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    • By Kirito in OmoOrg News and Updates
         2
      If you haven't already noticed, OmoOrg has recently migrated from our old IRC server to Slack, a much more modern chatting platform that provides a world of benefits and features you simply can't get on IRC.
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    • By Pain in The Queen
         1
      “You ought to cover your head, my Queen" Sir Edward told as their horses plodded ahead, “You will take a chill."
       
      "It is only water, Sir Edward,” Charlotte replied. Her long brunette hair hung wet and heavy, a loose strand stuck to her forehead, and she could imagine how ragged and wild she must look, but for once she did not care. The rain was soft and warm. Charlotte liked the feel of it on her face, gentle as a mother's kisses. It took her back to her childhood, to long grey days at Longford. She remembered the small wooded area within the walls of their castle, drooping branches heavy with moisture, and the sound of her brother's laughter as he chased her through piles of damp leaves. She remembered making mud pies with her sister, the weight of them, the mud slick and brown between her fingers. How young they all had been.
       
      She scarcely had felt the rain in the past few years. Things had changed after she married King Owain and moved south. Where once she used to run and play and spend her time with her siblings, all she did now was sit at council meetings and listen to the whims and notions of her advisors. The King had left this duty to her when he passed away. A kingdom to rule and a boy to raise.
       
      Charlotte had almost forgotten. In her homeland, the rain sometimes fell cold and hard, and sometimes at night it turned to ice. It was as likely to kill a crop as nurture it, and it sent grown men running for the nearest shelter. That was no rain for little girls to play in.
       
      She exhaled slowly, pressing her left hand against her bulging stomach. She could feel waves of urine crashing against the walls of her bladder as her mount trotted forward. The quantity of water she had drunk throughout the way was plenty and she hadn’t had a chance to relieve herself after she left the Capital this morning.
       
      "I am soaked through," Sir Edward complained. "Even my bones are wet." The woods pressed close around them, and the steady pattering of rain on leaves was accompanied by the small sucking sounds their horses made as their hooves pulled free of the mud.
       
      "We will want a fire tonight, my Queen, and a hot meal would serve us both."
       
      "There is an inn at the crossroads up ahead,” Charlotte told him. She had slept many a night there in her youth, traveling with her father. Lord Merek Torrington had been a restless man in his prime, always riding somewhere. She still remembered the innkeep, a fat man named Domnall who chewed sourleaf night and day and seemed to have an endless supply of smiles and sweet cakes for the children. The sweet cakes had been soaked with honey, rich and heavy on the tongue, but how Charlotte had dreaded those smiles. The sourleaf had stained Domnall 's teeth a dark red, and made his smile a bloody horror.
       
      "An inn," Sir Edward repeated wistfully. "If only . . . but we dare not risk it. If we wish to remain unknown, I think it best we seek out some small holdfast . . . " He broke off as they heard sounds up the road; splashing water, the clink of mail, a horse's whinny.
       
      "Riders," he warned, his hand dropping to the hilt of his sword. Even on the highway, it never hurt to be wary.
       
      They followed the sounds around a lazy bend of the road and saw them; a column of armed men noisily fording a swollen stream. Charlotte reined up to let them pass. The banner in the hand of the foremost rider hung sodden and limp, but the guardsmen wore grey cloaks and on their shoulders flew the silver eagle of Restormel. "Calverts,” Sir Edward whispered to her, as if she had not known. "My Queen, best pull up your hood."
       
      Charlotte made no move. Lord Earl Calvert himself rode with them, surrounded by his Knights, his son Baron by his side and their squires close behind. The travelers had always been thick as flies upon the highway; Knights and freeriders, singers with their harps and drums, heavy wagons laden with hops or corn or casks of honey, traders and craftsmen and whores, all kept the highway busy round the year.
       
      She studied Lord Earl boldly. The last time she had seen him he had been jesting with her uncle at her wedding feast; the Calverts stood bannermen to the Torringtons, and his gifts had been lavish. His brown hair was salted with white now, his face chiseled gaunt by time, yet the years had not touched his pride. He rode like a man who feared nothing. Charlotte envied him that; she had come to fear so much. As the riders passed, Lord Earl nodded a curt greeting, but it was only a high lord's courtesy to strangers chance met on the road. There was no recognition in those fierce eyes, and his son did not even waste a look.
       
      "He did not know you," Sir Edward said after, wondering.
       
      "He saw a pair of mud-spattered travelers by the side of the road, wet and tired. It would never occur to him to suspect that one of them was the Queen and the daughter of his liege lord. I think we shall be safe enough at the inn, Sir Edward."
       
      It was near dark when they reached it, at the crossroads north of the great confluence of the rivers. Domnall was fatter and greyer than Charlotte remembered, still chewing his sourleaf, but he gave them only the most cursory of looks, with nary a hint of his ghastly red smile. "Two rooms at the top of the stair, that's all there is," he said, chewing all the while. "They're under the bell tower, you won't be missing meals, though there's some thinks it too noisy. Can't be helped. We're full up, or near as makes no matter. It's those rooms or the road."
       
      It was those rooms, low, dusty garrets at the top of a cramped narrow staircase. "Leave your boots down here," Domnall told them after he'd taken their coin. "The boy will clean them. I won't have you tracking mud up my stairs. Mind the bell. Those who come late to meals don't eat." There were no smiles, and no mention of sweet cakes.
       
      Charlotte climbed the stairs with aching thighs and made way into her room. It was small but she couldn’t complain. She just had to spend the night. They’d be gone from here come day break.
       
      She closed the door and bent down to look under the bed for the chamber pot, but it wasn’t there. Maybe the inn servant forgot to keep one in the room. She stood back up and caressed her lower belly. All the water she had drunk wanted to come out but there was nowhere to go. The thought that she won’t be able to relieve herself immediately, irritated her, but she kept her calm. Her need wasn’t pressing at the moment and she decided she could wait and see if the servant boy brought her a chamber pot.
       
      When the supper bell rang, the sound was deafening. Charlotte had changed into dry clothes. She sat by the window, watching rain run down the pane. The glass was milky and full of bubbles, and a wet dusk was falling outside. Charlotte could just make out the muddy crossing where the two great roads met.
       
      The crossroads gave her pause. If they turned west from here, it was an easy ride down to her homeland. Her father had always given her wise counsel when she needed it most, and she yearned to talk to him, to warn him of the gathering storm.
       
      The Daltons were conspiring against the throne and she knew a war was soon to come. This was the reason she had left her ten year old in the safety of their keep and travelled so far to meet her father. To inform him of the impending danger. She could have trusted no one with the word; she had to convey it herself.
       
      “A large party attracts unwelcome attention. I would not have the Daltons know of our movements” she had said to Sir Edward on his suggestion to send a squad of guardsmen with her. Hence she had decided to take the perilous highway all alone with no one but her most trusted advisor on her side. The Queen knew two riders can move as fast as one, and a good deal faster than a long column burdened by wagons and wheelhouses.
       
      If the throne needed to brace for war, how much more so her father, so much closer to the Daltons, with their power looming to the east like a shadow. If only her father had been stronger, she wouldn’t have worried so much, but Lord Merek Torrington had been bedridden these past three years, and Charlotte was unwilling to tax him now. But she had no choice.
       
      The eastern road was wilder and more dangerous, climbing through rocky foothills and thick forests into the mountains, past high passes and deep chasms. Above the valley, the Dunstanburgh Castle stood high and unconquerable, its towers reaching for the sky. There lived the Daltons, her enemies who shrouded themselves as friends.
       
      Charlotte was sure the Daltons had no idea that she knew about their treachery but how long could she count on this?
       
      Sooner or later, they would make their move and slay anyone who stood between them and the throne.
       
      Sir Edward came for her just as the bell ceased its clangor. "We had best make haste if we hope to eat tonight, my Queen."
       
      "It might be safer if we were not Knight and Queen until we reach our destination," she told him. "Common travelers attract less notice. A father and daughter taken to the road on some family business, say."
       
      "As you say, my Queen," Sir Edward agreed. It was only when she laughed that he realized what he'd done. "The old courtesies die hard, my—my daughter." He sighed with exasperation.
       
      Charlotte took his arm. "Come, Father," she said. "You'll find that Domnall sets a good table, I think, but try not to praise him. You truly don't want to see his smile."
       
      The common room was long and drafty, with a row of huge wooden kegs at one end and a fireplace at the other. A serving boy ran back and forth with skewers of meat while Domnall drew beer from the kegs, chewing his sourleaf all the while.
      The benches were crowded, townsfolk and farmers mingling freely with all manner of travelers. The crossroads made for odd companions; dyers with black and purple hands shared a bench with rivermen reeking of fish, an ironsmith thick with muscle squeezed in beside a wrinkled old septon, hard-bitten sellswords and soft plump merchants swapped news like boon companions.
       
      Sir Edward found them an empty place on the bench near the kitchen. He called for bread and meat and beer in a tone that meant now.
       
      The serving boy came scurrying up. He laid trenchers of bread before them and filled them with chunks of browned meat off a skewer, dripping with hot juice. Another skewer held tiny onions, fire peppers, and fat mushrooms. Sir Edward set to lustily as the lad ran back to fetch them beer.
       
      “You could start eating…” he said, almost spilling the words ‘my Queen’ from his mouth.
       
      “Please go ahead father… I’ve no hunger but a drink of beer would suffice…” Charlotte smiled.
       
      “Are you sure?” he asked.
       
      “Yes,” she nodded slightly.
       
      Sir Edward dug in, eating voraciously at first but then slowly as he started to feel fuller. Charlotte drank a few mugs of beer. The Queen rarely ever partook but when she did, she made sure to quench her thirst for a good while.
       
      Even though she was the Queen, not many knew her face. A few commoners scarcely had ever had the chance to see the Queen, even less likely for those who weren’t from the Capital. It meant she could be there as long as she wanted, amongst those people and enjoy her beer with a song.
       
      They sat there for long, listening to the melodious hymns from a singer who boasted aloud to be the best in his craft.
       
      Charlotte enjoyed his voice, and how his fingers played with the wood harp, although the same could not be said about Sir Edward.
       
      His opinion of singers was well known; music was a lovely thing for girls, but he could not comprehend why any healthy boy would fill his hand with a harp when he might have had a sword.
       
      At last, when the night fell deep and dark, they decided it was time to take leave.
       
      It was when Charlotte entered back in her room, ready to relieve herself after a long day, that she remembered the lack of a chamber pot. She just stood there for a moment, with her hands on her hips, contemplating what to do.
       
      She was uncomfortably aware that she already had a lot of urine in her bladder but she wasn’t willing to go all the way down again to just ask for a chamber pot. Tired and weary, she climbed onto her bed, covered herself with the blanket and let the patter of rain drops on the window lull her to sleep.
       
      ***
       
      Loud bangs on the wooden door woke the Queen up. The sharp sun rays filtering in through the window pierced her eyes and she quickly shaded her face with her hand. Charlotte realized it was morning. She had slept like a log.
       
      “Daughter, are you awake? We must get going….” Lord Edward shouted from outside, slamming the door with his fist.
       
      “Yes” as the Queen sat up on her bed, a sudden spasm told how full her bladder had gotten over the course of the night. She held her abdomen and climbed off the bed, quickly stepping towards the door to open it.
       
      “My Queen, we must leave immediately,” Sir Edward started as he stepped in and locked the door, “I’ve heard a party of Dalton riders is heading this way, maybe they know we’re here…” he added, trying to catch his breath.
       
      Queen Charlotte’s eyes widened in horror. If this was true, both their lives were in danger. The Daltons would never get a better chance to remove the Queen from their way to the throne.
       
      “How did you come to know?” she asked.
       
      “I heard a few men talking of their arrival. The Daltons have friends everywhere” he paused to take a breath “I’ve readied the horses we had best make haste, my lady.”
       
      Queen Charlotte stood there for a moment, weighing her options. She had to relieve herself but the Daltons might get here any moment. She saw the Knight looking at her intently, waiting for her command. She could never tell him about her dilemma, that would gravely botch her dignity. A proper lady always knew to suppress her needs, no matter how bad they got. At the end of the rigorous battle in her mind, warily, she decided to leave.
       
      She wasted no time and quickly made her exit. She knew she had made the right choice but it was when she finally mounted her horse that she began to doubt herself. She had a lot to drink and all of it now sat in her bladder, waiting to be released. The pressure had seriously built up, but she decided she could wait until they were at a safe distance away from here.
       
      Of course she’d have to find somewhere to go, maybe a house or a holdfast. It was thought to be a matter of great disgrace if a lady of nobility was to relieve herself elsewhere than a privy or a chamberpot, so much that she’d be forced to flee the kingdom out of pure shame.
       
      Charlotte realized she’d just have to cork it up until she found some place suitable. It was part of the training of a Lady to be able to absorb any amount of drinks and release none of it until she was ready. Of course there were limits, but she was yet to reach them.
       
      The weather was cloudy with a few drops of rain falling intermittently. Things went slickly as Queen Charlotte and Sir Edward rode on for a few hours.
       
      The thought that they had managed to evade the enemy brought Charlotte some relief but her need to wee was making her concerned now. The one liter of water skin Sir Edward gave her before they started riding was now empty and Charlotte could now feel all of it making its way into her bladder. She knew they’d have to find somewhere she could relieve herself and soon. With her need elevating so quickly, the Queen didn’t know how much longer she could wait.
       
      They padded slowly through the soft ground to the river's edge, the sight and sound of the water making her need to piss much worse. But the Queen hid her discomfort well. She was resolute and still showed no signs of needing to relieve herself besides her inflated bladder region. She could never let Sir Edward know how badly she needed to go. That would be so disgraceful.
       
      They rode on ceaselessly until their butts felt sore and only stopped by the riverside when their thirst grew irresistible. Queen Charlotte watched in disdain as Sir Edward filled the water skin for her. If only he knew how full her bladder was.
      When she was sure Sir Edward wasn’t looking, Queen Charlotte squeezed herself under her dress a couple of times.
      Gods I’ve got to piss, she thought, feeling the pulses from her aching bladder. The temporary relief felt good but she knew it wouldn’t last long.
       
      Before long they were back on their way. It was nice under the trees. The Queen kept her mount to a walk, holding the reins lightly and looking all around her as they went ahead. She knew this wood, but she had been so long confined to the Capital, that she felt as though she were seeing it for the first time. The smells filled her nostrils; the sharp fresh tang of pine needles, the earthy odor of wet rotting leaves and the hints of animal musk. She caught a glimpse of a black squirrel moving through the branches of an oak, and watched intently at the silvery web of an empress spider.
       
      However, none of these things was sufficiently exciting to divert her mind from her pressing need to wee. She wanted to go much more badly now. It was frightening because she was getting worse almost by the minute. This was the time when all the water she had drunk was going through her the fastest. The thought of how much she had drunk, and that it was all going to end up in her bladder, was not something she wanted to contemplate and because she could not stop worrying about how badly she wanted to go, time was passing so slowly.
       
      The sun had begun to climb up the sky and the heat was beginning to rise. They were still leagues away from their destination. As they trotted forward, Sir Edward’s ears suddenly caught the sound of a horse’s whinny. "My Queen," he called out his voice hoarse with alarm. And in an instant, the road was full of soldiers pouring out of the woods.
       
