Arms of Steel: The Lost CrusadebyCrisIdolBouncer©
"How I wish the muscled Saxon was not a Christian," the Princess Erzhad said in her flawless Greek to her riding companion. "For then I could worship him like a god." The Princess did everything but lick her chops. She stared off at nothing in particular as if her mind was elsewhere.
"Tis improper for me to speak this way of a man, but with him it is like I become a carnivore. I have a weakness for big arms. I could cover his biceps with kisses. He laughed when I left drool from the side of my mouth on his muscles, such was my ardor. He arms pop like a volcano, becoming twice their ordinary size with a twitch. When he flexes his boulder biceps, they snap and burst the iron ring-links of his sleeve's chain mail, sending the broken links flying like a pebble from a slingshot. When he holds his arm straight, his triceps flex behind his arm as much as his biceps do in front."
"What a delight to be held by Sir Athelstane's huge, hard arms!" She said. "I feel so safe. He hugs me so tightly it hurts a bit, like an immobile vice of iron covering my whole body, smothering me with heat. And his height! To see the Saxon fill an entire doorway of my father the Maharaja's palace, turning to the side to permit entry of his wide torso and shoulders..." The Princess spoke methodically with controlled heat like a purring cat. She spoke with enthusiasm. "Not even Lord Hanuman is as strong as he."
Princess Erzhad urged her reddish-brown mare into a gallop as quick as a stone falling from a great height, its hooves so light they barely touched the ground. She reached over her shoulder with her firm arm to grasp an arrow from her quiver and nock it to her great black bow. With her firm, lengthy and elastic haunches alone, she steered the horse without hands, all the while as she pressed the arrow back with a creak. There was a sound like a twang as the arrow was released and zipped to its target as true as the word of a good Knight, the iron head sunk into the deep red of a target center.
Princess Erzhad's hip-length, straight, midnight black hair whooshed behind her as she furiously rode with the horse an extension of her body. Her exotic Indian skin was the color of cinnamon, her lips thick and plush like ripe fruit, her feminine, almost unreal face with the high cheekbones and strong chin of the thousand Maharajas whose blood she had in her veins. The Princess's eyes were an exotic sea-green, lined with cosmetics that made her black eyelashes inch-long butterflies. Between her eyes was a jeweled Bindi. Her neck was long, elegant and graceful. To her companion, Sir Sigurd, she looked like a great, wild warrior-goddess of the hunt.
Unlike most Eastern girls, the Princess had a voluptuous, hourglassed, and buxom silhouette, with thick, hard thighs and a bubbly, slappable ass far from flattened by her time in the saddle, which looked as if it followed her around, expanding out of her tiny waist with a shape like a sideways happy face. Her ass's great, firm weight made her sit down when she meant to stand up and stand when she means to sit. Not only were her womanly hips child-bearing, they could probably squeeze out a baby like a greased cannon shell.
Her petite body was wiry, athletic and muscular, though not large, with an economy like a panther.
The Princess's clothes were tight, woolen and sporty, a midriff revealing strapless ring-top over her pneumatic breasts. When she arched her back in a curve, her cup-busting breasts, each a generous firm globe, thrusted out, her stiff nipples pointing like the nose of a pinscher. With the trotting of her horse they shook and shifted in her top hypnotically in defiance of gravity with a sound like the shifting and churning of fluid. The Princess's extra chestmeat was like an awning, casting a shadow below.
The Princess's waist was tight, firm, tapered like the tip of a funnel, and hard, flat, and fit, golden-toned the way only a nineteen year old girl's can be, her tomboy abs cut like bricks. Her small little navel was surrounded by permanent henna tattoos in a ring, with precious gems glued amongst the designs.
Sir Sigurd, sometimes laughed at the over-the-top chivalric romances he read. But looking at the Princess Erzhad, he could fight and die for her honor. Her voice was deep, a husky whisper, demure, breathless and throaty as if everything she said was an invitation to sex. Her smell was a spicy Arabian perfume. She put the girls of Denmark to shame. It was easy to see wars fought over Erzhad.
Sir Sigurd felt his erection solidify under his wool innerclothes, hose, and chain shirt, to the point where he became crosseyed and could barely see-straight. His dick was so hot it hissed steam like a sword from the forge. The powerful jostling of his huge black Frankish war horse wasn't helping to calm the situation, its great muscles shook and powerfully charged as if the Dane was riding a thunderbolt.
The Princess twirled herself on top of her speeding horse like a circus equestrian acrobat, until she straddled the mare again, and gazed behind her at young Sir Sigurd, whose black horse snorted at the dust kicked up by the hooves of Erzhad's horse. "Prithee, what's this, sirrah? The honor of Christendom be shamed!" She laughed in such a way her nose crinkled.
