Chapter 3 - The King of Ivaris
March 7, 1645
The Walled City of Arcadia, Capital of Ivaris
-King Seth Liam Ivaris XV-
“A king is always filled with courage even at the face of adversity. A king is hard like diamond. No one can bend a king to his will; not even a woman. It is the king who bends others will and sends them on their knees with pledges of loyalty.” My father, King Anstruther said.
“Yes, Father. I shall remember that always.” I replied.
“Good. Now pick up your sword.” Father commanded.
I strained at the heavy weight of the sword on my hand but swung it with all my might towards the tall wooden pole in front of me that served as my target. The wood was full of ridges for I have practiced with my father for a hundred times here.
“Do not swing like that with all the strength from your body. One wrong move and you will go stumbling down and before you know it, your enemy’s sword is embedded deep in your chest.” Father warned.
“Yes, father.” I said and tried another swing. My father touched my arm and then corrected my grip on the sword. He also made some adjustments to how I held my sword and taught me to brace my knees apart so that my entire body could be balanced.
“That’s it.” My father said approvingly as he watched me hack away at the wood in front of me.
Then after I took a large chunk out of the wood, I turned towards my father to see some sort of pride in what I’ve done. He smiled at me and then knelt in front of me.
“Seth. You are my heir. Know that I am proud of you no matter what. You have the makings of a true Ivaris even at your age of ten summers. I know that someday you will become a great king; an even greater king than me. You will have much more riches and lands than I’ve amassed. If I’m not here during that time, know that I am looking at you with pride. Always.”
The memory of my youth faded and I found myself gazing into Brianna’s blue eyes. She’s one of my mistresses and they consider her my favourite, to this date. She’s filled with so much passion and she’s always very eager to please. And right now, she’s bouncing on my hard cock, sending shivers down my spine.
I don’t know why I drifted down memory lane when I have this raving beauty astride me. She’s always a pleasure to look at with those blue eyes and her blonde hair. I lowered my eyes and gazed at her breasts with their hard tips. I lifted my hand and squeezed those flesh that beckoned to my touch.
“Faster.” I commanded and she obeyed. I gripped her hips as she’s riding me and met her downward strokes with upward thrusts. She’s now moaning and her sweet voice echoed throughout her chambers.
After a few more hard strokes, she threw back her head, flipping her glorious hair and I felt her hot sheathe convulse and grip my cock as she reached her peak. That was the last of my restraint and I buried myself deep inside her and gave her my seed.
She collapsed on top of me and stayed there until our heartbeats slowed down and our breaths weren’t labored anymore. I stroked her back and felt her shiver. “What would you ask from me?” I asked.
She didn’t waste another second in answering, “A necklace made of sapphires... If you please... Milord.” She said with a sweet voice. “Granted. Tell the governess tomorrow.” I said with a nod and then got off the bed and started throwing my clothes on.
Jewellry. Gowns. Shoes. These are what make women happy. These keep my mistresses happy. These remind them of their place. That they are my possession and nothing else. These material things keep them from asking me for more. Something I could never give anyone except Almira: marriage.
Last night, after claiming my newest mistress, I went back to my room only to be tortured by desire for her again and again. I wanted to go back to the palace wing that housed my mistresses and lose myself in her and take her again and again until my lust is sated but she has just been introduced to passion and she will be very sore if I took her a second time. So I went here, to Brianna’s chambers.
I quickly donned my breeches, boots and then a tunic and tied my belt. I have no intention of staying in my mistresses beds for sleep.
“Your bed is only for your queen and no other. You may sleep in other’s beds but never let them sleep in yours.” I remembered my father telling me. Even though his rule only said that I should let only my queen sleep in my bed, I made it a point not to sleep on any of my mistresses’ beds too. I don’t like them clinging to me as they sleep and I most definitely did not like that they think that when I sleep with them, there’s something more.
There’s nothing more for anyone. They’re my mistresses and that’s all they are going to be for I have no desire to marry. I will only marry my intended queen, Princess Almira.
