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verb: release or untie the knot or knots in.


“So what are you going to wish for?”

At the gentle tug of his younger sister’s amiable voice, Hríd removed his gaze from the outside’s frosty plains. His mind was drifting away, but he at least had the alertness to be aware of his surroundings, even inside a sleepy moving carriage.

He directed his teal irises towards Fjorm’s pair, “For the New Year’s prayers, I would presume?”

At the cue of the young lady’s nod, the wheels of Hríd’s mind geared thoughtfully. What was it that he wished for? The shrine that they were about to travel to was of a Kingdom foreign to them, so he was unfamiliar with the nature of the wish that he should be praying for. Should he go with the usual and ask for world peace? Or perhaps he should wish for his sisters to find eternal happiness instead? Then again, he could also ask the gods to birth a scholar who could discover the panacea to all kinds of diseases. There were so many possibilities.

“Oh, dear sister,” At the sight of their adorable only brother so solemnly considering his prayers, Gunnthrá giggled and patted Fjorm’s clothed knee, “What Hríd wishes for should not be what you’re asking. It is who.”

“That is correct,” The prince replied, “I happened to think of the most wonderful wish.”

Fjorm’s face lit up. It was not usual that her older brother was comfortable talking about his personal endeavors, much less the person that he was praying for, “Is that so? Who could this person be for them to convince Hríd to smile like that?”

“Jovial residents of Nifl.”

The younger sister’s grin faltered at her brother’s reply.

“Wishing for the entire world’s happiness might be too much, so perhaps limiting the scope of reach to only the people of Nifl could grant a higher chance of the prayer’s success.”

He was met with only silence.

His sisters’ eyes were boring into him, and he somehow felt like he was an odd spectacle to them. The corners of his smile dropped, “Is it still too much?”

The pair of sisters exchanged worried glances. Hríd shifted on his comfy seat inside the coach which suggested obvious discomfort not in regards to his position, but in the way his siblings eyed him with worry. What was it that he did wrong?

Fjorm sensed this, and so she waved her hands in front of her to ease a little bit of her older brother’s apprehension, “Oh, it’s not that at all, brother. It’s only that... That wish is definitely”

Hríd could not decipher if that was a good or a bad thing. His mind rumbled along with the shaking of the coach. Whatever could Fjorm mean? He had a feeling they were not quite on the same page.

But of course, Gunnthrá knew very well that the conversation would spin like this. Her brother was a bit on the serious side after all, so when it came to talks about romance, it was miles better to be upright with him.

“At this rate, you are bound to end up an old bachelor, dear brother. You should pray for a wife soon." She advised.

"An old bachelor--" Hríd blurted out in astonishment. He never mused about it however, it was a shocking plausibility, "But a wife... I..."

His words drifted off along with the chilly wind outside their carriage; a rare occurrence for someone as eloquent as the Crown Prince of Nifl. He was still trying to find his words, yet five seconds passed and all his thoughts had completely popped like a fragile bubble. His earlier smile transformed into a blushing wince. He could not say if it was from the humiliation of having tripped his tongue or the guilty shyness of remembering a certain...someone.

He did not even realize that his older sister was already only an inch from his ear and was whispering teasing words.

"It's her, isn't she? That cute summoner of Askr."

Hríd flexed his jaw; not having a response for Gunnthrá. The prince was an honest man, so him not denying the princess' assumption was as good as a wordless, nod-less yes. In fact, the cute strawberry-red streaks striping his cheeks were a candor giveaway that she hit the bull's eye.

Fjorm on the other bench, however, had no idea what was going on. She only peeped a curious glance at Hríd's rare blush, to which Gunnthrá flashed a playful smile.

The eldest princess giggled into her dainty fingers; the fur on her coat sliding down her pale forearm, "You should pray for fine weather on a very special day, Fjorm."

The addressed princess only offered a clueless furrow, "What special day?"

"Our beloved brother's wedding, of course."

Hríd nearly knocked over to the floorboard when the carriage bumped over a pile of snow-covered rock.


