tagSci-Fi & FantasyIn the Kingdom of Smut Ch. 04

In the Kingdom of Smut Ch. 04

byHookedonPhoenix©

The morning came with a smattering of sunlight across Martin's face. He groaned in his sheets, his eyes peeking open as he sat up and rubbed sleep from his eyes. Martin was naked from the waist up, and as he stretched he heard a voice murmur from a distance. "Hm." Yasu was at the door, standing in the light like the silhouette of a warrior, her stance strong, with her hand eternally perched atop her blade hilt. "It's time to wake up, my Prince." She said, stepping into his room.

"Oh, hey Yasu." He replied, yawning. He did his best to sit up and conceal his morning wood beneath the heavy sheeting. "Morning already, huh?" He asked.

"Late morning." She corrected him, moving with firm steps across the marble flooring, her wooden sandals making loud clopping steps. "You're overdue at the Church. The Priestess has already held morning prayers."

"I'm always late." He said, his eyes blinking as he tried to work out the tiredness from his mind. "I don't think I've ever been 'on time' for something with you in my life."

She didn't smile, but Martin could swear he saw a sly look come upon her stoic face. "Perhaps; you're never tardy when the mood 'strikes' you, though." She took a slightly wider stance with her legs. Nothing major, but enough to get across her intent... and display her white panties. Martin laughed.

"Gods, Yasu, was that a joke I just heard pass from your lips?" He threw off his sheets, ignoring the fact that he was now decidedly hard beneath his leggings. "Will wonders never cease."

"Get dressed." She said, as curt as ever. "The High Priestess has agreed to meet you for a private prayer session."

Martin grumbled as he threw on his white shirt, pulling on a pair of blue breeches, the leather stitching running up the sides of his leg. "I'm not the most godly person, if you can believe that, Yasu." He said, "I'm not sure why my mother thought it so damn pressing that I get a lecture from her 'high holiness.' I'd much prefer training with you; you said I'd get to learn how to use your short sword."

"If your crotch could please the Gods, I'm sure you'd be more pious." She said dryly. "It matters not the 'why,' my Prince. We must all do things that we do not enjoy for the good of others. Escorting a lazy Prince, for example."

"Two jokes in one morning!" Martin laughed, "I daresay I'm rubbing off on you, Yasu."

"A shame my punctuality has not rubbed off on you." She retorted, stamping her foot. "Hurry. You're taking far too long."

"All right! All right!" He said, pulling on his shoes and throwing on the tabard on which his family crest was displayed. "Gods, you're worse than a mother hen."

As the two walked the corridors towards the massive, stone construction of the church on the opposite side of the keep to the Queen's chambers, Martin watched Yasu. She moved several feet ahead of him, her distinctly foreign clothing swaying in the breeze. He loved the look of her sleeves - long, wide purple flutters of fabric that gave her full arm control yet covered her appropriately. Her muscles were tensed, her bare legs seeming to be in a constant state of readiness, prepared to break out into a run at a moment's notice. Her left hand was placed upon the pommel of her sword, ready and expectant. He'd seen her fight before: in her strange, off-handed style. If her weapon choice did not throw her opponents off the odd placement of her guard compared to the average swordsman would.

She moved like flowing water, each step and shift of her body a careful application of her weight as she stayed prepared, always balanced, always a microscopic alteration of circumstance away from the battle that seemed to rage eternally in her head. Despite the absence of war, she was a coiled spring. Martin loved to watch her spine bend and her shoulders hunch as she changed body language constantly, as if to throw off potential opponents. It was art in motion. She turned her head and their eyes met, her hard, grey irises softening slightly when she glanced back at him. Martin grinned at her and she turned her head away from him, her ponytail bobbing as she strode purposefully to the church doorway.

"She will be waiting for you at the altar, my Prince." She said, holding the door for him.

"Pray for me?" He said, planting a hand at her hip, which she purposefully pulled off of her with her free hand. "You're no fun."

"In." She said simply. He did as he was told, the door shutting with a thunderous creak of the hinges as she pushed it closed. Martin's eyes had to adjust to the sudden darkness of the church's innards, the only light coming from narrow windows in the rafters and a string of warmly-lit candles lining the edges of the church pews, right up to the altar. The massive construction was cavernous, and Martin's footsteps made loud echoes on the ground as he strode down the long hallway. A strange thought entered his mind as he approached the altar, where the hooded and bent figure of a person was kneeling and praying behind the pulpit. This was where his father and mother had been wedded.

