Duke and the Fox: The Solstice Ball
“What a great opportunity for you to establish contacts with other members of noble lineage, young master. Maybe you can even find a good damsel to marry? Your father would be tremendously happy…” The elegant middle aged mustached man tried to convince his pupil into behaving properly in such important social event, but the young Archduke was much more interested in studying the arts of his spells or even training his sword techniques.
“This is not a fairy tale ball, Othon, I was sent here to represent my father’s interests in obtaining the support of Damerra to our war efforts.” Chiron replied as he stood up, looking down at his advisor with those brilliant blue eyes, his flaxen gold hair flowing to the wide muscular shoulders, with his lean and fit built Chiron stood at 6'1" tall weighing 220 lbs of solid muscle.
The muscular built of his impressive frame was indeed deceptive, for most would just fear his physique and strength, when in truth it was Chiron’s mind his deadliest weapon, after all those years dedicated to the secrets of Arcane Arts, the young son of King Reinhardt has finally become the Swordcaster of his clan, a fighter with uncanny magical skills, to whom the blade and spells served him in the battlefield with equal importance.
“Milord, it’s not the place to lose your temper, right now you are your father’s ambassador, and if you want the Sultan to join forces with our armies, you have to earn his trust, and being disrespectful in his very house might ruin all our efforts…” The advisor whispered very discretely between taking sweeps on the fine crystal glass, proving that he was also a man with highly trained skills
“I am sorry, my friend, but it is not easy to sit here and smile while my men have to kill those hideous monsters at least three times before they are truly dead…”
Chiron recognized his emotional temper could jeopardize their entire campaign, maybe the warrior inside him couldn’t accept the fact that he was there, in expensive clothes, eating a delicious banquet, drinking from the best wines at the sound of fine music, while his brother in arms were fighting forces that were not more numerous, but also possessed supernatural strength and endurance.
“Believe me, your father is an excellent strategist, sending you here to the Summer Solstice feast was a very clever idea, it is the most important event in Damerra, but most of our enemies ignore the real reason for that. In fact, the summer solstice symbolizes in Damerran culture the time to celebrate values like bravery, glory and courage, a truly and sincere request to help a friend in need has no better opportunity to be accepted by this notorious warrior nation.”
The blond man tried his best to smile “Thanks for the advice, my friend, I’ll try to be a proper representative of our nation, but I repeat that I am not looking for a wife…” Chiron said as he elegantly tired to mingle with important figures of Damerran aristocracy.
Othon knew that the young Archduke was indeed right to worry so much about the Independency War against Emperor Zanis and his unnaturally powerful armies. The diplomat had been loyal to King Reinhardt for the past 28 years, ever since the Brave Lord took his bravest men and declared their freedom from the tyranny of his Great-Uncle.
Reinhardt was not a fool, the king considered the independence of his nation to be a tremendous challenge, but the tenacity of the enemy armies was just inhuman, and soldiers reported that the burly, utterly strong enemies were no men, but wicked magical beasts wielding the banner of Emperor Zanis.
The king himself witnessed and reported to his arcane counselors that many times after those goons had their very heads maimed, their monstrous bodies continued fighting with the same skills; stories about entire legions of monsters assembled with the rests of the soldiers who perished in battlefield were told, spreading horror among Reinhardt’s armies.
At the same time, Chiron tried to focus in being as polite and kind to all the important people who greeted to him, attracted to his manly beauty as mops to the flames. He was indeed gracious, intelligent, articulated, mastered the rules of the protocol, his elegant attire and the quality of the presents he brought along only showed how much hope and dedication they had invested to gain the support of Damerra.
In addition to the Sultan’s legions which were composed by ferocious fighters, Damerra was a nation founded by the ancient merchants of the Eastern Trade Caravans, a traditional commerce guild that had seen and faced many dangers in order to bring wealth back and forward. Therefore, those ancient caravans had catalogued innumerous unearthed events and uncanny beings, but most important, they’ve surely studied and kept their precious discoveries within their magically sealed Libraries, many tales told the wisdom of ages was stored in those secret walls. Chiron was convinced that obtaining the martial and the magical support of Desert Legions could mean the difference from finally conquering independency and returning to the horror of Zenis’ dominance.
However, even a highly trained and focused mind like Chiron’s could get distracted by the precise amount of charm.
“Archons be praised, I am in great honor tonight to be in the presence of the Great Archduke Chiron, heir to noble King Reinhardt, the Bravest of Braves!”
The greeting voice was melodious, a bit husky and very manly, but especially sarcastic above everything, its owner was a slender dark haired man very well dressed, with a white silk tunic and black pants completed with shiny black leather boots, his 5’10” frame was gently hugged by the fabric, showing the shape of his slender of 170 muscular, pounds, those almond shaped green eyes seemed to shine inside the festive room.
“I am the one to be in even great honor to be recognized so far away from home, but I surely am in tremendous shame because I can’t say the same about you, my friend, would you be kind to put an end to my ignorance?” Chiron replied as he promptly attested the fact he didn’t know such intriguing and noticeably slick man.
“I am Desmond Obashir, your highness, a simple merchant, a sailor in search of my heart which had been cast away in the unmerciful waves of the Sea mistress…” That was the vaguest answer possible, but Chiron indeed accepted the challenge.
“Oh, I see humbleness is your first great quality Master Obashir, because the Sultan would not invite a mere sailor to the greatest festivity of his reign. You must be whether a very important mercenary commander or the craziest party crasher ever, in both cases, I can only say your courage impresses me.” The blond man said as he accepted the glass of wine offered by the passing help.
The other man laughed as he savored the wine in his own glass.
“Yes, this would be really crazy to invade a party like that, but I am no commander either, like I said I am indeed a merchant sailor who happens to be very efficient in his humble duties, and the Sultan was so pleased with my services he gave me the honor to be here tonight, and I might just thank him again for giving me the opportunity to meet the heroic Swordcaster!”
Chiron actually enjoyed that teasing game, he knew nothing about that man, yet, he seemed to know many important details about Reinhardt’s heir. So, could that undeniably charming stranger be a spy from the Sultan? Chiron pondered that idea for a while, politely inviting the man to sit at his table.
“So, you seem to know a lot about my humble person, would you be offended if I assumed you have been spying on me all along?” The tone of the archduke was playful but both of men knew he meant serious.
Desmond’s green eyes went suddenly intense. “I was not spying you, your highness, the mere fact of your presence in this festivity while the forces of your father are being obliterated in the battlefield could only mean that you are here to ask the Sultan to join forces with you, but I warn you that it will be useless, the Sultan had already been corrupted by Zenis’ nasty influence”.
Chiron fought the urge to grab that preposterous little man by his throat and throw him through the window, but the Archduke knew it would just vent suspicious, so he decided to play that little dirty game of his.
“I see…and I suppose you’re warning me to give a better option of course?”
