Elders estimated it would take us sixty days to run the across the entire continent. It took us forty seven. I pushed myself as much as I could, sometimes running in the night if Meriden could push through. Less time spent on the road meant more time to do our job.
We established my persona as Wolfgang Von’Krit a powerful count – turned werewolf who kept his sanity. Chased out of his own lands, he could take nothing but basic supplies, some gold and the most loyal slave. She was my bodyguard, which I didn’t need as I was twice her size. But that was our story.
I specifically instructed Meriden to never leave my side. She had a mithril collar with elvenweave thread. It was expensive by any standards, but it would allow me to keep her close as well as get herself free if there was any emergency.
Once we crossed into monster territory and close to a settlement, Meriden dismounted me and we changed our appearances a bit. Meriden put on the collar made for her and a green elven cloak. It would protect her from the environment and hide weapons she had on her. Only the bow couldn’t be hidden.
I donned a similar albeit a more royal looking cloak on myself. I also put on some stretchy pants below the cloak, just in case I’d need to transform. Werewolves would often go nude, the fur covering their entire bodies was enough. I just wanted to feel a little more civilized.
With our attire we slowly made out way to the small village, a collection of wooden shacks with straw roofs. At the entrance to the village an ugly orc stands guard. He looks very shabby, with worn-out leather armor and a bent iron cap on his head. There is a faint hint of intelligence in his eyes.
Perhaps the intelligence is a little fainter then I thought. Meriden replied to him with disgust clearly shown.
“We might be the Great Count Wolfgang Von’Krit and his loyal servant Laura Swiftblade. You better pay proper respect if you don’t want your shithole of a town to burn.”
The Orc showed an amused grin, loyal slaves are unheard of. Also, I ought to punish the unruly human, preferably right here and now, even more preferably with her being nude. He puts more effort in talking, hopeful that I just might do something.
“Oi, you betta shut the darn bitch. Others not forgive well. I forgive well.” He makes a slight gesture towards his crotch. I understand his intention, but I won’t let his dreams take form. Although I get a chance to order her around a bit.
“Kneel and beg this fine gentleman for forgiveness.”
Meriden turns red but complies with the order. Her face shows righteous fury with something else mixed in. Once we get out she will be sure to remind me of this. Well, I might as well enjoy the few months I have to live.
“Forgive the foolish lass, she is the feisty one amongst us.”
My scowl distorts into a grin-like expression. Orc doesn’t flinch at the disturbing imagery before him, instead his face also shows a massive grin. Usually nobles ignore him or treat him with a serving of a knuckle sandwich. But it is not like he would remember it and to do better each time.
“We have been traveling for months from human territories. My… associates decided it would be wise to inflict this curse upon me to take me out of the picture. I and the lass managed to run away, but we have little material possessions. We heard that lately these territories are peaceful and offer sanctuary to fellow monsters. Would you be so kind to point us to an inn? We need to rest before we move on.”
Only about a quarter of my words sink in into his thick skull, thankfully it was the right quarter.
“Oi, aye. Go there, big house is inn. You see picture of small horse you ask fer Mieltzkin.”
With that the Orc motions us deeper into the village and returns to his guarding duty. We part with him and walk further into the village. I remember to give few small tugs to the thread connecting us. Meriden, still red with anger and embarrassment comes closer and whispers to me.
“You, treating the crown princess of Val’Hoona tribe in such a way. What a nerve you have, I will make you pay once we get out of here…”
“Ah, my dear, but you are forgetting that right now you are not Meriden, princess of Val’Hoona tribe, you are Laura Swiftblade, my bodyguard and personal love toy. So what is it you should say to me?”
“L…love toy?” Meriden, still red, quickly looks at the ground. Her expression no longer angry, now more embarrassed and submissive. Of only she was like that at other times. She decided to live her life as Laura for the time being, clearly not wanting to jeopardize our missions. “Ye-yes master, so-sorry master.”
