tagSci-Fi & FantasyPleasure Knight

Pleasure Knight


The hauntingly beautiful towers and spires of Perfume Hill loomed over me on every side. Their midnight shadows caressed the white, paved streets like a woman's hair does her lover's naked, aching body late at night when all the world has gone to bed and only they are awake, locked in each other's arms.

Lush, fragrant scents wafted over tall, graceful walls all around, emanating from a hundred thousand flowers of vibrant colors and graceful shapes. They smelled like every seductive, teasing, insisting perfume ever worn by womankind.

The silvery chain on the gate of the Flower Garden hardly produced a sound when I pulled it. There only came a sweet giggle and whisper from far off in the distance, like silk on skin, like kisses, lips on lips.

Above the wall, swaying gently in the late night breeze like the lazy, seductive movements of scantily clad dancers in some darkened chamber, were the innumerable treetops of this, the largest House on the hill. Behind them, far away, rose the Unicorn's Horn, the impossibly tall, elegant, slender, white Tower of the Sibyl, the chief Lady of Perfume Hill.

For a stranger, a man to boot, to ascend the Hill of Women was either like being let into his sweetest dream, or willingly walk into the most dangerous forest in the Wild, filled with vicious creatures that would eat you alive. And finding out that none of your usual weapons could protect you against them.

That was, of course, how I felt. The faint, exquisite feminine sound of the doorbell went on and on. Why didn't it stop? It was like when I was a kid and a gaggle of girls would look at me and whisper and giggle and I wouldn't know if they planned to make fun of me and my clothes or wanted me to ask one of them to be my girlfriend.

I clung to the spot on my belt from where my sword used to hang, even though it would not have done me much good when faced with arrows from burning eyes, tackles from heaving bosoms, ripostes from smooth thighs, and the coup-de-graces of sweet words whispered in husky voices across succulent lips. Why had the Captains of Glory Hill sent me here? I was totally unprepared for this. Why? Why?


"Thank the Lady! You finally came!"

The young woman that appeared had no idea she was supposed to let the tall cast iron gate slide open and peer demurely out at me. Instead she scared me witless by shoving it as if it were a sleeping cow she had decided to topple. On the other hand, I would have been scared no matter what she did, so it didn't really matter.

"I? Who?" I said while I licked my lips and looked around. You know, just to prove to her as well that I was utterly useless for this mission. At twenty-three I was too young and too inexperienced. With the world in general and the wily ways of women in particular. I wasn't confident. I wasn't charming. I wasn't suave. I couldn't churn out compliments on demand like I could fire arrows, couldn't kiss hands like I could whack people over the head with large, heavy objects.

"We've been waiting for you for months, even weeks! Days, at least!" It gave me some comfort that that she seemed as naive as me. Some, but not much.

One side of her black skirt rode noticeably higher on her thighs than the other, and she was barefoot. She had messed up the button order on her dark, blue blouse, and her long, honey hair had not been 'adjusted' in front of a mirror before she came running to open the gate.

"For me?" I said.

"Yes, you!" Her eyes were blue and sparkling like a clear forest spring when the wind creates small waves on the surface and the sun makes them glitter. "Do you know how many dresses there are in this House?"


'Unadjusted' hair is even more irresistible than its more well-groomed counterpart. Take a woman's head where, for example, almost all the hair is caught in a ponytail. What happens? All the men around her will be aching to lift that single, runaway strand from where it tickles her lower chin and place it behind her ear.

She wears her hair in a loose bun? Men can't stop staring at it, waiting for it to unravel and come cascading like light or shadow down her back. Like most things they do, I suspected that those cruel, vicious, sweet creatures do it to us males entirely on purpose.


There was no way I could know how many dresses there were in this House. I didn't know anything about the Flower Garden except that I was to come here and ask for help from the Lady of the House.

I didn't know much about Perfume Hill either, having arrived just a few hours ago. Time enough to change clothes and a quick wash in my hotel room, and that was about it. Ladies like their men clean, and on this Hill it was all about what the ladies wanted. Even someone like me, who had never truly been able to feel the delight of a woman's touch, knew that.