Desmond nodded, with an even smarter grin. “You are a clever man, master Chiron, but I will let you talk to the Sultan first, with your mind and magical skills, I am sure you notice the old pig will just stall you, saying that he is indeed friends with your father but he can’t betray an old alliance he has with Zanis, not without establishing several financial advantages to Damerra, which will certainly put the treasure of your nation in a great distress.”
“I must warn you, Obashir, that I have many ways to destroy you while just looking into those snaky handsome eyes of yours, don’t you try to play with the Swordcaster, you’d better come clean with me, before I lose my patience with you.” Chiron said as he very discretely cast a spell over his interlocutor, the slender man felt his muscles paralyzing, but at the same time, the wizard noticed that Desmond didn’t even try to resist, it was his way to prove his seriousness to the Archduke.
Chiron considered the options; he looked at Othon and noticed his talented advisor had managed to approach the Sultan, which was a great opportunity to strike a very decisive conversation.
“I am letting you go now, but listen to me; later tonight, when the festivities are over, you will look for me in the western gardens, and it is an urge you can’t neglect because your own body will take you there, whether you want it or not!” Chiron said as he concluded the compelling ritual of his spell, Desmond could suddenly move once again.
“Frankly, your highness, there was no need for this spell; I will meet you at that place to offer the solution for your own distress.” Desmond said as he watched Chiron turning his muscular back to him, the Archduke smiled broadly as he approached the Sultan.
“I also find your eyes incredibly attractive, Swordcaster…” Obashir whispered as he felt his very legs taking him outside the ballroom against his will, for the time being he would have to dance according to Chiron’s tune.
Even though Desmond had been expelled from the ball, he patiently waited outside until the festivities were finished for the night, it actually didn’t take much longer until he noticed the lights inside the ballroom going off.
Although the night breeze was very cold, the robbed figure hidden in the shadows of the Eastern gardens of the Damerran Castle couldn’t care less, his body stood there by the sheer force of a magic compulsion, despite the fact that Obashir tried to convince his own mind that he was waiting for the Swordcaster by his proper choice.
Soon, Desmond felt his very limbs moving to a certain position, only then he could feel there was someone else in there, before he could even say anything; the pressure of invisible hands sealed his lips.
“Fear not, Obashir, let me just take us to more reserved locations.”
Desmond heard some weird words, and he suddenly felt like they were falling from the highest mountain, his bowels dropped inside his guts, the vertiginous feeling lasted for less than a moment, but its impact over Desmond’s body was tremendous, he took his hands to his knees, desperately gasping for air.
“Yes, teleportation spells can be very drastic for those unused to them, but you have to understand it was the safest way to get you in my room without venting suspicious, especially because there was no Desmond Obashir in the guests list.” Chiron said as his dazzling beautiful figure appeared in front of the gasping man.
The Swordcaster was installed in a very large room, worthy of his royal ascendance; the long haired blond was sitting at a rich wooden table. “Now that you are fully recovered from this experience, come forward and let me hear the great solution you have for my distress, whatever your name is…”
Chiron observed the man sitting closer to him; he was indeed an elegant fellow. His poise and posture were impressing even for a mere thief that was trying to outsmart the Swordcaster.
“You can continue calling me Desmond Obashir, and though I had crashed into that party, our goals are not that different, we both came here with the purpose of entering the legendary Sandlands Libraries, but the Sultan won’t allow it, and by now I am sure that you agree with me, milord.”
The blond wizard grinned, because the little rat indeed had listened to his conversation with Othon, albeit their precautions.
However, like Desmond had advised him, the Sultan clearly didn’t intend to support their cause, despite the many times King Reinhardt fought at his side against Damerra’ s own enemies, the fat regent did not demonstrate any greater sympathy towards their despaired situation.
“So, my dear Obashir, which suggestion has your brilliant mind engendered?”
As Chiron already guessed, the thief was obviously proud of his own resourceful mind.
“I happen to be very skilled with locks, traps and vaults, but inside Sandlands the worst dangers are the many magical devices installed against unexpected guests, since Milord is the Swordcaster of your clan, the powers of the universe are at your service…”
“You ask me to provide magical ways to overcome such obstacles huh? And why would I agree in helping a little thief like you, sacrificing an alliance with Damerra just for a bunch of jewels?”
Desmond shook his head “Milord is no fool, I am sure you have also heard about the many secrets inside the Libraries, I bet that with the proper time to run your own investigation, even the deepest secrets of those beasts that your armies have to fight would be revealed to your eyes.”
Chiron showed the shorter man that he was indeed considering the idea, for most absurd it sounded “Even if I agree in helping with you, there are practical issues that need your attention and the very first is the location of the Sandlands Libraries, no one had ever seen the actual building; many even believe they don’t even exist”
Desmond laughed softly, as he pulled out a very well crafted map, it was then Chiron realized that Obashir was not an ordinary thief, because he carried an authentic Planar Map, a very precious navigation guide that indicated several planar anomalies within their own material primary plane.
“I am sure the Swordcaster is familiar with the sub-planar areas, entire cities and countries fit inside those “planar pockets” like real planes within planes, and the Castle of the Sultan conveniently stands right where the map indicates a sub-plane, do you want to bet that our wise Damerran forefathers choose this precise location to hide their precious Sandlands Libraries?”
Chiron nodded “This would indeed be very clever, but this entrance, wherever it is located inside this humongous castle, would be under strict surveillance.”
“The location of the entrance was not hard to find, but once again your help would be precious, milord, I am sure you can provide many different decoys to keep those goons distracted for just the time I need to open the entrance in a discrete manner so we can both enjoy from the wisdom contained in the Sandlands.”
The blond tall man shrugged “Well, I can see you have come here very well prepared, Desmond, but even with all those maps and tricks you have under your sleeves, entering the Sandlands is no easy task, even I would have to prepare the certain kind of spells to guarantee our stealth, safety and most important, our escape in case something goes wrong.”
The shorter man stood up from his chair and walked around the room. “I understand your hesitation, milord, a wizard really needs his time to prepare in advance for the next mission, but at the same time, I don’t know if we will have another opportunity like tonight, the Sultan invited half of the world for this event…”
Chiron approached Desmond with all the poise and glory his heroic standards allowed, then he leaned and whispered in the ears of the thief. “You want me to simply forfeit my own diplomatic duties and help you in this clandestine operation, my dear Obashir, and yet you have never showed your end of this bargain…”
Desmond grinned to disguise the fact he was blushing. “The opportunity of sharing the greatest secrets of Sandlands is not enough?”