I went out of Brianna’s chambers and into the dimly lit corridor. It was still dark outside and dawn has just broken. I travelled back to my room and gathered my weapons and tucked them inside my belt. I grabbed two jewelled daggers: one I placed on my belt and the other one I tucked inside my boot. And then I grabbed my sword from beside my bed and also my bow and arrow. The bow was a gift from my mother the day I turned thirteen. She told me that it came from the kingdom of Amaranth, the kingdom whose blacksmiths made the finest weapons and armor.
My main weapon, my sword, has been in my family for generations and is passed on to the rightful heir, the next king of Ivaris. My sword is named “Conqueror” for it is what my ancestors did best. Countless lives have fallen before this blade and countless lands have been conquered because of it.
I’ve only been back to Ravenswood for a day but already my hands itched for a fight. My entire body yearned for the thrill of a kill. I went down towards the hall and saw that the men were just rising from their slumber. They instantly went on alert when they saw me.
Malcolm, the head of my guard, my most trusted right-hand and my friend for as long as I remember walked towards me. “What do you have in mind for today?” he asked with a glance at the weapons I was holding and the cloak draped over my shoulders.
“Gather the most skilled of the men. We are going for a hunt.” I replied and Malcolm grinned.
“As you wish milord.” He replied and set off towards the keep that contained the warriors’ barracks.
“Have the stable groom saddle my Lightning.” One of the maids nodded in acknowledgement of my command. Lightning is my steed. He is the fastest stallion in all of the land. He is also the fiercest and most loyal. It took two whole months before I was able to break him.
“Prepare a feast for tonight for when my men and I return from our hunt.” I told Maria, the governess of Ravenswood Castle. Since I have no wife, she is the one in charge of running this estate. She has also served as my nursemaid from when I was still a babe.
By the time the sun rose fully, we broke our fast and then rode off towards the city and then outside the wall and into the woods. I instantly loved the feeling of the wind on my face as Lightning galloped across the land. We hunted for hours and then returned as the sun was setting. The forest is very dangerous at night for there were bandits everywhere. Also, I promised my men that we would feast so we had to cut our hunting trip short.
We entered the front gates of the castle and went to the hall. When I saw Maria, I instructed her to salt the meat so that it could be preserved and stored for winter. We killed eighteen wild boars four stags and thirty two rabbits. The other men hauled the carcasses towards the kitchen while the others sat on the hall in preparation for the feast.
The tables were placed on the sides of the hall making a square space on the middle free. Ropes were being attached to serve as the arena for the Hakor that will happen after the feast. This was what the men has been looking forward to all night. I plan to hold the Hakor in honor of my newest mistress, Adrienne.
My men sat down at the tables while those that cannot fit in the hall anymore will be served with food outside. I rang the bell and the servants entered carrying the dishes: pigeon pie, beef stew, braised pork, mutton stew, honeyed bread, baskets of fruits, tarts, and so much more. The table groaned under the weight of all the food. I saw the gleam of appreciation in my men’s eyes and I was glad.
Then the door to my right opened and I caught the whiff of perfume. I turned my head and saw my mistresses entering the hall. The first of them was Brianna and her eyes danced with desire when she looked at me. “You look beautiful.” I whispered to her when she took her seat at the cushions beneath my feet. “Thank you, milord. All of these are your gifts.” She said as she indicated the beautiful blue gown and the sapphires at her lovely neck.
My other mistresses entered the room and the appreciation in my men’s eyes turned to one of lust. It is no secret that I share my slaves with the worthy and that my generals and the high-ranking men can choose their pick. They can choose anyone, aside from my favourites of course, for they are exclusively for me. Helena, one of my mistresses, sat down on Malcolm’s lap and gave him a kiss.
Malcolm kissed her back and then threw back his head and laughed. He threaded his fingers into her fire-colored hair and then pulled her closer for another kiss. I looked around and saw that the other slaves have chosen their favourite men as well.
