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The Inquisitor (Chapter 18)
[italics] The heat shimmered over the desert sand, hot sunlight bending around it, forming pools of witchy water, melting away as he drew closer. His cloak steamed out behind him as he rode, urging his mount onward at top speed. Behind him, the roar of hoof-beats and war blended into a cacophony of great sound.
Onward he surged, armour gleaming in the desert sun, sword raised high above his head as he charged up another dune. Reaching its crest, he hesitated not a moment as his steed sped down it's slope. At it's base lay death. A great line of men and machine, of steel and arrow, of shield and bone and flesh and hate, lay waiting for him below the great dune.
Behind his came his army, steel raised high, cries of men as they joined him in the rush toward the enemy. Rows and rows of heavy horse, teeth filed to points, shoes of iron honed to razors edge, bearing down upon the men below.
The enemy raised great wooden pikes before them, and into them he charged, sword flashing as cleaved men's heads from their frame. Heavy horse and men impaled upon the stakes, but on they came, crashing into the line of battle with sheer force of will.
The clash of steel and the cries of men rose into the unforgiving desert air. High above circled the carrion birds, waiting for the dust and hate to clear, before claiming their own spoils. Battle cries all 'round, and shrieks of pain as sword met flesh. His mount rained destruction before him, her teeth tearing, her hooves slashing with the strength of a hammer, his sword reaping men as wheat. All about struggled mighty men and their fierce desert opponents, each determined their enemies blood to drink full.
Surging between defeat and victory, the battle raged on. Men fell, arrows bristling from chests like pins in cushions. Limbs and hands and heads lay heaped upon the sand, soaked bright red with the blood of combatants.
His mount faltered beneath him, her belly slashed wide by the curved sword of an enemy. Leaping from her, he dove headlong into the fray, slicing great arcs with his red sword. The tide seemed with him and his men, and the enemy gave up ground by the yard instead the inch.
Then all at once the air was torn by the sound of many trumpets. His eyes beheld with dread the battalion of reserves, crashing into their weak flank, sawing their way through his men in a great dagger stroke, followed by yet another on the rightflank.
The battle was lost, his men doomed. His eyes closed as the angry hands of his enemy closed round him, beating him downward... downward... downward. [end italics]
The princess awoke with a start. By her side, Chrysanthemum slept restlessly, slight whimpers slipping past her slumbering lips. The princess felt gooseflesh spring up on her forearms and neck, and she hugged herself tightly to ward them off.
The dream left her strongly shaken, its violence affecting her even in wakefulness. So fresh in her mind, she could still hear the ring of steel against steel and the growls of men locked in combat.
It took several moments for her to realize the sounds came not from her mind, but from outside. Rousing her maid, she in turn helped Chrystanthemum don fresh clothes and pulled back her wild hair. As the princess attended the maid, she noticed her golden locks of hair were shot through with many streaks of grey. As the maid stood, the princess noted with alarm her maid's frail appearance. Even her faced seemed drawn and aged.
In a moment the withered look faded from the maid's face, but the streaks of grey stood out almost white amongst the golden strands.
"Fear not, my love." Soothe the maid, sensing the apprehension of the princess. "All will be well." The princess questioned her again, fearing for her love, but the maid would say no more. As they gathered their things and left their empty tent, the princess noticed the maid walked with some difficulty, and therefore she drew the maid to her side, to carry some of her weight.
Outside, they found the men of the camp engaged in what could only be described as pitched battle. Swords clashed against shield, men tilted toward each other on jousting runs, archers pulled bowstrings taut towards targets made of thick wood, the bolts striking the bulls eye with a loud thunk.
From their side came the deep voice of Tymrilll, the chieftain.
"Ah, good morrow, ladies." He said with a deep bow. "My deepest apologies if my men woke you." He gestured toward the soldiers.
"They train for the tournament. Look how even the lesser men give our champions a good showing." His booming voice rumbled with deep pride as he watched his kinsmen.
"But come, my ladies. The sun has already risen high, and you must be off to your own keep. I am sure your Queen will want to hear of our talks, and you..." he said drawing near to the princess, "will need to prepare. My champions fight with the strength of ten men, and each wants his own share of your prize." Though his voice dripped with lust, his eyes held a secret knowledge, and he gave an imperceptible nod towards the princess.
In a flash it was gone, and he was ushering them through the camp toward their horses. "Your mounts have been watered and fed, and they champ at the bit... so eager are they to return you home. Your prince Tar Quinne has ridden on ahead, but see," He pointed to a distant hillock. "He awaits you there and will travel on with you hence. Here... two of my men will accompany you. The guards who came with you have... gone on ahead as well."
