tagSci-Fi & FantasyA Paladin's Training Ch. 03

A Paladin's Training Ch. 03

byAntidarius©

Maloth awoke with a raw gasp, lying naked on his back, eyes open wide, surrounded by blackness. Vivid flashes ripped through his mind, images of memory all awhirl, impossible to piece together. With great difficulty, he sat up, struggling to engage muscles that felt like water. He felt exhausted, frail, as if all the life had been drawn from him. Gingerly, he checked his body with his hands, unable to see with his eyes, realising with shock how thin and gaunt he had become; dangerously so. His belly was hollow, his ribs clearly protruding from his chest, his arms and legs seemingly all bone and sinew, as if all the muscle had been boiled off of him. Beneath his questing fingertips, his face felt drawn and haggard, like a human man that had lived a hundred or more years.

The flashes intensified, the spinning images merging together into discernable fragments.

Flash. His beautiful mother, Morgeth, banishing Maloth and his twin sister, Shenla, to this place in the bowels of the earth, infusing them with her magic to keep them alive as long as possible.

Flash. Morgeth bellowing in agony as pain unimaginable gripped her, the bond between her and their father ripped away. Maloth found himself screaming hoarsely in the darkness as he felt his mother's anguish as if it were his own.

Flash. The Paladins of Aros confronting Morgeth, easily overpowering her in her weakened state.

Maloth clutched his head in his hands as he relived his mother's last moments. His skull pounded like a drum, his heart feebly hammering inside his hollow rib cage. A thought speared through the pain; Shenla? Where is Shenla?

Clumsily, he began to feel around in the darkness, searching for his sister, whose presence he could sense ever so faintly. After a few moments, his hand bumped into something softer and warmer than the cold stone he was crawling on.

With a shrill scream, Shenla came awake, breath coming in frantic gasps as she tried in vain to sit. Even weakened as he was, Maloth found her bony shoulder and pressed it to the ground, restraining her with ease. From the feel of her, she was in even worse shape than he. Maloth wondered if she were experiencing the same memories of their mother.

He tried to speak confidently, but his voice sounded hollow, hoarse. "Easy, sister. Give yourself time. We've been asleep for many years, I think." He waited patiently for her response, which took long moments.

"Where are we, brother? Why did she send us here?" Maloth remembered Shenla's voice as sultry, seductive, a honeyed melody dripping with promise. Now, it was old and dry, bereft of youth.

"To protect us, I think. The memories are vague, but this much I can interpret. Down here, wherever here is, the Paladins were unlikely to find us."

Shenla feebly tried to grip him with scrawny hands. "I am weak, brother. Are we dying?"

Maloth thought for a moment, fighting his foggy mind. Their mother had placed some sort of magic force around them for their protection, which had probably worn off some time ago, allowing their energy to drain from them as they slept, leaving them in their current state. To begin regaining their strength, they would need to venture back out into the world, an extremely dangerous task, weakened as they were. "Yes," he said finally. "I believe if we do not find sustenance, we will die here."

His sister's hands pulled at him. "Then take me, brother, give me life."

Maloth shook his head firmly. Even were his loins not in their current shriveled and lifeless state, fucking Shenla would surely drain the remainder of his life force, killing him, and merely forestalling her own death. "I cannot, Shenla, I have nothing to give you as I am. I must leave to Bind, but I will return as soon as I am able."

Shenla whimpered softly. "Please do not leave me here, brother."

Her words pained him. After witnessing what had become of their mother, Maloth desired nothing more than to protect Shenla. "We know it is safe here, sister. No one discovered us down here as we slept, making this the safest place we know."

He slowly climbed to his feet, leaving Shenla's weak grasp, wavering slightly as he held himself erect for the first time since waking. Even that simple task left him breathing hard. "I will return for you, sister, I promise."

Leaving Shenla laying where she was, Maloth shuffled away carefully, moving in one direction until his outstretched hand hit a cold stone wall. From there, he was able to find where that wall met another wall, and then the same again. In the fourth wall, there was an opening, and what felt like a set of stone stairs leading up. Setting his teeth, he forced his body into motion, climbing the stairs on all fours, not daring to stand for fear of a tumble that would surely break his frail body.

