Quest For Knowledge
Chapter 1: Lavender
Caution: This Action/Adventure Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Fiction, Science Fiction, Incest, Brother, Sister, Harem, Oral Sex, Pregnancy,
Desc: Action/Adventure Sex Story: Chapter 1: Lavender - Dent's (Sea King) oldest children are grown up now. While in Salas with a few of his sisters, Nilsen acquires a seven foot tall giantess with a secret that can open up the mysteries of the Old Technology. Whoever has that knowledge could quite possibly rule the world, but is it worth the price?
"What are we doing here, Demeter?" Nilsen asked as he looked around at the dark, dank and dismal walls of the slave pens. "You know I really don't like what goes on here and I really don't like who does it. I thought we were going out to look for a gift for your sister?"
"We are," the small, dark haired man replied, brushing off his friend's concern. "I just forgot to tell you the present was going to be a new servant for her upstairs rooms."
"Well, have fun," Nilsen huffed. "I'm going back. My father wiped this shit off Jeevel's ass years ago. Just because it plopped down here doesn't mean I have to look at it."
"I can see why you were chosen to lead a diplomatic mission," Demeter grinned. "I suppose I should take offense; after all it is my father's policies you're maligning."
Nilsen shrugged. "You know as well as I that I'm not in charge of any diplomatic mission; Makro would be if we were really here for diplomacy, which we aren't. I'm here to study at my father's old school; Makro's here to talk about trade with some of your merchant houses and Jarrah's here to study with your healers. As for the twins," he just shrugged, "who knows why they do anything? I find everything works out much better if I don't look into their business too closely."
"Right. The heir apparent to Jeevel and four of his sisters just happen to be visiting and you say it isn't a diplomatic mission." Demeter gave a theatrical sigh. "However it happens that I agree with you about slavery for all the good that does. Being the Putram's son does have some privilege; but being the sixth son out of ten ensures it's a very small privilege. Besides, Pru needs someone to help her and isn't it better that I rescue someone from this hellhole than not?"
"For her, yes," Nilsen answered, peering into the dark gloom. "But you just reward the slavers and perpetuate their practice. Better for one person, worse for untold others. Where in the hell are we anyway?"
"Ah, I think we're next to the gladiator pens," Demeter answered. "Domestic staff is just over there, I think. This is a shortcut."
"Why is it your shortcuts always seem to take us twice as long as the long way would?" Nilsen quipped. "Let's just get your business done and get out of here."
"Yes, I'm sure it's just through here," Demeter said cheerfully.
"Here" turned out to be a long passageway somewhat better lighted then the rest of the slave pens. Cells separated only by stout iron bars were visible on either side of the corridor. As they walked they could see their human occupants staring at them, most cowering back in the rear of their cages.
"Gods, this makes me sick," Nilsen muttered as he tightly gripped the hilt of the short sword still sheathed at his side. His eye caught something remarkably different and he stopped, openly staring at the sight in the last cell. "What the hell is this?" he asked in wonder. What caught his eye was a woman, but a woman unlike any he had ever seen before. To begin with, sitting on the floor, her head came up to nearly mid-chest level on him. She would have to be at least a head taller than he was, and at six feet two he wasn't considered short by any means.
He could only guess at her height since she was sitting down on the ground with her back against the far panel of bars. He figured that's pretty much where she would be staying since both her arms were shackled to the bars outstretched away from her body. There wasn't much else he could tell about her other than she was big and a woman. The woman part was easy since remarkably large breasts — even given the overall size of their owner, they were large — could be seen through the rips in a dirty leather vest. He felt somewhat juvenile for how difficult it was to tear his eyes away from the sight. It wasn't like he'd never seen large breasts before; after all two of his mothers were very well endowed and body modesty wasn't of much concern in his household. So it wasn't that he had never seen the like before, but he swore he'd never seen any that big, or, from what he could see of them, that perfectly shaped.
He placated himself musing that his father always told him that it was all right for a man to look ― most women expected and wanted to be looked at ― but there was a difference between looking and gawking. Hoping he wasn't sliding into the "gawking" side, he finally tore his eyes away from those magnificent orbs and guided his eyes firmly up to look at her face.
She was absolutely filthy. Hair was unkempt and greasy as it hung down her back; it was in such a state it was almost impossible to determine its natural color other than it wasn't extremely dark. The face was just as dirty, with abundant mud and grime, and it would appear she had been hand fed, and not particularly carefully at that since bits of food and gruel stuck to her chin and had dripped down onto her vest and ... Again he had to forcibly tear himself away and bring his eyes back up to meet hers.