"The Lady Deep Shadow has... eh, I don't know. Twenty of them? Thirty? Let's say forty. Then, there are us five apprentices. I have only two dresses, but I know that Blossom has circa seven, and the Lady only knows how many Flame has. Say fifty? And the maids each have two for work. I hope none of the male staff have any, but you never know. That makes... I don't know, numbers confuse me. Say a thousand! A thousand dresses! Do you know how important dresses are to women? Do you want me to tell you?"

I wanted her to tell me what it all had to do with me. I also wanted for her not to notice that I noticed how she bared her belly each time she lifted her arms to gesture. She was one of those women who express more of her opinions with her body language than her words. And I was, despite my problems, the kind of man who appreciated that. I tried to remember that her eyes were up there, resorted to a "Yes, please," and listened to a long explanation of the need to go to parties, weddings, and rituals. Of how important it was to dress respectably and, this was very important I gathered, look better than your rivals.

I wanted to say, in my awkward talking-to-women stutter, that she would always look good, but I chickened out. Totally unlike Sir Suave, whom Glory Hill could have sent on this mission. Oh, why, why me?

"Well?" She placed her hands on her hips, making her stunning body look like a lightning strike.

Eyes are up there, Weed! "Well?"

"What are you going to do about them?"


"Yes, them. The moths that are tearing through silk and lace like a fox through a chicken coop."


"Yes! That's why you are called the mothball man. You kill moths. With your balls. Eh, sorry! That didn't come out right." She blushed.

There was no way in which she could blush that didn't touch my heart.

"I..." I said. "I don't know anything about moths."

"Then why do you work as a moth ball man, then?"

"I don't."

"You don't?"

"I don't!"

"Then why didn't you say so at once?"

"I didn't know that I wasn't a moth ball man!"

"Then, if not, what are you?"

"I am..." I took a pause, remembering that I had memorized a phrase that I thought would help me make a good first impression. In this case, it would have to be a good third, or fourth, impression. "My name is Weed, a Wanderer from Glory Hill. I have come to seek the help and advice of the esteemed Lady Deep Shadow. Will you take me her please, young maiden?"

"Young maiden?" Hands returned to hips. Intimidating in so many ways.


"Even though I am still an apprentice, I am not a day younger than you, good Sir Wanderer." Her lower lip pouted. "The reason I am not a full Lady yet is because my chosen trade is so much more demanding than that of a Wanderer. Running around in the Wild and sticking spears into people's eyes. Hah! And as for me being a maiden or not, that's seriously so not your business. Do you think so? Do you think that's your business, Sir Weed?"


"Then I..." She stopped herself as if I had said something truly momentous and not just done like all men before me: Been randomly tactless. "Sir Weed?"




"From Glory Hill?"


"Come to seek Lady Deep Shadow?"

"Yes. Were you expecting me?"


The young woman adjusted her black skirt so that it was equally short on both sides. She turned around and did the buttons on the blue blouse right, leaving the two top ones undone, then arched her chest forward just an inch or two. Slim fingers ran through the long, honey hair, untangling it. She lowered her eyes demurely and smiled at me in a way that could melt lead.

"No," she said in voice that had read what 'sultry' was supposed to sound like. "Not at all."

She giggled and fluttered her eyelashes at me. It was so obvious what she was driving at, yet it was like holding a steaming, hot sausage under the nose of a starving man. He knows he's being teased, but a certain organ of his doesn't really care. Her execution of the procedure showed me that this was a woman who had never made a habit of neither demuring nor eyelash-fluttering. That only made it more endearing, though.

The obvious lie on the other hand, not so much. But why? What was it about?

And why hadn't the Captains sent me into the deepest forest of the Wild to fight ghouls with my bare hands? To herd giant fire-lions? To dive for dragon's eggs? What is it about women and their games and intrigues? Couldn't they just get together when they disagreed and pull each other's hair, scratch and pinch each other until they sorted everything out? I would watch that.

"My name is Poppy and I am delighted to finally meet one of the famous Wanderers. So, brave and handsome Sir Weed: How can poor, little me help you?"

She wasn't that little. Slim, well-built, just a few inches shorter than me.

"You can... I... Could you please take me to the Lady Deep Shadow? I need to speak with her. It is urgent."

