MY LORD CONQUEROR
VII. … and the Fates Rejoiced!
In all my time living in this mortal world, I have never felt fear so great that I feel like I'm going to lose control, and now that I am the Lord… Queen of the dominant realm, when I almost have all of Ethica in the palm of my hand, where everyone bows before my presence, but here I am, trembling with fear.
I could feel the cry of the beast within me, he too could feel it…
One slave… is all it took.
I felt Miyu's eyes on me. I held Shizuru with one arm while my other held my bridle, urging my stallion to move faster. I could feel my muscles tremble. The beast was quiet; he too could feel the urgency in my actions. I wouldn't let my eyes cast down, for I do not want to see the bloody slave in my arms, for I know I may not be able to control the anger and lust for blood if I do.
It's been nearing sunset, and we still have a way to go, but I did not stop… I cannot stop, not now. I knew and felt that Miyu wanted to tell me something, perhaps she wanted for her troops to stop and rest, for they were weary from battle. I disregard this feeling and pushed on.
The hooves of horses following me dwindled, I looked back to see the captain stop, she was talking to her lieutenant. A nod, and Miyu was once again on my tail, she was urging her horse to speed up and catch me.
"The troops?" I shouted against the onslaught of wind. Miyu caught up and her horse was sprinting alongside mine.
"I told them to rest and proceed to main camp in two candle marks!" Miyu shouted back.
I nodded my head. In two candlemarks, the same amount of time that Miyu gave her troops, we will be arriving in the camp... if we continue in our current speed.
"My queen," Miyu started, "I should inform you that my mare might not be able to sustain this speed for that long, if this happens, you have to proceed without me!" she shouted.
I looked at her, "How about you?"
She smiled, "I am a trained warrior my queen, there is no need for you to worry. We have to get Shizuru to Sagisawa-sensei before it's too late for her."
My face now dawn the mask of a true paladin, I nodded my head in understanding and looked forward keeping my speed. My captain followed suit.
Pain… so much pain, it feels like my gut is being pulled out of my abdomen, the grating of something hard digging inside of me increases the sensation, Oh god… let me die…
I could feel the heaviness of my lids, I wanted to keep it shut, but the constant moving that causes me more pain prohibits me from doing so. Slowly, I opened my eyes to see the darkening sky above me, a little movement of my head, and there she was… my new queen.
Her face wore a mask, the mask of a savior… my savior. Her eyes were focused on the road; I could hear her urge her horse to move faster. I could hear her heart thunder in her chest. Her warmth seeped through my cold body, cold? Yes… I am feeling cold, could this mean…
I tried to raise my arms, to reach for her face… her face now etched within my brain, a face I could bring with me when I depart. But my strength had long been gone, all I did was put my bloodied hand on her chest…
Was she looking at me? I couldn't be sure, for my eyes felt very heavy at this time. I think she was saying something… I couldn't understand… hm?
"Yes… my… lord…,"
And darkness claimed me once more.
I closed my eyes, I could feel her moving. She can't be conscious now; one candle mark and we'll be there! I thought, but my thought was interrupted by a bloodied hand on my chest. I couldn't stop myself so I looked down. Her once lively crimson eyes were dull, tears flowing from them. Her hand… her hand was cold.
"MIYU! Shizuru… she's…"
Miyu's horse once again gained speed to sprint beside me, "She's awake, barely," she said, "She is losing more blood my queen, you have to move faster."
I nodded my head, "I shall be leaving you then?"
"Yes my queen, I will be sure to follow."
I nodded again, "Be careful, I don't want Nao to take my head off if you return harmed." I was wearing my serious mask as I said it. I saw her smile.
And then I looked down once again and saw her eyes closing, "Shizuru!" I shouted but I got no answer from her. She's slipping away and I'm not going to let her! "Shizuru listen to me, I am your queen and you must do what I command you! Understand me?!" still there was no answer, "Live Shizuru! Don't die, do you hear me?! Shizuru that's not a request, that's an order!"
Silence… then I heard it, it was faint but it was her…
"Yes… my… lord…,"
And it also took only one slave to make me cry.
My lids felt heavy once again. My whole body was in pain. I couldn't remember though what caused it. I tried to move my body but the searing pain it cause prevented me from doing so. A wince graced my face. I lifted one arm, it was heavy but thankful enough I could move it. And then slowly, I opened my eyes.
I wasn't in my chamber in Fuuka, that I know since I could see the flapping cloth that makes up a tent. I closed my eyes once again as I remember being given as a gift to the Lord Conqueror. Then that's when I noticed, I was lying on a very comfortable futon, and the smell of disinfectant very distinguishable. When I once again opened my eyes, I tried to look around, try to familiarize myself with the surrounding.
The futon was at the middle of a large tent. A made up rectangular, wooden table was at my right, on it were different bottles of - what I guessed were disinfectants and pain medicines. To my left was a large square wooden table. The top I could not see, but there were papers scattered on it. Along the tent wall to my right was a large quilted material that I could surmise to be a chair of some sort. On the front wall, the one facing me was an insignia… it was of a crying wolf, and behind the wolf, a two edge sword whose handle bore the mark of Windbloom.
My inspection was cut short by the opening of the flap that served as the door of the tent, and a pink haired woman went in.
"Oh! You are awake!" she happily stepped closer to where I lay. I tried to sit up but she was fast in preventing me, "You don't want to tear the stitches now, do you?" she said grinning.
I nodded and bowed down. She doesn't look like a servant woman like me.
"Hey," she raised my head up and urged me to meet her eyes, "I'm Irina, and I'm doctor Sagisawa's apprentice." She said energetically.
"Am I…," I tried to bow down again, old habits die hard, but she prevented me from doing so.
