Home ->The Exalted ->9 Chapter 8: Winter in Neuchatel

 It was almost mid-Nivôse and the heavy snowfall once again obstructed the roads in the quiet city of Neuchâtel. In every household, fathers went out with a shovel to clear the snow into large piles on the sides of the roads. Sometimes, they were accompanied by their sons or daughters who were enjoying their precious time with their fathers. Mothers, on the other hand, made sure the house was warm and spent their time cooking warm ragout for their hungry husbands who shoveled tirelessly during the day. Stalls were set up by the local Elegantsiya community in every neighborhood to offer some snacks and hot chocolate to the workers. Nobility and commoners worked in perfect sync, each doing their parts to ensure everyone's survival for the coming winter. It was a heart-warming sight.

I was enjoying the view from the mansion's large windows. Large snowflakes fluttered here and there. A brazier stood by my side, warming my young body in this cold winter season. In the past year, I have already finished every book in the Montpensier family library. My mother was astonished by how I was actually able to read at such a young age without any guidance, but I brushed her off by telling her that SHE was the one who taught me everything by reading for me every evening. It was, of course, an eventuality that I have planned in case she found out about my reading in the library.

After my time in front of the window, I went to the most unique and wonderful feature of the Montpensier estate: the secret underground hot spring spa! Usually, I would go with my father and he would spend this relaxing time telling me stories from his childhood in the province of Ostmark, Margraviate of Eastphalia. As a result, I developed an acute understanding of the Ostfalen family members, such as my uncle and aunt living in eastern Lacrimosa. I once asked my father why they never visited us and his answer was that they were way too far, so they only communicated through letter correspondence. Our time in the spa also helped develop a strong bond between my father and me.

This time, however, my father was at the Army of Azuria training ground to train new infantry recruits in their winter cantonment. As such, I, for the first time, went to the spa without my father and guess who offered to accompany me? No, not my mother; she was too busy painting the scenery to go enjoy the bath just yet. It was Yules Chambéry, a beautiful and slender young woman who graduated last year from the Kriegsschule Artillery Department and came serving my father's Army of Azuria Artillery Corps as a new company-level officer. She was in the mansion this day to do some reading in the Montpensier family library. Her access to our family library was granted because of her deep sisterly bond with my mother and her status as heiress to the House of Chambéry in the province of Azuria. These winter days, she took some special vacations from the garrison to come here and enjoy herself. Back to our topic, Lady Yules Chambéry of the 3rd Azurian Artillery Division accompanied me to the family hot springs in the mansion's basements.

It was a dimly lit hall with comfortable couches, small round tables, a few bottles of red wine neatly placed along ornate wooden shelves and a giant hot bath heated by geothermic energy directly from the rocks. I assume that this energy comes from the Schanke Mountain range, which has a few inactive volcanoes.

When we changed into thin bath towels that, fortunately, were thick enough to hide some of our more delicate body parts, a maid guided us to the beautiful couches and another maid came to give both of us a soothing massage. I was only six years old and I was used to physical activities from my daily fencing routine, so my body was very flexible and I did not feel much from the maid's energetic massage. Yules, however, was deeply affected. At odd intervals, she would cry out in pain or even let out loud sexy moans when she felt good. Since her face showed some rather...mature expressions, I was at a loss as to where to look. The weirdest time has now come: the bath. She was a 19 years old woman with an hourglass-shaped body. I, in my brain at least, was a young man in his late 20s. This was already enough for me to be embarrassed to death when she took off her towel to soak in the hot water. I have already seen my mother naked before, but at that time, I was still very young and more importantly, I was turned off by the very fact that she was my mother. Moreover, I have even seen my parents making love quite a few times, as I shared a room with them until last year. It was rather difficult to get used to and I have to admit that I have gained a lot of unorthodox knowledge from it, but I managed to close my mind at the end. Because of that, I thought that I was already immune to the charms of a beautiful woman's body. Alas!

Nothing was further from the truth. My eyes could not shift away from the suggestive curves on Yules' body. I just stood there, my lower body fortunately covered by the towel, and stared for a few seconds that seemed to me like an eternity until she noticed my stare and smiled playfully. Her green eyes suddenly lit up with genuine bliss and her honey-colored hair fluttered in the air as she turned face toward me.

"Hehehe," she smirked as she rose slowly from the water. "Are you interested in my body, little boy?"

"Eh?" I was surprised by her bluntness and stunned by her beautiful figure. My reaction indicated that I was indeed interested in her body in some way. How embarrassing is that?

"Come in Big Sister's arms so I can see you better," she said as she opened her arms, expecting me to let her hug me.