The Swordcaster smiled as he placed his hands over Obashir’s shoulders “Don’t you try to play the naïve with me, Desmond, I know you have much more to offer me, I won’t accept until I am shown all your cards…”
Obashir shook his head “It is never easy to negotiate with wizards…alright…I have another thing to offer you, and it is of your greatest interest, I…”
Before Obashir proceeded his lips were sealed again, this time with the pressure of Chiron’s lips against them, the blond wizard kissed the shocked thief passionately, his big hands explored the body of the slender man, and Desmond felt the impressive muscles of the Swordcaster pressing against his own. For a few moments, all Obashir could do was moaning and hissing, enjoying the flavor of such unexpected kiss.
Chiron broke their kiss, grinning as he gently cleaned the corner of Desmond’s lips, it was only then the rogue realized something had gone terribly wrong, it was like his voice was stolen from his throat! To make things worse, the rogue noticed his shoulders felt too heavy, so heavy that he could barely move them, it suddenly seemed like his limbs did not belong to the rest of his body.
Meanwhile, Chiron turned his ample back on his prisoner and walked to the table quickly keeping the dimensional map inside his own robes.
Desmond watched totally incapacitated as many soldiers simply crawled up the terrace, Chiron simply opened the door and many other guards entered the room escorting Othon and no one else but the Sultan himself.
“Greetings my nobles host, I have indeed captured the menace just like promised. Don’t worry because I have this rat under a powerful incapacitating spell, he cannot use any trick to escape, but I advise you to put him into chains as quick as possible” Chiron said coldly as he looked down at the short stocky figure of the Damerran regent.
“You are indeed your father’s son, Chiron, always loyal to your word…” the Sultan entered the room and walked towards Desmond “So, this is the street rat that wanted to break into my precious Sandlands?” Although the Sultan was not physically impressive, his cruelty towards prisoners was legendary.
“Yes, milord, like I have reported you, this criminal goes by the nickname of “The Fox” he had crashed into your party’s guest list and had the nerve of approaching the Archduke with this absurd argument that you had been corrupted by the enemies of our kingdom, when the young Chiron told me those horrible facts, I knew right away he just wanted me to help his greedy plans.” Othon’s tone was so truthful and determined that even the Sultan was impressed.
“Did he really? Well I am sure that a few hours in my dungeon will make him spill all about this unfortunate incident, my dear Archduke…” If he could move any muscle, Desmond would gulp because of the intensity of the Sultan’s look. The Sultan gazed at his guards and they immediately took Desmond’s body outside the room to lock him at the dungeon, leaving the Sultan and his noble guests alone.
Chiron approached the Sultan and kneeled “Milord Regent of Damerran Lands, after showing another proof of loyalty to our old Alliance, I beg you once again to reconsider your decision, the support of your kingdom is vital for the maintenance of our Freedom from Zenis’ tyranny.”
“Young Prince, you have indeed the courage of exposing yourself to a greedy thief like that, a proof of true and unselfish friendship, because of the Summer Solstice I shall grant you help, but not the support at your war against Zenis, I am no fool to turn the anger of the Emperor against my people …” The Sultan grinned as he exited the room.
Chiron took a deep breath, his sharp mind needed to cease such rare opportunity such as the good will of the Damerran Sultan.
“If you can’t send your brave troopers, please help us with some gold and jewels, and maybe other military material to help our troops, I know milord is far richer than all the other nations…”
The greedy fat man rolled his eyes. “Alright, I will give you enough to foster a mercenary elite squad of the finest combatants, but you will have to hire them outside my domains…” The Damerran regent offered his chubby hand and the Swordcaster shook it vividly to seal their deal when the sound the guard filled the corridors.
“The prisoner escaped!” the soldier said as he entered the room. Chiron’s eyes displayed his uttering shock, he had truly learned with Othon how to emulate the exact reaction to make things work in his favor.
“What? You miserable fool! You were supposed to lock him in the dungeons, he was immobilized, I saw with my own eyes!” The fat man screamed as he rushed outside trying to muster his guard.
The Archduke looked at the Sultan “Milord, I can assure you that my spell would have lasted at least for another hour, there was no way the thief could break it unless…he received magical help.”
‘W-what do you mean?” The Sultan asked noticeably afraid, fighting thieves and soldiers was ordinary, but if a great warlock decided to steal from him, things would be much more dangerous.
Othon scratched his mustache “Of course, a notorious thief may be powerless against someone like the Swordcaster, but it is a totally different situation when dealing with mere guards, and who know how many more secrets this crook have unveiled? If he was able to find the Sandlands Libraries, I am sure he could sell this utmost precious information to much more dangerous individuals.”
The Sultan looked at Chiron and just dropped to his knees.
“My friend, in the name of our alliance you have to capture that dangerous Fox, I beg you…The Sandlands are the most precious treasure of my people!”
Chiron had to focus really hard; he had the greedy bastard right where he wanted.
“Erm…I really would be glad to help you, milord, but my spells are almost done for the day, if I would have to capture this criminal I would need to refurnish my magical arsenal…”
“Young Chiron, you know it is not wise to go out hunting for someone who probably is getting help from some powerful magical foe!”
“But…but you gotta help me…I’d do anything to compensate you afterwards!” The Sultan promised at once, without even noticing he had fallen in their trap.”
“Then, milord…please let me borrow the power of your armies to help my own people, the fearsome Damerran soldiers will help the morale of my own armies”
The Sultan nodded “Farewell…bring back that thief and you shall be granted the official help of my Sultanates.”
The blond Swordcaster then placed his hand over the shoulders of the fat man. “Thanks for your generosity, milord, and don’t worry, I brought him here once, I will bring him a second time!”
The wizard looked at the guard “Pick the best trackers of your troops and follow my lead, the little Fox can’t be far from here, I can almost smell him from here!” Chiron announced as he simply ran towards the terrace and jumped into the yard underneath, but his body never fell, he just flew quickly into the desert nights, using his magically enhanced senses to track down his prey.
Under Chiron’s leadership the squad had easily tracked down the thief, although his horse was pretty fast, it still wouldn’t be a match for the Swordcaster, so the Archduke just increased his speed to catch up with his prey.
In fact Chiron seemed a bit tired of that little game; after all he had more important matters to attend. The blond wizard stopped for one moment, hovering in the air over 60 feet from the ground, he focused his arcane forces to accomplish one very powerful spell, one that a little brat like that did not deserve. Chiron’s body became a glowing blue flaming sphere, and then with the speed of true falling star, it fired heavily against the running horse.
From the distance, the Damerran soldiers watched as the huge meteor fell over the mysterious rider that planned to rob the sacred Sandlands Libraries, for one second it seemed like sunrise had come earlier, the light filled their eyes so intensely, provoking momentary blindness in most of the troopers. When they could see things again, the tall broad shouldered figure of Chiron carried the body of the thief in his arms.
“Here you are gentlemen, but I'm afraid I went too hard with that spell, the man did not resist.” The blond man said as threw the lifeless body at the sand. The guards watched in horror the nearly disfigured face of Desmond, burnt into the blue flames, but they still tied the corpse to a horse to show their Sultan the menace was indeed ended.
