Disclaimers: See Part 1

Additional Note (Please Read): This tale is tied in with, Xena and Gabrielle, A Turn of Fate. If you haven't read chapter 5 of that story, before reading this one. STOP! In the name of all that is holy, and do so now for goodness sakes. Both stories are important when it comes down to the full plot. Read and review please, I'm a bard that likes to be fed. ;-)

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Alexjanos612@Yahoo.com

The Conqueror and Ri,

A Twist of Destiny,

By, Ahkiken

Chapter 5: Trinity

 

Akemi strolled down the corridors of the castle to fetch the Prince of the Realm. While on route, she was thinking in disappointment, that she hadn't gotten a chance yet to see the Lord Conqueror's body. Being her chambermaid and lodged right next to her bedroom, Akemi was hoping for the opportunity to arise soon.

The young servant from Japa enjoyed combing her Lord's hair earlier, it gave her a fortuitous sight of the older ruler's cleavage through her royal robe, and Akemi was able to discern that the Conqueror had piercings on her nipples. Akemi wasn't necessarily voyeuristic, but imagining the dynamic Conqueror's body atop her's caused her concupiscence.

Instead of getting breakfast, which was a mistake, because she was hungry now, Akemi lied to her Lord in order to release herself sexually. With each stroke of her own fingers, the Japa woman pretended that it was the Conqueror's, bringing her satisfaction. The chambermaid was beginning to feel hard up again, so she tried to concentrate on the arch ceilings of the hallways, wondering how did the castle servants light the lanterns so high up, until she arrived at the Prince's chambers. She knocked casually and waited.

The groom opened the door. "Yes?"

"I am here to speak with Prince Lyceus on behalf of the Lord Conqueror of the Realm." Akemi answered.

The male servant stepped aside to let her in. Next, he said. "Wait here, please." as he went back to the Prince to inform him.

Akemi viewed the antechamber, it was a bit smaller in size compared to her mistress'. She pondered if it was due to rank, or a choice of the Prince.

"The Prince of the Realm is prepared to receive you." the groom announced out of no where, causing Akemi to slightly jump.

Ceasing her internal inquiry, she followed the man into the Prince's bed chamber. Lyceus was standing up, still dressed in his brown tunic and trousers. He added a brown vest to his attire, covering his top garment and bronze gauntlets to cover his arms.

"Morning, Akemi." he greeted.

"Good morning, Prince Lyceus." Akemi returned bowing. "The Lord Conqueror request your presence."

"Of course, let's not keep her waiting." he replied.

The Conqueror's chambermaid bowed once more, before they both exited the room together.

"How are you, Akemi?" Lyceus asked while they walked to his sister's chambers.

"Fine."

"I meant, being a servant to our Lord. Are you finding your tasks durable?" he reaffirmed his question.

"Yes." she gave a short reply.

"How about, Ri. Are you two getting along well doing y'all duty?"

"I have not seen her in as long as two fortnights, but yes, when we are together, we get along. She's very sweet and kind to me." Akemi responded.

The Prince smiled thinking about his early meal with the petite strawberry blonde. "Ri's, the sweetest, kindest person on Gaia."

They continued towards their destination in quiescence.

The Lord Conqueror was taking in her reflection in the mirror, undecided on what she wanted to do with her hair. She was unsure whether she wanted it pinned up in a royal style, pushed and tied to the back of her head, or leaving it in front of her face.

'Screw it.' she gave up, allowing the tresses to remain dangling around her sapphire orbs.

Even in her old age, with her excellent hearing she could hear footfalls stop at her antechamber door. Closing her closet armory, she made her way out her bed chamber.

"Come." she announced.

Akemi came inside with Lyceus.

Finishing her custom formal address, she said. "My Lord, the Prince of the Realm, Lyceus."

Her younger brother also showed his respect by inclining his head. "Good morning, Conqueror."

"Thank you, Akemi, you may leave us. I will summon you when I am done with the Prince." the Conqueror told her chambermaid.

"Yes, my Lord." she curtsy and then obeyed.

Both siblings watched the foreign servant walk out the chamber door.

"Beautiful, isn't she?" the older sister inquired.

"Quite so, but not more gorgeous than Ri." the younger brother stated.