      Fear crept under her skin as Charlotte glimpsed ringmail over leather, gauntlets and greaves, steel helms with a raging bull on the crests. Their cloaks clung to their backs. She had no time to count, but there were ten at least, a line of them, all mounted, blocking the trail, with longswords and iron-tipped spears. "Behind!" she heard Sir Edward cry, and when she turned her horse, there were more in back of them, cutting off their retreat. Sir Edward’s sword came singing from its scabbard. "Let us go!"
       
      “It was a long haul…” their leader said, “…but I suppose it ends here.”
       
      “Long time no see, Your Highness” The mud muffled the hooves of the blood bay stallion. The line parted before him. On a gray breastplate, the bull of Dalton resounded its rebelliousness. “I suppose you have been keeping well?”
       
      The Queen recognized the handsome Knight as Sir Jorge Writingham, a servant to the Daltons. She remembered him well from the times he had accompanied Lord Reynard Dalton to the Capital for royal feasts.
       
      “What is the meaning of this?” The Queen asked “I command you to clear the way at once!”
       
      “I don’t think you are in a position to command me” Sir Jorge smirked.
       
      Charlotte knew he was right. They were surrounded by dozens and her own strength was just one elderly Knight, armored in loyalty.
       
      “Let us pass and I will forgive your mistake” she stated.
       
      “Heh, I don’t need your forgiveness. I could cut you both into pieces and feed you to the dogs, and no one will ever know what happened here in these woods” Sir Jorge stared at Charlotte.
       
      “Mind your tongue, you bastard! This is the Queen you’re speaking to!” Sir Edward hollered.
       
      Sir Jorge ripped his longsword from its sheath and urged his stallion forward. "Show me your steel, Sir Edward. I'll butcher you like a lamb if I must, but I'd sooner you died with a blade in your hand.” He gave Queen Charlotte a cool, contemptuous glance that sent a chill down her spine.
       
      Sir Jorge poked at Sir Edward’s chest with the gilded sword. "Lord Reynard wants the Queen to come see him at Dunstanburgh " he sighed. "…and I have been honored with the duty to escort her there." He slid the golden sword into its sheath. "…but I suppose I can’t let you run to Lord Merek to tell him how I took your Queen captive." Sir Jorge pushed his wet hair back with his fingers and wheeled his horse around and glanced back at his captain. "Kill him."
       
      “NO!” Queen Charlotte screamed. She saw them cut the legs from Sir Edward's mount and drag him to the earth, swords rising and failing as they closed in around him. The sight nearly scared the piss out of her and she began to cry. Sir Edward was dead and now she was all alone, surrounded by the enemy.
       
      They pulled her off her horse and took away her dagger and her purse full of gold. As they were bundling her, and tying her hands with a length of coarse rope, the Queen felt truly afraid. She didn’t know what they would do with her once they got her to Dunstanburgh. Maybe they would take her prisoner? Maybe even rape her or kill her. She truly did not know.
      Her heart pounded in horror. Her bladder felt like a massive boulder jutting out of her gut as she stood there, with tears rolling down her cheeks.
       
      Then suddenly, someone pulled a hood down over her eyes and lifted her up onto a saddle. They set out at a hard gallop, and before long the Queen’s thighs were cramped and aching and her ass throbbed with pain.
       
      After a long ride, they slowed down to a trot, it was a miserable pounding journey over rough ground, made worse by her blindness. Every twist and turn put her in danger of falling off her horse. The hood muffled sound, so she could not make out what was being said around her. The rope around her wrists seemed to grow tighter as the sun started to go down.
       
      The twilight seeped through the cloth over her eyes when Sir Jorge gave the command to dismount. Rough hands pulled her down from her horse, untied her wrists, and yanked the hood off her head. It was beginning to grow dark but she could still see the narrow stony road, the foothills rising high and wild all around them, and the jagged snowcapped peaks on the distant horizon.
       
      “We make camp here for tonight, my Queen” Sir Jorge said in a tone that spilled mockery more than respect “…. keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t need anything” he commanded two of his men.
       
      I need to piss, Queen Charlotte thought but couldn’t dare say. Her need to empty her bladder had grown much worse since they took her captive. She was absolutely dying to wee yet there was nothing she could do. These men would not let her out of sight.
       
      Two of them would be awake at all times, taking shifts to watch her. She was completely wedged.
       
      They lit a fire and spread out a large, soft blanket for her. She slowly took a seat on it, laying back and wincing as her unbearably overfilled bladder threatened to explode then and there. Every breath she took tormented her, sending waves of desperation that made her feel like she could lose control at any second.
       
      Charlotte couldn’t have expected them to give her privacy. It was not like she could accept even if they allowed her to go behind the bushes. A proper lady never makes her need to relieve herself known, she told herself firmly. She was determined not to cower but her body said otherwise.
       
      For a few short, mad moments, she considered simply getting up and going behind the bushes, admitting she had to wee right then, her bladder almost out of control and about to burst. But it would have been against everything she stood for. Under no condition could she compromise with her dignity. In that thought, she found the resolve to hold on. Having accepted the situation, and found the determination to cope with it, she now had to find the strength to back up her resolve, to get herself under some semblance of control, reduce the terrible urgency of her need to something more bearable.
       
      She crossed her legs and lied still, with her eyes closed, trying to think of something else other than her need. But her mind always wandered back. She wondered what would happen if she kept holding it. Would her bladder really explode? Or was that just a story told to children to threaten them into emptying their bladders before they left the house? Only time would tell.
       
      Hours passed. Time went on and on as she lay there awake, containing her urine with every bit of strength. The pressure increased endlessly as more water continued to force its way into her bladder. The two guards who stood awake would absolutely know if she was to lose control and wet herself. The first men in the Kingdom to witness the Queen piss herself, soaking her blanket. She couldn't let it happen. She just closed her eyes, took a deep breath and said a silent prayer, asking the Lord Father to grant her strength in this difficult time. The fatigue soon pulled her to sleep.
       
      ***
      The next morning, she got up and saw just how large her bladder had become. It looked as if another liter had been added to its capacity over the night, such was its distention. The feeling of heaviness beneath her dress was beyond distracting, it had reached a level of painful urgency. Though, she was relieved that she didn’t wet herself in sleep, that would have been mortifying.
       
      Queen Charlotte just stood in the predawn chill, fighting off her immense need to urinate as the men around her prepared for the ride ahead. Crossing her legs now would not make the urge go away. Only by making a real effort and clenching her bladder shut could she make it go away, and as soon as she relaxed, it was back again. The cold had settled deep in her bones, and her legs were so sore she could scarcely walk.
       
      She realized her breath was shallow and quick as she tried to think clearly. The memory was still bitter. One moment she'd been well on her way to Longford to meet her father, and an eye blink later she was surrounded by armed men who were now dragging her in the opposite way. She had two days more riding ahead of her, followed by a few mouthfuls of food and a short, cold sleep on hard ground, and the gods only knew how it would end. "Damn them," she muttered as she struggled up the road to rejoin her captors, remembering that it was because of them that she was forced to hold onto an aching bladder, "Damn them all.”
       
      She had to relieve herself of the torrents of water inside her. She absolutely HAD to. She'd been containing herself for so long now that the need was just terrible. She was almost afraid to walk. She could feel her sphincters practically vibrating with the effort it took to impede the inevitable flood of urine that wanted so desperately to escape. She made a small, whimpering sound in spite of her valiant effort to hold onto her modesty, and squeezed her legs together. The wave of pressure in her bladder seemed to intensify into a more severe state of need, and she felt even more swollen and close to the point of honestly bursting than she had even moments before. She despised the sensation of needing to piss so urgently and not being immediately able to do so, it terrified her. It was mortifying to be caught in such a dire and private need while being surrounded by so many people, worse, strange men in this case.
       
      Her abductors were clustered around a stream a short ways down the road. The horses had drunk their fill of the icy cold water, and were grazing on clumps of brown grass that grew from clefts in the rock. Some men huddled close, sullen and miserable.
       
      A guard stood over them, leaning on his spear and wearing a rounded iron cap that made him look as if he had a bowl on his head.
       
      "Bandits!"
       
      The shriek came from the wind-carved ridge above them. Sir Jorge had sent guards one at a time scrambling up the rock face to watch the road while they camped.
       
      For a long second, no one moved. Sir Jorge was the first to react. "Everyone, to horse," he shouted. "Take the Queen."
       
      The bandits cared nothing for the enmities of the great houses; they would slaughter Dalton and Torrington with equal fervor, as they slaughtered each other. They might spare Charlotte herself; she was still young enough to bear sons.
       
      "I hear them!" one of the men called out. Charlotte turned her head to listen, and there it was: hoof beats, a dozen horses or more, coming nearer. Suddenly everyone was moving, reaching for weapons, running to their mounts.
      Arrows rained down around them as the guard came springing and sliding down the ridge.
       
      He landed breathless in front of Sir Jorge, an ungainly-looking man with wild tufts of rust-colored hair sticking out from under a conical steel cap. "There’s a horde of them," he said, breathless. "More men than we have. They must have eyes out, m'lord . . . hidden watchers . . . they know we're here."
       
      Sir Jorge was already ahorse, a longsword in hand. Another man crouched behind a boulder, both hands on his iron-tipped spear, a dagger between his teeth.
       
      Suddenly, Sir Willem pulled Charlotte behind a boulder, “Don’t make any noises, or they’ll know we’re here.” A heartbeat later, the bandits were on them.
       
      There were no heralds, no banners, no horns nor drums, only roars of men as they braced themselves for the fight. And suddenly the bandits came thundering out of the dawn, lean dark men in boiled leather and mismatched armor, faces hidden behind barred halfhelms. In gloved hands were clutched all manner of weapons: longswords and lances and sharpened scythes, spiked clubs and heavy iron mauls. At their head rode a big man in a striped skin cloak, armed with a greatsword.
       
      “Ahead We Charge!” Sir Jorge roared the Dalton words as he rode on to meet the enemy, his men right behind.
       
      From behind the rock, Charlotte heard the screams of frightened horses and the crash of metal on metal. The two men, Arryk and Orson, who had stood watch over her last night, were fighting valiantly. The first one’s sword raked across the naked face of a mailed rider, and the second one plunged through the bandits like a whirlwind, cutting down foes right and left. Sir Jorge hammered at the big man in the skin cloak, their horses dancing round each other as they traded blow for blow. Sir Willem lifted his head up and saw an arrow sprout from the throat of the man in the skin cloak. When he opened his mouth to scream, only blood came out. By the time he fell, Sir Jorge was fighting someone else.
       
      Suddenly Charlotte yelled, covering her head with her hands as a horse leapt over their rock. Sir Willem scrambled to his feet as the bandit turned to come back at them, hefting a spiked maul. Sir Willem swung his sword with both hands. The blade caught the charging horse in the throat, angling upward, and he almost lost his grip as the animal screamed and collapsed with its rider.
       
      Sir Willem danced back in while the bandit's leg was still pinned beneath his fallen mount, and buried the sword in the man's neck, just above the shoulder blades.
       
      After that, things ran together. The dawn was full of shouts and screams and heavy with the scent of blood, and the world had turned to chaos. Arrows hissed past Charlotte’s ear and clattered off the rocks. She peeked over the rock and saw Sir Jorge unhorsed, fighting with a sword in each hand, before she quickly tugged down as another arrow made its way towards her.
       
      When finally the war cries and horse whinnies abated, Charlotte stood up and looked around. The bandits were all vanquished or vanished. Somehow the fighting had ended when she wasn't looking. Dying horses and wounded men lay all around, screaming or moaning.
       
      She could have sworn they had been fighting for half a day, but the sun seemed scarcely to have moved at all. The dead bandits were thin, ragged men, their horses scrawny and undersized, with every rib showing.
       
      “Ready the horses…” Sir Jorge said wearily. The Knight had been wounded in the fight, a deep gash in his left arm and a spear thrust that grazed his neck. Almost all his men were dead and those left were grievously injured. "If we linger here, more bandits will be on us for a certainty, and we may not live through a second attack." He knelt by the stream and washed the blood off his face in water cold as ice.
       
      A sudden spasm from her bladder forced Charlotte’s hand near her crotch but she barely resisted. Now that the fighting was done, she was rudely reminded of her urgent need to urinate. The Queen forced herself to walk as Sir Willem led her towards her mount. It wasn't easy. Her thighs were clenched, her ankles stiff, her hand, not daring to fully meet her crotch.
      She could not believe she had to go so badly! It was awful. Her bladder must have been enormous, barely the size that it was meant to be at all. It was hard as a rock, angry from having to hold so much for so long. She was suffering.
       
      Sir Willem lifted her up onto her horse and she kept facing away from him as she adjusted herself on the saddle. How she was keeping herself dry with her legs so wide apart she truly did not know. Her dress rode up in front of her, and she pulled it close to cover up the oversized bulge of her bladder.
       
      Arryk led them out. Sir Willem and Orson took the rear, with Queen Charlotte safely in the middle and Sir Jorge right beside her. This time she was spared the hood. They did not bother to bound her hands, and when the woods around them started to grow dense, they scarcely bothered to guard her at all. It seemed they did not fear her escape. And why should they? The land here was harsh and wild, and the road little more than a stony track. If she did run, how far could she hope to go, alone and without provisions? The mountain lions would make a prey of her, and the bandits that dwelt in these mountains were rapers and murderers who bowed to no law but the sword.
       
      They rode on for the entire day and the Queen ’s bladder continued to bloat up under her dress. She was definite she could beat her horse in a wetting match if it were to be, such pressing was her need, but she didn’t let it show.
       
      For a moment, she closed her eyes and held her forehead in a projection of pain and concentration as she tried her best to battle the pressure. It had grown too much by now and there was no way she could overlook the ache in her bladder, swollen awfully with liters and liters of urine.
       
      She pressed her crotch on the saddle to gain some relief. She had to hold it. She had literally no choice, at least until she found herself in the privacy of a room with a chamberpot. But Dunstanburgh was far away and she didn't know if she could hold it that long. But no matter what, she could never let these men know how badly she had to go.
       
      The sun was well to the west by the time the slope began to flatten beneath the hooves of their horses. The road widened and grew straight, and for the first time Charlotte noticed wildflowers and grasses growing. Once they reached the valley floor, the going was faster and they galloped through verdant greenwoods and sleepy little hamlets, past orchards and golden wheat fields, splashing across a dozen sunlit streams.
       
      As they entered the Dalton lands, a wave of trepidation ran through Charlotte’s body. The Daltons were known for boiling their enemies alive in cauldrons full of smoldering oil. Cleansing, they called it.
       
      The thought that they might fry her once they reached Dunstanburgh made Charlotte shudder in horror and a jet of piss suddenly escaped her, dampening her drawers. Her eyes widened in shock as she realized she was losing control. She was frightened, she didn’t want to die and neither did she want to wet herself on a horse for these men to watch. But there was nothing she could do to help herself, she was absolutely stuck.
       
      It was a hot day, and Charlotte had been forced to drink to keep her health. Her bladder had swollen to a painful extent and it pinched at her mercilessly in protest as they rode ahead. She quieted it. She told herself that the bladder was a muscular organ and would therefore expand to contain whatever volume there was inside it. All she had to do was will it to stay closed. That was all. After all, she was the Queen. She could surely hold it however long she had to, no matter how... thundering the need. But by now she had reached the limits of her capacity. Her body would not listen to her no matter how much she tried to convince herself.
       
