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You ever clean a place to the point that you think your fingers are going to bleed? I feel like most people would only do that out of boredom, something I possess plenty of. I’m left alone most days when the rest of the party is out on missions. There aren’t many books and hunting gets boring, so I spend a lot of my alone time cleaning. At least everyone’s impressed with how shiny the place looks.

I joined Night Raid about three months ago. The army noticed my good work and transferred me to the capital. I’m an expert in knife-fighting, sneaking around crowded or tight areas, and interrogation. I saw the move as a recognition of my abilities, as proof that I was doing something right. For once, maybe the gods were granting me good fortune.

But something happened on my first day here. I wasn’t sure what exactly, but after a meeting (during which I heard several swords unseathed), Najenda said I had to stay out of missions for the meantime. She didn’t really go into why, just that, because I was new, I had to wait until everyone else felt I was ready.

I understood it at first; you don’t want the new person to fuck it up for everyone else. Quickly, though, I got along with everyone, especially Bulat, Lubbock, and Leone. Even if they’re a bunch of blood knights with less moral standards then your average Empire citizen, they’re good people to be around.

There was one I couldn’t get along with no matter what, though. The black-haired muse of swords, Akame. I’d never talked to her; every time I tried, she went elsewhere. For what I could guess, she was the one who didn’t want me out on the field. She never out right came and said it, but I could tell.

While alone, I tried to figure out why. Did she not think it was competent in battle? My record would say otherwise and Najenda wouldn’t have let me in if she thought so. Was she jealous of a new person? She doesn’t seem like that kind of person.

Honestly, those were the two real reasons I could think of. After that, I just sort of let it go, willing to play out the waiting game. That gets boring after a while, though. I decided to ask someone.

One night, after a mission, Lubbock, Leone, Mine, and myself were getting drunk as shit outside. All of us could handle our alcohol, so we pounded back shots. Well, most of us could handle ourselves.

“Leeeeone, you’r so pr’tty~~~~” Mine slouched against Leone’s bust, making the blonde blush slightly, but helped to continue the drunk girl’s affections. Lubbock was watching with fascination the whole time.

“I’ve never really seen Mine act like this,” I noted.

“Typically, she’s only like this after a mission that went real well.” Lubbock took a sip from his booze. “We haven’t had one like that in a long while, all of us fucking over some assholes. The best was when Bulat got one guy through the neck and a guy behind in the groin with the downswing.”

“Wish I could’ve been there.”

Lubbock sideeyed me for a moment before going back to drinking.

“Hey, I don’t mean to start any shit or nothin’, but is Akame the reason I’m stuck in the house?”

Lubbock looked up at the ceiling. Despite his playboy act, I could never really tell what was going on in his head.

“What are you going to do if I answer your question?”

“That depends on what the answer is and how much detail you can give. More likely than not, I’ll have to have a conversation with her.”

Lubbock turned his head to me with the kind of glare that, had I been a bit more drunk, would have me reaching for my knife. Then he looked forward.


Without any words needed, I put down my glass and went upstairs. Even with everyone here, it still felt as quiet as the grave.

I eventually got to Akame’s room and knocked on the door. It took a moment before she opened it. Her eyes looked more like she was looking through me than at me.

“Can we talk?”

Without saying a word, she moved to the side, allowing me to enter. Her room was as sparse as always: a chair that I sat in and her bed, which she sat on.

We looked at each other for some time, trying to read each other, who was going to break first. In a sense, I guess it was me.

“If you don’t want me, just say it and I’ll be gone tomorrow. I’d rather be out there doing shit than spending all my time cooped up in here.”

She didn’t respond, but leaned forward slightly.

“I’m guessing it’s not that, then. So, what’s the issue?”

I watched every twitch that she made, trying to figure her out. I wasn’t getting much until she patted the spot on the bed next to her. I slowly moved over to sit down on the bed.

“Have… Have you ever had a lover in the army?”

That’s not where I was expecting this to go. “A few.”

“Did any of them die?”

“One. We’d been with each other for about three weeks. We were sleeping in other’s beds, so it wasn’t too serious. I heard he got an arrow through his eye; his body got burned, so I couldn’t know for sure.” Akame’s face drooped at that. “But that’s not what you wanted to hear exactly.

“I’m kinda surprised, though. I wouldn’t exactly think a woman like you would be into someone like me. What is it?”

“Well…” It was weird seeing Akame so hesitant, so shy. “It’s how innocent you look.”

I made a face at that. Is that from me weighing less than a girl fresh off her first blood or being shorter than a corpse that’s missing its legs? “What makes you say that?”

“When I first saw you, I saw everyone that we’re protecting, our future. To imagine you bloodied or…” Tears started to fall down her face. “I just can’t let you go out there.”

My eyes narrowed at that. “And you think that’s going to make everything better, letting your selfish motivations possibly damn the Empire to blood and ruin?”

“You think I don’t know that?!” Akame’s face got right in front of me. “I think that every time I hear that one of our comrades has fallen or another one of the atrocities that goes on here is left unpunished.” All the while, her forward motion made me move back until I hit the wall. “You could do so much for us, so much, but… I-I just can’t take the risk. I-I…” There was no stopping her tears now as she hugged me and sobbed into my chest.

I’m not much used to people crying like that. Typically, you just let them have their moment and get them where they need to be after. But there was no battle to be fought right now, except for a battle of hearts perhaps. I had to say the right things for both of us.