Adrienne entered the hall last and the hall went silent. All eyes were on her but instead of revelling in the attention, she looked as though she wanted the floor to just open up and swallow her. She didn’t wear the most beautiful silks like my other mistresses for she was just new and I’m guessing she doesn’t have any gowns yet but she still was stunning.
Her brown hair was braided which were tied with a leather ribbon and her eyes were lined with kohl making their color look much more vibrant. She wore a simple blue dress that hugged her curves and plain blue slippers. She wore no jewellery and that set her apart from the other mistresses.
One of my generals, Arion, stood up and offered her his hand. “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you. What is your name?” he purred. Adrienne looked even more nervous but she gave him a curtsy.
“Her name’s Adrienne and she’s mine.” I replied and the general looked startled but he dropped her hand gently. “Forgive me, your highness.” He said as he went back to his seat. Adrienne looked at me and I wiggled my finger at her, asking her to come closer. “Sit.” I instructed her and pointed at the cushion beside Brianna.
She sat stiffly and looked around the hall. I reached for two goblets of wine from a passing servant and handed one to Brianna while the other one I handed to Adrienne. She looked at me hesitantly as she brought the wine to her lips. I broke off a piece of bread and then offered it to Adrienne. She looked at me incredulously and backed away.
“Are you expecting me to eat from your hand?” she whispered vehemently. A startled gasp came from Brianna as she eyed Adrienne with distaste. “It is an honor his highness bestows upon you. Eat!” Brianna hissed to Adrienne and the latter took the bread offered but with a glare.
The men ate and drank for a long while. As the night grew deeper, more drunken comments and boasts were tossed around the table. The food was cleared and finally it was time for the Hakor. A Hakor is a fight to between two men. It is their choice if they would surrender or fight until their deaths. The fight is sacred for it is done in honor of the God of Warriors and the Sun, Aiken.
I stood up and the room fell silent. “This Hakor is in honor of my newest slave, Adrienne.” I said and the room erupted into cheers and applause. My steward stood up and began to introduce the two men who would be fighting today.
“The first came from the city of Hannan after we’ve conquered it. He is said to be one of their mightiest warriors.” Iain introduced and the man stepped into the arena and his chains were removed.
“Our second warrior hails from Ivaris. He is a condemned thief and is sentenced to fight in a Hakor to regain his honor. If he wins he is disproved of guilt and all charges are dropped.” The second man stepped into the arena and his chains were also removed.
Iain knelt on the stone floor and then threw up his hands in prayer. ”Aiken, God of the Sun and the Warriors, we thank you for the successful conquest of Hannan. We thank you for keeping our king and his men safe from harm. Those who died by the war are in your hands now and we commend their spirits to you that one day they may fight beside you in the last war. In your honor, we give you this Hakor.” He said solemnly and then stood up and regarded the warriors.
“Begin.” Iain said and the two men started circling one another.
They had no weapons and would only rely on their strength and cunning for this battle. The thief was tall and slender while the warrior from Hannan had broad shoulders and thick muscles. He stood firm while the thief attacked. He dodged the attack and seemed to be studying his opponent’s moves with great detail.
I saw the way the thief attacked. He threw his whole weight into it and did it very recklessly. It was street fighting at its finest. He threw punches that could fall one man in a single strike but he left his entire body vulnerable for attack. He was swift and speed was his greatest asset but he did not seem to be using it to his greatest advantage.
If the warrior strikes now, I’m thinking that this would be a quick Hakor. The thief threw more and more punches and the warrior dodged it or used his forearms to cushion the blow. With each punch, the thief was tiring and he was moving slower. I saw the way the warrior’s muscles tensed.
This is it. He was preparing to attack.
His hands shot out and he took the thief’s hand and brought it behind his back. The thief grunted in pain and tried to dislodge the warrior’s hold but it was of no use. The warrior then used his other arm and wrapped it around the thief’s neck in a choke hold. The thief’s face was reddening from lack of oxygen.