It did not help that he was remembering his sisters' earlier onslaught of merciless teasing. Fjorm, who was normally a sweet young lady, somehow got caught in the blizzard of Gunnthrá's raillery and pestered him non-stop about his relationship with a certain woman. It came to the point where the pair of princesses spent half an hour catapulting embarrassing interrogations at Hríd. If anyone was curious, they were questions like 'Have you held hands' or--god save him, 'Have you kissed her on the lips?', to which he as a gentleman dared not answer.

It also definitely did not help that he was recalling all those moments whilst Kiran stood behind the folding screens; eagerly waiting for him to appear in front of her, costume and all.

"Are you done yet? Do you need help?" Kiran's feminine voice rang through the Hoshidan-style room.

Hríd's broad shoulders tensed up. The truth was he already finished clothing himself five minutes ago; it was just that he was a bit hesitant to show himself to her, "Yes, I believe I'm finished."

"Good! Come here, show me!" She replied excitedly.



"Is it really," He skirted around the paper screen ornamented with beautiful Hoshidan art, "Meant to be worn like this?"

A state of unexpected surprise colored Kiran's expressive face. Her hands flew towards her agape mouth. Her bright eyes were the widest Hríd ever saw them, so his flower of confidence somehow clenched close at the unreadable response Kiran spared at him.

Hríd winced at what he believed he looked like now: a fool. "I look asinine. I shouldn't adorn myself with foreign garbs, after all."

"No, no, no! It looks good on you." Kiran hurriedly said; a remark which did not convince Hríd in the slightest.

She laughed, "Come on, don't give me that look. It's just..." She unconsciously bit her lower lip; a habit which enticed Hríd to stare at her every time, "Around the chest, it's'..."

Her glove-less knuckle neared her mouth, which encouraged her teeth to lightly bite a curled finger, "A bit loose."

The lady's words wavered slightly, Hríd noted. She also turned her face away from him and appeared to be desperately trying to hide her expression behind her hair. How unusual for the great summoner to be so flustered. What thoughts could be running in her head for her to react like this, he wondered?

Just kidding. He knew the answer.

"I did not expect myself to get it right the first time." His hands drifted to the edges of his clothes' neckpiece, "It's a bit chilly, so..." Rather than close the kimono for more warmth, him dragging his fingers to the belt prompted the cloth to reveal more skin, "Will you be willing to help me fix it?"

She stared at him in disbelief, but he only watched her with so much intensity. He looked at her so intently, never straying away from her pair of lambent eyes, but her whole body was reacting as if his gaze were all over her. As if he were trying to disrobe her. To bare her. He was so unconsciously tantalizing that her skin tingled so heatedly under his spell.

Kiran took a shaky step backward, but the blunt edge of the Hoshidan table prevented her ankle from retreating further. She glared at the wood and threw it an internal curse. Still, her attention veered back to the man in front of her.

She let out a breathy complaint, "Don't tease me." She ordered; trying to draw out as much authority as possible.

Apparently, she had zero authority right now.

"Tease you?" Hríd laughed onto a fist. He found amusement in his lady confidante's egregious efforts not to look at his exposed chest, "I was merely asking for your assistance as you're more familiar with Hoshidan fashion.

"Unless," He wore the face of calm, but Kiran was certain that he was smirking at her behind those neutral lips, "You're thinking of different thoughts, my lady."

Kiran was doing her absolute best not to explode and throw a shoe at him, "I swear you're so different in private than in public." She commented through a mixture of ashamed and disgruntled blush.

He smiled, "It's only that way when you think of it in a different way."

She gave up. Hands down, white flag raised. There was no way she would claim victorious over an unflappable prince who mastered the art of composure.

And so she stomped over to him, grabbed his kimono, closed it tight, and bound the belt so tightly around him so that he may no longer play with her maiden feelings.

Or at least...that was what she had in mind.

Reality: her shaking like a leaf as she held onto his clothes. It also did not help that he was so...


He grabbed her left hand with his larger right; shocking her with their contrast in temperature, "You won't be able to do it properly if you don't look." He whispered; his thumb gently rubbing her palm, his lips so close to her ears. He felt her shudder under his cold breath.

He glided his hold to her wrist and felt her pulse beating madly at his touch. He smiled victoriously to himself, "Won't you look at me?" He whispered in a deep, sultry voice.

