It was dawn on a crisp and very frosty winter's day. Paula was warmly dressed to protect her from the icy cold. The pair had earned plenty of money as a result of Roberta's strength and will to work hard. Roberta was still naked, of course. They had spent the night under the stars with the hardy Golden Guard sleeping apart from her assistant, disdaining to take any advantage of the warmth of her body. Even after all this time Paula still marvelled at Roberta's phenomenal powers of endurance.
Six months had passed since the sojourn in the bandit's cave and nearly seven since Roberta had managed to defy the swirling currents and swim ashore from Hell Island. And the pair seemed to be no nearer achieving their aim of restoring Roberta's repuation than ever.They kept getting distracted by one adventure after another and the one thing all these incidents seemed to have in common was that Roberta got punished for her obstinate refual to wear clothes. "I'm totally pissed off with this discomfort, Roberta and you don't look too happy yourself with all that gooseflesh! And we're never going to get back to the Palace and save your reputation at this rate. Come on, Roberta!" Paula wanted to cover the remaining few miles to the Palace and get all these adventures over and done with. The King remained in danger and all Roberta could do was get the two of them into one scrape after another! Although it was mainly - entirely - Roberta who suffered from all these diversions. Paula just got to watch in comfort as her friend faced danger and physical pain.
"I'm sure we won't be long now, Paula! I've got a good feeling about today! No more silly sideshows from now on! At least, I hope not. It's getting to be rather boring!"
Paula nodded her agreement.
"That elderly mystic Philippa, six months ago, told me my future was one of great wealth and happiness, Roberta. Not much sign of that yet!"
"What did she say about mine?" Roberta wasn't really interested. She still doubted Philippa's powers in spite of her having been given such a very painful lesson in good manners.
"Lots of danger and a great deal of pain. She got that much right! You've had your share of both lately! How's the back feeling after your latest whipping? It looks just like it did when we first started living together - when the King gave me to you!"
"Fine, Paula! Now that my skin is getting hardened again I don't feel it so much these days. That ritual whipping they gave me at the cave was terrible, though. I don't mind admitting that it was touch and go whether I screamed out that day! That preparation they rubbed into my skin made sure I felt pain such as I've never experienced before! I shall remember that old bitch for as long as I live. And don't look at me like that, Paula!"
Paula always looked shocked at Roberta's scoffing disbelief. In spite of being horribly punished for it the girl still persisted in her wicked sceptical ways!
Roberta resumed, "That was the worst, though. After a few days my skin was getting harder and the six floggings I've been given since that terrible ordeal have been much easier to bear!"
"Is it only six whippings you've had since then? It seems so much more somehow. Over time one flogging seems to merge into another. But you should know, I suppose! You do ask for it, Roberta. You must realise that! But, having said that, I feel the way you got the first ones after we left the bandits behind was the most utterly unfair of them all. You hadn't a lot of choice, though. Not that time. You couldn't possibly have left those poor people to their fate."
It was late in the day and the girls decided to rest for the night. In the morning they would complete the journey and Roberta would hopefully win back her good name. Either that or go back to Hell Island and be flogged to death in front of all the other convicts as an example of what happens to escapers. And they would make no mistake this time. By the time they'd finished with her, she'd be dead right enough!
As she sat and went over the events of the last six months, Roberta relived her adventures since having her innocence established - rather painfully to say the least - by the seer Philippa, after that lady had made her mystic incantations chanted in a reedy elderly voice over a goodly measure of Roberta's painfully shed blood.
Roberta and Paula left the bandit lair with all the brigands waving them farewell and wishing them Godspeed. Even the still vindictive Philippa hobbled out, taking time out from the preparation of whatever disgusting potion she was brewing up, to wish Roberta a successful defence of her good name. How sincere this particular benediction was, neither girl could be quite sure!
By midday they had covered twelve miles across not terribly easy terrain and Paula's feet were giving her trouble. Roberta had no trouble stepping on thorns and razor sharp rocks, but Paula would never have such hard feet as her Mistress. Roberta made her lie down and put both feet in the air. Then she licked the torn soles, gently sucked out the bits of grit and generally soothed the pain out. After a few minutes of this treatment Paula agreed that she might be able to carry on for a mile or two longer, but it soon became obvious that the pair must rest for the night, even though several hours of daylight were still to come.
Paula soon fell asleep and Roberta left her and went to look around. She was still more than a trifle upset with her so-called assistant after the way she had exulted in her torture. The relationship between the two seemed to be tilting away from Roberta and towards Paula as the dominant one. Paula might still be nude but Roberta could see that she would sooner or later revert to being clothed.
Roberta was about to go back and lie next to her friend when she saw three women coming up the hill. They were pushing a heavy wagon, full of fruit and vegetables. Below them was a series of fields and trees and above was the hilltop village where they lived. All three women looked exhausted. Roberta decided to lend a helping hand.
"Can I help with that, ladies?" she asked, as they came up to her. "You seem to be having trouble."
"You also seem to be having trouble! What are you doing walking around without clothes? Have you been robbed?" asked one of them, a woman of about forty and taller than her two companions who looked some years younger.
"I am always naked. My body must never be covered. It is a life I have chosen." Roberta hesitated to announce herself as a Golden Guard. Her name had been pretty well known even before her disgrace, imprisonment for life and escape. She saw again the folly of not wearing clothes. If she had any sense she would disguise herself again and avoid this kind of embarrassment. But Roberta lacked sense these days and in any case she had made up her mind once and for all. Her body would never again be adorned by anything but the weapons and equipment of a Golden Guard.
"You could get into deep trouble in these parts by showing yourself so brazenly! Immodesty in women is always severely punished in our village. But you look very strong and we desperately need to bring supplies up to the barns quickly. We have so little time to gather our winter produce.
“All the crops left in the fields by sunset are to be given to the Lord Gerald. Our men are all away in the Lord Gerald's service and working in the gold mines. Goodness knows when they will be back. Not in tome to harvest the crops - that's for sure. We will starve if we can't get more up to the barns than this. We are desperate and we gladly accept your help, shameless naked harlot though you may be! Beggars can't be choosers."
Roberta suppressed her anger. How dare this insolent peasant woman refer thus to one of the King's elite Golden Guard! But she could not stand by and see a whole community suffer deprivation when she was in a position to help. Roberta was kind-hearted girl. She seized the shafts of the wagon and began pushing it uphill towards the hamlet. As she moved away she turned and spoke to the women.
"Go and help the rest of you pick more fruit and dig more vegetables. I'll get twelve wagon loads up the hill by nightfall. Never mind how full the cart is! I am incredibly strong and can lift three wagons like this off the ground at once!"
This was a bit of an exaggeration, of course, but Roberta knew her promise to deliver twelve loads to the barns was not. The women, released from the need to transport their produce, worked hard to denude the orchards of fruit and dig up and harvest every vegetable and every blade of wheat. By nightfall there was little, if anything, left for "Lord" Gerald and his band of bloodsuckers to steal from the hardworking villagers.
Roberta knew all about "Lord" Gerald, who was no lord at all but merely a gangster and a thief who would one day be destroyed, just as soon as the festering rebellion in other parts of the country could be eliminated. She had itched to be sent to deal with this evil man when in her first year's service, but the war against the rebels had been too fierce at the time. And she would not be able to deal with him now.
With only herself and Paula and a few womenfolk, Roberta knew she had no chance on her own of doing anything about the so-called lord the time being. But she could work until the sweat poured off her body and every muscle cried out in pain in order to deprive him of the fruits of other people's toil.
As soon as the work was done, Roberta found Paula and roused her and they both went into the village to brave the curious appraisal of the inhabitants. The villagers stared at the couple in open mouthed amazement. It was obvious that nothing like this had ever happened here before. There was a mixture of curiosity and shocked disapproval.
The children all came excitedly to see the two strangers, but pretty soon they were hurried indoors to shield their tender young eyes from the sight of those four bare breasts and two exposed pussies (especially Roberta's cunt which was very visible, despite her immensity of blonde pubic hair). Paula was offered something to wear and she looked about to decline, but accepted after Roberta explained to her that nudity was particularly disapproved of around here and it would be safer for her to be covered.
It would be safer for both to be covered, but Roberta had given her word and would never break it. But Paula was a different case and her Mistress knew she would be in plenty of trouble of her own before long. Having Paula dressed would mean she had only herself to worry about.
The couple were given the use of one of the unoccupied houses for the duration of their stay in the village. The women advised Roberta not to stay too long. It would be hard on her if the men returned and saw her like that.
Paula put on the clothes the villagers had found for her and looked at her friend anxiously. Roberta was looking more nude than ever these days - if that were possible!
"What about you, Roberta? What will they do to you? Not that they could do much. You are too strong and they all look exhausted anyway."
"These women will not harm me. They are all too grateful, but when the men return it will be a different matter. Maybe we should leave in the morning or as soon as those feet of yours have healed."
But Paula's feet had not recovered sufficiently in the morning. Roberta's healing tongue had not caused those cuts and blisters to disappear. The little girl would need several days of rest.
The grateful villagers willingly provided her with shoes and other clothing. Roberta was once again offered much finery to cover her own nudity but she refused with as much grace and gratitude as she could muster. There was obvious disapproval and Paula hoped she would be fit to travel before the men returned. Although Roberta was a very strong young woman, even she would be helpless against a score of armed men.
Three days after Roberta had helped so successfully with the harvest, Paula felt able to continue. But, as Roberta had feared and almost known, it was too late! As the pair made their way out of the village they saw a bunch of tired and dishevelled men coming up the hillside towards them. Surprise soon turned to anger as the men realised the naked Roberta, whose very presence constituted an affront to decency, had recently been in their village.
They forcibly stopped the two girls from going further. Roberta offered no resistance and told Paula not to do anything. She saw clearly that she had mortally offended them. It was clear that, from these people's point of view, Roberta had been corrupting the morals of their children and women folk by being in their village. Roberta could see a very fearful retribution written in those angry faces! Her recently healed back started itching as if in anticipation of more pain to come! But she would not resist, as this would most likely be useless and might harm the husband of one of the women.
One of the women, Frederica, ran out of the village and shouted at the men to allow the couple to pass.
"They have helped us avoid starving. Without the nude giantess we would have gathered less than half what we needed. She worked herself into the ground to help us. I know she is wrong to be naked but we owe her everything!"
Marcello, the leader, was not impressed and Paula was obliged to watch her Roberta, firmly held so that even she saw the uselessness of resisting, being dragged away to the council hall. It was there, explained Frederica to an anxious Paula that the Golden Guard was shortly to be tried for immorality. Since the offence was nudity and the evidence would be standing before her accusers in plain view, Paula was pessimistic about the verdict.
"What will they do to her," she asked Frederica.
"Our laws are harsh towards shameless women. One who refuses to cover any of her body will be treated with no mercy. You should have left days ago. I'll try to do what I can. The men listen to me and I'll tell them how well your friend has served us. I am sure they will spare her the worst that they could do to her. But it won't be pretty to watch, I'm afraid. A thing like your friend's immodesty can never be allowed to go unpunished."
"Can I come and see the trial, Frederica?" asked Paula. She had a shrewd idea what they would do to Roberta after they had found her guilty of being naked. It was not exactly a difficult case to prove. Paula had seen the children, especially the growing boys, staring admiringly at her Amazonian friend and her succulent genitalia and guessed that they were seeing things that ones so young ought not to be exposed to. The idea that children should grow up with a total familiarity with the body had not so far penetrated into this unenlightened spot.
"Only members of the village can be present, apart from the accused."
Frederica promised to tell Paula what the court's findings and sentence were as soon as she knew herself.
An hour later Frederica came to tell Paula what Roberta's fate was to be.
"Your friend has been found guilty. I think our words of support may have had some effect. But it will still be unpleasant for her. She will be whipped out of the village in the morning. This is a very bad experience, Paula. I hope your friend is strong and brave, because she will need to be. So much more than whipping will be involved! The lashes she will be given will sap her strength with every cut, but she will need all that strength and need it for a very long time. If she weakens they will show no mercy.
“Until then she will be tied down on the ground in the village square. You are not allowed to speak to her until you are both out of our parish. I am sorry. Her help to us deserves more gratitude. But our men are miserable cowards. They work for the Lord Gerald, that thief, and have no stomach for a fight. Roberta has shamed them by rescuing us all from starvation. They should have been working in the fields instead of the mines and they know it.
“Perhaps it will not be too bad for her. She seems to be able to withstand pain and torture. From her appearance, I should think that tomorrow's whipping will not be her first!"
"It will certainly not be her first. She's received hundreds - thousands - of lashes in her time. And I fear it will not be her last. Can I really not speak to her until after her beating is over?"
"You would suffer the same fate as your friend if you even get close to her. My advice is to stay indoors until we come to escort you to your whipped and exhausted friend in the morning. She is going to spend a very uncomfortable night and at dawn the men folk will whip her from the village. I think they suspect your friend to be a Golden Guard - possibly the traitor Roberta whom the King's soldiers are looking for. They won't hand her over, in view of the help she gave us. But since she refuses to cover herself she must be made an example of. If she had at least agreed to hide her pubis beneath a small loin cloth they would have sent her on her way with thanks. She is a foolish girl to insist on total nakedness. I guess she must be a renegade Golden Guard who is too proud to cover herself."
"She is indeed the same Roberta that the King is hunting," replied Paula, "but she is no traitor. We are on out way to the Palace to unmask the real traitor and foil a continuing plot against the King. At first, after her escape from Hell Island, she did wear clothes to disguise herself, but she hated it so much that she has renounced all bodily coverings for ever. It was a sacred oath, Frederica. Nothing will change her mind now."
After the trial and inevitable verdict of Guilty and sentence to expulsion from the village by whipping, Roberta was led out of the council chamber and told to lie on her back in the middle of the square. There she was tied to wooden stakes driven into the ground, her mighty arms and legs outstretched. She knew that she could pull these puny bits of wood out of the ground at any time, but lay still all night and made no effort to avoid her flogging in the morning. If she tried to escape she would be running and she had never run away in her life, except for the time she escaped from Hell Island.
