Prophecy Ch. 05byeyecandyrayce©
Helena was exhausted. The ache in her body could be felt in every inch of skin, every unmoved muscle and rattled bone. Her head ached constantly and she fitted in and out of consciousness. The blow to her head had been minor but in combination with her vision, little food and water she was left weak.
The rider seemed tireless. At first she had tried to speak to him but he had ignored her. He had ridden the entire night and into the next day. When the horse began to tire she hoped he would stop but her hopes were dashed by the fresh horse tied to a tree with a nearly gone supply of food and water. He left the old horse tied to the tree with the little bit of food that was left and sighed.
"You better be worth the price of this horse if he is died when we get back here," he told her as he lifted her onto the horse in front of him again and spurred the rested horse forward. It was the only other time he spoke to her.
This horse took them through another day and night. Both mounts were strong and seemed accustomed to the long ride. Once he had spurred it forward the horse would gallop along until he could run no farther and then walk forward until it felt rested enough to do it again. The horse seemed to control the pace more then the man.
It was at a point when the horse was walking to catch its breath when she heard the sound of breaking branches and deep repetitive chanting in a sing song language from far off in the woods. There was no way to silence that many men traveling through such thick growth. Smiling the man spurred his exhausted horse forward. She tried to sit up a little higher in his arms to see better but whimpered as a sharp spasm shot through her back.
There was a whistle ahead of them as they drew nearer and the man called out in that same sing song language that she could hear being chanted. The chanting stopped as she listened to a message get called back through the men one voice at a time until the person passing the call on was far enough away she had to strain to hear it. Helena frowned up at him in confusion. It sounded so strange and fluid compared to the guttural language of her people and she wondered from how far the army had come. And more importantly, why did they come?
Helena lay helpless in the man's arms, afraid to try and move again as she watched them ride past faces. Men marched through the trees, breaking branches and sending animals scampering away. They all wore travel worn clothing and leather armor with their shields, weapons and bags strapped to their backs. She made eye contact with some of them as they passed on the horse. Some looked curious; others hopefully and there were even a couple who seemed disinterested. Their faces were dirty and many covered in battle scars. Most of the wounds were old but a few she saw had been recent enough to be red and stark.
It seemed an eternity of passing faces at a steady walk before she heard the sound of horses approaching them through the trees. She turned her head slowly and grimaced as a pain shot through her neck. The man behind her pulled back on the reigns and the horse stopped, lowering its head in exhaustion. As the horses head lowered she caught her breath causing a chuckle from the horseman.
"It is about time I hear some surprise in you," he mumbled.
A group of five men on horse back rode towards them. Each man wore finely polished armor of steel. There were dents and even holes from previous battles but the armor was still polished and the larger indentations from heavy blows had been hammered out. All of their eyes were on her face as they weaved around the men and trees. But the man who rode out in front of them was who had made her gasp.
He had long auburn hair with golden highlights tied back in a long braid down his back that bounced when he rode. His hair was longer then Helena's and looked better cared for. His armor was golden and shimmered along with his hair in the sun that peeked through the branches above him. He sat high on his mount, guiding the reigns with one gloved hand and a life spent on the back of a horse. But his eyes made a shiver run through her. The intensity of his green eyes as he looked at her with almost an eager look made her grip her apron in her fingers where they rested in her lap. There was no way to mistake him for anything but a King.
When he passed the men looked up with admiration and moved aside with a bow of their heads before continuing their march. He was a tall man with a broad chest, slender waste and well muscled legs. He made the armor he wore look light. It was obviously designed for riding with gapes to allow the encasement on his chest to move as he did. His legs were only covered where they were not protected by the horse's body. His arm pieces were strapped on rather then attached to each other to allow easy movement.
Pulling his mount to a stop next to the rider he looked down at her, "This is her?"
The moment he spoke Helena's eyes went wide and her heart stammered into a race that left her light headed. It was the voice from her vision. He was the man who had, or would, be standing over her in the darkness with his knife and torturous fingers.