The leader soldier just bowed to the uncanny skills of their notorious helper.
“Greetings, milord, the Sultan will be forever in your debt, but did you really have to kill the criminal? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to retrieve whatever leaded him to find our master’s treasury room?” The dark skinned man asked with surprising politeness.
“You don’t seem to understand the gravity of this situation, you’ve witnessed with your very eyes that he deflected most of my spells, if we kept in that game, he could get away with the secret of Sandlands, he was a menace which needed to be eliminated, I am sure the information is secure now that the thief is dead.” The wizard said as he once again took off into the skies and flew bravely back to the Damerran castle.
The guards exchanged looks of preoccupation; they all knew pretty well that the Sultan would personally command the torture sessions to make the bastard spill how he had managed to get such precious information. Now that the thief was dead, the Sultan would only have his soldiers to vent his legendary anger.
Obashir’s mind rushed inside his head, he could vividly remember the moment when Chiron’s lips touched his, that kiss was not just powerful, overwhelming and indescribably delicious, it was indeed a spell in disguise. However, its effects were far more spectacular than he could ever anticipate.
“Keep your mind focused, don’t let your senses fool you, stay with me and we will both have our shares in the secrets of Sandlands Libraries…” Those words filled Desmond’s mind as he felt the world spinning under his feet.
Suddenly, Fox saw Chiron’s body breaking their kiss, although he could still taste the juicy lips of the Swordcaster against his own. The soldiers entered the room through the terrace, the Archduke had betrayed him! The Regent himself now looked at Obashir, he had to escape, yet he felt the hands of his kisser pulling him closer.
“I told you, your mind needs focus, we are together in this, you can feel me here and I can feel you as well, the power of my spell needs concentration, I need your help if we want to fool that greasy ball…” once again the Swordcaster tried to calm his companion but it was really hard for a thief to witness passively the scene of his very capture.
Following the instructions of the wizard, Fox closed his eyes and only focused on the amazing taste of their kiss, and it seemed Chiron enjoyed it as well, for he moaned every once and a while. Desmond soon noticed that whatever spell Chiron casted upon themselves, it made their kiss last forever, they didn’t even need to breath, it was an intense and very erotic moment, for he could feel his hands exploring the warmth of the Archduke’s muscles, and the taller lad shared the same kind enthusiasm.
The amazingly powerful illusion Chiron created had completely fooled the miserable Sultan, the fat guy was both pissed and marveled to the fact he would have new prisoner in his dungeon to torture, the fake Archduke was also very convincing, but at this point the thief understood that the wizard spoke those words directly thought the illusionary dummy, the whole act was extraordinary convincing, down to the point where the guards noticed that their prisoner had escaped.
It was hard not to laugh when the fat bastard kneeled in front of Chiron’s dummy and begged for help, which was the cue to get something else from the Sultan. Finally, the image of the Swordcaster heroically flew out of the terrace to hunt down another illusionary man.
The Sultan looked horrified; Othon gently helped him to stand back on his little feet.
“Fear not milord, the Archduke is by far the greatest wizard of our kingdom, on top of being a great soldier.” Othon said as the Sultan dusted his expensive clothes. The arrogant Damerran regent just nodded as he left the room, leaving the diplomat behind without even thanking for his help.
“Send all the available men to hunt down that miserable bastard, I want him delivered to me before the sunrise or you will personally responsible for this!” The Sultan vented his anger frustration on his very personal guard, the poor man just gulped and rushed to spread the orders.
Meanwhile, back into Chiron’s room, Othon carefully watched outside before he closed the door.
“It is clear now, my friend…” The mustached man grinned.
Suddenly, the kiss was broken and Obashir felt his senses rushing again, this time turmoil took place in his head, Chiron had to help him to stand still for a few moments.
“Are you okay?” the Swordcaster sounded genuinely worried.
“Yeah…it…is just…I…didn’t want…I mean I wasn’t expecting for that” Desmond blushed because he practically confessed he wanted to keep kissing the Archduke for all eternity.
Chiron smirked “I understand…but it is easily explainable. The illusionary effects feed on bodily energy to mimic reality sensations, so the best way for gathering enough fuel is to create illusions using sexual energy…”
“Well…it was still the best kiss I ever had in my life…” Fox said at once as he tried to gain his dignity but suddenly he felt the creamy, wet cold spot in his very crotch. The thief had creamed himself without even noticing given the intensity and the duration of such unearthed experience.
The muscular wizard tried to comfort the thief “The illusion feeds on our lust but it also creates a powerful loop that can feel even better than sex most of times, of course some people can still overcome this particular standard.” Chiron said noticeably flirting with Desmond, which sounded kinda natural since they had made out so vividly a few moments ago.
Othon coughed discretely “Milord, don’t you and this Fox have more important businesses to attend?” The diplomat said as he kept his attention on the corridor outside.
Desmond shook his head quickly “Yeah, why did you sell me out like that? Now the Sultan knows all about my plan and he’ll redouble the watch in the Libraries…”
The Swordcaster grinned “Yeah, but right now most of the soldiers are after you remember? What better moment to break into the Libraries?”
It suddenly made all sense. Obashir smacked his own head “Damn…you are indeed a clever wizard, Lord Chiron…”
“There’s no time for gloating, we have to be quick though, I’ll help you getting inside the Libraries, once we are inside you will help me finding something that might reveal the secrets of Zenis’ forces, I am not paying you, but you might keep anything you find suitable.”
Fox felt his own professional side trying to be more objective about that situation “I get that, while we are in there, we have to look for each other…but once are out of the castle, it’s each man for his own.”
“You’ve got a deal; now let’s get going before they realize the corpse they have under custody is nothing but a dummy made out of magic clay!” Chiron announced, but Obashir realized it wouldn’t be wise to know further details.
Before they left the room, the Swordcaster snapped his fingers and Obashir felt his skin tingling a bit, when he passed in front of the mirror, the thief noticed he was several inches taller and his skin went much darker, his features were all changed into less attractive ones, even his teeth were yellow, his eyes were deeper seemingly weary, he also wore the uniform of the Damerran guard.
“This way we’ll be able to transit through the castle without drawing too much attention.” The Prince announced from his new shorty and stock figure, he also looked much older and with a long mustache, his muscles also looked big, but not in a million years would anyone suspect this was the great Archduke Chiron.
“You know the routine from now on huh Othon?”
“Yes, your majesty, no matter who wants to see you, I’ll make sure to them that you are meditating to recover your powers which have been drained to help the Sultan with the whole incident. Tomorrow, if you are needed I’ll just use the metamorphic medallion and be your double. Now you go and good luck with everything!” The diplomat firmly stated as he opened the door for them.
