The Dragon Ring Ch. 05byBeatnic_jazzman©
Councillor Cadwill was there already, having arrived minutes in front of us.
"The talk is all of Prince Hallit being wrong footed. There are some that want to press forward, take him down a peg, but there are some that worry about reprisals; sabotage of their place men. It's turning into a kerfuffle large enough to attract the vultures of the café commentators. Their spies are everywhere; we're already feeding tit bits and innuendoes to them. Let's hope we outdo the prince's men."
He sounded quite excited about it, throwing a coat to the chair. He said, "We must circulate you, let the right people see you, sympathise with you. Hah, Millister will have to oppose, it will make him a cowardly fool in front of his peers. Oh I'm beginning to enjoy this."
He rang the bell, and the maid, who must have been waiting outside the door, appeared.
"Tell Robrik we will have dinner now."
"Now what were you two up to this morning?"
I told him briefly of our trip to the museum, and he bade us walk through to the breakfast room, freshly laid for dinner.
Seated, we were treated to a roasted joint of Goatse, fresh from his own farm in the Sx district, with a pudding after of pron pie. My belt needed a few extra notches as I lay back in the chair.
"Could you be available to go to a dinner party this evening? There are a few people I'd like you to meet."
"Yes, we are at your disposal."
He would have his housekeeper take Sisoft shopping for some dresses, and for me to go with Robrik and have clothes fitted.
He then busied himself writing more notes, while we were left to our own devices.
Soon enough a formidable looking woman claimed Sissy, and I was escorted by Robrik to some tailor to be decked out.
The evening came soon enough; Sissy being attended to by two maids was ready before time and was left to twiddle her thumbs, whilst I was groomed by a manservant.
As soon as I was ready we were whisked out into the carriage, and into the evening. Stopping before some grand house, we were greeted by our host for the evening.
I was dressed in a traditional wizards robe with a sash denoting my status around my waist. Sissy on the other hand looked radiant, every part the Princess. I don't know where they dug it up, but she also wore a coronet that sparkled in her hair. Sweet Mother, just looking at her made me proud.
We went in and Antic took Sissy in arm as he circulated, she was the attention of a large crowd of simpering old men, each trying to be more gratuitous in the hope of winning a smile. I was introduced to a younger man who told me who was who at the gathering and was himself plagued by pretty young things requesting a dance or some other small favour. He blamed me for much of this attention, the young girls wishing to be introduced to the dashing hero.
The tale had grown in the telling of it, events and actions were ascribed to me that would have made a super hero blush. Everyone wanted me to perform illusions, and I titillated a group of influential matrons to a Black Bruiners display in the garden, rearing the full eight feet of the beareocious and giving a load roar.
Just after ten, a servant found me and told me that the Councillor was ready to return home and would be pleased if I would accompany him
"Well that went very well," he said as we joined him in the coach. "Sisoft, you played your part well..., congratulations, you may have won a kingdom tonight."
You could see her face flushed and excited by the coach lights.
"And you, that little display with the beareocious was a masterful stroke, you reminded the people of the power of the wizards."
He retired soon after we arrived home, leaving us in the lounge with a good bottle of wine. We talked of who we met. She was a little jealous of the pretty young thing that had dogged me during the party. I teased her that there were some comely women there.
We slept separately. I was missing her warm and comforting body next to mine, and would have easily succumbed were she tomorrow to repeat her request to share some time at an inn.
But that was not to be. She was taken to a breakfast meeting with some dowagers, whilst I was introduced to one of the prince's men, and taken to an audience with the Prince himself.
"Commit yourself to nothing!" were the orders given.
The prince was probably more handsome in his youth, but had let himself get plump and didn't carry it well. He enquired of me the full tale, and asked some probing questions as to our relationship. I was ever cautious, insisting that she was as virginal now as she had been under her father's roof. He questioned me as to the Councilman's actions, to which I attributed no ulterior motive, merely that he was moved by her plight and wished to help right the situation.
All in all I gave nothing; all that he could use against me was a little fraud with the money side of things. Which could be spun back as justifiable give our survival depended on it at times, and that it was never excessive.
