VIOLENT/NON-CONSENSUAL SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: It is a story portraying a Conqueror/slave relationship, so it would appear non-consensual at first. As for sexual violence, there are scenes (In parts 3 and 4) which are detailed and graphic, and may not suite some readers.
Other Disclaimers: See Part 1
SPECIAL THANKS : My humble most ardent gratitude to the excellent, most brilliant Beta reader nancyjean , whom I can't thank enough.
Comments & Feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post.
The next morning Gabrielle woke up in an empty bed. Her body was satisfied and her heart and soul were elated with happiness she had never before experienced in all her life. As soon as she opened her eyes, she saw the new dress, which was carefully laid on the Conqueror's armchair, and an impeccable red rose on the pillow next to it. Joyfully, she leaped out of bed and put on the extravagant dress, which was dark green with pearls and strings of gold sown into the expensive fabric. It was a dress worthy of a queen, with a bustle, which pressed her frontal assets together and pushed them upwards, just like she had seen other ladies wear. Gabrielle knew that dress must have been worth more than her late father's entire farm and then some, and yet, it was the rose that had gratified her more.
When she exited the Conqueror's chambers she met with Satrina, the chambermaid, in the corridor.
"My Lady," the chambermaid curtsied.
"Good morning, Satrina," Gabrielle replied, astonished that the change in her station was already known. As she passed through the corridors on her way to the kitchen, each and every one of the palace's stuff she chanced upon curtsied and addressed her as 'My Lady.'
When she entered the kitchen for some light breakfast, the master cook curtsied and said, " My Lady might wish to join the Lord Conqueror in the dining hall."
To Gabrielle, it was as if she had wandered into a strange world in which up was down and black was white and nothing made sense anymore.
She entered the dining hall and saw the Conqueror and her secretary leaning over a couple of scrolls and the Conqueror was signing each of them and embedding her Imperial Seal into the red wax near her signature.
"It is done," the Conqueror declared when she raised her eyes from the scrolls to meet Gabrielle's, "And good morning to you, my Lady."
"A wonderful morning to you, my Lord," Gabrielle smiled and curtsied deeply till one of her knees nearly touched the ground.
The Conqueror got off her chair and moved from around the dining table, relishing Gabrielle's grace and beauty. "It suits you, my Lady,” she acknowledged with adoring eyes.
“Thank you, my Lord,” she replied.
“Unfortunately I can't stay and dine with you. I have a pressing matter which requires my attention, but Princess Lao-Ling is sauntering in the Imperial rose garden,” the Conqueror informed her. “I will see you later on,” she said and left the dining hall.
Lady Gabrielle decided to forgo breakfast. She was anxious to meet with the Princess of the house of Lao.
In the Imperial rose garden, Lady Gabrielle spotted the Princess strolling with two of her servants. The sun was merciful that morning and the colorful roses where in full glorious bloom, spreading their alluring odors to the fresh air.
“Your Majesty,” the young Lady curtsied.
“You must be Lady Gabrielle,” smiled the young Princess.
They each took a few short moments to assess each other up close.
“I am, your Majesty.”
“Last night you were still a slave, so I venture to say congratulations are in order,” the Princess offered with kindness. “Am I correct to assume that the Lord Conqueror proposed to you last night?”
“My Lord has.” Gabrielle immediately felt like she had offended the Princess, or rather took, or better yet stole something from her, “I feel like I should apologize to your Majesty…”
“Not at all, dear Lady.”
“I feel so unworthy…” Gabrielle's sentiments were genuine. She felt like she had been offered a part, which she weren't prepared for, and better still, she was chosen for some obscure reason while there was another much better equipped and much better qualified to play that role.
“Perish the thought. My late mother, Lao-Ma, had been the courtesan of the ruler of a rival house before she became the ruler of the house of Lao. I have nothing but respect for you, my Lady."
The two women kept on walking in the gravel paving the path.
"That is very kind of you to say, your Majesty," said Gabrielle as the two women walked through the meticulously maintained garden.