And if she tried getting away she might leave Paula in their hands. So she stayed where she was and tried to sleep, despite the discomfort. This was not the first night Roberta had spent knowing that she face punishment in the morning and it wouldn't be the last. In the journey back to the Palace there would be more incidents like this. She faced disapproval, beatings and even imprisonment in the coming weeks and months but although she could avoid it all by compromising with the world, she had made up her mind.
Despite her dread of being whipped yet again, just as her wounds had healed from the last time Roberta fell asleep and woke when shaken by the rough hands of the village elders.
"For the last time, Roberta, will you agree to cover at least your womanhood? If you do we will not whip you and will reward you for the work you did for our womenfolk. We are not monsters! We do not wish to hurt you."
"Then don't hurt me! Let me leave with my friend."
"You are afraid of the pain?"
"Of course not! What an insult! I am afraid of nothing you can do to me!"
Roberta was untied and taken to the cart that she had pushed up and down the hill so many times. They tied her hands to the shafts and told her to push it up the hill and down the other side to where the boundary stone was situated.
"The faster you push it, the fewer lashes you will receive. Don't look so relieved! The cart will be loaded before we start to flog you!"
Three women were told to climb into the cart. Two lines of men formed, lining the route the wagon was to follow. All these men were armed with whips. As soon as the signal was given Roberta pushed at the wagon and it started moving. It had not moved an inch before the first two lashes fell! The two men who had given her the first cuts moved to the end of the line and waited for Roberta to reach them before lashing her back again.
The ground Roberta had to pass over was rough and stony. Every so often the cart would come up against an obstacle and Roberta, the sweat pouring off her muscular body in streams before she had gone twenty yards, would have to heave more than once to get the contraption, together with its load of women, moving again. Whenever she was forced to stop for even a few seconds, she would get several cuts from the pair of men level with her before she could move on and be whipped in turn by the next two. Long before she reached the crest, her arms and shoulders were aching from the effort and the muscles in her arms stood out like ropes.
By the time she had reached the top of the hill she must have received lashes from fifty men on one side and fifty on the other. One hundred lashes so far and still she was keeping the wagon moving. The men were looking tired and the women in the wagon were looking the other way, ashamed of the shameful way their saviour was being treated.
The boundary stone was half way down the hill, a distance of several hundred yards and Roberta found herself having to pull hard to stop the wagon getting out of control and sending the unfortunate women flying downhill possibly being badly injured - or worse. Far from moving more quickly, she had to move terribly slowly. She knew enough about elementary mechanics to realise that if the wagon picked up too much speed, even her great strength could not stop it getting out of control.
"Go faster Roberta. They will kill you if they whip you much more!" shouted one of the women, tears streaming down her face.
"Either all three of you jump out or shut up!" shouted Roberta. "I'm not risking your lives to save my hide a bit of a tickling from these weak arseholes!!"
At this insult, the force of the lashes, which had been lessening, increased and Roberta felt blood trickling down her bottom and thighs as the leather cut into her. But she kept the wagon firmly under control and the boundary stone was reached without injury to the three women.
She was freed from the wagon and told that Paula would be along to join her shortly. In a few minutes the little girl appeared, looking at one and the same time anxious for her Mistress and annoyed to have missed all the fun!
"How was it, Roberta? Was it right up there among the really great whippings of all time? Or just a minor affair? Judging from the back I'd say it was a pretty tame affair this time!"
"It started to hurt quite a bit after a while, but they had to keep on the move like me and as often as not they mistimed their lashes. It wasn't too bad. Now let's get on our way! I wish the women well. They are a fine set of people and carry more than their share of the burden. But the men deserve to be exploited by that rat Gerald. Spineless bastards! Although they did offer to let me off the whipping if I agreed to cover my pussy. One should be fair, I suppose!"
Paula handed Roberta her sword and belt and bow and quiver. She gave no sign of the pain she must be in as she put them on.
They had hardly gone two yards when a commotion came from the village.
"It must be Gerald and his men come to steal some of the food we helped gather," said Roberta. "I won't stand for that!"
"You helped gather, Roberta! I was asleep when you doing all that hard work!"
"We must go and help them Paula! Those men will let them take away as much as they like. I can at least try to help. Maybe I can shame them into making a stand at last!"
Despite Paula's reluctance to see Roberta risk getting more punishment she obeyed and soon the pair were back at the village. The men, all looking somewhat sheepish were lined up on one side of the square and the women being forced to load a large wagon the produce they needed for the coming winter. Roberta took an arrow and fitted it to her bow. One of the robbers dropped like a stone as the arrow hit him. Before any of the others could react, two more had fallen. Roberta covered the distance between herself and the remaining four at lightning speed. She dropped one with a quick thrust of her sword and then stood facing the remaining three, none of whom looked all that keen to face this Amazon's wrath any further.
"Drop your weapons if you wish to live, you scum!" Ordered Roberta. They obeyed.
"Remove your clothing - all of it, shoes as well! The men of this village need armour and weapons and you can provide them! Strip those dead filth of theirs. At once unless you wish join them!"
Soon three naked robbers were making their way back to their chief to tell him of this defiance on the part of a usually peaceful village and of the terrible woman who had routed them. It would take them a week, naked and footsore, to reach the Lord Gerald. By then Roberta hoped to have trained the men to fight back.
She was right about shaming them into being real men at long last. But she was not right about obtaining their gratitude. Resentment at being shown how to defend themselves and their women and children by a woman, however splendid a woman she might be, was deep inside all these trainee warriors.
And the children had ample opportunity to see every delicious inch of Roberta's very feminine body during the days that followed. She was everywhere at once - or so it seemed. She organised the women to erect fortifications and she drilled the men. It was a very intensive course, but Roberta was a good teacher.
By the time Gerald had sent a force of thirty brigands to subdue the village, Roberta had drilled the inhabitants, male and female into an effective force. She had shown them how to make the place almost impregnable and how to fight with the sword and use a bow. The attack, when it finally came, was driven off with twelve lying dead, most slain by Roberta but some by the villagers. Only one of the villagers lost his life.
Before leaving them, hopefully for the last time, Roberta addressed the victorious villagers.
"Gerald will not be back again. And if he is, you will deal with him as you did today. Now it really is time for me to leave you - this time finally."
But Roberta was not to leave so easily. The men now had their chance to express their resentment and outrage. Against all the pleas from the angry women, the same process was repeated. Once again she was dragged to the council chamber. Once again she was condemned and tied down overnight. And, in the morning following a victory she had made possible, she was whipped out of town a second time. This time five women were made to get into the wagon and when Roberta finally made it to the boundary stone, she was close to collapse.
"Would you help those ungrateful people again, Roberta?" asked a horrified Paula. She had been allowed to watch this time and had enjoyed it up to a point. Roberta's hardihood and capacity to soak up punishment always turned her on! But the ingratitude of it all made her weep.
"If necessary," said Roberta after giving the matter some thought. "But it won't be necessary. Gerald will leave them alone in future. He won't risk losing any more men and there are plenty of easier pickings for him. I only hope I don't fall into his clutches, though. He's bound to realise who I am and be looking for me. I'll be food for the vultures soon enough if I do!"
"That's true. He'd have you flogged to death, or killed by some other form of slow torture. I think a detour might be advisable, Roberta. The direct route to the palace is right through the middle of his territory. I gathered that much from our stay with those bloody ingrates."
"Don't blame them too harshly, Paula. They have their rules and I have mine. I was a guest in their village and I broke their rules twice. I am happy enough to have been punished twice and there was a rest between the two floggings."
"You're a lot more forgiving that I would be. They owe you so much, Roberta. I think their rule is a stupid one."
"I didn't see you too anxious to join me, Paula! You were happy enough to wear the nice clothes they gave you!"
"Well, I'll take them off now!"
"No you won't. You stay dressed, Paula. It's best that at least one of us keeps out of trouble! And, let’s face it, it seems to be the rule that I get all the stick and you keep yourself out of it. You really do know how to avoid pain!"
Paula did not disagree. In any case, it was getting cooler these last few days. Roberta was more than welcome to brave the coming icy cold of winter alone. Paula recalled the last winter, when she had determinedly stayed nude through the coldest weather. Never again! She guessed her Mistress might well wish to use her for night time heating when the winter really set in!
Not that Roberta needed any kind of heating in the winter. She could happily sleep out in the open with a hard frost on the ground beneath her. What a marvellous set of women the Golden Guard were! And to think that these hardy girls all died young. Paula guessed that Roberta, if she were not killed in battle, would be able to live until she was a hundred! But she would be killed fighting for her King and would thus die a happy woman.
"I haven't always avoided pain, Roberta. After you had been sent to Hell Island I was still an auxiliary Golden Guard and the Commandant had me punished loads and loads of times until the King put his foot down and stopped it."
"You mean you were whipped?" There was fury in Roberta's voice. Her darling Paula being flogged. How hateful!
"Not whipped, Roberta. Just caned on my sweet little arse! I quite liked it as a matter of fact. And the bruises faded away in a week or so."
"You liked it? That's not so bad, then. I can understand you liking it, Paula. It brings back some happy memories of my own! But the Commandant shouldn't have ordered it. I'm glad His Majesty stopped it. Do you ever miss being caned?"
"A bit. In fact I miss it a lot. It's like a drug. But I don't need to tell you that! You enjoy your whippings don't you?"
"In a way, Paula. But I think caning is more fun. When we were being trained from the age of twelve to eighteen, we were punished with the stick. We'd examine each others’ caned backsides at night and I was the envy of all the others on one occasion when I got thirty all in one go! No one had ever got that many before. Happy days! We'd be bent double over a rail and our hands tied to our ankles. Then the swishing would start! Woe betide a girl who cried! She'd get double for that!"
Roberta looked into her friend's brown eyes with her blue ones. An idea was forming!
"Would you like me to spank you, Paula? On your bare bottom? I'd only do it lovingly and I'd stop as soon as you asked me to."
"I'd much sooner be caned, Roberta. And we'd agree a number of strokes beforehand. I want you to give me them all, really hard, as hard as you possibly can, and ignore any pleas to stop. But we don't have a cane."
"We'll keep a lookout as we go on our way. As soon as we find something suitable, I'll give you your first caning! Look! We're coming to a village. We will go and buy one together! You can choose the one you prefer. You still have some money from the women we helped. We'll buy food and a nice swishy stick for your darling little behind!"
If only Roberta had known that she was walking straight into her next spot of bother she might have avoided that particular hamlet and postponed Paula's craved for caning for a few more days. But Roberta was not endowed with prophetic gifts and strode blithely on, an expectant and an already sexually excited Paula by her side.
Philippa, sitting crouched in her gloomy cave, gazing into her crystal, laughed evilly as she saw the unbelieving Roberta approach fresh trouble, fresh danger, and above all, more pain! She was going to enjoy this show and hoped there would be no atmospheric interference to mar the transmission!
The fugitive Golden Guard had several adventures after leaving the Bandits' Cave where Philippa had divined her innocence by a mystic appraisal of her warm and freshly shed blood. This is the second.
"I wonder how these people will react to your nudity, Roberta?" asked Paula. "I hope you don't collect another whipping just yet! A really satisfactory and aesthetically pleasing lashing needs to be done on a nice fresh back in my opinion! I know you don't get to watch, but I do and you should always try to think of others, darling! And, thanks mainly to you I've seen quite enough to have a right to form a judgment in such matters!
“You need at the very least, a couple of weeks to recover before the next one. Your scars are still fresh and weeping from the last. So let's hope they at least allow you time to heal before they punish you. Of course, you might be lucky this time! Doubt it, though! I think the store is over there!"
Paula and Roberta were in a small village looking for a nice swishy stick for Paula's backside. They needed one in order that Roberta might subject her to a fun caning. The couple were also hoping to purchase food for the continuing journey. Roberta decided that they must stay here for a while.
"I'll see if they have any work for me, Paula. From the look of the place, there seems a lot to be done around here and a pair of strong arms and shoulders will be useful. We'll buy your nice stick and ask to be introduced to the head man!"
Roberta was told the mayor was also the owner of the store. This dignitary, full of self-importance, came out and looked angrily at Roberta. It was clear that if the Golden Guard hoped for a greater degree of tolerance for her nakedness than in the last village, she was in for a disappointment.
"What have we here? A shameless strumpet who thinks her great strength allows her to behave as she pleases! I see you have been whipped recently, my good woman. They gave you quite a going over. I can guess why. I suggest you complete your purchases and move on. We won't add to those wounds today - not while they are so fresh. We are not that cruel."
"Do you have work for me, Sir?" said Roberta in a placatory voice. "My friend and I are short of money and we have a very long journey ahead of us."
"I'm not so sure about your little friend but we certainly have plenty of hard work for you. You are obviously very strong and can start at once if you wish. But please! I beg you to put some clothes on! We are respectable folk around here. There is a very strong Ladies League for Truth and Decency around here and elections are due. I daren't let something as blatant as this pass. I must make an example of you."
"I have my reasons for refusing to wear clothes," said Roberta firmly, but politely. " I understand your feelings and those of the worthy citizenry and you may punish me as you see fit and I will accept whatever you decide and not resist. I am happy to pay the penalty for being naked, whatever it might be. But I will always be naked. My body is as a blazing beacon of truth never to be hid from people's eyes."
Paula blinked at this last remark! She had never seen it like that before! Roberta continued.
"What is the work I am to do? There are still a few hours of daylight! All I ask is that my friend be given shelter and rewarded when we finally leave. I will sleep wherever you wish as long as she is given food and comfortable lodgings."
Roberta was shown to a grove of trees. It consisted of about thirty in all. Some were big and with trunks that two or three people could stand around with arms outstretched. Others were hardly more than saplings.