He then observed the empty cups and plates left on two trays atop the table, so to goad his sister, he asked. "Speaking of your maiden, will she also be aiding Akemi in her duties today?"

The Conqueror was taciturn in her response. "Eh, no. Ri is studying, so I gave her a few days off." she used the same lie she gave Meleager.

Lyceus was becoming agitated. 'Not only will you decline to tell me that you're sending Ri away, but you're willing to not be truthful with me too.'

The Prince noticed the warrior apparel of the Conqueror, his eyes fascinated by the chakram and the Lion blade, just like when he was a teen.

"Is there a war, or skirmish happening that I am unaware of, Xena, because you look dressed for battle?" he asked sarcastically.

"I'm not at all surprised that you wouldn't know what's taking place inside, nor outside these walls." Xena countered. "Maybe I have spoiled you too excessively."

"Spare me, Xe." Lyceus responded, knowing that she hated the shortening of her name. "I may not have military knowledge like you, although along with your training, Meleager has taught me well to use a sword, but I do know some things. For instance, why is Tessa teaching a class today? I seen how she acts with the Fifth army. You know her temperament is a tad rampant."

"My, my." Xena was amused. Letting the name she disliked pass, she sat down on her divan. "Seems I have been premature in my opinion of you. Who did you hear that from?"

'It's the pot calling the kettle black.' Lyceus criticized himself as he begun his fabrication. "Denizens of the castle talk, Xena. Tessa shouldn't be hosting the students, not even for a day. It is really Clydmus class."

"It was Clydmus decision."

"What? I thought he loved teaching his pupils?" the Prince was confused.

"He does, but the little ingrates, his words not mines, are getting on his nerves. They are more preferably interested in learning about weapons of war, to the greek alphabet and how it's applied to writing." Xena confirmed. "Lieutenant Tessa of the Fifth army, though I don't know why, accepted Clydmus offer to show them a few displays on the subject."

"Ri's going to be there also." Lyceus revealed.

Xena stared into the Prince's eyes. "Really?"

Lyceus nodded his head. "So much for her studies. I assumed you knew." he teased to Xena's disfavor.

"I bet you I'm aware of something you're not."

'I already been told by Ri that you are sending her to the Academy in Athens.' he smiled. "Yea, what's that?"

"You're going to the Agora. By yourself." Xena made clear.

'I was gonna go with you, but since you're being a smart ass.' she mused in glee.

"The Agora!" Lyceus was displeased, but he didn't want his older sibling to see that. "Good. I wanted to take more of a role in the administration of the Realm anyway. What better way than dishing out the law to rule breakers."

Xena started to laugh with abandon. "You think that's it, dealing with citizens that disobey the rules of the Realm? I stand corrected. You truly aren't cognizant of the responsibilities that you appertain as Prince."

Xena arose to her feet, and Lyceus acknowledged that she was shifting into full Conqueror mode. "It is now that cronus deems you to play some part in government, commencing today. So go back to your chambers, take that vest off, put some armor on with a sword and prepare to go to the Agora. I'm sure you are not informed about how to deal with every crime committed by criminality, so General Nale of the First army will accompany you."

Prince Lyceus was disquieted.

"That is all." the Conqueror said sitting down again.

Lyceus bowed in obedience. On his way out his sister's chambers, he gave a false smile. "Thanks for conferring me a helper, but for the record, it was unnecessary."

After closing the door outside the hallway, Lyceus' facial expression dropped. Because of the task the Lord of the Realm commanded, one word erupted out of his mouth silently.

"Shit."

{C&R}

The two wooden swords, and the remaining pieces of the wooden practice dummy that was carved in the shape of a human, were gathered and placed to the side, courtesy of the classroom assistant, Iona. The young fifteen year old was very useful when it came to being demonstrated on. Her, along with the rest of the class was thoroughly shown defensive moves, how to block, parry, absorb the blow of your opponent, as well as where to attack offensively vital spots, like the top of the head, from injuring the brain to severing the throat's main arteries, or decapitating the neck altogether.