"NOOOOOOO!!!" A sharp cry filled the room. I looked around to see who would dare dishonour a Hakor in such a way. My eyes came to rest on Adrienne and her face that was filled with fear.
“I do not want this! Let them go! He’s dying!” she screamed frantically as she tugged at the hem of my tunic.
“Quiet, slave!” I hissed. “Please... Stop them!” she insisted.
“I will do no such thing. This is a Hakor and you are dishonouring it with your noise!” I said to her as I pried her fingers from my tunic. She looked back towards the fight, the thief was now thrashing and his head was turning purple.
“Please...?” Adrienne looked up at me again. I kept my eyes on the fight and ignored her.
The thief was now down on his knees and the warrior loosened his grip just a little. The thief was still recovering from the lack of oxygen and he was drawing air into his starved lungs. The warrior then lifted his other hand and placed it with deliberate slowness near the thief’s ear.
The crowd roared and shouts filled the room for the warrior was ending the fight and he decided that it will be a fight to the death. In one swift movement, the warrior grabbed the man’s head and twisted it with brutal force to the side. A loud crack! filled the room and the thief fell on the floor with his neck bent at an odd angle.
The first thing I heard was a sharp intake of breath from Adrienne and then more shouts and roars as my men rejoiced the victory of the warrior from Hannan. I stood up and the room fell silent.
“For the victor, you may have your pick of any of the ladies tonight, except these two.” I pointed to Brianna and Adrienne. “And you shall have food and wine from the feast. And because of your skill, I bestow to you the honor of being the first guard for my Adrienne.” I said and the room erupted into cheers once more.
More wine and food was served and the body of the thief was taken away from the room. All the while, Adrienne sat stiffly and silently. I placed my fingers under her chin and tilted her face upwards. “You did not like my gift?” I asked her. She opened her eyes and they were filled with fury.
“No.” She spat and then jerked her head away from me.
“No one defies me.” I said when my temper snapped.
I stood up and pulled her to her feet and then dragged her towards the stairs and up to her bedchamber. She resisted and I picked her up and slung her over my shoulder.
“Put me down! This is insane!” she shouted and pounded my back with her little fists. “As you wish.” I replied nonchalantly as I deposited her without gentleness on her bed. Then, I proceeded to undo the laces that held her bodice together.
“What are you doing?” she said and slapped my hands away.
“No! Get away from me!”
I ignored her again and continued what I was doing. She still resisted so I brought both her hands up and pinned her wrists using my left hand. My right hand deftly undid the laces and with one tug, she was naked under me.
Desire rose swiftly in me and I wanted to take her right then and there. “I will hate you for this.” She said softly.
“What makes you think I want any kind of emotion from you?” I asked with a laugh. She gritted her teeth together and turned away from me when I bent to claim her lips.
Ah... A girl with her own fire which she uses to defy me. I will enjoy putting out that fire and replacing it with another kind.
“I do not like this!” she spat.
“Oh but you will.” I said with a silken promise.
Now this game just got more and more interesting. I bent my head and traced the hollow at her throat with my tongue. A whimper escaped her lips when I sucked on the pulse that leapt at her throat.
I kept her hands pinned above her head while my other hand drifted from the valley between her breasts then slowly down her navel and then... lower... Her breath hitched in anticipation but I quickly brought my hand back up and moulded her breasts to my palm.
She lifted her head and looked at me. Her eyes blazed with anger and passion; a heady mix. I smiled at her and then bent low and captured a nipple in my mouth and swirled my tongue around it. A moan escaped those lovely lips and it fuelled my desire more and more. I suckled on her nipple and did the same to the other one as my hand drifted lower to see if she was ready for me.
And the feel of her hot and moist around my fingers almost undid me. Without releasing her, I undid my breeches and then slid them lower. I parted her legs with one knee and entered her with one swift thrust. She moaned and thrashed under me but I did not let her wrists go.
