Authors: Lazlo Ferran
Tags: #erotic, #military, #history, #war, #russia, #princess, #incest, #king, #fortress, #sword, #palace, #asia, #shamanism, #royalty, #bow, #spear, #central asia, #cannon, #siege, #ghengis khan, #mongol
As I looked at the four neatly wrapped bodies, laid out on trestles in a tent, I felt the great cost of this battle, to our Country. It was as if a great tree had had its main branches hacked off leaving only two left. Could it possibly survive?
That night I gathered all the men together and after a few prayers of remembrance for the lost Generals, I told them that we would build a permanent settlement here and as a reward to all the men, each man could claim a parcel of land equal to one square verst. There was more than enough land between the old river bed and the mountains and I thought it would make good farming land. The men cheered and shouted “King Vaslav, King Vaslav.”
After this I announced that the next three days would be days of celebration and they were to drink and eat as much as they could and do as little work as possible. Again there was a great cry and when I dismissed them, the revelry began.
There was much singing and dancing and I heard many lurid songs about the Princess as I walked about the camp.
I found Ahmed and his family, still intact and the little boy ran to embrace my legs.
“Hello. I am glad you are alright.”
“Oh it was nothing! We killed a few of the enemy but we are alright! My Father killed three of them!”
His mother and father smiled at him.
“Ahmed. I am glad your family is well. Have you time to walk with me?”
“We are all glad you are well.” He said. “Yes, I will walk with you a while.”
When we were alone I asked Ahmed. “Is it true? Did you kill three?”
“Oh. I may have. I am not sure.”
I stopped him and he turned to face me. I looked into his weather-beaten, but still young, face and his brown eyes showed a new pride.
“You have rediscovered yourself.” I said.
“No. I think I have discovered something. It was good to fight for your Country.”
I was sure this was not the thing that he had discovered but nevertheless he was trying to tell me something.
“It can be your country if you want. I give you one square verst of this land, as your own, as I have given all the other soldiers.”
“I am honoured and grateful for this gift. I will consider it.”
“Now, tell me. When do you think the rains will come?”
“I would expect them any day now. I have looked up into the sky for clouds, for several days now. It will not be long.”
“Good. When they come, we will wait another five days and then ride for Parat. You are welcome to join us if you want. I will make sure your land is guarded?”
“Ah. If we take up your offer of land, we will not wish to visit Parat. Especially now as it is the planting season.”
“Ah. I see cities are not for you.”
“But I trust you will be visiting your new Province next year? What will you call it?”
“Certainly. I will visit next year. And what to call it. That is a good question. I think something like Victory City, the men need something to make it all seem worthwhile. It has been a terrible battle.”
“Yes. Many of us thought we would never survive it.”
“And what now?”
“Well I must go back to Parat. I feel that something is afoot there. There is mischief and I must get back soon.”
“Will you join me for a drink?”
We were near the gates and a row of trestles were set up with rows of jugs of beer. We took one each, sat down on a bench, and started drinking.
The first rain did come three days later and five days after this, roughly two thousand men left for Parat.
The men had been busy choosing and fighting over land. It was all light hearted though and I presided over any disagreements. Soon, rough fencing, consisting of posts or even twigs only, sprang up all over the land and some men even started building small huts.
The journey back was tough but no tougher than a training exercise. Many of the wadis now had water and with the water came deer, foxes and rabbits. We had enough horses and camels for all. Many of them had gathered near the original camp where they could graze in peace, during the battle, and now, every man had a steed. The wounded men were carried on litters made of long branches, dragging on the ground, with softer branches forming the frame of a bed, between. Some of the men, of course, had stayed behind on their new land but it has to be said, few of the newly freed women stayed with them. Most had taken their reward and were intent on a new life in the City. A few of them rode alongside, or even on, the horses of some of the soldiers, perhaps soon to be their husbands. Meth and I had not forgotten what we had said to the men and neither had they.
The women added some colour to our raggle-taggle army.
As we rode along, I was almost merry.
We had ridden, in a Victory Celebration, through the poorer parts of the City and on into the central Citadel. Stunned silence had met us when the crowds first saw us. Only two thousand men! Surely it cannot be so! But later, this air of horror turned to Glory and the crowds roared. The City had turned out to greet us and waved home-made banners and all kind of bunting hung from the corner of buildings.
But there was no Princess to greet me. This was unnerving as Shakira was usually the first to greet me, at any time.
As we emerged from the Citadel and rode across the bridge into the Palace grounds, I became more and more nervous.
I looked for her but could only see few familiar faces and none I could trust. Then finally, I saw Lord Kospan and Gregor, near the main doors to the Palace. The old man was squinting as the morning sun hit that side of the Palace. I dismounted and strode up to them. They both knelt before me.
“Lord Kospan. Get up. You are too old to find this easy anymore.” Gregor had to lend him a hand, as once down, he could not get up.
I looked at Gregor’s face and saw much anxiety there.
“Gregor. Where is the Princess?”
“She is well Sire. She is in her apartment and will not come down.”
“I do not know Sire.” But there was something evasive in his eyes.
I quickly ascended to the Royal Apartments, shouting her name.
I reached her door, just as it opened and she stared at me, mouth open.
I took her up in my arms and swung her around.
I kissed her, all over her neck and her cheeks and then on her mouth. Her lips parted and I felt the warmth of her breath and then we were kissing and clasping each other.
“Vaslav, you naughty boy! Where have you been! I have been missing you.”