      I don't know how much longer I can take this; I really don't, she thought, her agony reaching a fevered level. It's beyond uncomfortable; it badly hurts for goodness sake... I'm so damned full, it's simply impossible, I can't, I really... her thoughts trailed off as they came across an inn. Her bladder trembled, threatening her. It was the worst state of desperation she could remember in all her life.
       
      Outside the inn on a weathered gibbet, a woman's bones were twisting and rattling at every gust of wind.
       
      "We don't want to go in," Sir Willem decided suddenly, "there might be ghosts, milord."
       
      "You know how long it has been since I had some ale?" Sir Jorge swung down from the saddle. "Stay here if you want, I’m going in."
       
      "What if someone knows her?" Sir Willem asked. "They might try to rescue her."
       
      Sir Jorge no longer cared to hide Queen Charlotte’s face from the strangers on the road. He no longer seemed to care who knew her. His wounds had turned him sloppy and dull and most of his strength was gone.
       
      "Let them try. I’ll flay them living." Sir Jorge answered as he loosened his longsword in its scabbard, and pushed through the door and his men followed suit.
       
      Charlotte would never have a better chance to relieve herself. Oh, God, the thought of urinating in the woods, or indeed any place at all was maddening. She chewed her lip as she squeezed her crotch tight.
       
      She barely managed to dismount without spurting in her dress, she led the horse to the stables, and went in after them. She was too scared. What if someone saw her while she relieved herself? Even the thought of it was beyond humiliating. But most of all, a proper lady would never disgrace herself by doing such a thing even if nobody was there to see her.
       
      “Ale for us all. The lady’s thirsty too!” Sir Jorge ordered as he took his seat in the empty inn.
       
      Charlotte frowned at this, she couldn’t be farther from being thirsty. Her bladder was swollen as hard as a rock, filled to its maximum capacity and the pressure was awful. She wondered what a flagon of ale would do to her. But she didn’t complain, she just drank it down and sat quietly with her thighs tightly pressed together.
       
      Her eyes welled up as she crossed her legs in a last desperate attempt to clamp down the pressure. She knew her bladder didn’t have any more room to contain the ale she had just drunk. She knew it was going to explode.
       
      She didn’t know which was worse, a blasted bladder or being fried alive in a cauldron of boiling oil, but either way, death was certain.Tears rolled down her eyes as she realized that she would never get to see her son again. This was the end for her.
       
      At this moment, when Queen Charlotte had lost all hope, two men dressed in boiled leather and ringmail, suddenly walked in. At first she took them for some soldiers on the road but then, the Queen’s face brightened up as she realized who they were. Amory and Hamil, household guards at Longford. How long it had been since she had last seen them. They had been no older than her son when she went south after marriage.
       
      What they were doing so far from home she didn’t know, all she knew was that she was in great danger and they were her last ray of hope.
       
      She looked at her captors, Sir Jorge and Sir Willem hadn’t even bothered to look at the new guests and neither did the other two, Arryk and Orson. She looked intently at Amory and Hamil, hoping they would notice her.
       
      When the two soldiers began walking towards a table, they became aware of the lady sitting with a bunch of armored men.
      “Your Highness” Amory exclaimed. He would have never thought of finding the Queen in a small inn like this one, so far away from the Capital. But most of all, he wondered why the Queen would travel with Dalton men rather than the Queensguard “I had not looked to see you here, my Queen," he said as he knelt, “..is everything well by the God's grace?”.
       
      I had not thought to be here either, please help me, she thought but didn’t utter a word, fear stopped her voice in her throat but her face told it all.
       
      The innkeep suddenly remembered something in the kitchen. The only sound in the common room was the faint crackling of the fire in the hearth.
      Hamil noticed the Dalton men starring at Amory and that’s when he realized what was going on. “Fuck!” he echoed, pulling his sword out of its scabbard.
       
      Everything seemed to happen at once then; Sir Jorge lurched to his feet, Amory straightened up and drew his longsword, and the Sir Willem's hand whipped around in a blur to send something silver flashing across the common room towards Hamil. If he had not been moving, the knife might have cored the apple of his throat; instead it only grazed his ribs, and wound up quivering in the wall near the door. Sir Jorge’s sword slid from its scabbard just in time to knock aside Amory ’s first cut.
       
      Queen Charlotte ducked in a corner as the long steel song began. Crouching with a bladder this full was excruciating, but she somehow managed to keep her waters in.
       
      Amory and Hamil were outnumbered two to four but Charlotte knew it wouldn’t matter much. The Dalton men were tired, wounded and drunk and they wouldn’t be up for much of a fight.
       
      Amory was a grim, methodical fighter, and he pressed Sir Jorge and Sir Willem steadily backward, his heavy longsword moving with brutal precision. His opponents’ own cuts were sloppier, their parries rushed, their feet slow and clumsy. Signs that they were going down.
       
      Meanwhile the other two men, Arryk and Orson had come off the bench with short-swords in their hands but Hamil had engaged them well.
       
      Sir Willem gave a grunt of pain as Amory buried his sword deep into his face and out from the back of his head, before pulling it out in an instant. He fell down on the ground, dead.
       
      That seemed to make Sir Jorge angry. He drove back Amory with a furious attack, hammering at him with the old longsword. Amory gave way, but none of the cuts so much as touched him. But then, Arryk turned around and leapt over a bench quick as a snake, and slashed at the back of Amory 's neck with the edge of his short sword. The man groaned in pain as he came to his knees and Sir Jorge beheaded him at that very instant.
       
      Hamil was now left alone fighting Orson, as Sir Jorge and Arryk turned towards them. At first, both of Sir Jorge’s men came after him hard, one of them hacking at his head and shoulders while the other darted in to stab at back and belly.
       
      They had driven Hamil into a corner behind a bench, and Orson had given him an ugly red gash on his upper thigh to go with his other wounds. Hamil was leaning against the wall, bleeding and breathing noisily. He looked as though he couldn’t keep up the fight for long.
       
      He pushed away from the wall and stood in a half-crouch behind the bench, his sword held across his body. His foot lashed out and caught the bench, driving it hard into Sir Jorge’s shins. Somehow, the Knight of Dalton kept his feet, but Hamil ducked under his wild slash and brought his own sword up in a vicious backhand cut. Blood spattered on the ceiling and walls. The blade caught in the middle of Sir Jorge’s face, and when Hamil wrenched it loose, half his head came with it.
       
      Arryk and Orson backed away. The shortswords in their hands suddenly seemed almost like toys against the long blade Hamil was holding. It didn’t take long for Hamil to decimate them but by the end he was bleeding like a butchered pig himself, and dragging one leg when he walked.
       
      “Your Highness, are you alright?” he gave his hand to the Queen, “We must get going, I’m certain Reynard Dalton will send more men behind us when he learns of this friendly encounter..” he forced a wry smile.
       
      Queen Charlotte although terrified, took his hand but as she stood up, her weehole opened unexpectedly for a full second and a hot squirt of piss burst into the folds of her dress. She froze in panic and quickly stood straight, clenching her muscles, stopping herself from wetting her dress any further.
       
      “Is there something wrong, my Queen?” Hamil asked.
       
      “N-no, let’s get going” she breathed.
       
      “We’ll leave for Longford at day break but we’d have to spend the night” Hamil said, “I know an old man who lives a few miles from here, I suppose he’d be generous enough to share his roof with us.”
       
      A glimmer of hope shone in Charlotte’s eyes. Maybe the old man had a chamberpot she could use. Nothing mattered to her now except getting there and relieving herself before she either wet herself or died of an exploded bladder.
       
      Hamil came up behind her and offered his hands as a step so she could climb her horse. Charlotte was truly grateful for his gesture. She was sure she would have lost control of her bladder had she tried to climb it on her own.
       
      Though as they rode on, Charlotte grew truly terrified, she knew that the second she got off her horse she would instantly lose control and soak herself in front of Hamil. As much as it was against everything she stood for, she was profoundly considering dismounting right where she was and running into the woods to relieve herself. But she knew she couldn’t do it. She could never tarnish her own dignity. She’d just have to hold it.
       
      It had grown dark by the time they came upon a tiny isolated cottage attached to a barn, surrounded by tall pines.
       
      Charlotte’s hands were shaking as she held the reins. Oh, she couldn’t wait to piss.
       
      Hamil got down from his garron and held out his hand to help the Queen off her mount. She took his hand and carefully climbed down. The moment her feet touched the ground, she crossed her legs and grabbed her crotch tight. She didn’t care if Hamil saw her like this, at least it was better than wetting herself.
       
      They walked to the entrance and Hamil knocked. The old man, named Bryce, opened the door and looked at them probingly before he recognized Hamil, “Oy! What in God’s name happened to you?” he asked, looking at the soldier’s wounds.
       
      “I’ll tell you everything, first let us in” Hamil spoke.
       
      Charlotte’s heart sank as they walked in, it was a single dark room, illuminated by only the flames rising from the herth, with no prospect of privacy and there was no sign of a chamber pot either, though it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Her hopes were shattered and she felt a drop of piss leak out. She was defeated.
       
      But then it came to her. There was still a ray of hope. If she could make her way into the barn behind the cottage, she would have all the privacy in the world once the old man and Hamil went to sleep. And she could spend the night wetting as much as she wanted.
       
      “Well, both of you gentlemen can sleep here if you want, I’ll make myself comfortable in the barn. It has been a while since I slept on a mound of hay anyway” she forced a smile, crossing her legs.
       
      “Oh no, my lady” old man Bryce said, assuming her to be Hamil’s paramour. “The night grows much colder these days, and I fear you might take a chill if you attempt to sleep outside. You should sleep in here; the hearth will keep you warm. I’ll take the barn though, there isn’t much room in here but I’ve grown accustomed to the cold” he smiled.
       
      Charlotte cried inwardly as the chance of relief slipped out of her fingers.
       
      She held her forehead they sat on the dinner table, her bladder swollen big and hard like a watermelon.
       
      “Is everything alright, m’lady?” Sir Hamil asked, “You look rather distressed.”
       
      “Oh, nothing i-it’s nothing” Charlotte spoke dejectedly as she stared blankly at her venison stew, stirring it with her spoon.
       
      Old man Bryce made his way to the barn after the dinner and Hamil laid a blanket on the ground for him to sleep upon. Charlotte looked at him miserably; she wished he would go sleep in the barn too.
       
      The house had a bed stuffed with straw and not too many lice, and the air smelled of pines but Queen Charlotte cared for none of it. As she sat on the cushioned chair near the hearth, with her hands around her chest, the sheer pressure in her bladder made her body shudder. With her thighs pressed tightly together, she just sat watching the dancing flames and hoping the warmth would lessen her need to piss.
       
      But to her misery, nothing of the sort happened. She was past the point of hiding it any longer. Her bladder felt like it would burst any second, it was stretched so much.
      “Are you alright, my Queen?” Hamil asked when he saw her shivering “…are you cold?”
       
      “N-no, I’m fine…” Charlotte replied, trying to keep her voice from shaking.
       
      Hamil brought a blanket and wrapped it around her, “I hope it’ll make you feel better.”
       
      No it won’t, Charlotte thought but said, “Thank you, Hamil, that’s so kind of you…”
       
      She sat on the chair, shaking back and forth as the pressure grew to an unbearable degree. She dare not lie down on the bed or sleep, for she knew the moment she relaxed her muscles, the flood would erupt out of her. Her bladder was agony, on the point of exploding, swollen so much it was making her look pregnant, and now her urge to wee was so intense, the pressure so great, that she was having to clench herself shut with all her strength all the time, as well as holding her crutch so hard she was shaking. She had never had to make so much effort to hold her piss back, and she could not keep it up for long.
       
      I will not sleep tonight, she thought, though her eyes were heavy with exhaustion. She leaned back on the chair. Eyes closed, she concentrated every ounce of her strength on holding her pee, and just hung on, and hung on, and hung on.
       
      ***
       
      When she woke, the morning light was seeping in through the window. She looked down and whimpered inwardly as she saw her stomach had grown even bigger than it was last night. She wondered how much her bladder could stretch, how much it could possibly contain before it burst.
       
      Her legs were stiff and cramped and the hearth had long since burned out. How she had held back her waters through the night she would never know.
       
      She looked around but Hamil wasn’t there, he might have woken up early. Charlotte knew then that this was her only chance. If she could make it to the woods, she could relieve herself once and for all.
       
      She stood up from the chair in haste and took quick but tiny steps towards the door. She dare not move her legs much now, or she knew she would lose it.
       
      She pulled the door handle in a hurry but it didn’t budge. Her eyes widened in horror as a long, hot leak suddenly squirted out of her and dampened her drawers, “Oh, no” she sighed as she frantically tugged at the door in desperation a few more times, just to realize, it was bolted from outside.
       
      She stood there, bent double, with her hands buried deep inside her crotch, pushing hard against the front of the dress.
      She had to get out, right now! The pressure and the urgency, had grown to an awful degree and she did not have any reserves of strength left to contain it. She was on the brink of wetting herself, she simply could not hold on to her pee any longer.
       
      She turned around to look for something to pee in, maybe a pot or a bowl. She just didn’t care anymore. She spotted a horn mug kept at the table, and she walked towards it, ready to relieve herself but just as she began to lift up her dress, the door opened.
       
      “My Queen” Hamil said as he walked in.
       
      “Y-Yes..” Charlotte faltered as she released her dress, letting it fall back down over her legs. She felt like killing him right then. Why the hell did he have to stop her now when she was going out of her mind to take a massive piss!
       
      “Bryce said we should stay back for lunch before setting out” Hamil went on, “I think he is right. There is only one inn between here and Longford but it was looted by raiders a fortnight ago. It stands deserted now, we won’t be getting food elsewhere. Best we prepare ourselves for the journey. We’ll be needing provisions…”
       
      Charlotte was not taking much interest in what Hamil was telling her. All she could think about was how terribly she needed to urinate. She'd been holding it for so long!
       
      She was pressing her legs together as hard as she could, and bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet, clenching all her holding muscles as hard as she could.
       
      Her honor was at stake, and she was determined to protect it. But then suddenly, another long leak escaped and soaked into her drawers. The Queen didn’t react and forced herself to remain calm, as if nothing had happened. She could never let Hamil know what was going on under her dress.
       
      This trial of strength continued with Charlotte becoming more and more restless and distracted as her desperation reached critical level. She placed a hand on her aching, throbbing bladder as she stood there, listening to what the soldier had to say.
       
      She was beyond desperate now; her entire body shivering with pressure, most of all her legs. She had reached her limit. It was just a very short matter of time before the dam burst.
       
      And then, Charlotte gasped as she began to feel drops of warm pee soak into her drawers all of a sudden. She immediately grabbed her crotch in a desperate attempt to hold on, not even caring if Hamil saw her like that, but it was no use. The piss forcefully penetrated the fabric of her smallclothes and began pouring down onto the wood floor under her feet. The Queen was wetting herself.
       
      “My Queen?” Hamil said in astonishment as the loud sound of splattering water hit his ears and a puddle started to grow from under the Queen’s dress.
       
