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 readers nancyjean and alexandriaruth , whom I can't thank enough.
Comments & Feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post.
In northern Greece , in the tavern on the border between Philippi and Macedonia , Nobleman Verosus and Nobleman Marton met with Domitia, in a room they had rented. The two Noblemen could not afford being overheard or even being seen in public with the lass.
"I don't understand. What did you do wrong?" the frustrated Nobleman Marton shouted at poor Domitia, who of no fault of her own found herself in this impossible and dangerous position. It was all Nobleman Marton could do not to resort to physical violence.
"I did exactly as I'd been told…" the young woman tried to defend herself.
Nobleman Verosus sent his fist through the wall. "Then the Conqueror should have been all over you… in and out of you!" he yelled and his eyebrows nearly touched together.
"The Conqueror wouldn't touch me," said Domitia.
Both Noblemen were still waiting for a reasonable explanation for this brilliant failure.
"Perhaps the Conqueror loves the Queen," she suggested quietly and shrugged.
Both men burst into laughter.
"Young women… All soft in the head… some of them never learn…" said Nobleman Verosus .
"Silly child," said Nobleman Marton, "the Conqueror doesn't love. The Conqueror lusts, lusts after power, lusts after blood and lusts after women, that is all. That is the source of her power. That's what sets her ever so highly above the rest of her sex. She feels no emotions and so she isn't governed by them."
"Well, the Lord Conqueror did marry the Queen," argued Domitia.
"She only married her concubine to spite us, to show us who truly rules the Empire. It is common knowledge even amongst complete idiots!"
Nobleman Marton turned to Nobleman Verosus and said, "We must consider the possibility that the Conqueror didn't take this silly girl over here because she realized it was all a ploy."
"By the Gods… what shall we do? Should we run?" Terror began to tighten its grip over Nobleman Verosus and he began fidgeting like a skittish horse.
"We are governors, we can't just disappear. Besides, there is no escaping the Conqueror. There is no place to hide, no place out of the Conqueror's reach. If we run now, the Conqueror will know we're guilty. Let me think…" Nobleman Marton said.
After some time had elapsed in silence with both men pacing restlessly from wall to wall, Nobleman Marton continued: "Lady Messalina won't say anything. She's neck deep in this and she has too much to lose."
"Does the Conqueror know who you are, girl?" Nobleman Verosus questioned.
"The Lord Conqueror knows nothing more than my name, and I am hardly the only Domitia in the Realm," she said. "And I wore nothing that would imply my station."
"That's very good. We might just come out of it alive," he said.
Two days had gone by. The Conqueror and the Queen were taking a stroll in the Imperial gardens, near the lily pond that the Queen adored so much. As they walked together side by side, enjoying the morning sun, the odor of blossoms and the light exercise, Gabrielle recalled the days when she had been a slave. How she used to walk in these magnificent gardens, trying to understand her Lord's moods and actions. It felt like a lifetime ago. As if to remind herself that she was in a different place now, that those days were over, Gabrielle reached for her Lord and interlaced her arm with the Conqueror's.
"They are all waiting for us in the Great Hall," Gabrielle said.
"Let them wait," the Conqueror smiled and looked at her Queen, while pressing a gentle hand over the pregnant Queen's back for support.
"There is one thing that isn't clear to me, why didn't Lady Messalina wait until after nightfall to tell me about the girl?"
"Whoever set this entire subterfuge didn't take two things into account. I wasn't familiar with the informant that disclosed Perous' whereabouts. I wasn't sure whether I could trust him or not, and I wasn't about to march blindly into a trap on the 'say so' of an informant I knew nothing about. First, I sent a scout to check the area and to confirm that Perous was indeed there and that he was alone. That took time," explained the Conqueror.
"And the second thing?"
"That I would return from Cyra alone and leave my forces behind… My desire to see you was too great. I couldn't wait."
The Queen rose to stand on her toes and placed a warm heartfelt kiss on the Conqueror's jaw, the highest place she could reach.
"You know, my Lady, you are the Realm's Sovereign."
"I know, my Lord," the Queen said and wondered why her Lord chose this time to remind her of that fact.
"And Lady Messalina is one of your ladies in waiting. She is your responsibility," the Conqueror said.
The reason for the Conqueror's words began to become apparent and clear to her. "I assume treason is punishable by death, my Lord?"
"It is, my Lady."
As they were nearing the gates of the palace, the Queen turned to the Conqueror, "My Lord?"
"Death is the most sever penalty for treason, is it not?" the Queen asked.
The Conqueror smiled for she understood the meaning and the reason for the Queen's question.
"It is, my Lady."
"The Lord Conqueror and her Majesty the Queen," the ceremony master announced as the Conqueror and the Queen entered the Great Hall.
As the Conqueror and the Queen made their way to their thrones, all present in the Great Hall bowed before them until they reached their destination and seated themselves.
