DISCLAIMER : The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and some others belong in their entirety to Universal/MCA, Renaissance Pictures, and all the other powers that be. No copyright infringement is intended. I wrote this story at the urging of my muse; it should never be used for profit.

This story is a sequel to the stories “Lord Conqueror of the Realm” and "Queen of the Realm." I strongly recommend you read them first because in this story there are references to events that took place in them. Here is where you can find them:



LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER : This story involves both love and sex (at times some rough/raw play with very mild BDSM elements – all consensual - nothing severe) between two adult women. If you're under 18 or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it.

SPECIAL THANKS : My humble most ardent gratitude to the excellent, most brilliant Beta readers Nancyjean and Alexandriaruth whom I can't thank enough.

Comments, thoughts, questions & feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post – I mean it!


Go To Part 1


Princess of the Realm

Written by WarriorJudge

Part 14

The following night, on the Queen's road on route to Thessaly , the Conqueror stood in her tent with the Imperial Guard's Chief Commander Periander and the Chief Commander of the Spartan Legion Amyntas.

"Have all the men eaten, Commanders?" the Conqueror asked.

"Yes, Majesty," both Commanders replied in unison.

"Is the first shift of the Night Guard posted around camp?"

"Yes, Majesty," they answered.

A mild wind pushed itself relentlessly against the fabric of the ridge tent, but the poles were rigid enough and the stakes were firmly embedded into the ground to keep the provisional structure steadily in place. Small flames were guttering in the candles surrounding the maps of Thessaly and Epirus splayed atop the table, when the Conqueror sent her long forefinger and pinned it into one of the maps.

"Likos' villa is roughly a hundred and fifty feet east of the Theatre in Larissa." The Conqueror tapped the tip of her finger against a specific point in the map. "Here," she said.

Both Commanders studied the map and memorized it in their heads.

"Sirus' villa is two hundreds and fifty feet south of the Theatre of Dodona not far from mount Tomarus . It will be easier to attack them from Thesportia."

The Commanders followed their Master's forefinger running on the map of Epirus .

"Commander Periander, you will take the Imperial Guard to Epirus when we near the end of our way on the Queen's road. I want Sirus' entire family, his wife, his children and their wives and children, his mistresses, his entire household – the lot - captured alive. Do not let anyone escape you either by fleeing or by taking their own lives. Are my orders clear?"

"Yes, your Majesty," the Imperial Guard's Chief Commander exclaimed.

The Conqueror turned her attention to Commander Amyntas next. "Commander Amyntas, we will go after Likos. As with Sirus, I want his entire family, his wife, his sons and their families, his household and all mistresses captured alive – none of them is to either flee or take their own lives."

It wasn't an arbitrary order that the Conqueror gave when choosing the Spartan Legion specifically to march on Thessaly with her. Spartans are trained as warriors from the age of seven when they are taken from their mothers, grouped together as packs and sent to the Agoge for military training. They become inured to hardship, being provided with scant food and clothing. Aside from hardening them, this also encourages them to steal, and if they are caught, they are punished severely – not for stealing, but for being caught. Spartan warriors walk without making noise. Of all traitors, the Conqueror lusted after the blood of Likos and his sons to be shed in public by her own hand the most, and therefore the Conqueror picked the highest skilled force at her disposal for that particular task.

Many years ago, the rising young Conqueror from Amphipolis had studied the Spartans. Before coming to them, she had learnt about their King, his pride and his people's honor, and so devised the optimal plan to defeat them. The Conqueror had brought her army to Sparta , it was southwest of Corinth and merely twenty leagues away and had offered the Spartan King a choice: either go to war and suffer great loses, or a combat between her and his best warrior and whoever lost, surrendered. The Spartan King himself had fought her and lost. Bound by their dead King's word, the Spartan had had no choice other than to honor it and surrender, thus becoming a province of the Realm. A few of the Conqueror's advisors had told her that she ought to take the dead King's wife to her bed to complete her conquest and show her power to the Spartans, but the Conqueror had rejected the advice. Humiliating them would have been counterproductive in obtaining their loyalty, and the Conqueror had been correct.