As soon as their eyes met he immediately knew two things: first, this was a soul that could be beaten but never broken; second, that he had never seen anyone hate with as much intensity as he saw in those eyes. Aside from the animosity that blazed out of those eyes, they were remarkably lovely. Pale lavender rather that the ice blue Nilsen himself sported, they were large, wide and remarkably clear. Tired, yes. He could see the exhaustion trying to settle in, and the enormous willpower being expended trying to force it away.
"Hello there," he said without thinking, "Who are you?" If he really expected an answer he was disappointed. The owner of those amazing violet eyes merely worked her mouth for a moment and then spit at him. Fortunately for him she was dehydrated enough she couldn't work up enough saliva to make the distance, the little token of her esteem falling short and landing in front of his feet rather than in his face.
"Hey! No need for that!" Demeter admonished, taking a step backward.
"Oh, come now, Demeter," Nilsen said, nodding his head in salute to the bound woman. "I hope we would do the same if found in the same situation. At least I hope I would still have the guts to do it." The eyes just glared at him.
"What do you two think you're doing in here?" someone shouted from behind them. Nilsen and Demeter both turned to be confronted by a squat fat man flanked by two burly guards.
"I asked what you two shitheads are doing here?" he asked again. "Nobody is allowed down here before the fight. You want to see the meat; you see them at roll call with all the rest of your gambling buddies."
"Gambling?" Nilsen asked with a puzzled look on his face.
Demeter looked somewhat pale when he answered. "Ah, yes, well, there are some people that like to place a wager or two on the outcome of the contests. I guess they think they can get a better idea of who might win if they were able to see the contestants before the match."
"Let me get this straight," Nilsen continued, oblivious to the rising temper of the slaver. "These aren't prisoners, these are slaves you force to fight each other, and others bet on that?"
"That's exactly what happens," the slaver replied. "And it's more than a few coins, let me tell you. This is one of the biggest shows in town."
"That's..." Nilsen paused for a moment trying to come up with the precise word he was looking for, "Sick." It was the best he could do to express the utter contempt and disgust he felt.
"Well, lucky for me nobody gives a shit what the fuck you think," the slaver grinned. "Not only are the games legal, but fully supported and sanctioned by our enlightened and benevolent government. I don't care if you're one of the bettors or not, get the hell out of here!"
Not particularly concerned with the slaver or his escort, Nilsen turned back to the woman in the cell. For the first time he actually looked somewhere other than her eyes or her chest and he was amazed at what he saw. Quickly he turned back to the slaver.
"You actually force women to fight?" he asked, incredulously.
"Not normally," the slaver admitted. "But when this one was taken last week she ended up killing two of our guards with her bare hands. I thought it would be an interesting way to get rid of the bitch and recoup some of my investment, but the stupid skag has lasted through four fights now! This afternoon's will be her last."
"How do you know that?" Nilsen asked. "If she lasted four, why not five? Or even six?"
"You obviously don't know how the games are played here, do you? The first fight is one-on-one. Whoever wins has to go against two in the next bout. Win that one and it's against three, then four. No one has ever won against five; never will."
"Well, one against five is pretty steep odds I will admit," Nilsen nodded. "But certainly doable. But regardless, I have no desire to see a woman fight to the death. I'm willing to pay you thirty gold for her, right now." Nilsen patted the large leather purse tucked into his belt. He could see the slaver lick his lips while considering the offer. Ten gold would buy one a high-priced pleasure slave; one, an ordinary worker like a gardener or maid. For this unique woman, Nilsen doubted there was another around that could match her in height; he probably paid three, at the most. He was looking at a ten-fold profit just for the taking.
After a minute of thought the slaver sighed and shook his head. "I can't. There is already too much bet on this match. As much as I'd like to, I can't sell her before the fight."
"Fine," Nilsen said. "Then agree to sell her to me after she wins."
"I already told you, nobody wins against five; never have and never will."
"All right, then I'll make a bet with you," Nilsen said. "She loses, I give you the thirty gold; she wins, you give her to me."
"That's a sucker's bet," the slaver laughed. "I tell you, nobody wins against five."
"Let me talk to her," Nilsen said with a thoughtful look. "I think she can do it, but I want to hear it from her."
"Sure," the slaver grinned, he could almost count the thirty gold coins already. "But I can't be held responsible for you if you go in that cage. I'm telling you she's dangerous."
"You have her arms chained to the bars," Nilsen said with a grunt. "I think I can handle her that way."
"On your head be it." With a wave of his hand one of his companions walked over and unlocked the cage door. "Ah, no swords in the cage."
With a shrug Nilsen took off his sword and accompanying sword breaker handing them to his friend. As he passed through and into the cell the door was closed and locked behind him. Unconcerned, he made his way over to the chained woman. Crouching down he was nearly level with her head. If anything the hate within her eyes was even more intense. He was amazed at the courage and determination this warrior demonstrated. That she was a warrior wasn't even a question as far a Nilsen was concerned. Even if he hadn't known she had defeated at least ten other opponents, he could tell she had the heart of a warrior just sitting next to her.
