The Champion's Companion 12

The Champion's Companion 12

Late summer in the Menthino was a busy time. Kaarthen found herself in the gigantic palace map room. The entire floor was a moving image in real-time of Menthino, ladders on rollers and map tables on wheels were along the walls. Marcos was dressed almost casually in a dark green silk shirt and black Safi pants.

The Queen and two princesses, Saliss the oldest and Ruegin, were with her listening to the annual plans of migration from the vast flood plains to Cardin. Three Hjordis in black Safi with their hair up in tight buns stood along the wall with Kaarthen. Marcos had also introduced an older gentleman named General Creighton. The general had an unnamed officer with him who took studious notes.

Prince Carthin, the sickly strange boy, was the only one sitting. He actually looked quite bored. He was still wearing his boots and riding pants and wore a striped tabard of black, purple, white, and gold. Kaarthen recognized it from the squires who worked around the Citadels wall.

She didn’t think he could even see the area Marcos had been speaking about for the last hour sitting in the back of the room. No one bothered to correct him, since the decision of who, or if he would marry was still undecided. After another hour, he decided to add his opinions much to Marcos’ irritation.

“Why do we evacuate before winter? The flood comes in spring.” He pointed out quite suddenly as Marcos explained shifted patrol routes for after harvest.

Marcos stopped and twitched a few times as the room’s attention turned to the sickly adolescent.

“The winter is fairly harsh, the ground freezes quick. If any groups have trouble along the journey, they will be in a much harsher environment. In addition, as they travel to Cardin or our other cities, they bring in their harvest to be paid for their writ. They do not have to bring packed meals, or hunt along the way so they usually travel faster.” The general answered for Marcos. It was a sound and correct textbook answer. Kaarthen had been taught the same during her time with Marcos in the library.

Prince Carthin considered this. The two princesses turned and started whispering unflattering comments among themselves. Marcos resumed talking and rounded to the annual spring offensive.

He was able to move the map up to look at the northeastern area of the border. Like a giant cross, the Ort came in from the west then arced north gently before turning and exiting south. The Moxle came north to south, and collected half a dozen small streams and rivers that flowed east before joining the Ort. A narrow minor river, which some called ‘the lazy’, flowed west from Alcanton, and joined the Ort’s flow south. The view stretched from their beach gap to middle of Alcanton in the east, and from the middle of Astrokos down into the northern floodplains of Menthino.

“I want to cross early this year with a fast group of cavalry. Boats will cross the gap in the Ort and we’ll move north and then directly east. This year they were slow setting in the fortified patrol bases. If they are slow, or not, we’ll cut east when they get themselves sorted, leave the horses, and ride the Moxle south to the Ort. It will be extremely important to at the very least, reach a stream with an east flow to the Moxle. In fact we’ll likely move along the first one we find destroying the bridges and charging a toll.” Marcos chuckled, the general ad his officer smirked with him, and Kaarthen sighed rolling her eyes.

“What’s so funny?” The prince asked. “How much would you charge?”

“The balance between life and death.” Marcos said cryptically. Kaarthen didn’t know what it meant, but she assumed it meant something to do with sex.

“That’s not funny. What does that mean?” The prince asked getting irritated.

“Perhaps we should break from this and take tea. It seems near lunch.” The Queen offered diplomatically. Everyone was inclined to agree with her.

They came out to a large adjoining meeting room with engraved wood paneled walls accented in gold. They were served tea while they waited for a cold lunch to be served.

The prince dictated the conversation with his soft-boiled politics.

“In Sellis, we watch Menthino and Astrokos closely. We understand that unlike the great wars of the past your country is locked in a constant war of attrition. How can you hope to win?” He asked as servants moved around them with tea and coffee.

Marcos answered in a forced diplomatic tone. “Astrokos has a history that we all share from their days as a true Empire. Their covenant the emperor swears to on his coronation promises a return to glory and demands expansion. Menthino is the largest block to that goal.” He shrugged. “They could attempt to take other lands first. Sellis or Munklin are across the mountains to the west but they can’t afford anything less than a smooth campaign. They could cross the mountains to the east of the Moxle and lay claim to the City-states on the east shore. Again, they would have to be successful or their army would starve. They need both sides of the fertile Ort to fund and feed an army.” Marcos explained.

“Why?” The prince asked interested as the room groaned.

The general interjected allowing Marcos to be served. “They live in frozen dry lands and on either side they have the mountains and glaciers of the chaos lands or the Moxle and the great eastern mountains. They don’t get much snow or rain trapped where they are and the dry air freezes everything. The fertile Ort gives them the food needed to survive up there. The people around the capital live underground. Only on the rivers and streams going to the Moxle to the east will anybody be above ground. They can also farm a little in that area, but not enough to feed an extra army. That is also where their Ort farmers live during the flood season.”