"I've heard good things about you," said the Princess and looked at Gabrielle. "Don't look so surprised. I have my sources within the Realm as I'm sure the Conqueror has sources in mine."
"Thank you, your Majesty."
"I wish to love you as my sister," the Princess said sincerely.
"I should like that very much," replied Lady Gabrielle and stopped to stand facing the Princess.
"May I give you a piece of advice?" asked the Princess.
"Please do," the young Lady was only too keen to welcome the Princess' guidance, "I wasn't born into royalty . I feel so out of my element . I don't wish to be the cause of any embarrassment to my Lord."
"My first advice to you is to mind who you allow close to you. There will be those who will seek your favors in order to get close to the Conqueror, knowing you have her ear and for that reason alone. You must learn everyone's motivations and agendas before you place any trust in them. It is paramount and a great advantage to know who you can trust and who isn't worthy of your trust."
"I will remember."
"Also, some will envy you and resent your ascension. Those with malice in their hearts might let you think that the Lord Conqueror chose you as wife and Queen over me just to prove a point to her noblemen. You mustn't heed them. Know that the Lord Conqueror bears you great affection," stated the Princess with candor.
Lady Gabrielle was so moved by the Princess' last words she wasn't certain her voice would hold. Coming from the Princess of the house of Loa, at that moment they sounded like the truth to her. "Thank you, your Majesty," she finally managed.
"You must demand your future subjects' respect. Some may not yield to you otherwise. You are no longer a slave. You must always keep that in mind. You must neither ignore nor pardon any disrespect or allow others to be familiar with you, for two reasons: they owe you respect and also, any disrespect towards you is disrespect towards the Conqueror."
Lady Gabrielle nodded her head, indicating that she understood and accepted the Princess' recommendation fully.
"And lastly, you must always place the Lord Conqueror above all others."
"That is the simplest tasks of all," the Lady chuckled.
But the Princess remained serious. "It might seem simple to you now, but the future might hold unexpected conflicts between your Lord's will and the will of others close to you, like your family or even your future children. It is my advice to you then to never allow anyone between you and your Lord."
"I have every intention to be an obedient and loyal wife to my Lord, and to place my Lord above all others," the Lady solemnly professed.
The Princess smiled and stopped to smell a white rose. "If you wish and with the Lord Conqueror's permission, I will instruct my ambassador to the Realm to render good and honest advice to you whenever you need it all in good faith."
"I would be grateful, thank you, your Majesty. May I ask that your Majesty attend our wedding ceremony?"
"I will be honored, my sister," the Princess said and embraced the future Queen of the Realm.
While Lady Gabrielle and Princess Lao-Ling were strolling at their leisure in the Imperial gardens, the Conqueror summoned a few of her spies to report to her. When they stood before her, she ordered them, "You are to locate the whereabouts of Lady Gabrielle's sister, Lila of Potidaea . You will make your inquiries a secret. Once you find her, you will not approach her. Be diligent in your efforts and don't return before you have found her."
It was seven days before the Imperial wedding. The Conqueror, Lady Gabrielle and a dozen soldiers from the Imperial Guard were on route to a small village in Macedonia . As they were all riding on horseback in the more rural parts of the Realm, the villagers stopped working their fields and bowed before their Sovereign as she passed them by. The Conqueror's presence in these parts was welcomed with much excitement and exaltation, for it was an exceptionally uncommon occurrence.
"How are you managing the ride, my Lady?" the Conqueror asked.
"My Lord's riding lessons are proving to be vital," the Lady answered then added, "My Lord still hasn't told me where we are headed."
"All in good time, my Lady. It is a surprise," the Conqueror replied.
Nearing dusk, the Conqueror, her Lady and their entourage halted their horses near a shabby farm. The Conqueror and her soldiers dismounted the animals and the Conqueror offered her arms and assisted her future Queen down safely to the ground.
In the field there was a man stacking piles of hay with a pitchfork, with two small boys assisting him. Behind him stood a dilapidated hut and a dark-haired woman was looking out the kitchen window.