"If you wanted to spit on me, now would be a good time. I don't think you could miss," he said casually.
This seemed to take her by surprise and she swallowed what was in her mouth. "Do you want to get out of here?" he continued.
"You are a fool," she said in a low rasping voice.
"You must have been talking to my sisters," he answered. "I don't think my being a fool is in much doubt, but that wasn't what I asked. Do you want to get out of here?"
"I will never get out of here," she answered. "They will never let me win against five. I heard them talk: they're going to drug me before the match. Not enough so I can't move, but enough so I can't fight well. He say he can't afford to have me fight six, or maybe seven. Too many slaves in pit at same time; too many dead at same time. You see, you fool to bet on me."
"I thought it might be something like that," Nilsen said softly. "That bastard was just too sure of your losing. Do you have your hands free anytime before the match?" She nodded slowly. "Good. Take this," his hand produced a small hunk of what looked like mashed together rabbit pellets. Using his body as a shield he leaned over and tucked the pellet into one of the rents in her vest. It nestled there next to her breast, visible only as a small lump, and then only if one was looking for it.
"Take that and start chewing it just before you go in for the match," he told her. "I don't care how much of any drug they give you; this will wake you up for a little while anyway. After that you may have to sleep for a week, but while you're awake, you will be wide awake."
She had been looking down at his hand as he placed the pellet next to her tit. Normally any man reaching anywhere near to her breasts would at least lose the hand, if not his life, but since both her arms were bound, there wasn't much she could do about it yet. She was surprised when he didn't grab and fondle her like so many of the guards had done. She in no way trusted him, but what else did she have going for her at the moment?
She looked back up and him and asked, "Why?"
"Just helping a fellow warrior," he said lightly. When she continued to stare at him he finally relented and said, "Fine. I can't stand to see a woman locked up like this, especially one who is a warrior. That make you happy?"
"Fool," she said with a grin. "Get you killed someday."
"I've always said women will be the death of me yet," he straightened up and slapped the dirt from his trousers. "Fight and win; we can decide what happens after that." With a nod he turned and walked back to the cell door and out into the passageway.
"She'll win," he said to the slaver. "I just know it. Do we have a deal? Thirty gold to you if she doesn't win; she's mine if she does."
"Fine, I'll take that bet," the slaver growled. "But there ain't no fucking way she's coming out of there alive.
Nilsen turned to walk away, but briefly turned back to say, "I hope there won't be any cheating. I really don't like it when someone tries to cheat." With that he turned and walked quickly away with Demeter trailing behind him.
Lavender Mist Bwejeri: warrior; daughter of Xolan Bwejeri, he who is Chief of the Zagwci Clan and First Speaker for the Havila nation of the Kushitic people, sat in her dirty, stinking cell pondering the events of the past few minutes. She knew exactly what was going to happen in the next hour or so, or at least what was supposed to happen. Digmar, or Dagmer, or some other stupid name for the short fat slaver ― the name wasn't important since either she was going to die very shortly or she would kill him ― had told her what was going to happen. About half an hour before the scheduled match he was going to have his guards force a potion containing the extract of poppies down her throat. This would, as he delighted in telling her, slow down her reaction times and speed to just barely above functional, after which it would be almost certainly guaranteed that one of the five of her opponents would kill her.
Lav ― she hated being called Lavender, almost as much as she hated being called Misty ― wasn't afraid of dying. After all, it was the fate of warriors. Well, it was everybody's fate, but it had a tendency to come a little bit earlier for warriors. Having chosen the path of the warrior at eight summers, she had been trained to show no fear of death, in fact to embrace it when it finally came to claim her soul. Of course her training also paradoxically taught her to fight death with her last breath. Warriors are a strange lot.
While she hadn't thought much about her own fate over the past one and a half ten-days she had spent in captivity, she did wonder how Cerberus was doing. True, the couple who had rented her the rooms had been kind enough to help with his feeding while she had been away before; this time she had not had any warning and therefore hadn't told them about her absence. Sighing, she tried to push all thoughts of Cerberus from her mind and concentrate on the puzzle handed her today in the form of a well-muscled shorty with light, almost white, hair and eyes as pale blue as winter ice.
What was his game? she wondered. Maybe he was the fool she had named him. Who bet thirty gold on a battle between one warrior and five men? Even if that one warrior was one of the Kushitic and the five, untrained shorty men, the odds were with a lucky strike by one of the five. He didn't act like he had seen any of her earlier bouts, so how could he judge her prowess? The instincts of a warrior? That he was also a warrior there was no doubt. One look into his eyes confirmed that. But how good was he? He was young, younger than she for sure, although not by more than four or five summers. So, what did he want? Her body? She grunted at that. Long ago she had promised herself that no man would ever come to know her as a woman; besides, she had been told for most of her life that she was quite undesirable.