"We want all these trees felled and the roots taken out. We intend to cultivate this area. The timber must be cut up into suitable lengths for our craftsmen to use. You have three weeks to complete this task. We have axes, saws and shovels. Digging out the roots will be the hardest part. If you complete the job on time your friend will be given twelve gold pieces, enough with care to last her for several months. Because you are a naked whore, you will receive nothing and you must promise that she will keep it all. We will regard you as her property. If she wishes to feed you on it, that is her affair, but the money is all hers and you are merely her slave as far as we are concerned. You must give your solemn word to us."
Roberta nodded her agreement. Paula looked after these financial things, such as they were, in any case. Roberta was a warrior, not a coin counter.
"What if I take longer than three weeks?"
"In that unhappy event, your friend here will get nothing. Not only that but you will be publicly branded as a whore. You will be branded with hot irons on each buttock and on your back. Do you agree or do you wish to go on your way?"
"I agree. The land will be cleared inside three weeks."
"Get to work! I see from the scars on your chest and stomach that you have already been branded! Or was that the Chief Torturer's work? Golden Guard Roberta!"
"If you know who I am, then you must also know that I was tortured last year. Tortured unjustly, I might add! Please believe me when I say that I am innocent of any wrongdoing, save that of having been wild and undisciplined for a while for which I was well punished many times. I am a loyal servant of the King and always will be!"
"You may be innocent but you have no right to be naked now that you are disgraced and suspended from the Golden Guard. I understand that you wish to stay unclothed but, if you persist, you must be punished for it. We will not attempt to force you to wear clothes, but we will enforce a severe chastisement before you are allowed o leave. I will make only one concession. Complete the work on time and your branding will be reduced to a whipping."
He looked at the two girls' purchases. His eyes lighted on the swishy stick.
"Why have you bought this cane?"
"My friend likes to be caned on her bottom. It is for me to use on her, but only when she asks me to do it. I love her desperately and would never hurt her badly."
"We do not allow these carnal relations between women. If Paula wishes to avoid great punishment, she will keep away from you until you have finished your duties here. You will work as long as it is light and I have decided that you should spend the nights in a cellar, chained to the wall."
"But Paula will be treated well? That's all I ask. Do what you like to me. How will my whipping be delivered? I see that I am not going to escape that, even if I am not to be branded with hot irons."
The Mayor looked at Roberta's raw and weeping wounds. He guessed that she had received them at the neighbouring town, whose recent difficulties with Lord Gerald he was aware of, as well as Roberta's assistance. Like Paula he thought their ingratitude somewhat of a disgrace. Not that he intended to deal any more gently with this defiant whore himself!
"I see that you have very recently been given about two hundred lashes, although mostly they were not laid on all that well. It was a very incompetent piece of work as I am sure you realise. We will tie you to the side of a barn and give you one hundred and fifty, well laid on so that you howl for mercy long before we have done with you."
Roberta reflected that the wretched mayor would be disappointed when she took her lashes in silence. But you can't please everyone! The mayor then promised that Paula would have comfortable lodgings. Roberta made to go and start work but the mayor told her to stop. He was full of bad news for our heroine this afternoon.
"I think you will have to wear something while you are with us. Two metal bands around your ankles and a long chain to link them together and stop you running away before your work is done. We don't want our strong slave absconding before we decide to free her! Let us go to the blacksmith's."
This was a new one for Roberta! Even during her trial and imprisonment she had not been treated like this. Her leg irons as a prisoner had been the sort that could be locked and unlocked. But these would be permanent, at least until they were cut away by the blacksmith. A strange excitement came over her as she realised that she was on the verge of a totally new experience in degradation and bondage!
Paula heard the sounds of hammering coming from the smithy and, like her Mistress, she was excited at the prospect of seeing a permanently shackled Roberta! Finally her friend was led out, with iron bands around both ankles and a chain linking them.
Her chain was long enough for Roberta to walk fairly easily, but her stride was less that its usual length and the heavy chain rattled and clanked as she made her way to the grove.
The first tree came crashing to the ground after a mere twenty minutes. Roberta was totally untrained as a woodsman but she was strong and a quick learner. She found herself hampered to some extent by not being able to get her feet far enough apart to get the best rhythm. And the iron hurt her legs. The metal had still been pretty hot when the blacksmith had not ungently fixed the shackles, making her fear for her legs being crushed as he hammered the rivets into place. Her legs would most likely bear the scars forever. Roberta did not mind this. She collected scars and took great pride in the large number that she could sport on all parts of her body.
Roberta had not started on the trees until two hours before nightfall and she managed to fell a third of them, mostly the smaller ones, leaving the big ones for the next few days. The thought of the hard work that lay ahead did not frighten her. She was strong enough to complete this task with days to spare!
The cell they locked her in was deep below the prison building and stank from a mixture of the damp and the rotting corpses of dead rats and other filth. Her chain was fixed to the wall and she was left crouching on the floor with her supper, which made her feel sick to look at and smell, let alone eat. But she forced herself. She would need to keep her strength up if she were to get through the coming twenty-one days!
They fed her in the morning after a poor night's sleep and led her to the grove. From time to time during the long hot and dusty day she would drink from the large jug of water they had given her. On the Hell Island she had been used to go for five hours at a time without drinking and this ready availability of liquid sustenance was a great blessing. She found herself working three times as hard as when she had been a convict labourer.
Roberta spent most of this first full day cutting up the trees she had felled yesterday into the kind of dimensions that would make them, good for firewood. It was the larger trees that would provide the building material. By the time they came to take back to her cell she had achieved all she had set herself to do. Roberta was well pleased at her progress. This was the first really hard work since her escape and it felt pretty good. Her body ached all over and she slept like a log that night.
"I'd like to look at my slave working, if that is alright with you, Mr Mayor," said Paula as she welcomed the Head of the Community into her comfortable cottage, lent to her for the duration. "I know she is rented out to you, but it pleases me to see her working hard and earning her keep - and my fortune!"
"We are well pleased with her work so far, Paula. In five days she has felled all the trees. The smaller ones have all been cut into logs for firewood and she is stripping the bark off the larger ones and sawing them into sections for the carpenters to work on in due course after they have been seasoned. In years to come the village will have several fine buildings as a result of your generosity and your slave's hard work... And you may go and inspect your property. But we would ask that you not keep her long from her work."
"Of course I will not hold up the work for more than a few minutes. I merely wish to see that you are maintaining my property in good condition. She may be strong but she needs feeding well. In that sense at least sense, she is as human as you and I!"
Paula didn't know what to think or feel of this new situation where her adored Mistress was being regarded as her Slave. On the whole she disliked the arrangement and felt bitterly for the wounded pride of the bravest of the brave. But there was an element of excitement at the idea!
Roberta was sawing the trunk of one of the larger trees into lengthwise sections. She was covered in sweat and dust. It was clear to Paula's eyes and, more distastefully, her nose that Roberta had not bathed for six days. She guessed that this unwashed state of affairs was destined to continue for over two weeks until the couple could continue their journey. Yuck!
"Making good progress, darling?" she asked.
Roberta started at the sound of that beloved voice which she had missed terribly these last few days. She continued sawing.
"I think I'm ahead of schedule, Paula. From tomorrow I will be digging out the roots. That will make the previous five days seem like a picnic, The hardest work is all ahead of me! I won't let you down, Paula! You'll get your ten gold pieces!"
"Our gold pieces, darling!"
"Yours, Mistress Paula! I made a promise to the worthy Mayor!"
"I don't want to be your mistress. I was happier in the old days when you were the King's trusted Guard and I was your plaything. I wish those times were back."
"They are gone for ever, Paula. You will never be my toy again and I don't wish it. You know yourself that you grow as a person all the time. It is thanks to you that I am here and not still slaving away on Hell Island."
Paula looked at her friend's toiling back and smoothly working muscles as she reduced the tree trunks to workable timber.
"It doesn't seem much of an improvement. You are still hard at work - work that is so far beneath you. And you still get unjustly flogged for no more than wearing the uniform of a Golden Guard. I don't seem to have been too much help so far!"
"Yes, you have, Paula. This is a million times better than that desolate piece of rock. I have the fresh air and the greenery of the countryside to enjoy and my muscles need this exercise. I am happy enough, Paula. During the day at least!"
"Is it terrible where you are chained up at night, Roberta? Tell me how it is. I command you!"
"It stinks. I am given foul tasting muck to eat. For the first few days my stomach revolted and I suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting. But my insides are used to it now. I hate having to sleep covered in my own filth, though and to be unwashed and foul smelling all the time. But I'm a Slave now."
"I will ask the Mayor to improve your conditions. I doubt that he will agree, the bastard! But I will do what I can. Keep up the good work, darling! The sooner you are finished the sooner we can get away from here - from this hateful place."
As Paula had feared, her request that Roberta be given a more sanitary place to spend the night was refused.
"A Slave should sleep in her own shit, Paula. Let her learn her place! It will be good for her in the long run to forget her proud past. She is the lowest of the low these days, Paula. And now to pleasanter matters. My wife and I would be glad if you would join us for dinner tonight. We are having a few friends around and they are all anxious to meet you and hear about life at Court."
"I was only a humble maid and later an auxiliary Golden Guard. I was hardly in the King's inner circle. And I am on the run as well as Roberta. You could hand us both in and get a rich reward. But Roberta is innocent. The seer, Philippa, established her innocence. She examined her blood after it had been ritually shed and said it is the blood of a wild and wilful woman who is also loyal and true to her King!"
"I respect Philippa, Paula. And I admire you. So I shall not give you over to the King's men when they next visit these parts. Now forget your slave! Leave her to rot in the cells! Come to our house and have a good time. I have asked a couple of really nice young men whom I am sure you will like."
Paula very much doubted that she would like either of the two young men. Most of the men she had seen around here sucked! And there was only one man she would ever look at. And he was married and unattainable. No man in this village would be able to give her the riches and happiness promised by Philippa all those weeks ago. Paula was keen on getting to enjoy this good life and knew she would before too long.
But she did have a good time that evening! The wine flowed freely and the food was excellent. The two young men were a bit of a bore, but nice enough. They both escorted her home afterwards and invited her for a ride in the country followed by a picnic. It sounded a pleasant change from walking everywhere and she accepted, especially when assured there would be another girl as well as herself on the outing. It had been years since she had last rode a horse.
She fell asleep easily that night, unlike Roberta far below ground who was in as much squalor as ever. Clearly Paula's request had not been heeded. She hated this time chained to a cell wall and prayed every night for morning to come quickly. She loved her work in the wood, gruelling though it might be, but hated the stinking confinement at night. And she longed to be clean again.
The excursion to the country proved to be something of a disaster. It all went pleasantly enough to start with. The four young people left at an hour or so after dawn, and Paula heard the sound of sawing coming from the direction of the grove.
James, the boy who seemed more interested in her, mentioned Roberta as they rode past the now felled grove.
"Your slave is certainly a remarkable individual. We all admire her strength and her beauty, but she will be whipped for her nakedness when she has finished clearing that ground. Why do you insist on keeping her like that, Paula?"
"She is an animal, James. Animals don't wear clothes. And her whippings are nothing to her. Animals don't feel pain! You mustn't feel sorry for her."
"I don't," replied James, "slaves are only meant for work and pain. But she is very exciting to watch at work. I've never seen a body like that before. Can she fight? I heard a rumour that she had been a Golden Guard before being sold into slavery."
"I don't know what she was before I bought her," lied Paula, "but she can fight and fight well. I guess she might have been a soldier once before she became an animal and my property."
The four young people reached the field where they were to have their picnic. James and Paula had ridden separate horses and the other couple had ridden in a small cart drawn by one horse. The cart contained the food and wine for the outdoor meal as well as two increasingly amorous young people.
Frieda and William soon disappeared together behind a bush. Soon the sounds of giggling could be heard.
"Let's go and spy on them," said Paula with a mischievous smile. She could feel James getting more and more anxious to do to Paula what William was doing to Frieda. No matter what she was not being screwed by this silly boy! She had a dagger concealed beneath her dress and would use it if needed.
James agreed and the two stole quietly towards the shrubbery behind which Frieda was being shagged by William. Paula looked curiously at the writhing pair. It was the first time she had seen a naked man and she wished to miss nothing. Because of the movement of the two naked bodies she wasn't able to make out as much as she would like of what was going on. It all looked very messy, that was for sure, but both seemed to be happy enough. There was a look in Frieda's eyes that spoke of great ecstasy. Maybe she might allow James to do the same to her, despite her reservations of a few seconds ago! It would be nice to feel the same pleasure so obviously being experienced by the moaning Frieda. Then the rain started!
Paula and James ran to the two horses and a still nude couple emerged from behind the hedge, clutching their clothing and running for their lives towards the horse and cart. Paula's father had once told her that one way to cool the ardour of copulating dogs was to throw water over them. The same principle seemed to apply to the human species. But she doubted a few drops of rain would stop her and Roberta finishing what they had started! These three were wimps!
By the time they had returned to the village all four were drenched. The rain that had started falling so suddenly showed no signs of stopping. Far from easing up the downpour intensified. At least Roberta's stinking hide would get cleaned by this, thought a shivering Paula as she dried herself off in the comfort of her nice warm little cottage and watched the rain beat against the windows streaming down the glass and making it almost impossible to see across the road. Soon flashes of lightning appeared and thunder followed within seconds. The noise was deafening and the flashes of lightning hurt her eyes.
Then the rain turned to hail and its rattling against the house was even more dramatic than the rain had been. Paula saw the large stones dancing on the ground, bouncing inches into the air with the impact These stones would no doubt be bouncing off Roberta and stinging every inch of her tough young body. Sooner Roberta than her, she heartlessly thought! At least her hair was growing well by now and her head would be shielded.
Roberta kept on working all through the downpour. She had been out in worse than this before now. As a trainee at the age of fourteen she and her fellows had been sent on a three-week route march across the wildest part of the country, with no shelter in all that time. And the weather had been diabolical every single day. The hail did sting, as Paula had thought back in the village in the warmth and comfort of her pleasant lodgings, but Roberta ignored it and kept digging at the massive tree roots. She had never before realised that so much of a tree lay underground!