He climbed for what felt like hours upon hours, the unforgiving stone stairs seeming to stretch upward for eternity, wearing away the dry skin on his palms and knees. Slowly but surely, the air became lighter, fresher, occasional drafts growing stronger as he neared the surface. Finally, he reached the landing, his body threatening to fail him altogether. He dimly realised he could see, in an obscure, blurred fashion. Faint light was filtering through dense undergrowth that covered the entrance of the tunnel he had just emerged from. Slowly, his vision focused, his eyes unused to being exposed to light again. Resolving to continue forward, he moved into the foliage, falling more than once as vines snagged his thin limbs and tree roots tripped him up. Dark blood ran down his arms, chest and legs, glistening in the patchy moonlight, the forest tearing easily at his papery skin. He felt what little life he had left in him draining away with his blood. As his body collapsed, and his vision darkened, Maloth wondered if he had made a mistake in leaving the cave, leaving Shenla.

*

Maloth's body was rocking gently back and forth as his eyes came open, taking long moments to focus. A human woman was staring down at him - handsome rather than pretty, yet pleasantly plump - her kindly dark eyes filled with concern, her black hair held back by a simple kerchief. Despite his weak condition, Maloth's eyes dropped to her white blouse, which displayed a generous expanse of pale cleavage as she leaned over him to hold a cool, wet cloth against his forehead.

He was in the back of a canvas-covered wagon, he realised, lying on some blankets, with another blanket covering him. The woman's eyes widened as she saw him awaken, and she looked up to the front of the wagon, where the driver would be sitting on the other side of the white canvas. Her mouth opened, and Maloth knew she was about to alert the driver he was awake. Unsure if this would be to his benefit or not, Maloth acted, reaching deep inside himself to find what little of his power remained. He found a tiny, dark spark that flickered fitfully, like a black-flamed candle in a breeze. It would have to be enough. Bringing the miniscule trickle of energy forward, he lay a hand on the woman's shoulder, the physical contact easing the process.

The words she intended to speak died on her tongue as her eyes glazed over. After a moment, her gaze dropped back to his face, the kindness in her eyes replaced with heat and desire. Biting her bottom lip, she brought the cloth down from his forehead, to his chest, over his hollow belly, drawing the blanket down as she did, finally exposing him completely.

"I like the colour of your skin, sir," she whispered as she gently dabbed the cloth against his lower abdomen with one hand, the other hand casually undoing the laces of her blouse, bringing more of that abundant cleavage into view. "I've never seen red skin before."

Maloth had inherited his mother's complexion, a crimson hue seen only among demons. Shenla -- his sister -- had skin of a similar colour, but lighter, more feminine. Strange that this woman and whoever was driving the cart were unperturbed by his colouring. For many years after the War, during Maloth's childhood, demons were actively hunted down and killed. The more powerful of his kind could disguise themselves as other races, for a time, at least, but the younger demons were easily identifiable by their skin tone, along with other traits, making them easy targets for the Paladins. Regretfully, Maloth had not inherited the power to alter his form, apart from a few simple tricks which were useful during sex, which was the very thing that gave him power.

He could feel his body trying to respond to her touch, his shriveled, pathetic manhood struggling to rise. He was eager to be restored to his full capacity, but he knew patience would bear fruit. "Thank you, my dear," he whispered back, too weak to manage anything louder. "Tell me, what is your name, and where are you taking me?" Having succumbed to his power, weak as it was, she would be feeling inflamed with lust, and hopefully infatuated with him, desiring only to please him.

She dropped the cloth and gently cupped him, easily holding both his cock and balls in the palm of one hand, something that would be impossible once he was fully restored. "My name is Renna, and my husband and I are taking you back to our village, Waterfell. It is an opportune time, sir, as the Oracle is visiting. You are sick, and she can make you well again." She squeezed him gently, making him wish he was able to fuck her. She wasn't as pretty as he liked, but her body certainly seemed inviting. Her blouse was all the way open, now, and her alabaster breasts were freely on display, rocking slightly in time with the wagon, brown nipples crinkled and hard, begging to be devoured.

He considered his options. His power had a drawback; spending his seed inside a woman would bind her to him forever, increasing his power, and at the same time rendering her dependent on him to stay alive. If he allowed himself to fuck this woman, and come inside her, she would be Bound to him. He would become stronger, but if any harm befell her, he would be weakened. If she died, he would be greatly harmed, and would need much time to recover.