      “Don’t look!” Charlotte shouted, a hand covering half her face. She stood thunderstruck, panting as she the urine sprayed out of her, spreading warmth as it traveled down her thighs to form a vast puddle on the floor.
       
      Her clothes were soaked through within seconds. She moaned out and held the table for support as relief washed over her body, her legs shaking as the pressure reduced dramatically. The stream kept coming and coming and it felt like it was never going to stop. She couldn’t even breathe properly it felt so good. The relief was so wonderful. She could feel her bladder slowly deflating, sinking back to its normal shape as the piss flowed out of her. Somewhere buried under the feelings of shame and humiliation, she was thankful that her agony had finally come to an end.
       
      At last, when she was finally done, Queen Charlotte , held her forehead in disbelief and inspected the damage on the floor. She could feel her skin burning with embarrassment as she tried to ignore Hamil’s flabbergasted gaze.
       
      “My Queen, you should have said something if you needed to go, how long had you been holding it?”
       
      “That’s none of your concern” Charlotte shot back, “… and if you so much as mention this to the old man, I’ll have your head on a spike. Is that understood?”
       
      “It is, my Queen” Hamil said as he gulped the lump in his throat.
       
      The Queen decreed Hamil to leave before Bryce returned from the woods. She didn’t want him to see her in wet clothes.
      Now that her bladder was deflated, she felt lighter by a thousand pounds. Oh, that feeling was pure bliss. She swiftly climbed atop her horse and rode away beside her guard, never to come back again.
       
      When the old man came back, he was surprised to know that his guests were gone. But what drew his attention more than that was the massive pool that sat on the floor of his cottage. He wondered where all that water had come from? And whose were those wet footsteps that drew towards the door?
       
