The King Who Would Do Anything For His People

She rode in from the West, with five thousand warriors at her back. Five thousand men who would follow her every move as though they were her shadow. They gravitated toward her in an innate, primal manner, as though her luminescent aura was the moon itself. As though her mere presence pulled them toward her like the tide come nightfall. Her mischievously mesmerizing emerald orbs shimmered against the blazing apricot sun, as clouds melted upon it like butter on a skillet. If Helen was the face that launched a thousand ships, then hers would have surely launched a million. She was said to have made Aphrodite look like a mere peasant. Destroyer of Kings. Eater of Souls. Shaitan’s Angel. She went by many names, to those who had bore witness to her glorious wake of destruction.

The villagers of Mestal knew all too well of her enchanting powers. For a mere several days previous, their city had laid claim to the title of the most affluent in all the seven lands and all the seven seas. One visit from her, and…poof. It was gone in the blink of an eye. Devoured into the gaping maw that was her irresistible allure. The vile seductress, they denounced! They knew she was coming. A raven had flown in several weeks prior from the King of Sazac, a sworn enemy of the Mestale people. Waves of blood high enough to breach and pour over even the mighty, titanic walls of Mestal had been spilled between the two cities over countless years of battle. Yet the King of Sazac, now a broken man with nothing left but his pride, humbly pleaded with his mortal enemy to not open his gates for the witch. Pleaded he take heed of his warning of her otherworldly powers. For the King of Sazac, once a formidable and resolute foe, had been reduced to rubble, not even worthy of a second thought, in one fell swoop from her. Indeed, the people of Mestal knew she was coming, as they watched her march across the sands like a dazzling plague. Yet still, they were helpless to her whim. Mere dung beetles awaiting the inevitable and omnipotent boot crushing overhead.

The King of Mestal was renowned all across the seven lands and the seven seas for his immutable will, his fearless strength, and his iron constitution. He boasted before her arrival, as so many others foolishly had, that he was different. That the witch’s seductive charms would not work on him. For after all, he was the King of Mestal…not some bumbling, weakling in a crown who could be wooed like a naïve child by the tricks of a snake charmer. Yet when she came marching through Mestal’s hundred-foot tall, bronze gates, built upon decades of sweat and blood from thousands of men, keeping their city unbroached since its conception, he was reduced to nothing more than malleable clay in her skilled hands. Completely and utterly at her mercy, which, as always, she had none. It was rumored that the mighty King of Mestal, a man who had turned back the armies of the monstrously wild Kryagos three times, slaying their 10-foot tall leader in hand-to-hand combat, no less, a man who had conquered every foe which the Gods could throw at him, a man who had vanquished the direst and illest and most violent and deadly of enemies beneath his dragon-fire forged broadsword (or so the legend went), succumbed to her in a matter of seven seconds…

And thusly, all of Mestal’s gold, their vault brimming from years upon years of conquest, went to her. And in a matter of seven seconds, Mestal went from the richest city in all the seven lands and all the seven seas to simply another Sazac. For those were the terms of the agreement, and that was the law of the land. Some have, of course, pontificated on many an occasion as to why their Kings agreed to this challenge. Why give her the opportunity to rob them of their wealth? Why allow her the chance to destroy thousands of lives and decades of prosperity with but one gaze from her hypnotic, Medusa eyes? Perhaps it was a matter of pride. Perhaps arrogance. Perhaps still, fear of appearing weak and uncertain to their enemies. But the truest reason of all might simply have been that these indomitable, virile, self-assured demi-gods could not fathom to allow even the faintest of a possibility of the notion of being bested by a woman. Yet they all had. Every last one. And this brought her no shortage of pleasure. Their destruction sustained her like nectar to a Queen Bee. She fed upon their cries of supplication as she brought them to their knees through indescribable euphoria, followed abruptly by the cold realization of their vulnerability and defeat, feasting upon their misery like a Black Adder slowly draining its victim of life. For all the grandiose megaliths constructed in their name, and all the blood-stained triumphs won in their honor, she could defeat them without so much as lifting a blade. And now, like a caterpillar exiting imago, a sinister smirk crawled across her face as she gazed upon the stone castle looming on the horizon in the distance.