Kiran shuddered. That voice, that voice. Hríd's tone was ordinarily amicable in public, but when he was teasing her like this... It was so, so...


"Mn!" She let out a kittenish squeal. Hríd had nipped at her ear.

Before she knew it, his lips were already fluttering across her jaw. He puffed cold air into the pores of her skin; drawing goosebumps that seem attracted to his cold electricity. He wet his lips to plant a lingering kiss on her cheek.

Kiran's legs wobbled. He was so good at pushing her buttons.

"You're teasing me again..." She whispered weakly to his ear.

"Hmm." His lips were fiddling with the corner of her mouth. The rumble of his voice sent sensuous vibrations that prickled her sensitive skin, "I'm only showing my appreciation to my lovely inamorata."

Inamorata... Kiran’s heart doubled in its beat. Inamorata, inamorata. He just called her his beloved.

When Hríd's mouth pressed against her own, her heart swelled like a blooming flower.

When I saw you first, it took every ounce of me not to kiss you.

Their lips met like pilgrims on a shy rendezvous. Gently, oh so gently, did their teeth bite a tingle in each other's lips. Gently, oh so gently, did their tongues meet halfway in a delicate dance.

Even when their teeth bumped against each other, the fascination never left their eyes. Instead, a smile and a breathy chuckle filled the space between their slightly parted mouths.

When I saw you laugh, it took every ounce of me not to love you.

"I cannot seem to take my hands off of you, can I?" He beamed and placed his strong hands atop her waist.

She shrieked in mild surprise when Hríd lifted her off the ground. She embraced him tightly on reflex, but he pulled her head away from his shoulder and leaned his forehead against hers.

She gazed into his mesmerizing eyes. How lustrous his turquoise irises were; so rich and reflective of all the strength he hid behind his beautiful smile. Courage, honesty, confidence, patience. Selflessness. Passion.


When I saw you first, it took every ounce of me not to kiss you.

When I saw you laugh, it took every ounce of me not to love you.

And when I saw your soul,

it took every ounce of me.

"I love you." His three words, as gentle as hoarfrost on morning leaves, touched her very soul.


And the stars blinked as they watched her carefully; jealous of the way she shone.

"... Love you, too. More than anyone else in the world." She replied in a whisper; moist eyes gleaming like a familiar light amidst a blurry dream.

And what more to do to a beacon of light than chase its shine?

Hríd placed her back down and kissed her once more. Deeper, deeper. He nudged her gentler, gentler, until Kiran's back was firmly against the wooden wall.

He nuzzled his nose in her hair; inhaling her scent, "I wish to touch you." He stated gently as if asking for her permission.

She gave out a muffled giggle as she kissed his head, "Same sentiment."

"Then," He murmured lowly while his hands slipped under her coat to caress the curves of her waist, "I'll help you dress up for the New Year."

She laughed while her nimble fingers played with the belt safekeeping his kimono, "Help me? You wouldn't want me gallivanting around with an exposed chest, would you?"

"Mhm." He agreed wordlessly; still running his palms up and down her clothed sides, "Perhaps I should help you remove these heavy clothes instead."

"Say that before you actually remove it, dummy." She slapped his hand jokingly for already having stripped her of her coat.

He replied with a bite to her exposed clavicle, to which she rewarded him with a surprised moan. Her lewd, feminine voice sent tiny shock waves down his spine. The sensation encouraged him to further tease her with a long stripe of a lick from the dip of her collarbone to the receptive skin below her jaw. Meanwhile, his taut hands were fingering the hem of her top clothes; seemingly impatient to draw his fingerprints all over her skin. He was excited. She could feel it by the way his skin began losing its chill.

Kiran drew out a breathless mewl when Hríd suckled at the skin atop her heart. She squirmed in both pleasure and ticklish reception when he gave her a few tiny, feathery licks. She bit her lower lip. The thrill, the fever pitch that electrified her skin when his hands started to push her clothing upward was enough to make her whole body tremble.

And then he pulled it back down.

"On second thought, it would be best to keep your clothes on in case someone walks in." He commented passively but continued to stroke her stomach underneath her top.

She, however, was not at all passive.