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • By Captain L in Learned a New Skill: Relief
         0
      "Come on, Morgan! Don't hold back," Nah's echoing voice commanded. Another day had passed, another morning very nearly passed, and with the Shepherds in no hurry to move, the half-manakete children were training together, a very specific training. Nah was hovering above the ground in her dragon form, with her kid sister standing a fair distance away, brandishing a Wyrmsbane blade.
      "I-I'm not so sure about this," Morgan objected. "I don't really have any practice with swords, I might slip and hurt you!"
      "That's the point of this training, me learning how not to get hit! Just attack me already!"
      "I'd think it would be a lot safer if you asked Father to take my position."
      "He would never agree to attack me with a sword, he'd say it was 'too dangerous' and end the conversation there."
      "Well then, perhaps you should consider that the adult has a point." That male voice was certainly not one of them, that was their dad, Robin. It didn't take long for the two to notice him, standing off to the side. At least he didn't look mad that one of his children almost could have killed the other. "Training to avoid Wyrmsbane?"
      Lowering to the ground, a flash of light enveloped Nah, leaving only her human form behind when the flash subsided. "Yes. It's the biggest weakness we manaketes face on the battlefield, it only seems smart to learn how to mitigate that disadvantage."
      "It makes sense to me, but your plan has a few holes in it. First off, Morgan is correct, it is much safer to have someone who knows how to wield a sword be your opponent. Second, in the event that a mishap should occur, you should have a healer on standby. Finally, while I understand the objective is to protect yourself from Wyrmsbane, actually using it during training is extremely unsafe." Robin was so busy lecturing planning that he forgot to be a father until afterwards, with proper father worries. "Who gave you that sword, anyway?"
      "Lon'qu," Morgan answered. "He let us borrow it, in exchange for leaving him alone."
      "Well then, maybe you should return it to him now." Holding the sword tightly, Morgan heeded her father's request and ran off towards the camp. "And don't run," he called, forcing her to slow to a walk, before she got too far away. Not wishing to be alone, Nah started walking away, until Robin put a hand on her shoulder to hold her in place. "Wait. There's something I need to talk to you about."
      Jumping with a startle, Nah turned her head to face her father, a sad look in her eyes. "Am I in trouble?"
      "Do you promise not to be so reckless with training again?" Nah didn't say anything, and she hesitated before answering, but she did nod her head to agree. "Good. Honestly, I'd rather not receive a guilt trip about how often you've been punished," he muttered.
      "What?"
      "Nothing. Anyway, I understand you're concerned about your, er..." He had started the thought without any worry, but by the time he reached the sensitive subject halfway through, it suddenly got uncomfortable, and he had to struggle to finish. "Your restroom difficulties."
      In an instant, the little manakete's face began radiating a blush as red as Cordelia's hair. "H-how did you know about that?!"
      "Fathers always know when something is troubling their daughters. I'm not bringing it up because I want to embarrass you, I think I have a way to assist."
      In an instant, Nah went from wanting no part of this conversation to practically hanging off his chest, eagerly awaiting his next sentence. "You have something? What is it?! What is it?!"
      Smirking, Robin reached into his pocket, pulling out a small purple vial. "This is just a little potion, to help compress the fluids in your system so it takes longer to fill up. That sounds exactly like what you're looking for, does it not?"
      Apparently, it was, as Nah started reaching up to grab the container for herself. However, as soon as her gloved fingertips brushed against the outer glass barrier, she froze. "Did Tharja have anything to do with making this? I heard the story about the last time she played a part in a bathroom-related incident."
      "No, I've studied this sort of thing before and did it myself. Tharja doesn't have much interest in brewing," he stated, conveniently neglecting to mention how much of the aforementioned story was his fault. "Do you really think I'm the kind of father who would give his child something at all unsafe?"
      True, despite only being together a few months, Robin had been a caring, doting father, though not always the wisest. He looked sincere, and frankly, Nah needed that promise to be true. Smiling, she took the vial, popped the cork keeping the contents contained, and took a sip before any of her other senses could analyze the substance. Probably for the best, as halfway through downing the thick liquid, her eyes widened, she gagged and pulled the flask away from her lips. "Blech! It tastes really salty!"
      "Of course, salt dehydrates you. It's an important primary ingredient to produce the same effect down in your stomach. Think about it, if miracle potions tasted good, everyone would use them for everything."
      Nah eyed the remaining potion suspiciously, swishing it around in a circle, creating a tiny whirlpool in the center. "It's pretty disgusting..." She would have been happy to stop right there, but she had to assume it wouldn't take effect unless she drank the whole thing, and she really needed that boost. Gulping, she pinched her nose shut and downed the rest in one fell swoop, choking as it slid down her throat.
      Anticipating the reaction, Robin held out his water canteen to his daughter, who took it and chugged half of it to wash the foul taste from her mouth. "There, that wasn't so bad. Let me know tonight if it worked, I might need to make a few adjustments to the recipe."
      "I can tell you now, you need to add some flavor. Pick some berries and mix them in."
      The tactician laughed. "I'll see what I can do without compromising the formula. I have other matters I need to attend to, so I should leave. Have a good day, Nah." He rubbed her hair, ruffling the well-kept style, to the manakete's dismay. "Sorry, should I not do that?" She nodded slowly, and Robin attempted to fix his mistake, to no avail, only making it messier. At least the one lock always springing upwards had company. "Heh, h-heh...I-I'll just leave this to you. Stay safe," he bid, turning and walking away quite fast, practically jogging from the scene.
      She sighed at the thought of needing to redo her hair, but the rest of the interaction was enough to keep her happy. "Finally, I'm not going to be just a little kid anymore. I'll be able to hold it in, like everyone else can. I can finally be an adult!"
      "Shepherds," Chrom's voice called out from somewhere else in the gathering, "we need to move, posthaste! Gather your belongings quickly, and get ready to leave!" Looked like the time to rest had come to an end, it was clear there'd be challenges soon if the prince was this worried, but Nah was calm. She drank the gross potion, her one concern would no longer even be a spot on her mind, or her underwear. She was confident that things would be different today, she'd stay dry, easy.
      ---------------
      Well, Nah was half right. Many hours had passed, the sun had circled near to the horizon to set, shining directly into the corner of everyone's eyes, forcing all to turn their heads eastward to avoid blinding themselves, especially with the intermittent shining through the forest trees. And while the little dragon girl had indeed kept her clothes bone-dry, it was only through immense effort on her part. At the moment, Nah needed to pee something fierce, she was feeling hot, sweating in response, and wincing, all for the sake of keeping her pee firmly inside her.
      No one knew why Chrom had demanded they leave so suddenly, except for maybe Robin, the two had been talking between themselves. Everyone else was left in the dark and to their own devices, having to make their own entertainment without slowing down, becoming more and more challenging as the troops grew further exhausted from the long walk.
      For whatever reason being kept from them, there was no time to stop, either. Lissa had already asked, and if he would deny his own sister, chances were slim anyone else could get through. While she had no proof, Nah had to imagine that all the other Shepherds were at least in similar boats as her. No way anyone could hold it that long and not feel it, she rationalized. Unless Chrom eased up soon, he'd have one hell of an accident on his forces. And after seeing his daughter go through this once, it was hard to believe he'd let it happen again.
      Nah wasn't doubting anything, but it was nice to have confirmation that her worries were correct, when Nowi slowed down from further ahead to talk to her child. "Are you doing okay, Nah? Holding up alright?"
      Despite her mother's audible concern, she was not about to undo her tough image, as she puffed out her chest and held her shoulders broad. "Of course, I'm perfectly fine! I'm great, in fact!"
      Surprisingly, that declaration sounded pretty convincing considering the situation she was in, it probably would fool most who asked. Unfortunately, Nowi was not one of those people. Due to her old age, she had a phenomenal sense for emotions and empathy, especially with her own kin. No lie would sneak past her. Eyebrow raised, she stared straight into her daughter's soul, past the falsified facade. "Would you like if I asked to break for a minute?"
      Nah's shell was tough, but thin. As soon as Nowi wormed her way past the outer barricade, she was defenseless, her guard dropped. After all, it was just her mother. "Y-yes. I could really use the stop." A pitiful sight, she realized how bad she looked a second later, and went back to her played-up persona. "Um, I mean...I-I guess I wouldn't mind. Not that I need it, but better to be prepared." Smiling with counterfeit certainty, her expression soon fell as reality set in. "But we can't stop. Chrom already said so."
      "You're forgetting one thing, sweetheart," Nowi declared, very bouncy and bubbly. "Your dad is the tactician, and Chrom's best friend! I ask him nicely, so he asks Chrom, and it's a strong case! Pretty good plan, isn't it? Right up there with Robin's best!"
      Morgan was the apprentice tactician of the siblings, but even Nah could see a prominent flaw. "What if he still says no?"
      "Then he'll have a wet manakete to deal with, and no one wants that," Nowi assured, clutching at her crotch through her shorts. That's right, Nah didn't realize, of course Nowi had to go too. She stayed in control, far better than her daughters, but she was always needing that pee whenever they stopped. It was easy to forget how desperate she was when she never wet herself.
      Or did she? Nah had never seen it, but that was only a few months out of a millenium-long lifetime. Something must have happened in the past that she hadn't heard, some tale not told to her. That's when she remembered, in the moment she was trying to repress, Robin mentioning something. "Actually, Mother, there is something I'm curious about. You see, Father said something about a time you had an accident. Would you mind sharing that story?"
      "Oh, he talked about that?" She definitely sounded surprised, maybe a little disappointed, but it vanished pretty quickly. "Sure, I can tell you about it. Well, I guess it isn't much to tell. I slept in late and didn't have the chance to tinkle before we left. So we-"
      "Why didn't you ask to stop," Nah interrupted. "You don't have any shame in admitting that kind of thing."
      "Yeah, but it was different then. Before we got together, I just had a really big crush on Robin, and I didn't want to say anything in front of him, because then I'd look all sad and stuff. So, right when it was becoming really bad, we all got interrupted a horde of Risen and had to spread out in a clearing to fight. Since I was acting all weird, your dad stayed with me, and after I told him I was having an emergency, he helped me to the bushes and protected me." With her free hand, Nowi cradled her cheek and smiled warmly. "That was our first 'moment', and it was super cute and romantic," she swooned.
      While she had been quite curious about her parents' history as a couple, Nah felt she would have been better off without knowing that their first date involved pee. Grimacing in disgust, she instead turned to what would surely become her own version of the tale, one without the same happy ending. The young girl part of her consciousness began wishing for a boy that would fill the same supportive role, but one problem at a time. "Mother, if you're going to ask to break, could you please do so now? It'll be too late in a minute or two!"
      Her daughter's plea yanked Nowi from her nostalgic reminiscing. "Oh, of course! I won't keep you waiting, honey!" She hurried back towards her husband at the head of the pack, leaving Nah squirming and wiggling. No leaks yet, but she felt the tide rising higher, and whimpered at the dull pain radiating in her abdomen.
      "Ugh, why is it still so bad? I drank the potion, and I'm still about to explode!" Hand firmly between her thighs, she halted her slow stride to bounce and shiver. Good thing her shorter legs and stiff walk kept her towards the back of the group, so she wasn't holding anyone up. Soon enough, the urge passed, leaving only an agonizing, hot, cramping pressure.
      "No...no, of course it's working," she bounced back. "It's been close to six hours, and I haven't leaked a single drop! I can manage as long as I need to now!" She was smart enough not to tempt fate, so keeping her defenses up, she resumed marching while still holding on with the tenacity expected of a dragon. "Come on, Mother, hurry up..." Still didn't mean she wanted to wait, of course. "It can't be that hard to convince Father to listen to you..."
      "Keep your wits about you," Chrom shouted from ahead. That didn't sound like declaring a pee break. Without any clarification, things went dead quiet, as all looked around for anything to explain why their leader was so on edge. One by one, they noticed the pair of glowing red eyes in the shadow of the forest, joined by another, and another, until there were at least a dozen. "Risen!"
      "We can't efficiently fight here," Robin stated. "There's too many blind spots, and the Risen blend into the darkness too well. We should run ahead to that...hm. This feels familiar. A-anyway, that clearing up there would be better." True to his word, there was a brightness at the end of the tunnel of trees, signaling a clearing with much more maneuverability. Recognizing the advantage that arena afforded, every Shepherd began running, quick as their tired, pained bodies could, into the light.
      After the momentary blindness from the full brunt of the sun, the terrain of the open field became apparent. Which meant it was time for the tactician to take control, handing out orders of a grand plan too complicated for anyone to keep track of. As expected, Morgan was the only one who looked like she knew what was happening, but with how much distraction she was surely facing, maybe she was just adept at pretending to look smart. Or maybe that was selling her sister short, Nah couldn't say, especially not now.
      Like all others, Nah was spaced out until her father called her name. "Nah, you'll be going in that direction," he directed, pointing far off in the distance. "Once you reach the valley wall, start clearing the outer edge. You should meet up with Libra somewhere along the way."
      The little manakete tried to look where her father was referring to, but her eyes got caught on a detail on the opposite end of the valley. She saw only that one thing, that grabbed her attention and wouldn't let go: a small creek, its clear water slowly streaming away. Immediately, a similar feeling awakened in Nah, though she could guarantee her flow would not be so calm. Only problem was, Robin was still looking at her, not to mention all the Shepherds right next to her, following instinct and grabbing herself hard was not the right answer with witnesses around. With that handicap, she had to make do with merely pressing her legs together.
      "A-ah," she squeaked, realizing that wasn't quite enough to stem the tide attempting once more to force its way out of her totally filled bladder. It was a long time coming, but finally, urine made its way into her underwear, just a dribble. It was still enough to send her into a panic, as she forced her thighs against each other even harder to keep the loss to just that little leak. It succeeded, for the time being at least, but the message was clear: it wouldn't work for long. "Why does this have to be so challenging?"
      That's when it dawned on her. "Of course it's hard! Father's testing how I hold up under the most extreme circumstances! He wants to know how tough I am, and how well the potion works!" She didn't relax, that was a luxury she couldn't afford anymore, but the realization did give her peace of mind. So comforting, in fact, that she didn't realize everyone else had received their orders and moved out. "H-hey! Don't leave me behind," she cried out, hobbling down her set path.
      Either despite or because of her slow stride, it wasn't long before Nah's journey was intercepted by a Risen soldier, in human swordsman form. At least his sword wasn't a Wymsbane. Reaching into the satchel hanging around her waist, she pulled out her Dragonstone, clutching it and activating its power. A radiant glow enveloped her, and when the light faded, a pink dragon had taken her place.
      Shifted into her dragon form, Nah only felt one thing: bliss. Dragons were much bigger than their human counterparts, and all their internal organs were larger to match. As soon as her body changed, the pee she was holding was moved into a dragon bladder, where it was barely a concern. It was incredible, hours of holding, and she just suddenly didn't have to go anymore. Her pain washed away like an ocean's receding waves, it was beautiful.
      Without any worry clouding her thoughts, Nah could concentrate on the battle. Baring her sharp teeth, she began forming a blast of fire in the back of her throat. If the Risen had emotion, he would certainly be terrified, seeing a dragon staring down at him, opening her mouth with only a glow in the void. It grew brighter and brighter, as the blast of flame exited her maw and flew into the monster, incinerating it in one quick burst.
      Normally, Nah would roar in delight at her strength, but she was too aware of what was to come to feel joy. Theoretically, she could stay in dragon form, but it was a very dangerous proposition, the stress it would cause on a manakete, especially a young one such as herself, could do serious damage. She would have to turn back into human form, with all the disadvantages it brought. She briefly contemplated risking the harm, just to enjoy the sensation of an empty bladder a little longer.
      It didn't happen, with a clear mind, she could weigh the consequences and decide it wasn't worth it. Another flash of light surrounded her, and her tiny body was back on the field. The torture was instantaneous, her bladder filled from near-zero to brimming all at once, she couldn't take it. "Aaaaahhhh!" She screamed in pain, falling to her knees while gripping her crotch for dear life, fingers trembling under the strain, barely registering the wetness on the fingertips growing warmer and more prominent as the small stain was expanded with more dribbles unable to stay contained. She was so close to yanking her panties down right there in the middle of the battle in order to go.
      She resisted that temptation as well, something much more difficult this time. Through nothing short of a miracle, she found the strength to get back on her feet, though without enough to spare to remove her hands. No doubt in her mind, if she were to let go, her underwear would be flooded right then and there. Tears in her eyes, she had a hard time regaining her sense of direction, she was only pointed in a direction by another undefeated Risen to be drawn to.
      Nah was never the kind of person whose response to an intense need to pee was "let a little out to ease the pressure", she just didn't see how it could work, and her current predicament was doing everything it could to prove that. Every time she would get into a skirmish, she would transform, enjoy the immense relief it brought, and proceed to suffer when she turned back. That taste of comfort only made the ensuing desperation more painful, worse and worse each and every time. After the fifth transformation, it was amazing that she hadn't wet herself yet. Or, rather, more than she already had. The tops of her stockings were looking a little damp.
      After her latest cycle of agony, it really looked like she couldn't bounce back from this one. On her knees again, leaning forward, almost falling over with her butt raised high, the entire outside world was shut off to her. All her senses were blocked off by the incredible need to keep her overfilled, overstretched bladder in control, all she could feel was the pain, absolutely begging her to just have an accident already, with Nah ready to listen. "I...I can't do this...I gotta...I...gotta pee!"
      "Nah? Are you okay, baby," a worried Nowi called out, rushing to her child's aid. "Are you hurt? Who hurt you? Did you already get them, or does mommy need to beat them up?" It appears Nah's shout wasn't as loud as she would have imagined, or Nowi was just oblivious.
      "M-Mother? What are you doing here?" Nah was told she would be running into Libra, not that she didn't welcome this development. "Oh, forget it! I'm gonna wet myself!"
      "Shhh shh shhhhhh," Nowi soothed, getting on her knees as well and hugging her daughter. "You just wandered off course a little, it's okay. Actually, it's great, because now I can help you!"
      "I-I'm sorry, Mother, but it's too late for me. I'm not going to make it."
      "Don't say that, nothing's over 'til it's over!" She pushed her palm against one of Nah's cheeks, forcing her head to the right. "Look, look! There's some bushes right over there! You're so close!"
      The hardest struggle of her life, Nah opened her eyes just enough to confirm her mother was telling the truth. Even through her blurred, unfocused vision, a group of shrubs were still clear as day. They were large, covering, and most importantly, near. It took a second for all those pieces to sink in, but once they did, her eyes shot open with a burst of adrenaline, which also carried her to her feet to bolt for the plant's cover. She still couldn't let go of her crotch, the energy could only do so much.
      It took only a few seconds for her to reach the circle of greenery, but it was still enough time for the river to flow. She didn't feel it at first, her underwear too wet for any more to cause a reaction, but she certainly realized when a hearty cascade slid down the small amount of bare thigh, soaking into her pink stockings and turning the inner half much darker.
      Time was of the utmost essence, as she shamelessly lifted her dress's hem, ignoring the yellow-stain splattered on the front, though it had nothing on the drenched and stained originally-white panties beneath, which also flew down to just before her knees, further descent stopped by the rim of her boots. This was the most she could undress, and she hurried into a squat, spreading her legs as much as she could without ripping her underwear right down the middle.
      There was no need for her to relax, her bladder had already given up. Off-yellow urine was gushing from her unmentionables, shooting between her feet and splattering in the hard dirt, forcing the grass down. The impact caused drops to splash upward, sticking to her ankles of her boots, waves in the pond ebbing outwards and expanding its reach, surrounding and engulfing the shoe's soles within seconds, before the fluid could soak into the soil. A tiny trickle without any force dropped straight down, forming a second, much smaller puddle, the main pool close to merging the two.
      "Uhhh, ahhh, nnggh...mmmmm." That was the sound of a manakete being relieved from her pure physical limit, no room for a single extra drop. Even when she wet herself in Ylisstol, she wasn't this full. This was the result of pure tenacity and endurance, and all the torment that led up to it. It felt pretty good, though the relief was dulled by how many times she'd felt the emptiness already, and the pain still lingering and diminishing.
      Pee was pouring out hard and fast, but it was still coming from a small girl, there was only so much to give. To her credit and amazement, it did stay at that rush for a long time, by her standards at least, before finally calming to what would be considered "a well-needed break" by most. Another ten seconds of that force, and the small reserves remaining exited in a small piddle. All in all, it took just shy of a minute to void her bladder.
      "Haah...haaaaaaaahhhhhh," Nah moaned, trembling in ecstasy. She could not only feel no discomfort in her abdomen, but she knew it would last this time. It was...refreshing, to put it mildly. She had tried her best and didn't give up, at least not until the very end when anyone would relent, and was rewarded as such, despite fears that she'd disgrace herself again. "Yeah...soaked panties be damned, I made it!"
      All that was left was to tidy up and redress. Reaching forward, she plucked a leaf from the bush to her side, wiping it against her privates. It was small, half the size of her palm, and its smooth texture made it a lackluster instrument for drying, but a half dozen of them got the job done. Once the little manakete was satisfied, she discarded the final leaf, letting the wind carry it down to float in the puddle, and pulled her underwear back up, instantly making the whole drying effort futile. "Ungh," she groaned in disgust at the chilling dampness, coming to terms with the fact that she'd be wearing these for at least a few hours longer. She considered leaving them behind, but then one stray wind would embarrass her far more than any accident could.
      "There. Finished." She dropped her dress and stood up, taking one final look at the mess she caused. "Wow...I can hold that much? That potion really is a miracle. I'll have to thank Father for that." That's when she remembered, she had received help making it this far. "Right, Mother!" She had been there when all seemed lost to pick Nah up and give her the final push, she deserved thanks for that. "Mother? I'm done," she called, turning back to where she had last seen her mom.
      "Nnnnghhh...haaaaa..." Nowi was still there, but her status had changed. Instead of standing casually, her legs were pressed together. Instead of looking happy, her eyes were closed and she was panting. And instead of being dry, the inner portion of her light pink shorts were a far darker and more reflective color, which carried down her thighs and into her stockings before descending past view inside her boots. Immediately after not wetting herself, Nah had to witness her mother failing that same trial.
      That's right, Nowi did mention needing to go earlier, but Nah wouldn't have imagined it would end like this. She deserved comfort, and Nah would provide it. Slow, uncomfortable, and unsure, she approached her mother. "Are...are you okay?"
      Not until she spoke did Nowi realize she was being watched, her eyes opened to see her daughter's sorry face. "Did you make it?"
      Nah reeled back at the question."Y-yes, but I'm hardly the one to worry about now! Look at you! You're wetting yourself, and looking like a little kid, and, and..."
      "I'm just happy not to hold all that anymore. That's all I needed." She smiled, it looked strained, but earnest. "This feels goooooooood." She sighed in relief as the stream died down, and she spread her feet to allow the drops loosely sticking to her to fall. "There, all better," she chirped, shaking her hips to dislodge as much as she could, of course remaining drenched.
      The young manakete girl had no idea how to process what was unfolding before her eyes. Her mother, over a thousand years old, more than enough time to learn how to control herself, peed her pants. And she looked content with that outcome! "B-but you had an accident! That's only something little kids do, and you're supposed to be strong, and-"
      "Nah." Just the way Nowi said her daughter's name was enough of an interruption. This wasn't her cheerful persona, this was her motherly wisdom speaking...while soaked from the waist down. "It's just like you said. It was just an accident. It happens from time to time, and it doesn't matter. Whether or not you always make it to the bathroom, or the bushes, it doesn't mean you aren't strong. Even if it did, it doesn't change that I love you. And your father loves you. And Morgan loves you. And everyone else likes you. And besides, you made it! I could hear it all the way from here, that was impressive regardless! Take pride in being able to hold even that!"
      "M-Mother..." Nah always tried to stay strong, keep her emotions hidden and think logically. But whenever Nowi started talking right to her, bridging the gap and getting personal, she cried every time. "Moooooooootheeeeeeeeer!" She ran into Nowi's arms, who had to quickly outstretch them to allow for a hug. Nah nestled in her breast, what little there was, letting tears run down her cheeks as Nowi patted and rubbed her back.
      "Hm? What are you doing over here, Nah?" Now there was a third voice neither saw coming, but it wasn't one that alarmed either of the two. It was just Robin, after all. "You're supposed to be over there."
      Nah detached herself from her mother's bosom, wiping her tears on her gloves. "Oh, I...I got a little off-track."
      "She just needed a little help making it to the bushes," Nowi elaborated, "nothing to worry about."
      With the two girls separate, Robin got his first look at his wife, and her pants. "It looks like you needed the help a little more."
      "I'm fine," Nowi waved off. "Nah did well, and that's all that matters."
      "Right!" Nah just remembered what she wanted to say to her dad. "Thanks so much for that potion! I only made it this far because of it, I never would have lasted without it!"
      Robin scratched the back of his neck, a nervous grin across his face. "Oh. I-I'm sorry, Nah, but I wasn't honest with you. You see...that potion was fabricated. Just a mixture of various ingredients."
      "What?" Nothing about this added up, it wasn't believable. "No, that can't be true. It worked! It really worked!"
      "Well, that's exactly it. Your mother and I were discussing it, and she suggested your root problem was lack of confidence. You get so worried about how much you can hold, you think you can't hold anything, and you keep making it worse and worse. So I figured, I come up with some way to make you think you can hold more, like, say, a fake potion, and the results would manifest. So, you're correct, it did work, exactly according to my design. You waited longer because you thought you could."
      "See? I told you!" Nowi gave her daughter a hard slap on the back, almost causing the young manakete to lose balance. "You're already strong, you're just a worrywart! Happens to everyone! Don't put yourself down so much, you're a great manakete!"
      "And, as a fruitful coincidence, it appears you learned a second aspect of the lesson today as well," Robin seamlessly continued. "Remember how Morgan tried to help you back in Ylisstol?"
      "Yeah, for all the good she did," Nah grumbled.
      "But look how much I helped," Nowi beamed. "All of us are willing to help you, but you have to tell us when something's bothering you! You can't just keep everything bottled up inside, or it's just going to linger and eat away at you! Better to just tell one of us!" She leaned in close to Nah. "That's a good lesson for everything."
      Her parents had a point, she had to admit, but it didn't feel right. She had to be strong and steady, that's what an army needed, that's how to avoid pain, that's what she'd learned. "I don't know..."
      "Take your time coming to terms with it. Just promise that you'll come to us with any questions or concerns." Robin held his arms out for a hug, with Nowi eagerly taking the invitation, leaving enough open room for a third member. And, after a little nonverbal prodding, Nah joined in. It was a silent, happy moment, until the embrace naturally dissolved ten seconds later. "I'm glad we had this talk, but this wasn't the only plan I had. It's pretty important that you go back to your position, Nah."
      "Oh! Right, sorry!" She ran off back to the edge of the valley, to the approximate location she would have reached by now, had her little detour not taken place. But she didn't get far before stopping and turning back. "Wait, one more question! How come Chrom didn't allow any stops?"
      "Well...I guess I can tell you, so long as you promise to keep quiet. See, he had received a report this morning that Gangrel was spotted not too far from here, growing closer to our camp. As you can imagine, hearing the news that a dead man was coming for him was pretty terrifying. We talked it over, and decided that we couldn't rule out the possibility that he had attained serious supernatural powers in resurrection, so engaging him would be dangerous. And Chrom also said he didn't want news to spread, it would cause either panic, or distrust of him for believing something so foolish. Again, we couldn't rule out a mutiny to make Shanty Pete proud, and a tactician has to prepare for all outcomes."
      "I'm...not sure how to take that news."
      "And that's exactly why we didn't risk it. Now, hurry along, before my battle strategy becomes totally undone without a way to redo it." Nah nodded, rotating back and running off. As soon as she was safely out of sight, Robin sighed. "This is all so confusing, I don't think I'm quite ready to be a father yet."
      "It's not that hard, you just have to understand how kids think. For what it's worth, given how busy you've been and how they were just sprung on you, I think you've been doing a great job," Nowi reassured, holding her husband tight.
      "Er, not that I don't enjoy the hug, but could you back off a little? You're getting my clothes damp through contact."
      "Too bad." Realizing he couldn't convince her to ease off, Robin gave up the struggle, and just focused on looking over the horizon as a couple. It was tranquil and romantic, they would have been content staying like this for awhile, until Nowi made an observation of her own. "We should really get back to the battle now." Knowing she was right, they let go of each other, reaching for their respective weapons. Paired up, they charged forward on their original path, ready to face their obstacles, whether they be enemy or family.
    • By Pain in Misused Authority
         2
      “Did you want to see me, Stacey?” Brandon asked as he peeped in through the slightly open office door.
      “Yes Brandon, come in .. I’ve been waiting for you…” Stacey replied with a smile. He walked in and she pointed him to take a seat .
      She poured him a glass of water from the jug kept on her table.
      Although Brandon wasn’t thirsty , he readily accepted her offering. He couldn’t refuse his boss anyway, could he?
      Placing the now empty glass back on the table , Brandon waited for Stacey to tell why she had called him in .
       