“So why fight?” He asked. Most of the room drank tea and listened to the byplay.

Marcos turned to him. “Don’t they know this in Sellis? Population control.” Marcos said dryly.

“What’s that?” The prince asked.

Marcs set his tea down and folded his hands. “The frozen lands don’t support much population. Few people can farm the land permanently. It is difficult to get people to not make babies.” The princesses’ chairs creaked as they shifted. “So, they need a system, or several systems, to control population so not everyone starves.” Marcos stopped hoping he said enough.

The prince clarified the obvious, “So they send people to die?”

“Yes, they have too. Don’t forget they have the underlying goal of world domination. They can relieve population pressure and perhaps make a lucky shot.” Marcos said leaning back.

Servants brought a light lunch and moved about serving the table. Kaarthen saw it was a portion of bluefish with red gravy atop a salad. She marveled at the presentation of the elegant dish.

“It seems harsh.” The prince said trying to get in a last word.

Marcos smiled thinly. “Life is harsh. People always dream of peace. The dream is shared by everyone. However, the ‘how’ is what gets people killed. The result is just as harsh as normal life. Usually not everyone feels peace is favorable for their situation. More likely, they feel that this or that person is an obstacle to the ‘ideal’ peace they could have. The result is always the death of the person who won’t fight over the illusion.”

“Fighting to kill like that is not honorable.” The prince stated as a matter of fact.

The Queen spoke up defending her policy. “Perhaps, but Menthino must protect itself. It is a huge disruption to have enemies running around when people need to plant or harvest. Famines start that way.”

The prince remained un convinced. “You could sell your food to Astrokos, and then you could have peace. The disruption for them sounds unfair, more people will die.” He claimed loudly. He seemed to think raising his voice would get the point across.

“Prince Carthin, we have considered your proposal. Too many negatives are on the balance. Menthino hasn’t found reason for trade. Astrokos does not make anything worth trading in Menthino. I believe Sellis can’t do any major trading with Astrokos either. The basis of this dispute is over strategic territory.” Marcos said diplomatically, “Secondly, if they feel the war is burdensome they are welcome to negotiation.” He said tapping the table. “Before you ask, we will not simply give them food. Their population will rise and they will then need more food in the future. Many countries and City-states have come to rely on our grains, wine, clothes, meats, oils, medicines, and vegetables. We also make a profitable trade for the magnificent horses Sellis is known for with our excess, among other things.” He finished thoughtfully.

“And yet those people starve? They could give up if you gave them something.” The prince pleaded.

“They could, but would they? They haven’t before and nothing is stopping them now.” Marcos paused. “Prince Carthin it seems you know much about Menthino from the outside. I think taking time with the Princess Ruegin and Nossin’s tutor will help you understand the thoughts we have when making our decisions.” Marcos said trying to wrap up.

“The young prince already has started studying with his peers the ways of this region. In a few more months he’ll understand the political dilemma more.” The Queen said with easy diplomatic grace.

“I think that there are many great ideas from Sellis that should be tried here.” The prince said finally changing the conversation.

“Menthino is in a completely different region and set of circumstance then your city. I’m sure we’re both doing the best we can.” Marcos said with mild exasperation.

Tension was starting to fill the room and only the Queen looked untouched. The general seemed most wary and watched Marcos closely. The Hjordis had stepped closer to stand a pace behind their charges. Their movement drew more attention to the prince who had no bodyguard. The Hjordis stood relaxed with their hands behind their back. Kaarthen had seen Remy do the same for a quick draw.

The princesses looked at the boy-prince as if he was some kind of unpleasant talking bug. Princess Saliss who didn’t have the worry of possibly being made to marry him seemed to smile in half amusement. Princess Ruegin looked on with nauseated annoyance.

Nobody thought this boy-prince with no home would push Marcos unnecessarily. He would have nothing to gain but embarrassment. But then, the boy didn’t so far show any traits to back that up.

“Tell you what,” Marcos started, his accent starting to slip. “I know you feel like sharing your thoughts. You must be home sick. However, I’ve been to Sellis, and I know things about it. Believe it or not, at one time I had to do what you’re talking about. I had to figure out what we could do to make Menthino more competitive. We used to sit around and borrow ideas from other countries around us and from the past. You’re young enough not to see the evolutions in policy countries go through. I can tell you honestly, there is not much that could be favorably changed in Menthino.”

The prince pounded the table and leaned in. “Still, if I was born in Menthino I wouldn’t be king because I can’t fight. That is silly because I can help in other ways. War is silly, I’m smart, and I could find peace.” Prince Carthin exclaimed. The entire room of chairs and clothes rustled.