There was nothing particularly impressive about the City of Vergos. Its riches paled innumerably in comparison to Mestal…so much so that many would argue that a comparison could not even be made. In fact, the city was in actuality quite poor. Vergos had long been plagued by an unrelenting drought which decimated their crops, just as she had decimated so many cities upon her arrival. Predominantly comprised of small farmers, the city was crushed when their fields turned barren and their crops yielded fruitless season after season. The people of Vergos knew no other trade. They had been farmers their whole lives, dating back to the city’s inception, countless moons ago. What little gold they had left in their treasury would not have even paid for one of the King of Mestal’s extravagant feasts, of which he held frequently. It would not have even been enough to feed her army’s stallions. No, it was not the city’s paucity of gold which excited her to her very core, igniting a burning flame deep within her which she hadn’t felt the flicker of in years, but rather its ruler. For the City of Vergos was ruled by no ordinary man. The City of Vergos was ruled by the King who would do anything for his people…

Honorable. Just. Sacrificial. Selfless. These were but a smattering of words which were tossed around whilst describing the King of Vergos. He may not have been the most powerful man, nor the most affluent, nor even the most sage. But he was known all throughout the seven lands and the seven seas as a man who would, above all else, put his people before himself. No matter what. Whereas the King of Mestal enjoyed and indulged in the hedonistic pleasures of life, which his successes had afforded him many, the King of Vergos had neither desire nor aspiration for such proclivities. He was a simple man with simple taste, who only sought for his people to be happy and prosper under his rule. For to the King of Vergos, that was the sworn duty of a man who wore the crown. The prospect of a challenge excited her more than any of her vast riches ever could. She viewed men as pathetic, weak creatures, unable to control their most basic and primordial desires. That was why she undertook this self-imposed Crusade. The gold was ancillary. Only serving as an impetus for these languorous creatures to demonstrate some modicum of restraint. Something they proved her time and time again incapable of. And as she reached the pedestrian oak gates of Vergos, gates of which her army could have easily torn asunder in a matter of minutes, the only thought which raced through her head, which caused her grin to widen lasciviously from ear to ear, was how much she would enjoy breaking the spirit of this alleged “righteous” King.

She was escorted into the King’s rueful excuse of a castle, if one could even call the cobbled stone edifice as much, by his Royal Guard. Five battle-scarred and weary men. Their armor as dinged as their faces. Tanned and sinewy muscled from years of not only battle, but labor as well. For in Vergos, everyone had to work the fields. There were no exceptions. Including the King himself, who was said to have risen before the sun even made its way out of its self-imposed solitude, to work the plough. She looked at their leader, the Hand of the King, a stoic man adorned in scars like some sort of slave-born Gladiator, and said something she never had before. “If I were to promise you half of my gold, right now, would you kill your King?” She said this out of amusement, more than anything. But his lack of response excited her even more. He simply marched on. Completely and utterly unfazed by her offer. Not even a moment’s hesitation. Perhaps the King of Vergos would indeed present her with something she secretly ached for. She immediately proceeded to up the ante, as her right hand slid down to the strategically low-cropped top of her dress. Her hand sank beneath her perfectly formed breast and squeezed ever so gently. Eliciting the faintest of moans, her voice like the ichor of the Gods. Yet despite her allurement, the Hand of the King did not dare gaze into her inviting eyes, likely wisely instructed so, but a faint smirk did creep across his face. She seemed mildly disappointed, nay, insulted, as a gravelly sound escaped his lungs. “We’re almost there, my lady.”