"Od's Blood, I'm no match for your horsemanship, Princess. That horse of yours slips as quick as a greased priest. And, as embarrassing as it is for a Dane like me to say, your Greek is far better than mine."
"I suppose then it is all Greek to you?" The both of them laughed together. It was the first or second time in history anyone ever told that joke.
"Deft wordplay. We in the upper caste of Rupalistan have spoken and read it since the days Alexander the Great wandered close to the Himalayas. How awesome your Sir Athelstane is – the second such to reach our tiny kingdom. No small pilgrimage, that! What is it he seeks here, I wonder?"
"I should think for a woman as beautiful as you, any'd go further than a Christian's gone before, my Diana." Princess Erzhad smiled at the use of the name the Dane had given her. The last part Sir Sigurd had to croak out and his voice went high, his light skin turned a flushed, enflamed crimson, his eyes averted and downcast, his lips formed into a shy smile.
A malicious, mischievous light flashed in the Princess's well-deep green eyes. "Won't tell me, eh?" Gracefully as an Amazon Queen, she drew an arrow eyeblink's time an arrow and fired it, the head sliced Sir Sigurd's saddle straps like a razor, without touching the black hide of the monster horse and speeding past it. The saddle flipped to the opposite side, and the Danish Knight tumbled off from the great height of the tall horse like a mobile desert weed as he slammed into the ground. The regal, internal, close-mouthed laughter of the Princess reached his ears.
Sir Sigurd squeezed his sore arm. "Fie, fie! Hell's bells! The true Diana was ne'er as cruel as you." He said with a grin.
"I suppose I must bore you with my constant talk of Sir Athelstane, that handsome strongman. But the truth is...he saved me. Rescued me – just like in a story! Before he arrived in Rupalistan, my father the Maharaja meant to marry me off to his friend, the Brahma-Rishi." Here, she shuddered. "By Ganesha, I'd rather be dead than press his dried flesh against mine. Such a man is your Saxon Chief!"
"No need to hold your tongue, Princess, for I tell you, as much as you admire him, I admire him more. He is easily the strongest man in the world, stronger than the next five strongest combined. In heathen lands his name is unknown, but in Christendom, from Novgorod to Abyssinia, he is a legend. It is said that he was a part of the first Crusade to take Jerusalem, alongside Godfroi de Bullion, my namesake Sigurd Jerusafar the Jerusalem-Bound, King of Norway, Hugh de Payen, who founded the Knights Templar, and Andre de Montbard, who was St. Bernard's uncle. Sir Athelstane the Saxon was so skilled at fighting, the Infidel Turks said battling him was like being a worm in the claws of a huge eagle. He once tore a tree and swung it like a club, killing fourteen in a single stroke."
"That was centuries ago. And he still lives. Some say he is part devil, like the Knights Templar." Here Sir Sigurd's voice became a whisper. "It is said – and I know as little of this as anyone else – that at the taking of Jerusalem, Sir Athelstane found something in the Temple of Solomon. It could be the Holy Grail, the Spear of Longinus, the treasure of Solomon, something he refused to divulge even with us, his close friends." He said. "But I will tell you this: I have personally seen him drink two barrels of mead, and require five women a night to be satisfied. And now he comes here, beyond the edge of all knowledge, to see your honorable sire, the Maharaja Amaluk of Rupalistan."
"Incredible. If all you say is so." Erzhad said, breathlessly, clinging to his every word. "I wish him to be the first to touch my virgin body." The Princess said.
"You mean he hasn't..." The surprise lit up Sir Sigurd's face.
"Nay. It could be he will not before the wedding day, since he is most pious. Yet, also, he is a very haunted, mysterious man that prefers to sleep alone."
"Od's blood, you said truth, Your Majesty. He reminds me not a little of Prince Hamlet, who my Grandsire met once at Castle Elsinore. Of the great Saxon there are chambers in him even we – the dozen Bandemanna, his Oath-Bound Men, may not enter."
"It is of that I wish to speak to you of, Sir Sigurd." The princess lowered her voice and brought her perfect lips beside the Dane's, close enough that he could feel her hot breath. "Tis not for riding alone I called you. If you value your life, keep your face close. Pretend to love me."
"Aye. Pretend." At the nearness of her flawless caramel brown skin's warmth, his nose filled with her perfume, Sir Sigurd felt his big snake solidify to a numb super-stiffness so hard that by swinging it, he could slap nails into wood.