Helena hid her face against the rider's shirt, ignoring the pain in her back at the change of position to hide the fear and embarrassment on her face.
She heard him chuckle as the rider answers, "Yes King Draven. She did not seem surprised when she woke in my arms on the ride."
The King examined her a moment and then looked back at Arnas, "Pursuit?"
Arnas shrugged and there was a slight wince of pain around his eyes, "I did not see but I am sure there will be one soon behind me. Her King seemed quiet smitten with her. However, I did have the advantage of at least a few hours head start and a fresh horse."
"The King of Allusia poses no threat. He rules over a small village and is only there to guard the pass." Turning his mount to face the other riders that sat waiting on their horses, he addressed his Lieutenant. "We camp here for the night. Send out riders to find fresh water and double the watch. No one rides out alone from this point on."
The man nodded and raced off on his horse towards the front line.
Draven smiled in triumph at Arnas, "You did well my friend. I knew I was wise in picking you for this task."
Arnas nodded his head, his muscles cramping from the movement. He could not wait to surrender his body to the talented hands of his slave. "There is more news my King. She has warned her village of our approach and they leave tomorrow to travel East through Aralt Pass."
Draven waved a dismissive hand, "They are of no importance now. The item I required from them is here now."
Helena could not take her eyes off of him and when he turned his attention back to her, her eyes went a touch wider. She was in shock at everything that was happening and found herself floundering to respond to the slightest event. The fact that he had just referred to her as an item rather then a person scared her. And how did the rider so much about her people and what they were doing?
"Do not be so afraid, Prophet of Allusia. I have brought you into great events that will make your name live for all eternity in the stories and poems of bards." He leaned forward on his mount with a slight madness in his eyes, "Together, you and I will bring peace to all lands."
When she didn't respond he chuckled and sat up straight on his horse again, "Take her to my sister. Tell her to see to you both while my tent is erected. She will need fresh clothing, food and both of you checked by a healer. Once you are cared for you may go and rest. I wish to see the Prophet once we have made camp."
Arnas nodded his head and waited for his King and the riders with him to turn away before pushing the tired horse towards the wagons that traveled in the center of the army with the King. The wagons held the ladies that were allowed to travel with the army. Families of the royalty and knights as well as a few wagons of pleasure slaves to keep the men entertained at night.
It was to the most ornately carved wooden wagon with its shuttered windows that he took the Prophet. A tall woman with the auburn hair stepped stiffly from the back of the wagon down some lowered steps. As they drew near she saw Arnas and her eyes widened slightly at the woman in his arms.
"You found her?"
Arnas nodded, "Yes my Queen. The King has requested that she be taken to a healer and you see to her. He would like the Prophet brought to him once the tents are erected." He left off that the King had requested her to do the same for him. He did not need a healer for his stiff body. He craved a certain touch and neither the healers hands or the Queens would do for him this night.
"Of course," she said, moving up next to the horse to look at the girl in his arms. The woman stood before Helena wearing a long black gown under a deep midnight blue robe. The hood was pulled back to reveal the same auburn hair as her brother the King but it was her eyes and the mark upon her forehead that made Helena's blood run cold. The woman had one deep almond brown eye and the other was a bright emerald green. In the center of her forehead was the brand of the crescent moon. The eyes marked her as a follower of the God Melinas but the brand marked her as a High Priestess of his temple.
Melinas was one of the night Gods. He was known as the Finder of Mans Weaknesses and his followers were known for their talent in doing just that. This talent made them a deadly enemy or a profitable friend. Helena had heard that his temple held great influence over the people to the south. There was an uneasy truce with the Kingdom of Balek where the temples of Melinas were said to hold sway that had came from the last King dying. But tales of politics were not one Helena's strong suits. Her focus had always been more for the people directly around her. She wondered if the army around her was the fabled army of Balek.
"What is your name Prophet," the woman asked, drawing Helena out of her thought.