As he approached, the small, hooded figure turned. Her long, thick robes were white, with a navy blue hood that obscured her form in its totality. All the priests and priestesses moved about in these heavy, ungainly clothes. It obscured them to the extent that it was hard to discern gender, age, or even size - to an extent. It was clear that whomever was at the altar was around Martin's build, diminutive, if not short. She turned to him, extending an arm with a lone, pale hand emerging from its cavernous maw to gesture to him.

"Prince Martin." The voice said, calm and comforting, her palm opening to beckon him closer. Each nail upon that hand was perfect, as if moulded to the finger by some elegance of magic. They curled back upon her palm, seeming to entice him with their appearance. Martin was surprised that a simple set of trailing fingers could seem so... appealing! "I'm glad you came, my son. The Gods have awaited you."

"My apologies for missing morning mass, your Holiness!" He exclaimed, stepping quickly across the hall to reach her at the dais. The figure pulled her hood down from her face, and Martin stopped short. She was... she was beautiful. Martin had grown up in the shadow of the church, appearing at state functions and occasionally at mass to pray to the Gods, but he had never been a particularly devout follower. The priests and priestesses almost always kept their hoods up, and so he'd never truly gotten a good look at her. In all his days he had only heard of one High Priestess: this one. But... that was impossible!

The girl looked hardly older than he. Her wide, purple eyes and almond-shaped face the picture of youth and femininity. Her lips were full and pouty, pulled into a gentle smile. As he ascended the narrow steps to the center of the church, her other arm lifted and extended in a gesture of welcoming. Her hair was pale, almost white, with streaks of silver running through it to give it a glimmering appearance. The long white tendrils waved down either side of her head, pooling and collecting at the nape of her neck. Her hair was... thinner than a normal human's. Each follicle looked more like a gossamer strand of a spider's web stretching down, like silvery-gold snow drifting in a winter's chill.

"There's nothing to apologize for." She said, in a voice that sounded far more ageless and mature than her form would indicate. It was warm, feminine, and very, very attractive. "Devotion is timeless, prayer is as effective at noon as it is in the morning. Mass is merely a means to bring people together under the light of the Gods." She stepped forward, her heavy robes shifting beneath her indeterminable body type. "And they've brought you here. To me."

"They have." Martin agreed, suddenly much more amenable to the idea of an extended prayer session with her. "Your Holiness-"

"Call me Krysella." She said, "Your 'Holiness' is so ill-fitting. We're all just names, after all."

Martin was already beginning to like her. "...Will you return the favor, then? Call me Martin."

"A fair trade." She said, gesturing to the dais. "Please, would you join me Martin? I was just finishing a prayer."

"For whom?" He said, kneeling next to her. His gaze lifted to look at the ten foot tall statue of the Goddess of Mercy, her kindly face staring down without pupils as her stony visage was pulled into a look of sorrow and contrition. Her hands were spread out, as if imploring the supplicant to take pity on the less fortunate. She had always been more than passingly beautiful to Martin. It made sense that a being of compassion was alluring in her entreaty.

"For the living." Krysella said, "So that they might enjoy this thing we call life for as many years as they can." She clasped her hands together in penitence."For the dead, that we might not forget the joy and love they brought into this world." Her head bowed, her long, pointed ears revealing themselves as her hair drifted down, covering her face as she prayed. "For your Father and Grandfather, that their spirits might help me guide you as I once did for them."

"So you are the same Priestess." He said, turning to her. She looked at him from the corner of her eyes. "You knew my Father?"

"A good man." She said, a smile twinged with sadness gracing her softly moving lips. She seemed to be praying under her breath even as she spoke. "I loved him dearly. It's a shame that war always seems to take the best of us so young. He was a good King. As you will be, hopefully, someday."

"I didn't know him." Martin said, his eyes closing. "I was only a child when..."

"He was many things, King Gabriel. Not least of all a doting parent, and a loving son." She looked up from her prayer, a look of warmth on her face. "He'd be proud to know the man you're becoming."