"Who lives here, my Lord?" the Lady asked.
"You shall soon find out," the Conqueror replied cryptically.
As soon as the peasant saw the Conqueror and Lady Gabrielle approaching him, he turned his head back to the woman in the window and shouted, "Wife! Wife! Get out here!" before dashing towards the Conqueror.
The woman came running out of the hut like a crazed woman while frantically wiping her hands on her stained apron and tidying her unkempt tattered dress. "Come here, boys!" she cried to her sons and they went to rush to their mother's side.
As the family reached the Conqueror and her companion, they all dropped to their knees and said, "Your Majesty," in humility.
Lady Gabrielle thought she recognized something familiar in the woman kneeling before her.
"Rise," the Conqueror said and leaned down to help the woman to her feet, who with all the excitement of the Royal visit, paid little attention to the elegant lady at the Conqueror's side.
"Lila," the Conqueror called to the perplexed and timid woman standing before her, who had no earthly idea what the Conqueror of the Realm would be doing on her wretched insignificant farm, least of all knowing her by name.
Upon hearing the word "Lila" being uttered by her Lord, Lady Gabrielle gasped in complete astonishment.
"Allow me to introduce to you my future wife and Queen of my Realm, your sister, Gabrielle," announced the Conqueror.
Lila shot a disbelieving look at the woman standing at the Conqueror's side and then took a closer look of the Lady's face and eyes. "Gabrielle?" she whispered in skepticism, completely forgetting herself. She reached to touch the Lady's face and the Imperial Guard reached for their weapons.
"Stand down!" the Conqueror ordered her soldiers.
"Lila," Lady Gabrielle sighed and stroked the cheek of the woman standing before her as if trying to re-familiarize herself with it.
The two sisters fell on each other's necks and embraced for long blissful moments, nearly drowning in tears.
"Herodotus, Germanicus," Lila called for her two boys when she finally let go of her sister. "This is my sister, your aunt, Gabrielle," she told them, then turned back to her sister and said, "I have named my eldest after father."
"You have two sons," Gabrielle beamed with pure delight then turned to the Conqueror and said, "My Lord, I have two nephews." There was no denying her immense gratitude to her Lord at that moment, and it didn't go unnoticed by the Conqueror.
"And a husband," Lila said, "Agrippa."
"Your Majesty," Agrippa bowed before the Conqueror.
"Your Majesty," repeated his two boys, ages six and eight, and bowed before their Sovereign.
"Your Majesty is most welcome to our humble home," Agrippa said.
"Set up camp," the Conqueror ordered her soldiers before she and her Lady went into Lila's house.
When entering the hut, the Conqueror had to lower her head to avoid the lintel. When the Conqueror stretched back to her full stature, the two children tilted their heads so far backwards to look upon their Ruler, it was as though they were standing at the foot of a mountain and looking at its summit.
Inside, the Conqueror was offered the best place by the fire.
"Will my Lord allow me but a few moments alone with my sister," Lady Gabrielle appealed to the Conqueror.
"By all means, my Lady," the Conqueror replied and the two sisters went into the kitchen to prepare supper.
Alone in the kitchen, behind the closed door, they hugged each other tightly again and studied the changes time and life had made in them, still dazed with extraordinary amazement and joy.
"Look at you, all dressed up. And what is this I hear about you being a future wife and Queen to the Conqueror?"
"A lot has happened to me over the past thirteen years." Gabrielle hardly knew where to begin.
"Since father had sold you to the county healer to save my life," Lila said and stroked her sister's golden hair she had always envied, "I still can't believe you are here. I thought I would never see you again."
"And you… a wife and a mother… all grown up…" Gabrielle sighed.
"I was married to Agrippa not long after you'd been sold, and moved with him to live here," Lila told her sister and began to chop carrots and onions for the stew. "And you and I lost all contact . I didn't know where you were."