"Noblemen and Ladies of the Realm," the Conqueror exclaimed, "We have summoned you all here due to a grave matter which has come to our attention and requires further investigation."
The noblemen and the ladies of the Realm began to look at one another agitatedly to see if anyone had any idea as to what the Conqueror was referring to.
"Lady Messalina," the Queen called.
Lady Messalina approached the thrones. "Your Majesties," she said and bowed before them.
As she stood before them, the Conqueror leaned over and whispered something in the Queen's ear.
"Lady Messalina, is it not true that just before noon on the day of my Lord's return from Cyra, you informed me that a young lass had been seen entering the Imperial tent?"
Lady Messalina's blood drained from her face and she grew as pale as a sheet. "It is true, your Majesty," she admitted.
"And how did you come by this bit of information?" the Queen inquired further.
"I… I can't remember, your Majesty," replied the nervous lady.
"Is it not true, that the lass in question is your very own daughter?"
Lady Messalina nearly fainted. The crowd around her gasped in surprise and walked backwards away from her, as if trying to disassociate themselves from her.
"It is, your Majesty." At this stage, lady Messalina had already realized there was no point in lying.
"Was it not your intention to cause dispute between my Lord and myself?"
Lady Messalina threw herself at the Queen's feet and began kissing them.
"You will stand up," the Queen ordered and her assertiveness gave pause to her subjects.
Lady Messalina rose back to her feet.
"You will answer the question."
"I will your Majesty," Lady Messalina replied.
"Did you act on your own volition?"
"No, your Majesty."
"Who put you up to this?" asked the Queen.
"Please, your gracious Majesty, I beg you please don't make me…"
"Nobleman Verosus and Nobleman Marton!" the Conqueror exclaimed.
Both men made their way through the crowd, mortified, joined their accomplice and bowed before the thrones.
"What have you got to say for yourselves?" the Conqueror's voice was ominous.
"With all due respect, your Majesty, we don't understand… the Lady hasn't named us," Nobleman Marton replied.
"Indeed not, but when her Majesty the Queen asked the question, Lady Messalina threw a glance at the two of you," said the Conqueror. "That confirmed my suspicions."
Noblemen Marton and Verosus confessed to the specifics of their scheme for all to hear by orders of the Conqueror, without trying to cast responsibility at one another and minimizing their own involvement in the traitorous conspiracy.
"Is my Lady prepared to render her verdict in the matter of Lady Messalina?" the Conqueror asked.
"I am, my Lord," the Queen replied.
"Lady Messalina, you have handled yourself poorly and reprehensibly. Being a Queen's lady in waiting is a sacred duty. It has been proven to my satisfaction that you have betrayed that duty and my trust. You have been disloyal to me and disloyal to my Lord and to the Realm. You've tried by despicable means to come between my Lord and myself. This offense I cannot and will not pardon. However, I am satisfied that there are mitigating circumstances since you were extorted. Desperation deprives some of rational thought and behooves them to take desperate measures. Therefore, it is my verdict that you should be stripped of your station and be banished from the Realm forthwith for my Lord's pleasure." The Queen voice was steady, firm and confident.
"Noblemen Marton and Verosus, greed and malice are no defense against treason. Your actions solicited, financed and facilitated an act of rebellion against us and against this Realm, which resulted in the death of several subjects and warriors of the Realm. Moreover, you have extorted her Majesty the Queen's lady in waiting and exploited her innocent daughter. You and your families will be stripped of your station and possessions. Marton and Verosus, you shall suffer a quick death in three days time. As for Macedonia , I hereby appoint Lila of Potidaea as the new governor to Macedonia and a Lady of this Realm. As for Philippi, I hereby appoint her Majesty the Queen's lady in waiting, Satrina, as the new governor to Philippi, if it pleases you, your Majesty," the Conqueror asked the Queen.
"It does, my gracious Lord," smiled the Queen.
As the guards came to remove the condemned men from the Great Hall, Lady Satrina scurried to bow before the Conqueror and the Queen.
"Your Majesties, I cannot thank you enough for your infinite kindness, honor and generosity your Majesties have shown me, and I am grateful with all my heart and soul for the great trust you place in me, but I pray you, if I may," she said and her excitement was evident in her voice.
"You may," granted the Queen.
"With your Majesties' permission, and if it pleases you, I wish to remain in her Majesty the Queen's presence and service for I am so very contented and happy with my life here in the palace," she said. "I could not have hoped to serve a kinder, nobler Sovereign than our benevolent Queen."
The Queen glanced over at the Conqueror with questioning eyes and the Conqueror, who was the one who first granted the honor, nodded her consent. Their subjects could not help but notice the silent exchange between them.
"As you wish, Lady Satrina and thank you," the Queen said and did her best to remain formal and regal and not let her own excitement be known in the forum.