"But, Sir Weed!" She went on in her sultry voice. "It is late. Midnight is long past. Lady Deep Shadow must surely be asleep by now. It was just luck that allowed me to remain awake. Some evil dream that tormented me, perchance. It let me hear the bell and thus be able to greet this tall, rugged stranger." This new mode of speech seemed even more foreign to her than to me. She went on, nonetheless. "Good Sir Weed, I am Lady Deep Shadow's confidant. You may convey your message to me, and I will relay it to the Lady in the morning. I will make sure that you, and your, I am convinced, utterly urgent and important mission will get an audience with her first thing."

"Uh..." I said. "My message is for Lady Deep Shadow's ears alone."

"Really?" Her hands found her hips again.

"Yes!" She might as well have been threatening me with a mallet the way I backed off. "I was sworn to absolute, total, utter secrecy, to never reveal-"

"But do you really..." She approached me by twice the amount of steps I had retreated, "...mean that this applies..." Somehow she had got me to back up against the tall wall surrounding the Flower Garden "...to me?" Her eyes widened. Boy, could those blue ever grow wide! "To poor, little me? Who only wants to help you? Who is completely enthralled by your manly charm?"

Her bosom was now but a foot away from my chest. I was as defenseless as a warrior who had lost his shield and dropped his sword due to accidentally cutting both his hands off. "I am afraid-"

"Sir Weed! You are the rudest man I ever met!" She put a hand to her gaping mouth.

Was she still just acting? I had no idea. None at all. All I knew was that I had to flee. A tactical retreat, as it was often called. I was, after all, overpowered.

"I really should get back to my hotel and-"

"You will do no such thing!"

"No?" I wouldn't?

"Certainly not! You must stay with us as our most welcome and most..." She leaned forward, bringing her bosom within heavy breathing distance of my shirt. "...cherished guest."

"I have all my stuff-"

"I am sure that we..." She started to finger my upper sleeve and I was caught as firmly as if she had me in a headlock. "...will be able to accommodate your every need. Perhaps even something a little more comfortable than those rough, gray pants, perchance?"

That was it. My resistance was beaten down, and I was ushered in through the gate. The clang as it closed didn't sound ominous, but it sure felt that way. For good reason, as it would turn out.


They said that all the Houses on Perfume Hill had gardens filled with flowers and trees and brooks and bridges and fountains and statues and pavilions and benches. All in stylish good taste, all in pleasant, rural environments that were artfully crafted within the confined spaces of the encircling walls.

I saw at once that the Flower Garden took that to the extreme. On the inside was a vast landscape. The largest compound on Perfume Hill, they had managed to cram an entire civilized reflection of the Wild inside. Forests, groves, hills, steppes, swamps, they all lay glowing in the silver moonlight.

A few steps later, when I had followed Poppy down a gentle slope and almost disappeared in a deep forest, I turned around to discover that the wall was hidden by rows of trees. Trees that pretended they were not there for that very reason.

I didn't notice any buildings. At all. That ought to have surprised me, but right now I was flabbergasted that I even managed to pay attention to the nature around me. I was walking behind Poppy, after all.


Behind Poppy's backside. She swung it like one who has never practiced the seductive walk before, but who has decided to give it everything she got. Who is also a quick learner. And who has certain natural advantages.

There were buttocks beneath the flimsy, black skirt. Firm and slender, yet so very feminine buttocks. They never stopped moving. They rested on a pair of thighs whose curves used the hem of the skirt to play peekaboo with my lust. Her ankles were studied like a pair of ankles had never been studied before.

The path we walked must have been designed to reveal all the marvels of the garden in the most dramatic way possible. I didn't gasp and wow a single time. We crossed a bridge over a small, elongated pool that may or may not have been full of beautiful fishes in every color. Who cared about things that didn't even have long hair or long legs?

Poppy stopped by a cast iron ladder so cleverly hidden in some bushes that I wouldn't have noticed it even if she had been a hundred years old, hadn't showered for the last ten of them, and worn ten layers of carpet.

I suddenly regretted my drooling. Not because thousands of hidden pairs of eyes somewhere up in the trees might have observed me ogling her. Because of my pants.