She had good cause to be grateful for the rain. With the ground softened by this providential downpour, her task became much easier and she was pulling, hacking and digging one root after another out of the ground, cutting into them and accumulating a pile of them for disposal later.
The weather stayed cold and wet for four days and at the end of that time Roberta had completed her task. She wondered what she would be given to do next. It was quite a nasty shock when the Mayor ordered her to be brought before him and told her that her future for the remaining twelve days before her servitude was over and she was returned to Paula's charge.
"We have no more work suitable for you, Slave Roberta. So you will go down to the cellar and stay there until we bring you up for your whipping and hand you back to your Mistress. Take the Slave away."
It would be a gross understatement to say that Roberta was disappointed at this! She had been bracing herself for her one hundred and fifty lashes, after which she had hoped to be on her way at last. Now she was to be kept locked in that appalling little room with no respite either by day or by night from the horrors of confinement. Shit!
They dragged her, struggling, protesting and cursing back to the cellar. It took seven of them to get her down into the cell and chain her up. She was told she could go without food for a day and be fed only on bread and water for the rest of her confinement. As the heavy metal door clanged to she almost wept.
Two days after Roberta had been locked up the weather improved. The four young people decided on another expedition to the same field. As before, James and Roberta rode separately, racing each other from time to time while the other pair came in the cart with the food and wine.
Although it was October by this rime the sun was warm. Warm enough for clothes to be shed for greater comfort - and greater ease of access for William and James to the girls' sweet young bodies. Once again Frieda disappeared with William. This time Paula did not suggest they follow and spy on them. She was far more interested in doing than watching!
She was not a slut, was Paula. Merely possessed of a healthy curiosity! Being a modest little thing, she allowed James to undress her. Judging by his less than deft removal of piece after exciting piece of clothing, her was hardly an expert. If Paula had known that she was the first girl that James had ever got this close to - or anything like - she would have been less eager to be deflowered.
But Paula's honour, purity and unspoilt sweetness were to be preserved on this occasion. She swore as James drew back, his penis poised to enter her craving tunnel of love.
"Quick, Paul! Get dressed and hurry! I'll be flayed alive if they catch me. I might even join your Slave in the cellars!"
Shocked at the sudden change of mood from masterful masculinity to scared young boy, Paula obeyed. She looked in the same direction that James had aimed his fearful glance. A group of riders was approaching. One of them was a big man. A very big man. About the same size as the imprisoned and chained Roberta in fact. James looked puny by comparison and James was hardly frail and undersized himself!
Paula, having replaced her clothes with a great deal more speed than James had managed in removing them, ran over to the other two. William was about to penetrate Frieda for the third time. He was behind her and she was crouching as he took her. Interesting! But this was no time to hang around.
"People coming. You'll both be caught if you aren't quick and get dressed pronto! You're lucky! James and I were doing it right out in the open. Both of us bare ass naked and him with a real hard on! He beats you by a good inch, William! I just hope we weren't spotted. Apparently he'd get a real hiding if they knew!"
Whether or not the riders had seen the alfresco quasi copulation, Paula was never to know. But nothing was ever said for the rest of her stay in the village.
"Who is that big man, darling James?" asked Paula as they rode side by side back home. Both were very disappointed not to have known each other!
"He's Rodrigo, Paula my sweet! We have a rivalry between ourselves and the nearest village. Every year they send a champion to fight one of our best young men. He always wins. He's been their champion for two years. Last year he killed our best man. The poor guy never stood a chance. Rodrigo is unbeatable but honour requires that we put up a man to fight him. I am among the strongest, Paula. I may have to be the one this year. But he is far bigger and he knows how to fight. We are just ordinary people. If only we had a champion to match him!
"Is it a fight to the death my love?"
Paula was a bit disappointed to be losing James so soon after getting to know him and before he had been given a chance to fuck her. The fight would be fun to watch, though, and there were plenty of young studs to replace this one!
"Not to the death, Paula. But the injuries can be terrible. Broken limbs, cracked ribs. I'll be unconscious, bleeding and crippled by the time he's done with me, but most likely I'll live. I'm a bit scared, frankly. Mind you - they may choose one of the others."
"Maybe they won't choose any of you. My slave is a wonderful fighter. I don't say she would win against Rodrigo, but he'd get a run for his money! And it would be a chance for Roberta to get a bit of fresh air!"
As soon as they were back in the village Paula sought out the Mayor.
"If you like, Mr Mayor, my slave can be the challenger this year. She is a good fighter. Although she has only been fed bread and water these past two and a half days she will still be strong."
"There are two days of feasting, Paula, before the contest. We will feed your slave up in that time. There are some rocks we need carrying out of the village. She can carry them and that will restore her muscles to fighting trim. I must warn you that Rodrigo is a dangerous fighter. He may hurt her badly, even though she is as big as he. And if she loses, her whipping will be doubled."
Slave Roberta sipped at the filthy water and nibbled the stale crust of bread. This meagre supply of food and drink had been thrust under the door a couple of hours ago and would be all she got until the next day. On her first day here she had consumed all her bread and water quickly - and regretted it. It was better to force herself to eat and drink a little at a time to keep the pangs of hunger to a minimum.
It had been foolish of her to resist being put here for the rest of her servitude. Horrible though her normal food had been, it was a whole lot better than this near starvation diet!
It seemed to the chained Roberta that there had never been a time when she had had a full belly! Rumblings kept disturbing the still quiet of the tiny, stinking cell. At least she wouldn't be shitting much in the next nine days!
When she got to be whipped, she would be weaker than she had ever been before when being punished. Maybe they would let her eat and drink first. And then again, maybe they wouldn't! Knowing that cruel bastard of a mayor, more likely they wouldn't!
As she was occupied with these rather gloomy reflections the door opened. She had not expected to see the light of day, even subterranean day, for well over a week. She blinked for some seconds before getting accustomed to the light after so long in near total darkness.
"The Mayor wishes to see you. Come along."
She reasoned that anything that got her out of this Stygian horror had just got to be an improvement! Her chain was unlocked from the ring on the wall and she was taken, clanking and rattling to the Mayor's office. To her surprise, Paula was standing with the Chief Citizen!
"Are we going, Mistress?" she asked Paula.
"No, Slave. We have more hard and dangerous work for you! Mr Mayor! Please let my Slave and me be alone for a few minutes."
The Mayor left and Paula put her hand on Roberta's strong arm.
"Would you fight a strong man for the honour of the village, Roberta? If you don't, James will be put up against him and maybe killed. He's a sweet boy, Roberta! I'd hate to see him killed or badly hurt! We sort of made love earlier today. Not quite, though - thanks be to heaven! You will fight Rodrigo, won't you?"
"If my Mistress commands it, then I have no choice, as her slave, obedient in all things even to the death!"
"You won't die. You'll whip his ass, Roberta. It's in the bag!"
"If it's the Rodrigo I'm thinking about, Paula, it's anything but in the bag! He was one of our trainers when I first joined the Golden Guard as a child. As a seventeen year old, just about to graduate, I was obliged to fight him! We all had to fight him and a very bruising business it was - for us, not him!"
Paula looked crestfallen and Roberta went on.
"We were considered to have graduated when we could last five minutes before getting knocked out! Some of the girls never made it and went back to their homes and families in disgrace. It took me five attempts! When I succeeded at long last, those were the longest and most painful five minutes of my life!"
"You only lasted five minutes?" This really sounded bad! Paula had been selling her slave as a sure fire winner!
"More like eight, actually. I did better than anyone else and he congratulated me, fifteen minutes later, after I had come round!"
"But that was years ago, Roberta! You've grown since then and your muscles are wonderful. You were seventeen than and almost twenty-one now. That year on the island did wonders for you and the work on the wood has only made you better than ever. The mayor has arranged good feeding for you and plenty of exercise for you to get your body in trim. You have two days. You won't let me and James down, will you?"
"Do you love this James, darling Mistress Paula?"
"Don't be silly! He's dirt poor like all these arseholes around here. And I'm due to be rich and happy! But I feel a bit of sentimental concern for him. You can do it, Roberta! Be positive! And your whipping is doubled if you lose. I should have thought that was quite an incentive!"
"You argue a powerful case, Paula! In two days we shall see whether your confidence in me is justified."
Roberta was put back into the cellar after working for the rest of the day. Now that the blacksmith had removed her chain she was free to move about. Not that there was far in any direction to move in this tiny room! The rings around her ankles were still there. It would take a file to remove them and there was insufficient time, so the smith had said. She guessed the chain would be re-attached after the fight.
She had readily agreed to fight Rodrigo. As part of her preparation she had spent the afternoon carrying heavy rocks out of the village to a clearing in the woods about a mile away. At first she had been accompanied to make sure she didn't slack or pause. It soon became clear, though, that Roberta didn't slack. There was no such word in her vocabulary. This wonderful strenuous activity after over two days being kept chained all day and night in that loathsome cellar was such a relief that every sinew in her body sung with joy as it was exercised to its limit once again.
The more she thought about the coming fight the more she felt she might be in with a chance this time. No swords would be involved and that was very bad news. Roberta's skill with the steel blade was legend. Rodrigo was a master of unarmed combat. That was what this man had been used for in the training. He had made sure than a Golden Guard would be a deadly foe even without her weapons.
His brawny arms could crush most men's ribs in seconds once he got a bear hug hold on. His fists were like rock and they moved like lightning, propelled by his muscular arms and shoulders. It had been a left hook that had sent her crashing bloodily into dreamland the last time she had fought him and lasted for all of eight minutes - to her own surprise.
If she had had any sense she would have let him knock her out after having survived the necessary five minutes, but stupid Roberta, with all the self-confident arrogance of a seventeen year old Leading Cadet, had actually thought she might win! Rodrigo had warmly congratulated her after she had finally woken up with a headache that had lasted for days.
"You are the best trainee I have ever fought against, Roberta! Look at this eye of mine! None of you have ever done that to me before! Have a cup or two of wine with me, my brave girl!"
As a rule, this was totally forbidden to all trainees. It was hardly encouraged even for mature members of the Golden Guard to taste wine. Roberta, even now, had little taste for strong drink. Clear, fresh and cool water was all she needed. But she had willingly accepted Rodrigo's offer and later staggered tipsily to bed.
She'd been well caned later, of course, after Rodrigo had left. That had been her last caning before she had graduated, and the last punishment of any kind for well over a year - until she had started her slide into disgrace and ruin.
She munched on the food and drank the water in her cell as she looked forward to her contest. The stuff they had given her tonight was as foul as ever, but at least there was plenty of it! She wondered how they fed their pigs! She doubted it was any worse than that they fed to her! But, then, she was just a Slave these days and no better than a pig.
Up above in the hall, the feast was taking place. Poor Slave Roberta was so far beneath the ground that she would have heard nothing. It was three flights of stairs down to where they kept her. Rodrigo was in a jovial mood as he downed one flagon of wine after another. Paula sat with James at the back and he had his arm around her. They kissed frequently and James was getting more and more daring as his hand crept under her dress and felt her erect and very hard nipple.
Paula was hoping that all this was not going to lead to her losing her virginity. If James, getting more desperate and audacious by the second, had anything to do with it, she would have lost it already! Soon enough one clammy hand found its way up her long skirt and into her crevice. She allowed him to explore and fondle her vaginal lips and move a little way inwards then she slapped his face hard. The crack of that little hand hitting that manly cheek resounded around the hall and fifty shocked glances were directed at the furiously blushing boy.
Paula was not bothered again and James left, accompanied by two members of the council. She guessed Roberta might not be the only one to get whipped around here in the near future. Serve the dirty little sod right, she thought. Then she felt sorry for him and crept out of the crowded hall, pleading that she needed some fresh air.
Sure enough, James was tied facing the barn wall with no shirt on. His broad and manly back had received three lashes before Paula could get across to him.
"Please don't hurt him! It's partly my fault! I led him on a bit. I feel terrible about seeing him whipped. Let him go. He's learnt his lesson!"
The two angry men ignored Paula and continued whipping James, taking it in turn to flog him. Paula, who had seen Roberta lashed many times and enjoyed watching it, was sickened to see James treated like this. She stood and watched with increasing anger as James got twenty lashes and then she had had enough. She placed herself between the whimpering boy and the two men and they were forced to stop. Then she untied him and helped him put on his shirt. His back didn't look too bad and she took him home and dressed his cuts, which were deep and long. Paula's professional eye saw clearly that the pair had done a good job on the lad! She hoped they would be used on Roberta in a few days' time! Only the very best was good enough for her former Mistress and present Slave!
"Don't try anything with me again, James," she warned him. "You're a nice boy and all that, but you are not for me! Now run along home and rest. In the morning you'll be fine!"
She gave him a quick kiss and pushed him out of the house. After this little drama she returned to the festivities, which were really getting under way by now. Rodrigo asked her to dance with him and he proved to be a wonderful dancer, despite his great bulk and all the wine he had consumed.
"I hear that you own the Slave who I am to fight, Paula. And that the Slave is a woman. No woman has ever defeated me! Poor cow! I hope she came cheap, because you will not find her much use to you after I have finished with her!"
"I hope you are wrong, Rodrigo! She cost me every last penny! But we shall see how it goes - after another day of feasting. I like the feasting around here! It's great stuff!"
"Indeed, Paula. They know how to throw a great party! Did you manage to rescue that amorous and rather inexpert young fool from having his back too badly hurt?
"So you saw it all tonight! You seemed too anxious to finish of the red wine to notice things like that! I see you are a hawk-eyed man as well as a fearsome warrior! Yes! I let him get about twenty or so and pleaded with them to let him off the rest. Mind you, I am due to leave in a few days time. After I have gone they may resume his painful lesson in good manners!"
"You need a real man to take away your innocence, Paula! And you're looking right at him as we speak!"
"No false modesty with you, is there Roddy," laughed Paula, who had possibly - just possibly - consumed a smidgeon more wine than was good for her!
They continued to dance for a few more delightful minutes and then Rodrigo led her to a bench by the wall and the couple watched the proceedings. Happily for Paula's much prized purity, Rodrigo was a gentleman as well as a lethal fighter. But his interest in the little girl was pretty obvious and she warmed to him - in a way.