He did mention one interesting factoid. There was a long standing ban on royalty marrying wizards, enacted some generations ago to prevent a particular alliance from gaining strength. I wondered what his spies had discovered.
When I was delivered home again for dinner, nobody else was around. There were cold meats and a salad set up as a buffet.
I helped myself and then wandered into the library, losing myself in an old tome by some author named Machiavelli. I heard Sissy's tones as she came in the door, talking excitedly to some old biddy. I stepped out.
"Oh hi," she greeted me. "I've just come to pick up some things, I'm out to see some of Mrs. DeBurg's friends."
I was still alone, reading, when Antic, as he had us call him now, returned.
He came into the library.
"Ah there you are Rigbetif. I have news of some startling developments. It seems that S'snoyme was behind the plot. They wanted control of the gold mines. They put up the money to finance the little insurgency. The deeper we stir, the murkier the pool. However it makes dealing with it easier."
"How so Sir?" I asked.
"They are players on a larger stage. Now that they're found out, even though proof would be difficult, it will be easy to push them back. This now involves interstate politics, a familiar ground with known actors."
"So are you saying that this will now be over soon?"
"No, but negotiations can now begin in earnest.... Have you eaten yet.... Where is Sisoft?"
This as he walked me to the breakfast room, the answers were no and I don't know.
We partook of some well seasoned chops, and he left me to pursue his staff about some matter. I went back to reading my book in the library.
Sissy came back in the early evening, flopped down in one of the chairs, declaring herself exhausted.
"Have you eaten?"
"Yes, they laid on quite a lavish meal. They were for inviting me to take supper with them but they know that 'dear old Antic' likes to go to bed early."
"Well 'dear old Antic' is busying himself organising something with his butler. He was around earlier telling me that the takeover was state sponsored. S'snoyme had a hand in it, they wanted control over the gold."
"Why. We sold them most of the gold we mined, we only kept enough to mint our coins."
"With control of your gold, they could have limited the supply, thereby the price."
She looked angry, "You mean this is all about money. They murdered my parents for money!"
Kneeling before her I took her in my arms, holding her head to my shoulder. She started crying, the first time since I had rescued her.
"I'm so sorry, I am so sorry."
She squashed into me and we both lost our balance, tumbling backwards. She looked at me. "The bastards! Those bastards did this for money."
I didn't even know she knew the word.
Antic came hurrying through. "What's the matter?"
"Sisoft has learnt an important lesson about the nature of man."
"I don't want them to get away with this," she said.
"We may be able to get the actual players on the ground. They might be prepared to sacrifice them," said Antic. "But the people who dealt the hand will not be caught, they are sure to have deniability. Nothing on paper, secret meetings and the like. But anyway, I have some good news for you, we have invited the bishops of the Family; Father, Mother, Daughter and Son, we intend to hold a coronation here. The Father's Bishop will officiate; we also want you to make Rigbetif here a knight of the kingdom."
"Rigbetif will be King when I am Queen. We intend to marry. Do I return to my home then and are the murderer's in jail yet?"
"Married, hmmm, we hadn't thought of that. We can get the Daughters Bishop to marry you, the Son's to help Knight him, and the Fathers can still do the crowning. Gods what a spectacle that will make. Public opinion will demand the return of your kingdom. S'snoyme will have to yield, or the other kings will be forced into playing the hand out. Ambassadors will be recalled. No, no they won't let it get that far. The disruption of trade would cost them far too much."
"Wait, when can we go back?"
"Soon, my dear, soon." He patted her hand. "A snack before bed anyone?"
I took Sissy to bed, taking her into my room and undressing her as she sat morosely on the bed; we slept the night through with her lying across me.
I awoke before her and dressed quietly, waking her with a kiss to the cheek.
She came awake with a start, then saw me and smiled, then yawned. "When are you going to marry me?"
"I'm not marrying a Princess when I can have a Queen," I quipped, and quickly left the room. She would have to dress before she could chase me, and thinking of the layers I peeled last night that would take a long while.
Down stairs there was a great bustle going on. Furniture was being moved, flowers were being delivered, and an air of bedlam pervaded.
