By Bailey Dixon
Date: February 12, 2021
Ch. 2I

My quarters were cold as always but my skin was flushed and slick with perspiration as I awoke. The darkness of the barracks was denser than usual—it must have been late into a moonless night. It took me a moment to notice the frantic pace of breath and embarrassed, I steadied it. What would my sisters and Martyr Superior think if they heard such panting? To see my body rouge and my flower dripping, as wet as my brow. What would be done if they could see the wicked things that invaded my mind? This was the sixth such dream in as many months. Worse still, the infernal fantasies had begun to pervade my waking hours. Daggers of lust and shame—swift but deadly nonetheless. Fearful for my immortal soul, I spent any spare moment I could steal in the chapel, praying. Repenting. However, my sinful visions penetrated even that sacred cloister of worship. As I knelt before the altar, I closed my eyes and suddenly imagined that I were kneeling somewhere else. What loomed above me was not His Holiness but a demon made flesh. Such thick and tempting flesh. My lips quivered at the thought of worshipping it. I did my best to banish these faceless demons but it seemed the more I struggled the tighter their bonds became.

Sitting up, I felt the thin blanket slip down where it bunched in my lap. A simple nightgown clung to my body, soaked in sweat. My teeth chattered as I felt a chill shudder through me. If I remained in the wet gown any longer I would catch the winter-sickness. The thought of being bedridden filled me with dread, my urges would surely take control of me were I confined to my quarters for so long. Rising swiftly yet silently I made my way to the large stone basin in the corner of the room. I was used to navigating the barracks in the dark but in my flustered state I nearly tripped on a loose stone tile, managing to steady my feet at the last second, eliciting a panicked breath, followed by a sigh of relief. Fingers trembling, I unfastened my laced collar, gripped the base of my gown and began to pull it over my head. The fabric which stuck to my skin was dragged up my body. As it brushed my navel I felt a fluttering in my loins. The clingy material found it hard to overcome the underside of my full bosom. Bracing myself for the sinful sensation to come, I yanked the gown upward, felt the wet cloth sweep over my nipples and instantly the flutter became a flurry. Cursing my curvaceous form, I tried to ignore how my nipples had awakened, stiffening with lust as my breasts bounced. Perhaps I could tell myself it was merely the cold but lying too was a sin and my conscience was heavy enough.

Freezing water washed over my chest and my fingers roamed the soft flesh of my breasts. With all my might I resisted the urge to squeeze, to roll my hardened nipples between my fingers. Even fully clothed it was difficult to ignore my bust, which was large considering my slender frame and flat stomach. Despite my athleticism, I had been cursed with ample curves both in front and behind. This is where my hands wandered next, running over my buttocks slowly. I would have to punish myself for my transgressions and I longed to let the rod fall upon my tender rump and not upon my back as the Almighty commanded. Maybe I could take my punishment upon my thighs instead? I pondered this as I washed them, paying extra attention to my inner thighs, which were stickier than the rest of my body. Well, except for one part. Closing my eyes I wished that I did not have to touch myself there. I swore to God that I would never have such filthy dreams again. That my mind would remain pure. But it was not so, for my body shook when my fingers even glanced my aching centre. I should have pulled away, but I told myself I needed to be cleansed, even though I knew why I really kept on scrubbing. Faster and faster I “cleansed” myself until a powerful sensation bubbled to the surface from within me. My body felt as though it might explode. The priests had warned us about such… happenings… a more serious sin of pleasure than any I had thus far indulged. No matter how much I wanted to continue, I summoned my resolve and steadied my hand. Before another crisis of faith befell me, I dressed myself in fresh undergarments, which covered me from my neck down to my ankles, on top of which I draped my leather robes. In the darkness of the early morning I sat upon my bed and prayed to His Holiness for forgiveness. I would have lashed myself for my sins then and there but I dare not break the silence of the dawn and let my holy sisters know my shame. And so I sat, pleading to the Heavens until the first bell of the Sanctum rung and I made my way to the morning sermon.

A mammoth congregation had gathered as they did every morning. A veritable sea of Farheim citizens, droning a single-note hymn in unison. Fifty feet above them, I stood on a balcony with my fellow valkyries, awaiting the arrival of the clergy and the Arbiter lords. Brilliant lanterns cast the enormity of the Great Temple in an ethereal glow, a bouncing light from one golden surface to another, making the gargantuan hall glisten like the interior of a gemstone. Those areas of the temple that were not gilded were cut from a stark, white stone whose polished veneer reflected just as much brilliance as the golden ornamentation. The sight was dazzling—the glory of God’s vestibule distracted my mind from my internal crises for a brief moment, before the clergy graced our presence, in all their pious splendour. At the sight of my elders: the High Cleric, Martyr Superior and the Arbiters—paragons of wisdom, purity and justice respectively, I hung my head in shame, fearful that they could sense the wickedness in my soul. As the the clergy settled into their positions, the High Cleric raised his hand, ceasing the monotone chant of his flock, and the sermon began.

‘Praise on high to His Holiness, maker of the mortal and keeper of our kin.’ the Cleric bellowed.

‘Praise.’ came the reply of the congregation as one, though there was a subtle quiver in my voice.

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