Sword Dancer Of M'ltre
Chapter 1

Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Science Fiction,

Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A boy from a nation of traders is enslaved and becomes a member of the Cult of M'ltre. Some sex but mostly a straight story of adventure and romance.

I'm old now and ready to die but you tell me you want to hear the story of my life for the chronicles? Very well, if you are willing to listen to an old man talking, I will do my best to keep you entertained. Come, let us sit in the shade here in the garden while I talk. Where should I start, my later adventures, the beginning of my life as a sword dancer, or... The beginning? Very well, but I must tell you something of what happened before so you know how I became a sword dancer.

We were decended from the Basque sheepherders and the Indians with which they intermarried after the Dying. For many years we remained isolated from the others who survived the Dying and we prospered in our isolation. Then came the cold years when the crops failed and we had to reach out to others to survive. Thus we became a nation of traders and learned the languages and customs of the various people with whom we traded.

I was born in the great mountains where the water changes direction, the third of five living children born to my parents R'nold and L'na into a family of merchants. No. Not like the ones around here. We had no servants to cook and fetch for us. We worked in the fields to grow our food and herd our animals.

I had been pledged to the daughter of our neighbor after I reached my fifth birthday and they were sure I would survive my milk years. Her child name was Lina and she was my constant companion from the time she was born. She was four to my five and we played in the streets and the fields of our village. She was a beautiful child with hair and eyes of a dark brown and a smile that lit the room...

Silently he remembered a day:

"Lina! Lina, wait for me!" I called as I ran toward her.

Lina turned around with her basket in her hand, "Have you been sent to work in the fields today too?"

"No, I've got to work for H'nri in the black smithy today. I just wanted to give you a gift that I traded for", handing her a straw hat that I had seen her admiring.

With a squeal, she jumped into my arms and kissed me. I held her in my arms not sure of what I should be doing. The feelings I was experiencing disturbed me. I knew we were to be married when I reached manhood but I felt Lina was more like a sister than a lover. I kissed her without passion and wondered what was wrong with me...

Sorry. Sometimes when you get old the memories of long ago seem stronger than what is happening now. I was lost in the memory of what might have been.

Every year we would make a caravan and head toward either the lands of the Clans and the Strange Folk or to the east and the many lands there to trade the wool from our herds and the cloth our women wove from it. We had our feuds but nothing like the south lands, where they fight over some slight from generations ago. It was a simple life but a good one.

What do I know of the Clans and the Strange Folk? Only that they live to the west and they are somehow related. Those allowed to enter the lands of the Clans never speak of what they have seen and no one enters the land of the Strange Folk. How do I know the Strange Folk are real?

If you go from here and travel to the west for three months or more you will find a great salt lake. Travel to the north and you will come to the edge of the land of the Strange Folk. Go west of there and you will find the trading grounds where all but a few are restricted. To the west there are the mountains and the Clans and to the north the Strange Folk I traveled there with a caravan of my folk seeking the trade grounds where we sought the steel and strange devices of the Clans and the Strange Folk.

A merchant from the east would not believe us when we warned him and sought to enter the lands of the Strange Folk. We all heard a voice telling him, "Go no further. You trespass on the lands of the Folk!" He persisted and we felt rage, fear and pain so great that we fell to the ground, merchants and guards together. When we revived we found the man who would try to trespass, dead, with a look of great fear on his face. We quickly buried him and hurried away to the trading ground lest we be struck dead as well. We talked about the voice and no one agreed on what it sounded like or even the language in which it spoke but all agreed that it was like that of the person they most feared.

If you wish to listen to tales of strange places, go to the market place and seek a story teller! I thought you wished to learn of my life!.

You apologize? Very well I will give you one more chance to hear my story.

We went with our fathers to learn the routes after we had finished our training in the languages and customs of the people we might meet. Our family was like many others in the village where we might be speaking Mercan one day, Basque the next and a different one the third day. By the time I was seven I had learned ten languages and had begun my studies on the customs of the people I might meet in my travels as a trader. How I looked forward to my first trip as an apprentice trader! I was sure I would be able to trade so effectively that I would come back laden with such riches that the people of the village would come to look upon me like a god because of my wisdom.

My first trip was when I was eleven when we went to the lands of the Clans. It was a hard trip over wide prairies and along many rivers. We saw many of the hairy animals called buflo during our journey as well as many deer and antelope. The folk of this area are nomads who follow the herds in their journey from north to south. While dangerous to those who mistreat them they are generous to their friends. I discovered during this journey the difference between learning something and really experiencing it yourself. I was shocked at their custom of casting out weak newborns and those too old to continue on their endless journey even though I had learned of this custom during my training. I found myself fascinated at the same time with the colorful clothing they wore and the decorative items they carried with them on the covered wagons that they drove.

