by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美)
Staring down from atop the great height of her dapple-grey horse, the one-eyed knight was formidable indeed. “Halt, brigands!”
Mia glanced from Sefir at her right to Kalshinai at her left, then back to the knight. “Excuse me, brigands?” Mia echoed, confused. Admittedly, the lady knight has missing half her vision, but the other half would need to be very bad indeed to mistake their party for highway robbers. After all, before being stopped, they had been walking down the forest path at mid-day, talking amongst themselves at a volume not to be mistaken for stealth. Mia looked around them, largely to make sure there were not scoundrels behind them, hiding in the trees, about to strike.
“Fools!” The knight drew a short sword and pointed it in their direction. “Your days of harassment are done! Prepare to meet your maker!”
Beside her, Mia could see Kalshinai’s hands begin to move, drawing up the first sparks of a spell. Mia put her hand on Kal’s forearm, silently begging him not to answer with offensive elf-magic if there was still the chance this could be talked through. Likely it was all a simple misunderstanding, cleared up with no violence. They’d say their piece and be on their way, and the imposing woman could go back to catching the real scoundrels.
Thanks be that Sefir seemed to have the same attitude toward the situation as Mia. “Lady, we are adventurers and fiendsbanes,” Sefir said, raising her hands to show she held no weapon in them. “We have just returned from cleaning out a swamp-troll horde on the west side of the Suntel Rift. If you like” –she gestured to the horse and wagon behind them– “you may check the proof we’ve brought back for bounties, though I must advise you, you can remove the life from the body of a troll, but the smell lingers.”
The knight did not seem placated in the slightest; if anything, her gaze darkened and the furrows in her brow deepend. All the hair on her head was silver, but her face was clearly youthful, making Mia wonder what kind of life she must have led. “And fall into your churlish trap? I’ll sooner die.”
“It’s not a trap,” Mia said, gripping even harder at Kalshinai’s wrist. She had no doubt he was capable of incinerating that woman where she stood, horse and all, and Mia had just as soon avoid that, at the very least for the horse’s sake. “We’ve been on the road for four days, and we’d like to make the castle grounds by nightfall, so if you would tell us how please to satisfy you with our real identities, we may all be on our way.”
“A ruse!” shouted the knight, waving her sword around in a manner that was only really threatening for how haphazard it was. “But it will take more than this to fell Ser Hamlin of–“
The three adventurers did not get to hear where Ser Hamlin was from, because at that moment, she fell off her horse.
Calling it a fall, in fact, was a bit dramatic; she more slid off, leaning to one side of her mount until gravity overtook her and sent her plummeting to the leaf-covered path below. The horse stood ramrod-still through it all, as though this were its daily burden to bear.
For a moment, Mia and the others just stood there, not sure what to do. Before the matter could even come up to discussion, though, Ser Hamlin hopped to her feet with spry grace, especially considering the amount of leathers she was wearing. “Fiends!” she shrieked at them, brandishing her sword at them — except that during the fall she had dropped the sword, which lay now half-stuck into the soft ground. She still held her arm out before her, though, hand clutched into a circle as though it gripped some invisible hilt. “What dark day this is, that you have laid justice so low!”
Sefir crossed her arms across her chest. “Is she drunk?”
“No,” Kalshinai said, shaking his head as he looked her up and down. “Ensorcelled.”
“What?” asked Mia.
Kalshinai sighed and let his hands drop from their casting position. “She’s had a spell laid on her.”
“Oh,” said Mia, who wished he’d just said so in the first place. “What kind of spell?”
“Difficult to say.” Kalshinai shrugged. “This sort of delusional magic is less the type one person casts on another, and more of the sort left on cursed objects. Likely she opened some book or peeked into some tomb she shouldn’t have.”
“Sad for her!” Sefir gave the knight a little wave. “All right, you’ve chased us terrible rogues off! Come along, let’s just walk past her.”
With a nod of agreement, Kalshinai turned to take the reins of their horse again. Mia, however, held her ground. The woman before them may not have been responding to an actual threat, but her emotions were real. Out here, she would be prey for real brigands, or wild beasts, or anything else that could get the drop on her in her tormented state. “We can’t just leave her,” Mia said.
Sefir threw up her hands in the way she always did when she thought Mia was being too soft-hearted and soft-headed alike. “Kal, how do you break a spell like that?”
