was sat on her long soft bed with Lilica; they appeared to be playing a handheld video game together and evidence of unused cartridges were dumped on the nearby bedside table, probably when they were deciding what to play. “Humph I didn’t think you’d be back,” Lilica said in her usual tone, she seemed to have calmed down since Leros saw her last. Leros ignored the comment and asked them what they were playing. Apparently it was a role-playing-card-game where monsters and other enemies needed to be fought by the player and their deck of collected allies. “Are you winning?” Leros inquired. “Humph of course,” Lilica flipped her hair as she spoke, jostling the bud on top and adding to the statement. “Lilica gave me a sssuper rare card!” Cobera exaggerated loudly like she’d been bursting to say it. “That’s nice of her,” Leros smiled at Lilica. Lilica’s petals grew bright pink at the comment; there was no hiding her emotions as a Petlan. “Bathroom…” Cobera suddenly said and slithered off into the on suite door. Leros was now alone with Lilica. “How does she- you know what, nevermind…” Lilica quickly retracted her question, realising she didn’t want the answer. Leros chuckled and sat on the bed next to her. She shifted uncomfortably and unravelled her root entwined legs to place them on the sandy floor. “Thank you,” Leros whispered into her ear. Lilica for the first time today looked at him. Her rounded face looked confused; she didn’t seem to know what to say. Leros embraced this moment as it wasn’t often Lilica paid him any attention or looked as pretty as she did now. Her petals were flushed pink no doubt from embarrassment but also curiously violet, however Leros had no idea what that colour symbolised. After staring at each-others face for a moment; Lilica quickly turned her head and scooped up the handheld gaming device with one of her wayward vines. She began playing to distract herself from her feelings as if denouncing them. “Back.” Cobera came slithering into the room and onto the bed. Leros was now awkwardly sat between Cobera and Lilica as they played their game. He prayed for a distraction as he couldn’t talk to Cobera with Lilica here and certainly didn’t want to ask her to leave, especially when she was in a good mood. Thankfully the devils answered his call. Mimi came barging into the room and startled time back into action. “Lili darling, Nekona is running on the lawn again.” “That bitch!” Lilica shouted and stood in a hurry, discarding the gaming device as she briskly walked out of the room. Leros was confused as Nekona should know better by now but then Mimi gave him a snide wink once Lilica had passed and it all made sense. He started to feel sorry for Lilica as she would no doubt be swept up and ‘trained’ by Mimi, using her unstable emotions as bait. Cobera was quite sad to see Lilica go; she must have been having a good time. Once all the distractions were out of the way, Leros asked Cobera about her feelings. “So earlier you asked me to… fertilise your eggs, what did you really mean?” Cobera was dumbfounded at the sudden question and hadn’t planned for such a turn of events. “I-I um.” The pressure had gotten to her, it was clear she didn’t know how to phrase her feelings. Feeling sorry for the girl, Leros took the lead to spare her of discomfort. “Well Cobera… I like you, as a woman.” Leros felt he needed to add the ‘as a woman’ to the end to make things clear. Leros attempts to be mellow towards the fact most of the residents in the dark palace are female and most of them require his… masculinity with increasing frequency. He’d never really thought of Cobera as someone to physically love before today, and wondered how long he’s kept her waiting. In truth Leros did like Cobera, she was sweet, loving and had an innocent charm that rivalled Ghost, the spider that’d been following him all day. “I-I like you too Lerosss.” Cobera finally had the courage to say something she longed to and looked into Leros’s amber bestial eye in fascination. It was no secret Leros’s scales and cat-like eye were some of his most handsome features. Cobera was drawn towards this mutation, like it reflected her own humanoid body. “Well… there only one thing left to do…” Leros said in quiet and seductive manner. He moved his face close to Cobera’s delicious pink lips and yearned to taste the flavour inside again. Closer and closer the pair got, they were millimetres away when… “STOP!” Lilica came bursting back into the room and looked exhausted. Her petals were bright green and torn in places, it was clear she had a scuffle with Mimi and it was clear she won. Hanging to the right of Lilica was Mimi… upside down and bound with Lilica’s vines in a bondage-esque way, which she seemed to be ironically enjoying. “Lilica,” Cobera said softly. “No more for today you need to, you know… for earlier, just stop.” Oddly enough Cobera understood the baffling sentence but Leros was none the wiser. “You, out!” Lilica shouted at Leros. It was sad to be told to exit a room in his own home but as to not create a bigger scene he reluctantly did as he was told. Lilica gave him a cold gaze as she dumped Mimi on the floor and entered Cobera’s room, closing it in the process. “What was that about?” Leros quizzed Mimi who was recovering from her surprising defeat at Lilica’s vines. “Well I had to tackle her before she got to the garden and carried her into my room, she resisted so I kissed her but she brought up some weird pollen, the next thing I knew I was in a lovely pose.” Mimi was oddly enough quite pleased with this turn of events. “No not about that, about what Lilica said,” Leros asked with more force. “I have no idea…” Mimi said, playing dumb. This time she was lying and Leros knew he wouldn’t get the answer to this question today. Some secret among the girls? Leros was intrigued but perhaps it wasn’t his place to meddle as it was obviously something they were trying to keep from him. He settled for the answer “girls stuff” and walked back to his room alone in disappointment. Leros jumped on his extremely large bed and laid his head back at the headboard, thinking about the day. He was glad he cleared things up with Cobera and was even happier that Lilica made the effort to do more than just apologise. He was still bitter about not being able to spend time with Cobera but he understood that Lilica and the others probably had their reasons. Pondering the day and the relaxing atmosphere lulled Leros gently into sleep. Not five seconds passed when a shadow from under his bed whizzed by at the opportune moment and slipped under the covers next to him. Ghost had been waiting all day for her prey to become vulnerable, now was the time… for snuggles.


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