"You'd like to fuck the arse of me, wouldn't you, darling?" she whispered.
"Sure thing, sweetheart! Be a nice way to end the day!"
"I'll tell you what, darling, beat my slave and you can have me. It's as simple as that! Now, will you please take me home? I'm tired and more than a little drunk! With more feasting ahead on the morrow, I think I need my beauty sleep."
Rodrigo left her at her front door but not before giving Paula just about the most exciting goodnight kiss that she could ever recall. Not that she had experienced too many. Hers had been a sheltered life until she met Roberta after which she had lost all interest in men. Or almost all interest. There was one - but that was just a pipe dream!
Rodrigo did things with his tongue that made the little girl's pulses pound and her head reel. She broke free and shut the door behind her. Wow!
As she fell asleep she thought that whatever the outcome of the Great Fight, she, Paula, would be the winner! While it would be wonderful, as ever, to see Roberta triumph, her defeat would mean Paula being deflowered by Rodrigo! And that would be something like going to Heaven early!
In the morning she awoke rather late with a headache and a feeling of nausea, a condition she suffered in common with most of the villagers. By this time, of course, Roberta, her fighting slave, had been hard at work for hours! She saw her carrying a great rock, the weight of a man, across the square and out of the village. Those muscles looked awesome! She wondered if Rodrigo had seen her!
But Rodrigo was still asleep. He had more than a little overdone it last night and would not stir until late afternoon, when he would rouse himself and resume the feasting - and dancing with that bewitching little Paula! He was aware of a big woman carrying rocks about the place and guessed that he would have the pleasure of breaking her back across his knee next day, but did not recognise in that Superwoman, the Golden Guard Trainee who had given such a hard time four years ago. Roberta's hair was still short. Short enough for her to pass as a man were it not for her firm and jutting breasts and her wide juicy cunt peeping brazenly from out of her golden bush!
Roberta certainly recognised Rodrigo and she was not impressed. The man was overconfident and riding for a fall. She guessed from his late arrival on the scene and bleary-eyed appearance when he did surface, that he had feasted well last night. That was no way to prepare for a fight, especially a fight with Roberta! Far from regretting her isolation, Roberta was glad of it now. It was far better for her to languish under ground by night rather than to ruin her chances by over indulgence above it.
He was not going to be a pushover, even in his unfit condition. In fact Roberta knew that she might quite easily be beaten by him. The odds were probably slightly in his favour. He was still a fine figure of a man, wearing only his breeches in the warm afternoon sun. But there was more than a trace of fat on that once trim belly. She guessed he might be slower off the mark than four years ago. And she was as fast and deadly as ever! And she'd need to be! Would she ever need to be!
As she rested in her evil smelling cell, she imagined Rodrigo carousing up above and making her chances against him more favourable by the minute!
Meanwhile, Paula was resting from the non-stop and ever more energetic dancing. She had certainly wined and dined well this last couple of days and had a whale of a time! James had not turned up tonight and it was just as well. It would only upset him to see how friendly she was getting with Rodrigo, who had pretty well monopolised her this evening! James was just a boy, but Rodrigo was a man with a capital M!
She guessed that this professional fighter had a girl in every village and town he visited and had left a trail of broken hearts and squawking fatherless brats in his wake. But Paula had no intention of being one of them! Before she had left the bandit's cave, carrying no more than a pack on her naked back and her weapons, she had been given some of the ointment they had used to soften and resensitise Roberta's hardened leathery skin and a magic potion to use if and when she decided to sleep with a man. Philippa had assured her that this powder would mean that no embarrassing surprises would materialise in nine months' time if she did allow Rodrigo into her bed and her body!
Rodrigo went on drinking and dancing with an ever more willing Paula until well after midnight. He escorted her home once again.
"How can you behave like this, Rodrigo, when you have a hard fight ahead tomorrow! Roberta may lose against you, but it won't be easy! Go home and sleep it off!"
"Roberta? Golden Guard Roberta? Is that the giantess I saw working like a slave? How has it come to this? I had her marked out as a future Commandant! How came she to be a Slave and your property?"
"You hadn't heard? You must be just about the only person I've met that hadn't heard about all her troubles."
"I have been on a long journey this last few months. And I left the King's service two years ago. This town is the first place I've been to since returning. Tell me all about Roberta."
Paula led him into her cottage and the pair talked for almost an hour before Rodrigo went back to his room in the local inn.
Rodrigo was impressed by Paula's belief in her Mistress/Slave, but, like Roberta, he did not believe in Philippa's mystic powers. She was no more than a barmy old crone with half her marbles missing - as well as all her teeth! Roberta was guilty as hell and in the morning he would save the executioner a job! He'd kill his opponent!
He slept well enough, but as he drifted off into sleep he recalled the black eye that the defiant young trainee had given him four years ago as she gamely went down under his battering fists, fighting every inch of the way. It might not be as easy tomorrow as it had been last year against that useless peasant boy!
Roberta woke early and they came for her at dawn. She asked to be given time in the morning to train further for the contest which was to be held in mid afternoon. She carried the remainder of the rocks out to the clearing in the woods. Goodness knows what the purpose of all this was. Perhaps they intended building some kind of temple there. They had enough material to erect quite an edifice!
Three hours before the fight she was taken back down to her cell to await her entrance to the arena. As the seconds ticked away she became calmer and calmer. She had never been afraid of a fight, not even when she was in great danger. Whatever happened she would acquit herself well today! She slept for three hours and was roused ten minutes before the deathly struggle was due to begin.
Paula woke early as well. She must be getting used to all this drinking and eating! Her head was clear this morning and she went out to take a morning stroll around the village. Roberta was already busy, she was pleased to see. The two exchanged a glance but nothing was said. Paula had taken to heart the warning that sexual relations between women were banned around here. But the original purpose of their coming to this town was still very fresh in Paula's mind. As soon as they were away from the place Roberta would give her sweet little arse the caning of its life!
On second thought, though, decided Paula, perhaps they had better wait for a few days after the fight to give Roberta's strong right arm time to recover from all the hard work it would be doing against Rodrigo. If Rodrigo won, then Roberta would no doubt go back to the cellar, in chains once more, to serve the rest of her time. If she were still alive, of course - that was doubtful!
Paula had sensed Rodrigo's disbelief after she had told him Roberta's side of the story. All Paula's talk of sorcery and potions and poisoned food had clearly not convinced a man who was every bit as sceptical as Roberta. She began to regret offering up Roberta as the challenger. All she would get in exchange for losing her friend would be a night of passion with a man who would swiftly dump her as soon as he had slaked his lust on her body. Although she would enjoy being made love to by Rodrigo, she would still miss Roberta.
Then the time finally arrived. The square began to fill up with villagers, both from this town and the rival community. Many were still bleary eyed after two days of feasting and wining. A few private fights had broken out over the last two days and a number of young men sported various types of facial bruises.
James was there. It was the first time Paula had seen him since she had caused his whipping to be curtailed. That had been a mistake. She ought to have let them do whatever they had to do. The stupid boy would get the rest of his stripes sooner or later. Paula had learnt that much! The Ladies' League for Truth and Decency had been outraged at his groping the diminutive guest. The Mayor's re election depended on James being made much more of an example of than the recent twenty-three lashes. If one hundred and fifty were appropriate for Roberta then James should receive nothing less...
Stupid boy! He had said in the field that he was risking a hiding by seducing a guest. But his ardour had got the better of his discretion. His flagrant behaviour at the dance had been an open invitation to the moralists to make an example of him. At least he didn't have to fight Rodrigo. He should count his blessings! She put him out of her mind and concentrated on enjoying the fight. She loved seeing blood shed, especially when it was that of her brave and hardy Slave!
Roberta was brought up from the cells and Rodrigo came swaggering over from the inn, surrounded by a group of men from the rival village, all sure that their champion was set to defeat yet another challenger, leaving her bloody corpse for Paula to mourn over - after she had made love to Rodrigo.
People were clearly impatient and anxious to see the carnage begin after two days of anticipation. For a variety of reasons Paula was also keen to get the whole business over with, and in one way or another, get on with the rest of her life.
Roberta was already stripped for the fight, of course. That was one thing about her very exiguous uniform! No frequent changes of costume! Her sword, belt, bow and quiver had been taken from her before her imprisonment in the cellar, and she would not need them today in any case. This was a fight where bare body was to be pitted against bare body.
In honour of the occasion, she had been bathed beforehand by a couple of the village girls, both of whom had thrilled to touch this Amazon. They had wished her success and apologised for the way she had been treated. "It's awful the way they work you to death during the day and lock you in that dungeon at night. You show them, Roberta!"
She still had the metal bands on her ankles and each band had a ring on the inside of her leg to take the chain. Because of this obvious advantage to the Slave, Rodrigo was allowed to continue wearing lightweight boots. He had stripped before coming from the inn, wearing only a loincloth and looking every inch the champion. Except, alas, that there were rather more inches around his waist than last year!
Comparing the two fighters, the villagers began to hope against hope that this year they might have something to celebrate. She was recognisably a woman by her breasts, feminine posterior, lovely features and generously proportioned vagina, but there the resemblance ended! In every other way she was a mountain of lithe footed muscularity. There seemed to be no department in which she didn't either equal or outgun Rodrigo. And she carried not an ounce of surplus weight, which Rodrigo undoubtedly did!
The Mayor made the announcement. "The annual contest this year again features Rodrigo, who killed our brave Antonio last year after a pretty brave show by our lad (cheers from the home village). Rodrigo, that mighty man of valour (cheers from the away supporters) is to fight the Slave of our honoured guest Paula. This mighty Slave is the former Golden Guard Roberta, disgraced and deservedly enslaved but still a fearsome warrior. (Some cheers from the home supporters, who were glumly sure that they were going to be hammered by the opposition yet again, though at least it was only a Slave who would be killed this time and not some local mother's beloved boy.)
"Let battle commence, after the fighters have shaken hands."
"Looking a bit worse the wear this morning, aren't we Rodrigo?" sneered Roberta as she held her opponents hand in a fierce grip that was clearly hurting him. "You should know that's no way to prepare for a contest to the death!"
"You'll be the one to die, traitor Roberta! Take a last look at the world! You'll soon be leaving it."
"We'll see soon enough! I'm ready to fight but I doubt that you are!"
The two fighters, one a woman and the other a man, stepped apart and waited for the command to start. It was soon given and Rodrigo started off aggressively by aiming a kick at Roberta's stomach. The Slave stepped aside and took the blow on her side, most of the force being lost. It hurt all the same and she could see that Rodrigo had lost none of his power since their last encounter.
Roberta made no attempt to counter. She evaded Rodrigo's next kick and the next. Then Rodrigo's aim seemed to improve and Roberta grunted in pain as he landed a hit on her solar plexus. That should have finished her but she seemed unaffected by it and answered with a swift blow of her bare but still manacled foot into his face and drew blood. First blood, thought Roberta triumphantly.
After shaking him with that kick from a woman who should have been rolling on the ground in agony, Roberta danced away and kept Rodrigo on the move. This need for footwork was not to his liking and Roberta could hear his breathing become heavy and laboured. Too much booze and good food were having their effect already!
The kick to her stomach had hurt her and hurt her badly. Even as she countered and kept on the move, the agony from that direct hit to her nerve centre was slow to fade. But Roberta was used to pain. For six years she had been trained never to surrender to physical pain and since becoming a full member of the Golden Guard she had endured agonies both in the field of combat and at the whipping frame. Roberta had felt pain in her time such as Rodrigo could not even dream of. And she thrived on it!
Some awareness of this almost unnatural hardihood was beginning to percolate into his brain. If he did finally win it would only be after a terrible struggle, which might leave him crippled. He tried to summon up enough energy to repeat his blow to Roberta's belly, but once again she seemed to be feeling nothing and her counter was a punch to his face that broke his nose. Nobody had ever done that to him before! Certainly not a woman. He punched her face and had the satisfaction of seeing her bleed a little - but only a little and he was covered with blood as his nose gushed forth a red stream that soon covered his chest and began to drip onto the ground.
Roberta was not so stupid as to think the battle all but won. Sheer male pride would give Rodrigo a second wind and a new lease of life. He would not take defeat, at the hands of a young woman, lying down. That was for sure! Roberta aimed another kick and this time he was too quick for her - more like the Rodrigo of old.
Roberta retained her balance but was momentarily off guard and Rodrigo came at her and soon had her in one of his famous bear hugs. Roberta made no attempt to escape but countered by wrapping her arms around him and squeezing him as hard as he was squeezing her. Those nearest to the action could hear two tortured bodies creak and crack under the colossal strain.
Her cold blue eyes gazed calmly into his brown eyes and her calm features faced his agonised countenance. Fear was in that bearded face as Rodrigo tried in vain to secure a submission from a woman who seemingly was made, not of flesh and blood, but steel.
After five minutes in which neither fighter's grip seemed about to loosen it was Rodrigo who muttered, "Break?"
Roberta smiled and nodded. The pair simultaneously disengaged and stepped apart. Then began a phase of the contest that had spectators gasping with sheer stupefied amazement that two people could do such things to each other and still remain, not only standing, but trading blows as powerfully as at the start.
Roberta aimed a punch at Rodrigo and let him return it without stepping aside or backwards. Both faces quickly began to show the effects of this uninhibited slugfest! Roberta was soon bleeding as badly as Roberto but she showed no sign of tiring of this very painful endurance test. Once again it was Rodrigo who muttered. "Call it a draw, Roberta? We're getting nowhere!"
"No draw. Today you die," replied Roberta as she aimed a mighty kick at his throat, almost taking his head off. A neck less thick than that of the brawny Rodrigo would certainly have been broken, but he only staggered back, choking a little but still ready to carry on the fight. It was a contest he now had no hope or expectation of winning. That exchange had drained him utterly and Roberta, bloody though she might be, was as strong and as fresh as when they had first faced up to each other.
