He rode along slowly, letting his shiny black stallion prance sideways, showing off his paces in the early afternoon. The rider, body covered in a suit of armor that left little of his skin showing, scanned the surrounding forest for any movement that would be out of place. Although he had a destination, he was in no great hurry to get there. In fact his job was to patrol the high road, keeping it safe from the myriad bands of roving highwaymen that preyed on weaker travelers far from the defensive walls of the cities.
He rode with the visor of his helmet up, leaving the upper part of his face among the few exposed parts of his being. Fortunately the weather was fairly mild this time of year or the armor could have been like an oven, as it would be in the months of summer coming up. However for now he and the horse both reveled in the cooler temperatures.
That was good for the thoroughbred because much of his chest was covered in a heavy leather blanket, used as a shield against opponents to ward off glancing blows from lance or sword and sometimes even the wild kick of an opponent's steed as well. The stallion's mane had been cropped along his neck so that it stood at attention in a long row, a proud badge of his prowess in battle.
The leather blanket was painted with the emblem of his owner, a crescent with lion and snake and sword that described danger to those who trespassed thereon. The knight carried his long jousting lance in an upright position, the butt of its handle resting in a pocket of his saddle hanging near his right stirrup. His long double-edged sword was sheathed under his left thigh, its handle protruding where he could quickly put it into play if the need arose, its bejeweled haft sparkling in the sunlight.
Still searching the surrounding forest from treetops to the wild tangle of heather that grew beneath, he found no cause for alarm and continued his laggardly pace toward his destination.
The mare was coming from the north on the low road. She was every bit as well groomed and proud as any stallion that roamed these isles. She was a soft brown color with a coat that had been brushed until it shined in the sunlight. Her long black mane flowed in the soft breeze with each toss of her head while she scanned the river on one side and the encroaching forest on the other, just as intently as her mistress scrutinized the same terrain. She wore a leather skirt that covered her shoulders and displayed a crest of tiger, sword and eagle signifying her strength and alertness and readiness to do battle.
The rider was covered from head to mid-thigh with an unusual armor, solid instead of mail, and shiny silver brightness seldom seen other than the occasional newly cast silver coins that were put into service from The King's Mint. Those coins quickly became tarnished and dull but this armor was still shiny as the day it was formed, telling of hours its owner spent in polishing it. Not only was it remarkable because of its flashiness in the sunlight but also because of its form fitting shape which seemed to mold to every curve and contour of its wearer's body. Her breasts were sculpted in the hard metal down to the last detail, including her erect nipples standing proud in the spring warmth.
A metal strap on her left side held the hilt of her sword. It was not the heavy double-edged sword of most males of the realm in those days but a thin, curved blade with a single sharp side and filed down to a needle point; its handle was shaped to protect its wielder's hand and altogether it was a weapon made for speed, to allow its user to penetrate an opponent's defenses before he could bring his own weapons to bear. Her right hand held her jousting lance upright in its stirrup pocket, keeping it balanced by making the quick adjustments necessitated by the mare's movements out of old habits that now required no thinking.
She too had a destination in mind but was in no great hurry to arrive there. She continued to survey the landscape around her as she and her horse moved through it, finding no cause for alarm. Even the occasional peasant that she passed stepped aside and bowed in deference to her, signifying that they offered her no threat.
The first intimation she had that something was different was the soft clip-clop of his horse's hooves. It was an uneven sound because the horse was turning this way and then that as his rider kept watch but the sound of any horses meant an unusual occurrence because horses were owned only by those in high places: either the king's special vassals or outlaws who stole enough to be able to afford to purchase horses. She was instantly on guard as her left hand reached to her visor and flipped it down, readying her for battle if need be.
His first inclination of a change was in the form of silence, as the chirp and click of insects around him quieted, indicating that someone else was in the area along the river which the noisier insects inhabited. Then he began to catch flashes of brilliant blinding light to his left, portending that someone was traversing the low road. Since there were no other knights patrolling in this area, the rider had to be an outlaw. As he pulled up to a stop at the ford where the high road and low road joined to cross the river, he turned to face the low road and slowly lowered his jousting lance into a near-horizontal position. He flipped his visor down and made ready for battle.