I pat her head to reward her for her effort. “Good girl.”
We walk to where the Orc guard pointed towards. There we find a wooden inn with a sign of a small horse and words “Pfrancy Pony”. I couldn’t understand the proper name, as the horse looked both prancing and fancy. Not wanting to think about the life’s mysteries, we make our way inside. I had to almost crouch to get in, my 3 meters height towering over everybody.
Inside, there are only a handful of people, mostly orcs and ogres as expected. There also was some grey-skinned man with grey clock, grey pointy hat and long grey beard waiting for somebody. In the corner, a hooded figure sat, arms crossed over the chest, silently observing everyone.
We make our way to what I made out to be a counter. Behind it, on a tall stool sat a goblin, with a bored expression he stares at the ceiling. In the land of the blind, a one-eyed man is king, is the land of idiots, a cunning goblin is mayor.
“I bid you good day sir, I am a vary traveler that came to your settlement. I and my companion are both tired and hungry, would you be so kind as to offer us some accommodation and perhaps a hot and tasty meal. In the desert every meal is hot, but the taste is what we long for”
I decided to lay it on thick. The goblin showed an amused expression, very few people can talk clearly and even fewer can form complete sentences.
“I heed your words traveler. Welcome to my fine establishment, I am the innkeeper of the only inn around and also the mayor of this prosperous village” his words oozing with sarcasm, he decided to play along. “My name is Mieltzkin Sandpepper.”
“It is an honor to meet a ruler of this town. My name is Wolfgang Von’Krit and my companion is Laura Swiftblade. You do marvelous job around here.”
“Ah, a noble. Your manners and impeccable, I should have known it from the start. A refined man with such a beauty for a companion is rare sights here…”
We exchanged some more pleasantries for another few minutes, and then we decided to stop the farce.
“The room will be 8 copper for the night. Meals not included.”
To me it seemed a little cheap, even for this shabby place. When I pull out some coins from my pouch.
“Ah, should’ve known you got human currency. It would be 13 copper then.”
That’s about what I expected to begin with. After the small exchange of money, we drifted towards one of the tables and sat there waiting for some grilled monster meat and ale. I quizzed him about this and that, and also asked for the information about a capital and how to get there. Little is known about monster territories, maybe there wasn’t even a capital.
With a wave of his hand, the goblin called over the hooded figure in the corner. When a person came over it was easy to see that even though he was about the same height as Laura, about 150 cm, he was still heavily hunched over. When he sat with us, he pulled back his hood revealing a face of a troll.
The man was a wood troll to be precise, they are smaller than other variants, but they have superior regeneration and they are very-very flexible. If he would straighten out he would easily reach the same height as me.
His face as well as his build was very slender, one could even say he was anorexic, although he had lean muscles that stuck very close to his bones. His skin was greyish-blue color. He had two tusks protruding from his lower lip, his left one broken in the middle.
“This here is Nrogara, a troll. He is a known adventurer, so he earns his coin on the road. He travels a lot and he is a decent tracker, so if you need directions he will give them to you, or even guide you there. For a price of course.”
I spent the next ten minutes asking him about whatever we needed. When I asked about his price to get us there, he pointed at Laura.
“I want her.”
Either he overestimated his own worth or underestimated Laura’s. The goblin showed an amused expression, Laura showed a strained one, trying to be obedient and having to suppress her anger was a new thing for her, and clearly she needed practice. I just pondered over this for a moment.
“Tell you what, if you want her, you have to prove you can handle her. Tomorrow you two have a duel, if you win, she is yours, but if you lose, you settle for the coin with a considerable discount.”
“No, I fight the man, not his toy.”
He didn’t even consider Laura as a formidable opponent, any of her weapons were hidden beneath her cloak, and she looked nothing more than a pretty slave to bed.
I didn’t say anything yet, I just lifted up a sturdy metal tankard, slightly smaller than a human head, and emptied its content into my mouth. When it was empty, I took it and crushed it with my fingers with little effort. Troll now looked a little more white than usual.