Under the cloak of Chiron’s powerful magic, the invading duo easily achieved a large chamber next to the weaponry room, which could be just the arsenal, but Fox knew better, he showed to be very intimate with those white marble corridors. The thief suddenly halted.
“Hand me the map, please?” Fox said as he smiled to the disguised Archduke.
Chiron rolled his eyes as he reached for the precious artifact and returned it to the original owner. Desmond thanked as he entered the dark room ahead of them, carefully checking each spot with the map in his hands, it didn’t take more than a few seconds for Chiron to conclude that unearthed item possessed yet another very interesting feature of, meanwhile, a green glow emerged from the object as Fox approached it from the upper left corner of the room.
“That’s a dimensional gap right here, they have built this whole room to block the passage, the entrance is simply covered with rocks and bricks…” Desmond sighed as he noticed there was no way they could enter without breaking their way into Sandlands.
Chiron shook his head as he quickly dispelled their disguise, his portentous true form soon recovered the natural poise while Fox also felt much better inhabiting his feline muscular form. “There’s no need for hammers and chisels when we can just probe this gap…I'm sure the Sultan has a way to enter his own Libraries without breaking the walls…”
Desmond watched as Chiron reached for the higher corner of the room, focusing his magical senses to locate the exactly point where the planes touched, after a few thrilling moments, the wizard grinned.
“Here you are…” The Swordcaster commented before he pronounced new incomprehensible words that suddenly made the whole room glow in the same green light, it suddenly looked like Chiron tore the very air with his spell, creating a dimensional gate.
“After you, milord…” Desmond politely said to his companion.
“Fine…” The blond man said as he climbed into the dimensional gap opened in the roof of the arsenal, but before Obashir could even think in trying something sneaky, he felt those huge arms pulling up through the same magical whole.
Going through dimensional passages felt even worse than being teleported, Desmond suddenly felt like his body had been turned upside down, his senses took a few seconds to adjust to the surroundings – it was a bright new day, the scorching sun was just unexpected at that time of the morning, Chiron’s hand soon guided Fox’ disoriented body for the initial steps.
“This is a pocket from the Desert Plans, quite suitable for a kingdom like Damerra, but my guess is that time here runs in a totally different pace, which is great because it’ll give us a valuable advantage…” The wizard explained as Fox recovered, the rogue opened his eyes and devised an immense ivory tower right in front of them.
“Welcome to Sandlands Libraries, master Obashir…all we have to do now is figuring out a way to enter the building…” Chiron announced because they soon realized the walls were completely smooth, there were no windows, gates or anything they could climb.
“The Sultan sure has the proper way to enter, but it might require some sort of a magical key that the bastard must keep heavily protected…” Fox commented as he enjoyed the view of the legendary building, the Tower was over two hundred feet in height, truly an epitome of architecture geniality, so perfectly round and polished, it glistened under the scorching sun and the fading pink skies of that weird plane.
“Yeah, you’re probably right…but then you might also be wrong…” Chiron replied as he showed Obashir one little red ruby just like those which adorned the expensively crafted turban of Damerran Sultan.
Desmond was puzzled “How can you know for sure that’s the key for the Libraries?”
Chiron shrugged “Well, I actually don’t, but if you were a wizard, you’d know that we have ways to detect magical signatures in most mundane items, it wouldn’t be unusual for the Sultan to carry magical items with him, but what drew my attention was that this particular ruby was imbued with a very powerful magical aura, and since it was not the biggest neither the most precious gem on the turban, I just followed my guts and took it when the bastard kneeled in front of me…”
Desmond took the jewel in his hands. Although he couldn’t tell if there really was a powerful magical aura imbued in the tiny thing, the rogue considered the fine crafting of the gem, and how it was precisely lapidated. That was indeed a masterwork, but then again the Sultan was known for his appreciation for expensive jewelry.
“What is this thing of aura you’re feeling?”
“Well…it’s kinda hard to explain, there are two auras mixed in one, whoever crafter this item surely know what he was doing…it’s a perfect mix of the arts of conjuration and divination, which are very tricky to combine…” Chiron continued blabbing about the magical implications of that item, but Desmond could care less, because he noticed an interesting detail, the gem was the exact same size of a human eye.
The rogue rose the gem to his eye level and looked to Chiron, there was nothing different about him, except for the reddish tone of the ruby lenses. Fox placed the ruby in his eye and looked at the Tower.
“Son of a bitch!” Chiron heard the rogue cursing as he quickly approached the impressive tower. “The door is here…” Desmond removed the ruby from his eye “…and now it is not…” He said as he handled the ruby back to the wizard.
The Archduke took the gem and repeated the same operation. “Yeah, the doors are very well hidden…” Chiron said as he quickly cast a spell that made the entrance permanently visible without the need of the enchanted jewel.
Hiding that kind of door was indeed impressing, because it stood quite over 12 feet tall built in the same material of the walls, several different locks were just magically concealed within the passage. Desmond grinned as he took his instruments off his pickets and rolled them over the ground.
“Now stand back, milord, and let a professional work! It will just take a moment” Fox announced as he proceeded in the task of picking the series of different locks on the door, but as moments became precious lost minutes, and Desmond had no luck in his purpose, Chiron just rolled his eyes.
“My father was right they don’t make good thieves anymore…” The blond man said as he picked the tiny jewel and placed right in the middle of the biggest lock.
“NOOOO! What are you doing?” Obashir screamed.
Several loud noises were heard, Chiron smirked as the massive door lowered, clearing their entrance. “It never occurred to you that if the jewel served for finding the door it could also work as a key?”
“But I was this close of picking it...only a few seconds more!” Desmond protested as he collected his tools.
“Well, keep that enthusiasm for finding the many traps that might be inside, now let’s get going with it, and I believe it’s your turn to lead” The wizard said as he showed the inside of the Sandlands Libraries for his companion. When Fox entered, Chiron enjoyed the opportunity to slap that tiny and tight butt of the slender man, who just grinned back at the teasing Archduke.
The interior of the Ivory Tower revealed the majestic portliness of Sandlands Libraries, albeit the enormous size of the building from the outside, the interior seemed ten times bigger, The cylindrical shape of the building was perfect to install series of concentrically placed rooms, corridors and alleys, not to mention the staircases that lead into different floors, each one filled with innumerous shelves, books, scrolls and tablets were disposed in some kind of incomprehensible logic.
“Damn…we’re gonna take forever to find anything in here!” Fox said but Chiron was just too marveled with the possibilities unveiled before his eyes.
“Don’t worry about time, like I said time runs differently in different plans, we might just find out that when we come back only a few minutes passed, regardless the fact we’ve spent entire weeks searching in this amazing place! Now, you make sure to clear the way of traps and I’ll do the same with the spells, we’ll divide by areas to rationalize our work.”
Desmond just obeyed, he knew that he needed to trust Chiron, no matter how tricky that wizard was, he was a natural leader, always making sure they were safe, but Fox was a great agent himself. This time, Obashir had lots of time to play with his tools, and it really paid off because he had found and disarmed several different traps which were set to victimize intruders like them.