"Yes, your Majesty," the Spartan Legion's Chief Commander confirmed the order.

"Very good, Commanders. Deliver my orders to your second in command and down the chain of command tomorrow morning. You have two days to present me with three battle-plans for each front and three plans to infiltrate the Noblemen's villas. Take the maps with you," the Conqueror commanded , rolling the parchments and handing them to the Commanders. Next, the Conqueror opened the table drawer, retrieved two more scrolls and handed them to the Commanders, too, and concluded, "And the schematics to the Noblemen's villas."

"By your will, Majesty," both Commanders confirmed and placed the parchments under their shield-arms.

"Commanders, we have some seventy-five more leagues to cover before we reach the edges of Thessaly . It would take us six more days to get there. I want us to get there in five. Order the men to their bedrolls, Commanders, for they will need their strength come first light."

"The Imperial Guard is already in their bedrolls, Majesty," Commander Periander stated, proud of his subordinates' discipline.

"So is the Spartan Legion, your Majesty," Commander Amyntas was quick to state as well, as if in some clandestine, subliminal competition with the Imperial Guard.

The Conqueror smirked knowingly and beheld Commander Amyntas intently. "Perhaps they are, only they are not sleeping, are they?!"

Commander Amyntas burst into laughter, for he knew what his Master was insinuating. When Spartans are trained as warriors, they are encouraged to take lovers within their own ranks, believing it would give them yet another incentive to commit heroics on the battlefield.

"They have another half a candle-mark to cease swiving each other and preserve their strength for battle. From then on and until we are on the way back home, there will be no more fornication."

"I have already issued the order, Majesty," Commander Amyntas said.

"Very good. Sleep well, Commander. We move out at first light." the Conqueror dismissed him and the Spartan left his Master's tent.

Commander Periander was curious as to why the Conqueror hadn't dismissed him as well yet, but soon enough the reason was revealed to him.

"Before we left Corinth , you went to receive the Queen's Majesty's blessing, did you not?" the Conqueror asked him and kept a stoic expression about her.

He wouldn't even conceive lying about it to his Master. "I did, your Majesty," he admitted, and braced himself, believing he would soon suffer the consequences for appearing to side with the Queen. The thought of how the Conqueror had found out never even crossed his mind at that moment.

"I heard the men talking," the Conqueror provided an answer to the unasked question.

Commander Periander wasn't surprised by the fact that the Conqueror had obviously overheard whispered conversations from a considerable distance. He slightly lowered his head. "I meant no disrespect, Majesty. I acted without malice or defiance against your Majesty. Leaving without the Queen's Majesty's blessing would have been demoralizing for the men," he said then added, "And for me."

But the Conqueror evinced no anger.

"How did you find her Majesty?" the Conqueror asked, her exterior betraying none of her thoughts.

"Despondent, Majesty," he replied without hesitation. "Her Majesty deeply worries for your Majesty and seemed greatly saddened that your Majesty…" the seasoned Commander halted his tongue.

A few silent moments had passed between them, before the Conqueror said to him, "Goodnight, Commander."


Four days after the Conqueror had left for Thessaly , the Queen could no longer stand being confined within the palace walls any longer. No word had come from her Lord and she hadn't been expecting it either. She was surprised to learn that her Lord obviously hadn't sent for the Governor of Athens to manage the Realm in her absence. The Queen took it to mean that despite all that had passed between them, her Lord trusted her still as regent and, by not inviting the Governor of Athens, wordlessly expressed her wish that the Queen manage the Realm in her stead, and by doing so also expressed her trust for all to know and acknowledge.

Close to dusk, once matters of the Realm for that day had all been dealt with, the Queen sent out a request for Princess Sieglinde to join her and, accompanied by their ladies in waiting, both Royals went out for a stroll in the Imperial Gardens before supper.

