Feldare Tales: Dual Apprenticeshipbymack_the_knife©
Wenn was a happy young man, that day.
Perhaps the happiest young man for many years.
He had been selected by Old Marrat for apprenticeship. He was going to become a wizard. This was good. Wizards made lots of money, and wizards were respected. Most of all, wizards were powerful, and did not have to take guff from anyone.
For now, he was not powerful, nor respected, and certainly had little money. He was cargo, actually. Quite literally. He was wedged in the back of the wagon between a barrel of pickled river cod and a crate of bronze nails. He knew they were bronze, because he could see them as he poked them back into the crate after they poked him. He knew the river cod were pickled, because the barrel seemed to have a small leak.
He also knew, that in a few short years, by his twenty-fifth birthday, he would be one of the most powerful men in all the duchy, perhaps even the entire Western Realms. This kept him happy, despite his current situation, pickled and prodded in a jouncing wagon behind a driver that seemed to time his tobacco spitting at the same moments that gusts of wind would ensure that the finer droplets would blow towards Wenn.
He wondered idly if walking might not have been preferable.
Norboro was not terribly far, only two days by wagon or on foot. But it was farther than Wenn had ever traveled from Morrovale before. It was on the northern border of the Duchy of Morrovale, and it was the intellectual center, if not the social center of the duchy.
It sported the land's only center for higher learning. The vaunted Academy of Norboro, a finishing school for young noblemen and noblewomen. It would be a very interesting town; Wenn had no doubt.
Simon, the driver, sat on the buckboard, and clucked to the two old nags that pulled the conveyance. Next to him was a priest, a man who had called himself Menlo. He was going to Norboro, too, to become fully ordained, whatever that meant. Naturally, a man of the cloth was given preference to an apprentice wizard, in choice of seating.
The wagon jounced over another rut, and Wenn was poked again in his side by a errant nail from the crate. Pushing it gently back in with a fingertip, he wondered if perhaps another spot in the wagon would be better. Looking around he found none that seemed more comfortable. At least the sack of flour under his rump kept his butt from bouncing off the hardwood floor of the wagon.
Simon clucked at the horses again, differently this time, and they slowed to a stop.
Wenn craned his head around the pickled cod barrel to see what the hold up was. There was a girl standing by the road. She looked to be his own age, or nearly so. She had dirty blonde hair, bound in a loose ponytail, and was wearing a homespun dress that reached down to her ankles.
Wenn scoffed mentally at her lack of style. Girls in Morrovale, these days, mostly dressed 'elven.' That was to say, they wore short skirts that reached just above the knee and left their midriffs open, covering their breasts with half tunic. At first the new look had scandalized the community. But when elven ladies had begun to come through Morrovale regularly, rather than simply the one Lady Hyandai, it had begun to be less frowned upon. Now, it hardly raised an eyebrow, though the boys really appreciated the extra dose of skin they got regularly now.
The girls rather liked the newer style, too. It was easier to move about and do chores in, and not nearly so hot, lacking frills and petticoats and such. Wenn closed his eyes a moment remembering several of the village's prettiest girls in their daring, half-thigh skirts.
His reverie was disturbed by the girl clambering over the tailgate of the wagon and settling into a sitting position opposite him. She had scooted a small crate of dried meat and was folding some canvas atop it. She had managed to make a decent seat for herself when Simon clucked again and the wagon had started moving.
She smiled over at him and said. "Hello. My name is Crissa."
Wenn gave out with a weak smile. "I am Wenn, apprentice to Marrat."
Crissa seemed unimpressed, but smiled more broadly. "Then it is good that we meet." She said.
"Why is that?" Wenn asked, his voice sounding rather annoyed.
She apparently was not particularly observant, Wenn decided, for she simply smiled the more broadly.
"I am also apprenticed to Marrat." She said happily.
Wenn's face went blank, and his jaw slackened. "What?" He asked after a moment of stunned silence.
"Marrat came to our farmstead and asked me to come and study under his tutelage." She said, somewhat slowly, as if Wenn were a bit daft. "That means I am his apprentice, as well."
"But, wizards only take one apprentice, don't they?" Wenn protested, his voice rising in pitch in a way that alarmed himself. Stop sounding whiny, he chided himself.