“This is so precious, all that knowledge just laying here without no one to benefit, this is just cruelty…” Chiron explored the cleared areas in the search of anything that could help him in his battle; there was no better time for the rogue to make some profit.
Fox just used his stealthy abilities and ventured further into the corridors, all those books and magical stuff could value a king’s ransom but selling them could bring even more trouble, so Desmond decided to make some money with less unearthed goods, he would have to settle for gold and jewels, and the greedy Sultan surely kept his legendary fortune in such special inter-dimensional safety vault, the hardest part was over, now he just needed to find the goodies.
It actually took longer than Obashir imagined, but there it was – protected by all series of traps which were already disarmed; hidden pits, falling spears, gigantic blades, and even poisonous gas – the Damerran Treasure Chamber. Fox salivated as he prepared to work in the last phase of his retirement plant, after that job he would just get rid of all his problems and start a new life away from the shadows of his past.
Slowly and very carefully, Desmond stepped into the enormous Treasure room, he had checked for any trap and he was sure the space was clear, but little did he know there were some traps which weren’t exactly traps…
Only few things could distract the Swordcaster and knowledge was one of them, Chiron just ravished through the shelves after more knowledge, he could just anticipate the effects on his magic, he would just become even more powerful and prepared for the War against Zenis, even though he just needed more time to filter all that knowledge into defeating the unearthed armies of the evil tyrant.
The Archduke suddenly felt his spine freezing, a fearful presence the temperature dropped several degrees, and the wizard just threw the bag over his shoulders desperately looking for his companion, who wasn’t there anymore.
“Damn it, from all the stupid things he could have done!” Chiron cursed as he ran towards the source of the terrible menace.
Fox had always considered himself as being a street smart guy, he didn’t trust people, he never believed in fairy tales and other silly stories. All those legends about brave heroes who fought dragons to save damsels in distress were just embellished recreations of the story of greedy lucky bastards who got rich and powerful enough to pay the minstrels to make songs about them. However, a truly smart man recognized his mistakes and it was surely one of the greatest stupidities he had ever done in his life, but, once again, he couldn’t resist to the lure of unlimited treasures at the reach of his greedy hand.
Although the treasure chamber was free of traps, it didn’t mean it was unprotected at all. The moment Fox’ finger touched the first gold coin, the earth started shaking. Desmond noticed it might be already too late to return the treasure so he just stuffed his pockets with everything he could find before he could leave that damn place, because the shaking was getting stronger and the menacing sound of something approaching filled his ears.
Fox was about to get off the room when the entire front wall simply exploded, the bricks flew off their original positions, several pieces of heavy metal also flew off the ground, following the weird turmoil created inside the treasure chamber, and suddenly the dust cloud obscured the view.
The experienced rogue devised the enormous figure; it was an enormous monster whose weight made the entire ground shakes at each step. Obashir used the dusty cloud to cloak his escape, but that creature was much smarter than he looked, the figure moved exactly towards his very movements.
“Almost there…just a few more steps” Fox tried to calm his mind, he was still in advantage because of his tremendous agility, but then almost like instinctively the rogue dodged at the very last moment, the enormous fist just barely missed his body, crashing the granite ground like a rotten tomato.
“Get out of there NOW!” Chiron’s voice swept the place carried by a magical wind burst that cleaned the entire chamber, revealing the presence of a gigantic Crafted Stalker – a construct that was neither alive or dead, a masterwork creation imbued with pure magical will, the perfect agent without needs of sleeping, eating or anything to take it from the mission to which it was created.
The lifeless behemoth stood incredibly tall and wide, the body was made out of incredibly heavy pieces of metal and rock that floated around each other, sewed together with pure magic, the gargantuan Stalker had a giant empty helmet for head, with a pair of floating glowing ruby stones for eyes, they glowed even brighter at each step.
Desmond knew he was being cornered by that thing. “What are you waiting for? Blow that shit at once!” The rogue yelled as the panic started to overtake his better judgment.
Chiron sighed “I wish it was so easy!!” To emphasize his point the wizard just made a series of movements, the energy force left his hands and aimed for the construct, but just vanished before getting within 10 feet away from the huge Stalker.
“This thing is magic proof! No spells can be fired against him!” The Archduke shook his head, branded his sword took enough distance and jumped in the air to land right at the Stalker’s shoulder, attacking the arm junction which only proved equally useless, producing only a lot of sparks and repelling the Swordcaster several feet away.
Fox used the opportunity given by Chiron’s attack to escape passing right between the enormous legs of the attacker, but that distraction only lasted for a second, when the blond wizard was repelled from the Stalker, he landed far across the chamber, with the behemoth standing between the adventuring partners.
The enormous magical Stalker’s body glowed and suddenly Chiron noticed something like sparks around his body “Oh damn! Fox you’ll have to deal with that thing on your own!” Chiron yelled as he threw a velvet pack to the rogue right before the air around him was covered by a fine layer of colored crystals, the Swordcaster just stood very carefully because he knew that if the fine wall was broken a lethal explosion would take place.
“I thought that you couldn’t do magic close to him!” Fox said as he rushed to get the bag before the Stalker could attack him again, this time only missing by a split second.
Chiron rolled his eyes “I can’t, I never said it can’t…now search for the green scroll!” The wizard instructed as the heavy beast maneuvered the immense body to prepare for the next attack.
Desmond finally located the scroll glowing in green light “And what am I supposed to do with this thing? Hit him in the nose? You said we can’t cast spells at him!” Obashir screamed nervously, clearly in the verge of a seizure.
“You can’t cast spells AT him, that’s not the case…we have to fight brute strength with even greater brute strength! Now…just read the spell!” Chiron said as he mentally prayed that everything went well. Although rogues are known for being very good in deciphering codes and secret languages, there’s always the chance they can’t understand the truncated symbols and words of spellcrafting…
Fox had to dodge from yet another attack of the Crafted Stalker, rolling his slender body away from the enormous fist; the rogue stood up again, he just started reciting the magical phrase to release the spell trapped inside the paper scroll.
The magical green aura left the paper which disintegrated in Fox’ hands, but the glow in the rogue’s body indicated everything worked, Chiron was momentarily relieved, that would be their only way to defeat the monster, he just hoped Desmond could fight at least as well as he kissed.
Desmond felt disoriented, his limbs suddenly felt heavier and heavier, his breath was heavy, and his body tingled all over. The Stalker approached again and this time he couldn’t move at all, there was something happening to him – Fox just raised his hands instinctively to protect himself from the impact.
“FOOOOOX!” Chiron yelled from inside the crystal cage, he only saw the enormous bulk of the Stalker trying to crush the thief, the sound of heavy rocks hitting was indeed terrifying, so the Swordcaster closed his eyes, fearing for the worst.