When the rider appeared with the sun throwing glancing rays off his shiny silver armor, the knight was surprised to see that it was a small man, at least smaller than him, and that he was not completely covered in armor... and that he was riding a mare instead of a stallion, although it was obviously a high-bred horse in spite of its gender.
In his best authoritative voice, the knight called, "Ho! Yield to one on the King's business. Discard your weapons or suffer the consequences!"
In a strong husky voice, she replied, "No! You, sir, are a prevaricator. "Tis I who is here on the King's business. Yield now before I run you through!" Her jousting lance was now horizontal and pointed at the knight.
Suddenly he kicked the stallion in the flanks and they charged across the large clearing. She nudged the mare with her knees and they moved swiftly toward the knight, closing the distance rapidly. They were less than ten meters apart when the stallion shied and the knight's lance veered off course to his right as a blinding splash of sunlight flashed off her brilliant suit of armor... just as he realized that there was something unusual about the way her armor was shaped.
Before he regained his eyesight from the brilliant flash, he felt a hard jab from her lance under his left ribcage and he went flying off the stallion. His lance rolled uselessly down the embankment as he landed unceremoniously on his derrière with a loud clang as pieces of the armor banged together in a cacophony of sound.
Jumping to his feet, his right hand reached for the sword in the scabbard at his left side, pulling the weapon part way out before his brain meshed enough to register what he had just witnessed: he had jousted with... a FEMALE. He could not believe it! A girl had bested him! It had to be a girl, to have armor shaped like that. After all what man would wear armor with breast-shaped protuberances like those. And the nipples! By Thor! They were as large and pronounced as any he had ever seen, even on the wenches that worked the wayside inns where he often stayed and whose services he usually sampled freely.
He turned toward her in time to see her dismount, having already dropped her jousting lance. Gracefully she hit the ground and spun to face him, at the same time drawing her little whippet of a sword and wielding it in a manner that told him in no uncertain terms that she was not only aware of what it was for but was the mistress of its use as well. Purposefully she strode toward the knight, sword at the ready.
He was very impressed with what he could see. She walked with a strong stride, supported on two very shapely legs that were at the same time muscular and feminine. There were no bulges but rather smooth transitions from small ankle up around her calves and narrowing at the knees, then again veering up and out as her legs joined her torso, barely concealed under the lowest of the armor. Her gait was even and polished but... my god, he thought... her lower armor must somehow be hinged to let her bottom swing from side to side like that.
She was still several strides from him when he held up his right hand in a signal of friendly confrontation, flipped up his visor, and said, in a softer tone, "Cease! Let us have a truce, even if momentary. Let us discuss business."
She stopped where she was, coming to stand with her feet spread wide, sword held across her waist in a position where she could bring it to bear on the knight quickly if the need arose. She spoke, this time in a rather musically lilting voice, "So state your business."
"I am a knight of the King's Overseers of the Criminal Kingdom, sometimes known as KOCK. I am Sir Jack of Stroke-On-Trent. I am assigned to patrol the high road from Coventry to Nottingham. I am today performing those duties duly assigned to me by His Majesty the King himself. And who might you be?"
She flipped up her own visor and spoke, "I am known as Kittie of Wet Chester. I am a member of the Kings Underlings against Nomadic Terrorism, sometimes called KUNT. We voluntarily patrol the low road along the river from Duke-in-Kitty to the ford and thence to Coventry. We take as our duty the right to remove the manhood of those who would rape and pillage the King's people, land and animals."
While they had been talking, both of them had heard the whinnying of the two horses but had ignored them until now. Then, as one, they turned their heads to see the two horses nudging each other. As they watched, the mare turned around, positioning her backside in front of the stallion, whose long tongue started low and climbed the crease between her legs while her tail was raised in a giant question mark. The stallion's tongue made the same foray again before his long nose nudged the mare in the soft spot between her legs.