Kaarthen wasn’t raised near nobles but understood the idea of the language of movements and tightly controlled self-presentation. Even sisters among themselves watched for extraneous movements or facial twitches that spoke louder than words

The Queen spoke up first. “There are things a king must do that require hardships. Only in this country is the burden so neatly arranged. Most kings don’t die in battle, but by the endless stress erodes the mind. Despite that, history shows that without the risk being felt by those in power dangerous careless decisions are usually made. That’s why our country requires the King to at the very least camp with the army. They don’t have to risk the front line but seeing the dead around them keeps the scales balanced. Death is not whimsical for us mortals. Seeing the face of those who may not come back keeps a good leader from sending them. Good generals are those who make every death of their soldiers expensive for the enemy.” Her tone was harder and held the attention of everyone. “You spoke of fighting and peace, I want you to fight and feel fear.” She rose.

The room followed her out through the palace to the Citadel’s wall. They stood on the opposite side of the gate facing south towards the Citadel. Under the shadow of the wall, the several square pits with metal barred doors were in a line along the wall. One had one man in a clean shirt and pants alone in shackles. Another had four dirty men who seemed to have been in the hole a while. The other pits were empty. A few yards to their left in the corner a gallows stood. The area to the right was clear and grassy; Kaarthen could see the tower easily in the corner to the right. She realized that the walkway with its magic was the barrier locking these poor souls in. Kaarthen could see a better spot along the interior of the wall for watching executions. Everybody seemed curious what was happening as well.

“A city guard was caught selling royal property. He was to be executed, but let’s see if he’ll educate. Young prince, that man is going to fight for his life. Like you, he has no country only his life he must defend.” She turned and waved over to the single man in shackles.

“Those four down their have been there since spring. There used to be five, but life was harsh for one of them. For you, they are the other peoples of the world, because truthfully young prince we aren’t alone.” She said waving to the four men who started to notice them.

She turned back and looked at her Hjordis “Draw,” the Hjordis drew her cutlass cleanly.

She blushed and seemed very self-conscious to have so much attention on her. She held the sword with her right hand and kept the point down across her body. Her left hand was up to protect the blade. Remy carried the same type. Straight double-edged rapier with a cutlass hilt, the blade was an inch and a half thick with a groove for weight. Kaarthen had learned they were mostly defensive weapons, and were built to be very sturdy.

“Perhaps this will teach you about fighting. Young prince, if that man dies, you will lose your life. He is your might, what keeps you free and alive, and his life is your army.” The Hjordis’ blade snapped to his neck. He twisted to stare at it and paled. The Queen winked at the Hjordis while he was distracted.

“I’m not well.” He said inching back.

“Of course no one feels good at the prospect of their death. Despite what the stories say fear and discomfort is normal.” The Queen said almost absently looking for an officer below.

“NNnnoo… I I I ca…can’t” He stuttered. He tried to turn and look at the Queen. “I can’t do this I have a condition” Kaarthen was surprised how demanding that sounded. The Queen ignored him.

Behind her, the princesses dithered on whether to come to the rail for the spectacle, or show proper ladylike reserve.

The Queen waved over a servant and cast him out to have the prisoners armed and released. A few moments later, an officer came up to hear her intent and take a signature as they were released.

“Now to make it fair, let’s discuss treaties.” She said turning to him. She wasn’t smiling evilly like Marcos. “Who will be your ally?”

Below, guards were placing ladders down the holes. The officer was yelling instructions to the prisoners. After he finished, he tossed in what must have been the keys to both holes. Another guard scattered swords sticking up out of the ground. Several others closed and locked doors around the wall.

The Queen prodded him. “You better hurry, you only get one. Despite the surprise attack, your military is relatively well trained and had a peaceful nights rest.”

“I…Ahhh.” The prince froze as everything happened.

The longest part of the fight was everyone getting up the three-meter ladders and getting a sword. They delayed the inevitable knowing they had to risk themselves to save their lives.

The Queen mused as they watched the men close and stare at each other. “There are a lot of pacifists on the battlefield in every war. No one wants to get hurt. But, once the killing starts, the only pleas are when death is unmasked. If some had swords and some didn’t, the results would be similar. Though, some would say less fair. They will start equal but you can’t maintain equality among men.”

One of the four was the first to strike. He was a dirty hunched man with a beard and torn brown rags. He stood behind one man wearing a grey sac tied with rope and another man on the left who was wearing black rags that left a shoulder exposed. The ones in grey and black were squared up to the former guard.

The man in brown who leapt forward didn’t connect his wild slash but it started the frenzy. The guard dodged right and made his own slash. A cry came out as the man in black caught the blade across his arm. He shrank back as the man in brown and the other in grey came charging. Behind those two, and moving with the fight, was a topless tanned man in dirty striped pants.

The postures were the same among all three. Both hands up in fists, as they crept forward. They crouched slightly and had the sword in their right hand. The lone man crouched very low, his sword was kept to his right hip. His left foot and arm were up to protect his face. He tried to back up and wheel around his attackers.