RRRRIIIPPPPP….RRRRRRRRIPPPP……ohhmmmmmmmm…ooooooohh h……..RRRRRRRRRIPPP… The wizard could hear those sounds, the sounds of something tearing apart, and he prayed it wasn’t Desmond’s limbs.
“WHOA! That’s nice…” Desmond’s voice brought hope to the wizard who opened his eyes again. Chiron noticed the spell had indeed worked as planned, Fox’s body augmented in both size, muscularity and strength, the slender thief stood now as burly and muscular as the most impressive troll, although he looked much hotter and attractive than those hideous creatures.
Within the seconds, Obashir went from his slender original 5’10” 170 pounds to an astonishing 8’5” tall weighing over 1000 pounds, with giant sized muscles that made his clothing simply shred in tears as the transformation took place. The beautiful rogue was indeed holding the huge fists of the Stalker, which suddenly didn’t look that huge for the augmented man.
“So…let’s see how you deal with someone who can fight back!” Fox said as he broke the clinch and just grabbed the immense body by the rocky legs and threw him against the pillars, the construct produced something that sounded like a yell of pain, and it only made the humongous rogue to grin. “Oh…I ain’t done with you, friend!”
Fox ran towards the construct and grabbed it on a powerful bear hug “No one messes with the Fox, you miserable beast!” He continued squeezing the rocky and the metal magically held, although it wouldn’t suffocate, Fox’ new strength was so impressive it actually pulverized the rocky parts that composed the Stalker’s body, not to mention he literally squeezed the metal parts like they were fresh bread dough.
“Fox, the eyes…they’re the source for his power…you gotta do something about the eyes!”
Then, as the rage filled his empowered new muscles, Desmond simply laughed as he reached for the magical helmet head and placed the huge fingers in the ruby’s “I'm SO NOT gonna regret it…” The massive man said as the huge paw vigorously closed around the ruby stones and crushed them like they were mere pieces of glass. The magical power imbued in the stones tried to resist, but it was clear it wouldn’t take much longer until…
The mystic energy was immediately dispelled. The Stalker’s body fell apart, the pieces of bricks, metal and everything that once threatened their lives became instant rubble. Chiron noticed the magic energy which conjured the crystal cage around him had weakened, the prison simply fainted, releasing the Swordcaster, who just rushed to the enormous barely naked rogue in front of him.
“Hey there…shorty!” Desmond grinned as he waved down for the tall blond and muscular, but who was momentarily much shorter and less brawny than the immense Obashir.
Chiron checked Desmond’s transformation from head to toe, trying to disguise his own shock, although he knew the spell would make him much stronger, he never anticipated the slender Fox would turn into such humongous muscle creature, the most logical explanation was that Obashir had some pretty powerful innate magical familiarity in his being, and if it was true, that thief sure was much more than he wanted people to know.
“You see something you like, milord?” The massive man said as he flexed his right arm who peaked into a rock of mighty manly power, but as much as Chiron was eager to feel that impossibly hard muscle, they couldn’t just assume that the worst part was over.
“HEY!” Fox protested as the Swordcaster slapped the back of his head.
“You had to come here huh? You know traps aren’t the worst dangers of this place, and you had to go for the treasure huh? How mundane…Well, you should enjoy this massive size of yours and pick as much gold as you want, but you owe me a very precious scroll, and I'm gonna charge you for it!”
The thief grinned “okay…okay, at this size I can probably take this whole tower!” Obashir laughed as he focused in the job.
“Now..let’s be practical…if this is the treasure chamber…maybe it’s not just gold the Stalker was guarding…” Chiron said some words and everything started floating off the ground, the heavy gold bards were just at the reach of Desmond’s hand, and the augmented man simply piled them onto his shoulders, but the wizard wanted something more important.
Then, it appeared, a huge golden book glowing intensely it was buried under tons of gold and precious gems, Chiron grinned “The Caravan Log…all that has been heard, said by the Ancient Travelers is registered in these pages…that is just priceless!”
“Heh…such work for a gossip book? You wizards are crazy!” Desmond said as he lifted an enormous pile of treasure. “So are we ready?”
“Yeah, almost…” Chiron said as he grabbed the book and kept it safely, the Swordcaster just snapped his fingers and it all returned to the same place. “Let’s continue searching for some more spells and get the hell out of here before you manage to wake up a dragon or something…”
“Hey, you know that with this body I’d totally have a chance against one of those overgrown lizards!” Obashir commented as he followed his wizard partner.
Othon mentally revised his master’s orders, the guards had retrieved the corpse of the thief, the Sultan did try to talk to the Swordcaster, but the talented diplomat easily convinced the regent that the prince deserved his rest.
The mustached Royal advisor was getting ready to finally sleep when two men appeared right in front of him: Chiron and another humongous man, who looked like an augmented version of the same Fox thief, who carried an enormous pile of gold in his enormous muscles.
“How’s the weather down there Othon?” The deep voice of the augmented man echoed in the room, and Chiron fired him with a look.
“You two were incredibly fast…” The diplomat commented which triggered Fox’ surprise.
“What are you talking about? We spent hours and hours inside that tower…wait…why is it still night?”
“I told you that we were in different dimensions, time doesn’t work the same way in Sandlands…which is good for us…” Chiron said as he considered the options.
“Erm sir…can I ask you why our friend is…erm…barely naked?” Othon pointed to the fact both of the adventurers had simply overlooked.
“Oh…gee…it was something you Prince here did so I could kick some rocky ass, but I guess I didn’t feel the fresh wind in my parts…” Fox said as he quickly wrapped the curtain around his waist, his enormous body contrasting to the tiny blushed face.
The Swordcaster faced him very seriously “Yeah, a spell which was supposed to have wear off at least an hour ago, which brings me to the question…Are you a sorcerer Desmond?”
The question took the thief off guard “W-what, sorcerer are you fucking kidding me? Why do you ask something like that?”
The Swordcaster was indeed very serious “I don’t like being tricked, and you still didn’t reveal me the other thing you had to offer, something that would make me change towards your offer, and I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the war against Zenis.”
“Well…perhaps we could discuss the price for that information huh, milord?” Even at such muscular form, Fox never left his rogue manners.
“You’d better tell me now before I blow you into a million pieces!” Chiron said very powerfully to the immense man in front of him.
Even being augmented, Fox was still intimidated by the blond wizard “Okay…okay…you got me…I know something about Zenis’ armies…” Noticing that Chiron would just find a way for him to spill out the truth, the immense Obashir just sat at the bed, forcing the furniture to its limit, which just forced the augmented thief to jump back into his feet.
“Zanis is not alone in this…he’s getting help, from someone I really don’t know, but Zanis seems to be negotiating …” Although his humongous body tore most of his clothes apart, Desmond still had one tiny pocket in the interior of his vest; from there he took one weird looking ring with the mark of a serpent. Chiron examined it and his face looked even angrier.
