'My, look how big and strong you've grown, my son,' Arata's mamasan said with pride as she folded his kimono just so over his powerful, straight body. 'The time is near for you to enter Lord Oraruto's service.'

Both mother and son turned at the sound of the wheezing and hacking cough of the old one. Something they were saying had awoken her and set her off.

'Beware,' she cackled, shuffling up to mother and son. 'Don't listen to this woman, my grandson. And beware of the tea of the full moon.'

'This 'woman' is your daughter, old one,' Papasan exploded in anger from across the tatami mat. 'You will speak of her with respect. She has the family interests ever before her.'

'Family interests?' the old one spat out in derision. 'What are Yamashita interests to me and my blood? You were ever the climbers. You would do anything to be in Lord Oraruto's good graces.'

'And perhaps the disgrace of your family has its origins in not pleasing our daimyo,' Papasan spat back. 'Now be gone, you old crone. Your advice is not needed here.'

The old woman shuffled across the mat and disappeared behind a bamboo screen, but not before turning and pointing to her grandson and declaring once again, 'Remember what I said of the tea of the full moon. Beware.'

When she was gone, Papasan looked over his handsome, strapping son. 'Yes, I think your mother is quite right, Arata. I think it is time. Go to the family chest, Susumu, and help Arata pick out the finest of the family kimonos. And thank your mother, Arata, for thinking of and planning for your future and ours. I will climb the mountain to the castle and offer your services to our lord.'

'Arigato, Mamasan,' Arata murmured, not fully understanding why, only knowing that the Yamashitas had always served the daimyo of the Tokushima on the island of Shikoku and always would.

A few short weeks later, Arata was called for. He went around to his family members, saying his good-byes and gathering their best wishes. His mamasan's eyes were watery with the momentousness of the occasion, and his papasan's demeanor showed him that this was a time for steely resolve.

There was no old woman to see him off though.

'Where is she?' Arata asked with concern. 'Is she not well? I cannot believe she would not be here to wish me good journey.'

'She has gone to visit her family,' Papasan said with a set mouth. 'There was no need for her to be here.'

The fine silks of Arata's many-layered kimono rustled in harmony with the sighing of the swaying pines as he mounted the stone steps to the castle. He was a fine, well-muscled young man, and he moved quickly and with grace. He required no light, as the moon was full, beckoning him to the top of the mountain, to the daimyo's castle in the rustling pine forest.

Soon he was standing at the lowered drawbridge over a dry moat surrounding a high stone wall. The large wooden gates closed with a sense of finality after he had passed through them and was searched for weapons in a small courtyard just beyond. The grinding of the gates shut seemed to mark the separation of early life working in the fields, teasing the difficult land to yield succulent rice, and a life of privilege and opulence inside these walls. The plans and maneuverings of his clan, the Yamashitas, to have him accepted into the service of the daimyo had been intricate and delicate. Only the best-formed sons of the most worthy families were accorded this honor.

Arata was brimming with pride and curiosity and anticipation as he was led down the courtyard and entered yet another heavily gated entrance set at a right angle to the first at the outer end of the courtyard and entered into a wondrous world of delicate wooden pavilions interlocked and rambling across and melding with a fairytale landscape of gardens and groves of trees and rippling brooks and moonlit ponds.

He was guided through a progression of pavilions along a wooden walkway and into the center of a small grove in which old-growth bamboo shoots grew close together around a wooden platform jutting over a small, exquisitely designed pond. This obviously was a very private place. A tiered roof on slim wooden posts provided a covering for the platform, although there was an opening in the middle of the roof through which moonlight streamed down and concentrated on a single squat table between two billowy silken pillows. The hint of another pavilion nearby was the source of quiet, lilting music from a lute, which harmonized well with the sound of water passing into and out of the pond at some unseen source.

Seated on one of the cushions in a billowing pile if rich silk was the daimyo himself, Lord Oraruto. Arata recognized him from seeing the lord's lavish parades up and down the mountain whenever he traveled to the faraway court in Kyoto.

Lord Oraruto was a magnificent sight. Towering head and shoulders over anyone else in his retinue, he had a strong, stern face and was reputed to be perfectly formed. He certainly was battle tested; a warrior among warriors.

Now, however, he was alone on the tatami mat laid over the richly polished wood of the platform and seemed to be lost deep in contemplation. No one else was there, and when the escort had motioned Arata to the other cushion at the table, the two seemly were entirely alone, although Arata could sense lurking eyes of those ready to respond to the daimyo's every wish.

Arata had just arrived to take up service with his lord and he already was alone with the great daimyo. He was almost overcome with the honor of the occasion and the privilege that was being bestowed on him by a private audience.

The table was bare except for an exquisite tea set. Two squat tea pots and two cups, matched and intricately carved.

The daimyo said nothing. He just poured tea from one pot in a cup for himself and tea from the other pot into a cup set in front of his young visitor. A beam from the strong full moon poured through the opening in the pavilion roof and spotlighted the tea set.

Arata felt overwhelmed. His lord was offering him tea by his own hand. There was little in life more significant than this. This was nothing less than a marriage contract. Through this ceremony, Lord Oraruto was accepting the Yamashita clan's offering of their fairest son to the service of their lord.