She giggled. "I guess they can take more, if they've a mind to." She replied. "Who's to stop them?"
It took a moment for him to digest this, but then Wenn said. "I suppose you are correct."
She nodded. "Marrat knows what he is doing." She said solemnly. "He's the most powerful wizard in the duchy."
"I know that." Snapped Wenn. "Everyone knows that."
Crissa was finally taken aback, and her eyes took on a slightly harder cast of blue. "Well, excuse me for making conversation." She snapped back and gave him a rather withering glare.
Wenn looked away instinctively and watched the passing trees and farmsteads, the latter becoming more and more infrequent as they got farther from Morrovale. Luckily, the weather today was pleasant, a typical midsummer morning, though it did promise heat later.
"Ay, you two, simmer down back there, I'll not have my passengers yelling and making a ruckus." Simon shouted over his shoulder, startling the priest who had been dozing. That worthy had nearly fallen off his perch upon the buckboard when he half jumped at the loud yell.
Both of the young passengers giggled at his predicament as he flailed about for the handholds on the dash of the wagon. They chuckled a long moment before their eyes met again.
"I'm sorry to sound upset." Wenn finally said. "I simply didn't expect Marrat to choose another apprentice. Especially at the same time as his choosing me."
Crissa smiled again, but this one wasn't nearly as warm as her earlier ones had been, Wenn noticed, and was somewhat saddened by it.
"It's okay." Crissa said. "Not many people expect a girl to be chosen, either." She looked at him, again piercing him with those blue eyes. "And I wouldn't have been, except my abilities were beginning to manifest on their own, and it frightened my parents enough to pay to have Marrat come see to me."
Suddenly, Wenn was extremely interested. "Your abilities were manifesting by themselves?" He asked, a bit incredulous.
She nodded. "Well, one was, anyway." She replied.
"How? What?" Wenn asked, very interested now.
She blushed slightly. "I suppose you'll find out when we get to Marrat's home anyway." She murmured, her expression becoming somewhat secretive.
"I imagine so." Wenn said, coaxing her to speak more with widened green eyes.
She leaned closer to him, close enough that he smelled honeysuckle coming from her. "I'm a bit of a mentalist." She stage whispered.
"A mentalist?" Wenn said. "As in control minds?"
She nodded. "I can only do one thing yet, but it does work almost every time." She said.
"What's that, then?" Wenn asked, beginning to suspect her power would be very trivial and unimpressive.
She gave him another look. "This means nothing, so get no ideas." She said, grinning.
"Okay, I'll keep that in mind." Wenn responded, now a bit confused.
She stared at him a long moment, her eyes becoming almost all he could see. He found he could not look away from her. A slight feeling of alarm began to seep into his thoughts, wondering what she was doing to him, and to his mind.
Then, like a snapping of a whip, the worry was gone. He looked at her again and he wondered how he could have ever been annoyed at such a beautiful young woman.
He swallowed on a parched throat and his mouth gaped open slightly. "So pretty." He murmured as he gazed upon her gleaming golden hair and icy blue eyes. Even her faint freckles were appealing beyond description, forming a lightly brushed row of dots atop her high cheekbones and the bridge of her slender nose. The tilt of the nose drew his eyes down to her lips, full, pink, and inviting him to kiss her.
Wenn felt his heart pounding in his chest, like a bass drum sending out the marching cadence to an army. His breath was short, too, he noted, and tried to breathe more deeply. There was one other, very noticeable, affect she was having upon him - His trousers were very snug against his groin now.
"By the one, you're gorgeous." He whispered to her, and started to sit up to lean toward her.
She smiled and the entire universe contracted for Wenn, the only thing now in it was she, and her smile. The bronze nail in his hip was nothing; the smell of pickled codfish was a paltry distraction. All that mattered in the world was she, and that inviting smile. The smile was formed by those luscious lips, and he had to kiss them.
He leaned forward farther and then fell back as the world came crashing down around his head. He landed hard on his rump and the nail bit into his bottom as he landed. He blinked a couple of times, and saw Crissa sitting before him, still smiling slightly, and also coated with a thin sheen of perspiration on her face and arms.
Wenn was still panting, and he looked at her with renewed worry. "One protect." He whispered, his green eyes again wide, but this time with something other than interest. "That's a viciously powerful ability." He finally managed to squeak out.
