by Pavel Pestunov
– Perfect – he thought – A storm. As if, this pain wasn’t enough.
Wet, cotton shirt under a medium-weight armor was as sharp as a razor in his armpits.
– How many times have they told you that comfort is much more essential than the way you look – he shook his head – That selling witch talked me into a trap by telling that this shirt makes
me look as mighty as hell.
Now I see she knew what she was talking about, for the hell was obviously her hometown – his thoughts were interrupted by the sudden flash in the sky,
which transformed into a curved line going straight into a tree right to his right.
His reflects worked well and he managed to jump off without being smashed into a pancake by the burnt trunk.
– That was close. – he said to no one. He climbed over the fallen piece of, now worthless, wood and kept walking on the muddy ground.
His new special sword weighted about four kilograms more than his old usual one, and he felt its burden in his every step,
though he knew he would get used to it as he had done when he would have been given a real sword instead of a wooden stick.
The thing was that he was a knight. Born and raised in the Grey Castle, a place that takes lost and selfless kids and transforms them into strong-willed and brave men and women.
He passed all the circles of hell including necessary and extremely painful tortures, discontinuous physical trainings and everlasting swordfights with his fellow knights.
Unfortunately, none of friends made it. Some of them couldn’t survive living in the Grey Castle itself. Some of them died on their way from the Castle after graduation.
Others just a week after the latters. He was the best of his course and the fact that he still stood on the land was proving it.
Although he was mighty, handsome, fast and strong,
he lacked one thing every knight had to have to be taken seriously and ride a horse through a town with his or her head up and his or her ass occasionally kissed – a deed.
According to the knights’ codex, every warrior, who was brought up in the Grey Castle and wanted to become a hero devoting his or her life to serving the people,
must own a heroic deed in his or her pocket.
The range of the notion “deed” spread depending on people’s imagination but usually those were killing a monster like a giant that terrorizes some village,
destroying a gang of bandits that constantly rob and rape peasants or saving a famous damsel in distress. The latter often included the first two conditions. The knight had chosen the latter.
– How far is it? – he thought – And how could I lost my only map of the area?
He was a bit angry about the loss not only because he was in the middle of nowhere widening the limits of being wet, but also because the very map had cost him his horse.
The deal hadn’t been fare but that town had been the last one on his previous map, so he simply hadn’t known where to go next.
A cunning seller had read knight’s situation in his eyes, and left him no choice by saying that the map had been extremely rare and contained a mark of a treasure.
“I don’t care about treasures” hadn’t persuaded the seller. He’d said he couldn’t take so little money, so the knight had left him a horse.
That little money he’d eventually spent on a new shirt. Astonishingly uncomfortable one.
– Two unfortunate deals at the same time – he kept thinking.
The good thing was that it seemed there was no other way but straight forward, as the knight was surrounded by two long lines of mountains.
At the end of his path there had to be an abandoned castle hosted by a terrible dangerous creature.
According to the diaries, books, myths and notes he had examined in the process of searching a suitable deed for himself after his graduation,
the monster was actually a cursed princess of an ancient land, which no longer existed.
To leave a curse from a poor girl, who was described as an extremely stunning young lady, a knight had to fight her with a magic sword covered with certain runes.
The knight had a required tool. How he managed to get it is a long story filled with danger, pain and a lot of dead bodies.
After that adventure, he wasn’t afraid of anything and now despite all the hardships on the way like awful weather, uncomfortable shirts and uncertainty of the path,
he was very determined and focused upon his future success.
Finally, after he had crossed a few kilometers of dark forest, a wide, beautiful and depressingly abandoned valley opened before knight’s eyes.
– Fine looking castle it is. – said the knight aloud looking at a partially broken, but still decent fortress with a high tower in the center.
The entrance in the area was blocked with huge wooden doors built for possible attacks, which had surely taken place some time ago.
The knight felt that he was too tired to deal with them. Moreover, it was getting dark so he decided to have some sleep by the fire. By the entrance of the castle with a damsel in distress.
That night he dreamt of the battle with a monster and a beautiful princess in perspective. He won the battle and completed the deed.
He woke up just when he ordered to pour him and his beloved princess more wine during a great feast.