"The air always smells like this before winter comes," the Queen pointed out to Princess Sieglinde as they walked side by side near the lily pond.

Princess Sieglinde smiled. "I think I understand what your Majesty means," she said, inwardly delighting on the precious memory of Princess Athena kissing her on the lips. The Nordic Princess understood that the Queen did not invite her for a stroll simply to exchange musings on the weather. "Your Majesty must miss the Lord Conqueror, terribly," she continued, giving the Queen a venue to speak her mind.

"You cannot imagine, your Grace, just how much," the Queen spoke, then quickly remembered that Athena was gone as well and the challenging complexities of their marriage. "I did not mean…"

"I understand your Majesty's meaning well," Princess Sieglinde said and threw a glance over her shoulder, signaling their servants, who were walking a few paces behind them, to cease from advancing with them and allow some distance for privacy.

"Majesty," she said and averted her gaze back to the Queen, "I know all about the division between the Lord Conqueror and your Majesty and so I know that your Majesty has been missing the Lord Conqueror for far longer than the last four days. It breaks my heart to see it."

The Queen was about to protest but Princess Sieglinde continued, "I realize, of course, that your Majesty will not discuss the matter…"

The Queen didn't let Sieglinde finish her sentence. "I wish with all my heart that things were different. I wish her Grace could love…"

"We cannot choose," Sieglinde began to say.

"But I hope you know, I could not wish for a better daughter-in-law or for a better spouse to Athena," the Queen said in all honesty and with moist eyes.

"I do know, your Majesty," Princess Sieglinde said and took the Queen's hands in hers to comfort her. "With your permission, Majesty, I wish to invite the Lady Cynna to reside in the palace while the Lord Conqueror and Min Herre are away."

For a brief moment the Queen thought her ears were deceiving her. Her eyes widened with complete astonishment.

Princess Sieglinde explained, "She is all alone and must be out of her senses worrying about Min Herre, and Min Herre does love her. In the palace she will be safer and in our company and it will please Min Herre when she returns."

The Queen's consternation did not lessen.

Princess Sieglinde fixed her grey gaze on the Queen and said, "For years I have seen my mother turn a blind eye to my father's countless infidelities. She was a devoted wife to him until the day she died. Years later, my father took ill and when he felt death upon him and when he sensed Odin standing at his bedside waiting to take him to Valhalla, my father wept and cried out my mother's name, no one else's."

Queen Gabrielle realized two things as she could no longer arrest her tears from washing down her cold cheeks: the first, that Princess Sieglinde wasn't a great King's daughter, but a great Queen's daughter; the second, that Princess Sieglinde reminded her of a lesson that she seemed to have forgotten and it humbled her to be reminded of it by a younger Princess much wiser than her years.

The Queen opened her arms and held Princess Sieglinde tightly in a motherly fashion.

After a few moments they resumed sauntering side by side together, before the Queen cleared her throat to raise a delicate matter. "There is something of great importance that you ought to know," she began to say and looked sideways to catch sight of Princess Sieglinde's features. "When her Grace returns from war, she will return… different."

"Battle-lust, like the Lord Conqueror. I have heard the rumors already, Majesty." Princess Sieglinde caught the Queen off-guard once more.

"Do you understand what it means?" the Queen inquired, thinking there could be no possible way for Princess Sieglinde to truly grasp it without witnessing it first hand, without staring the beast in the eye and feeling it upon the flesh.

"I think I do, your Majesty," Princess Sieglinde replied after awhile.