"Captain Cornelius of the Imperial Guard," announced the ceremony master.
The Queen wasn't familiar with the name.
With wide determined strides, fitting a military man, Captain Cornelius approached the thrones and bowed before his Rulers.
"Your Majesties," he greeted.
It was then that the Queen recognized whom he was and fought an urge to move uncomfortably on her throne.
"With your permission, your Majesty," he humbly said and turned his attention to the Queen.
"Granted," said the Queen.
"I come before your gracious Majesty, a humble servant, to beg for forgiveness. In the past your Majesty showed me great kindness and granted excellent remedy, which I, I am ashamed to say, repaid with gross disrespect."
He chose this grand forum to offer his genuine remorse, rather than offer his apologies in private. In his mind, since he disrespected the Queen in the presence of the healer and others in the infirmary, it was only just that he should surrender his pride to the Queen in public.
He was also careful not to divulge any specifics of his transgression, including the fact that he was referring to the times back when the Queen had been a slave, so as not to cause the Queen either discomfort or embarrassment.
"I am sorry to say, I was foolish and a proud brute and I know in my heart I am not worthy of your Majesty's pardon. I assure your Majesty that as a result of your Majesty's dignity, generosity and supreme conduct towards me, which I didn't deserve I have mended my ways. I submit myself before you, your Majesty to punish as your Majesty deems fit," he said and knelt before the Queen.
"Stand up, Captain," she ordered and he obeyed.
"Your past misdeeds towards me are pardoned," the Queen said, then covered her mouth and whispered a private question in her Lord's ear, to which the latter nodded her agreement.
"You have exhibited candor and great honor, which leads me to believe your repentance is true and sincere. I hereby appoint you a nobleman to the Realm and a governor to Philippi ," the Queen said.
He lowered his head in humility and thanked his Queen for the bounty she had bestowed upon him.
"That concludes our business here today, Nobleman and Ladies of the Realm," the Conqueror stated, stood up and offered her arm to assist her pregnant Queen to her feet.
Standing in front of their subjects, the Conqueror went on to say, "As I trust you all know, today I have shown great leniency towards Marton and Verosus for their appalling treachery. By no means must you perceive it as any form of a precedent. I shall see no further division in this Realm."
As the Queen and her Lord made their way out of the Great Hall, their subjects bowed before them then began clapping their hands and chanting, " Hail to the Queen. "
Whilst strolling along the corridor that led to the Imperial chambers, the curious Queen asked, "How did my Lord know that the lass in Cyra was Messalina's daughter?"
"They have the same shade of hair color and the shape of their eyes and chins are exactly alike," the Conqueror explicated.
Alone in the privacy of their chambers, the Conqueror turned to her Queen took her small hands in hers and said with bright eyes, "I am so very proud of you, my Lady," and adorned the thin fingers with tender kisses.
After three days had passed, Marton and Verosus were brought to the gallows upon a wagon, which resembled one that was fit to carry small livestock. In the square stood a large crowd, as with any execution. The Conqueror always believed that even regular people, non-warriors were fascinated by death and were curious to see life as it was leaving the body. If someone else did the actual killing, then all the better.
Heavily guarded, the two men were escorted up the podium to face their Ruler and executioner. Verosus's neck was first to be stretched out and presented before the Conqueror.
As he was waiting, trembling on his knees and mumbling unintelligible words, the Conqueror unsheathed her sword, which was resting over her chiseled thigh in a leather scabbard. The polished, long and well-whetted blade caught the sun's rays.
The crowed cursed at the condemned men and cheered for their Sovereign, goading her on. It wasn't a novelty. The Conqueror knew that once she would lay the deadly strike, the cheers and the cursing would halt.
With one strike, the Conqueror put an end to his mumbling, and his severed head rolled over the floor of the podium, which was covered with sawdust to absorb the spilt blood, and his headless corpse slumped to the ground next to it.
Then came Marton's turn. Before he was shoved down to his knees by the guards and into his accomplice's pool of freshly spilt blood, the Conqueror leaned slightly towards him and whispered into his ear: “You do realize this is not retribution for some silly, inconsequential rebellion, which could have been handled quickly by a single battalion of my forces. This is mainly for trying to come between me and my Queen.”
His shocked expression was still frozen on his face when the Conqueror removed his head from his shoulders.
As the Conqueror wiped the blood off her sword and looked at Marton's head next to her boots, her mind strayed back to another execution which she had performed, the one of the British Captain, who had raped and killed some body slave, whose name the Conqueror couldn't even remember now.
Before she had sent him to his death, the Conqueror had desired to make it perfectly clear to the Captain the true and exact reason for his chastisement. When he had extended his head forward before her, whilst on his knees, she'd hissed at him, “This is for putting your filthy hands on what's mine. The slave you've raped and killed was just an excuse.”
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