I continued my training on the trip and learned to judge the worth of items at the place I bought them against the worth at the point to which they were being taken. I was surprised to find items I thought of as having little value were prized as exotic goods elsewhere and things I considered of great worth being considered as items to throw away. I learned much during that trip about myself and the craft of being a trader that helped me a great deal in my later life.

When we returned I regaled Lina about my travels and the sights I had seen. I could hardly wait for the journey to the east the next year. I continued my training, learning to judge men by the way they acted and their posture as much as by the words they spoke. I learned to look for eyes turning toward someone else during a trade and the way hands left an item someone desired.

Finally it was time to go to the east and the exotic lands there. This was a more dangerous journey as pirates both on land and on the rivers infested the areas between the civilized lands. We had had no trouble on the trail we had followed for the last two trips so the leaders of the village decided to use it one more time.

We had no trouble on the first part of our journey and we made several profitable trades at our stops. Finally we arrived at the M'sip River where we were to begin our raft trip to the sea where we would find merchants from the lands to the east in large numbers and possibly even some merchants from the even more mysterious lands over the sea I had never seen. I was not to make that journey however.

We had separated the goods and the people on several rafts for our journey and for the first few days we enjoyed the trip. All but one of the rafts had passed a small island where the current flowed rapidly and the channel narrowed when a large rope was pulled up from the river forcing the raft on which I was on toward the island. The guards hacked at the rope but were unable to cut it before we ran aground. I could see my father and the other merchants looking at us as we fell to the many pirates who swarmed aboard. I saw my father looking back as I fell in a spattering of blood from the blow of a pirates club. He must have thought me killed for I was covered with blood when he last saw me. No one ever tried to find me and I know that my mother, at least, would have insisted that an effort be made.

When I revived I found myself a slave of the pirates, becoming a beast of burden to move the goods they seized in their trap. For the next three years we were treated like animals as well, given just enough food and clothing to keep us able to perform our tasks and no more.

Did I like the food? Fool! I was a slave! You ate what ever they gave you and only that which you were able to defend from others. Those who refused to eat died quickly and the weak ones soon afterward. We were fed from a common bowl into which they placed the two meals we received a day during the good times. In winter, or when they failed to take their prey, we received one meal or none at all. I survived because I had a useful skill the pirates needed. I was able to communicate with the various captives the pirates took when they sought to find if it was worth offering them back for ransom and to order the slaves to their tasks until they knew enough of the pirates language not to need my help and they were transferred to other groups.

I used my ability to protect myself from those who would harm me. By telling them something other than what the pirates wanted I could ensure that they would receive punishment that I could not deliver. I made alliances for protection against other slaves and the whims of the pirates.

The pirates must have become too successful in their raiding for one night after we had been put in our pens I heard a sound of metal rasping on wood. I knew it would not have been one of the slaves as any slave found with metal was hung on the cross for punishment. Our only possession was a loincloth to protect us from sharp objects and a single blanket during the winter to protect us from the worst of the cold. I looked in the direction of the sound and saw a sword reaching between the boards trying to cut the bindings that held the board to the frame. I went toward the sword and looked through a knot hole onto a terrifying sight. A mask in the form of a demon was in front of me. I started and would have run away but a knife was thrust through the gap between the boards and slightly into my stomach. I knew that if I moved the knife would come forward slicing open my stomach.

A low voice growled from the other side, "Don't move or make any loud sounds! Are there any pirates around, boy."

I gathered my courage and answered quietly, "No, sir!". I heard voices outside and then a small knife was passed through the knot hole through which I had looked out.

"Use this to cut the bindings on the boards and keep quiet or everyone in there will die."

This was spoken in the language of the pirates and those who understood quickly passed it on to the others. We fell as silent as we could, while I used the knife to cut all the bindings that I could. L'nne, a tall captive from a ship taken several months ago came forward and cut those too high for me to reach. With a pull from the outside after we pushed the boards away from the frame, the boards were removed leaving a three foot gap in the wall.

A figure dressed in a snarling demons mask with some sort of bamboo armor came in. Silently he pointed toward the opening and gestured us to exit. Outside we found a group of similarly clad men waiting. One handed us a rope and showed us that he wanted us to grasp it. Hanging onto the rope we were led to a clearing about a half mile away from the village where I had been held. After we got there the men began to speak to each other and their language sparked recognition in my mind of something I had learned.

I continued to listen and slowly I began to recognize words. I racked my brain trying to remember and finally I did. These were members of the cult of M'ltre. They were mercenaries who hired out as guards or small forces to various principalities. They were famous for always keeping their word once given but being equally as firm about the other person keeping theirs as well. They were based somewhere in the area known as K'ntuci. The guards were discussing their pay for destroying this nest of pirates and I was dismayed to learn that we were going to be considered part of the pay they received. I had hoped that we would have been freed but from what I could hear we were going to be sold to the duke of M'rstown. He was involved in expanding his holdings and I knew that meant we would be used as labor working on his walls. Slaves engaged in such labor rarely lasted more than five years before the hard labor or accidents killed them. I looked around but there were still too many guards to make escape possible.