"Your face is too sharp, Lav, too narrow," her brothers would tell her. "Of course you're too skinny and short. Who would want you? Even if we could bribe someone with a dowry, you're going to be culled anyway. Too ugly and too short."
Her father wasn't any more help than they were. "You have much more to offer than just physical beauty, Misty girl," grinding her ugliness in with just a dash of her most hated nickname. "Not all pass the cull you know, and if you do, remember, you are the daughter of a chief and a skilled warrior in your own right. There will be plenty of men who will mate with you; don't you worry."
But she knew what was going to happen. She was going to be culled; it was a foregone conclusion. As much as it hurt, her brothers were right: she was ugly, and although beauty may be a judgment call, height wasn't. At seven feet three inches she was four to six inches shorter than the average Kushitic woman. In a culture where height is beauty, the only place she could be beautiful would be in a land of midgets! Maybe that was what really motivated her to run away or as she like to try to convince herself, taking an unauthorized wandering.
The funny thing was, here in the land of the short she still wasn't beautiful! True, most of the women, the ones considered to be fair by the shorties, had the narrow, angular face like hers, so opposite to the broad, flat, faces with large hooked noses so much favored by her tribe. For the most part the shorty women also had the narrow waist fanning out to broad hips, just like hers, quite unlike the average Kushitic woman whose body held to the more perfect cylindrical shape. Of course having these huge tits didn't help either! Not only did they add to the unsightly curves, but they got in the way while fighting and practicing! Although shorty men did seem to find them fascinating for some reason; even the blue-eyed one could barely keep his eyes off them!
Her tits were not the question here; the real question was what had the blue-eyed shorty stuck in her vest, and did she have the courage to take it as he told her? Did she have a choice? The guards had been very explicit about what she could expect, no doubt taking pleasure at telling her of her fate. She would be fed the drug in plenty of time for it to work and then sent out to die. She was well aware of the effect the poppy extract would have on her since it had been used a number of times already to subdue her prior to moving her around. She was sure they would take no chances and give her an extra dose. It is unlikely she would be able to fight off a young tot with a butter knife let alone five full-grown men with swords. Unhappily she came to the conclusion she didn't have much choice. If blue-eyes gave her a poison, then what was the difference? If it wasn't poison and worked ... They would just have to see then, wouldn't they?
The Kushitic chief's daughter sat sprawled in her cage for the next few minutes mulling over this puzzle. Awhile later three guards walked up to her cage. One went around the back and confirmed that her wrists were still shackled to the bars. After nodding to his companions they entered the cage and walked over to her grinning.
"Your turn in a little while, bitch," he said. "We're here to give you your medicine, so you'll be at your best for the match." Laughing he took out a small metal funnel with a long spout and forced it past her teeth and partly down her throat. Pulling the stopper out of a small brown bottle, he poured the milky-white contents into the funnel. Seconds later Lav could feel the substance as it dripped down her throat. Then it was either swallow it or breathe it. Swallow she did. She kept swallowing until it finally stopped.
"That's quite a lot," the other guard mused. "Aren't you afraid of her falling asleep before she even gets out there?"
"Naw," the first replied. "They measured it against her weight pretty carefully. Besides, if she stumbles or something like that we can just say she's tired from the other bouts."
"They better hope anybody betting on her doesn't catch on to what we're doing. They're liable to be not too pleased."
"Ain't nobody going to be betting on her," the first said with a shake of his head. "Everybody knows nobody wins against five; it's really just an exhibition match. Hell, they have her five opponents already scheduled for matches afterwards."
"That's not what I heard," the second said. "I heard there were a number of pretty heavy bets on her winning being laid with a number of the bookies."
"Suckers," the first said with a shrug. "Let that work for a while. She should be good and ready in a half-hour or so." With that they left, taking their funnel and empty bottle.
"Where do we go to see this?" Nilsen asked his friend. "One way or another I suppose I have to watch it."
"Not really," Demeter said hopefully. "They don't know who you are. You could just take your gold and head back to the palace. No one would be the wiser." He continued in a whisper, "It's said they drug them if they don't want them to win. I don't think she has a chance."
"I'm sure you're right ― about the drugging anyway," Nilsen replied in his normal voice. "Let's just say, even if they do drug her, I think she still has a pretty good chance of living through this."
"You'd better, Demeter muttered. "You've got thirty gold riding on it. You really that sure?" Nilsen just shrugged and patted the pouch on his belt holding his gold.