She nodded. Her own breathing was rather short and she seemed to be flushed a bright pink at the moment, though it was fading quickly.
"You did ask for a demonstration." She said quietly, her mouth playing with the idea of a smile.
Wenn forced a grin onto his face. "So I did." He said. "I simply did not expect quite such a, well, personal one."
"It is the only thing I can do, or a variation of it." She said. "And I did not think you would like me to make the priest or driver irresistible to you." She giggled. "Or the horses." She added, looking between the driver and the priest toward the rumps of the two broken-down draft horses that pulled the wagon.
Wenn smiled too. "I'm glad you didn't." He said. "That might make me go mad." His face went sort of blank again. Crissa realized this was his 'thinking' face.
"You can do that to anyone and make them attracted to anyone else?" He finally said, his eyes growing wide.
She nodded. "Yes." She said. "On the farm, at first, my parents loved it." She looked over the back of the wagon, toward her farmstead, now long out of sight. "It made breeding season quite simple for everyone."
She giggled sweetly, with a minor undercurrent of mischief.
"The only problem is that it doesn't only affect my chosen targets." She said, her expression taking on a slightly darker shade.
"Huh?" Wenn asked.
She blushed slightly again. "When I use the ability, some of the energy, or so Marrat said, rebounds back to me. The excess."
"Excess?" Wenn prodded. This was very interesting stuff, he was learning of magic already, and he wasn't even halfway to Norboro.
She nodded. "When I try to force two people, or animals, or what have you to like one another, it seems to take a certain amount of 'energy.'" She said. "However, when they already have some appeal to one another, the remainder that is left comes back onto me."
Wenn blinked a moment. "So." He said. "If two were already halfway in love, or lust, or whatever, then half of the energy would come back?"
Crissa smiled broadly. "Exactly!" She said. "It is good to speak to someone who has the mind to think like that. I tried explaining it to my father, and he simply wondered if I would be causing any more trouble."
"What trouble?" Wenn asked.
"It's a bit embarrassing." She said. "I'd rather not speak of it."
Wenn nodded, deciding Crissa had given him enough of her secrets for the day. "I understand. Perhaps when we know one another better." He said.
"I'm sure." She smiled; it was again the sunny smile he saw when she first clambered onto the wagon. He was inordinately glad to see it.
At noon, or thereabouts, the wagon pulled off the road and stopped at a small farmstead. It was rather run-down looking, but they smelled stew cooking on the air.
"Rest stop." Called the driver. "They'll have stew for you lot and there's privies behind the house."
The priest sauntered off around the building and Crissa followed him. Wenn trailed after, sniffing at his clothes and the faint whiff of pickled codfish. The driver headed into the house and Wenn heard him talking to someone inside in his typically loud voice.
The priest was done with his transaction rather quickly and headed back around the house. The outhouse was two-doored, with an inverted triangle painted on one and a long upright line with two circles on either side of it's lower end. Wenn chuckled at the crudity of the symbols, but also marveled at their obvious clarity. He entered the one the priest had come out of, the one with the 'stick and spheres.' As he dubbed them.
It was a pretty typical outhouse, and had, at one point, been one open room. Someone had nailed up a sheet of presswood between the two halves. Presswood was notoriously low quality, and this piece was no exception. It was delaminating in several places and there were a couple of small holes. He eyed them dubiously as he performed his transaction with the hole in the seat.
He saw a flash of movement on the other side of the pressboard and realized he could see, through one of the holes, Crissa's hip. Despite one part of his mind saying to not do so, he peered closer, changing his angle of vision. His view crept up and forward over the bare skin of her hip, to her thigh, then over the top of the thigh. He could barely see a patch of dirty blonde curls at the top of the thigh, between her legs. This was pretty much all he had ever seen of a girl's private places, though, and he felt his organ respond to the visual stimulation.
He was a typical eighteen year old, and his cock hardened at the slightest provocation. This was no slight provocation, he decided, stroking gently on his rod. The pubic hairs moved slightly as Crissa shifted beyond the pressboard and he moved his eye closer to the hole. He saw a bit more of the hairs now and could even make out the top of the crease that split her crotch.
He felt his impending orgasm building quickly as he stroked his pole, and began to pull harder and faster upon it. Crissa shifted again, seeming to prepare to be finished with her needs in the outhouse. Her thighs parted a goodly way as she moved to reach for something. Paper, perhaps, he thought.