Their brown haired substitute teacher also went into vivid gory details concerning penetration of the abdomen, from the liver, kidneys, lungs and most effectively, the heart. She described the blood lost and dismemberment of the human appendages as she chopped the practice dummy's arms and legs off, before the head also met decapitation by her labrys. This act compelled some of the younger children to almost lose their breakfast, but one older teen couldn't resist bolting out of the classroom to regurgitate the contents of his stomach. Iona faired better than the practice dummy, though she kept rubbing her hands together, because they still stung from the impact of her teacher's strikes with the wooden sword.

Dark green eyes glanced at the teenage blonde, who had her long hair tied back in a ponytail just like her mother, the General of the Sixth army. Tessa's twin axes were sheathed in their normal place, on the side of both hips as she shifted her gaze off Iona to the main attraction, and the primary reason for her substitution in Clydmus stead, the Conqueror's adorable hand-maiden.

Ri was highly engaging as she was finishing up her tale based around a foolish king who asked the god of wine for the power to turn everything he touched to gold. Not only dazzled by the loveable voice of the servant bard, but by her appearance too. Ri was adorned in a turquoise dress that was embroider with gold designs, it was an encomium for her eyes, along with her strawberry blonde hair that was pinned up with two long curled locks hanging down on either side of her pretty face. The dress' length stopped above her ankles and her black sandals. The straps of it athwart each other on her back, allowing you to see her smooth skin. To Tessa's eyes, Ri certainly didn't dress like a servant. She looked more like a noble woman, if not a Princess.

The Lieutenant of the Fifth army never gotten a chance to meet Ri, but she heard others speak highly about the petite young woman, with the exception of General Draco. He told her how the Conqueror rescued her from slavers that were once a part of her growing army, before she came to rule all of Greece.

'I wonder if she's really a maiden?' Tessa ruminated. 'Cause I would be most gracious to relieve her of it.'

"After the god of Helios, Apollo was proclaimed the victor over the minor god, Faunus, Midas refused to acknowledge the winner, because the sight of Apollo's golden aura, and lyre put him in mind of his foolery years before. The Lord of Helios and music wouldn't leave such dull ears unpunished, so at a word from him, Midas ears were transformed into elongated furry ones. Now every musician could see clearly that he had the hearing of an ass." Ri said, making the children and teens burst in laughter with applause.

Ri took a bow, then asked. "Do anyone want to tell me the moral of Midas' tragedy?"

"Yeah." a student called out. "Never get involved with quarrelsome gods. They just might turn you into an ass."

The class began laughing again.

Ri's nose crinkled while she chuckled. "Perhaps you are right, Virgil. We must always remember that the gods demand that humans must defer to them at all cronus, no matter how petty they may seem. He's not the only one, but in this story, Midas is a prime apotheosis of what will happen if you don't. His avarice caused him to transmute the many things he cherished into gold. Kindly, Dionysus reversed the charm, but King Midas was so angry and bitter at anything that looked like the color of golden yellow, he went as far as insulting Apollo after he was declared the victory in the music competition over his patron god, Faunus and in turn was transmogrified. In the end class, don't ever disrespect a god, because they could possibly?"

"Turn you into an ass!" the whole class shouted in merriment.

"Alright." Tessa restored order. "I hope you all had learned a lot today. Class dismissed."

All the students congratulated Ri, for telling a wonderful funny story and begged her to do so everyday, before heading to their next classes. Virgil gave her a big hug in advance of leaving as well.

Iona was the last to show her appreciation. "You are amazing, Ri. I want to stay and chat, but I have to go. I can't be late for my architectural class. I'll stop by your chamber later."

"That'll be great." Ri agreed, giving the younger blonde an embrace.

"And thank you also, Lieutenant Tessa. I can't wait to tell my parents what I have been taught by you." Iona said running out the door to her next class.

"At least someone thanked me. I was starting to feel invisible with you getting all the attention." Tessa jest, before turning on her own charms. "But what can I say. You are awesome at storytelling. What else are you good at?"

Ri thought about it. "I don't know. I'm good at cooking, oh and serving our Lord the best I can. Well, I use to."

Tessa was perplexed. "What do you mean?"

"Never mind." Ri quickly caught herself from saying more. "Thanks for inviting me. I must go though, I have my own learnings to keep up on. I've enjoyed your presentation on sword use, and." she grinned making her nose crinkle again. "The evisceration of the wooden dummy."