"Isn't that the gold you picked up from the ship this morning?" Demeter asked. "Won't your sisters be pissed at you if you lose it?"
"I don't know why," Nilsen answered. "It's mine; I had it sent to me. I was going to use it for a new set of weapons and armor, and I still think I'll be doing that."
"Hmm..." Demeter narrowed his eyes and looked at his companion. He could sense that Nil wasn't going to tell him everything he knew, but Demeter could also tell there was more to the story.
"Tell you what," Demeter said slowly "just to make it interesting, maybe I should put a little money on it also." He paid the barker the two bronze coins and showed Nilsen where to sit. For an extra two coins they got seats fairly close to the front. Nilsen sat down on the low wooden bench while Demeter hurried away.
The arena was pretty much like all the practice arenas he had seen in the past: about thirty yards in diameter with a thick layer of sand/sawdust mixture on the floor. The only difference was the wall around the arena was at least ten feet high and there were tiered benches completely surrounding it. Nilsen estimated when filled it could hold almost a thousand viewers.
There were nowhere near that many there then. It was early in the afternoon and the real matches didn't start until much later. Nilsen guessed there were probably no more than 150 all told.
A few minutes later Demeter sat down beside him and dropped a stack of differently shaped wooden markers in his hand. Some were circles, other squares, stars, etc. They were all different, but they all had the same color designs on them.
"What's this?" Nilsen demanded.
"They're your markers," Demeter replied. "I had trouble convincing a number of the books that I really wanted to bet on your girl, so I had to spread it around over a number of them. It seems nobody is fool enough to bet on one against five, let me tell you; with the odds they gave me if she wins you'll be able to buy a couple of sets of armor."
"But I didn't bet..." Nilsen started.
"No, but I did," Demeter interrupted. "Don't worry about it, Nil. If she wins you can pay me back. If she doesn't, it's not enough to worry about. Look, I think they're about to start."
Lav could feel the drug working on her. Her tongue felt numb and too large for her mouth. It was difficult to keep her head up and she was sure if her arms were released and she tried to stand she would be wobbly, almost like she was drunk.
Minutes later a guard came up on the outside of her cage and unshackled her. For the moment she could do little more than groan and shake her arms. They felt like lead, the effect of the drug and the prolonged binding making her lethargic and stiff. At least it didn't hurt. She struggled to her feet and surreptitiously checked to see if the small pellet of "stuff" was still in her vest. Lav thought about holding it in her mouth to make sure it wouldn't get lost, but remembered blue-eyes had told her to chew it just before going out into the arena. She had no idea if it really made a difference when she took it, but right then it was a lot easier to do as she was told and not think overly much so she tucked it into the belt holding up her breechclout. Another guard stood at the cage door, unlocking it.
"Come on, bitch," he said with a grin. "Time for your last show." He pulled it open and swung it out to lock into place forming a barrier across the hallway. Two more guards came in behind her cage with long spears, ready to prod her out if needed. Other than pausing to spit at them, she didn't waste time being obstinate. They all seemed very confident that she wasn't going to survive her time in the ring but it was better to die fighting than cringing in a cage. Still flexing her arms and stumbling just a little she strode out into the hallway.
She couldn't turn right, that being where the door formed a new cage wall, so she turned left after growling at the guard laughing behind the door. It was only a short walk to the end of the hallway where two doors stood. One led to the outside and the rest of the slave pens; it was closed and she was sure locked tight. The second was open. This one she knew well: it led to a small chamber where she was to pick up her weapon. When it was time an iron gate would be lifted and she would be in the fighting pit itself. Groggily, she shuffled along the hallway toward the open door.
"Put on a good show, bitch," one of the guards shouted behind her. "Some dumbass has been betting on you so we've been able to put a little against you. Be happy; at least someone will profit from your death!" She ignored the taunt and moved through the open door.
When she was fully in the small chamber the door closed behind her and she heard the snap of the lock. Looking around she made her way over to the rough table which had four times before held the sword she was to use. This time something was different. There was a sword there all right, but it didn't look right. Picking it up she knew right away what was wrong: it wasn't a real sword. It was a wooden practice sword painted to look like a real one! One strike from a real weapon and it would be nothing but kindling! Sighing she picked it up and gave it a couple of tentative swings.
She could hear the sounds of the crowd through the grate, not particularly loud, but a constant hum. Suddenly the crowd noise increased a bit and she knew her five opponents had been sent into the ring. Her arms felt so tired she briefly wondered if it was worth even going out there. Maybe she should just lie down here and let them come get her. That thought didn't last long; shaking her head to clear it as best she could she moved over to stand in front of the grate. If today was her day to die, at least she was going to take as many with her as she could!