To emphasize my point even more, I took the remainder of the tankard into both of my hands and squeezed it hard. Then I rolled the resulting mass in my hands, trying to make a perfect sphere. When I tilted my hands, s metal ball the size of human fist landed on the wooden table with a heavy thud.
The troll looked at me with a perplexed look. Goblin looked at me wide eyed, totally bewildered by my monstrous strength.
“I may be a little too much for you to handle, but my little love toy should be easy enough. Tomorrow you get your chance to lay your hands on her. Deal?”
I extended my hand towards the troll. He thought about it for a moment and then shook it. I think he might have already known that he had no chance, but his curiosity about me and my companion made the decision for him.
After that we talked more about various topics. I asked about various new races and any other news. We managed to learn about whoever was banding everyone together. Apparently it was a drake-human with a vast array of magic. He is even capable of voiceless incantations. It is because of his great skill that everyone is afraid of him. What he can do is far worse than death, so the fear of the punishment makes everyone behave.
My new friends asked me about life in human kingdom. I wasn’t well versed with the politics, so I mostly talked about the new king, the coming rebellion against him and about how my non-existent adversary cursed me. We spent a good few hours conversing with one another. Mieltzkin was very interested in me, such excellent conversation partners are a rare commodity in this place. At some point we got tired and were preparing to leave to rest.
“Listen, I know you’d like to ’cuddle’ with yer little beauty here. Ah, don’t shy away you are such beauty. I’d buy you if I had enough money, but this whole village is not worth the sand beneath yer feet…” Mieltzkin was very drunk by now, so his conversation was all over the place. “Er, what I try to say is we got no baths here. Water is too scarce here to waste it on cleaning. There is an oasis we all use for such purpose, about half a day away from here, you should pass by it on yer way. But today you’d have to go on all sweaty, ehehe.”
We thanked him for his advice and then paid for the meals and the booze. That stingy bastard took two silver coins from me, even though the food was not worth a tenth of it. Apparently the tankard was some special blend of metal, specifically reinforced for big fellows like me. So I had to repay him for it. He also took the sphere I made with my hands. He thought of displaying it next to the tankard and citing my story for other customers.
Regardless, we made our way to our room. It was very small, with bare minimum inside. There was a small bed and a nightstand. If I would lie on the bed, there would be no space for Laura, unless she slept on top of me. I wasn’t all against it, but instead I shifted into my human form. We dropped our gear on the floor and climbed into bed together.
Laura was strangely obedient, taking her role seriously even when we were alone. We didn’t do anything sexual, waiting for marriage was something all the girls embedded deep into their core. Maybe it was actually a bad thing, but now it’s too late to complain. Instead we just cuddled, with me as a big spoon. I wrapped my arms and tail around her.
Laura wore nothing but a silk nightgown, going down to her butt. It mostly was there to deny the view of her bosom, but it still left her ass bare and exposed. She didn’t wear any other undergarments, they were not all that common and also they were “too restricting”. I was in my stretchy pants, not wishing for Laura to be exposed to the horrors hidden under them.
We lay there, with a lot of skin exposed, wet from the sweat. There was no dirt or grime, as we both took great care of cleaning ourselves while we traveled, but without proper bath or at least a clean spring, there was nothing to be done about sweat. Laura didn’t feel threatened, so she fell asleep quickly in my arms. I took a little longer, enjoying the sensation. She was covered in sweat, but it was not at all repulsing. Actually it was an enjoyable aroma of a young girl’s body. Mesmerizing and arousing. I fought down any urges that might have surfaced and instead just took in this moment as something to be treasured.
Sleeping like this was not uncommon amongst the bonded four of us. But usually it was more covered, with more blankets, more clothes and a lot less sweat.
Soon I drifted off to sleep, Morpheus inviting me to his kingdom of Dreamland.