The princess eyed Tymrilll with suspicion, but something in his eyes told her of his genuine feelings and she allowed him to hoist her onto her steed. Tenderly, he swooped the maid into his arms, and placed her in her own saddle, his hands remaining to steady her.
As they turned to go, the great chieftain whispered something to the maid. Though she could not be sure, she thought she heard him say something like "Sleep well, my Queen."
The princess plied the maid with her eyes for an answer, but none came, and at last, she sighed, steering her mount down the pathway toward the distant hillock where Tarquinne stood.
They rode in silence for a while, one of Tymrilll's men taking up position before them, and the other dropping back behind. As he rode, his eyes strayed now and again to maid's swaying bottom, and he smiled to himself, recalling the pleasure of the night before.
As they rode along, the princess could see the maid was pained. Though she felt deeply for the maid, she knew she must be sore for the night's revelry. Despite herself, she felt her nipples harden as she recalled the sight of her beautiful maid, savagely pleasuring those men. A momentary flash leapt across her mind, thinking of her own lust before her own crop of men, the taste of them still on her tongue, and a delicious image of them claiming her as the tournament prize crept unbidden into her thoughts.
Onward they rose, as the sun crept higher. The hillock they had spied from the outlander's camp seemed closer, but still looked a good distance away when they reach the noon time.
The maid suddenly spoke up, proclaiming that she and her charge needed to rest, and take some food. The outlanders who rode with them felt no great hurry to catch up with the young prince. In fact, each man harbored his own desire to cleave that false smile from the prince's simpering face. They found a lovely thatch beneath a large oak, and dismounted, the men breaking out foodstuffs from their saddle pouches.
The princess found the maid already seated on the soft grass, and slid in beside her, bearing a crisp apple for her love. The maid smiled sweetly to the princess, and again, she caught a momentary flash of aged skin on her maid's face.
"Thank you, my love..." said the maid weakly. "I have no doubt that is the sweetest fruit in the realm, but I need something else to sustain me this day."
The princess furrowed her brow, knowing they had not brought any great feast with them in their small pouches.
"You must eat, my love." She told the maid. "You look weary... like you've walked a hundred leagues."
To this, the maid smiled again, laying a soft hand upon the princess' cheek. "A hundred leagues and more, my love." She said, her voice growing serious.
"But you must hearken to me now. The time grows short, and my strength fades. I must... I must take sustenance... to regain some strength. We will need it before it is through. Now, you must trust in me, even though you may not understand."
The princess nodded to the maid, though she indeed did not understand. Her confusion grew as Chrysanthemum bade the two outlanders to come close, and sit with them under the shade.
When all had found a comfortable place, the maid rose, and slid down between the two lounging men, whispering soft words to each in turn. They princess's eyes grew wide as she saw the men grow hard under their tunics, great cocks standing strong under the leather thongs which hung from their sturdy belts. All the while the maid continued to whisper and coo, her hands sliding over their bodies.
The princess' jaw hung open in shock as she watched the maid swallow one of the men's hard cocks to it's hilt, her head bobbing up and down. His head lolled side to side as she took him in, slick saliva running down its shaft before being swallowed again. Soon enough, his frame went rigid, and he cried out as he shot hot load of seed down her throat.
Without a beat, the maid left him panting, and turned to the other man, who already had his own cock out for her. Her tongue slathered over its head, still sticky from his compatriot's pleasure, and then sank it deep into her mouth.
The princess could feel herself grow excited as she watched the maid slide his massive member down her throat, her own body quivering with each sight of the maid's pink tongue as it flicked back and forth over the man's erect pole. Her hands grasped it's shaft and slid up and down, jerking it towards her waiting mouth, her tongue probing his cock's opening, until at last, she pulled him deep into her mouth again as he released into her.
With a shudder, he fell back against the grass. The maid daintily stood, her delicate finger coyly dabbing the corner of her pink lips, savouring the last little bit of him. To the princess's surprise, the grey streaks in her hair had softened greatly, replaced by rich golden strands. Equally surprising were the faint grey streaks in the hair of the men she'd just pleasured.
The maid returned to the princess, lightly plucking the apple from her hand, and taking a great bite, its juice dribbling on her chin, before handing it back.
"Ah..." the maid exclaimed. "Delightful!"
She turned and spoke words of gratitude to the men, who returned them with their own grateful praise. The bewildered princess looked from the maid, to the men, and again to the maid.
"Trouble not your thoughts, my love," soothed the princess, pulling her to her feet. "As I said... I needed... sustenance. We have far to go, and these men have done more for me than any sweet fruit could do."
Her eyes sparkled as she spoke, and her steps seemed quicker and lighter, as they finished the noon-time meal. As they packed, the men exchanged befuddled looks, before eagerly munching on dried meats and fruits as they resaddled the horses.