He lips were parted on a soft sigh and she lifted her hips to meet my thrusts. Her face mirrored one of ecstatic pleasure. The feeling was so intense that I think I could not last. I brought my hand down to where we were joined and rubbed her woman’s bud so that she may join me and find her release too.
Within seconds, both of us shattered exquisitely.
I could not think for a few moments and waited until I could regain my normal breathing. She sighed underneath me and I rolled off her and released her. I started to get dressed and she sat up on the bed and looked at me with confusion.
“I told you, you’d like it.” I told her with a smile. Her expression of confusion flashed to anger again.
“Why you... you...” she sputtered.
“I what?” I taunted.
“Bastard!” she shouted.
“Mistress, I assure you my parentage isn’t questioned at all. I am the son of the king and queen and I am no bastard.” I jested which only infuriated her rage more.
I patted my pockets but I forgot to grab some jewellery from my chests. “Ah, forgive me. I have no trinket to give you tonight. Ask anything from the governess tomorrow and it will be yours. Diamonds? Sapphires? Emeralds? Rubies? Take your pick and it’s yours.” I said.
“So that’s your payment for... this?” she whispered softly I almost did not hear it.
“Yes. No. Whatever. Think what you like of my gifts.” I replied. I did not care what she thought. If she likes to think of it as payment then so be it. Why must I concern myself with the thoughts of my mistresses?
“Then you are an unfeeling pig.” She replied and I threw my head back and laughed as I exited the room.
As I walked towards my chambers, I remembered my father’s lessons on feelings.
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I cried with frustration when I wasn’t able to hit the proper mark with my arrows. I was only a boy of eight and we were playing archery. My father told me that we will not go home until I hit the middle of the target.
We’ve been at it all day but I could not just seem to do it.
It was now sunset and I could barely see the target. It was also so cold that my hands shook which further impeded my accuracy. “Father, please. Let’s go home. I will try harder tomorrow. I am cold and hungry.” I pleaded.
“No. Stop those tears, Seth. Kings never cry.” He reprimanded.
I tried hard but no matter what I did I just could not stop crying. I picked up my bow again and walked towards the target but I stumbled on the dark and fell down. I scraped my knee and I felt the blood trickle down my leg. The pain was just too much for me to bear and I howled in pain.
“Cease that crying immediately.” My father commanded but I ignored him and howled in pain.
My father grabbed my leg and pressed on the wound with his hand. The pain intensified and I thrashed underneath him. “Father, please!” I cried.
“Cease that crying. Kings do not cry. Kings do not show emotion. Are you going to cry when there is war? Are you going to cry in front of the entire kingdom when a woman rejects you? Are you going to cry when someone contradicts you in court? Will you spill these tears when your men who fight for you die in battle or will you keep a solemn mask for the wives they left behind?” my father said and I ceased howling to look at him.
“Listen to me, Seth. A good king never shows his emotions for it makes him vulnerable to people around him. If you wear your heart out on your sleeve then it is easier for you to be hurt. Shield your emotions and people will never know what it is that is on your mind. They will never be able to predict your actions. You will be able to protect yourself from the harsh and cruel world of politics. You won’t be manipulated, cajoled and forced into decisions. Shield your emotions and a woman will never break your heart. Shield it and you will be the greatest king Ivaris has ever seen.” King Anstruther said.
I let the last of my tears fall and then swiped them away. “Yes, father.” I said as I stood up and picked up my bow again. I tried with more determination and kept my hands from shaking. I pushed the hunger and cold out of my mind. I let the arrow loose and it found the mark.
“Well done.” My father said and I nodded. I would have loved to jump into his arms and shout my triumph but a king never shows his emotions. We walked back to the castle and I was in pain but I kept my face pulled into a straight mask whenever someone was looking.
A king never shows emotions.
© All rights reserved for The King’s Slave. Ilyian mythology, the gods and goddesses, concepts and the language used here are all ORIGINAL and all MY OWN WORK. These are the products of my imagination and countless hours spent writing. Please do not copy/ reproduce in any way.