Disclaimer: Xena and all its characters are property of Universal Renaissance.
Summary: Xena was tired of her Seneschals who were all trying to kill her, Elusia the last one is dead and Palimon, the captain of her Imperial guard and her right hand man was tired of hiring Seneschals after seneschals. He was allowed to hire one, but with a strict order... MALE Seneschal or none at all.
Rated M (For safety). Love between two consenting women who are at the right age. Might have or might not have adult scenes. I'm not very good with writing violent stories, but there maybe scenes with blood... etc.,
First Conqueror story. Alas, after all those years wondering what transpired in the episode Armaggedon Now II, I finally got the chance to watch HLJ. I've learned of Xena the Conqueror only through reading here (Academy) and other Xena sites. Now that I finally got enlightened, I'm picking up the story.
"You do realize that we have problems arising in every corner of the realm don't you?" Palimon, the captain of my imperial guard, and my second in command said after he pushed the door to my study, he entered without waiting for my permission.
"Good morning to you too Palimon," I greeted without taking my eyes off the scroll I was studying. I had been working myself to stupor yesterday and no matter how hard I tried, it seemed there's no end to these scrolls. "I'm busy, I hope there's a good reason for you to come barging in here," I continued.
"You want good reason?" he asked as he stood in front of me. He leaned forward and pressed both palms on my desk and tried to pin me with his glare, "How about... ELUSIA dead?!" he growled. Palimon was the only person in the whole of the realm who could actually use that tone on me. He and I went way back from my ‘warlording' days.
After I left Amphipolis, I started roaming around to find more people to come with me for a cause: that was to protect Greece from any invading forces. Palimon was one of the first I recruited. A few years later, after the deviation I made to my principal goal, when my own army made me walk the gauntlet for saving an innocent baby, it was only him who opposed my then right hand, Darphus. He was the one who cared for me and hid me when Darphus turned his back on me after I survived and then planned my demise. When I recovered and started a new army, I made Palimon my right hand and he is until now.
Here, I raised my head and looked at him, "And that raises your hackles why?"
"Why?! Elusia was the fifth Seneschal we have hired after you sent the last four to Hades!"
I smiled at him and shrugged my shoulders, "If you have hired someone competent and trustworthy, I wouldn't be sending any of them to the underworld prematurely, wouldn't I?" I asked grinning, "Now, is there anything else you want to discuss with me aside from the seneschal?"
I saw Palimon sigh, "Well, Dergos sent a message about the insurrectionists,"
I sighed, "I don't see any reason why you should be so agitated about them, they were always there but never hurt the realm,"
"I know, that was true before, but Dergos' report said that the group had increased in number and is planning on making an all-out rally against your rule.” He said frowning. “Why can't those dissidents see that there really isn't anyone better suited to rule this realm than you?”
I grinned, “Maybe they wanted you to rule instead,” my eyes were filled with mirth. It is not uncommon for Palimon to act like a mother hen, but if he continues to do so, I wonder if he'll die from a sword or from a heart ailment.
I looked at him scoffed, “I'd probably send them all to the cross if I'm the one ruling,”
I laughed. It has been five seasons since I put a group of dissidents, causing mayhem in the realm to the cross. After I learned about the woman I had crucified wrongly, I declared that crucifixion in the realm will only be sentenced for criminals who have done crimes that my realm regarded as heinous.
The woman I crucified back then, a petite one with strawberry, blonde hair and green eyes, was pointed out to be the one who led the rebels who chaotically staged a demonstration that led to five of my imperial guards to be majorly hurt. I was livid back then and had her arrested… only to find out that her only crime to my realm was that she talked about the injustices done to her and her village people by my own men. That night after she was crucified, her body disappeared, if she had lived or not, I cannot say.
My civil advisor Elkton had advised me that it was in my best interest to let it pass, since I cannot admit my mistake being the Conqueror and Ruler of the realm, letting the dissenter go would make it seem that the woman was not a threat to the realm if she lives, and if she had died… that I was human to at least let her family and friends have her body.
“Does Elkton know about this?”
Palimon shook his head, “I haven't had the time to tell him yet, he was indisposed when Dergos arrived with the news, I intend to tell him later when I find him, but I thought of letting you know first.”
“He was indispose?”
“Well, he have to take care of the family of Elusia, it is in his area of responsibility.” He said grudgingly. “And we need a new Seneschal, Elkton wouldn't agree to serve as your civil advisor and seneschal at the same time again,”
I nodded my head, “And what of Dergos?”