This time it was Roberta who got her opponent in a bear hug and it was Rodrigo's ribs that snapped and cracked as she put on the hold with deadly force. Those days felling trees and carrying rocks and, above all, that year on the Hell Island, had given Roberta a body that was more than the equal of any man - even Rodrigo. If he had abstained from strong drink and prepared himself properly he might, with his years of experience and great skill, have prevailed. But the overweight boozer that he had now become was no match for the superbly fit Roberta.
He fainted after five minutes of increasing agony and Roberta picked him up and broke his back over her knee, just as he had imagined doing to her the previous night! Making sure that he was indeed dead as mutton, she stood and raised two bloody hands in a gesture of triumph. Rodrigo would kill no more untrained peasant boys as a way of boosting his reputation and lining his pockets. Today he had fought a true warrior and lost.
Paula was the first to congratulate her victorious Slave, putting her arms around Roberta's neck and kissing that bloody face many times. Rodrigo would undoubtedly have given her a great time in bed, but on the whole she preferred him the way he was right now! And, as the owner of the Slave who had rid the village of the recurring nightmare of seeing Rodrigo kill or maim the best of their young manhood, she could have her pick of a dozen good men tonight!
Paula was followed by the village maidens who had bathed her body before the fight. They too put their arms around Roberta's sweaty body and kissed her many times, vowing never to wipe the heroine's blood off their faces! Then the young men crowded around and slapped her heartily on the shoulders, thanking her for redeeming the honour of the village. Then the Ladies' League for Truth and Decency made their dour appearance. And there were a lot of them and they all had votes!
The almost universal wish of the youthful element to fete the victor was overruled by the more numerous seniors. It was pointed out that, as the one who had donated her Slave to be the challenger, it was Paula who deserved the town's gratitude. Roberta was soon back at the blacksmith's, having a fresh chain, a much shorter one this time, attached. Within half an hour of her win she was back chained in the cellar and told she would not be coming out for ten days.
"Ten days?" asked Paula later. "Surely it's less than that? She had twelve days to serve after she finished clearing the trees early. You had her underground for two and a half days and then two days training and then today. She should only serve seven days at most. And after what she's just done I'd have thought you'd have let her off even them and allowed us to be on our way. I'm really disappointed!"
"Don't fret, Paula! We have three more days of feasting at which you are the guest of honour. And your Slave has earned you thirty-five gold pieces. She will not feel pain in that cellar and we will feed her well so that when she takes her lashes she will be fit and strong enough to be punished. Forget about her, Paula! Come and enjoy yourself! You've earned it," said the Mayor.
So once again, while Roberta was fed on stale bread and foul water, Paula lived it up for three wild and roaring days of celebration. By the time it was over she had been shagged so many times by so many lusty young men that she wondered fearfully if Philippa's magic powder would be proof against such a sticky tide of semen as had flowed and been pumped into her in that time.
On the third night, seven men had taken it in turn to fuck her time and time again until they all collapsed from exhaustion. Paula, though, was fresh as a daisy and ready for more! She left them sleeping and went looking for more lovely men. Her search was soon successful.
Her last few days in the village were spent under something of a cloud. The Ladies' League had been shocked to think of their husbands queuing up to make love to the delicious little girl in preference to the charms of their unappealing spouses.
By the time Roberta was brought up from the cellar, taken to the blacksmiths to have her only body covering removed and tied to the side of the barn, Paula was more than ready to shake the dust of the place off her feet.
James sidled up to her after Roberta had received fifty lashes. Still a hundred to go and Paula was getting bored already! When you've seen one whipping you've seen the lot, was her feeling at that painful moment for Roberta! At least the bandits had hung her upside down and the guys at the last dump that they had visited had tied her to a cart to flog her out of town. But these pitiful arseholes had no imagination whatsoever. Paula yawned. They were doing a pretty good job on Roberta, though. Paula granted them that much!
"They want to do that to me when you've gone, Paula," said James, a little nervously. Blood was flowing in goodly measure already. How did Roberta take it so calmly? She wasn't moving at all.
"I know! Let it be a lesson in self-control, James, darling! See how brave my Slave is being under the twin lashes of your town's strongest floggers? Promise me you'll be just as brave tomorrow - or whenever!"
"I promise. It was worth it, Paula. Kissing you was worth a thousand lashes."
Paula smiled inwardly. If all the men who had shagged her last night were to be lined up for a whipping, the carnage would take weeks to complete. And the two floggers would be under the lash themselves, since they had been among the most enthusiastic gang bangers last night! Their semen formed a goodly share of the fluid that was still trickling deliciously down Paula's thighs as they whipped her slave!
"ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY!
The whip landed for the last time - for now!
"Slave Roberta's punishment is complete. Return her with our most grateful thanks to her owner," said the mayor.
The members of the Ladies' League for Truth and Decency applauded loud and long. They liked nothing better than to see a harlot punished. In a world without whores they would be denied the chance to see such miscreants flogged, but this thought did not cross their limited minds on that, or any other, day.
Roberta was escorted to Paula, who stood ready to mount her horse, which was a gift from the grateful villagers.
"Kneel before your Mistress, slave," said the Mayor.
Roberta knelt humbly at Paula's feet. Paula used Roberta's back to mount the horse.
"Up, Slave! Let us be on our way."
When she was almost out of sight of the village, with Roberta walking strongly beside her steed, Paula looked round. James was being secured to the barn wall. She prayed that the poor boy might have the strength to be as brave as her former Slave - who was once again her adored Mistress!
As soon as they were quite out of sight Paula stopped the horse and dismounted.
"Would you like to ride, darling Mistress Roberta? You must be very weak after what they did to you."
"Thank you, Paula. I think I will. It's been a tiring time!"
Immediately after her escape from Hell Island, a feat none had previously thought possible, Roberta and her loyal follower Paula had been captured by bandits. At the bandit lair, Roberta had been ritually flogged at the behest of the female sage, Philippa, in order to collect enough of her blood for the wise old woman to use in order to divine Roberta's guilt or innocence by mystic means. This oracle had pronounced the wronged Roberta an innocent woman. The pair then left the robbers' hideout and started out on the long journey back to the Royal Palace and a confrontation with the real villains, who continued to menace the King's life and the security of the realm.
On the way Roberta was involved in a number of adventures. Her first two had brought her a total of three severe floggings, despite the great services she had performed in ridding two communities of deadly enemies, the so-called Lord Gerald and the brutal mercenary fighter Rodrigo.
Roberta's continuing nudity, an asset when a member of the King's Golden Guard, was a painful liability out in the world of ordinary folk, increasingly terrorised by a rabidly puritanical group called the Ladies' League for Truth and Decency.
"No more, Roberta. Please!"
Swish - Crack!
"I'll never step out of line again, Mistress Roberta, my love! Honestly!"
Swish - crack!
Paula held her peace thereafter - for several reasons. For one thing, she was going to get as many strokes as Roberta wanted to give her; laid on with all of the enraged fighter's prodigious strength and that was that! What was the point of crying out and disgracing herself further? Roberta was, rightly, somewhat pissed off with her these days. And, let's face it she thought, it wasn't that bad! Now that her bottom was so much raw meat she was quite getting into it, and in a big way!
Swish - crack"
"LOVELY!! LOVELY!!! More, more! Give me more!”
"Sorry, you fucking pervert! I'm too tired for any more today!"
A week had passed since Roberta had left the last village, in possession both of a stick to beat Paula and yet another extremely sore back. When, bit by bit, she had got Paula to tell her all that had happened to her while her Mistress was either working her butt off or being immured in a stinking dungeon, Roberta had blown her top and in a big way!
The caning she had just administered was the third so far and the longest. It would not be the last. Roberta's anger was as incandescent as ever! As soon as Paula's arse had healed she would get another. It was not so much the little girl's living it up while her Mistress was going through yet more pain and grief that had so enraged her. It was more than that!
Roberta was perfectly happy to collect all the pain and let Paula live in comfort. It was the way she had surrendered her body to so many men on the nights after the fight that had truly disgusted Roberta. The thought that she had been locked up down below while the little tramp had been betraying her like that made her truly livid.
She mounted Paula's horse and spurred it into a trot, Paula, her arse still throbbing painfully and her soles sorer and sorer on the rough stony ground, ran barefoot and naked beside her. The little assistant was barred clothing for another week. Those nice fine garments that Paula had acquired recently with money Roberta had earned by the sweat of her body were stowed away in a saddlebag and there they would stay until the miscreant had spent a few frosty nights under the stars. And it was getting nice and chilly at nights.
It was the cold rather than the caning that really got to Paula. As indicated above, the stick gave her more pleasure than pain after the first few strokes. It was the cold at night and Roberta's continuing anger and denial of her body to her that caused the real pain. Men had been great fun for those few wild nights, but Roberta was better than all the men in the world and she hungered for her already. She hungered for a return of her affection and for the feel of her warm and strong body against hers.
And then, the very next day, Paula woke up in the morning to find herself covered in furs and her clothes laid out for her to wear. Roberta might have a furious temper, but her rages, so terrifying while they lasted, didn't usually last that long. As far as the former Golden Guard was concerned, all was forgotten and forgiven. They breakfasted; eating fish that Roberta had caught and cooked while Paula still slept, and resumed their journey, Paula astride her horse and wearing all her finest clothes and naked Slave Roberta walking swiftly beside her.
"Will my Mistress forgive her Slave for caning her and stripping her?" asked Roberta at midday when they had stopped to water and feed the horse, as well as themselves. Roberta had killed a deer and they had dined well.
"You are the Mistress, Roberta. You are the glorious woman I have worshipped for so long ever since I saw you running with the King's carriage. Those fools at the village might have forced me to call you my slave, but we both know better than that!"
"I think, for the purposes of the journey, with you clothed and riding a horse and me naked and on foot, it makes sense if others think of me as the slave, Paula! That way my nudity might not get me into quite so much trouble! And this pretence will be easier to make convincing if we live the situation every second of the day. So, I repeat my question. Will my Mistress forgive her slave for her gross insolence in caning and stripping her?"
"If my Slave will promise to cane her Mistress from time to time, then I forgive her for stripping me. The caning was wonderful after the first few strokes. As far as that is concerned, there is nothing to forgive!"
They finished their meal and Paula ordered Roberta to kneel so that she might mount her horse more easily. It was a very long way up for such a tiny girl and Roberta's strong young back was a great help, especially as the intelligent Slave rose with Paula on her back and elevated her to the saddle! It was a lot easier for Roberta this time than it had been before when Paula had stood on her raw and bleeding back after her last whipping.
"I see a small settlement ahead, Slave!" said Paula anxiously. She was higher up than Roberta, who was running by her side as she kept the horse trotting. The exercise was good for Roberta's legs and the Slave was enjoying the chance to stretch herself. Paula had been keeping her doing this cracking pace for two hours now and sweat was pouring off her, despite the frosty weather.
"What does my Mistress propose we do? Make a detour?"
Roberta knew what would make most sense. Keep well away from towns, especially towns where the Ladies' League for Truth and Decency was strong! Roberta wanted no more floggings just yet. Unlike Paula, whose backside was already craving for more lovely swishy strokes, she was quite happy to postpone her next whipping indefinitely - forever, even! There was more to life than a succession of severe whippings - or ought to be!
"What would the Slave do - if she weren't a Slave?" Paula sounded uncertain. Authority was all very well, but not when important and rather tricky decisions were to be made!
"The Slave has no idea. The Slave does not have ideas above her station. The Slave is a good and humble Slave!"
Paula cursed under her breath. There was no need to play this game quite so much by the book! Roberta would know what to do. She did know, but was letting Paula decide. The mistress thought the matter over for a few minutes and then decided a little tentatively.
Paula recollected those days in that cosy little cottage with the Mayor making sure she lacked for nothing. It would be nice to stay in a comfortable inn, especially now that the frost seemed to be a permanent feature of life on the open road!
"We go to the town and hope there is a nice warm inn with plenty of food and wine to warm me after all this cold. I'm fucking perished! It's OK for you, Slave. You're not human! If you were human you'd be blue, not a healthy pink! And let's give this horse his head! Come on, Slave! Move that lazy butt! What do you think I feed you for?"
This time it was Roberta who cursed Paula for playing the game of Slave and Mistress a little too much for real! After two hours of jogging, she was more ready for a rest than a hectic sprint! But she kept up the increased pace until the outskirts of the small community were reached.
Two elderly people, a man and his aged wife, came out of the first cottage. They stared at the utterly naked Roberta, wearing not even her weapons any longer - these were in Paula's safekeeping nowadays. The woman saw the red marks around Roberta's ankles where her flesh had been seared by hot metal not very long since. This was a former prisoner, whose shackles had but lately been struck off her felon's body! Could it be the fearsome warrior who had slain the mighty Rodrigo? There had been mixed reports about Roberta, but the balance was unfavourable.
"Is there a good and comfortable hostelry in your town?" asked Paula, looking very imperious on her fine horse, despite her diminutive size. The villagers in the last port of call had fitted her out superbly.
"We have two inns, Mistress. One is for low types and very rowdy and disreputable. The other is a little further past the first and is well fitted for a great lady like yourself!"
"A great lady! Did you hear that, Slave," giggled Paula as she spurred her horse to complete the rest of the journey.
Roberta smiled. Paula looked so pleased with herself to be thus addressed and she could see why the old couple had been impressed. Paula looked like a queen these days! It was fortunate, though, that the couple had not been able to see her still bruised and liberally striped arse!
Because of the continuing discomfort in her rear quarters, Paula was glad to be helped down by her Slave. Leaving Roberta to hold the reins, she went into the inn. The owner was waiting for her, rubbing his hands and smiling subserviently. He knew who Paula was and who her companion was, also. This lady had much to spend and he was grateful she was going to spend it here - for times were hard lately!
He showed her to the finest room and she looked around appreciatively. Very nice indeed! This would do her very satisfactorily for a few days.