"There's no need to cast your eyes down, in this domain, everyone is instructed to see everyone in the eyes, so that you'll know who is your enemy and who is your friend." She smiled, "Shizuru right?"
I nodded my head, "Am I in a medical…" I was cut short by her uncharacteristic, and unlady like laugh.
"We are at a camp, post-war and in between transition, so this is not the medical bay. We only have a medic hut, but if you notice, there's no one here other than you. So, the answer is no, you're not in any of those."
"I actually came here to check on you. Your arrival had turned the camp upside down you know," she said grinning.
I was at a lost, the last thing I remember was the carriage and the desert… then a searing pain before my world was thrown in blackness, and then the greenest of eyes… Upside down? I wonder what happened. "How long…,"
"Four days and three moons." She said before sighing, "We thought you were dead when the queen brought you in here."
The Queen… the Lord Conqueror… she saved me once again.
"Why?" I asked no one in particular
"What do you mean why?" I watched as her eyebrows met in a frown,
"I am but a lowly servant, she could have just left me,"
The woman Irina grinned once again, "Yeah, she should have. There were soldiers left in the field who had sustained injuries such as yours, they are as good as dead, but I cannot answer you, The Queen's mind is her own, no one dared ask her of her actions, maybe except for…,"
My eyes said I was interested to know. She sighed once again.
"You're a part of the domain now, soon you'll know." She smiled, "I think I may have talked too much." She said before looking at my eyes, "No wonder, you got the most enigmatic and gorgeous eyes." She said, "Forgive me, but I need your help in cleaning your wound and changing bandage."
No wonder? What does she mean by that? I nodded and kept the question for some other day.
The cleaning was done swiftly and efficiently. The pain was minimal and it was more of a discomfort than what I thought it would be like. My mind though was once again on my Lord, my Paladin.
I was nursing a cup of the finest wine that Nao got from Zipang. I was sitting on the lone chair inside Chie's tent who was contented in lying down on the futon with Nao. My other sister Haruka was standing just at the entrance, she was nursing her own cup of wine while watching me.
"She will be alright," Haruka-neesan broke the silence.
"I know," I said but my eyes and my actions said otherwise. It had been four days and three moons, if we count tonight, then its four days, four moons and Shizuru have not awaken yet.
It was embarrassing, the day I arrived at the camp, my face wet with tears that I couldn't stop from leaking. The bloodied and almost lifeless body of Shizuru in my arms, the emergence of a dark aura urging my men to keep Shizuru alive, the look I got from Yohko when Shizuru, but for a moment left this world.
I thought I'd burn my own camp to dust…
The wolf beast wanted the head of the Fuukan soldiers who have hurt and then killed my Shizuru.
Though the news of Yohko reviving her sent me to my knees… and I wailed for the first time. It was at this state that Miyu found me when she arrived. Everyone in the camp was agitated, they were all wondering what happened, who was the woman? And until now, everyone who knew of her had kept their lips sealed. Anyone who had questions dared not ask.
"I sent Irina to check on her." Nao said and then she sat up, looked at me directly,"The servant, why is she that important to you?" she asked. I just looked at her but did not answer. "Don't give me that silent treatment pup, if I have to wrestle it out of you I would!"
"Stop it Nao," Haruka-neesan interjected, "This isn't the time for that." She said keeping her eyes on me instead of looking at Nao.
Nao huffed, "I hate it when she mopes like that." She sighed.
"Shouldn't you be dragging your captain to your tent by now and have your way with her?" Chie asked in a bored way.
I watched Nao slapped Chie's arm a bit hard, "I am not a perverted woman like you who can't stop herself from ravishing her woman no matter where!"
"I'm not going to denounce that." Chie smiled at Nao who put out her tongue to her.
"Anyway, Miyu is helping Yohko in the medic bay." She sighed, "Want to hear the latest report on injury and death count, oh Queen Natsuki?"
I frowned, "Please," I said.
"As of tonight, there are one hundred twenty three soldiers injured, twenty five needed to stay at the medic hut, the others were sent back to their tents. Seventy two soldiers were reported dead."
"All these include the casualties and morbidities in Zipang?" I asked
"They were claimed and a camp wide pyre will be executed tomorrow eve at the eastern gate." Nao reported.
"The families of the dead?" I asked once again.
"I sent out messengers to the families for condolences. The benefits shall be arranged by Yukino." Haruka-neesan this time answered.
I nodded my head, "That's good."
Our conversation was interrupted by the presence of Irina who was standing at the back of Haruka. "Haruka-neesan," Nao said playfully, "I think the bird had some news for us, will you let her pass?"
Haruka-neesan frowned but sidestepped to let the pink haired woman in.
All our eyes were trained on her. Irina grinned. "She's awake, I re-bandaged her wound and it was healing fine. She's too weak though."
At the news, my ears perked up. My Shizuru is fine… she is alive. I abruptly stood and was about to step out of the tent –
"Why don't you let her rest first?" Chie asked.
"I will…" I sighed, "I just need to see that she's alright myself." I said and without anymore words I left Chie's tent.
I stepped closer to the made up futon of the tent that was supposed to be my quarter, silently, so that I would not disturb the sleeping woman on it. I now stood beside the bed, watching the woman's chest rise and fall. The rhythm calms me, it tells me that she is still of this world.
Three nights I have sat on the made up chair, staring at her, willing her to wake up… how I love to see those crimson eyes again. Now that I knew, I would wait 'til I get those eyes to look at me.
And wait I did not have to do.
For while I stood there, she stirred and her eyes slowly opened,
Then Crimson meets Emerald…
-End Chapter 7-
Next: Breaking camp… fluffy Shiznat…