Lord Oraruto motioned for Arata to take up the tea cup and to drink, and Arata did so with trembling hands. In turn Lord Oraruto took up his own cup and drank deeply from it. He was watching Arata carefully, though, as he drank his tea. And when the young man had finished, Lord Oraruto immediately poured him another cup and bade, with hand signals, for the young man to drink up, which he did.

The tea was sweet and intoxicating on Arata's tongue. He wondered where such a wonderful drink came from. It was putting him into a dreamy state, and he felt his senses sharpening. He felt almost as if he could rise and float over the fairyland set inside the daimyo's far-flung castle.

Lord Oraruto was smiling at him now, and Arata began to hear a slow, dull drum beat mixed in with the lute music from across the pond or was that just the pounding in his ears or of his heart?

The tea in the pot set aside for Arata was drained into the cup, and Arata drank the last of it, hungrily. Servants rushed in and swept away the table and tea set, but Arata hardly noticed their coming and going. His mind was dissembling, and his thoughts were fleeting. He was floating above all this and briefly hoped that his altered state of mind wasn't being noticed by his lord. He was slightly embarrassed, not being able to hold his tea. He had grown up on much stronger drink than this. He had no idea that tea could be so intoxicating.

Lord Oraruto had moved his cushion quite closely in front of Arata now, so that it was positioned where the tea table had been.

From the folds in his heavily layered kimono, the daimyo produced brush paintings on rice paper and turned them for Arata to examine. Arata blushed at what was being depicted in these paintings, but he was involuntarily aroused as well. That tea and its effect on his senses had dulled his natural aversion to what he had seen. He had seen such drawings before, but they had been very crude, not beautifully brushed as these were.

His eyes drank in the exotic couplings being presented on the rice paper, and he felt his body stirring as it did when he watched the young women of his village bathe themselves from the secret observation posts that he and the other young men had developed over generations of village life.

He heard more than felt at first the rustling of the silks. Those of the daimyo as his hands drew out of the folds of his kimono and then of the silk of his own kimono, as the daimyo pulled away the folds just enough for his hands to slip in.

More rustling and Arata felt strong hands on his body inside the billowing layers of silk. He felt he should be doing something in response, in defense, but the drugged tea possessed his mind and opened his sensitivity to the pleasure of touch, and his eyes could not tear themselves from the erotic paintings that had been placed before him. And arching over all of that was his sense of history, of the many generations of Yamashitas, whose fortunes now rested on him. The Yamashitas were being honored and given good fortune. He was being honored and given good fortune.

He felt the silks being pulled gently apart across his chest, and a single puckered nipple was exposed to the evening breezes and then, just as quickly as it appeared, it was covered with the daimyo's lips.

At the same time, the daimyo's strong hands had parted Arata's inner thighs and were taking possession of the young man's hardening cock.

Arata let the erotic paintings slowly slide out of his hands and he began to struggle mentally over what was happening, loving the touch on his cock and the sucking at his nipple, but knowing that this somehow shouldn't be happening. He was murmuring, thinking he was asking for this to stop, if only for the moment until he could adjust to what was to happen. But it came out more as sighs and moans. His mind was not yet fully lost, but his body was. He was responding to the daimyo's touch on his cock, rising to his touch and beginning to undulate at the hips. The beat of the drum seemed to meld with his responses to the touching. It increased the beat in both rhythm and intensity.

Lord Oraruto moved one of his hands away from Arata's member long enough to take his young 'offering's' hands and guide them into the folds of his own kimono, placing them on his own strong, erect phallus, giving his young recruit a good notion of the power and strength and determination and intention of him.

More rustling of silk and the kimonos became one pile of rich fabric now, patterns and colors melding together, still covering the two men fully except for that one nipple being brushed and suckled by searching lips.

But underneath, inside that merged collection of layers of silk, two bodies had come together. Arata was sitting in and straddling the daimyo's lap now and the daimyo was holding their erect cocks together and stroking them in unison. The beat of the drum increased, overpowering the strains of the lute, becoming louder and more insistent in its beat.

From somewhere in the folds of his kimono, the daimyo produced a magic lotion, a lotion he was now rubbing into Arata's virgin, puckered hole, making it loosen and widen and become a bit more numb. He was biting Arata's nipple now and fingering the young man's hole, taking slow but steady and relentless possession of his new offering with searching fingers.

Arata gave a muted scream of pain and filling as the daimyo lifted his hips with both of his hands and skewered him firmly on his powerful cock and pulled the young man deeply into his lap.

The young offering arched his back and his face turned skyward and was bathed in the beam of the full moon streaming through the opening in the pavilion ceiling as he began to move his hips, meeting the natural rhythm of his lord with that of his own, his fears and concerns melting away in a natural, primeval motion tracing its way up through the ages.

Rustling silk. Thrust. Moan. Drum beat. 'Beware the tea of the full moon.' Thrust. Groan. Drum beat. 'Beware the tea of the full moon.' Thrust. M-o-a-n. Drum beat. 'Beware . . . .' Aiyeeeeee.



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