“I instructed him to continue on the surveillance, report any change, major or not regarding our rebels.” He looked at me as if daring me to counter his action.
“Well, if you have done something about it already, why come here and interrupt my work?”
“I thought as the EMPRESS, you should know.”
I nodded my head once again. “Anything else?”
“Well I thought it is in your area of responsibility to hire me one.” I frowned, “…and Palimon, this time, I want my Seneschal to be a man.”
I saw Palimon's scowl deepened, “This palace needs a woman's touch! Everyone in here aside from your cooks are male!”
“Because males are easier to handle and scare than females, that's why!” I argued.
“Our army is female dominated !”
I grinned, “Because female maybe hard to handle, but WE are the best fighter there is!”
“Palimon,” I growled, “This is not a time to argue, I need my time to finish all these scrolls and I am the ruler, my word is law, now if you want a Seneschal that would at least last more than a season, bring a male one.”
“By your will Empress,” He growled as he mock bow in front me. I waved my hand in his direction as a sign of dismissal. He straightened his posture, turned around and grudgingly left my study.
It has been five years since I was rescued from the cross, after the Conqueror maliciously had me hanged for crimes they say I committed. She had sent her men to arrest me for leading the troops of dissenter who had rallied and instigated chaos in the main square of Corinth.
It wasn't the Conqueror's action though that had hurt me and cut me deep. It was Tara's action and the rest of the group that did. I know that Tara was young and full of ideals, but she too was arrogant and aggressive, probably much more aggressive than the conqueror herself. I tried to warn her that day, that the conqueror may not have raised a hand at us who had spoken about injustices, but to make the realm listen in a hostile way would put us all in danger… if not death.
Their fingers were all pointed at me… yes I served as their voice, they regarded me as their leader but for me, I was not. I was one of them, member, follower who luckily was gifted by the gods with eloquent speech and well working brain. And now, after five years, here they go again.
“I heard the Conqueror's second was ordered to tail the group again,” Petricles said as he arranged the different dolls his father made on the stall. It was Sentecles, his father who had made arrangement with a soldier in the realm, Joxer, to help me off the cross. Then he adopted me into his home where he and his son lives.
“Tara doesn't seem to understand that the Conqueror does not answer to any threat.” I said shaking my head. “I'm just glad to be alive right now, besides, I'm a bit satisfied as to how the realm had turned since my crucifixion,” I watched Petricles look at me and stopped his work briefly.
“Do you think what happened to you caused the change?” he asked with one brow raised.
“Well I have to think that to be able to live to myself,” I said looking down at my right leg that was now a bit shorter than my left, when my leg was ordered to be broken, and then I was rescued, Sentecles' doctor friend had helped but he had to amputate a part of my leg bone to save the whole leg from dying.
“I guess you're right,” he smiled, “Not that you had been wrong before.” He continued working.
“I just wished Tara and her group would think twice this time before doing it again. The conqueror may have put all the blame on me that time, but now…,”
“There's no YOU who will save them anymore.” He said grinning, “If that Tara got caught, she'd be put in that cross and the conqueror probably would have her tongue cut aside from having her legs broken.”
I nodded my head. Then there was silence as I continue to watch the sky and Petricles do his work. “I need a job.” I said out of a sudden.
“Well, you've been great helping us sell our toys.”
I smiled, “Thanks, but what I'm saying is, I need a job that actually uses all my skills.”
I look at him scratch his head as he thinks, “Hey, you know there's a skill pool at the Agora, aside from the usual slave auction.”
My brows furrowed, “Skill pool?”
“Yes, Rosi told me that they are taking skilled men and women's prospectus and offer them to probable employers. I think most of the noble bloods as well as the Empress hired their paid servants through them.”
“When is this?”
“I think it started yesterday, Rosi said it will last for a week.” I hurriedly stood up and walked behind the stall, I took my bag and stepped out. “Where are you going?”
“I'll go to the public library and pen my prospectus, then I'm heading to the Agora.” I said before turning my back on him.
“What about the stall? Who's going to tell stories with our dolls in it?”
I stopped and looked back, “Petricles, you had been learning the art of barding for five years under me, now, I'm sure you can do it.”
“Have faith in your skill Petricles.”
I look at him smile, “Good luck then, Gabriel.”
I took off my leather hat and bowed to him, then I resumed my trek towards the library.
To be continued...
Return to the Academy