Having had her belongings taken up to the room, she made sure that the fine horse was stabled. Roberta was taken to the blacksmith's to have a fresh manacle fitted - to one leg only. - and with a very short chain. Then she was secured to the iron rail that enclosed the public fountain. Because of the waterlogged nature of the ground in this low-lying area the cellars were flooded and unsuitable. So Roberta got to stay above ground and in the fresh air. (And in the freezing cold.).
Happily for the Slave, the Ladies League for Truth and Decency were not strong in this particular town. The place was dominated by red blooded men who appreciated the sight of a pretty woman and were fascinated by Roberta. Drooling with unsatisfied desire, they lined up to examine her - at a safe distance, for she looked pretty angry to be ogled and they knew her reputation!
Long after Paula had dropped off into a nice deep slumber, cosseting her body between freshly laundered and lavender scented sheets in a lovely warm room with the affectionately purring hotel cat for company, the men hung around and admired the tethered Slave, gloriously naked and out in the continuing cold.
They all averred that none had laid eyes on such a cunt before - not in all their born days. They all agreed that it was a veritable joy to behold. Oh! To be the one to insert his eager member into that passage of delight! Oh, to be the lucky man to taste the sweet juices that oozed from out of that sweet cave of love! Tough luck, guys! No man ever had, or ever would! Finally they drifted off to their homes and their less than pulchritudinous wives. At last, Roberta was able to snatch a few hours sleep herself.
It was exciting to be shackled again! She was beginning to like this game. Before she drifted off into a shallow and chilly sleep, she shook her leg and heard the chain clink and rattle. This was fun! Paula and she must go on playing this game!
Paula woke up an hour after sunrise. The darling cat was still sleeping and she slipped carefully out of bed in order not to wake her.
Looking out of the window she saw that Roberta was awake and being appraised by a couple of men, both of them on their way to work in the fields. Roberta looked oddly happy. Could it be that she liked sleeping buck naked in the freezing cold? Obviously she did. But Paula preferred her nice warm bed and the company of the darling adorable pussycat.
The cat had started to move. Now that the warmth from Paula's body was no longer coming up through the bedclothes she was aware that it was time get on with things. Out there were birds to be caught and killed, mice to be played with and put to a grisly death, milk to be drunk, fish to be eaten and - above all - shit to be expelled from her lithe and furry body onto some proud gardener's lovingly tended borders. Another day! She stole gracefully downstairs and was allowed to exit the building. After some thought she decided on shitting in the Mayor's garden this morning. She'd never liked the bastard and when he angrily threw things at her, he always missed! That creep was fucking pathetic!
Paula ate eggs, bacon, freshly baked rolls and a whole bunch of grapes for breakfast. Afterwards she drank several cups of incredibly aromatic coffee. She had always wondered, heretofore, why coffee always seemed to smell so much better than it tasted. This incredible brew tasted a hundred times better than it smelled! And it smelled pretty good!
She looked up and saw a very important-looking man crossing the room. If it were not for the tethered but still formidable Roberta's jealously, she would have fancied him! The man stood over her and coughed with extreme delicacy and politeness. He looked a real toff! And to think that she had once been a mere maid and now she was being deferred to by men like him!
"Are you the owner of the Slave in the square, madam?"
"I am. I was told that she could be left there overnight, so long as she was securely shackled."
"Indeed, Madam! No problem! But we wondered if she might be the same mighty warrior who recently killed that over the hill drunken bum Rodrigo?"
"My Slave is the very same woman. No one, male or female, can fail to be defeated by my obedient and loyal Slave. So watch out!"
"Just as you say, Madam!"
Paula continued to eat her delicious breakfast. The sweet cat, having crapped over the Mayor's prize tulips and dug them up in a ritual burial ceremony, wrapped her sinuous body around her sweet ankles.
"Hi, sweetheart! Have a good shit?" She asked solicitously.
Roberta was hungry! And with hunger came anger. While that selfish bitch Paula was taking her time over breakfast, she was fucking starving out here in the square.
"Come on, you cow," she muttered viciously.
Roberta contented herself with a loving contemplation of all the details of Paula's next caning. It was going to be the most protracted and brutal yet. She'd show the little minx! But even this supremely satisfactory sadistic fantasy was not sufficient to stave off the hunger pangs for long.
When food was finally brought over for her it was so horrible that she almost puked. The only thing that relieved the monotony that long cold day was being allowed to go the toilet.
Paula had been at the hotel for just over a day and it was morning again. The sweet little pussycat had performed her morning toilet and wreaked great havoc upon the Mayor's prized garden. The angrily aimed boot had missed by a mile - as always! Pussy was very happy today! Now that she had cleansed her body of impurities, it was time to check out that very nice guest who had so kindly allowed her to sleep on her bed the last couple of nights.
Paula saw Pussy and cried out in sheer joy. "Darling sweetie-pie! How are we this lovely morning? Let's go and see Slave Roberta! Come on, darling!"
Paula picked up the purring cat and wandered over to the square where Roberta was shackled.
"Good morning, Mistress! What a sweet little cat! Before I was selected to join the Golden Guard, I was given a gorgeous little kitten. It would have grown up to look just like that angelic darling. Where did my Mistress find her?"
"It is the hotel cat, Slave Roberta. Are you well this morning?"
"I thank my Mistress for her concern. I am very well, except for the men folk of this place who crowd around at night to inspect my cunt!”
"You can't blame them Slave Roberta. It is a pretty exceptional cunt! I often masturbate about it myself! I hope you are a good girl and spread your legs for them to get a good look!"
"Of course, Mistress! Are we moving on today, Mistress Paula?"
Roberta wasn't too optimistic! She saw a certain kind of look in Paula's eye. She was going to be here a day or two yet.
"No! I like it here! And poor pussy would be so sad if I left her. Wouldn't you, sweetheart?"
"So your poor old Slave gets to stay here, I suppose! Have a nice few days, Mistress!"
"Thank you, Roberta! I intend to! Pussy and I are going to have a ball!"
Paula was just going back to the hotel, fondling the pussy.
"What is it now, Slave?"
"Can't you find some work for me? That money isn't going to last for ever. Not the way you spend it!"
"Mind your own lowly business, Slave! And don't be so fucking rude! It's all taken care of - or will be!"
Paula went back to her room, depositing the cat on her bed where she immediately fell fast asleep (the cat - that is).
She counted her remaining money. There was absolutely loads and loads of it! Silly stingy Roberta with her careful peasant upbringing! This would last for six months at the rate they were spending it! After all, Roberta hardly spent any and she was so good with her bow and arrow that they ate for free most of the time. But the Slave did have a point. It was NEVER possible to have too much money! And the mighty Slave would start going to seed if left where she was. Hard and backbreaking work must be found for her.
Before she had time to think any further on the subject there was a knock on her door. She shouted to whomever it was to come in.
It was the hotelkeeper and two others. The cat looked up briefly, recognised her beloved owner, and went back to sleep. He came in with the two others and stood respectfully until Paula asked them to be seated.
"I hope you are enjoying your stay with us, Madam."
"Very much. Your cat is such a darling!"
"She's called Suzie. She's very popular around here, except with the mayor!"
"Anyway, I don't suppose you came to pass the time of day! What can I do for you?"
The taller of the two gentlemen spoke first. "It's about your strong Slave. We would like to hire her for maybe as long as a week or two. We are not the richest people, Madam, but could afford twenty gold pieces for two weeks' hire."
"What exactly do you want her to do? She can fight and she can lift and carry. At the last place we stayed at she cleared an entire grove of trees inside two weeks. Then she fought and killed Rodrigo. She was wonderful that day!"
The taller man explained what Roberta was to do. "My daughter has been kidnapped by robbers who have taken her to their camp in the woods. I cannot afford the ransom they have demanded. There isn't that much money in the whole town! We think there a dozen of them and we know where they are camped. Your Slave is a former Golden Guard. We could see that without being told, but her fame has spread far and wide these last weeks. I can promise you our eternal gratitude as well as the money, which is very little, but all we can afford. Will you help us?"
Paula frowned and then replied. "I'll be frank with you, gentlemen. Roberta is not really a slave. In fact she is my Mistress. When she was in the Golden Guard I was an auxiliary and her special helper. It just seemed to the two of us that it would be prudent for her to act the part of Slave in the hope that her perpetual nakedness might not be punished so badly.
“Wherever we go she gets horribly flogged for her nudity which is a badge of honour for her as a Golden Guard. I'll have to ask her if she will do it. I hardly think her answer is in doubt. Your daughter will be saved and she will save her. And I can't imagine it taking her as long as two weeks. What's more, I am sure she would flay me alive if I accepted a penny from you!"
The group went over to the square. As Paula had guessed, Roberta readily agreed to help to the fullest extent of her powers. Her manacles were removed and she and Paula conferred.
"I want to come as well, darling! Unless you think I'd only be in the way!"
"You stay here and keep furry little Suzie company. I'll take two of the men with me. Any more would be too many. Goodbye, darling Paula! It won't be long!"
A couple of hours later, the little group were looking down at the bandit encampment. Roberta recognised the leader. His name was Alfonso and she had clashed with him once in her first year. Most of his gang had been killed or captured but he had escaped after a brief duel with a hard-pressed Roberta who had been unable to stop him getting away. She had needed to be in six places at once that day - luckily for Alfonso!
"Is that her," asked Roberta of the young girl's father. "The fair haired girl tied to the stake?"
"Yes. That is my Ethelberta. Poor child! She looks so frightened!"
"They appear not to have harmed her. You say it was the day before yesterday, a few hours before we arrived?"
The distraught father nodded. "There are too many of them to make a frontal attack. Those aren't ordinary bandits, but trained fighters. I know the type! I will go and challenge their leader to fight me for her. Don't worry! I recognise him and know he won't turn down a fight! Not him! Go home, both of you! I'll bring your daughter to you in the morning! I think I may have to be their guest overnight if I know anything about Alfonso's hospitality! Get along home. I'll get you daughter back!"
The father and his friend left, wondering just how wise it had been to enlist the help of this naked woman who seemed to know the bandits and who was known to be a fugitive. But something about Roberta spoke of honesty and straight dealing.
Making sure that the two men had indeed gone home, Roberta strode into the robber camp.
"Well, Alfonso! It's been a while since we last met! Taken to kidnapping poor young women, have we. Nice! I don't think! I have a suggestion for you!"
"Hello, Roberta. You look more wonderful than ever, despite the many scars you have collected since we last had the pleasure! I am terribly sorry to hear about you troubles. We have no quarrel with you. Have some wine with us and leave. Unless, of course, you care to throw in you lot with us. You'd be very welcome and be my deputy!"
"No. I want Ethelberta to come with me. Will you release her for old time's sake?"
"You are joking, Roberta! Who is to make us? You are armed and deadly, but so are we. How will you make me let her go?"
"I'll fight you for her. Or are you reduced to being a miserable coward as well as a kidnapper? Once I respected you, rebel though you were, but now you make me ill just looking at you! Fight me and if I win, she goes free!"
"I accept. You know me well enough! Never turn down the chance of a good, hard fight! And you always give people that - good old Roberta! But I choose the weapons – right?"
Alfonso went over to a group of his men, all with their weapons trained on Roberta and ready to pierce her naked body with a dozen arrows if their leader gave the order. They all laughed heartily and Alfonso came over to Roberta.
"I hear that your back has tasted deeply of the lash these last years since we met on the field of battle! You will be tasting the whip's far from gentle kisses today! We fight with whips, Roberta! Still keen or will you go with my blessing and leave the ransom negotiations to us and the villagers?"
"Of course I accept. Let's get on with it! Will you strip to make it a fair contest?"
"No. I'm not as stupid as I look, my fine friend! You chose to be naked, Roberta, not I!"
Roberta was handed a whip, the lash of which was twelve feet in length and Alfonso was given one of equal size. She removed her sword belt and bow. Roberta stood before her foe, unarmed except for the whip. It felt good to be wielding one for a change! As a Golden Guard she had rarely been on whip duty, but frequently on the receiving end!
Alfonso wore breeches and a leather coat, which it would take Roberta many good hard and well-delivered cuts to penetrate. She, as ever, wore nothing but her skin! And she was unhappily aware that the said skin was about to be cut to ribbons. She wasn't looking forward to the next few minutes! But the sight of the terrified girl, hardly more than a child, was enough to make her refuse to even think about backing out. The men backed away, none of them anxious to be sliced with the biting flying leather thongs when the fight was under way!
Alfonso struck first and Roberta ducked, feeling the breeze as the wickedly tapering thong missed her by less than an inch. Roberta struck back and saw a tear appear in the jacket. A good start!
She was less successful at evading the next effort from Alfonso and her muscular upper arm, midway between elbow and shoulder, bled from a slight nick as the whip flashed at her, too quick for her to avoid completely. Gritting her teeth in anticipation of more pain to come she moved in close and aimed three hard blows at the robber's shoulders. She got the whip to land on the same spot each time and got through the material with the third. Roberta had the satisfaction of seeing him bleed and hearing him cry out in pain. But she was bleeding herself after three minor cuts and one very, very major one.
Next time she aimed for his face and missed! He aimed for hers and missed. From then on both fighters concentrated on the body, which provided a bigger target and one easy to hit, as both fighters began to find out! For a painfully long time the stood toe to toe and exchanging more than twenty hard blows. For minutes nothing was heard save the cruel swishing and hissing of the whips and the sound of leather on clothing and leather on flesh. Roberta was cut open all over her exposed body but she reduced his coat to bloody shreds and he began to cry out in pain as she pressed home her attack, seemingly oblivious of the pain she must be suffering. Roberta, as ever, made not a sound. After five minutes of this Alfonso stepped back and raised his hands in a gesture of defeat.
"Take her, Roberta. My God, you are a tough one! Stronger than any man I have ever met and not made from flesh and blood but the finest steel! Will you stay overnight with us? Your wounds need dressing. I have really cut you up! Why you aren't lying in a pool of blood I can't imagine! You aren't human!"