"I cannot see how so," the Queen said, not wishing to belittle Princess Sieglinde's wisdom on the one hand and on the other, not wishing to send her to face what was to come like sheep to the slaughter, unknowing. "Please, hear me, sweet Sieglinde," she urged and grabbed the younger woman's forearm, letting her know just how serious a matter it was. "' Battle-lust' are not just words. It is a cruel and powerful creature, which you have never seen before. It is brutal domination over body and soul. It will demand your submission in ways you could never even conceive. It is the horrors of war and unquenchable, vicious lust in the blood of…"

"It is not I who will be its objective," Sieglinde cut through the Queen's speech using a tone of voice that the Queen had never heard her use before, "and if I am to be its objective, then I shall do my duty."

Both Royals were immersed in deep thoughts and after awhile, Princess Sieglinde was compelled to say, "Please forgive me, your Majesty. I meant no offense."

"None taken, your Grace. Tomorrow morning I wish for you to join me at the Great Hall and observe the proceedings of managing the Realm and handling the officials. One day you will be Queen and it would please me and honor me if you would benefit from my experience."

"It would be my honor and pleasure entirely, Majesty."

"And before supper, we shall both pay a visit to the Lady Cynna together, to show her our respect and invite her to stay with us in the palace."

"Thank you for your generosity, Majesty," Princess Sieglinde smiled.

"It must have been horrifying and upsetting for you when you first learnt about your brother's treachery."

“His betrayal has disappointed me to be sure, but I do not pity him for what he is about to suffer. However, my heart does go out to my people who follow him blindly into the abyss, not realizing the grave danger and devastation about to fall on their heads.”

Princess Sieglinde had all the makings of a great queen. Queen Gabrielle had never doubted her Lord's judgment; perhaps she'd never realized just how astute it had really been. Regardless, her quarrel with the Conqueror hadn't been about whether Princess Sieglinde was a suitable match or not, but rather about the fact that their Heir had not cared for her but for another.

The following day, the Queen and Princess Sieglinde left the Great Hall close to dusk. Four chariots driven by Imperial Guards were waiting for them at the palace gates.

The Royals were assisted when climbing onto the chariots by the guards. Queen Gabrielle thought, regardless of their primary intention of visiting with Cynna, it was a good idea for them to travel through the streets of Corinth during wartime, thus inspiring and instilling calmness, confidence and a sense of normalcy among their subjects.

As the Royal chariots rolled over the city's pavements, with banners of the Realm flapping in the wind, people took to the streets to see their beloved Queen and their future Queen. The streets filled up in what seemed like a blink of an eye. Men, women and children bowed and curtsied before the galloping chariots and cheered to the top of their lungs.

When they arrived at Cynna's villa, the chariots came to a screeching halt, and when the Royals were helped climbing down the chariots, music, drunkard laughter and clapping hands could be heard all the way from inside the villa out to the outer gates of the estate. Queen Gabrielle and Princess Sieglinde exchanged puzzled looks between them as they walked down the path leading to the villa, the Imperial guards at each of their sides.

When they reached the doors, the Queen did not bother with rapping on it.

"Open it!" her vexed voice ordered the guardsman to her right.

He grabbed the handle and swung the doors open as he was ordered.

The Queen was the first one to place her foot over the threshold.

The very moment that one of Cynna's guests caught sight of the vexed Queen standing at the entrance, he exclaimed, "Majesty!" and knelt before her, his dreading voice audible over the playing music.

Immediately after, the music died and all heads were sharply turned to the entrance, as well.

"Majesty," many utterances were emitted from all guests present in the main hall.

As they were bowing and curtsying in silence, the Queen stepped further into the main hall. She passed by them in silence, and nothing but her footsteps against the stony floor could be heard. None of them lifted their heads, for none dared to catch even a glimpse of the Queen of the Realm.

The Queen's eyes roamed through the hall, taking inventory of the tables loaded with food and wine, of the musicians still clasping their instruments as they were still bowing before her, at the women dancers scantly clad to arouse their viewers' passions and spirits. The entire scene they made, the Queen thought, was a disgraceful display of improper and ill-timed dissoluteness and decadence.

The sight and the shameful impression were not lost on Princess Sieglinde, standing at the entrance still.