I thought about what I had learned about the cult of M'ltre during my training. They would set up an altar after a battle and pray for the souls of the men killed. If someone managed to seize a sword and make it to the shrine they could pledge that sword to M'ltre and they would become an initiate. This would require the initiate to serve for 30 years in the cult but he had all the rights of anyone born into the cult. They didn't care what the person was before they pledged, slave, noble, thief, whatever they had been, they were now an initiate of M'ltre. This could be my only chance of escaping from slavery and I was determined to seize it.

We remained in the clearing until daybreak when the pirates were used to releasing us from our pens to begin our labor. Suddenly we heard the sounds of metal clashing together and soon saw smoke rising from the position of the village. A soldier came back and looked around at the slaves. I jumped up and in the language of the pirates offered my group to help them. He looked at them and then nodded. I gathered up the group and spoke softly to L'nne, "Follow me when we get to the village and copy whatever I say or do". L'nne looked at me and nodded.

When we got to the village we found bodies scattered around the village square and a line of women and children being fitted for cuffs to one side. We were put to work picking up the bodies and putting them in a pile for burning. I noticed that several bodies of the soldiers had been laid out beside a small shrine that had been set up near them where an older man was tending the shrine. We picked up the bodies and continued to edge closer to the shrine. Our guards looked behind us and came to a stiff position. L'nne and I continued forward toward a body behind them. As we came next to the guards I suddenly pushed one against the other and seized the sword in his belt, while L'nne copied me and did the same to the other guard. I ran toward the shrine followed by L'nne and grabbed a corner. Quickly before I could be stopped I gobbled out the Pledge, "I pledge this sword to the service of M'ltre".

I had heard steps rapidly closing on us as we ran. They stopped as I heard L'nne finishing his imitation of my speech. While garbled it was recognizable as the Pledge. I looked around me and saw the soldiers from which we had taken the swords being held by others while a couple of others in more ornate armor looked at the entire scene with a less than pleased look on their face.

The older man at the shrine spoke, "What do you know of M'ltre?"

I gave him everything I could remember from my studies. He nodded as I spoke. Finally he looked at both of us, "You do not appear to know everything about M'ltre. It is true that you have succeeded in pledging the sword but you will not be accepted as a full initiate until you finish training. The penalty for not finishing is death!"

I nodded my acceptance of this caveat as did L'nne when I explained it to him. I would prefer death to being a slave any longer. The priest, for that was who he was I found out later, looked at the ornately dressed men. The less ornately dressed one glanced at the other man then looked at us. He spoke too fast for me to understand and must have seen my confusion. Pointing toward one of the men standing around he gestured for him to come forward. He spoke to him and pointed to us. The man he had spoken to looked upset but resigned. He gestured at us and reluctantly I released the corner of the shrine I had seized and walked toward him. The men whose swords we had seized came forward and grabbed them. They looked like they wanted to hit us but a word from the more ornately decorated man had them standing stiff and still.

The man whom we approached walked around us as if we were on the slave block for sale. He examined our teeth, and grasped our arms and legs to check the muscles. He stepped back and gave us a sour look. Speaking slowly in the language of the pirates he introduced himself, "I'm Sergeant M'kel and you are my responsibility until you leave to begin training to become an initiate of M'ltre. It's a waste of time to send you to training just so you can die but we will can use you for at least a little while."

This began four weeks of hell for us. He treated us like beasts, making us carry not only his gear but the gear of anyone else who asked. We ran and carried burdens everywhere we went. At his whim he sent us to fetch items from one side of the camp and take it to another location just to have us return it to the place we got it from originally. We learned the language of M'ltre rapidly, encouraged by the fists of the soldiers or the small whips carried by some of the soldiers when we failed to react quickly enough to their commands. We learned to stand in the stiff position that I learned was called attention and in a more relaxed position called at ease on the few occasions he allowed us to stand still. We quickly learned who would require us to stand at attention and those around whom we could be more casual.

At least the food was good. For the first time since I had been taken I was given all I wanted to eat without fighting for it. I even had a choice of things to eat. I had to relearn how to use a knife and silverware since I had not used one for so long but between the buffets from the fist of Sergeant M'kel and watching the other people I learned quickly. I gained 10 pounds over the four weeks, none of it fat, while L'nne lost about the same amount.

At the end of the four weeks I was in perhaps the best physical shape I had ever been in my life. They formed a group with 7 women and 5 men going to the center of the cult, F'rt Cambell, for training. That is where my life would be forever changed.

I'm tired. Come back tomorrow if you're still interested and I will tell you of what happened at the cult's center and how that changed my life.

Alone, the old man sat back and thought about his life.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Romantic / Science Fiction /