“I’m just afraid of me dying as you are. More so, probably, since it’s my body. But I don’t think the gods put us on this land to live our lives constantly ruled by our fears. I could’ve stayed silent, passive, but I decided to resist those who are ruining our country from the highest seats.” I took Akame’s hand into mine as she looked up at me. “We risk our lives everyday for the hope of something better for everyone. Maybe we’ll die doing so, but I want to fall asleep knowing that I did what I could. And if it’s next to someone that I might like…” I combed my fingers through her hair. “All the better, then.”

Her tears subsided, Akame leaned up and kissed me. I returned the favor, feeling all over her body as my tongue collided with hers. She backed away, her eyes solemn.

“There’s something I should tell you. I-”

“You’ve got a dick; I felt it. It doesn’t bother me.” I took off my clothes and helped Akame take hers off. Her cock was semi-hard, so I got my hand around it and started to jerk her off. I noticed that Akame was blushing way more than I expected. “This your first?”

“Y-Yeah, with a man. I- mmm, I’ve done it with a few girls from my village, but… I never wanted any of the boys to know.”

“I understand. Just tell me if you want me to stop, OK?”

She smiled, out of safety I guess. “OK.” I moved down to her waist and swallowed her. It was a bit smaller than I was used to, but still enough for me to work my magic. Her hands rubbed through my hair, making me feel tingly all over. I moved my head up and down, feeling my own length in rhythm.

At her prick’s quickening throb, I held tight as she came down my throat. I didn’t let a drop escape from me as Akame shuddered and writhed above me. After getting over my ecstasy, I looked up to see Akame with a full red all over her. She quickly lifted me up onto the bed and placed me on my stomach.

“Mmm, you’re quite aggressive once you get into it. I like it.” Akame didn’t say anything, but growled as she quickly entered me. Even though my blowjob had already lubed her up, it was still a bit tight getting in. “OK, maybe a little too rough.”

“Ah, sorry.” Her movements slowed down, letting me feel her muscles flex with her thrusts and her breasts press against my back. I eventually got in tempo with her, moving along like two mutts fucking. It felt so nice to have sex with someone who cares about you, who wants to make you feel safe. I’ve had some bad experiences in the past, but with Akame… she never treated me wrong.

Eventually, all things have to come to an end. Akame came again, filling me up with a queer kind of warmth. Her sharp breaths next to my ear made me splatter my seed against the bed. We both collapsed onto the bed, Akame holding me tight, our warmth shared.

“It’s nice to be against you, Akame.” I nuzzled my head against her chest. Akame was looking at me with a warm smile on her face, full of content.

“Promise me that you’ll stay safe, no matter what.”

“I promise I’ll do what I can.” I leaned towards her face and she’s kissing me.

Wait, that should be ‘She kissed me.’ I apologize; it’s hard to remember your verb tenses when you’re dead.

I got an arrow through my neck eight months after I first made love with Akame. One moment, we were running from a raid gone wrong, the next, I was outside of myself, wondering where everyone went. Then I saw myself, my corpse. The Empire took my body; what they did with it, I don’t know.

I’m stuck here, or at least I am for the moment. After I first died, I could barely move from the spot where my body fell down, but now I can travel nearly the whole country. People can’t see me; they can sense me or feel my presence, but they’re not sure what I am. I don’t mind for the most part; if people don’t bother me, I can experience everything I can without restriction. I might not be able to talk to people, but I can still read books over people’s shoulders, watch plays, or just lay on the grass under the hills, watching the stars. I do feel myself getting weaker, though. My guess is that my link to this world is getting weaker as the time from my death gets longer. I’ll be gone from here soon for good, the way I wanted it.

There is only one restriction to my travels at the present; every year, on the anniversary of my death, I am forced to spend the whole day on the spot where I perished. Most of the time, I’m by myself, though I’ve had a few visitors. Najenda visited once to say that she was sorry for what happened to me. I appreciated it. Mine visits every couple of years, alongside her brood of children and her husband, who’s a dragon but was not always one. I still can’t get my head around that one, but it’s good that she’s happy and with someone who cares about her.

Akame visits every year. Each time, she sits on the ground and stays there from sunrise to sundown. I can’t tell what she’s thinking as she never says a single word. I wonder what exactly she wishes to accomplish. Does she want to keep me alive in her mind? Does she imagine a future where we could have been together? Am I just one of the many mistakes she remembers to avoid in the future?

She’s getting older. The last few years, I’ve noticed gray coming into her hair. Her movements are getting slower and the activities of her life are catching up with her. I can’t see myself, but I probably still look the same, the youthful boy who played at war. What an odd couple we would look like.

I’ve been tempted to look at her or the others when I’m about in the country, but I leave them be. They’ve earned their peace; they don’t need the bloody memories coming back to them. There is one thing I noticed by accident, though. A few months ago, I was in the capital during one of their festivals, celebrating the overthrow of the cruel dictatorship. The guilds were performing their parts and everyone was cheering them on, myself included. I happened to look to my side and saw her. She was next to a man, a former soldier from the looks of it with the scar on his face and his missing fingers. There were four children around them, three boys and a girl. All of them had hair like a raven’s. She looked up at the man and kissed him on the cheek. He looked back at her with a wry smile and returned the kiss in her hair. She beamed at him as she looked to her side. Her eyes widened as she gazed in my direction. I looked down at the ground, but then looked at her, smiled, waved swiftly, then walked off, the dark shadows of an alleyway covering me in their warmth.