I held her really close, as if I would never let her go.
“Oh God! I have missed you.”
“Yes. I have missed you too.” It seemed as if there was something else she wanted to say but for now I was just happy to kiss her and feel her in my arms.
For a moment I could not resist and I held both of her buttocks in my hands.
“Later.” she whispered. Then she giggled. “Have you missed me that much?”
I felt something warm and wet on my neck and realised it was Bear. I thought I had heard a large bang beside me moments before but had ignored it. It must have been him, skittering across the polished floor as he turned the bend into the apartment.
“Hello Bear! It’s good to see you.” I crouched down and he licked my face enthusiastically. Then I lay on the floor and he got on top of me. Since he had been a puppy we had played this game. I swayed from side to side, trying to make him lose his balance, and sure enough, after much growling and with a howl, he lost his footing and slid off.
Shakira laughed. “You idiot!”
Then I threw her onto her bed and threw myself on top of her kissing her madly.
She laughed and laughed as I carried on kissing her. She slapped my back.
“Stop! Stop! You are too heavy for me!”
I rolled over and lay beside her.
“Tell me what happened?” She sounded so serious and so I told her, keeping it short and missing out the worst bits.
“It sounds truly terrible. It is so sad to lose Edil’bai and Zhuan’zhuan. Edil’bai was so nice and so young and Zhuan’Zhuan was a lovely old man.” A tear slowly rolled down her cheek.
“Tell me what has happened here?” I asked.
“Oh well. A lot!” She looked consternated. Furrowing her brows, she stared at the pillow. “Something is happening! Something strange. That is why I did not come down to meet you. My Maid has been constantly turning the conversations – you know, we are both girls so we gossip – and she has been deliberately turning the conversation to
! All the time she is probing, looking for information on how I feel about you, and I think, how we might be related. I don’t know. I am not sure about this but I just feel it.”
“You think somebody has put her up to it?”
“Umm hmm. Bulya!” She spat out his name.
I laughed. “But he is not here! In fact we left him behind.” I smiled for a moment, thinking about the furious general having to ride all the way home on his own. “He has been trouble, it is true, but he cannot do anything from where he is now.”
“Yes he can! Oh you are a fool if you think he has not got allies here! It has all changed since you have been away. The Court is a different place. It is a dangerous place.” She seemed outraged and paused for a moment before delivering her final bolt. “I think he has bought Kospan.”
“No! He cannot. Kospan is loyal to me, always has been.”
She climbed up off the bed and paced the room, waving her arms in her growing fury.
“Sometimes I feel like a specter. So you sleep with me but you won’t listen to my opinion? Is that it?”
I sat up and swung my legs over the edge of the bed. It would be better to face her at times like this. She was a passionate woman and her temper knew no bounds.
“No.” I said quietly. “But Kospan? Do you really think so?”
“Oh well, you don’t believe me! So we should dismiss that idea shouldn’t we?”
“No, perhaps you are right.”
“Perhaps? God, you are such an imbecile! Your Court is being dragged from under your feet by your life long enemy. And you refuse to see it! You just don’t know what I have been through the last few weeks. It has been awful.” Suddenly her voice was quite quiet.
I walked over to her and put my hands around her waist but she pulled away. It was only a half-hearted move though and after waiting a few moments, I tried again. This time she accepted it but she was crying.
“He wanted me to say it. They all wanted me to betray you.”
I kissed the side of her cheek and her neck. “Don’t worry I am here. I will look after you and I will sort this whole situation out. I had to fight that battle. Without it we would have no country left. Anyway, it was part of Bulya’s plan, I think. Don’t you remember on top of the roof, you said I had to fight Bulya?”
“Yes. I remember. It’s just that I really missed you.”
She turned around in my arms and reached up to kiss me lightly on the lips. I brushed my lips against hers tenderly.
“I thought you weren’t going to come back! There were all sorts of rumours. Probably spread my Bulya’s spies but it was difficult to know what to believe at the time. Even Kospan thought you were all dead.”
“We nearly were! Apart from a few prisoners, there are less than two thousand of us, out of a total of about eighteen thousand men. It is a terrible waste.”
Suddenly the air, which a moment before had seemed alive with emotion, seemed still, although intensely sad. The emotions seemed to dissipate.
“Let’s eat here tonight. I cannot face anybody. And anyway I just want to be here with you. Bulya won’t be here for at least a few days and so we will relax tonight and tomorrow I will start gathering evidence against him!”
She laughed at my optimism and danced off to order food. We spent the next few hours playing and catching up on gossip.
We ate as much as we could from the large array of platters containing meats, fruit and pies of various kinds. We drank more wine than we should but we had no intention of doing anything strenuous and after, we played cards for a while, lying against each other on the bed.
She was wearing a long green velvet dress, with gold braid criss-crossing the arms and waist and a lattice of gold braid down the front. It was fastened at the back and each time she turned away from me, I could see little patches of her back between the braids, all the way down to her waist. She frequently tossed her blonde hair back over her shoulders and ran her hands through it.
At the end of a game, she lay back and looked up at the ceiling. I bent over her and looked at her beautiful face. She twisted so we were looking at each other properly and then she looked at me with her lovely brown eyes, drinking in my soul. I leaned down and kissed her lips. Her lips parted and we were kissing each other fully. After a while I kissed her neck and she held my head with her hands.
“Ohh! Lover boy! I like you when you are like this!”
“And what’s under here?” I said sliding my hands under the hem of her dress and pulling it up.