      In her early thirties , Stacey McGregor was the General Manager of the Mathew & Smith Accounting firm. It was obvious that everyone tried to be in her good books, unless they wanted to get fired. She was ambitious and passionate for her work but off late, her attention had been wavering off towards Brandon.
       
      It was not as if Stacey liked him or anything, but she found him cute and that was enough for her motives to go wrong.
       
      “As I’ve come to know Brandon, your performance at work has been steadily declining, is there any specific reason behind it?” she asked with a low but stern voice ,enough to let Brandon know that he was in trouble.
       
      “Is it ? B-But I’ve met all the targets on time… “ Brandon exclaimed , sitting in a more upright and attentive posture now. He was shocked at what he was listening to. How was that even possible? He had been working his ass off to get a promotion that was actually due for more than an year now. It was technically impossible for his performance to have gone down! If anything , then it should have gone up!
       
      “Well that is what I’ve observed and even heard from others…you know Brandon, we can’t afford to have lazy asses working for us…” she said. Brandon could make out where this was going.
       
      “I am telling you Stacey, there must have been some mistake… “ Brandon said, he was at a complete loss of words for something so unexpected. He just didn’t know how to react!
       
      “Well I am sorry Brandon, but we may have to let you go if that’s the case…” Stacey said, looking straight at him. She knew he was terrified and that was all she wanted.
       
      “No please you can’t do this to me...Stacey…I’ve been working here for 5 years now…you can’t just ask me to leave like that…” Brandon blabbered out, his heart beat reaching a crescendo. He was sure he was gonna die any moment.
       
      “There isn’t much I can do to help you… we only want people who are willing to give it their all, you know….” Stacey said, pressing her lips together , a sign that she felt sorry for him.
       
      “I am willing to give it my all Stacey! Just tell me what you want me to do!” Brandon wailed. Stacey had him where she wanted, this was her chance.
       
      “Well not much… I just want you to put off going to the toilet, until I give you the permission to do so..” she said, with a slight smile as she played with a pen.
       
      “What?” Brandon asked, taken aback by such an absurd demand.
       
      “…only if you wish to keep your job.” Stacey completed her sentence, raising her eyebrows in a way that told that she had the power to make or break his career.
      Brandon felt a chill running down his body. He wanted Stacey to know that he thought what a huge creep she was, but he couldn’t. He wanted his job and he wanted it bad.
       
      “Well isn’t there something else I can do for you?” he asked, trying to bring the deal to a more negotiable situation. In fact he was ready to sleep with her if she wanted to, after all Stacey was one of the hottest female employees that their company could boast of.
      But Stacey was adamant , it didn’t look like she was gonna budge.
       
      “I don’t think you want to work here , but my offer is still open, take it or leave it…” she smirked.
      Brandon understood he had no way out.His only way was to give into her demand.
       
      “Well fine…I’ll do as you say..” he sighed as he looked down to his lap. He couldn’t believe what he was getting into.
       
      “That’s like a good boy…” Stacey said, her smile much wider than before as she poured another glass of water for him.
      Brandon reluctantly looked at the glass full of water for a moment as Stacey held it towards him. He didn’t want to drink it but he had no choice.
      He took it from her and downed the entire contents at one go and placed the glass back on the table.
       
      “Now...can I go back to work?” he asked, trying to keep his tone as humble as possible.
       
      “Not so fast honey...I want you to have troubles…” Stacey grinned, pouring more water into the glass.
       
      “Oh my God!” Brandon gasped under his breathe , how much was she gonna make him drink?
      This went on until the entire jug ran empty . Brandon’s stomach started feeling bloated with all the water he had just consumed. He felt uncomfortable but didn’t complain.
       
      “Now...you can go back to your desk ..”, Stacey ordered, “…but remember, I am watching you, no toilets…” she smirked, waving her index finger.
      He was so angry at her but it wasn’t like he could do anything about it.
       
      Brandon’s desk was clearly visible to Stacey through the glass wall of her office cabin and there was no way for him to sneak off to the toilets without being noticed.
       
      At his desk, Brandon checked his watch, it was 1:30 in the noon. This meant he still had 5 hours to go before he could leave for his home.
       
      Puzzled at what to do, he looked at Stacey’s cabin to find her keeping an eye on him. She wouldn’t let him go while he was in the office and there was no possible way he could hold his pee for the next five hours considering the amount he had drank.
      Nevertheless Brandon got back to his work.
       
      20 minutes into it, he started to feel slight twinges within his bladder. He didn’t want to know if Stacey was still looking at him. He felt, so vulnerable.
      Soon the lunch time ensued and Brandon’s need to pee had reached a new height by then.
       
      A peon walked up to him to inform that Stacey had called him to her cabin.
       
      “Again?!” he barked to himself. He was growing increasingly frustrated by her actions.
       
      “Yes?” he asked as he walked into her office.
       
      “Have a seat Brandon, I thought we could have lunch together…what should I order for you? Do you like Chinese?” Stacey asked ,as she picked up her phone to place an order.
       
      “No thanks, I’m not hungry..” he replied in a tone that conveyed annoyance.
       
      “Well good for you… I just wanted to check on you, if you are doing fine or not?” she asked, “I guess you have to use the toilets..?” , she smiled, coming straight to the point.
       
      “Yes I do…”
       
      “Good… I like where this is going…” Stacey said, giving a look to Brandon.
      He wanted to tell her what a bitch she was for making him hold but he couldn’t.
      Stacey asked Brandon to stay in her cabin till the lunch got over so she could closely observe his growing discomfort and desperation.
       
      She ordered food for the both of them so that they could engage themselves with something while Brandon was in there . By the time the hour long lunch break came to an end, Brandon could feel a considerable amount of urine sitting in his bladder.
       
      He stood up to leave but stopped on his way out when he heard Stacey’s voice.
       
      “Well, a while has passed since you drank all that water…and soon ,you’re about to have to pee really, really badly!” she laughed.
       
      He knew she was right, at this rate his bladder was gonna be full very soon.
       
      As he shuffled through some papers on his desk, Brandon could feel his need to pee intensifying rapidly. The waistband of his pants was starting to cut into his protruding abdomen.
       
      He was trying hard not to think about his ever mounting need but it wasn’t that easy. He tried to focus all his attention on his work as his bladder continued to fill and swell.
       
      Brandon was now finding it difficult to sit still, he couldn’t help but squirm in his seat from time to time.
       
      He pressed his legs together and continued to work, hoping all this would end somehow.
       
      For a moment he thought of quitting his job, just so he could use the toilets, but then erased the idea from his mind. He knew it wouldn’t be easy to find another high paying job like this in such a poor economy.
       
      Just then his phone bleeped, it was a message, from Stacey. It read –
      “I know, you’ re feeling it.. J”
       
      It was like his head was hit by a rod.She was right. Brandon had gone from bad to worse since he had last spoken to her.
      He looked towards her cabin and as expected, found her staring at him. Didn’t she have something better to do?
      Brandon ignored Stacey and continued with his work.
       
      He had a report to submit today and he seriously didn’t have time for her stupid games.
       
      He tried to suppress the pressure that was building up in his bladder but he knew it was no use. However hard he fought , Brandon just couldn’t take his mind off his need to pee.
       
      Another bleeping sound from his phone informed Brandon that he had a message , it was Stacey, again.
      “On a scale from 1 to 10 ,how bad do you need to go?”
       
      It didn’t look like this woman was gonna leave him alone anytime soon. With irritation wrecking his brain, Brandon texted back –
      “Around 5…”
       
      He carelessly flung his phone on the table and turned to look at Stacey’s cabin. She was smiling at him.
       
      Brandon had never imagined that someone could ever manipulate him like this. What would Stacey get by doing this to him?
       
      It was around 4 o’clock, when Brandon’s body seriously started to make its need felt. He had to end this torture or else there was no possible way for him to keep working without being distracted by his need to pee.
       
      He entered her cabin , not bothering to knock the door first.
       
      “May I go to the bathroom now?” he asked right away in a demanding voice.
       
      “No …not yet… I want to watch you squirm and dance, trying not to wet your pants” ,Stacey replied after a pause as she looked up from the stash of papers she was working upon.
       
      “Huh…” Brandon shrugged in repulsion, slightly rubbing his thighs together.
      He was starting to sweat. He knew Stacey liked to assert her power over her employees, but surely this was taking it a bit far. She not only wanted to restrict his access to the bathroom, but she wanted to...watch?
       
      Deeply uncomfortable, Brandon glanced back toward his desk. "Um, I have some work I should finish before the end of the day..."
       
      Stacey paused slightly, but didn't lift her eyes from the papers in front of her. "Oh, no," she purred. "I think you've done enough...work for today." The edges up her lips curled upward. "Why don't you just relax in my office for awhile?"
       
      Brandon inhaled sharply. He'd agreed to Stacey's original restrictions, and he'd drunk the water, but he'd been sure she just wanted to toy with him. Now, her motives seemed far more predatory, and he was incredibly nervous.
       
      "Have a seat, Brandon," Stacey ordered breezily, waving her hand toward one of the dark purple, avant-garde chairs in front of her desk.
       
      Delicately, Brandon obeyed. A spasm crossed his bladder, and he squeezed his thighs together, bending forward slightly.
       
      Stacey raised her head, her eyes gleaming with delight. "And where would you say you are now, on that one to ten scale?"
       
      Panting quietly, Brandon stared at his boss. "An eight," he muttered. "Maybe a nine."
       
      "Goooooooood," Stacey drawled. "You're well on your way to working yourself back into my...good graces."
       
      Brandon's breaths were shallow. He was clenching his muscles tightly, wondering wildly how far Stacey was going to take this. He needed this job, and, other than Stacey, he really liked working in accounting. In the current job market in his town, he couldn't afford to be fired.
       
      Another hour passed, and Brandon couldn't stop squirming. His bladder pressed fiercely against his belt, and drops of sweat rolled steadily down his back. He couldn't remember the last time he'd held it this long, and he wasn't sure how much longer he'd make it.
       
      His bladder pulsed harder than ever, and he reflexively grabbed his crotch, gripping tightly, but not before a small leak escaped.
       
      Stacey's head snapped up, and she sucked in an eager breath, breaking the unnerving silence she'd maintained for the past hour. "Something wrong, Brandon?"
       
      "P-please, Stacey," Brandon breathed. "I'm at my limit. Can I please use the restroom?"
       
      Rising gracefully from her seat, Stacey walked around her desk and laid her hand lightly on Brandon's shoulder. Without saying a word, she walked out onto the office floor.
       
      "Listen up, everyone!" she called to her workers. The office immediately went silent, every eye on the feared boss. "You've all worked exceptionally hard this week. I think you deserve to start your weekends a bit early. Everyone is excused, immediately."
       
      After one stunned moment, Brandon's coworkers started to leave in a flurry of activity. They were used to working until 6 or 7, at least, on Fridays, and they all wanted to take advantage of the boss's unprecedented generosity before she changed her mind.
       
      With her chin raised in satisfaction, Stacey turned on her heel and strolled back through her office cabin door.
       
      Still sweating and holding himself, Brandon looked up at her expectantly. "Does th-this mean I can leave?"
       
      Stacey stared at him, tilting her head slightly. Then, without saying a word, she reached behind her and shut her cabin door with a resounding click.
       
      Brandon's eyes widened in panic. "S-stacey, please!" he panted. "I'm going to have an accident!"
       
      Stacey's chest swelled as she drew in an unnaturally large breath. "Why, Brandon," she giggled, "What exactly did you think was the purpose of this whole exercise?"
       
      She turned and sat on the front edge of desk, now gazing at Brandon with naked anticipation.
       
      Heart beating frantically, Brandon stared incredulously at his boss. There's no way she was actually going to make him wet himself, was there? His thoughts raced. This had to be illegal. How could she do this? Why him? Had she done this to other employees?
       
      His thoughts were interrupted by another strong pulse from his bladder, sending a slightly larger leak into his pants. Brandon gasped and tightened his grip, looking down at his crotch. He thought he could see a tiny wet patch under his hand.
       
      "Yeeeees," Stacey hissed, staring intently. She unhooked the top two buttons of her blouse, exposing her black, lacy bra. She licked her lips, looking for all the world like some sort of alien-lizard woman. Brandon half expected to see a scaly tail flick out from under her skirt.
       
      He looked around wildly. This had gone too far, and the predatory look in Stacey's eyes was starting to scare him. Giving his dick a preparatory squeeze, he stood up from the uncomfortable chair.
       
      "That's enough, Stacey," he declared, trying to keep his voice from shaking. "I'm leaving."
       
      Stacey rose quickly from her perch on the desk, nearly eye-to-eye with Brandon in her 5-inch spike heels. Her EYES FLASHEDarrow-10x10.png dangerously, and her voice was icy when she spoke. "You take one step toward that door and you're fired."
       
      Brandon's shoulders slumped, and he felt another spurt escape. "Y-you can't..." he stammered.
       
      Smirking, Stacey straightened her shoulders. "Can't what?" she snapped. "I'm the boss. You report to me. Besides," she continued, looking far too pleased with herself for Brandon's liking. "Who would believe you anyway?"
       
      Another leak squirted into Brandon's pants; the damp patch was now visible beyond his clutching fist. He whined softly, hunching over.
       
      "That's it," Stacey purred, her breasts heaving as she leaned back onto her desk.
       
      Brandon knew he had only seconds left. He couldn't believe this was happening, that his boss was actually going to force him to choose between keeping his job and wetting himself in front of her. His eyes began to well up with fear and anger. He opened his mouth to beg Stacey to let him leave.
       
      Before he could get a single word out, a sharp pain knifed through his lower abdomen. Gasping in pain, Brandon released his grasp on his dick and dropped to one knee, clutching the back of the purple chair to keep from falling over completely.
       
      Before his knee even hit the ground, urine burst out of him, flowing down his legs and expanding the stain on his pants at an alarming rate, cascading over the wrinkles left by his tight grip. The stain spread in all directions as the fabric of his pants couldn't keep up with the forceful gush of liquid.
       
      "Yes!" Stacey moaned, watching fixedly. She reached under her skirt, fingers working furiously as she stared at the man kneeling in front of her, having an accident.
       
      Brandon breathed heavily, his mind swimming, Red spots floated in front of his eyes as he wet uncontrollably through his gray slacks. Urine started to pool around his knee, soaking slowly into the thin, industrial carpet.
       
      Stacey's moans escalated into shrieks as she brought herself to climax as Brandon finally finished peeing. She slumped back on the desk, eyes closed and panting hard.
       
      Blinking tears out of his eyes, Brandon kept his head down, angry and humiliated. He couldn't bear to stay in that office another second, but fear of losing his job made him hesitant to move.
       