As they approached the King’s Chamber, a horrible cacophony of wailing sadness assaulted her ears. She gazed to her right as they passed a chamber room, the door still open. Inside, her eyes locked onto the Queen of Vergos. An attractive woman in her own right, to be certain. But she could not compete with the sheer, unmitigated beauty of the seductress. After all, who could? She was sobbing frantically as a pair of consoling maidens attempted, in vain, to assuage her. But the Queen would not be assuaged. Tears streamed down her face like matching twin waterfalls, eyes stained a deep crimson red. She knew why the Queen was crying. She knew what the Queen already knew. That soon, her husband would lie with another woman, breaking his sacred vows. And there was nothing the Queen could do about it. She had seen many Queens of many Kings before she did what she did. Yet somehow, this time, it was different. They were never pleased for her arrival, of course. But none had ever demonstrated such a genuine and renowned sense of emotion. The Queen of Vergos was unequivocally heartbroken. And this, again, only served to further elate her. The Queen’s sincere misery supplicated the woman to an endless degree. Yes, she decided that she would indeed relish breaking this King more than any other she ever had.

The Hand of the King escorted her into the King’s spartan chamber. No gold chalices, nor silken sheets, nor opulent marble statues adorned the room. Only a simple wooden bed, a simple wooden table, and in the center of the constrained chamber, a simple stone throne. And on that simple stone throne sat the King of Vergos. He winced, as though in discernible pain, as he raised his right palm to dismiss his Hand. The scarred gladiator nodded obediently and left the room. Left the two of them to their dance to the death. She locked eyes with the King of Vergos. His obsidian orbs were so dark that they seemed to devour light in its entirety, devoured the enchanting emerald glow cast by hers. Swallowing up her gaze like a dying star sucked into twin black holes. This caused something she had never felt before to pry and wriggle its way into her previously impenetrable fortress of a heart…the faintest twinge of unease. She quickly averted her glance from his vacuous gaze and began to recompose herself as she took in the rest of the King of Vergos. He was not a particularly physically imposing man…average height, average build. His face lean and chiseled like a hound. She had imposed her will on exceedingly more virile and attractive men than he. She assuaged herself with the comforting truth that she had conquered dozens upon dozens of kings, and this one was no different, she decided. Just a man…and nothing more…

At last, the King of Vergos opened his thin lips to speak. “Many years ago there was an old man who lived in a cottage by the sea. No one knew where the old man came from, or how long he’d been there, or even what his name was. One day, on his 10th birthday, a young boy was given a horse. All of the villagers said, ‘Oh, how wonderful for the young boy.’ But not the old man. Instead, he said, ‘We’ll see.’ Two years later, the young boy falls off of the horse and breaks his leg. And all of the villagers proclaimed, ‘Oh no, how awful for the young boy.’ The old man replied, ‘We’ll see.’ The next week, war came to the village and every healthy man and boy was forced to take up sword and fight. But not the boy, for he had the broken leg and was unable to fight. ‘How lucky for the young boy,’ the villagers asserted. Again, the old man replied, ‘We’ll see…’”

She cocked her head at the King’s quixotic tale, without any particular interest as to its veracity one way or the other, nor to its relevance to their current disposition. Her sultry lips unfurled as she retorted plainly, “Do you have the timer?” The King nodded his head to that simple wooden table, on which the sand hourglass sat. She picked up the timer and inspected it with a devilish grin. Exactly five minutes worth of granules. Not that she’d need that much. She’d never had. The longest any man had ever been able to preserve themselves from her seduction was exactly 188 seconds. The King of Cortez. A devoutly religious and pious man. Nearly 100 years old and allegedly hadn’t touched a woman in almost a fifth of those years since he pledged his life to the Elder Gods. Yet he too crumbled beneath her magnetism. They all had, and they all will. It was as inevitable as the sunrise. As unavoidable as death itself. She truly was a Goddess of Destruction, and the King of Vergos was about to discover this firsthand. “Your High Priest came in earlier to ensure the accuracy of the device, if you’re worried.” She turned to face the King, this time, any hint of unease or malaise long extradited from her exquisite frame. “No, I’m not worried, King of Vergos. But you…you should be.”