"Subjects of the Realm!" the Queen's voice was commanding and fault-finding, "you should all count your blessings that my Lord has never decreed a law against behaving in poor taste, otherwise I would have ordered your arrests forthwith."

The Queen reached Cynna, who was still curtsying with her head and gaze buried in the ground, and announced, "The feast is over! Leave at once!"

Some rushed; others swaggered to the doors, many forgetting to take their belongings with them, leaving them behind so as not to linger and thus perhaps perceived as disobeying the Queen's command. As they passed through Princess Sieglinde and the guards at the entrance, all still hanged their heads down, mute.

When the hall was emptied and only the Queen and Cynna remained, the Queen fixed her livid glare on Athena's mistress and ordered, "Get up!"

Cynna lifted herself upwards to her full stature, her eyes evading the Queen's.

"How dare you host a feast, while her Grace is out risking her life engaging in war?!" the Queen shouted at her. "I trusted Shamaness Smyrna 's judgment, for after all she chose you and trained you as her apprentice so to one day become Shamaness to our Amazon sisters."

The mention of the Shamaness sounded to Cynna like a distant memory from another lifetime. "I beg your Majesty's forgiveness, but it is because of my great concern for her Grace that I needed some merriment to distract me from my worries."

That answer aggravated the Queen's ire even worse than the feast itself. She did not fail to notice the honorific in which Cynna used to address her.

"Do you think me feebleminded?! I defended you to my Lord. Have you any idea at what terrible cost?"

"Majesty, on my life I swear it, I love her Grace with all my heart."

The Queen beheld Cynna for a long time, studying her, and then she finally said, "I came here at the bequest of her Grace, Princess Sieglinde, to invite you to live with us at the palace for the duration of the war. In light of what I've seen here, I have changed my mind." The Queen made her way to the exit, and before she left, she turned one last time and threw at her daughter's mistress, "You will do well not to host any more feasts."

On the ride back to the palace, Princess Sieglinde brought the Queen out of her deep musings and pleaded, "Majesty, I pray you not to tell Min Herre about what just happened."

The Queen understood her daughter-in-law's request. Whether Cynna was indeed manipulating Athena or not, Athena, she knew, had to learn the truth for herself. In any event, despite her words uttered in blind fury to Cynna regarding the price she had paid, she spoke not the truth. She had been maintaining her stance against her Lord for Athena's happiness' sake and most certainly not for Cynna's sake. As such, even despite what had taken place in Cynna's villa, her stance did not alter. Athena was trapped still in a loveless marriage of her Lord's design.

"I will not speak a word of it," the Queen promised and then addressed the Imperial Guards. "And neither will you," she commanded them.

"Yes, Majesty," they all replied.

Back in the palace, after taking supper with Princess Sieglinde and Princess Terreis, the Queen was the one to put Princess Terries to sleep instead of her nurses. When she kissed her goodnight, she promised the anxious child that the Conqueror would be home soon.

Exhausted, she fell into her bed but sleep seemed to be far from reach. When she grew tired of tossing and turning, she got up and made her way to the Imperial Chambers. She entered the chambers she had shared for many blissful years with her Lord and was washed by happiness laced with sadness. Her fingertips skimmed over the Conqueror's desk, and over her quilt. Next she sat in her Lord's favorite armchair by the fire, leisurely running her palms against the armrests, and memories of how they had made love on it laid siege to her mind. The images were so powerful that she could almost feel her Lord's phantom hands squeezing her breasts and pushing between her legs. As if moonstruck, she stumbled towards their bed for refuge. For the first time in many moons, she climbed onto it, but more memories she had been desperately keeping at bay to fortify her resolve came crushing down on her. They tortured her, crippled her, stole her breath away, burned her skin, and haunted her soul. Only close to dawn did she find a respite.