Spending his seed in any other way would drain his power, and in his current condition, it would surely kill him. He really had no desire to bind a lowly peasant woman; once restored, he would command respect and power, and only the finest, most powerful women would be worthy of his harem.

Regardless, the most pressing matter now was gaining strength to get back to Shenla, and if his instincts were serving him correctly, there was a way he could restore Shenla without lowering his standards.

"So, my sweet," Maloth said with a smile. "Tell me about this Oracle."

***

Shield forward, swing, backswing, parry. Aran's mace whizzed through the air, the morning sun glinting off the spiked steel ball. The weapon was heavy; you had to be careful it didn't carry you off balance. He used it's weight to his advantage as he moved across the training yard on the Chapel grounds. The warm morning sun coaxed sweat from his pores, droplets running down his shirtless chest.

He had given his tussle with the huge, red-eyed wolf - Elaina had said it was a direwolf - some thought. Had he been a little quicker, the wolf would never have gotten him down; he had almost been killed due to lack of skill.

He had been training intensively for more than an hour now, and wasn't the least bit tired. Since his Gift had awakened, he felt like he had energy for days, bubbling up from his centre, giving him strength.

Jeira had left early in the morning, wanting to get back to the farm. He hoped he would see her again before too long. He could feel her presence, some miles to the east, where her farm was. Happiness and contentment seemed to flow from her, which in turn made Aran happy.

"Make sure your feet are planted before you swing," Elaina's instructed from behind him.

Aran nodded automatically as he widened his stance, accustomed to her teaching. He swung a few more times, deliberately planting his feet beforehand, so as to get used to the feel.

"Good. Have a rest. I need to talk with you." Elaina said as she turned and walked to a nearby log, taking a seat.

Aran joined her, leaning his mace and buckler up against the log, barely breathing hard despite his intense work.

His beautiful mentor -- now his friend and lover - met his eyes, seeming a little somber. "Aran, it is time for you to move on."

"How do you mean, move on?" he asked her, surprised to say the least.

"Now that your true ability has manifested," she said sadly, "you must move on to begin new learnings."

Aran remained silent.

Elaina continued. "You are my first student, Aran. I watched you grow from an uncertain boy into a confident, capable man. Once I felt your true power, even as undeveloped as it is, I knew that Aros had chosen you for much more than staying here with me."

After a long moment, Aran nodded, knowing in his heart it was true. He wanted to see the world, to explore it, even if it meant missing Elaina terribly. "Thank you for training me, Elaina. You are a wonderful teacher, and an amazing woman. I will miss you."

Elaina flashed a heart-stopping smile. "Thank you, Aran, that means a lot." Leaning in, she kissed him softly, before continuing. "You need to know I've been in contact with Master Smythe in Ironshire. He will be training you from here on. He is expecting you by tomorrow, so you will have to leave soon to get there in time."

Aran nodded. "I will leave immediately."

Elaina's smile became a wolfish grin. "Maybe not immediately," she said as she began undoing the laces of her blouse.

With a growl, Aran leaped at her, tumbling them both off the log to the soft grass. Eager to get her naked, he ripped the shirt right off her body, freeing the mammoth tits he loved so much. Elaina answered in kind, tearing at his breeches until he was free of their confines. Their lips clashed in passion as they rendered each other nude.

Finally, Aran plunged into her, both of them crying out in unison as they were joined once again. They began to rut, right there in the grass; this was no tender lovemaking, this was fucking. They were like animals, biting and clawing at each other, Aran slamming his hips into her repeatedly, driving his shaft home as deeply as possible. Elaina's fluids squirted again and again, her legs clamped tightly around his waist.

They fucked like that for a time, until Aran, desiring a change, pulled out and flipped her over. Elaina willingly raised up on her knees, presenting herself so Aran could drill her from behind. Her big tits swayed in time to the pounding he was giving her, tempting him to reach down and grab big handfuls of the swinging orbs, but instead he kept his hands on her ample rump, squeezing the pliant cheeks as he had his way with her.

Wanting to give her his seed, he flipped her back over again and straddled her chest, Elaina happily squeezing those spectacular breasts together for him.