“Depends on the spell,” Kalshinai said, still looking Ser Hamlin up and down, as though scanning a difficult puzzle for clues. “I’d need some time. And for her not to be trying to stab me.”
That was indeed what Hamlin was doing, waving her imaginary sword back and forth as though it were a lighted torch, keeping three wolves at bay. Presently, though, she let her sword arm drop. “Oh, you foul criminals,” she spat at them, bringing her hands to the buckles that held her dark brown camisole together. She unfastened them in rising order, until the piece fell back off her shoulders, revealing the light shirt she wore underneath. “Have you no honor, that you would do so to a royal knight of a noble house?”
Sefir exhaled through pursed lips. “I suppose it’s no use pointing out that we are not doing this.”
“I have heard tale,” Hamlin continued, her hands reaching for her belt now, “of rogues who would be so cruel as to take the purity of any women they found, but I did not dare believe I would become one of those unfortunates, robbed of her virtue by rakes and scalliwags!”
Mia felt frozen in place, as ensorcelled as Hamlin herself. Truly, just leaving the woman here was not an option — but Mia did not know how to approach her in a way that would not end in bodily injury for some or perhaps all of them. She knew that Kalshinai had hardly relaxed, and at the first sign of renewed danger, he would not hesitate to react, no matter how deluded the aggressor was.
With a gasp, Hamlin ripped off her own shirt, tearing it over her head and sending her silvery hair wild. Her delusion did not include convincing her that she was a knight; her body told that story. She was lean and muscled, with breasts that barely peaked up from her chest. All over, her body was covered with scars that told of a hard life spent keeping the peace of the land. Whether or not she was a royal knight, or from any sort of noble house, she deserved better than this.
“What … can we do?” Mia asked softly.
Kalshinai snorted. “Truly, I’ve no idea. Perhaps … play along.”
“Come again?” asked Sefir.
“Well–” Kalshinai glanced over at Hamlin, who was currently throwing herself dramatically against a plush patch of soft moss at the base of a nearby tree. “Look, this is all theoretical, but I somewhat recall from my studies that the safest way to deal with delusional magic is to play into the delusion and try to use it to get the person to safety.”
“Play — play into it?” Mia sputtered at him. “So we’re to pretend now that we’re a gang of thieves and rapists? We need to violate her?”
“Not necessarily,” Sefir said, and when they turned to her, she gestured back to Hamlin.
Mia followed her gaze, and then her eyes went wide. Hamlin had not only take off her shirt, but had managed to pull down her pants to her knees, and was openly rubbing her clit between two of her strong, knobby fingers. “Unhand me, you rogues!” she gasped, all the while pleasuring herself. “How dare you do this to a woman of my status? Is your victory not enough? Must you also take payment from my body? I will never submit to you!” She moaned louder as her other hand rose to her nipple, tugging on it with no gentleness.
“In fact,” said Kalshinai, breaking the adventurers’ stunned silence, “this does tell me a lot about the enchantment.”
“Okay,” said Mia. She wanted to turn away — respect for Hamlin’s modesty absolutely compelled her to turn away, damn everything — but she could not seem to avert her gaze. For all the strange torment she was in, Hamlin was beautiful in her ecstasy. Mia was nothing like a knight herself, but she had met many in her day, and the female ones had all seemed to her to be a particular breed of reserved, nigh-repressed souls, taught over the years to deny everything about their bodies in pursuit of their service.
The enchantment itself might have been cruel, to lay bare her innermost fantasies, but Mia could understand them well. There was a perverse kind of freedom in that submission, in knowing that whatever pleasure one received, one could not be held responsible for it. “Get in there,” Sefir said, nudging Mia forward.
“What?” asked Mia, her cheeks going pink.
“Go on!” Sefir gave her shoulder another shove. “Of the three of us, you are by far the most talented between a woman’s legs.”
Mia’s face flushed all the way to scarlet as Kalshinai just nodded. “I mean,” he said, “I’ve no parts by which to judge your skills firsthand, but from what I’ve heard tell…”
“This is–” Mia ran her hands across her close-cropped hair. “I can’t just go … and to a woman I don’t even know! And a spellbound one at that!”