"What do you mean? You didn't lock the door?"

"The concept of locks apparently do not exist in Hoshidan culture." He replied as if it was not a problem at all.

She looked at him incredulously, "And you're fine with that?"

Still, he appeared nonchalant. It was clear that his attention was not on what situation they were in, rather on fiddling to unhook the bra clasp on her back, "Yes. Why not? It’s not our first time making love."

“Our...activities don’t have any correlation with door locks!”

“I dare not say that after our little indulgence in a forest.“


Whatever argument it was that she was trying to convey, she was not able to say it. Her words drowned in her throat when he kissed her once more. When her breasts felt the familiar sensation of his large hands cupping them, her knees buckled and she had to grasp his shoulders for support.

Hríd rolled his thumbs over his lover’s pert nipples; relishing the way her hot breath steamed and decorated her reddened, wanton expression.

He bit his lip, svelte, as he pinched her rotund buds with his heated fingers. His left hand unlatched from her bosom and drifted to her side rib. He flickered teasing brushes to arouse her even more. And then, with a mild spell to chill his fingers, he lightly scraped his nails against her underarm whilst his tongue lapped at the sensitive spot behind her ear.

Kiran let out a delightful moan. The tune of her lascivious voice was exactly what her lover was aiming for. She really found pleasure in the merciless mixture of arousal and ticklish reception.

“Ah, Hríd...” She moaned through gritted teeth.

When he raised his hand to cup her cheek, she inclined her head to suck his thumb. She licked his fingers with a licentious flick, “Don’t tease me...”

He withdrew from her neck and switched his mouth’s attention to her cheek. He pressed his thumb on her tongue, gave her cheek a lingering kiss, and whispered enticingly into her ear, “Your voice is the seductress here. I’m losing all my self-control.”

His clothed pelvis ground against her pants as a complement to his confession.

“Should I help you with that?” She brushed her fingers over his noticeable erection.

He smiled. She really was always willing to go out of her way just to help others. But this time...

“I am already very indebted to you. I wish to start a New Year supporting you instead.” He said, not without a hint of pure adoration mixed with his lust-hazed eyes.

She uttered no more words and only watched as he loosened his hakama. He pulled it down just enough so that he could free his penis from its confines.

He rubbed his member’s shaft to relieve sexual tension, if only a bit, “Pardon me, I would like to...excite you, for a while.” He stated; smirk splaying, calm dissipating with his priapic mist.

Without waiting for her response, he swiftly pulled down her cotton pants. He thought she would have a hard time moving her legs with a bunch of cloth hanging between her legs, so he slipped it off her feet and carelessly tossed it to the nearest table. Now her lower body was naked except for her pink underwear. He snickered to himself; how cute.

Kiran peered at her lover curiously, “What are you going to do?”

Hríd smiled at her confidently, “I told you, I shall excite you.”

He took both of her hands. He placed her palms on his chest; making sure that she could feel his heart beating with her pulse. He took a step closer to her. After a peck on her lips, he guided his rapt penis towards her core; noting how much heat she was iridescently radiating, noting how her wetness was already leaking to her inner thighs. Her sleek juices made it easier for him to rub his member on her beguiling skin.

“Press your thighs together.” He guided her gently.

Kiran did, and he wasted no moment in partaking between her juicy thighs. His pace was slow. He was explicitly attracting arousal and extracting her carnal desires; going so far as to drag her hands through his well-built torso whilst he bucked in and out of her thighs. It proved to be effective, as seconds later his lover was already moving on her own. She was salaciously scraping her nails up and down the ripples of his abdomen, her tongue was desperately tasting every inch of his neck that she could latch on to, and her legs—her full thighs were rubbing together in response to his manhood’s sensual seduction.

And then he pulled at her panties to slip his penis between the cloth and her labia.

“Mn.” His groan rumbled through his throat, “You’re so wet.”

Her nectar was drizzling lavishly and lubricating his manhood; slathering it with honey to entice the bear inside him. Her heated flower was opening and closing every time he passed through them; hungry for more attention, swelling for pollination. He could feel the overwhelming desire welling up inside her. Filling, filling, brimming, overflowing.