"One of you, one of Sir Athelstane's twelve Oath-Bound Men, is a traitor."
"Are you certain? To Sir Athelstane we have sworn our allegiance."
"By Lord Shiva, I swear it! I was walking in one of the secret tunnels of the palace when I heard the Brahma-Rishi speak to a stranger in Greek, with a voice I could not identify. He promised to kill Sir Athelstane for him."
"Christ's Wounds! Were you seen, girl? I fear more for you; no man alive, certainly not one of us Oathbound, can defeat Sir Athelstane." He protectively placed his hands to the princess's firm, athletic brown shoulder, and before he realized what he had done he noticed that she did not wince away.
"I hope they did not see me, though it is said the Brahma-Rishi has the Third Eye. As for Sir Athelstane, I pray to Vishnu what you say is so. But the Brahma-Rishi has great allies in the Dreamtime."
"What is the Dreamtime?" Sir Sigurd asked. He had heard the term used a few times since entering Rupalistan.
"It is improper to speak of it openly." The Princess said with a shudder. Her vulnerability only made Sir Sigurd ache to hold her. "You alone Sir Sigurd, the Knight of Bees, are beyond suspicion. Of all of them, you are incorruptible."
When the Princess's pleading green eyes hit him, the Dane felt as if he could float as well as a fakir.
At the sound of hooves, Sir Sigurd leaped and with a rasp drew his great Frankish blade in defense of the Maharaja's daughter. Racing up the Himalayan mountain valley's yak-trails was another wearing the yellow and black striped cloak of the Bandemanna, which gave them the name 'Knights of the Bees.'
A sneer crossed the black point-bearded man's lips. "Ah, the Dane! There you are. Sir Athelstane sent me to bring you. He wishes to speak with you of a matter of most unusual urgency. Personally and private."
Sir Sigurd was vexed. Never before had Sir Athelstane personally asked to see him alone, the most junior of the Oath-Bound Men.
"Incidentally, after your meeting, my armor and shield are in need of polishing." The Norman Knight, Sir Caudiér said.
"Aye, sir." Sir Sigurd said.
The three took the yak-road in the valley between the mountain peaks, which stretched for dizzying heights before reaching the minarets and colored banners of Bhopala, the capital city of Rupalistan. The mountain peasants averted their eyes at the presence of the Princess Erzhad. They believed her to be literally divine, a living goddess and incarnation of Parvati.
Princess Erzhad wondered what it would be like to roughly lick Sir Sigurd's red happy trail.
Her thoughts passed to the handsome, shy young Dane Sir Sigurd. She found she preferred talking to him over Sir Athelstane, who never laughed. She loved Sir Sigurd's rust-colored hair, his light skin and nose surrounded by freckles, his girlishly beautiful face, his slim, strong body that reminded her of statues of Mercury, or Krishna, only his body was covered in reddish hair on the chest like a virile animal. She loved his wiry biceps, his arm collected in a small ball the size of a tangerine; she loved his dancer's thighs and his thick calves.
When Sir Sigurd smiled his shy smile and looked away, she felt herself melt, and she wanted him to be inside her so badly that her bones were in pain.
She knew it would be poor karma to think such thoughts of another man apart from her betrothed, but Princess Erzhad could not help it. Two white Christians arrived in her father's kingdom, and she loved both of them. Perhaps it was because they were both neither cringing, beaten serfs that averted their eyes in her presence.
If only the two could be the same man, or Sir Sigurd's spirit in Sir Athelstane's body...
Sir Sigurd the Dane ran with haste on the lush carpets of the palace, up to the pagoda the Maharaja's hospitality granted the leader of the Knights. It had silk pillows and a single half-full gold chalice of Eastern wine with perspiration on the metal that made it look as if it was still chill. Though Sir Sigurd had fought beside the mighty Saxon Sir Athelstane from Cyprus to Persia, being in his physical presence was an unreal sensation that made him frightened and astonished at the same time.
The first feature one always noticed was Sir Athelstane's huge legs, that rolled with skintight white hose clinging to each deep crevice of his surface anatomy, both out of proportion to the rest of his body. Sir Athelstane's great barrel-thick, teardrop shaped thighs, when pressed against each other, were only slightly less thick around than his shoulders, striated with teardrop-shaped muscles that made his knees appear sunken and threatened to snap his hose. Sir Athelstane's calves were powerhouse cows an inch less wide than most men's waists that caused his boots to strain as much as his biceps did his sleeves. They looked like a bowling ball had been stuffed behind his shin. This gave the Saxon superwarrior's legs the shape of a chicken leg.