The group closed in cautiously now. They had tunnel vision and were standing more and more upright as they fixated. The guard jumped in with a quick thrust to their side and the three fell back all over themselves. The brown and the man in grey tangled as they tried to move back. The man in pants jumped forward and caught the guard’s leg with a shallow cut as he extended forward. The man in grey cleared after his stumble, took a swing at the former guard, and sliced his chest.

The one in black who was cut first made his dash into the fray. He came streaking in on the guard’s right. He made a deep slice up the former guard’s right side and in turn caught the wild slash across the gut. The one in pants flew in next with another thrust.

The guard stumbled back handily avoiding the thrust. He lashed out again at the man in black, who then fell clutching himself. The man in pants took a pause seeing this and waited for his two buddies to get into the fight.

The prison officer who was backed up against the wall now wore chest armor and shouted something. The reaction was a fight between the men in brown and grey. They tussled into each other swords forgotten. The former guard and the man in pants looked at each other. They struck out at each other at the same time.

They crossed swords and the former guard traded slices along the arm and shoulder as they broke apart. The man in pants seemed keen to avoid that trade again. He danced and feinted around. Finally, they both jumped together and the man in pants stabbed him deeply. They clung together and it was for a moment hard to see how much damage they inflicted on each other.

The prince sighed noisily and started to grow restless.

“You can’t do this please.” He tried to back up further and the Hjordis stepped in behind him. She stood side ways with her hip to his back pushing him against the rail making him bend over it slightly.

The two men had parted and the prince gasped when he saw his man impaled. It wasn’t an immediately lethal wound. They sword went in on his right just above his hip. The thick muscles there kept the blade stuck and the man in pants had let go backing away. The prince started crying now thinking the fight was over.

The two in brown and grey had settled their differences. They had rearmed and now the one in brown was lying in a heap.

“Two down three to go” said Marcos dryly.

“Perhaps a little bet?” The general’s officer offered hopefully.

“If the Prince loses would you send him to Lafaust?” Marcos asked the Queen.

“That’s ridiculous; people lose their heads with their country.” She said playing along.

“Nobles get taken as slaves too, but what would a noble who can’t fight do in Lafaust? Our army and its new officers can’t train with an enfeebled noble among them.” General Creighton said disdainfully. “The King would be within his rights to kill him for malingering, that law is still on the books.”

The man in pants was stuck down as he turned to run for another sword by the maniac in grey.

“Perhaps, he should go to Cardin and count the harvest, surely he can write and count.” The general added now. They watched as the former guard was slaughtered after frantically rolling forward and slashing at the man in gray’s legs.

The prince cried and screamed as the Hjordis pulled him down to his knees.

“What say you, Prince, of no lands or men?” The Queen asked stepping forward with her hands on her hips. “You and your army have been dealt a defeat. I would tell you that a great many lessons could be learned from the history of that great battle.”

She stared at him for a minute longer then looked up to the Hjordis and waved her over to her side. The Prince exhaled loudly when the Hjordis sheathed her sword and came to stand behind the Queen.

“I hope you girls learned something also.” The Queen said looking at her daughters. They both nodded gracefully.

Princess Saliss the older sister grinned slightly. “It was a unique battle that taught much on many levels. I have wondered who the prince from Sellis would marry.” Princess Ruegin looked at her sideways in warning. “Since he and my dear sisters are only eighteen,” Eighteen was legal age for marriage. “We have years to decide. I hope, despite his poor health, that he grows into a more worthy man in the coming years. Perhaps he can be of use in the defense of the laws of our great country.” She looked over and offered her sister a smile.

“Well spoken. What say you Second-Princess Ruegin?” The Queen asked, intentionally catching Ruegin as she relaxed.

“I have unborn brothers much more worthy of the crown then him. He really would be a stain upon the crown if he wore it. However, I feel that he hasn’t been pushed hard enough. Perhaps his body is weak, but great uncle Marnius the fifth was an excellent bowshot, even from a horse. The stories say he couldn’t even walk on his own, but still beat King Vellon the Cartier every time in archery and racing. I heard, he even beat him in a wrestle.” Marcos nodded thoughtfully.

Princess Ruegin continued. “Perhaps he should learn a different art to gain focus and concentrate the mind. Something that would be less trying and constantly demanding then armored swordfighting. It doesn’t have to be archery, but all he does is ride all day and claim we all know nothing.” She gestured to his pants. “He constantly bickers with the tutor. He always claims to know the truth of this world. He seems to think that Menthino is flawed because its trade, crops, laws, societal structure, and military are not identical to Sellis. He never wants to hear of the differences in regional neighbors, history, and climate. Perhaps, he should learn from the library where books make clear, plain, and…silent debates.”

“I am so glad to have two such well spoken, graceful, intelligent, gentle, and beautiful daughters.” The Queen gushed as she stepped over and hugged them.