I was making my way to the breakfast room when Robrik passed me, calling that breakfast would be served in the kitchen. He was gone before I could ask of the chaos around us.
My host provided the answer. He was holding a reception for the Alhoh'a embassy, who were negotiating on behalf of S'snoyme. With luck a deal would be sealed by tonight.
Oh, and if I didn't mind, could they announce the betrothal and wedding?
I had no objections but he had better clear it with Sisoft.
He left me to my breakfast in the kitchen. I had been given no tasks that day, so was about to retire to the library when Sissy came down the stair.
"Morning beautiful." I grinned at her.
She was dressed in a light blouse with frilly cuffs and collar, a cream coloured flared dress and had her hair tied back. She looked a picture of elegance, radiant in her simple beauty.
"What are you doing today?" I asked her.
"Nothing, I was about to ask if you had anything interesting."
I thought for a moment, "Shall we have a picnic in one of the parks; it's been a time since we had time together."
She clapped her hands. "Oh what a wonderful idea..., I shall change right after breakfast."
"Change nothing; you are perfect as you are."
We walked through the scuttling servants without noticing, ending at the kitchen; she picked only a few bites, and was quickly finished.
"We shall find sweets and cakes such as we had in Boughtnock, and eat them from the box."
She took my arm, laying her head against me as we headed for the front door. Once outside we both realised that we had no idea where any park was located. No matter, we could ask directions when we bought the sweets. Happy with each other, we strolled arm in arm like two lovers, blind and oblivious to the rest of the world.
We lay at the top of the rise with a good view of the harbour and Royal Island. We would leave without seeing it, pity; I would like to have seen if the magnificence of repute was matched by the reality.
Sissy lay back, eyes closed hands behind her head. I was lying next to her, head propped on hand and elbow. The sun was shining on us and soon all would be right with our world.
I imagined our wedding day. I had a shaky idea of how to produce babies, learned from the equinininys being bred at stud, but I had no idea how to please the woman I loved.
I looked at her, her breasts slowly rising and falling as she breathed, I would be slave to her if she wanted. I lay back and copied her, hand resting behind my head, and let the time and place fade.
When we got back the chaos had reached fever pitch. As we entered my arm was seized.
"The master has been looking for you, come."
We followed through to the library, now filled with occasional tables plied with drink, to where Antic was scribbling notes and dealing with a stream of servants. He saw us as we approached.
"Where on earth have you been, we've looked everywhere?"
"We thought we'd get out of the way and spend a morning in the park."
"Never mind, your here now, you need to get changed. Your clothes are upstairs on your beds."
We looked at him.
We went up the stairs. Laid out for me was a fine black suit, hers I would get to see later.
There were guests arriving when I made it down, I was hustled into the receiving line.
Antic looked at me and hissed, "Where's Sisoft?" I mouthed back 'still dressing'.
The next guest arrived and we stood straight, shaking hands as we were named.
Sissy came down, maids still fussing with the chiffon creation, a long formal gown with a foot of train behind it. She was placed before me and I grinned at her, she grinned back, and the next guest came down the line.
After, she was taken to meet the ambassador and his wife, while several of the other guests drifted to the top of the room, disappearing out into the garden.
A representative of the Slithcock kingdom pinned me by the punch bowl and quizzed me on our adventures. He wanted a demonstration of my magic, which I declined.
Two attractive girls talked nonsense to me, they were daughters of some dignitary, they twittered on about how wonderful the city was, I think they liked the shops.
I kept circulating. One dowager asked if I would like to be her personal magician. How I held my face straight while I pleaded a previous engagement to the court of Utopica. Will forever by a mystery.
The dinner ended about ten of the clock.
We shook hands with the departing guests and retired to the library, where the servants had set up their drink relay.
They too were relaxed, one or two had glasses in hand when we entered. I could see them discretely slide them onto tables and trays. The comfortable chairs were up by the window; we sat and held hands, looking at one another.
"If all has gone well we will have settled the matter. They want to have a spectacle of our marriage, a whole grand affair. If you want we can escape this and turn up in our homeland unannounced and married somewhere on the way."