The hourglass thudded gently against the wooden table as the King flipped it over. And as the tiniest of granules made their daring descent from one end of the device and through the wormhole to the second, she began to disrobe. The silken shoulders of her blood red dress carelessly tumbled to her waist, revealing two perfectly formed breasts, supple yet firm and voluptuous. As though neither time nor age could ever diminish their sheer and burgeoning ethereality. She seductively bit her lusciously full lower lip as her hands slowly and deliberately shed the remainder of her garment from her immaculate figure like a snake molting itself of its skin, revealing its true form. She now stood before the King in all her exquisitely paradisiacal splendor, naked as the day the Gods crafted her divine form. Everything about the woman was hypnotically delectable. From her flowing blonde locks, as though King Midas himself had caressed every inch of her hair, to her primally enticing curves which sparked a deep-seated and innate biological codex in the male species to inseminate and propagate with her at all costs. The King should have been helpless. He should have been ravishing her instantaneously, like a wild, carnal animal, at the mere sight of her enrapturing sexuality. Yet he wasn’t…

Instead, the King surveyed her exquisite form with great appreciation and marvel rather than lust. Appreciated her as one does a transcendental, awe-inspiring work of art. Nodding his head in wonderment he said, “The tales of your unparalleled and incomparable beauty have still not served to do you justice, my lady. I love my wife with every fiber of my heart and soul…but as an honest man, I cannot lie and cannot help but confess that even her impeccable beauty pales in comparison to your own. Pales as does a star to the sun. You are truly the single most beautiful creature I or any man has ever laid their eyes upon.” Yet his words belied his actions. There he continued to sit. Unmoving from his pedestrian stone throne. Like the tide to the moon, he should have been drawn to her. Compelled to her. He should have been panting and moaning deep inside of her with each thrust, like a feral beast, until she squeezed his essence from him. And with his essence, his entire dignity, his entire Kingdom, his entire manhood. Yet still, there he sat. Unmoved.

She eyed the hourglass with a flicker of her unnaturally green orbs, exuding the faintest hints of nervousness creeping within them. She still had some three minutes remaining, she surmised. More than enough time to sink her pincers within the stubborn King. Perhaps she had underestimated him, she thought. But she knew once he felt her euphoric body against his, he would succumb. He was only a man, after all, wasn’t he? And with that thought, her eyes shifted from the ceaselessly moving granules of sand and to the King, with a mischievous smirk as she sauntered over to him entrancingly.

The King stoically watched her as her soft hands wrapped themselves around the back of his neck, causing his hairs to stiffen on end. She lifted herself onto his throne, straddling him with her naked body. Her more than ample, taut breasts pressed hard against his chest. Her nipples harder than the diamonds which bejeweled his wife’s necklace, he thought. A mellifluous moan escaped her supple lips as her succulent thighs wrapped around him like a vice. She nipped his ear with her pearly white teeth as she whispered ambrosially, “You acknowledge my beauty from a distance, as any man with functioning eyes would, but tell me, King of Vergos, how do I feel pressed against your manhood? Does my nectarious scent not compel your more primal instincts?” Her tongue lashed his ear, punctuating her point. She began to serenade his neck in increasingly euphoric kisses. Nibbling upon his skin in a way which would have driven even the most asexual of men mad with lust. The King winced as she grinded her womanhood against him. Winced as though in great discomfort. She grinned widely as she fathomed the discomfort was surely due to his desperate attempts to withstand the inevitable succumbing of his base desires. Yes, she had the King on the ropes now. Like a helpless insect trapped in her Black Widow’s web, she circled him with a voracious hunger. For it would only be a matter of seconds before he gave in to her irresistible seduction…