My pants were made for journeying through the deepest forests and over the tallest mountains. They had to be durable, soft, and supple. And rather tight. Also, the few women who had seen me naked, and about to demonstrate my problems to them, had commented that I was 'well endowed.' That combination could be fatal should Poppy happen to turn around and look down.

"So..." I said as the ladder went on and on, past the branches of a huge oak. I didn't look up to see how tall the ladder was. I did not look up to see... anything. "What kind of place is this?"

"It's fantastic!" Poppy seemed to forget all she ever knew about sultry voices. She also looked down a lot, but was very good at remembering where my eyes were. "This place has been the residence of the Lady Flower Girls for more than three hundred years! And some of the trees are even older than that! All the plants in the world are here! There are all kinds of secrets and treasures hidden between every bend of every path! I mean magical herbs and suchlike. Not gems and stuff, that would be the domain of the Low Women. They're not really tiny, most of them, but they're the experts on jewels and gold and seams and prospecting and mines and that. I guess you got some of them on Glory Hill? I mean, to get iron for all your steely weapons, right?"

We did, but she didn't give me time to tell her about them.

"We in this here garden are the Flower Girls, also there's the Weather Girls and the Healers, who are the senior Ladies and rule the Hill. Their Sibyl lives all the way up in the Unicorn's Horn! And we got the Artisans, and the Lionesses and... You get it. You do get it, right?"

She gave me a hand up to a platform and a cast iron walkway that looked like the floor of some dream world. The forest was almost invisible in the dark. Nothing to see but silvery branches and long, honey hair.

"I guess," I said. The way the Ladies of Perfume Hill had decided to organize themselves confused me as much as female matters in general, but I had read about them back on Glory Hill. And I knew the lionesses. A few of those most magical and excellent warriors had chosen to join the Wanderers, and they were hands down the best we had.

"So..." I managed to ask a question while she was busy drawing breath. "What do you think of that Bleak Hill?"

"What do I think of it?" She looked almost scared. "It's the Dead Lands, the most horrible thing I have ever seen! They have ravaged and raped the Wild! It's an abomination! And to think that evil, nasty, cruel disease is spreading down into the lowlands! It's so horrible. Do we have to talk about that? We don't have to talk about that, do we?"

Usually I avoided talking about the evil that was expanding to every part of the world. Especially since the Dead Lands were spreading down the entire expanse of the huge valleys next to Glory Hill, and we Wanderers were unable to halt it. Now I was just happy to have a normal conversation instead of being clumsily seduced for some nefarious purpose.

Unfortunately, she seemed to remember she was supposed to be doing just that.

"But, Sir Weed..." She adjusted her lips to sulking mode, fluttered her lashes like she was caught in a swarm of gnats, and made sure I followed her at a distance where I would have to bump into her should she stop. And that bump would happen a few inches before the rest of my body reached her.

Just when I had resigned to walk bent over for miles up here on these shadowy walkways, she tensed up. There was a shadow waiting by one of the trees. One that wasn't woody and covered in bark. It was female and curvy and soft and draped in red silk and long, brown hair, brushed to gleaming as if on her way to a date or a party.

When Poppy saw her, she started and hesitated before going on, the bounce momentarily gone from her steps.

The other woman was leaning against a spruce, looking at us with one of the most hostile glares I have ever seen. The two women locked eyes and didn't let go until we had passed each other by. I didn't ask who she was.


Soon after, Poppy veered sharply to the left and headed straight for an enormous mass of branches in the crown of a tree with huge, dark, green leaves and tiny, oval nuts. Under a branch, through a cluster of greens, and then we were outside a small house made out of vines and leaves and branches. The walls were covered by leaves in layer upon layer, except where there were small window-cracks, half by design, half by chance. A sheet of rustling, rooty things as fine as threads hid what I suspected was a door. The leaf-roof looked watertight and thick.

And there were flowers, flowers growing everywhere, in every crack and nook and corner, of every size and shape. It told me that the inhabitant was a very resourceful, eager, young lady. Who truly loved flowers. I wished it were bright day so that I could see them in all their glory, but I could smell them, and they smelled divine.

But... If this was her house, how could she have heard the bell ring? We had to be far away from the gate. Or had she led me on a tour of the garden only to bring me back, close to where we had entered? I had lost all sense of direction, of course, so it could be.

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