The man in gray collapsed to his knees as they had been talking and seemed to mourn the loss of his ‘enemies’. He was led out into the castle by the officers.

Marcos and Kaarthen left after the demonstration.

“That was actually an excellent example of a four man war. Alliances collapsed, nations were wounded.” Marcos mused.

“Do you think it will help him?” Kaarthen asked finally as they walked the halls.

“He needs something, the politics are always shifting, and perhaps one day he will be able to return home. He won’t be able to hold the crown, or even his house with his feeble grasp of things.” Marcos said.

“Is he even sick do you think?” Kaarthen asked.

Marcos paused. “Who ever knows that could make some serious changes,” Marcos said. “He refuses to be seen. Princess Ruegin has made some petition for him to be trained until it’s proven what condition he has. That might kill him, but she seems to be gunning for that anyway.”

“Oh?” Kaarthen said joking. Anyone in the castle has heard of a nameless royal making quiet inquiry for an ‘event’ involving a noble in certain guest apartments. The prince is the only noble who lives in those particular apartments at the moment, and only Princess Ruegin would be motivated enough to pull the strings.

They arrived at the tower after supper and moved to the library. Mara wandered the tower naked and found them through Kaarthen, using her own will as she does sometimes now. Marcos took his seat sitting sideways at the desk. Mara kneeled between his legs and went in for his cock. She quietly unbuttoned his pants and hefted out his cock with his warm heavy balls. She sucked each ball as much as she could since they had grown too big for her mouth. After wetting and stimulating them, she turned to the shaft. She suckled him in long savoring licks and sucks as he spoke.

“After the Queens demonstration, it’s become clear the young prince needs leadership training.”
Marcos said quietly.

“He needs a lot of things. I would kill him if I were out on a hunt. He needs to be ‘culled’.” The former Huntress remarked.

She watched and felt Mara take him into her trained bottomless throat. Marcos’ head wobbled slightly and his feet started to dance.

“Well it would seems, he is going to Cardin now and we shall too.” Marcos muttered quietly trying to control himself. Mara was fucking her face onto him and making loud wet noises as she slurped.

“This will be like a dry run as I take a retinue on my travels.” Marcos said and slouched back in his chair. Kaarthen looked at him happily and licked her lips. Marcos was near the end.

Mara really tried to work him quickly and Marcos was significantly harder than anyone she served before. In a weird way, the former sex slave admired his ability to always make her work. His status was proved to her by his long stamina.

Nevertheless, eventually as always, he exhaled noisily and thrust up into her shooting his massive load down her waiting throat as she clamped her mouth onto him and gulped him down. Marcos spoke up after that and Mara kept his cock in her mouth swirling the head trying to keep it hard.

“With the end of summer, the duties of the princesses take them to Cardin for the Harvest festival and storage inspection and inventory valuation. The decision this year was only complicated by the insistence that all princesses go. For security purposes, the Crown Princess and all the other heirs travel separately. That is not necessary on the barge, but in the confusion of the massive sprawling city of Cardin during harvest, it’s pretty important.” He explained. “The simplest solution was to leave Saliss. It was agreed since she had done this work five times prior she would only do the festival ceremony on the last two days.”

“In two days we’ll leave and for two weeks count and inventory the largest migration of people to ever happen annually.” He said finally. “Mara let’s get up stairs.” He added grinning down at her. Kaarthen was glad he was affectionate to his fuck pet. Things for the girls were pleasant and the routine comforting.

Rinis, in situations like this discussion, could lay out her clothes and run a bath in Marcos’ chambers as they returned from the library. Ein had lately discovered the upstairs library of forbidden arts. She spent hours pouring over the sciences of things like stars in the sky and the movement of energies. It had helped Kaarthen’s understanding of the natural world, and in turn Kaarthen had helped her with the language of the gods. They both learned a huge amount about the details of the world around them.

For the up coming journey Marcos planned, Kaarthen was made to wear her Safi and the robe. She had tried just the robe and boots but Marcos didn’t want her so exposed during the high profile visit. He did however agree the look of boots and just a robe was fine for anywhere else, so long as the princesses weren’t being escorted.

The three angels had all progressed to extreme proficiency with their weapons. Marcos had confessed long ago that they were indeed worthy to accompany him.

Aside from carrying Lourndai, Kaarthen now carried a long curved double-edged dagger and two dozen small throwing knives. Marssel had dipped the long dagger in sappy poison resin she made for her. She was surprised to forget that all of these bubbly sexually preoccupied women could kill the whole city off if given time.

Kaarthen’s ‘three little angels’ all wore fitted Safi. Over that, they wore robes similar to her and Marcos’ trimmed so that the back came around the sides of the front. The sides that previously hung open became front facing slits. The robes hung to the ground as was proper for the style they wanted to mimic. The three were glad the armor padding didn’t extend that far.