Tessa didn't want her opportunity to end right then, so she grasped Ri's hand gently. "You're welcome, but the honor's all mine."

With Ri's hand still in her's, the brunette complimented. "You look absolutely radiant. I can understand why it took you a while to get here. I thought maybe you weren't coming."

Ri blushed. "Thank you. Sorry about my tardiness. I have to say, you look different without your brown armor."

Releasing the maiden's hand, the Lieutenant of the Fifth army glimpsed at her white tunic and brown trousers that had two big circular holes on the outside stitching to show off the creamy skin of both her legs.

"I'm surprised that you have ever noticed me, but are you casually telling me, you don't like my appearance now?"

"No." Ri cleared the air by explaining in a bardic fashion. "What I was getting at is, you are beautiful, Lieutenant Tessa. Your green irises, although dark in tone, shines like emeralds."

Tessa could only stand, gazing into Ri's orbs like an idiot, unable to find her tongue for speech. She have been with many men and women. Conquered many conquests, but not one made her feel what the petite strawberry blonde did, and with just mere words.

As Ri turned to exit, Tessa finally realized the moment was fleeing. "Talking to someone like that, I would think you were flirting."

Ri twirled smiling while walking backwards. "I'm only being truthful, Lieutenant Tessa."

When the hand-maiden disappeared in the hallway, Tessa exclaimed out loud. "By Queen Juno, I'm so going to fuck her."

{C&R}

The Conqueror stood on the dais in her large Corinthian Throne room as her General of the Fifth army, decked in his polished brown armor with the insignia of his rank emblazon on the right side of his chest, walked through the entryway. When he got closer to her, he saluted.

"General Darnelle, I wasn't expecting you. Did you abscond your drills on the training field to come here, so that your wife would be stuck with both your army and her's?" the Conqueror jokingly questioned.

"I couldn't resist wanting to hear the drivel Brutus' envoys have to say." Darnelle grinned. "Glaphyra will understand."

His Lord smirked. "Here I thought you felt that I was too old and incapable to take care of myself."

"Older you are, my Liege, but you're able to keep up with us young folks. You don't need me to protect you at all."

"You are six years younger than me, General. I doubt that moderates you being a part of the younger folks, and you are also correct. I do not require your protection, I have Corinthian Guardsmen for that." the Conqueror retorted.

Darnelle exaggeratedly looked around the gothic chamber, besides themselves it was empty of any other person. His gaze returned back on the Conqueror, conveying what was obvious.

She rolled her blue eyes and sat down on her regal silver throne chair. "I wanted to have this colloquium alone."

"I have taken the liberty of welcoming them into the castle. They're outside the corridors. I can bring them in, and then take my leave, if that's what you command, my Lord." Darnelle insisted.

"You're already here now. Show them in, General."

"Yes, Conqueror." Darnelle smiled.

Joyously he opened the oak doors for the two men. Cassius Longinus and Markus Pindarus entered behind the General taking in the sight of the dimly lit chamber, noting how different it was from the splendor that was Rome. The stone walls were dark, creating a sense of gloom, and in the center, sitting in the only embellishment of the entire spacious room, was the Lord Conqueror of the Realm in the flesh. Wearing stylish armor, she appeared just like her name around the known world suggested and more.

A Conqueror.

"My Lord, I introduce to you, envoys Gaius Cassius Longinus and his slave, Markus Pindarus." Darnelle announced before standing beside the Conqueror.

'A slave?' the ruler of the Realm thought, but kept her stoic expression as she glanced at Darnelle who was smirking.

"Thank you for receiving us, Lord Conqueror, but couldn't it have been in a more lively setting?" one of the men with blonde hair and boyish looks asked, not fully knowing, nor caring about the Conqueror's reputation, for all he knew was Rome. "With all the money you have, it's a bit disappointing that you would keep such an impecunious looking chamber to accept important people like my master."

'Starting off badly.' the Conqueror mused while Darnelle smiled, knowing full well what she was thinking.

The two men was dressed almost identically like Roman Consuls. You wouldn't be able to tell that one was a slave, with their expensive clothes and purple togas to promote some sort of royalty.