      After nearly a minute, Stacey's breaths finally evened out, and she lazily opened her eyes, cheeks flushed with pleasure. "Well done, Mr. Charles," she whispered. "I think I'll let you keep your job." With a close-lipped grin, she reached out and placed one finger under Brandon's chin, raising his face to meet hers. "You may go."
       
      Wrenching his head to the side, Brandon rose to his feet and bolted from the office. He could barely spare a thought to be grateful for the absence of his coworkers as he stumbled toward the parking garage, not even breaking stride as he passed his desk and snatched up his keys and briefcase.
       
      In his car, Brandon finally paused, gripping the steering wheel with both hands, gulping in great breaths of air. He felt sick, violated. His soaked trousers pressed heavily against his groin and thighs, a constant reminder of what had just happened. He choked back a sob and started the car.
       
      Brandon stumbled through the door to his apartment, dropped his briefcase on the floor, and flung his coat at the coat rack. Rubbing his hand over his eyes, he turned the corner to head through the kitchen and back to the bedroom to change.
       
      "Surprise!"
       
      Brandon stopped cold and stared stupidly at Vanessa, his girlfriend of 4 years, standing in front of the stove with her arms outstretched in glee.
       
      The soft hum of the oven fan was the only sound as Brandon and Vanessa stared at each other, frozen. Vanessa's eager smile faded quickly as she watched Brandon's stunned reaction to her surprise; her face fell even further as her eyes traveled downward to the huge, wet stain on the front of his pants.
       
      After several shocked seconds, they both began talking at once.
       
      "What are you doing here?"
       
      "Bran, what happened?"
       
      "You're supposed to be in New York..."
       
      "Honey, are you sick?"
       
      "You flight isn't scheduled until tomorrow..."
       
      "Babe, what happened?"
       
      "Vanessa!"
       
      Hearing the fear and urgency in her boyfriend's voice, Vanessa bit back her questions momentarily. Drawing in a steadying breath, she responded cautiously, "I finished early and moved up my flight. I wanted to surprise you," she added, suddenly abashed at her spur-of-the-moment plan.
       
      Brandon exhaled slowly, closing his eyes. Of course there was no way to hide his accident from Vanessa. He'd have to explain it to her, even though he'd honestly been planning on trying never to think about it again.
       
      Hesitantly, Vanessa took a step toward Brandon. "Bran," she started softly. "Are you OK?"
       
      Sighing, Brandon clenched and unclenched his fists. He turned his head to the side, staring at the baseboards under the cupboards. Vanessa waited patiently, knowing better than to push him.
       
      Finally, haltingly, Brandon started talking, telling Vanessa the whole story: being called into Stacey's cabin, being accused of falling behind at work, the many glasses of water, the texts, the final threat.
       
      At that point, Brandon's voice cracked. "Ness, what could I do? We need that job!" He swallowed thickly. "I couldn't hold it. I tried, but I just couldn't help it. It started coming out, and I fell, and I had an ac-accident and she just s-sat there, watching and loving every second!"
       
      Vanessa closed the gap between then, grabbing Brandon's hands.
       
      "It was awful," Brandon choked. "How can I go back there? She knows she owns me now! She could make me do it again!" WIth a whimper, he leaned his forehead against Vanessa's. "But I can't quit..."
       
      "Bran..." Vanessa whispered, her eyes filling with sympathetic tears. "Yes, you can."
       
      Grimacing, Brandon shook his head. "There are no other accounting firms in town, and you haven't been able to find work..."
       
      "Babe," Vanessa looked up at the man she loved with a small smile on her face. "I did. I got the job."
       
      Brandon blinked. "What?"
       
      "They offered it to me at the end of the interview. That's why I flew back early - to tell you," Vanessa held Brandon's face in her hands. "We're moving to New York, Bran. You don't have to go back to that woman."
       
      Brandon let out a strangled cry and dropped to his knees for the second time in an hour. Vanessa wrapped her arms around him as he finally started to sob, releasing all the fear, humiliation, and rage of the afternoon. Vanessa held his against her chest, stroking his hair and whispering soothing words.
       
      "I start in two weeks, and they're covering moving costs. There are hundreds of accounting firms in New York, and HR said they'd help you network," Vanessa explained, softly but excitedly, as Brandon cried.
       
      Finally, Brandon's sobs dissolved into sniffles. Vanessa knelt in front of him and gazed into his eyes. "It's going to be OK, Bran."
       
      Brandon wiped his eyes and nodded, acutely aware of the drenched pants still clinging to his legs.
       
      Rising, Vanessa pulled Brandon to his feet. "I still have to finish dinner," she said, squeezing his hands gently. "I wasn't expecting you home for another hour. You go get cleaned up, and then we'll eat."
       
      Smiling slightly for the first time all day, Brandon leaned down and kissed her cheek. "Thanks, Ness." Then he walked past her and headed into the bedroom, ready to physically and emotionally wash off the horror of the day, knowing that he'd never have to go through it again.
    • By MasterXploder in Video Game One-Shots
         1
      (Note: Contains story spoilers up to chapter 2. Reader discretion advised.)
       
      What an utter crock of bad luck. This was the one thought that repeated in Nia’s mind over the last few hours. What was supposed to be an easy salvaging job with her mercenary friends had spiraled into a fight for survival, against her former companions, no less. Everything since then was one bad turn after another, from crash-landing in a swamp, to that awful wanted poster that made her look like some kind of monster, culminating in her arrest by Mor Ardain’s most powerful Blade.
      Sitting on the hard floor of her cell, Nia had to wonder where everything went wrong. Rex was the most likely culprit to her. That cocky kid just had to do what he was told and stay out of their way, but then he went and bonded with the Blade they were trying to collect. Granted, she had no idea her partners would try to kill him afterwards, and he did help her out of a pinch at the swamp. She really couldn’t make heads or tails out of him when it came down to it.
      Nia groaned as she shifted her weight to take some pressure off her bottom. She was in no condition to be thinking so deeply right now, especially not when the worst part of her captivity was proving a constant distraction. It had been several hours since her capture, and in all that time, she had not been given the chance to relieve herself. Now that she thought of it, she did not have the chance to pee before they entered Torigoth that morning, either. All that time added up to a very full bladder, a constant source of discomfort and stress for the Gormotti girl.
      She had already done so several times, but Nia took another look around her cell. Nothing but a bed could be found inside the cramped walls, with no toilet or even a chamber pot for her to handle her business. Urgh, I thought even prisoners were supposed to have basic decencies.
      She thought about banging on the door and yelling at the guards behind it to get her something to pee in, but she would rather die before sinking to that. They already tricked her into giving up the names of her friends, no way would she give them the satisfaction of asking for the potty like a kid in school. But still, what was she going to do? It could be hours before somebody came through that door again, far longer than she wanted to hold it even if she thought it was possible.
      Her only option, it seemed, was to squat in the corner and spray the floor, leaving the guards a nice puddle to clean up once they moved her off the battleship. She wasn’t keen on the idea at first, but the more bloated her bladder got, the more appealing it sounded. Sure, it would make the room stink, but it was much better than sitting around in soaked clothes. Besides, it wasn’t like that door was going to open up anytime soon.
      Fate had a funny way of working sometimes. As soon as she had made up her mind, the door handle turned, grabbing her full attention as it slowly swung open. This situation, this door, all caused a memory from a similar moment in her past to enter the forefront of her mind.
      “Jin?” she called out, expecting the present to play out the same way.
      To her surprise, it was not Jin who entered her cell, but Rex, the last person she expected. “You all right, Nia?” he asked.
      “Rex, you…” Nia replied, sitting more upright.
      Just then, her Blade Dromarch entered the cell alongside Rex and bowed. “My lady, apologies for my late arrival.”
      Rescue had come for her, despite the odds. For the first time that whole day, Nia could feel a bit of happiness inside her. “Don’t mention it. I didn’t think anyone was coming at all.”
      “As if we’d leave you!” said Rex, holding out his hand. “‘Always help those who help you.’ That’s the second rule of the Salvager’s Code!”
      Yet again, Nia realized she might have been wrong about Rex from the start. “Yeah, well that’s you all over, isn’t it?” she asked as she took his hand and pulled herself up.
      “Nngh…” Nia winced once she was on her feet. The motion had caused her bladder to shift ever so slightly, letting off another wave of discomfort that made her body tense up for just a moment. Crap, I forgot about that. Really should’ve thought of popping a squat sooner.
      “Something wrong?” asked Rex.
      Remembering that eyes were on her, Nia stood up straight with her legs relaxed, despite her bladder’s protests. “N-no, just been sitting here for a bit too long. Need to wake my legs back up, that’s all.”
      Rex smiled. “Well, you’re about to get your running in for the day, that’s for sure.”
      “Rex-Rex!” yelled a voice outside the cell. A nopon Nia did not recognize leaned in from behind the door frame. “Tora has found escape route! Hurry hurry!”
      “A nopon?” she asked.
      “He has been of some assistance,” said Dromarch.
      “We made a new friend,” said Rex.
      “Ah. Nice to meet you.” Nia nodded.
      At that moment, three more faces leaned around the corner, forming a totem pole of sorts. “Well, I think we’ve overstayed our welcome here. Time to get moving!” said Gramps, who rested on top of a robotic girl’s head.
      As much as she wanted to keep staring at the oddly humorous sight, Nia nodded and replied, “Right. I’ve had enough of this place. Time for some fresh air.”
      One by one, they exited the cell and began their escape. Most of them worried about how and if they were going to escape the battleship. For Nia, however, the major question on her mind was if they would be able to escape soon enough to take care of her other problem. Her chance to pee in her cell was long gone; her best shot now was to wait until they got outside and then find a bush or rock to duck behind. It didn’t matter if they knew she had to go once they were free, but until that opportunity came up, it was better that they remained focused on escaping.
      The problem there was how hard it was to focus on the escape herself. Every step she took sent an unpleasant jolt from her bladder through her whole body. She was thankful to be running behind everyone else, so she could bite her lip and occasionally place a hand on her bladder to stem the tide.
      Come on, Nia, she thought to herself. You’re a tough Driver. Just a few more minutes, and you’ll get to have that wee. She looked ahead at Tora, who led the group through the battleship’s corridors. I hope to Elysium this nopon knows where he’s going.
       
       
      The good news was Tora knew exactly where they were going and the best path to get there. The bad news was that didn’t mean getting there would be fast or easy. She had expected some kind of resistance to their escape, but that didn’t make it any easier whenever Ardainian soldiers stood in their way.
      Not that those soldiers were a serious threat to a team of Drivers, but Nia was not exactly fighting at her best. She was forced to divide her attention between battling the guards and keeping her overdistended bladder in check. It was a tough balancing act, where focusing too much on one side meant underperforming in battle or another surge of pain from her groin.
      It took a little bit, but the party eventually arrived at their destination: the armory right next to the ship’s hangar. Against the odds, Nia had managed to make it with hardly a scratch, and completely dry trousers to boot. Told you you could do it, she thought.
      “Alright, we’re here. Now what?” asked Rex.
      “Now everyone go through hangar into outside dock, then friends all home free!” declared Tora.
      The warm optimism Nia felt back in the cell renewed inside her. That is, until she looked over to the corner of the room. “And what are we going to do about the big doors in our way?” she asked.
      “I imagine that’s what this control panel over here is for,” Rex said as he walked over and looked at its many buttons. “Let’s see… here we are! Door controls.” He pushed down on one of the buttons.
      All eyes turned towards the doors with the expectation that it would swing open. A few seconds later, however, and they still remained closed.
      “Why doors not open, Rex-Rex?” asked Tora.
      “I don’t know. I’m pressing the right button,” said Rex as he gave it another push, once again with no change in the doors.
      Seriously? This can’t be happening, thought a worried Nia. A blockade was the last thing she needed to see right now, the subconscious effect on her making the hold on her bladder feel more tenuous than before.
      “Poppi may have the answer,” said the artificial Blade. She pointed to the tubes and cables running out of the panel and along the wall. “Panel has no power running to it. Need to restore power before doors can open.”
      Following the trail of cables, Pyra pointed up to an electrical box on the walkway above them. “It looks like we could restore the power from there.”
      “Oh, but ramp to walkway is raised up!” said Tora, “How do friends get there?”
      “We’ll just have to find another way upstairs and into the passageway from there,” said Rex.
      “Wait, what!?” Nia yelled louder than she meant, making all eyes turn onto her. She blushed and immediately lowered her voice. “Er, isn’t there another way? Surely Pyra can use her powers to blast through that door like she did back on the ancient vessel.”
      At this, Pyra’s eyes drifted downwards while a hand rested on her plentiful chest. “Well, I would, but it takes a while for me to channel that much power. I was only able to make such a big blast back on the vessel because I had been asleep for so long, I had lots of power to burn.”
      “Hmm, I believe it would be for the better if we did not make Pyra overexert herself so shortly after she just woke up,” said Gramps from inside Rex’s helmet.
      “B-but…”
      “We don’t have time to look for another answer,” said Rex, already on his way out the door. “Let’s go before they figure out our escape plan.”
      Before Nia could protest any further, the rest of the party was moving past her and back out the door. Dromarch walked up to her and asked “Shall we be going, my lady?”
      Nia sighed and shook her head. “I suppose we don’t have much of a choice,” she said as she took off towards the rest of the gang.
       