Or so she thought. The King gazed his vacuous gaze to the hour glass. Only roughly a minute worth of sand granules had yet to make their unavoidable pilgrimage to the bottom of the glass. The King of Vergos calmly stared straight into her mesmeric emerald eyes and said plainly, “Our village has suffered for some time now, you see. Ceaseless droughts. Countless incursions we are not prepared to defend ourselves from. Your wealth…it will revitalize this once great city. Your soldiers…they will defend this once great city. Like a Phoenix from the ashes, Vergos shall rise again and ascend to become the most powerful city in all the seven lands and all the seven seas. The people of Vergos are good people. Honorable people. They deserve better than I’ve been able to give them. They deserve my sacrifice. So my sacrifice, I have given them…”

The woman could hear her heart’s pace intensify in ferocity as she cast a panicked glare to the wooden hour glass. The granules appeared to be increasing in the speed of their plight. Increasing in unison with her increasing sense of overwhelming panic and dread. They wouldn’t stop. Mocking her with each crawl over that event horizon into the vacuum that was the device’s narrowed portal. Thirty seconds left, she wagered. Her fortitude hardened like steel. No more games, she thought. This man was just a man! Like every other man she had consumed with her inexorable allure. She returned her wildly seductive eyes to the King and began to run her hand down his chest as she grinded and bucked against him in a frenzied pace, like a dog in heat. “Perhaps I’ve misjudged you, King of Vergos. Perhaps that display from your Queen was just for show. An intentional rouse. And a clever one, at that. Perhaps it’s not the fairer sex you prefer at all… No matter…you think you’re the first man I’ve turned to his Gods given origin?” she uttered. The King turned his head and watched as the last few granules made their final descent.

In an act of sheer desperation, her final trump card, she slid her hand down between his legs. Her face turned pale as a ghost. The life drained from it just as the hour glass’ bottom side drained the final granule of sand. Incredulous, she gazed blankly at the King as it was only then in her final moment of defeat that she realized just exactly why the Queen of Vergos was so inconsolable. No, it was not because she feared for the sanctity of her marriage. It was not her husband’s impending infidelity with another woman which caused her such despair. For that she had already known was an impossibility. What caused the Queen of Vergos such unrestrainable anguish, such pure, unmitigated melancholy, was the fact that she would never know the joy of mothering a child… For when the seductress slid her hand between the King’s legs, she felt nothing. Nothing but a blood stained mound of flesh where his manhood used to be…

Every villager in the city of Vergos gathered to behold the scene. Her eyes no longer shimmered nor glistened against that apricot morning sun, as she watched them murmur in delight. The power those eyes once held, now sapped dry as the barren soil of Vergos. A dying star, exhausted of its energy before collapsing onto itself like a Samurai upon his tanto. But it wasn’t a tanto which she cared about now, but rather the guillotine’s blade which hovered ominously over her exposed neck. She looked up at the crowd with a subdued gaze. A mixture of paralysis and incredulity pained her once fearless features. The realization of the previous day’s events slowly and somberly numbed her over like a blowfish’s toxin. They pointed in awe. Others more brazen laughed with spite. She was able to twist her neck against her wooden restraints just far enough to make out the raised platform in the corner of her eye. Flanking the platform were her 5,000 once loyal soldiers, now loyal soldiers of the City of Vergos. No longer hers to command. Not but 24 hours prior, every single one of those men would have fallen upon their blades at her behest without so much as batting an eyelash. But that was before… Before the King of Vergos had torn her divine allure asunder, torn asunder as she had countless cities and countless men. Before the King of Vergos had besmirched her aura of Goddess-like invincibility. She was only a woman, after all, wasn’t she? There in the middle of the platform sat the King and Queen of Vergos, hand in hand. The Queen’s gaze met hers. Her eyes cruel and full of malicious satisfaction. The woman’s suffering supplicated her. She smirked wryly at the woman as the hooded executioner pulled his level. As the blade hummed through the air, the final thought that ran through the woman’s head — before it was eviscerated from her spine — was that in all the seven lands and seven seas, the King of Vergos truly was the King who would do anything for his people.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store