Martin chuckled, "Gods, I don't know the man I'm becoming." She stared at him, an inscrutable look upon her adolescent, ageless face. Her hands reached out to touch the dais in front of her, steadying herself upon the smooth marble of its contours.

"I have a story to tell." She said, "One that I've wanted to tell you since you were young. We have never spoken to each other before... despite my very personal wish to. Your mother did not think you were ready." She looked at him, her eyes looking like deep-pooled amethysts sparkling in the low, sensual light of the church candles. "It's a story my people tell, from time to time. Though I think the lesson applies to mortals as well as Elves."

"I'd like to hear it." He said, not moving from his kneeling position.

She coughed, a soft exhale of breath that was barely a whisper upon the air. Everything she did seemed carefully calculated, cultivated. As though she were resisting her own body's wishes. "The Elves worship many Gods. This story is about one you know well, I think." She smiled, her face lacking any hint of irony or jest. "If the gossip about the castle is true, you're an... ardent devotee of hers."

"Who?" He said, genuinely curious.

"The Elven Goddess of Love." She said, her voice dropping to a low hum. She was almost hypnotic with the way she spoke, as if giving a sermon while telling a story. "She manifests as a mortal from time to time. The singers say her hair is the color of starlight, her body the shape and curve of whatever men wish for most. For an Elf, love and lust are synonymous." She let loose a small laugh. "To have one and not the other is a mockery of romance. And she spreads both wherever she can."

She took in a breath, her chest lifting through her robes as she inhaled deeply. Martin was fascinated by the way she seemed to move herself so effortlessly beneath them. "Once, many years ago, a King was riding alone through his lands. He was a bold, young King: brave, fearless. He took no knights with him, nor attendants or servants. He was a man of the people, a warrior and trained healer all in one. If not for the crown atop his head, he might have seemed like a mere traveller upon the road."

"I've heard this tale." Martin said, "My mother used to tell it to me as a bedtime story." Krysella smiled.

"The Queen is a kind woman, to remind you in that way. But not this version, I think." Her hair trailed across her face, concealing her looks as she continued to speak, her head lowered. "As he traveled across the land, the road he followed began to abet a deep, thick forest. Soon he was engulfed in the trees: the only means through the foliage being the road itself he travelled on. For days he went, his horse as his only companion through the darkness. Until one day, he came upon a traveller. A woman, wrapped in a thick cloak with her face obscured by a shroud. She begged leave to journey with him for safety till they had left the danger of the forest; her voice was so beautiful to the young King that he was instantly smitten. 'I will.' He said to her, 'On one condition: that I see your face beneath the shroud.' She agreed, but promised only after they were safely through."

"A weird request," Martin interjected. "The King could have just ordered her to remove it."

"Could he?" She said, "A King only has rule over a subject who believes he commands them. She was not his 'vassal,' I can assure you. He could have forced her, I suppose. But that is not the point of the tale."

She continued. "They rode for a day, her at his back upon the horse as they talked and joked and laughed with one another. But when night fell, dark things came out of the woods. They chanted a name over and over, and the King realized it was hers. Without asking why he drew his sword, and for the entire night battled against the shadows till dawn broke and the two were alone. 'Why did you protect me?' She asked in the morning, 'You knew they were calling my name. They would have left you alone.' The King smiled and said, 'I do not know why they did, and it does not matter. I made an oath to protect you. Honor demanded it.'"

"The second day passed much like the first, with the two telling tales of their past, sharing stories and ruminating on their plans for the future. The King noticed she sat a little closer to him on the saddle, her voice at his back as they rode together. When night came again, the shadows materialized into figures, laughing monstrosities that chanted her name. They screeched that she had done a great wrong to them, and that she deserved to die. Again the King drew his sword, and fought against the fiends till the sunlight peeked through the trees, the light a little stronger this time. 'Why did you protect me?' She asked again, 'They did not lie. I betrayed their trust, and tried to leave the forest. It was not honorable to defend me.' The King smiled and said, 'I now know why they chase you, but it does not matter. I swore to keep you safe, and I am loyal to those whom I trust.'"

"A kind man." Martin noted.

Krysella chuckled. "A foolish one, some would say. But you are not wrong."

