Read Infinite Blue Heaven - A King and A Queen Online

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

Infinite Blue Heaven - A King and A Queen (9 page)

BOOK: Infinite Blue Heaven - A King and A Queen
11.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

It was then, as we walked the paths that I saw how cunningly the paths had been laid, to create a labyrinthine course from one side of the chamber to the other. It took us perhaps five minutes to cross to the double doors, twins of the first, on the far side of the chamber. The sweet smell, trapped, as it was, inside the Palace, was think and intense. It settled on the senses like a magical blanket and I felt we were become nymphs.

This time, with a laugh at the top of her register, she swung open this second set of doors. The chamber beyond was even more of a delight. It had been sloped around the edges to the rim of a large, irregular pool. The banks were green grass and in the pool floated lilies and swam golden and green coloured fish.

“Come here!” She showed me where to stop. Taking off her silk slippers, she stepped into the pool at the place where a narrow underwater path, only inches below the surface, curved its path to a central island and from there, on to the far bank. We crossed over, myself looking all around at the many coloured petals speckling the still surface and filling the air with fragrance.

A third set of oak doors led to the greatest delight of all. This chamber, much the same size as the others, was completely covered in green grass, apart from several rose bushes and in the centre, a fruit tree, as yet without fruit but creating a lovely flickering shade from the overhead candelabras.

We walked, hand in hand, up to its open arms and sat in the shade, my arm around her lovely waist. She leaned her head against my neck and closed her eyes.

“I was thinking of putting rabbits in here as well,” she murmured. “But the Gardener advised against it.”

I closed my eyes and then felt her small hand touching mine.

“Tell me again how you found me.”

“Well, the Royal Marriage was in its seventh year and had been barren, apart from your sickly half-brother who died after only one year. I met your mother at a camp, in the eastern most part of my Kingdom, at Sem-Gorge. Many of my men had been caught and slaughtered and we sought shelter in a small village. She was a serving-maid there and she had quick, searching eyes and a gentle caring nature. We talked in the late hours, while many of my men suffered, close to death. When it was time to leave, I did not want to go and realised I loved her. We stayed another week, during which time I slept with her.”

Eventually we fought our way of out of the mountains and back to the Palace, where I gathered as many men as I could and finally defeated the invaders.

At first I sought out your mother but the village had been sacked and she had gone. I remember sitting on a soft mound of fresh spring grass, under the white-tipped mountains, feeling a great emptiness inside and yes, my eyes were seeing real beauty, all around.

I returned to the Palace and tried to put her from my mind. It was three years later when I first received a letter from her, telling me that she had a little girl and that the child was mine. She didn’t say she wanted anything from me but wrote only to tell me, from time to time, of the child’s life.

I heard about her quick intelligence, like her mother’s and her readiness to entertain herself with the simplest of distractions. In the fifth year since our meeting, I had bad news.

Another invasion had occurred, almost identical in nature to the first. Although we had heavily fortified the border of my realm, the invaders had cunningly built crude canoes in the mountains and rode the white water of one of the streams straight though our defenses. I immediately sent a troop of fifty of the Palace guard to accompany the whole village to safer ground.

Only one guard survived long enough to reach a farm where word was sent to me. All the villagers and guards had been slaughtered in an ambush.

I grieved terribly for that day and through the night but sometime before dawn, I must have slipped into a state of semi-consciousness and a light appeared to me. It had no shape but a voice seemed to tell me not to lose hope. I tossed and turned for perhaps only five minutes before dressing and making an excuse to my wife. Before leaving alone on my favourite horse, with three of the best in tow, as changes. I rode flat out until my horse, foaming and panting, had to be left at the last place I was certain was till in loyal hands.

I was on the last horse, at the end of its strength, when, on the third day, I reached the village that the dying guard had reached. There was much agitation in the air and the village elders had instructed the men to man barricades at the ends of the streets. At first they didn’t believe who I was. “The King, alone!” After seeing the Seal Ring and hearing me speak for a while, they became more convinced.

“I need men to ride with me to the scene of the massacre. Who knows the place?”

An elder stepped forward. “I will show you how to get there but I doubt if any will accompany you”

He looked at the men who either looked down or smiled in shame at their reluctance to follow me.

The old man drew a crude map for me and so I left alone, on a fresh horse on the one-hour ride.

When I arrived, I was horrified at the sight. Crows and wolves had started their grim banquet long before and tugged-apart pieces of bodies lay strewn about. After much desperate searching I found the remains of Nariza, the little girl’s mother. I wept as I held the stiff body to me and after that I dug a grave. I buried as many others as I could before the sun sank below the northern brow of the mountain, I could sense danger all around.

One curious piece of information particularly disturbed me. Before he died the Guard had told the villagers that his attackers had not been tribesmen from the north, as before, but had been men, perhaps outlaws, from our own lands. I thought it very unlikely that they were outlaws as there were less than one hundred of them, at his estimate and the Guards were well trained. It would take more than one hundred outlaws to wipe them out. No, they had been soldiers, perhaps deserters. I could not help wondering if somebody somewhere in the aristocracy, perhaps in the Palace, had learned that I had an heiress.

I was about to leave and sat for some minutes listing intently for some tine sign of life. Perhaps a survivor might have crawled away earlier. I had risked a few shouts to attract attention but no one had answered. I was in a half dreaming state when I thought, perhaps I had heard something. I listened even more intently, straining to hear it again. There are so many sounds in the forest, on the very edge of silence. If you listen hard enough, you can always hear perhaps fifty of one hundred sounds. Discerning them however takes skill. I could not be sure if I was hearing them or not. If it was there, it was something like child crying but it could be the sound of the wind, or a bird or a wildcat.