She hesitated a moment before remembering the Spirits words. He had warned that she could not fight this fate and to do so would end in death. Taking a deep breath she spoke and was proud her voice sounded almost normal, "Helena."
The Queen tilted her head, studying the Prophet for a moment before smiling. She was beautiful and shined with a power that would have made her stand out to Helena before seeing her face if she had been less afraid and tired.
"You know what I am Helena?"
Helena nodded, "Yes. A child of Melinas was born to our village when I was young enough to remember. A Priest of your order came and took her."
"My name is Elaina," the woman said gently, "I know you are frightened and surprised by all of this."
"She is not surprised," Arnas grunted, "Can we get her off before the horse collapses?"
Elaina laughed as she motioned to her student. Nodding, the young girl hurried off to fetch someone. "Your horse is fine," she smiled at Arnas and turned her eyes back to Helena, "So you knew you would find yourself here?"
Helena nodded, "Yes Queen. I knew."
"And did you fight it," she asked, glancing up at Arnas when he shook his head no.
Helena's eyes lowered and her voice became quieter, "I knew someday I would end here but I did not know when or how. Fate wished me here so I must follow."
Elaina actually felt sorry for the young woman. She felt sorry for every woman her brother claimed but it kept her on her throne. Until the eldest brother married, all of his siblings shared the throne with him. As long as he obsessed over Prophets and conquests she would remain on her throne by his side. Once he found a woman to marry she would be forced to return to the temple with her student.
She patted Helena's leg as the sound of heavy foot steps came around the wagon. She turned to look at Keval as he rounded the wagon with her student hurrying behind him to keep up with his long stride. He was an enormous giant of a man with large callused hands and broad shoulders. He never spoke and many thought him to be dumb or mute but Elaina was not fooled so easily. The intelligence he held in his eyes showed he meant those around him to view him in such a way.
Stepping back, Elaine motioned toward the occupants of the horse and Keval went forward to take the Prophet from Arnas. Helena fought hard not to let the pained sound out of her mouth but it was only muffled by her closed lips. The giant paused a moment with an apologetic look on his face before moving her more gently. He cradled her and walked over to Elaine.
"Take her to the healer's wagon while we wait for water to clean her up with. I will see to her care once the healer is done with her," Elaine instructed. As he walked off with the woman in his arms towards the healer's wagon she turned back to Arnas. He pulled at the reigns to move the horse away and towards the slave wagons.
"Will you come see me tonight Arnas," she asked with a smirk.
"No," was his flat answer as the horse moved him away from her.
Elaine frowned and then moved off to see if they had found water in this awful forest. They had the water they gathered at their last camp but she did not wish to waste it if they found none here. Meanwhile, she would wait for Arnas to give in to her again. He always did eventually.
Arnas found the wagon he was looking for and climbed stiffly from his horse. His foot had barely touched the ground before he heard her squeal of excitement and was bracing himself for her to fly into his arms. He grunted at the pain as she appeared before him and wrapped her arms around him.
"I was so worried," Tearsa mumbled against his neck. He chuckled and released the horse to be lead away by one of the other slaves.
"I know pet," he whispered against her hair. She smelled so clean and fresh. He wanted nothing more then to feel her hands rubbing the soreness out of his muscles, "I need a bath and your skilled hands my pet. Will you see to me?"
She looked up at him with her large almond eyes and smiled, "Of course Master. Can you tell me why you left now?"
He nodded and she began to lead her towards one of the wagons the slaves rode in. He sat down on the steps leading out of it while she lowered a wooden table that folded into the back of the wagon and set about preparing to care for him.
"I was sent to kidnap the Prophet of Allusia," he told her as he pulled off his riding boots, "I could tell no one of my mission until it was complete."
Tearsa glanced at him as she put the water to warm over the fire that had already been built. She had heard the fables of a Prophet that would raise their King to greatness. "Do you think she is the one?"
He shrugged and grunted as he tried to pull his tunic over his head. She hurried forward and helped him undress as the water warmed over the fire.
"She seems different but only time will tell."