The Dane had seen firsthand the power of these legs. He had seen Sir Athelstane knock down armored men with an earthquake stomp that spread like a shockwave. Sir Sigurd had seen these legs crush a stone column to ground dust with a scissor-squeeze.
Sir Athelstane's skin was an even, flawless polished brass beach-tan that practically glowed. His heroic, clefted-chinned, lantern-jawed face was handsome as Adonis. The legendary Saxon had a well-trimmed, short blond goatee; his hair was a flaxen and golden, coming to his shoulders like the mane of a lion, which contrasted against his dark tan skin. Sir Athelstane's eyes were steel gray and had an unsettling gaze that seemed a little too intense, like the look of an eagle.
Sir Athelstane's height was dominating and immense; even tall men came up to the top of his hard abs. The top of most doorways only reached his neck, and his big, wide globe shoulders needed to be turned to the side in cramped places. The great Knight's v-shaped back was wide like the wingspan of a great bird, with striated muscles like rolling hills under his bronze skin, each cut like armor plates.
The Saxon's arms were iron battering rams that weighed fifty pounds each by themselves, with horseshoe-shaped triceps in back and a prominent bicep in front the size of a boulder that by itself came a centimeter short of his wrist when flexed.
His abs were eight square, hard bricks separated by half inch-deep furroughs.
"Come in, Sir Sigurd." Sir Athelstane said in French, the official language of England. He spoke with his deep, earthshaking bass voice. "I called you here for a reason." He paced about the room on his mighty legs like a caged wolf, the earth shaking under his great size with each step. He opened drawers and pushed aside peach-colored gossamer curtains.
"Good, we are alone. Sir Sigurd, it is important you hear what I have to say. It occurs to me I might have been a bit distant from you at times. For that I'm sorry. Soon, I will die, and I must pass on the greatest secret of my life."
"Die, sir? But – "
"Let me finish." He said. "I am a fraud. I am not really the original Sir Athelstane at all." He paused for a minute to let that sink in.
"My real name is Pierre du Auvergne. I was a varlet, a crooked confidence man. I sold twelve faulty ships during the Second Crusade. All of them sank to the bottom, with all hands aboard. This was a single sample of my thousand wicked deeds. In the Holy Land, I went to rob Sir Athelstane, whom I heard had King Solomon's treasure. However, all I discovered was this ring." He raised his enormous bronzed hand, in proportion to his huge body. On one finger was an unornamented, simple ring made of white platinum, with a diamond gem in the center that looked as if it was made of glass.
"The moment I put it on and touched the white gem, I found I was in Sir Athelstane's body. I do not even know if the man I took the ring from had been the original Sir Athelstane himself! But it is this ring that is the treasure he discovered at King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. I was strong, handsome and powerful! I could crush any man like a piece of parchment. At first I meant to make mischief and crime in my powerful body. But then, when others revered Sir Athelstane – me - for courage and chivalry, I felt shame. I saw I could redeem now my criminal deeds and atone before God."
Sir Sigurd gawked and could say nothing. At last he understood why Sir Athelstane could be immortal, why he spoke little of himself, and why his moods were always dark: he was penitent. "My Liege, w-why do you tell me this?"
"Because, Dane, I am going to die! The Brahma-Rishi somehow poisoned me." He pointed at the half-swallowed cup of wine on the table. "That vile foe gave me enough to kill five elephants. He thought he could without me noticing and steal the ring from my cold corpse...for what does a chivalrous knight know of poisons?" Here Sir Athelstane laughed bitterly. "But a varlet and crook knows how a poison works. The Brahma-Rishi, he knew what the ring was, the moment we entered Rupalistan, and coveted it. I believe it was from here that Solomon acquired the ring."
"Young Sir Sigurd, when the poison reaches my mighty heart and I die, you must take the ring and become Sir Athelstane yourself and keep it from the Brahma-Rishi."
"Why me, sir?"
"Because though you are the youngest, you are incorruptible, the most virtuous. But mostly because you love the Princess Erzhad."
Sir Sigurd felt as if he had just been caught masturbating.
"No, no! You must protect her. The Brahma-Rishi means to marry her himself. Swear you will do this. She is the only thing in my vile, misbegotten life I ever loved."
"My Liege, I swear it."
"Fall to your knees."
Sir Sigurd did so. Sir Athelstane unsheathed from his sheath the great black sword, Witchslayer, which it was said he obtained in Jerusalem. It had silver Hebrew characters along the black palm-thick iron flat of the sword, which read "Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live." Sir Athelstane placed the sword on either of the Dane's shoulders.