I stood up and started circling the scene of devastation, stopping every few seconds to listen. On one one side of the camp, the impression was definitely stronger so I headed in this direction. At first the sound became less loud and I even lost if for a while. Then, suddenly I heard it, definite at last. I tried cautiously in that direction. I must have gone perhaps half a verst before I knew it was a child. There would be a wail, then a sniffle, then perhaps silence for a minute and then another wail. The child was moving.

There had been many small bodies among the carnage and I had looked for the girl, not knowing he name, but knowing something of her appearance. I hadn’t found her. Suddenly, between two fir trees, I saw a golden haired girl, walking hesitantly towards a rock, where she sat down. I looked about for any danger. There was none so I walked up to her, calling out.

She spun around and was silent. It was you and you were so alone.

After only a little resistance you let me hold you close. I didn’t know if you were mine but I wanted to believe it.

“There is the scar?” she said

“Yes, the scar.”

After a pause and then a sigh, I told her I had to go. The campaign would have to be launched much earlier than planned and we would leave in the morning. I quickly told her the outline of what had happened over the previous few days and then left her to find Geb. As I was walking away she called after me “If you come to the Chamber tonight, I will be waiting for you.” She knew this was unlikely.

I caught Geb’s arm and led him out of the anti-chamber and down the Great Staircase.

“We will march tomorrow at dawn. I think we can only raise about six thousand men, not enough, but the rest will have to follow as they can. We must cut off the heads of the Cerberus at the base so they don’t multiply. You, Geb are coming with me. I need you.”


* * *



Chapter Three


A great cloud followed me, for miles behind, as I turned in the saddle and watched, for a moment. It was dust from the army, still in the plains that led to the desert dunes, where I now was.

Arstan, my favourite horse, whose name meant ‘Lion,’ slipped slightly on the sand before correcting his balance. He did not like sand and liked even less, the heat as it hit his head. I made a note to cover his head, as soon as we rested mid-morning, in about two hours’ time.

I was at the head of a great army, in a small advanced Guard, more because of my privilege, to escape any dust, than because of any tactical reason. Geb rode beside me along with three Generals, the only reliable ones left to me.

I had worked through the night, before departure, rushing from post to room and back to post in the Palace, organising as best I could the forces available. The main force of five thousand men had arrived at a garrison just outside the City while I had been with Meth. Word was sent to the men to assemble, ready for a desert march, to war, at dawn, 21 verst north of the City, at the cross-roads by the Temple of The Three Lakes.

Another five thousand men were being assembled, in garrisons far and wide across my Kingdom and word was sent to these, to follow as best they could. We would leave markers for them but I also sent secret messages to those I trusted giving them the name of the pass we were heading for so they could get there more quickly, if possible. Some of them, I knew would not be ready for several weeks of even a month so I held little hope of them joining the battle in time. Who knows though? They may arrive in time to wipe out the remaining enemy, if they were victorious. It was a chilling thought and I did not dwell on it.

I had raised another thousand men from the Palace Guard, in the following way. I had asked Geb to select the four best men of every ten and tell their troop Corporal to reassign the men to cover all Guard duties for a period of two months, at double pay. The rest were to assemble at the Palace Gates, one hour before dawn. I was hoping numbers, rather than skill would count against the enemy, by inspiring terror in them.

I trusted Geb now. At the inn, I had taken Moddei aside and asked him if he had received a little gift from me, at our last meeting. He smiled.

“The gold coin, you mean?”

I smiled back. “Good.”

At one point in the evening, I had disguised myself as an ordinary Palace Guard and visited one of their barracks. I sat with a tankard of ale and listened, in shadow, to their talk. They sounded confident but wary of this sudden order to move. There was an uneasiness, which would lead, eventually to indiscipline, if not checked. I spoke.

“I have heard, that the enemy is weak. That if we take them now, we will outnumber them greatly and that there is much gold and other bounty to be had for the victors. If we win, we will all be rich. For myself, I want to go now. It will be over quickly and then I can retire!”

After a short pause, several men spoke at once.

“Ha! Retirement. It is a fantastic dream! But a damn good one. Let’s drink to that!”

There was a big cheer and the sound of clanking tankards and men greedily drinking their ale.

“One other thing.” I said. After a pause, to get their silent attention, I went on. “

“Ahhhhh!” A loud moan went up.

“What do you mean,” said a man at the other end of the room.

“I have heard there are many beautiful women, for Korim’s men’s own pleasure. We can have them for ourselves!”

There was a growl from a man, near to me.

“Grrmm. But we all know, his Holiness upstairs (he pointed at the ceiling) won’t let us have our way with women, taken in battle.”

“Rape!” shouted other men, near the back of the room.

“True.” I said. “But I have heard that this time, we can claim a woman and bring her back here.” I reasoned that since the women with Meth would probably have earned their retirement by this time, many of them may be looking for husbands. “Some of them as beautiful as the Princess, I have heard.”

“Have you seen her? She rarely comes out these days and then she is always veiled. Only the Stable Hand sees more of her!”

There was a large bellowing roar from the crowd and many men banged the table with their fists in appreciation at the joke.

“Yes. I have seen her. She is indeed beautiful. What is more, I have learned a secret about her. I will share this intimacy if somebody would care to buy me a drink.”

There was a clamoring for pints at the bar and I soon had six, lined up in front of me. Drinking one to the bottom, I waited, as the audience grew impatient

“Come on. Come on man. Is it something about that beautiful young body of hers?”

BOOK: Infinite Blue Heaven - A King and A Queen
11.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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