Then she remembered the blue-eyed shorty and his little pellet of whatever. Taking it out, she frowned as she looked at it more closely. It still looked like nothing more than a hunk of compressed grass; thinking about it for a moment she shrugged and popped it into her mouth and started chewing. If it was poison, she hoped it was fast-acting and painless. If it was a drug to dull her wits and slow her speed, well, what more could it do? Who knows? Maybe it would actually help.
It tasted awful! Just like she would imagine cow dung would taste! However, she continued to swallow and even choked down a mouthful of the juice just as the high-pitched squeal of metal-on-metal announced her grate was starting to lift.
Later she would swear that as soon as the one mouthful hit her stomach something came alive somewhere in her gut and tried its damnedest to claw its way out. First, her heart started beating faster and harder than she had ever felt it before; she was almost afraid it would burst within her breast. Next, her vision blurred momentarily to suddenly become crystal clear, the colors fading slightly into various shades of gray, but the definition of everything becoming incredibly sharp. She was also immediately aware that the sound of the crowd had become a loud, constant buzzing in her ears. She had never felt so awake or aware of her surroundings, ever!
Even that didn't prepare her for the surge of energy that seemed to radiate from her stomach and spread out and into her limbs. Her muscles contracted, arms and legs bunched in close to her body ready for the fight. Her body was actually vibrating with the need for action!
She was invincible! Five men, ten men ... It didn't matter! Bring them all to her! She knew without any doubt that she could take any number single-handedly, even with this toy sword! With a roar she dashed out into the ring.
The stands weren't even half full when a gong sounded announcing that the first match was about to start. Nilsen and Demeter turned toward the ring and saw one gate being drawn up on one side. Out of the opening and onto the sand walked five men. Nil could tell they weren't experienced fighters by the way they carried themselves and their weapons, but it appeared they weren't novices, either.
"I don't think these are virgins," Demeter muttered just loudly enough for Nilsen to hear him.
"Virgins?" Nilsen asked.
"You know," Demeter answered, "someone who's never fought before. They don't look like scared little rabbits."
"Ah," Nilsen muttered noncommittally. They still looked pretty scared to him, but he had to agree: They looked like men who had at least seen a fight before.
"You still think your girl has a chance?" Demeter continued.
"Yes, I do," Nilsen said nodding. "Why do you keep calling her 'my girl'? She's not mine or anybody else's for that matter. My guess is she is the kind you can chain but never own..." Just as he was finishing, the object of their discussion burst out of another aperture and loped to the center of the ring. Nilsen could tell immediately that she had taken the stimulant chew he had given her. From experience he knew the effects it was having on her and he could see the evidence from the way she was holding herself and carefully advancing on her unsuspecting foes.
Nilsen didn't know exactly what was in the little ball of vegetable matter. His father had introduced him to it and called it the "berserker pill". It was one of the most closely held secrets of the Warriors Guild. It gave the user about thirty minutes of incredible strength and endurance. It made the person taking the concoction "young, dumb and full of cum", was how his father put it. While the high was with you there was a sense of heightened strength, sight, hearing and even taste. You were infallible and indestructible as the juice flowed through your veins.
Unfortunately the price you paid for your few minutes of godhood was even more dramatic and devastating. Afterwards the body began shutting down; muscles refused to work. Starving for fuel after expending such a tremendous amount of energy in so short a period of time the body would begin to literally eat itself alive. Having used it once Nilsen knew it took about half a ten-day to fully recover; and the pain during that time was nothing to laugh about.
But right then she was just reaching the peak of its effect.
Moving like a lioness on the prowl, Lav moved to the very center of the ring. Her five opponents fanned out to fully encircle her as she hissed at them, teeth bared in a truly hideous grimace. As soon as they were in place she suddenly wheeled and streaked toward the one who had placed himself at her back. She moved faster than a human had any right to as the crowd ― excepting Nilsen, of course ― gasped. It took her only three steps until she was in range to smack him alongside the head with the wooden sword in her hand. The sword may have had no edge and was reasonably harmless under ordinary circumstances, but in the hands of someone who is naturally strong ― and juiced on top of it ― it was like being hit with a war club. It didn't cut, or knock his head off, but that didn't matter since it did cave in the side of his skull; snapping the neck was just a bonus.
"One," Nilsen said with a smile, his voice as audible as a shout in the near total silence that followed her attack.