She gasped, “Hríd,” she wrapped her arms around his neck, “Please... I, I...”

Hríd caught her as she shuddered against his chest. He smiled as he looked at her so disheveled--so undone within the aphrodisiac fog she was emanating. But it mattered not. He would just comb her hair back and kiss her forehead. She looked more beautiful than ever.

She was the most beautiful, complicated thing I'd ever seen--

With his fingers, he drew a long line across her drenched slit. He loved it when she bit onto his neck to muffle a squeal, but he loved it more when she breathed out a moan in reaction to his digits brushing her clenching walls.

A tangled mess of silky string--

Her clothed bosom pushed harder against his exposed chest; breathing ragged, left hand shaking as she reached desperately to his frenzied wrist. It took her all her weakened strength to remain standing amidst his passionate strokes.

And all I wanted of life was to sit down cross-legged,

"I love you."

And untie her knots.

And then his regal, debonair face gave in to euphoria when his manhood plunged deep inside the rose bed that was her core. It was good. It was so, so good to feel her stretch and curve and mold into the shape of him. She welcomed him snugly. It was as pleasant as sinking into a warm, cozy bed in the middle of freezing winter. No, much better.

She let out a loud, drawn-out moan with enough lasciviousness to electrify thrills through his veins, through his heart, through his stomach, through his sex. She gave him, a prince of ice, exactly what he so rarely experience in his life: a shiver down his spine. And he would experience it, again and again, until his heart was too weak to keep on beating.

“Hríd..!” She mewled.

He ran his shaky hands up and down the back of her thighs; appreciating her silkiness despite his clammy palms, “Kiran...”

In a moment of passion blazing through their cores, he lifted her legs and wrapped them around his hips. His strong hands gripped her buttocks; kneading mindlessly as he guided her up and down his stiff erection. The tip of his penis kissed the lines of her walls. He could feel himself writing love letters with his precum, and he gnashed his teeth in helpless pleasure when her vaginal walls squeezed to draw out more of his essence.

She clenched and unclenched around him. She grabbed and ungrabbed the strands of his lavender hair. She closed and unclosed her cherry mouth; breathing heavily and squealing unbridled whenever he slapped and bumped and ground against her swollen cervix. He was so good. He was so delicious.

“I can never...adjust easily to how big you are...” She whispered in between blissful moans.

He smiled while he continued to pound his hips with hers, “A tight fit as usual.”

“I like embracing you tightly...” She replied, “But I get so aroused whenever I hug you.”

He pushed her hard against the wall. The furious bucking of his length doubled in intensity when his lips crashed on hers. His tongue pried inside her mouth with the same rhythm as his penis ramming in and out of her scorching sex. His sharp eyes watched her squirm in filthy pleasure.

Her fingernails raked deep, red marks down the nape of his neck, “Yes..!” She let out a muffled scream, “Harder!”

And he did. With his might, he fucked her even harder. He pounded into her mercilessly—unbridled as he did in her fantasies. She squeezed him with just as much vigor; she kissed him with just as much passion. Their love was scalding and not even their clothes could separate their skin from seeking each other.

He brought his lips to the side of her neck and sucked at her delicate flesh, “I’m close.” He murmured desperately.

“Just a bit more..!” She replied hastily before reaching down to her clitoris and rubbing it furiously.

It really was only a bit more. Within just a few seconds of touching herself, she was already intoxicated with the building height of her peak. She was no longer uttering words. Her eyes were half-lidded, and she was only staying aloft with her beloved’s support.

Of all the things

you’ve said to me;

sometimes rainbows,

other times storms,

He cradled her with one arm; the other desperately fumbling to catch her hand. He weaved their fingers together. He was so fond of her warm hands. He was always so fond of the bloom underneath her chest.

it’s the red roses

you plant inside my heart,

that I remember,

every time you say

the words—

“I love you...” She whispered solemnly.

And I’ll spend this life nurturing the garden you sowed.

He kissed her lips tenderly, “And I love you.”

The gush of warmth inside her belly was a testament to their promise of tomorrow. It wasn’t a moment later when the warmth engulfed her—embraced her completely and beguiled her to sink into ecstasy with her lover.

And he was so damn good.