She continued. "The third and final day passed, with the King and his companion talking long, whispering secret thoughts, fears and desires that they dared not share with another. The King noticed that the woman clung to him tightly now, her face against his back as she whispered in his ear. When the final night arrived, the figures emerged. This time they did not attack, they merely asked that he let them pass. They needed her, they claimed. She was a sacred being to the forest, and they only wished to take her home. The King did not answer, and merely drew his sword. The creatures scattered like shattered glass across the floor, fleeing from the fury of the man and his blade."

Krysella smiled as a faraway look came to her face. "This time the woman did not ask him questions. In the morning they reached the edge of the forest and emerged out into the open plains, not far from his Castle. He stopped short, still within the very perimeter of the woods that they'd been trapped in for so long. 'Why do you stop?' She asked, her fingers tightening around his waist, 'You only need to take that last step, and I will reveal myself to you, a proper payment rendered.'"

Martin knew the answer. He watched Krysella's face carefully as she continued, "The King said: 'Because it is not your face that I fought for last night, neither loyalty nor honor compelled me to draw my blade. If I pass that threshold then there is nothing left to keep you here, talking with me. Loyalty; Honor; they mean nothing without Love.' And so the woman laughed, and pulled her shroud free from her head. She was the Elven Goddess of Love, and she was more beautiful than a sunrise. 'Gregor.' She said, whispering his name against his ear. 'You need not choose.'"

"Gregor..." Martin said, trailing off. "That was never in the story mother told."

The priestess shook her head, "It wasn't. She wouldn't have told you about that part. A nameless king with an anonymous love, like a true fairy tale should be."

"That was my Grandfather's name." He said, his eyes looking purposefully back at hers.

Krysella's smile deepened, her eyes alighting upon the prince's face as she saw him begin to understand. "That is correct, Martin."

"The Elves have a tale about my grandfather?" He said, incredulously, watching as Krysella slowly peeled her heavy robes off of her shoulders. They dropped to the ground, exposing a far more revealing ensemble beneath it. She was thin, her frame curved and stacked. Her breasts pressed forwards like small cannons from her chest, cinched tightly against her form by a tight, revealing robe of white. Her cleavage was exposed, her midriff was bare, and her hips narrowed waspishly at her waist. Her elven rear was full and thick, with plenty of jiggle as she moved. Still on her knees, Martin watched in awe as she lifted herself to a standing position. She looked down at him, her purple eyes shining in the candlelight.

"They do. Though the Elves tell it differently: they say a wicked King stole the Goddess Krysella away from them." Martin gaped at her, the naughty gleam in her eye and quirk of her smile more open and unrestrained than what she'd worn before. Her blue leggings ended sharply at the peak of her knees, and clung to her body in nearly see-through fabric. The seam of her blue silk waistband was down nearly to her navel, exposing the better half of her skin. She lifted an arm and bent it at the elbow, pressing her hand against her neck. It was a calculated move: he could see her womanly bicep flex as her fingers curled across her skin, her face seeming to flush from her own touch.

"...You?" He said, slowly standing to his feet, facing her. She was slightly shorter than him, seeming to be near his age in youthfulness but her voice and eyes speaking of centuries if not millennia of wisdom.

"That is the story, Martin." She said, shrugging. The way her shoulders lifted, her cleavage pressed together, her breath sighed from her body... it was the perfect way to arouse him. Martin was - for the first time in his life - utterly stricken silent by sheer beauty. "Is it the truth?" She murmured as she stepped forward, her bare feet upon the marble leaving silent slaps across the ground. She approached him, stepping within his body heat. He was enraptured by her every move. "Perhaps a little of both. Gregor stole something from me and the Elves that day." She leaned up, her lips at the edge of his ear as he felt her cheek brush against his own. "My heart." She whispered.

"You're a Goddess." Martin said, flatly. Krysella nodded, her body so close, her skin so pale as she somehow managed to both feel the length and breadth of him, while still holding off from touching him directly. "I'm... I don't know if I believe you, my lady."

Her laughter was so seductively sweet that Martin had to stop himself from taking her in his arms right then. She let out a low breath, her eyelids lowering as she nibbled on the bottom half of her lip. "I can prove it, Martin. And when I do you'll realize I am no 'lady' worthy of such titular respect."

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