Lav was already moving even as her dead opponent was toppling to the sandy floor of the arena. She moved quickly to her left confronting the next fighter trying to encircle her. Frozen momentarily at her inhuman speed and the ferocity of her attack he didn't realize he was her next target until she was almost upon him. He suddenly awoke to his situation just in time to prevent the exact same fate as his fellow prisoner. With almost no time to spare he brought his sword up to block her roundhouse swing. It wasn't much of a defense but it was enough that the force of Lav's swing shattered her toy sword on his steel one, breaking hers into long splinters of wood. But before the crowd could even utter a gasp at the sudden turn of events she was already twirling, one long leg sweeping out to catch her unsuspecting opponent by the legs and knocking him down to the ground. Again demonstrating incredible speed she pounced like a lioness and shoved the remaining splinters of her near-useless weapon up under his chin and on into his brain pan. Chest heaving, quite fetchingly Nil thought, she stood up holding her now-dead opponent's sword, licking her lips and eying the remaining three not unlike a cat eying three mice, just trying to decide which one to eat next.
"Two," Nilsen said unnecessarily. This time his remark was drowned out by the roar of the now frenzied crowd.
"By the gods!" Demeter gasped. "Did you see that? It's like she's possessed! Like she's drugged!"
"She is," Nilsen answered with a smirk.
"What?" Demeter stared at his friend. "You're joking, right?"
"Not at all," Nilsen said looking down at the arena as Lav made up her mind and started to stalk the next one to her left. "They drugged her to slow her down. I thought it only fair that someone should drug her to speed her up, so I did."
"Son of a bitch," Demeter whispered. "And you say you are the stupid one. You must be the craftiest idiot I've ever met."
"Oh, I am the stupid one," Nilsen said with a smile. "When you compare me to my brothers and sisters, that is."
"Crap! Remind me to never set myself up against your family," Demeter said in awe.
"You've already met my sisters," Nilsen said with a smile. "If you haven't figured that out by now, you deserve what you get." He paused for a moment and looked almost contemplative, "I dare say though, Makro would probably have figured out a more elegant solution ... more diplomatic." Then he shrugged, "My sisters are all about finding the best tool for the job. Me, I just get a bigger hammer. I have yet to find a situation where the judicious use of excessive force doesn't solve the problem one way or another."
Even if she hadn't already had her full attention focused on staying alive, Lav probably wouldn't have been particularly interested in their byplay. Other people's business rarely interested her, unless it directly impacted her, that is, but now even less than usual. Two of the five were down and she had no doubt she could take the other three with little or no problem, under normal circumstances that is. Unfortunately she could feel the strength pumping through her body begin to fade ever so slightly. Nilsen had estimated it should last about half an hour, but he couldn't know her larger body mass and the effect of the other narcotic decreased its usefulness much sooner. Even as she began to move toward her remaining opponents she could feel its effect decrease. She knew this had to be over soon.
She started moving towards the next one to her left but immediately saw this wouldn't work. As she moved forward he started to move back and away from her. She could tell he was about as frightened as any man she had ever seen before. The dark spot on the front of his breechclout showed he had already pissed himself and her super-sensitive sense of smell told her he had probably soiled himself as well. Still, she had to engage them quickly and moving forward was the only plan she had at the moment.
Moving slowly at first she circled left as he retreated. She was getting no closer to her obvious target; however it did bring her closer to the other two. Suddenly she jumped sideways; Nilsen would swear later that it had been a standing broad jump of at least ten feet, and quickly closed the gap on the man who was the centermost of the three. A roundhouse swing smashed against his upheld sword numbing his arm with the shock. Continuing the motion of the swing Lav jabbed forward with the pummel of her own borrowed weapon catching him in the jaw, shattering it with the force of the blow. Stepping back slightly her right foot came up in a vicious kick that crushed his windpipe and he toppled back, still alive, but only because one doesn't die instantly from asphyxiation. Whether or not his heart was still pumping, he was dead as he hit the sand.
"Three." The chant now came from the crowd and not just Nilsen.
The man to her right may have been frightened, but he also saw this as his one chance to catch the giantess while she was occupied. As his compatriot fell, he charged, sword raised high and readying for the killing stroke. It would have been a good idea against most other opponents, but not with one having been trained in the warrior arts for well over half her life. Lav caught the movement out of the corner of her eye. Instinctively she let him get closer before whirling to one side, sword moving out to catch him under the arm as he stumbled past her. It wasn't an immediately mortal wound, but the shock of the deep cut caused him to drop his sword and fall face down into the arena's sandy floor.
"Four! Four! Four!" The arena reverberated with the sound of the now ecstatic crowd.
Whatever drug the blue-eyed shorty had given her was definitely wearing off, Lav thought, as wavy lines superimposed themselves on her vision. It was getting difficult to get enough breath as her chest heaved and sweat poured out of her body and dripped to the sand at her feet. The last man wanted no part of this fight and was doing his best to stay away from her. Lav snorted, wondering how she was going to corner her last prey in a circular arena. She walked slowly towards him, both to conserve energy and to keep him from running from one side to the other. She knew she didn't have enough left to chase him down. If she could close with him she knew she could finish it, but closing with him was going to be difficult.