The Conqueror replied. "Ah, you must be the slave, Markus Pindarus. To answer your question, this room has remained in the same state it was in when I had conquered Corinth. I have altered nothing but the throne chair, which I am seated in. I can't distinguish why you were brought along masqueraded as an envoy, but if you insult me again, it will be for the last."

"A thousand pardons, Lord Conqueror." the long brownish haired Cassius spoke up for his slave. "Pindarus is my most loyal servant, so I decided to bring him along with me. Considering the dark cronus we are living in, one must not choose his companion lightly."

"Keep a leash on your thrall, Cassius. I've only met two people named Marcus that I have actually liked. One is a Roman, and seeing how you people have an infinitude for the name, that's a big statement. The other had neither the skin color, or the same fickle behavior as most of you Romans." she responded, remembering the only man she had ever fallen in love with.

"That didn't stop you from collaborating with Marcus Brutus in the assassination of Caesar." Cassius shot back.

"That was business. I had to let Caesar know that I keep my word. Just like I truly want to keep this meeting as brief as possible. So, what is it that Brutus wants?" the Conqueror inquired.

Clearing his throat, Cassius began to speak straight to the point. "Brutus, also myself still see the tyranny of Rome. It did not end with the death of the Dictator, and soon either Marcus Antonious, or Octavian will plot their ascension to Emperor of Rome, eradicating the standings of the Republic. Surely you can see how that will effect your Empire."

"I do. It seems you and Brutus come to that conclusion also. Is that why he's shouting my name all over Crete?" the Conqueror questioned acrimoniously. "He premise that I will join him and you, to form a dependant trinity?"

"Lord Conqueror." Cassius was adjuring her. "Antonious and Octavian will go to war with each other. Brutus has seventeen legions, I have twelve at my disposal, and with your resourcefulness, we could be invincible."

"I am invincible!" the Conqueror roared arising from her throne. "I don't need either of you. You both need me, that is the main reason of you seeking my aid. So you can cease your wordplay of appeasement, Cassius. The only thing I want to hear from you is the location of your brother in-law, Brutus."

"He's in Crete, my Lord-"

"I know that imbecile. Where at in Crete?"

"In the island of Dia." Cassius revealed.

"Make it be known to him, that I'll be paying him a visit." she said.

Next, the Conqueror gave her General a signal.

"Your audience with the Lord Conqueror is over." he told the two Romans as he begin walking them out of the room.

Pindarus couldn't stop thinking about how some old bitch disrespected his master and Rome. A place that was far grandiose and who citizenry was more civilized than Greece, a backwards country.

Without thinking, Pindarus stopped mid-step and faced the Conqueror. "My master has come to speak with you, and you treat him in such a way."

"Enough, Markus. Let's go." Cassius ordered.

"No master, she should be a shamed to call herself a ruler." Staring into the Conqueror's eyes he said. "You're no better than Caesar himself."

'Just went from bad to worse.' she smirked unsheathing her shining Lion blade.

Darnelle knew what it meant when she drew her blade in anger. It meant, you were dead.

"It appears you dote on your slave too much for his own good. Sadly, you'll have to get another." the Conqueror proclaimed while moving menacingly towards Pindarus.

Cassius gave his former slave a pitiful look. He knew he could do nothing while mouthing the words any human in bondage would be excited to hear.

"You're free."

As Darnelle led Cassius out the Throne chamber, Pindarus tried moving along with them, until his arm was gripped tightly. He caught the dark glare of the woman he was unfortunate of insulting twice and he was suddenly aware of the dire situation.

"Master, no! Please, master!" the newly freedman cried at the closing doors. Turning his head back to the Conqueror, he begged with tears in his eyes. "Please, you don't have to kill me. I have learned my lesson."

"Hush, Pindarus. I'm a woman of my word." she replied slashing his windpipe in a flash.

The Elite General of the Fifth army came back into the gothic chamber, to come upon the lifeless body on the floor.

"I think Cassius really was fond of him, Conqueror. I swear by Pluto I seen him shed a tear." Darnelle swore.

Sheathing her blade, the Conqueror walked past him saying. "Have someone remove his body, and tidy up. They can give the remains back to Cassius for all I care. I'm going to bathe, I have a date with my warhorse."

TBC

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