She nodded at his answer as she set his shirt aside. She could see the others avoided the wagon by working around it. Arnas was feared by many of the slaves, but not Tearsa. She craved the pain he enjoyed inflicting on others and was confident he would never take it far enough to damage her any more then the scars she already held. Each scar was something to be prized and treasured, which made her a favorite of the men when their blood lusts were ragging after a battle. Those moments of her life terrified her and made her knees weak with ecstasy all at the same time. But the moments of being shared from man to man had stopped when Arnas had noticed her and decided to ask the King for her.
As she finished pulling off his breeches she looked up the line of his body with a hunger that made him chuckle. Tangling his fingers into her hair, he pulled her to her feet, "Later pet. First get me clean and see to my body. Then I will see to yours."
Tearsa smiled brightly and nodded. Using his soiled clothes, she pulled the kettle from the fire and poured the steaming water into a large ceramic bowl. With a clean piece of cloth and a soap rock she began to bath him from head to toe with apt fascination. He watched her as her eyes lusted over his skin. When she tried to kiss his skin he stopped her with a firm command to keep bathing him. He loved how she pouted before doing as he said. He had forbidden her to touch anyone or be touched in his absence and he could see the strain of that in her body and eyes.
Once she had finished cleaning him she offering him the ceramic bowl. He winked at her as he dumped the warm liquid over his head and closed his eyes. It felt wonderful and he yearned for his bathing pot at home where he could submerge himself in the warmth.
Tearsa took the bowl from him and dried him just as thoroughly as she had cleaned him. He had been pleased to find the girl well trained and well behaved. At first it had seemed wrong to hurt her in his desires when she had been so well behaved but he soon realized that she wished it as much as he. She actually thought she had done wrong when he did not torment her.
Once he was clean she led him into the wagon and closed the door. She opened the small windows with their thin cloth curtains so that the cool air blew over his clean skin. The wagon was taken up by one large bed with storage beneath it. The slaves rode inside when they traveled, lounging in comfort while the men marched. When they were camped it was used by some of the slaves who did not find themselves in the tents of the men.
Laying flat on his stomach on the bed he could smell that the sheets on it had already been replaced with clean ones. The slaves that traveled with the army lived better then the army itself did. They were shown the same comforts as the royalty that traveled in their ornate wagons and had access to share the space with other bodies that were not of relation. It was a leisurely life but also one of service to the appetites of the men. There were not enough slaves to tend to every mans desires so many of the slaves were shared among the men and one slave never bedded the same man twice in the space of a few nights.
Arnas had saved her from that life though he was aware the others did not feel that way. His appetites were stronger then many of the men. And those men who shared his appetite cursed him for taking their toy away from them. But she had been gifted by the King to him so they could not stop it and the girl who took her place was just as pleasurable though less obedient then Tearsa was. She had been taken from one of the villages they had passed many moons ago and seemed determined to fight against her new place in life.
Arnas nearly shivered when he felt her hands move his hair from his neck. He did not fight the moan of satisfaction when her warm hands covered in oil began to massage his neck. She started at his neck and began to work slowly with skilled hands down his back and towards his feet. She found each knot and worked it slowly until it was relaxed before moving on to the next one.
He found himself suddenly thinking of Elaine. Even his slave's skilled hands could not compare to the talent of that evil woman. He hated her, yet he craved her and it drove him mad. She was a seducer of men, finding his weaknesses and reducing him to begging for release before she would relent. One of these days he would tire of it and simply take her before he walked away. But the skills she possessed when she was in full control were enough to make any man come back for more.
By the time his slave finished with his back and asked him to roll over for her he was excited, his cock bobbing at Tearsa who stared down at it with excitement. He cleared his throat at her and whispered in a deep voice, "Why have you stopped pet?"
She blushed which made him smile and he reached up to put a pillow under his head so he could watch her work. She tried so hard to keep her eyes on where her hands were massaging his skin but she would glance at the hard length of him and he would make it twitch at her. As she worked at his hips he decided even he could wait no longer.