“So go and tongue her little rosebud until she passes out,” Sefir said with a wicked smirk, “and then we’ll load her up in the wagon and take her somewhere safer, so Kal can try and figure out how to fix her. We can even put her in the bit that doesn’t smell of troll.”
Mia looked to Kalshinai, hoping that he would disagree, and to her dawning horror saw him nodding thoughtfully. “If the spell is tied to her arousal, then it seems that granting her satisfaction might waylay it for a moment. There’s the slimmest possible chance it might even cure the situation!”
The last bit sounded like nothing but wishful thinking to Mia, who turned back to the writhing woman beneath the tree. Hamlin’s brow was soaked with sweat now, and she thrashed from side to side as though in a feverish haze. Mia knew — perhaps not to the same degree, but she did know — that horrible feeling, of being filled with so many passions that releasing them became elusive. And if Hamlin did attain her climax, would it be enough? Or would they have to stand here, waiting until she rubbed herself raw before they could continue? There’d be no way they’d make the castle grounds by nightfall with that sort of impediment.
“You wanted to help her,” Kalshinai reminded her, putting his pale hand on her shoulder. “Think of it as therapeutic.”
With a heavy sigh, Mia pulled her dagger out of the sheath at her thigh. “If either of you ever mocks me for this in the future, I will cut you in two, feed your top half to a dragon, and feed your bottom half to a different dragon.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” said Sefir, who was probably already thinking of thirty different ways to mention it before supper.
Feeling perhaps more self-conscious than she ever had before in her life, Mia walked over to where Hamlin lay beneath the tree, gasping and rubbing herself, seemingly to no conclusion. Mia took a strong stance over Hamlin, then pointed her dagger straight down at the woman. “Stop,” she ordered in her deepest, most commanding voice. Considering that Mia was barely five feet tall, with a stature that had gotten her compared to pixies through her childhood years, she hoped the spell would help.
It did, or at least it got Hamlin to stop. Panting, she looked up at Mia, and her eye seemed to register the blade. “You foul enemies of justice!” Hamlin spat, or tried to, though her words were barely air. “Must you do this crime to a defenseless woman?”
Considering that Hamlin could probably have snapped Mia in two under normal circumstances, Mia wasn’t so sure how well ‘defenseless’ fit into the situation. But she kept the dagger pointed down, then got to her knees herself, aiming the blade’s edge right at Hamlin’s throat. “Yes, we must,” Mia said, “because we are very, very bad people.”
“Scoundrels,” gasped Hamlin, leaning her head back to expose more of her bare neck to danger. “Have you no honor?”
“Nope,” Mia said, resisting the urge to glare evilly back over her shoulder as she heard giggling from behind. Someone was absolutely getting half-fed to a dragon over this. “Bad, bad people. Come to … ravish your parts.”
“You hideous brutes!” Hamlin moaned. Her hands clenched at her sides, but she obeyed Mia’s command to stop, which gave Mia some idea of how much control she carried over the situation. “To find me at my most defeated and take your pleasures from my subjugated body!” Her moans were unmistakably aroused, to the point that anyone in the vicinity would have had no question of the pleasure Hamlin was taking from this scenario.
Mia sighed and situated herself between Hamlin’s thighs. She grabbed the waistband of Hamlin’s pants and pulled them down to her calves, not willing to stop the proceedings enough to get her boots off as well. That was enough room to work, though. Mia dragged the dagger lightly along the soft skin of Hamlin’s inner thigh. “I know you don’t want this,” Mia said.
Hamlin shook her head even as she made a very affirmative, very encouraging sound. “Unhand me, you monster!”
“You absolutely do not want me to do this.” Mia bit the fingertips of her glove and pulled it off, baring her flesh beneath. Still keeping the dagger pointed at Hamlin with one hand, Mia took her newly freed fingers and pressed them into the cleft of Hamlin’s slit. Mia had been between the legs of many women in her day, but she honestly could not recall having seen one so wet or so eager.
“No!” Hamlin cried, while moving her hips down with a sudden jerk, burying Mia’s two digits inside of her all in one thrust. Well, that answered a lot of questions Mia had about the need to go slow.
Mia pumped her hand in and out a few times, getting a feel for Hamlin’s body from the inside out. It had occurred to Mia that Hamlin might be completely unexperienced with penetration, but the way Hamlin’s cunt took her in made it seem less so. She tried a third finger, which found no resistance either. Ordinarily, she would let this last, building up to things, finding the limits of her partner’s capacity. But they were on a bit of a schedule.