"Fuck my tits, stud," she said breathily. "I want your juice all over my face."

Aran happily complied, sliding his slick cock into the tunnel of breast flesh, not holding back, wanting to see her beautiful face and chest painted with his come. He exploded with a roar, spurting rope after rope onto Elaina's beautiful face, chest and neck.

Aran sat there for a minute, straddling Elaina, watching her lick the come from her lips. She shivered as Aran rubbed some around her nipples.

Grinning down at her, Aran pulled Elaina to her feet, leading her inside.

He led her to the bath, where they lovingly cleaned each other off, relishing the last time they would spend together for the foreseeable future.

Both excited to see the world, and sad to be leaving Elaina, Aran gathered his things. He kissed her at the door, trying to memorise the feel of her lips on his.

Elaina offered some parting words. "As Gifted, now that we've been together, we can visit with each other anytime we choose."

Aran perked up. "Really? How?"

Elaina smiled enigmatically. "There are many benefits to the Gift, stud. And I didn't have time to teach you all of them. Just know that we will most likely meet again in the near future."

Feeling buoyed by this news, Aran gathered her in his arms and kissed her again, before reluctantly putting her down. "In that case, I will see you soon."

He turned to leave, giving her one last look. Standing there, leaning against the doorframe in that gloriously transparent robe, watching him walk away, she was a vision.

There was no question in his heart that he hopelessly loved her. In time, he hoped he could return, but for now, his Gift was urging him out into the world.

***

Elaina stood at the door, watching Aran as he disappeared down the white cobblestone path. She would miss him terribly, but she was also happy for him. He was destined to become a great Paladin, perhaps the greatest in history, and she had taught him everything she could.

She doubted he had any idea of his true potential. She always knew he would be great, but what she hadn't count on were her feelings for him.

With the few remaining Paladins scattered around the world, the only other Gifted she'd met was her old master, Smythe. He was older, wiser, and a kind and noble man, and she loved him deeply. Smythe had taught her that all Paladins felt a deep love for one another, sharing an intimate connection through the Gift of Aros, but with Aran, Elaina felt a distinct pull, as if their fates were intertwined, as if they needed each other.

Heading back inside, she resolved to reach Smythe in the dream, hoping he could share some of his wisdom.

***

Aran had decided to go to Jeira's farm, hoping to surprise her, but when he'd knocked, her husband -- a man named Hamlin - had answered the door, apparently home in between trips to the city. Aran had introduced himself, and Jeira had appeared shortly after, explaining how Aran had saved her from the direwolf.

Once the man heard that he owed his wife's life to Aran, Hamlin had welcomed him into their simple cottage, and in short order, the three of them were sitting down to a meal, Aran finding that Hamlin was not a bad fellow.

After they had eaten together, Jeira had left the table to clean up, leaving Aran and Hamlin to get acquainted. Hamlin seemed a simple, honest man, of average build, with dark hair and olive skin. For some reason, Aran had expected a fat fellow with the personality of a fence post - Jeira had not told him much about Hamlin, and Aran had not had the chance to find out more about her personal life - but contrarily, he found Hamlin to be quite pleasant company.

Aran had used his Gift, expanding it to ease conversation -- it seemed to work differently with men - and also to alleviate Jeira's tension at having both Aran and Hamlin in the same room. As a result, Hamlin was chatting to him like an old friend.

Jeira soon retired for the night, glancing longingly at Aran as she left the room. Aran chose to ignore it, for Hamlin's sake, and the man soon began to talk about his problematic marriage.

"Being away from Jeira is so hard, Aran. She's so beautiful and I love her so much." Hamlin's face was pained as he spoke.

Aran just listened.

"I just feel like I'm not good enough for her. She deserves the best and I'm just a farmer. What can I give her? I made a mistake, Aran; there was a woman in Ironshire, not half as pretty as Jeira. I don't know what I was thinking. I can't live with myself!" Hamlin buried his face in his hands, tears visible between his fingers.

"Tell me, Hamlin," Aran inquired gently. "Why did you feel the need to be with another woman?"

Hamlin shrugged his shoulders, his eyes downcast. Aran could feel he was ashamed. "I thought for sure she was seeing another man while I was gone. I was feeling down and unwanted, so I slept with another woman. I just wish I could undo it."

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