And as he laid her down on the table, her lips never once separated from his; except for when her elbow hit against the wood and they laughed at it together.

“As expected, your stamina lets you act as if nothing happened.” She commented; praising the obvious strength that he had stored in his well-built frame.

Hríd smiled while his thumb ran circles on her palm, “I need to have a solid foundation in case you require me for anything. Do not ever hesitate to call me if you...need help.” A suggestive smile played on his wet lips, “But on the contrary, you seem quite faint. Are you eating healthy?”

Kiran nodded thoughtfully. If anything, she believed she was a lot hungrier these days, “Yes, but I do think I’ve been feeling a lot weaker lately. I’ve also been having bouts of dizzy spells. And early in the morning, too. Those are especially horrible.”

“Morning?” Hríd echoed as his eyes narrowed. 

She reached a hand out to smoothen his tousled hair, “Yes, like some sort of morning bug... Oh.”

Her eyelids blinked in realization. Her bright irises suddenly turned towards his pair, which was equally surprised. They took a moment to absorb the silent news before he broke their staring contest with a gleeful chuckle.

His mouth, normally plastered with a neutral smile, was spread wide in an uncontrolled grin. He leaned down on her to tuck a stray hair behind her ear, “I suppose I now have a New Year’s resolution.” He pecked the tip of her nose, “To be a good husband to you.”

“W-what do you mean—“

“I’ll be needing my sisters’ help to have you say yes. I’ve little creativity regarding such things, but I believe they can come up with a fantastic proposal.”


Kiran’s words drifted away from her mouth when Hríd’s lips were once again nipping at her sweat-drenched tunic. Could he be..? She ran a hand down his midsection to check.

She laughed in amazement, “You’re already up and running.”

As his mouth traveled down, his pupils flicked up to meet her pair. His smirk was hidden but almost audible behind her ruffle of clothes, “There’s still an hour left before the clock strikes twelve.”

She bit her lower lip and smirked back at him. He licked his and opened his mouth to welcome the sweet, saccharine taste of her honey-drenched petals. His essence was still fresh inside of her, and just a little tease to her entrance gives way for his thick white seeds to drip down and—

“Big brother! Gunnthrá asked me to—“

Hríd was only able to react fast enough to cover Kiran’s legs with her coat.

But only silence prevailed followed by a hurried closing of the paper screen. The girl did not even bother to apologize; instead, she stomped away with hurried footsteps while screaming, at the top of her lungs, “Gunnthrá!! Fjorm!! We’re gonna be aunties!!”

“Wait, Ylgr!” Kiran scrambled to chase after the girl while simultaneously putting her pants on, but her beloved immediately grabbed her wrist to sit her down.

Hríd fixed his clothes and combed his hair with his fingers, “Fix yourself and sit properly.”


“Trust me.”

And, as soon as Kiran was able to wear her trousers back on, a series of heavy footwear banging on wooden floor was followed by a frantic sliding of the Hoshidan door.

“What is going on?!” Gunnthrá peeked at them; honestly looking more excited rather than reprimanding.

Hríd sipped a cup of tea gone cold. It was a miracle he reached it on time, “Whatever should be going on?” He questioned back.

Fjorm quaked. She appeared torn whether to feel scandalized or intrigued about her older brother’s love life, “But Ylgr said...”

“What?” The youngest sibling exclaimed, “But I swear I saw her lying down! His hands were on her legs!”

It was a blessing that Kiran had a hood. She was already blushing like mad. She could not even utter a word.

Hríd, on the other hand...

“Might you be seeing things, little sister? You arrived here ahead of us. Perhaps the festivities are getting to you? We’re obviously merely enjoying a pot of tea over a pleasant conversation.”

“About what?” The three sisters pressed in unison.

Hríd took his time to sip his tea. Kiran swore her darling had nerves of steel. She could not even look at his sisters in the eyes. There was no way they were going to wiggle out of this—

“About marriage.” He placed down his cup with much grace, “And baby names.”

The New Year had not even started yet the room was already filled with squeals and spastic girly noises.

Hríd could now understand why he could not make a selfish wish for himself: because he already had a perfect family to call home. Oh, and a new member too.