Marcos had suggested making their robes reversible black with elegant trim on the outside. Eventually the material got too heavy with the needs Marcos was foreseeing. Two robes were made for each. One black with everything a girl would need for the end of the world, and slightly shorter in length. Another in purple for Mara, dark green for Ein, and dark blue for Rinis. The robes also had fake sleeves, long stylish flaps with loose loops for the wrist and elbow. The style made them look like proper shapeless coy young noble women. Kaarthen had almost kept Rinis in black to act as a maiden or a servant.

They all carried a curved specialty sword and two similar daggers to Kaarthen’s in their robes. Under or behind the armpit, the full length sword hung upside down. A twist lock kept the blade in. Marcos added a small pocket to catch the handle, but intentionally made it difficult to use since he didn’t want any one messing with their robe when the time came. Ein and Mara also carried two dozen small throwing knives. Ein favored small stiletto like darts while Mara favored small knives with handles. The weapons became armor by themselves.

They were all fully dressed and prepared on the day when they met the two princesses and the boy-prince.

The princesses looked similar but Ruegin was taller and had darker hair. She wore gold and brown riding clothes that went up to the neck. Together they looked older then their eighteen years.

Nossin was lighter with wavy flaxen hair like Saliss. Her skin was also very pale unlike Ruegin and Saliss who had decent tans. Nossin was noticeably airy and frivolous. She wore riding skirts with a comfortable linen top that badly needed a modesty panel. The front was made of stiff coarse linen the wrapped in from the back over the sides of her shoulders and met in front loosely. She wore a white shawl with a pretty design over her shoulders.

Her bosoms didn’t come near the size of Kaarthen or Mara’s. Nevertheless, she had the cleavage the other two in robes didn’t. She seemed unconcerned with Marcos who stood next to her breaking his neck trying to catch a pink nipple. He leered and grinned insipidly the whole time as the section officer in charge of the barge was introduced and a reported the planned schedule.

The Hjordis stepped in front of her eventually, blocking Marcos who was about to fall in to the princess’ blouse. The two wore metal plate armor. It protected the neck, chest, waist, shoulders, and arms. They both wore buns as always, and had dyed their hair black. Their armor was cleverly covered by a tight padded wool blouse of brown and gold that buttoned over their armor. Only a black steel gorget around their necks was naked. It had an etched design to appear like a silvery necklace. The blouse covered down past their hips. They also wore black Safi pants and thigh high brown riding boots.

Kaarthen noticed that Princess Nossin’s Hjordis carried a long straight dagger on the left hip with her rapier. Princess Ruegin’s carried a small dagger on her left hip and two rapiers on the back of her right side. Both Hjordis’ had several long, thin, pen-like, stilettos around their sleeves that appeared part of the striped design. From a distance, they appeared to simply be noble women in riding dress.

The prince rated his own bodyguard for the trip. He hadn’t become able to defend himself yet. For discretion, they didn’t assign a Hjordis. Rather than give him a detail from the Palace guard that was inconspicuous, the shift officer had saw the word prince in the title and sent them a walking stone tower. The officer had tried to dress him inconspicuously. After failing that, he then tried to make the two-legged tree into a warm rich uncle. The look he gave off was a well-heeled slaver. The giant would have to be guarded or the city guard would put a detail on him.

Marcos sent back the tall imposing Palace guard with the iron chin. He instead detailed Ein to protect the boy over his vehement and emasculating protests of fairness.

“Ein, you now rate to carry a rapier. Give the card the man had to the quartermaster and draw one.” Marcos said.

The palace guard, who looked like a retired pirate captain, gave her his signed letter of authority over the boy making it official. The two princesses giggled at the spectacle. At nearly five feet Ein could kiss the shiny belt buckle the well to do barbarian wore. The palace guard, turned shady brothel proprietor, grew a new bulge as he looked down at her cute blonde head. She blushed and quickly ran off to get the sword.

The prince started tugging on Marcos to get attention. “Hey! How can she guard me? I demand to have a real guard! You’re not treating my security fairly!”

Marcos swatted the idiot back. “No young prince, you’re not treating your security fairly. The men of this kingdom do not travel with bodyguards they have squires and aide de camps. They do not dandy about in light riding gear across the kingdom, they are tasked in armor and tabards. I will not pull off a Palace guard for a post he isn’t completely prepared to fill. You should be the one with a sword not the girl.” Said Marcos, mimicking him with a well-bred accent. “If you continue to protest I’ll have you ride in a convalescence carriage for the remainder of the assignment.”

The pale prince shut up as Ein returned. Marcos knew he thought she was only his age. Not a six hundred year old former vampire trained to the razors edge of lethality. He considered taking away the poison dagger she had, but figured it would only help.