At the same time, the Conqueror and her armed forces reached Histaea. Still on horseback, she ordered Commander Periander and the Imperial Guard to continue to Epirus . "Half of the Legion of the province of Macedonia is already in Potidaea ready to attack from the North," she told him and inwardly, her mind drifted to her Queen, whose birthplace was Potidaea .

"By your will, Majesty," he said , parting company from his Sovereign and leading the force under his command to Epirus .

The sun was about to rise soon, but it was still quite dark. Likos's forces were camping just beyond a ridge of a few hills. The Conqueror's forces were stationed within the woods three hundred feet away, the treetops providing ample cover.

The Conqueror beckoned Commander Amyntas to approach her.

"Are the fifty warriors selected to apprehend Likos and his family in Larissa ready?"

"They are, your Majesty," he replied.

"When I give the signal, you are to lead them away from the battlefield and to Larissa, undetected.”

The Conqueror, of course, took under consideration that Likos and his sons might be on the battlefield, and so ordered the men to keep their eyes and ears open and to search for the leaders of the enemy's forces and report their findings to their superiors.

A warrior that the Conqueror had sent to climb up the highest tree and spot the enemy's watchmen, returned and reported to the Conqueror as to their locations.

Next, the Conqueror sent a small group of ten warriors to scout ahead, stealthily climb up the hills and kill the enemy's warriors on the lookout before they could raise the alarm.

After they had left to complete their mission, the Conqueror turned to Commander Amyntas. “Order the men to fall into ranks and prepare for climbing up the hills. Tell them that if I hear one footfall against the ground or even a single breath being exhaled, it will earn the warrior who made them no less than thirty lashes. Not a grain of sand is to be disturbed.”

“Yes, Majesty,” he said, bowed before his Master and went to deliver the orders down the chain of command.

The Conqueror tied her horse's reins to one of the tree trunks nearby, for the animal could not be trusted to keep quiet and its hoof beats too heavy. With her spear in her hand, she positioned herself at the head of her army.

When Commander Amyntas returned to her side, he saw his Sovereign looking up at the sky. “Heavy rainclouds are amassing. The weather will not hold for much longer. We must move quickly before it begins to rain, for I do not wish the enemy to hear the raindrops hitting metal instead of the earth, thus learning of our position here.”

“Majesty,” he said, “no one can discern raindrops meeting the earth from raindrops meeting metal shields from such a distance.”

The Conqueror looked at him censoriously. “I can, and I never underestimate my opponents. You must always prepare yourself for the worst, and I grant you, you'll never fail, Commander.”

The Spartan warriors fell into ranks in hundreds of perfectly cohesive phalanx formations. To the Conqueror, the sight of them was like the finest poetry: superb order and efficiency, with their heavy shields that covered most of their well-tones bodies in one arm and in the other their spears, dressed in red chitons and himations, bronze cuirasses, leg greaves and atop their long-haired heads, polished Corinthian helmets.

The scouts reported back to the Conqueror without a single drop of blood on them.

“All enemy keeping watch are dead, Majesty,” the highest ranking of them informed the Conqueror, who knew that to prevent enemy soldiers from crying out, the Spartan scouts broke their necks from behind with their bare hands, not rendering them the ability to even gurgle on their blood. The Conqueror used to call such a killing a ‘dry kill'. It never had been one of her favorite methods, for three reasons: first, it prevented one from seeing the opponent's eyes when taking his life; second, there was no blood to wash in; and third, because it was over too quickly. Still, the Conqueror valued the dry kill's advantages.

With a wide wave of her arm, the Conqueror signaled her warriors to commence movement towards the hills.

As they scaled up the hills, not a sound could be heard, not a single footfall, not a single clank of two shields accidently bumping against one another, not one piece of equipment dropped by mistake to the ground. When they reached the top, they all squatted and waited for the Conqueror to give the order to charge.

The Conqueror, squatting as well, threw a quick surveying glance and learned that Likos' men were still asleep.