When Mia withdrew her hand again, it was to gather all her fingers together, thumb included, and place them just at Hamlin’s slick entrance. Sometimes her small stature had advantages. “I know for a fact you don’t want me to do this,” Mia said as she pushed her entire hand forward into Hamlin’s cunt, until she was inside Hamlin to her narrow wrist.
Hamlin cried out and writhed her hips, but there was no mistaking the pulses of her muscles around Mia’s hand for anything but an excellent orgasm. “Curse you!” gasped Hamlin, arching her back. “Curse your … your fucking … your….” Exhaling, she slumped back against the moss, panting softly through parted lips.
Perhaps that would have been enough. But Mia didn’t want to take any chances — and she absolutely didn’t want to have to stop halfway to the castle, only to do this all again. With extreme tender care, Mia curled her fingertips back to her palm, until her hand was a tight fist inside of Hamlin. She could still feel Hamlin’s cunt quivering around her, so Mia took advantage of the moment and began to move her fist back and forth. She didn’t move far, but with penetration like this, far wasn’t necessary. Any movement at all, and Hamlin would feel it to her toes.
“Curse you for ravishing me,” Hamlin moaned, lifting her hips to allow herself to be impaled on Mia’s fist. “Curse you, you … reprobates!”
Mia wondered when Hamlin might run out of creative ways to imply she and the others were career lawbreakers. For now, though, Mia repositioned her knees and lowered her head. It was an odd angle, but this was battlefield medicine. She leaned forward and pressed her mouth to Hamlin’s clit, enclosing it in her lips. Her tongue peeked out and teased across its head with no gentle friction.
The result was like putting lightning to Hamlin’s body, so much so that if she hadn’t been caught on Mia’s fist, she might have rolled away entirely. As it was, she just jerked and moaned, making a scene of herself. And a pretty scene it was, Mia couldn’t help noticing. She wondered how many people before her had gotten to see Hamlin like this. That it would have been many seemed unlikely; perhaps just a few, or even none? If the answer was indeed a precious few, Mia hoped that Hamlin could forgive her for this when it was all over, that it was worth bringing her to the edge of this vulnerability to save her life.
Mia’s fist moved inside Hamlin’s cunt as Mia’s teeth closed lightly around her clit, testing the limits of Hamlin’s interest in such a sensation. Hamlin cried out, so Mia bit down with just enough pressure to make the danger known. “No!” cried Hamlin, thrusting her hips eagerly. “Don’t! Stop this! You’ll make me … you’ll–!”
If Hamlin’s first orgasm had been intense, her second one was explosive. Her cunt practically grabbed at Mia’s hand, pulsing hard around her as Hamlin cried out wordlessly. Mia held on as long as she could, suckling at her clit while Hamlin thrashed about. And then it was done, and Hamlin slumped back against the moss. Her eye was closed and her breath was heavy, but she was not struggling anymore.
Mia pulled her hand out before things could get painful for Hamlin, but Hamlin barely whimpered. “Fuck,” Mia muttered, looking over Hamlin’s ravished body. Mia herself was all wet now, and something would absolutely have to be done about that tonight.
But that would be later, in a tent or an inn, and not by the side of the road. Mia stood and wiped her hand on a rag tucked in her belt. “Can you … could someone just get her?” she asked, stumbling to her feet.
Sefir was there in an instant, hiking up Hamlin’s pants before throwing the still-shirtless knight over one shoulder. “That sounded good,” she said to Mia with a wink.
“You know,” said Kalshinai, putting a hand on Mia’s shoulder, “we could not remove the enchantment and you could just do that to her every night.”
Even though she could tell he was joking, Mia kicked him in the shin, then went to grab the reins of Hamlin’s horse. She had to hop three times before she could even get close enough to the stirrup to pull herself the rest of the way into the saddle, but once she was seated up there, she glared down at her companions. “I need a shower and a bed and to be fucked within an inch of my life,” she told them as she turned the horse toward the path ahead, “so you’d better keep up.”
“Of course, Ser Mia,” teased Sefir, which caused Kalshinai to laugh along with her. Mia didn’t even dignify them with a response. They had a long road still to the castle gates, and she knew what she was going to be thinking about the entire time.