Life is a game of chance, she thought to herself. She was about fifteen feet away from him when she suddenly let the sword point drop. It scraped the sand slightly as it continued behind her and up over her shoulder. With as much strength as she had left she snapped it forward and threw it at him.
She was extremely tired, and the sword wasn't balanced for throwing, but the cast was good enough to catch him in the thigh. He let a high-pitched scream, dropped his own weapon and fell to the ground. Mewling, he tried to drag himself away from his killer. Stumbling forward, Lav came up behind him, put her foot on the back of his neck and reached down grabbing him by the hair. Yanking back as hard as she could the sound of his snapping neck was heard even over the sounds of the cheering crowd.
Shaking as she stood, Lav lurched away from the corpse for a few steps until the world around her started to spin. Suddenly standing was just too much of an effort and she found herself on her knees. The spinning stopped and blackness rolled in as she pitched forward into the comforting oblivion.
"By the gods!" Demeter whispered with awe. "That was amazing."
"She's good," Nilsen nodded as he watched a number of guards drag her off towards the pens and the bodies of her opponents towards another exit. Already slaves were in the arena raking smooth the disturbed areas in preparation for the next bout.
Shaking his head Demeter said, "We'd better go see that your girl is all right. My guess is they aren't going to be particularly happy with her right about now."
"I suspect you're probably right," Nilsen agreed as they both stood up to go.
Unhappy would be one way of putting it; livid would be more accurate. It didn't take them but a few minutes to make their way down to the slave pens. When they got there Lav was being held upright on her knees by two guards as the slavemaster was getting ready to spit her on the end of his sword.
"Excuse me," Nil said loudly enough to cause the slavemaster to turn his head sharply towards the sound. "If I remember we had a wager and I do believe I won. So that women you are about to run through is now mine and not yours. I would very much appreciate your not harming her."
"You son-of-a-bitch!" the slaver spat. "What the fuck are you going to do if I kill this whore?"
"Why, I suppose I'd have to kill you," Nilsen said with a disconcerting calmness.
"What are you going to do?" he said pointing his sword around at the three guards in the passageway with them. "They're four of us, and we ain't no bunch of fucking slaves. What do you think you can do against four?"
"There are two of us," Demeter said from behind Nilsen's shoulder. Everyone looked over at him where he stood leaning up against the wall appearing completely unconcerned. "Although I dare say I doubt he'd need any help from me."
"Two or one," sputtered the slaver. "It doesn't matter; the bitch is mine and I'll do what I want with her."
"I don't think so," Nilsen said shaking his head. "Our wager was if she won I would have her. She won, so she's mine."
"We had no wager, asshole," the slave said with a grin. "My word against yours."
"My guess," Demeter said, also grinning, "that as the son of the king of Jeevel his word is going to carry considerable weight here." Suddenly he stopped grinning and stood upright. "If it doesn't I'm sure mine, the son of your own Putram, will."
Even in the limited light coming from the lamps burning along the walls the slaver's face had become noticeably paler. Although his face still held its sneer it was considerably more forced and the point of his sword dropped toward the ground.
"Even if you are his son, the Putram would never interfere with us," the slaver blustered. "We're under his personal protection."
"Maybe," Demeter said with a wave of his hand. "But since the only thing left here would be your corpse, I doubt he would take much interest. And yes, I'm sure that is what will happen. You may think this lovely lass here is dangerous, and she indeed is, but not half so much as this man standing in front of you." He paused for a moment in what could be thoughtful contemplation. "You know, I doubt it would disturb Father greatly if the four of you suddenly ceased to exist, but I'm afraid Nilsen here just might take it into his head to do away with the whole staff. Now that may indeed bother him ... Loss of revenue and all that, you know.
"So," he continued with a sigh. "I really must insist you uphold your end of the wager and hand her over."
"Fuck this," the slaver spat. "Fine, take your whore! I don't want to see the bitch anymore!" At his gesture the guards holding Lav let go and she slid bonelessly to the floor. Snorting contemptuously the slaver, followed by his guards, walked out of the passageway.
"Well," Demeter said with a bemused expression, "you have your lady; now what are you going to do with her?"
"Beats the hell out of me," Nilsen mumbled. Then he sighed, "I suppose the first thing I should do is take her home and clean her up."
"Well, you get to carry her," Demeter grumped. "I can tell you from here she's too damned heavy for me. Plus she stinks like a midden heap."
"I guess I could use the exercise anyway," Nilsen grinned as he bent down intending to drag her up and over his shoulder. As he came close her eyes opened momentarily and she looked at him pleadingly, repeating over and over...
"Cerberus, Cerberus, Cerberus..."
Edited by Morgan