She brought her finger to her lips and made a hushing gesture to voicelessly signal her troops to remain quiet. Like a wave, from the first line of phalanxes down to the next, her gesture was repeated so that the last line of phalanxes would know of the order.

The Conqueror then rose to her full stature and began coming down the hills, as behind her rows upon rows of phalanxes followed her descent in unison.

When they reached the outer perimeter of the large camp of the enemy, the slaughter began.

The Conqueror's hoplites moved in phalanx formation still, piercing the flesh of the sleeping warriors of Likos' army with their spears, while splashes of blood mired their shields and dripped from their edges to the ground. As they advance forward, covered from neck to calves by their shields trampling over slain bodies, they looked like metal killing machines with multiple slicing arms.

The screams of terror and pain soon followed. Sleeping warriors awakened into their worst nightmare. They jumped out of their bedrolls, still stupefied from sleep, running like madmen for their lives, searching for their shields and weapons that were lying around in disarray, stumbling over one another, some half naked, in chaos and panic.

As the Conqueror roved her spear into scurrying bodies, she smiled when she heard their commanders shouting out confused and contradicting orders in complete loss of control. Nevertheless, the Conqueror knew it was temporary, and so knew she had to take advantage of it for as long as it would last. Chaos would not be sustained for much longer. Soon the enemy's commanders would instill order and then the real fighting would begin.

“Part the line!” The Conqueror shouted the order and the commanders echoed her order to the hoplites.

The line began to part in the middle into two long rows in order to flank the enemy's forces from the right and from the left, thus surrounding them, leaving them no path for retreat other than backwards.

From the back of the enemy's line, the Conqueror saw archers stretching their strings.

“Shields!” she shouted and again her commanders repeated her order. The phalanxes joined their shields together and blocked the rain of arrows.

Order seemed to have been achieved and the enemy began to fight back.

From a distance of four hundred feet, the Conqueror recognized one of the highest commanding officers, who gave orders and was better equipped than the foot soldiers under his command. The Conqueror lifted her spear to her shoulder, took aim and launched her spear high into the air. She followed the spear with her eyes and when it neared the commander, she was not surprised to see that he did not move. A few short moments later the spear pierced his throat and he fell down to the ground.

The Conqueror wasn't the only one following the trajectory of her spear. Commander Amyntas did as well and after the spear had hit its target, he said to the Conqueror. “To the very end he could not believe that your Majesty's spear would reach that far. He harbored false assumption that he had been standing at a safe distance.”

“He was in the range of my sight. I never miss what's in my sight. He should have known better,” the Conqueror muttered with a wicked grin on her lips and drew out her sword. When she looked once more to the spot where the enemy's commander had fallen, the Conqueror saw his second in command take his place. He was wise enough to learn from his predecessor's mistake and kept behind his shield.

A second wave of arrows met with Spartan shields.

With a drawn sword, the Conqueror's favorite weapon, she lead her warriors forward, cutting off limbs, decapitating heads with such force they seemed to pop off the shoulders and fly feet away, spraying blood in their wake. Not once did the Conqueror neglect her search for Likos or his sons on the battlefield.

Warfare went on for candle-marks. The Conqueror's forces advanced further back into Thessaly , pushing the enemy backwards. They suffered some loses, not much, though. Whenever a phalanx lost a warrior, another warrior from the line behind would take his place. They knew the business of war, and they had the Master of War commanding them, keeping eye on the entire field, foreseeing the enemy's movements, and leading them to where her design dictated.

Close to dusk, the Conqueror's legion of the province of Macedonia reached the battlefield from behind the enemy's line, rendering Likos' forces completely surrounded by a tight ring of the Realm's warriors.

It started to rain and the warriors had to pull their boots out of the muddy earth.

Knowing that Likos' forces were utterly cut off and unable to send warning back to their master, the Conqueror gave the signal to Commander Amyntas and his fifty Spartan warriors to leave the battlefield and to set out to Likos' villa in Larissa and seize its inhabitants.



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