They walked quickly to the canal. The palace had its own barge that had been prepared for the journey. The shape was a rectangle with a shallow draft. The sides had lowered walkways for crew. The barge sat on them like pontoons and giving it an elevated center. The center platform was a squared and was hip height to the men standing in the lowered aisles. The front area was enclosed for rain with a lowered room for service preparation. A sunshade of light purple linen had been rolled out connected to it. The luggage lined the back end creating a low wall. Between the luggage and the enclosed area, heaps of pillows made the journey comfortable. They were able to feel the cool breeze coming off the water.

They were able to sit in the shade and eat a light lunch. The tide had not yet turned and they rested comfortably. The young prince quickly became seasick and tried to get off the vessel. Marcos told Ein to restrain him.

“We don’t leave the vessel until Cardin young prince, show some poise and self control.” Marcos sneered.

He purposely sat in back near Princess Nossin on the right side of the ship. In the shade, her pink nipples were quite visible in the light linen she wore. He was blocked by her Hjordis who nearly sat on his lap to give her lady some privacy. Princess Nossin seemed untroubled by the events and reclined into her pillows for a nap.

Marcos eventually turned away and looked at the remaining people around him. Near the front, Ein sat with the prince who tried to keep his eyes closed and leaned back on the enclosure. Along the left side of the barge, the Hjordis sat next to Princess Ruegin. Kaarthen sat near them but faced more towards Marcos with mirth in her eyes. Rinis sat to Kaarthen's left looking back at the palace and over the water. She had pulled her knees up and looked like a shapeless ball with a head poking out. Mara sat looking directly at him, her legs were spread with her left knee up. If not for her pants and a pillow corner, he would have seen what she offered. He felt suddenly sensitive to how exposed they were. Motivating people to sex in this situation was hard with all the attention and the lack of privacy.

The tide, that came in all the way from Pessilberg drove the barge. In several hours, four liveried oars men would have to hook the low iron sawtooths along the sides of the canal to pull the barge. They had long poles with C shaped hooks to help push and pull. Working together, the barge would move at quick speed gathering momentum along the wall. The canal was fifty yards wide and the opposite side was walled and lined with the temples and warehouses that depended on the waterway.

The barge cast off as the prince moaned. Princess Ruegin spoke to Kaarthen and her Hjordis about the art of warehouse inventory, various crops yields expected, the problems of rats, other pests like thieves, and different styles of index. Behind Marcos, the Hjordis laid on her side to create a wall for her lady. Princess Nossin slept comfortably and untroubled.

Marcos scooted down and over, laid his head on the Hjordis’ thigh, and snuggled up to her ass. The barge was very still and quiet as they glided north along with the tide. A slow tempo of soft clanks was heard as the boatmen kept the barge along the wall.

Hours later, the sun was setting and the clanking had picked up. The southbound traffic flowed along riding the tide out. The boatmen worked in unison now keeping the craft moving upstream now. The barge’s pontoon design controlled drag and pitch, as the craft kept momentum against the current. The four boatmen worked with practiced ease mostly working to keep the speed up as they glided.

Princess Nossin was still asleep. Under Marcos, the Hjordis was so tense she seemed about to explode. He eased back, caught Mara’s eye, and gestured for Rinis. He had them sit next to him at the Hjordis’ feet.

Kaarthen watched through Rinis, as Mara leaned in, exposed his cock, and sucked it into her mouth. Their bodies made a wall blocking her, the prince, and the princess’s vision. The Hjordis lying down was extremely aware of Marcos through all this. The sounds she heard were obscene. Kaarthen didn’t even realize she had slipped into the woman’s mind until she realized the Hjordis was a virgin. She also rarely engaged in Sapphic play.

Marcos’ hands had moved up and cupped her ass. She wasn’t allowed to stab him, but she pulled a stiletto and did it anyway. Marcos merely hissed and shifted lower and lay across her legs. The look he made over to the princess must have been pretty raw. The Hjordis leaned in and embraced the young princess for security. He wasn’t as aware as the Hjordis or Kaarthen that for her to move would mean the debasement of the sleeping princess. Princess Nossin dreamed peacefully and rolled into the Hjordis, unwitting of the battle over her.

As Mara continued to work him with her bottomless mouth, Marcos got braver. He leaned up on the Hjordis’ legs and groped her ass. They both stared at each other. The Hjordis looked on in trepidation and shock as he eased his hand around and boldly untied her pants. With sharp tugs, he exposed her ass and hairy pussy.

She pulled the supple princess tightly to her bosom as Marcos crawled over them and settled behind her. He laid back and allowed Mara to lean in and furtively wet his cock. Rinis could see the stupefied Hjordis was wide eyed as he rolled in and found her center with his fingers. She jerked and gasped when he found her maiden head. He actually stopped and thought about it watching her.