"I was kept as a domestic in the county healer's household, but when I'd… matured, I was sold to Phillipon, commander of the third battalion, as a body slave to his youngest son. After that, just shy of my eighteenth birthday, the Conqueror bought me. I have been my Lord's body slave since then," Gabrielle said quietly.
"I heard some wild stories about the Conqueror's body slave who had testified in some major trial by the name 'Gabrielle.' I just didn't know it was you… Not much news from Corinth reaches these parts. We are but humble commoners," Lila said and added, " By the Gods."
Some time had elapsed in which each sister was immersed in her own thoughts, contemplating what to say to the other.
It was Lila who finally broke the silence. "The Conqueror's body slave… I tell you one thing, sister, the Conqueror's carnal exploits and depraved appetites never skipped, not even these parts."
"I beg you, sister, not to speak ill of my Lord," Gabrielle said gently yet firmly.
Lila found it hard, nearly impossible, to comply with her sister's request.
As the two sisters where in the kitchen, the Conqueror remained seated by the fire with Agrippa and his two sons, who couldn't help but stare at the tall, dark and formidable guest.
"Were your crops successful this season, sir?" the Conqueror asked.
"Indeed they were, your Majesty," Agrippa answered and nervously played with his fingers.
"I heard these parts have excellent hunting grounds. Do you hunt?”
“I am a poor hunter, your Majesty,” he replied and wiped the sweat from the palms of his hands onto his trousers.
“You must learn to master your bow and arrows, and the mind and nature of your prey. These are not dumb animals. Nature provided them with extraordinary senses pivotal to their survival. You must observe and learn their behavior and outsmart them.”
“Thank you, your Majesty.”
Back in the cluttered kitchen, supper was almost ready, still simmering over the stove.
"Do you remember when we were young… Father had taken us to see the enthroning of the Destroyer of Nations. I remember that during the ride back home to Potidaea you couldn't stop talking about how strong the Conqueror looked, and how handsome and how authoritative… It was as if you were infatuated with our Ruler so much so that father lost his temper and shouted at you to hold your tongue," Lila reflected back to different times when they were both still innocent, and the irony didn't elude her.
"Did I really say those things?!" All Gabrielle remembered from that day had been how the Conqueror looked and the uncompromising strength. She couldn't recall giving voice to her thoughts or exhibiting admiration, least of all to her father.
Lila nodded her head then added sullenly, "Look at you now… about to marry the one who has made less than a whore of you. How can you marry the Conqueror after everything she must have taken from you in your service?"
“My Lord took what was her right to take," Lady Gabrielle said with utmost conviction, "As for what is shared between my Lord and me, I cannot nor do I care to explain."
"Did you ever stop to contemplate why? Why on earth would the Conqueror marry you? What does she want with you? What does the Conqueror need from you that is not already hers? Why you of all women?" though the older sister's words were uttered avidly, she whispered them so that they wouldn't reach any further beyond the kitchen.
Of course rumors regarding the Conqueror's great issue of her succession had reached Gabrielle since that night, and there was also the political issue, but why her specifically? She had no explanation to offer neither her sister nor herself. There were no reasonable or even remotely plausible answers to these questions.
"Do not be troubled for me. Know only that I am happy. I ask you to come and rejoice at our wedding,” said Gabrielle as she took a bowl and filled it with the aromatic stew along with a goblet of wine.
“Of course I will, Gabrielle,” Lila said just before the Lady opened the kitchen door to serve her Lord with supper.
"Your Majesty is welcome to stay the night in her servants' humble abode," Lila said when she immerged from the kitchen after her sister.
"I appreciate your hospitality, dear lady. I have brought a gift for you and your family," the Conqueror said and handed Lila a pouch with a substantial amount of gold coins.
"Thank you, most gracious Majesty," replied Lila, who had never seen such treasure her entire life.
"I bid you to attend our wedding and reside at the palace afterwards, if it pleases my Lady Gabrielle."
"Thank you, my benevolent Lord," Gabrielle responded bright with joy and seated herself next to the Conqueror.
Return to the Academy