"No, we would not have won without them, let them have their victory in this," she advised.
"If you're happy with it then let it be. We sit here and the wheels of the world turn. We're just watching the wheels go round."
She sighed, "Let's go to bed."
The house seemed quiet after the buzz of the dinner. We crept up the stairs to her room; she had to hang the dress. I sat on the bed and watched her strip. When she was down to her underwear she came over, thumbs hooked in the loops of her bodice.
"Do you want to loosen these; they are tied at the back." She turned, and I kissed her shoulder.
With the corset loosed I let her push it down her body. As she bent I held her waist. She straightened and spun round, putting her arms over my neck and round my head. We had our first kiss. My hands slid round to her back and I held her, my hands rubbing up and down on her bare flesh.
She broke our embrace and put her hand on my top button. She undressed me quickly, squatting as she pushed my trousers to my ankles. My penis leapt out nearly striking her in the face. She laughed and grasped it. I was standing near naked facing her, my trousers at my ankles. She in just her tight knickers.
I raised a foot to try to shake the trousers free and nearly toppled forwards onto her. She pushed me and I steadied, but she now fell back, landing legs astride and ripping the gusset wide revealing her hairy mound.
It was my turn to laugh, but that gave her spirit, as gleefully she leant forwards. She pulled at my trousers, bringing me down in a heap. Laughing, almost snickering, at my sudden discomfort.
As I shook the offending trousers loose. I turned on my knees preparing to spring on her. As I sprang, she rolled sideways, escaping and jumped on my back.
I twisted over, trying to throw her off, landing on my back and elbows.
She stayed astride me, kneeling on my shoulders, pinning them down while grabbing my wrists.
I pushed my groin high, attempting to throw her over my head; instead I had a mouthful of hair.
She was sitting straddling my face, torn knickers flapping on my cheeks. I could feel the press of warm flesh on my chin; her hair tickling my nose. A musty aroma assailed my nose with a taste both sweet and sultry on my lips.
I moved my head up and she squealed.
"Owwww." Her hand went to her vagina as she raised herself.
"You need to shave," she complained.
She stood, still rubbing her labia.
"I have been learning, go get your shaving things and I shall shave you."
"Not in this light," I pleaded, for we only had a few candles to augment the single gas flame.
"Please," she begged.
I relented; I could see in her face that this was somehow important to her. I stood up. Wearing only my socks I ran to my room and quickly back, clutching the requirements.
She had arranged her dressing chair and put lights on the tables to its side. I sat down while she filled the soap bowl with a little water from the pitcher. Stirring the brush vigorously to raise a lather, her breasts flopping back and forth.
She sat on my legs and lathered my face. Picking the razor, she held my ear high, and slid the razor over my cheek. She wiped it in the towel and took a second stroke. I tried not to flinch, not so she wouldn't see but to prevent my movement from tricking her hand.
She did the side of my face and I was forced to admit that she had mastered the technique. I was more relaxed as she did the rest, finally kissing both cheeks, before sliding back from my knees and standing before me.
She rubbed a hand around my face.
"That's better. Now I need not fear being scratched again." She took the razor and things into the bathroom.
I sat and removed my socks, while she slid the torn knickers off as she walked towards me. As she passed me she playfully pushed me onto my back and slipped past onto the bed herself.
Turning, I caught a leg and pulled her back. Her other leg slid beneath me, as my free hand grasped her knee and continued pulling. I rolled between her legs and pulled myself forward with her hips.
We were face to face, my penis lying rigid between her thighs. I strained, inching forward till I could kiss her. She pulled my head closer then put her arms around my back, flattening her breasts against mine.
"Do you want a baby now?" I asked.
"No, let's just enjoy each other ...babies will come later."
I moved my hands from her neck to her back and holding her tight I rolled the pair of us, putting her on top again.
"What do you wish? ...I wish this was all over and we were free again."
"Aye, that would be one of my wishes too," she replied. "And I wish you were already my husband."
We kissed again and she let herself slip to my side, head on my shoulder, leg and arm across me. She talked of the fine houses she'd seen and her plans to refurnish the castle. Then exhausted, we held each other tight till we slept.