She lowered her head over the princess and rubbed her for reassurance.

“You owe me for that little prick earlier. You aren’t fit to guard a heir.” He whispered gruffly.

She turned her head to him looking shocked and whispered. “Milord, don’t do this to me. I’ve served well. I can’t leave in disgrace.” She cried. Marcos rolled back taking pressure off her.

“You’ll have to serve me. It won’t always be like this, but, don’t ever forget yourself.” He said.

She cringed and shut her eyes tightly before nodding tightly after a moment. “Yes Milord, I will serve.”

“Good, by the time we return to Mavvus you will be released. I want you to continue your duties. Remember the covenant we agreed too is inviolate. I won’t have you running and whining about something you clumsily started.” He said leaning back into her. He groped her as and dipped a finger into her. “Your body is warm.” She flinched and blushed

“Are you ready to serve?” He breathed into her ear.

She answered by reaching back for his cock slowly. He grabbed her hand before it reached him.

“What is your name?” he asked looking down at her ass.

“You are kind Milord. I am Jilleta from a hamlet outside Leethon.”

“Good women come from there,” Marcos said rolling into her. He clamped her wrist to her hip as he breached her. Mara pulled her bottom leg back so she rolled under him as he leaned over.

To her credit, she didn’t cry out as he fell into her. No tears came down. She blushed so hard her head had white veins. As he thrust into her, he let go of her arm and reached down for her clit.

Kaarthen could see this fulfilled several fantasies of the young woman. Despite her lack of experience, she had a strong feeling she was exclusively interested in men. She always wanted to be apart of some palace intrigue, and Marcos offered something both dramatically dangerous and straightforward. She felt she could get through it, even enjoy it, and no one would know or get hurt. She was also having sex in public, outdoors, on the job, holding her charge.

Jilleta quickly found she like sex so far. She seemed lost in thought as she reached back and rubbed him as if she expected him not to be there. She felt his heavy swollen balls on her thighs as he stirred himself within her. She worried about pregnancy but idly wondered if that is what the North tower is for. She tried to stay quiet but after a several steamy minutes a few explosive gasps burst out.

Princess Nossin came awake as Jilleta choked, grunted, and gasped through an intense orgasm. Jilleta in her climax had squeezed her head to her armored breast a little too tightly. Her small hands came up to the arms around her as she tried to puzzle out what was happening.

Princess Nossin had turned around to see her Hjordis breathing hard and moaning with her eyes clenched. She looked oddly at her pants lowered to her knees and Marcos’ arm wiggling between her legs.

Kaarthen wished her robe covered her body like Rinis’. She wanted the privacy to masturbate from this in the worst way. She been patting and rubbing the pillows around her for several minutes as she watched. Kaarthen got an idea from looking at the princess who was studying harvest reports of the last decade and put a pillow on in her lap. She wriggled her pants around her wide hips trying to look up stream in feigned nonchalance. Her twitching pussy was drooling hungrily as she dived in. She felt it work her digits with a mind of its own.

Rinis watched passively as Princess Nossin leaned in and kissed the suddenly surprised Hjordis. Marcos felt her clamp up and looked over. He grunted and came as he saw the princess on hands and knees, nipples exposed, kissing her bodyguard mid-coitus.

Kaarthen had Mara clean Jilleta up when Marcos sat back. Jilleta gasped as Mara created a vacuum in her gooey hole before licking clean the hair and inner lips. Princess Nossin crouched over her and watched Marcos’ strange and fascinating cock. She climbed onto Jilleta’s back and grabbed him. He flinched and softly pulled her head in once he saw her wide eyed face. With little urging she sniffed it and started sucking it like a natural.

Marcos’ ten inch cock grew hard as iron from the royal treatment. He laid back and was surprised when the princess swung around to mount him. They wrestled for a moment, Marcos knew he didn’t want to scandalized the girl. Finally, he fingered her and offered his cock for her to suck again. She threw herself into it and he came roughly humping and gagging her face. After he was done, she laid back diddling herself and trying to get him hard with her hand.

Jilleta didn’t realize the ironic situation taking place on top of her. She was discovering what a six-hundred year old sex slave that fed off cum could do with her tongue in a creamed hole.

Across the barge, Kaarthen rode a stealth orgasm. Upriver they were approaching Tilin where they would sleep for the night. Overhead the sun was setting.

I hope people enjoy this. People who post these stories are looking for many things. I just enjoy comments, and knowing people enjoy the story.

I would like to know, if you do Jack/Jill off that the stories help. If, as you are enjoying yourself, you peal another layer of the dark onion and think to yourself "wow, if only they....".

Leave a comment. You're likely not alone.

It may not be in every segment, but you will certainly see your fetish. I write because I haven't seen non-consent, rape, impregnation, with large/ muscular women in enough stories.

So please enjoy and comment freely.

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