– Time to go. You can do it. – he said to himself and entered the castle.
No sound. No movement. No nothing. Just an empty castle. At first.
Wandering through the dark corridors leading to the tower, he started to find small evidences of residence.
The first thing that caught his eye was a pair of boots with a few days fresh smell. Then he stumbled across a table with leftovers of food.
He was starving, but he didn’t touch anything because it could be some kind of spell. A mortal spell.
Several minutes later, he heard the first sound. It was not a growl, not a roar but a scream. A woman’s scream. He was confused as he couldn’t say if it was a scream of pain, fear or pleasure.
– What is going on in this place – he quietly said and took one of the last stairs to the last floor of the tower.
Coming up to the door, the only door between him and the answer to a great lot of questions that had aroused in his mind during the excursion in the castle,
he pointed that sounds had disappeared.
He drown his sword, trying to make as little metal sound as possible, and opened the door.
Being a knight he wasn’t only a brave man, but a well-mannered person who always chooses words before starting a conversation.
He couldn’t even imagine that the first words he would say meeting the princess, would be the ones he actually pronounced as he looked at the center of the room.
– What the fuck… – his sword fell from his hands and made a sudden, unpleasant sound of metal and disappointment.
In the center of a nice room, looking nothing like a monster’s lair, there was a huge bed. There was also a table full of different fruit and sweets.
It took his attention only for half a second, as the biggest attraction of his attention was a naked man proudly laying on a bed and smoking a cigarette. He would be delighted if it was all.
By the man’s side, there was the most beautiful body the knight had ever seen. He only had seen something like this in an old book.
An old book about a cursed princess of an ancient land living in an abandoned castle in guise of a monster.
The woman definitely didn’t look like a monster with her head laying on a well-built, quite handsome man’s chest and her fingers gently running on his belly.
– Is this?! – the knight finished the line.
– Wow, you said you didn’t have a husband. – said the man with black hair and a slight smile on his face. He stood up from the bed.
– Are you kidding? I’m a thousand years old, remember? – the princess quickly put on a light silky robe that still left something to stare at.
– I am kidding. – replied the stranger with a fleck of laughter. He came up to the knight and stretched out his hand without any signs of discomfort about his thing swinging between his legs.
– Bliss of Loria at your service.
The knight still looked shocked. He stared at him for a few seconds then, finally, said, choosing the words again:
– What is going on here?
– Well, now the conversation is going on. I can’t say if it is pleasant yet. A few minutes ago a sexual act was going on. A good one. – He gave a quick look to the princess.
– Maybe it will be easier for us to talk if you yet say your name.
The knight swallowed and seemed to had come to life:
– Lamberg, the knight of the Grey Castle.
– The knight? – said the princess smiling – One more?
Bliss looked away with wary eyes.
– I told you, darling. I’m not a knight.
– But you saved me.
Bliss didn’t seem to notice her reply and went on talking to Lamberg.
– So, you are a knight who had come here to save this princess?
– Yes, but…
– Honey, this is fate! – he looked at the princess – Remember I told you about my urgent business not far away from here?
– Yes, but…
– This – he pointed to the knight. His eyes were shinning now as if the knight was his new best friend. – is the answer.
I couldn’t leave because you’d be left alone again and you couldn’t stand it after a thousand years of solitude. But now, there he is. A mighty knight that can take care of you while I’m away.
– Wait a minute – interrupted the knight, but Bliss interrupted his interruption.
– I hope you didn’t mean to refuse? That wouldn’t be very knightly. – he shook his head. Seeing that the knight isn’t responding he kept pushing. – Then it’s a deal.
– Bliss, honey, I don’t want you to leave. – said the princess coming up to Bliss with beautiful sad eyes. Lamberg would give anything for being on his place right now.
It seemed there wasn’t anything needed to give for this wish.
– Dear, I won’t be long. – he squeezed her hands with his own. – This man will take a good care of you while I’m away, right? – he looked strictly on the knight.
– Erm…of course! – now he felt like he owed it to him. Bliss’ trap had worked.
– In this case – Bliss let the princess’ hands off and started dressing up – I’m off to go.