I have never seen this side of her in the 2 years I have known her. During her time at the Kriegsschule, she would come back every year to Azuria to spend a week with her family and she would occasionally come to visit my mother for guidance on her studies and things like that. Normally, she was always reserved and exuded the aura of a proper noble lady. My impression of her until now was that of a graceful and talented young woman, the epitome of the Elegantsiya aristocratic lady. She was the last person I would imagine naked in front of someone and making such a bold pose. Yet I cannot judge her behavior as shameless since I was technically still a very young child who has not yet reached puberty and who has, in theory, not an ounce of indecent thoughts.

Well, since I was offered this chance to be embraced by a gorgeous woman, I cast away the modesty and sense of shame of my 21th-century gentleman self and went into her arms while blushing furiously. Not doing so would have been a waste from not using my physical age to my advantage.

My face was stuck in her bosom for quite some time as she played with my hair using her free hand. After a while, she finally let me go only to hug me from behind. Naturally, her voluminous curves rubbed against my back and made me very embarrassed. At the very least, it was better than to have my face between her breasts. I think I would have pushed her down if I was in my former 25 years old body.

To break off this awkward (for me) atmosphere, I asked what it meant to be a student at the Kriegsschule. Hopefully, answering that would distract her from further embarrassing me.

"You see," she said with her face suddenly turned serious, "the Kriegsschule is not somewhere you go on a whim or just to have fun. It is a long-term commitment and basically a life contract with the Kingdom of Lacrimosa. Under this contract, you are not allowed to travel to another country without the Kingdom's written authorization and this is one of the reasons why only citizens of Lacrimosa with real verified proof of residence and ID from the Kingdom can enroll there. When you pass the exams, you have to pledge your allegiance to the King of Lacrimosa and you will officially become cadets of the Lacrimosian Armed Forces. This means that you can enjoy amenities only available to the military and your conduct is judged according to the military justice system. That also implies that you will be called to the battlefield if the need arises. If you're ready for that kind of things, the Kriegsschule is for you!"

Her face reverted to the relaxed expression she had earlier and she continued cuddling my face as if nothing happened. My body was still very tense from her constantly rubbing her assets on my back.

"Fortunately," I thought again, "my body is only that of a six years old child."

"Can you tell me how life is there?" I asked. "I wanna apply when I'll turn 12."

"Really, Freddie?" She asked me using my pet name with an excited voice. "You're really considering going to the Kriegsschule?"

"If I pass the examinations, I guess."

"Wow, that's amazing!" She exclaimed. "The scion of the protégée of the Laurelian High Command and one of the top generals of the Lacrimosian Land Forces is going to the Kriegsschule! I can't wait to see how good you will be!"

"Ummm..." I was kind of crushed by the pressure. "You have so much expectation for me, lady Chambéry!" I cried, making sure she sees some tears under my eyes. Instead, she completely ignored what I said and continued her explanation.

"Alright, little Freddie, listen well," she said, "If you do make it to the Kriegsschule, your first two years will be some of the most boring you'll ever live, trust me. They say it's Military strategy, but you know what are the courses? It's all things like history, geography, philosophy, rhetoric, geometry, fortification, grammar, Lacrimosian, fighting, dancing, and horsemanship! Real military tactics and strategies are ONLY taught at the start of the 3rd year after you have already chosen your branch. Since there are only around 100 students every year who pass, the classes during the first two years will be 4 classes of 25 students, each class represented by an instructor. Believe it or not, the homeroom instructors will play a very important role in your time at the Kriegsschule, so you have to pray to have a good one. Each class will sleep in a dorm, with the girls in one section of the building and boys in the other. Since there aren't many students per class and the tuition fees are on the higher side even after major government subsidies, all cadets have their own room in their respective dormitories. Even better, the rooms all have a bathroom with a bath and running water. You'll have to bring your own chamber pots, though, since it's incredibly gross to use the ones from the school. During the first 2 years, you'll be staying with the same class and after that, you'll move to your respective departments with their own sets of dormitories and facilities. The Artillery, for example, has better dormitories than that of the infantry officers and we enjoy better food. The downside is that we have more theoretical courses and the only physical training we get are the common bayonet fighting courses and the artillery shooting courses. The rest is boring stuff like math and geography. The elite artillery classes are no different. We just learn to use more complex artillery guns and we also learn some engineer topics. The most rewarding of all is, of course, the mobile artillery classes, where we have advanced horsemanship and shooting classes combined. As for the vibe there, I can only speak of the artillery, though. Since we aren't many people in the first place, we kind of develop strong ties to one another and everyone ends up becoming friends, I guess."

After that, we spent some time in some pleasant chatter and soon, we had to leave since it was time for supper.


Yules was walking with Frederick through the long hallways in the Montpensier mansion when a guard stopped in front of her and saluted.

"Captain," he announced, "Her Highness the princess and your sister have arrived!"