As they parted his view improved markedly. He was now seeing the parts of a woman's anatomy that he had never laid eyes upon before. Her narrow slit, and the folds that surrounded it were clearly visible, as was the tiny bud of her clitoris. He had heard of these things, talking with other boys, but had never seen any himself. They were all pink, and very soft looking.
He noted that his throat was very parched again and tried to swallow as he furiously stroked his cock with his hand. He came just as she closed her legs, semen spraying out of his organ forcefully and splattering the wall of the outhouse. He looked over at it and watched as another spray shot forth. He'd never come so hard before, either. But then again, Wenn had never had a fully exposed woman's vagina to stimulate him before, either.
When he glanced back to the other half, she was not to be seen, and the door of her side was clacking against the building.
Wenn wiped up the semen with some of the paper, thoughtfully provided by the house owner, and put his organ away, already growing flaccid with a sense of accomplishment.
Crissa was just turning around the corner of the house when he came out of the outhouse. However, when he came to the door of the house, she was holding it for him, waiting.
A smile crossed her face as he passed her into the house and she followed him in. He was beginning to like her friendliness, he decided.
The two sat with each other at one of the remaining of the three tables in the kitchen. Obviously, this farmstead supplemented its income by feeding wayfarers. As they all ate, three other men came in, wearing armor and carrying the weapons of soldiery. They paid their tuppence and sat down and began digging into their stew heartily.
They were eating in relative silence, listening to the soldiers chat among themselves. Finally, though, between slurps of stew, Crissa looked up and locked eyes with Wenn.
"I saw you peeking at me." She said.
Wenn almost spit stew at her, but managed to choke it down and only cough a little. "What?" He whispered.
She grinned broadly. "I saw you peeking at me in the outhouse." She whispered in return. "You nearly put your eye right up to the hole."
Wenn was now crimson, and his ears were burning fiercely.
She put her hand atop his. "Don't worry about it." She said quietly. "I was peeking too."
He blinked a moment. "You saw . . .?"
She nodded at his unfinished question. "All of it, yes." She said. "Even when you spent."
Wenn was mortified. "By the One's grace I apologize, Crissa." He said. "I couldn . . .."
She patted his hand again. "I said it was okay." She whispered. "It's partly my fault anyway. I did ensorcel you earlier, and parts of it may still be in your mind. And, remember, I was looking through a different hole, but just about as hard." She added. "Speaking of hard." She giggled. "That was quite a show."
Stunned into quiet, Wenn just slurped stew for a few more moments. "You don't mind?" He asked after a long pause.
"No." She said. "I enjoyed it as much as you did." She said. "It's not like I met a lot of young men on the farm, you know. And you're a rather good-looking one, in addition."
He slowly let a smile creep into his lips. "Well, okay then." He finally said. "I'm glad I could be of some entertainment." He noticed her hand was still atop his on the table, and it felt very warm.
She giggled. "More than a little." She said. "It was quite informative."
"Oh? How so?" Wenn asked, suddenly intrigued again.
Crissa sat down her spoon, and stood up. "Outside, where we can speak freely." She said, then walked out the door, dropping her bowl onto a handcart just inside the entrance.
Wenn followed her a moment later, not wanting to seem too eager, or at least not as eager as he felt.
She was sitting in the shade of a small pear tree when he came out, leaning with her back to the trunk. He sat against the same tree, next to her. She turned toward him, and still spoke quietly, but more loudly than they had inside.
"Well," she said, "I know now how large a man's organ is. And how to work one, should the need arise."
He gaped at her a moment. "You've never seen one?" He asked.
She nodded. "Well, never one hard." She leaned closer. "I never knew they were so large."
"How big did you think them to be?" Wenn asked.
She giggled. "Like my thumb." She said, holding out her upraised thumb.
Wenn laughed at that, too. "No, they do go larger than that, I'm sure."
"So I saw!" Crissa said. "A lot larger." She looked at him earnestly. "Yours was as thick around as my wrist, and as long as my hand. Now I know why losing one's maidenhood hurts."
He nodded. He had played silly games with other lads before and knew he was, perhaps, a bit larger than most, though not nearly as large as some.