       
      Nia had hoped it would not take long to find their way to the armory’s upper level. Unfortunately, their detour ended up taking them through the entirety of the battleship, and quite a few guards as well. The party tried its best to slip past them undetected, but tight corridors and half a dozen Drivers and Blades running about meant fighting was inevitable.
      And so, Nia found herself once more walking the tightrope between putting up a good fight and not soaking her suit. She did her best to maintain both, but the passing time and energy spent battling were taking their toll. Every step, every dodge, every swing of her blades made her hold on her bladder feel that much weaker, along with her confidence that she could make it. Her moves grew sloppy, with near misses becoming more frequent, only adding to her stress. It was a dangerous feedback loop, and she knew of how dangerous and silly it was, but what else could she do given the circumstances?
      It felt like hours, but it only took a few more minutes for the party to finally reach the walkway with the power box. As they rounded the corner, a sense of elation hit Nia once she saw she was above where they just were. Just a little bit longer, that’s all.
      “Let Poppi handle the power box,” said Poppi.
      “Tora will assist Poppi!” said Tora.
      “Right, I’ll see if I can lower the ramp,” said Rex as they dispersed to do just that.
      “Guess that leaves me for guard duty,” said Nia, turning around, wincing again at the urine sloshing about. I need to stop with the sudden movements.
      At least she didn’t have to worry about making another one for a little bit while she kept watch on the corridor they just came through. However, simply standing around had its disadvantages as well. Without the adrenaline of combat, the painful pressure became more pronounced, and with everyone else not distracted by a fight, there was little she could do to ease that pressure. The most she risked was to wiggle her hips while she leaned on the wall with her arm, biting her lower lip every once in awhile.
      “Nia?”
      But even that was too much, it seemed.
      “Ah! Y-yes?” Nia brought her wiggling to an immediate halt and turned to face Pyra and Dromarch, the two unoccupied Blades. Their eyes felt rather piercing to Nia at that moment as they looked with concerned expressions. “Er, did you guys want something?”
      A moment passed before Pyra spoke. “Are you feeling okay?”
      “S-sure, I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
      “I’ve noticed that your movement in battle is stiffer than usual,” said Dromarch.
      “Yeah, and you’ve had this strained look about you since we got you out of your cell,” said Pyra.
      Though Nia kept a straight face, she was anything but calm on the inside. Of course her partner in combat would have noticed her underperforming, but someone else’s Blade was catching on too? Things were quickly going from bad to worse for her. She had to soothe their worries, and fast.
      “Well, of course I’m tense. We’re in the middle of a prison break!” she responded, crossing her arms.
      “We all are, but sometimes it looks like you’re almost in pain when you’re fighting,” said Pyra.
      “My lady, have they possibly done anything to you while we were separated?” asked Dromarch.
      “They’ve done nothing of the sort. I’ve just been sitting in my cell ever since the interrogation.” Nia paused to sigh. “Look, I promise the both of you, as soon as we’re out of here, I’ll let you know what’s going on. I just really need to stay focused right now.”
      Despite her words, Dromarch and Pyra continued to stare at Nia with no change in their looks. Come on, quit looking at me. I can’t stand still like this for much longer!
      “My lady…” began Dromarch.
      “Power to door controls is restored!” declared Poppi.
      “I’ve got the ramp down, too!” said Rex.
      Finally! “Then what are we waiting for?” asked a smiling Nia, already heading towards the ramp. “Let’s get moving!”
      She did not see Dromarch and Pyra exchange worried looks, but she would not have cared even if she had. Freedom was near, and with that, the opportunity to squat and let loose the longest, most satisfying pee of her life. Nothing else mattered more in those moments.
      Nia stood by the armory doors, practically jumping in place with both excitement and the urge to pee, while Rex went for the control panel Just as she had hoped, the doors pulled apart this time, and the group quickly ran into the hangar, their goal being the bay doors leading into the Torigoth relay base.
      “Not much further to exit!” said Tora.
      “Not so fast, my dear intruders!”
      Oh come on, what now!? Nia felt her whole body grow more tense than ever.
      The hangar gates opened, and in walked Consul Dughall of Mor Ardain, along with his massive Blade. “Letting a terrorist from Torna out of my grasp would make me look very bad indeed,” he said while bringing his goofy waddling to a stop.
      Whatever he had to say next, Nia did not care in the slightest. All she could focus on was her aching bladder practically screaming in protest at yet another obstacle in her quest for relief. She had no time for any posturing this windbag had to make.
      “Sorry, pal, but you’ve done all the capturing you’re gonna do today,” said Nia while she drew her weapons.
      “Such impertinence for a dirty terrorist,” said Dughall.
      “Let’s go, Pyra!” said Rex, pulling out his sword.
      “On it!” yelled Pyra.
      Thus began their fight against Dughall. For as silly and harmless as he looked, the consul put up a solid fight against the party. This was mostly owed to his large Blade, however; as soon as any attacks got too close to Dughall, he would run and hide behind the Blade, letting it take all the hits while he stayed out of harm’s way.
      Such cowardice only angered Nia further. Making one’s Blade endure all the pain instead of fighting like a proper warrior was low in itself, but it also made the fight drag out for even longer, eating up what precious little time she had left to avoid an accident.
      “Get out here, you bloody coward!” yelled Nia, swinging her ring-blade towards Dughall, only for the Blade to block with its spear.
      “I don’t take orders from terrorists!” he retorted from behind the safety of his guard.
      The Blade did not talk, instead swinging its lance outwards to throw Nia off. She flew through the air from the Blade’s side at a dangerous speed, something that would have spelled a nasty tumble if not for her quick reflexes. Right before hitting the ground, she managed to right herself, skidding on her feet and hands a few meters as she touched the floor.
      “Nngh…” she groaned as she stood upright. She might have avoided taking a serious hit, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t painful regardless. “Gah!?”
      But soon, something other than pain registered in her mind. A wet warmth graced her sensitive regions, forcing her eyes wide open and legs closed tight. That swing had forced her attention off her bladder for an instant too long, allowing a dribble to escape into her knickers. It was not enough to seep into her outerwear for the moment, but even that little bit was too much in her books.
      “My lady! Are you alright?” Dromarch ran to her side.
      “I’m fine,” Nia replied through her teeth. “But we need to take this windbag down right now.”
      “I understand, but we must be patient,” said Dromarch, watching Dughall’s Blade swinging at Rex and Tora. “We need only wait for an opening and-”
      “There’s the opening! Now!” Nia wasted no time in running around to Dughall’s back while he was distracted. She knew it was a bit reckless, but it was not like she had any choice with her holding strength hanging by a thread.
      Nia stopped in her tracks as soon as she got within range for what she was planning. Hearing Dromarch’s paws hitting the floor as he ran up behind her, Nia backflipped onto his back as Dromarch opened his maw as wide as he could.
      “Dark Maelstrom!” They yelled together as a powerful blast of water and ether erupted from Dromarch, catching Dughall square in the middle, his screaming barely audible above the rushing waves. Meanwhile, Nia tossed her ringblades through the blast, empowering them with an extra dosing of ether before they struck the consul. She then jumped into the air as her weapons flew back, catching them and delivering one last powerful slash.
      The chaos in the hangar fell into silence as Dughall’s Blade came to a halt and fell over with a loud crash. Dughall himself swayed about, barely able to stay upright and conscious after receiving such a battering.
      “How? A mangy fleabag and a bunch of stinking kids…” mumbled Dughall. “My triumphant return… to Mor Ardain… with the Aegis…” was all he could manage before falling to the ground defeated.
      “Out like a light,” said Gramps.
      “That’s what he gets for trying to execute Nia,” declared Rex.
      Tora bounced up and down in panic. “No time! Talk later, Rex-Rex! We should escape!”
      “Masterpon is right,” said Poppi, “Chance of reinforcements is very high.”
      “Wait, everyone,” said Dromarch, looking over towards Nia. “We might have a problem.”
      The entire group turned its attention towards Nia, who did not look a good sight. No longer standing upright, she was practically trembling in place with a noticeable shine of sweat on her brow.
      “Are you okay, Nia?” asked Pyra, “Were you hurt in that fight?”
      “I-I’m fine, guys!” Nia forced out. “W-we just need to g-get off this ship before-ooohh!”
      Despite Nia saying otherwise, there was no hiding the pain she felt from another powerful shockwave coming from her bladder. Everyone could see her closed eye, grit teeth, pressed legs, and white-knuckle grip on her blades.
      “Nia!” yelled Rex as the party gathered around her, all wearing worried faces.
      Stop worrying about me and get moving! That’s what Nia wanted to say, anything to get them to back off, but she had to wait until this pain passed first. Just as quickly as it had happened, the shockwave ended, and Nia opened her mouth to speak. However, no words made their way out; instead, she let out a wide-eyed gasp as a far worse feeling soon replaced the pain.
      The wet heat at her groin had returned, much bigger and stronger than the last spurt. The dampness in her underwear turned into a full soaking as it now stuck to her crotch, the urine passing through it with ease. A dark spot formed on her suit, growing up and around her crotch and butt until it spread down her legs and into her boots.
      “No no no no no no!” Nia whispered, trying her absolute hardest to make the flow stop despite the damage it had already done. It was no use; her holding muscles had given out, and no amount of begging or effort would halt the ever-growing flow. She was wetting herself now; the only thing within her power was to stare in horror at her friends as the undeniable truth hit them.
      “What in the…!?” said Rex, reeling back in shock.
      “Oh no!” Pyra put her hands to her mouth.
      “Er, were we a bit too slow in our escape?” asked Gramps.
      Poppi tilted her head. “Poppi confused, Masterpon. Is Nia suffering from coolant leak?”
      “Nia have leaky-leak, but that definitely not coolant,” said Tora.
      “Oh,” Poppi’s eyes lit up. “Do you mean she is-”
      “S-s-shut it, all of you! Q-quit looking at me!” yelled Nia, her face turning as red as Pyra’s hair. She put her hands in front of her groin, but little could be hidden at that point. By now, several drops and broken streams spilled out of her outfit, making a clear tinkling noise against the steel floor. A hissing sound also came from her body, far different from the intimidating hiss she would make with her mouth.
      Rather than heed her advice, Dromarch walked up and looked with worried eyes. “Forgive me, My Lady, but why did you not let us know of this sooner?”
      “We’re in the m-middle of an escape, that’s why!” snapped Nia. “I couldn’t exactly p-put that on hold to visit the loo!”
      “But… we were worried that something was really wrong with you,” said Pyra.
      Rex nodded. “Yeah, just a little heads up would’ve been fine. And if it was slowing you down so much, then you could’ve, you know, handled it while Poppi was fiddling with the door controls.”
      “W-what!?” Nia balked. “You mean just s-squat and piss in front of you all!?” That sounds even worse than wetting myself!
      Gramps leapt up and smacked Rex in the back of his head. “You really must learn to better speak to a lady, Rex.”
      “Ow!” Rex rubbed his head. “Well, not in front of us! I meant like behind a corner or something.”
      Pyra stepped forward with her hands together. “Um, I would’ve stood guard for you if you needed me to, Nia.”
      “Poppi make good bodyguard and privacy protector, too!” declared Poppi, her arms flapping against her sides.
      “R-really?” Hearing those words caused the anger in Nia to fade away, being replaced with a warmth in her heart. Unfortunately, it only reminded her of the warmth on her legs, feet, and groin. She looked down at her soaked uniform with a grimace, her ears going flat against her head. Seeing the dark patches continuing to spread out while a puddle steadily formed around her feet only made the sensations feel that much worse.
      “Well, w-wish I had known that b-before,” Nia said, her voice choking up and vision getting blurry with water.
      “My lady, please don’t be so hard on yourself,” said Dromarch, “This unfortunate moment does not diminish my perception of you. I am just happy that you are safe and sound again.”
      It took a great deal of effort, but Nia turned her gaze towards Dromarch’s caring, blue eyes. “Th-thank you, Dromarch,” she said with a sniff, getting a noseful of the stench of her urine. “But, I don’t know h-how I’m going to get over this.”
      “If it means anything,” said Pyra, “I still think you’re a strong fighter no matter what, and I won’t say a word of this to anyone if you don’t want me to.”
      “Tora not say anything mean, either!” The normally-energetic nopon rubbed his head with his wing-hand. “Tora, er, can sympathize with Nia on this.”
      “Reminder set to change Masterpon’s bedsheets,” Poppi declared.
      “Meh-meh-meh!?” A patch of red instantly appeared on Tora’s cheeks.
      “Oops.” Poppi glanced away. “Poppi need to work on secret-keeping protocols.”
      Nia looked around at all of her comrades’ understanding and compassionate expressions. She had expected a smattering of mockery, ridicule, and bullying from soaking her outfit, but received nothing but kindness. What she had done to deserve the friendship of such company, she might never know.
      “And… what about you?” Nia turned to Rex, “Not going to call me a s-stupid little girl or something?”
      Rex shook his head. “Nah. That might’ve been the smartest thing you could’ve done about it, honestly.”
      “W-what?” For a moment, Nia completely forgot about the fact that was she was currently peeing her pants.
      “Little-known advice for salvaging: if you’re under the cloud sea and you really gotta go, it’s better to just hose your trousers and move on. That way, it’s not slowing you down, and you don’t end up hurting yourself.”
      “Really now?” That can’t be an actual thing, no way.
      “I haven’t lied to you yet, have I?”
      Even during one of the most humiliating moments of her life, Nia found Rex’s smile a bit contagious, as the corners of her lips slowly pulled upwards.
      “Are you feeling better now, my lady?” asked Dromarch.
      “A... little bit.” Nia wiped her tears with her sleeve.
      “Tora bet it feel good to not have so much wee-wee in body anymore,” said Tora.
      Nia had to admit, Tora wasn’t wrong. She may have hosed herself rather badly, but at least that awful pressure was finally gone, the last of it dribbling into her saturated outfit in that moment. Rex might have been onto something about it not being in her way, at least.
      “Y-yeah, it does,” said Nia, her smile growing into a smirk. “And now I know that if Rex was the one locked up, he’d have pissed his pants a lot sooner than I did.”
      “Er, well…” Rex glanced over at Pyra. “I would’ve just gone in the corner or something.”
      “What are you looking at me for?” asked Pyra.
      Gramps cleared his throat just then. “I believe we’ve dilly-dallyed here long enough. We should leave before more reinforcements arrive.”
      “Oh, y-yeah, we were escaping,” said Nia, looking over to the hangar door now open. “Let’s go. The sooner I get out of here, the sooner I can get cleaned up.”
      The party all nodded before heading out through the hangar doors. Nia cringed as soon as she took her first step out of her puddle. Her pants and socks clung to her legs and feet, already growing into an uncomfortable, wet cold, and she felt a gross squish in her boots with every step. If this is what salvagers have to put up with, I’d rather stay a Driver, she thought while a shudder ran down her spine.
      The morning sun greeted the party as they reached the base’s dock, the entrance lying just before them. At long last, Nia’s freedom was just a short walk away, then she could find a river to wash up and clean her clothes in, putting this nightmare behind her for good.
      But of course, there had to be yet another obstacle in her way. A roar of blue flames flared up out of nowhere, blocking the gate before they could cross it. Two figures stepped through the fires, revealing themselves as Special Inquisitor Mòrag and her Blade Brighid, the two responsible for Nia’s capture and imprisonment.
      “It’s her!” Rex yelled.
      “And with her Driver too, this time,” said Nia, already feeling anger welling up inside her.
      “So they were waiting for us,” said Pyra.
      “Yes, indeed,” said Gramps. “I did feel like we got away a little too easily.”
      “I don’t know why I expected Dughall to slow you down at all,” said Mòrag in a calm voice befitting a military professional.
      Nia had a few questions in mind for the inquisitor, but her temper made her pick the one that mattered the most to her in that moment.
      “Oi, you!” she shouted, stepping forward with her legs out and revealing her accident for the whole world to see. “What kind of two-bit inquisitor locks someone away without even giving them a pot to piss in?”
      Mòrag directed her focus towards Nia, specifically to her legs. “Did you… wet yourself?” she asked, eyebrow raised in genuine surprise.
      “No thanks to you!” Nia bared her fangs.
      For a moment, the stoic and calculating inquisitor seemed at a loss for words. “My apologies. I had no idea you had been mistreated as such. I shall see to it that Dughall and the guards are reprimanded for this.”
      An apology from Mòrag the Flamebringer herself? Now Nia found herself unable to think of anything to say. “Y-yeah, well at least you have some sense, I suppose,” she replied, crossing her arms and looking away.
      “I will also personally ensure there will be a chamber pot in your cell once I have returned you there.” Mòrag swung her whip swords, launching them out to the sides to show that she meant business.
      Nia responded in kind, pulling out her blades and getting into a fighting stance. “Sorry, but after my treatment last time, I don’t feel much like paying it a second visit.”
      “Guess we’ll have to leave the questions for later,” said Rex as he and the rest of the party drew their weapons.
      “That’s just fine by me,” said Nia. Perhaps she would regret not getting any info out of Mòrag later, but right now, she just wanted something to take her anger out upon. She hoped that Mòrag had said her morning prayers already, because the inquisitor was about to deal with one pissed catgirl.