“So…you’re a member of the Poison Fangs, you’re a criminal acting to promote your own dreadful businesses, and what does it have to do with Zanis’ armies?”
“A few years ago, Zanis placed some weird orders to my…associates; he wanted us to steal The Drygard from the Halfling Kingdom. It was weird, he could just send his troops to get it from the tiny guys, but a good agent doesn’t ask the client’s motivations, so we just…fulfilled his weird wish. After that…well he got those wicked monsters for his armies” Fox explained, knowing that Chiron would follow the hints.
“Of course he didn’t want to send his troops after it, he knew this way no one would associate the event with his unearthed troops!” Othon considered the idea.
“The Drygard? But it makes no sense, it is just a golden cornucopia used during Equinoxes to make crops grow big and richer…it has no military purpose!” The Swordcaster concluded.
“This only means Zanis has found one for it, or better yet, his helper did. That’s why he the search for Drygard resulted in military purposes…” Othon concluded seriously.
Chiron looked up into Fox’ eyes “But it doesn’t answer my first question…are you a sorcerer, Desmond Obashir?”
“Why you keep asking me this? I ain’t no sorcerer…I only translated that scroll, you know rogues can pull that trick if they’re lucky enough…I just got lucky!” The humongous muscles of the augmented Fox bulged as he tried to defend himself.
Chiron looked at his advisor and they nodded their heads “Farewell, but there’s something more in you that meets the eye…” The Prince said as he approached the muscular behemoth.
“You mean more than those huge muscles you gave me milord? Why don’t we just drop the accusation game and enjoy the rest of that interesting spell?” Fox tried to way his way back into Chiron’s trust with the obvious attraction the blond wizard had for enormous muscles.
“erm… I see your point, my humongous friend, but I don’t seem to reach your lips now…” Chiron purred and Fox forgot everything and lifted the blond Archduke from the ground to kiss his lips, hoping that he would taste at least half the incredible feelings of the previous time.
And so he did, although he wasn’t quite expecting for that particular result.
The moment they touched their lips the magical essence hit Fox’s body in full and the guy felt the room spinning around him, then he felt Chiron growing, no…he was the one shrinking, the spell lost its effect, and the blond wizard grinned as he once again was the tallest and most muscular between them two. The kiss also was abruptly short, Desmond noticed the same magical force encumbering his movements and this time he couldn’t even try to resist.
“You were right, I am into huge muscles, but no matter a spell can make your muscles grow, you’re just a little thief in the inside...” The Archduke stated as he looked back at his advisor, they both approached the enormous treasure pile the augmented Desmond had brought from Sandlands.
“I really thank you for your help to move this heavy cargo all the way here, but I can’t forget that it’s because of scum like you my men and my people are dying out in the battlefield, and you shall not benefit from my trust!” Chiron explained as he snapped his fingers, the light involved the room and then they were gone: Chiron, Othon and the precious treasure.
Fox had once again hit by Chiron’s magic, apparently the wizard knew how to use his looks in his favor, the thief was just incapacitated of moving, he was broke again but the worst thing was that he missed being huge, who would knew it could feel so empowering?
“Shit…it can’t get worse…” The thief refused to complete the thought, but it was too late
Desmond was still paralyzed when the door just magically opened, revealing the angry Sultan and his blood thirsty men. “Long Live the Archduke; he surely deserves my trust on him…” The Damerran Regent his men came inside to take the thief into the dungeon.
Fox was doomed, he knew the Sultan would make him suffer until death, but then at the last possible moment he felt his limbs free again. Although he didn’t had the same inhuman strength of a few moments earlier, he still had the agility of his limbs to escape from the guards and jump off the balcony , falling in the yard.
The thief didn’t think he just acted, he still didn’t know what freed his body, but he had to escape, that wouldn’t be the end of Fox. The loud whistle called for his only companion, the Firebreathing Steed crossed the skies, leaving a flaming track as he landed right in front of the rider, who just got up and took off.
Fox felt the wind hitting against his face as he rode his powerful steed Enurion, once more he dared to challenge death, though this time it didn’t look like The Fox would get away with it.
Despite all adversities the steed firmly persisted in its task to take the master out of danger, avoiding even the lethal arrows that constantly tried to hit the ensemble.
Enurion was an animal that had been especially trained to attend the most complex commands, a specimen bred from several carefully thought mating plans to produce an offspring with all superior qualities, however, even for an outstanding specimen like him, escaping from an elite persecution squad lead by a highly trained wizard was virtually impossible, but that horse would never give up on his master, Enurion was totally dedicated to Fox, they have been together ever since the steed was a young colt, and Fox himself was barely old enough to have his own horse.
Maybe the reason why the rider and his impressive animal got along so well was precisely the fact they both were products of a carefully planned genetic crossing, although Enurion was considered to be a success, his rider, on the other hand…
Failure always tasted so bitter. Not only had the Fox infiltrated an exclusivist banquet in the legendary Castle of the Damerra Sultan, that notorious thief was the one person that successfully located the entrance for the Sandlands Libraries, the most well kept secret of the desert lands. However, even being that close to his personal goal, Fox had been caught before he could even find what he was looking for, and there was only one to blame for that, the glorious Archduke Chiron, the amazing Swordcaster.
Fox grinned as he noticed Enurion had saved his butt once again, the castle got behind him, but not the remembrance of the man who dared to let him to die. Fox knew that dealing with wizards required leverage, and he had it, he knew what Chiron wanted, he knew the clues he had, and most important, he knew that the Prince didn’t know the exact truth about him…
Fox was pissed, he wanted his gold, he wanted everything paid in full, he also wanted to humiliate Chiron, or at least to have the chance to kiss those lips again. He would get it even if he had to go so low, the thief closed his eyes, it didn’t take long to get a response, the cold aura invaded his body, it was always so disgusting having to resource to them.
“Ah, so you finally realized there’s no future without me?” The voice echoing in Fox’s thoughts sounded like coming from the grave.
“I seek revenge against my enemy; will you give me the way to get it?”
“What do I care for your weeping?”
Fox fought the urge to drop the mental link, he hated that wicked bond, but it was part of his own being, he knew how to deal with the situation. “My enemy is the Swordcaster!”
After some moments of silence, the thunderous laughter echoed inside Fox’ mind “That is just perfect! You seek revenge against the mighty Chiron? The apple never falls far from the three, farewell, you might come to me and I’ll give you the tools for your revenge!”
Fox felt dirty in the inside “I thank you father…”
“Come at once, or I shall forget you’re my son and have you destroyed like the miserable bug you are!” Zanis threatened as he cut the telepath link.
“We shall meet again Chiron, this is far from being over!” Fox said as Enurion ran intot he portal which had just opened for them.
To be continued