Roberta shook her head. "Thanks for the kind offer, but I must get the child home. If you had seen how desperate her father was to see her again, you'd not keep her from him a minute longer than necessary. Try to find a more honourable way to earn you and your band a living, Alfonso! You'll all feel the cleaner for it, even if you are poorer!"
The girl was released and Roberta took her by the hand and led her home to her grateful father. The citizens crowded round to congratulate her on her bravery. Then Roberta, who had lost a frightening amount of blood and was already deathly pale, fainted.
She woke up next day to find herself in bed and covered with sheets. Her body was covered in bandages and she struggled to free herself from then. She was a Golden Guard! She must remove this covering at once. Then she fainted again.
Paula heard the commotion and came into the room where her friend lay. She saw Roberta's distress and gave a crisp instruction to the physician tending her. "Take off her bandages. She will go berserk if you don't. Every second she wears those dressings is a disgrace to her. The air on her skin will heal her soon enough! She has suffered worse than those wounds in her time and never had bandages for them!"
Roberta was unwrapped and her dreadful wounds left to the air to heal them. She lay naked on the bed and fell into a deep sleep from which she did not awake for forty-eight hours.
The heroine amazed everyone except Paula by the speed of her recovery. As the little girl had predicted, Roberta angrily refused all offers of money, but the insistence of the grateful father finally wore down her resistance. They were the guests of the townsfolk for three weeks and by the time they were ready to leave, her wounds had all healed. But the scars on her belly, breasts, thighs, arms and shoulders would never disappear.
"Funny, isn't it, darling," said Paula as she accompanied her friend on the way out of the town, after bidding Suzie a very tearful farewell. She had come to adore that cat!
"What is funny?"
"The first place we come to where they accept your nudity and you still get whipped!"
"I'm not laughing, Paula! And I think it's time for your next caning!"
Philippa stooped over her crystal ball. It had been a rattling good show last night! She had gone contentedly to bed after watching the unbeliever Roberta fight the bandit Alfonso and nearly die, her naked body sliced up time and time again before she forced the coward to give in, even though he wasn't hurt nearly as badly as she. She was without doubt a great fighter - quite the very best. Whatever weapons she used, sword, arrow, her own body or the whip, she always prevailed. But she wished the woman would become a believer. If Roberta did she might be inclined to help her and maybe save her from a bit of grief along the way.
Rodolfo came to back of the cave and greeted the elderly seer. "How goes, it Philippa? What progress are the brave Roberta and her faithful Paula making? They should have been back at the palace weeks ago. Even on foot they should be back by this time!"
"She keeps being distracted, Rodolfo! And the newly formed and exceedingly active Ladies' League for Truth and Decency make her life a misery wherever she goes, egging on the Councillors and Mayors to work her half to death and then put her on display and whip the hide off her. She, the proud woman, refuses to dress in decent apparel and is whipped from pillar to post! The burning fiery leather kisses fall thick and fast upon that strong back and her torment has not finished yet!"
A reedy and malevolent cackle issued from her withered frame.
"How many times have they thus assaulted the person of one of the King's trustiest servants?" Rodolfo sounded angry. He was angry. Extremely angry - totally pissed off. He had thought Roberta's painful exoneration should have been the end of her troubles with the whip, not the start.
"She has been flogged three times since leaving us behind. And if you take her recent duel with our colleague Alfonso into account - four. One community flayed her twice, despite the help she gave them out of the goodness of her heart. Quite a victim of injustice is our good Roberta! HE HE HEE HE HEEE!"
She started wheezing helplessly and looked close to collapse.
"Well, I don't like it! She needs our help. I'll ride in the direction she took and ensure she meets no more such disgraceful indignities. I'll teach those confounded Decency and Truth Ladies a lesson they'll never forget! Flog a few of them and see how they like it! I'll go and pick out a dozen good riders and we shall be with her inside a week! Then she shall have an escort back to the Palace and suffer no more."
It took the cunning Philippa a couple of fainting fits and a threat to bewitch the entire bandit company to dissuade the chivalrous Rodolfo. With sadness in his heart he contented himself with saying a few prayers for the heroic Golden Guard and her travails in a world where the dreaded Ladies League was going from strength to strength, their spies lying in wait to track Roberta's progress and have her hauled before the magistrates at whatever place she stayed.
He guessed, correctly, that the ostensibly respectable League was in alliance with the rebels. Their supposed Puritanism was merely an excuse to shred the long-suffering Roberta's back time and time again. In time they hoped to get the entire Golden Guard either disbanded or fully clothed, either of which eventuality would be a disaster. He cursed these dreadful people. And if he couldn't go to Roberta's aid himself he would send a couple of his best men to see what they could do to help.
He gave them their instructions late that night and they stole silently out of the camp while Philippa still slept. But one had to be up very early in the day to get the better of Philippa! Philippa might be asleep, but her watchful Black Cat was wide-awake and taking notes!
As soon as she awoke in the morning, Tiddles (her Black Cat) leapt onto her bed and warned her of Rodolfo's continuing concern for Roberta. She cackled again. Fond of evil cackling, was Philippa!
The latest impact of Roberta' swishy and well used cane, as it came thundering down on to Paula's red, sore arse echoed crisply in the frosty air through the verdant woodland grove.
"Thank you, Slave!"
"Thank you Slave! That will be all for now!"
"Ouch! Are you deaf!"
"Fucking stop it this minute, Slave! "
"That's all for tonight, Mistress! But I think I'll leave the Mistress tied up for the night. Sleep well, Mistress Paula!"
Roberta threw a blanket over the naked and red bottomed Paula, who rubbed her wounded posterior for a few seconds before falling asleep. Even before the caning had gotten out of hand, she had not been feeling too great for some reason.
Then Roberta opened the saddlebags and went through Paula's possessions. She paid particular attention to the couple's store of money. There was quite a tidy sum here! Roberta's hard work had certainly gone some way to fulfilling Philippa's prophecy of wealth and happiness. But this store of gold pieces, sizeable though it was, could hardly be called a fortune. And Paula, despite the way she always got to sleep in comfort when they stopped off at various towns along the way, was hardly that happy. She guessed that Philippa's forecast referred to a time after the journey was over. Not that she believed all that hocus-pocus in any case!
Roberta was satisfied that they had enough here to last for almost a year at the rate it was being spent. The grateful father, for whose daughter's sake Roberta had almost died in a suicidally unequal struggle, had given them a lot - far more than he could afford - and she had tried in vain to refuse his offer.
There was no need for Roberta to offer her powerful body in exchange for more money. Nothing seemed to be in the way of getting on with the journey and restoring her good name.
But, as the attentive reader will have gathered, Roberta still had three more good, solid whippings to endure before we get to where we came in at the beginning of chapter six. (She didn't count the fight with Alfonso, and nor should we). And who can say what further troubles are still in store for her, even then?
In the morning Roberta went to get the pair some breakfast. It was two days since they had left the grateful father. This gentleman and his friends had made both girls very welcome for three very pleasant weeks. Roberta, when she had recovered sufficiently from her wounds, had asked to sleep outside at night and the understanding townsfolk had agreed, allocating a fenced off section of the village square, providing her with privacy as well as fresh and freezing air.
Paula had become rather too well used to comfort, though. Getting back to normal was not exactly a welcome experience. Roberta had just caned the little girl, partly because Paula liked it and partly because she was beginning to resent her airs and graces. Damn it all, she was only a jumped up parlour maid with a bottom His Majesty liked pinching!
Having got a nice breakfast of fried fish, Roberta went to waken her. She was horrified to see that Paula was shivering and seemed not to recognise her Mistress/Slave. When she felt her forehead, Roberta realised that she was burning up with fever. The girl needed to be taken somewhere warm - and quickly.
It took Roberta, cursing herself for mistreating her beloved so cruelly the night before, only seconds to get Paula on the horse. She had to hold her to stop her falling off and she never loosed her grip until they were in the town they had been hoping to bypass but now needed to visit urgently.
"Will you give my friend a room? And she needs a physician and nursing through her fever. We can afford to pay you well," she asked the innkeeper.
The host's wife helped Roberta put Paula, now in a raving delirium, to bed.
"Why are you naked? Are you her slave? Or have you been attacked and stripped by robbers? You have been wounded many times. You must be the notorious Roberta who fled the King's wrath and this is Paula his favourite whom he seeks with forgiveness in his heart."
"You seem to have got the general drift of things. I was accused of treachery but was guilty of no more than stupidity. I hope to clear my name. I did not know Paula was in the clear. If I had I would have sent her back. The rigours of life on the road are clearly too much for her. Look after her well. I will be back to see how she is in seven days. One way or another, her fever will be over by then!"
"It's best you leave the town if you won't wear clothes. You could be in for a whipping, a week in the stocks or both. Return to your camp and wait there for a messenger to bring news of your Paula." The man's voice was kindly and full of concern, making what followed later that day even more of a shock.
Roberta went back to where the pair had spent the night, after first leaving enough money to pay for Paula's accommodation and care. She also left all of her friend's clothing and other possessions. On her way back to the clearing she cursed again. It might have been the same whether she had caned Paula or not. But she bitterly regretted the violence to her little companion's person.
"I won't touch her again!" she vowed as she led the horse away. For some reason she didn't want to mount her friend's steed. Her place, both as a Slave and as a warrior, was on foot. The Golden Guard had never been mounted and, on those long powerful tireless legs, could cover many miles in a single day, keeping up their relentless running for hour after hour - as Paula had so admiringly seen on that day that their eyes had first crossed. How she missed the Guard, the camaraderie, the hard work and harder discipline! A soon as Paula was well again she would press on and allow no more distractions to impede her progress.
Hardly had she settled herself back into the encampment and prepared for a long stay than twenty men came crashing through the undergrowth, armed with sticks and swords. Without any warning, Roberta was clubbed to the ground and beaten unconscious. She tried to fight back but it was quite hopeless against so many.
When she came round she was tied face up to Paula's horse, her body painfully arched backwards and her hands and feet tied together under the animal. In this very painful position she was taken back to the town. It would seem that the Ladies' League had struck again!
But it was not the puritanical women who were responsible for Roberta's arrest. It was Paula, as Roberta soon found when she was taken to a cellar and strapped to a table, her hands and feet secured to each of the four corners. In a niche was a brazier and a pair of bellows. In the coals, being heated white hot, were two irons. Roberta had been through this before, as her belly and chest still bore witness!
One of her captors removed one of the white-hot irons and held it before her face. She felt the heat even though it was a foot away from her. The man touched her chest, exactly where it had been seared more than a year ago in the torture chamber at the Palace. She smelt her flesh being scorched and saw the blue smoke rise from her body. The pain was worse than a thousand floggings! Three more times she had the iron held against her writhing body and the iron was put back to be re-heated. The second iron was taken out of the flame. After five applications of that, Roberta fainted.
On recovering consciousness she found herself in a body shaped cage, scarcely large enough to hold her, and suspended from the ceiling. Her stomach and thorax hurt from the many terrible burns and she felt weak and sick. Not a single word had been said to her by the silent and masked torturers, but she knew why she was being tormented. And she knew they had hardly started on her! And she knew that, as a disobedient Slave who had physically assaulted her Mistress, she deserved it!
The physician had examined Paula carefully and seen the marks on her bottom. These were clearly the result of a vicious and wickedly unmerciful caning. The plight of this sweet little girl angered all who saw it. Had they known that the caning was consensual, all might have been well. But Paula started talking and shouting, "Stop, Slave! Beat me no more. Stop it, Slave!!"
Immediately a posse was despatched to seize the wicked and disobedient Slave and make her pay a hundred times over for what she had done to her Mistress, obviously a great lady.
Paula woke up. She was in a strange room and in a strange if comfortable bed.
"Suzie," she said. But this was not that room. This was a larger and more airy and light chamber than the cosy room at the inn where the cat had been so affectionate. A woman sat in a chair, asleep.
She woke at the sound of Paula's voice. "I'm not called Suzie, Paula. We have nobody called that here. You look better suddenly. My word, but we have been so worried about you. I'll call the physician."
An elderly man soon hurried in and looked at the patient. He felt her forehead and smiled. "We are well on the mend this morning! You have had a terrible time, Paula. Terrible!"
"Where is Roberta? Can I see her, please. My darling Roberta!"
A worried look passed over the kindly physician's face. "Your darling Roberta? Surely you cannot mean that cruel woman and rebellious slave who beat you so badly?"
"How dare you call her cruel! There is nothing cruel about her. She is the best and kindest of friends! And she's not a slave! That's just a silly game we play! As for the caning - that's my idea. Call me weird, but I like it! Now, where is she? What have you done with her?"
The doctor hurried out. Half an hour later, a pale and hardly recognisable Roberta was brought into the room. Two men were holding her, without whose aid she would have collapsed. Her upper body was covered with horrible burns and she seemed not to have eaten for days. Paula screamed at the sight of her and leapt out of bed, running across the chamber and embracing her darling companion.
"What have they done to you, my sweet. What have they done?"
"No, Paula! I will not cane you."
"Just a few gentle ones? Pleeeeease?"
It was ten days after Roberta's release from the torture chamber and as usual she had made a miraculously rapid recovery, but the memory of all the nasty things they had done to her was very fresh in her mind. In view of the trouble it had recently got her into, the very idea of caning that delightful backside again brought her out into a cold sweat!
Even after she had detailed all the things they had done to her, Paula still wanted to be chastised. Selfish girl!
For all of seven days Paula had been ill and raving and for that same seven days they had kept Roberta in that dreadful room, giving her no respite from pain, day or night. Last time she had been tortured she had hardly known what was happening because of her drugged condition, but this time her mind and perceptions had been razor sharp and crystal clear. It had not been fun!
After the burning with white-hot irons she had fainted. On waking she had been in a coffin-shaped cage and hung from the ceiling. A deep bath had been placed directly under her and heated until it was scarcely bearable to be immersed in it. Needless to say, Roberta had been lowered into the nearly boiling water, gradually feeling the scalding hot liquid cover her entire body. Countless repetitions of this treatment had taken up most of the remainder of her first day.
Next day they had subjected her to the near drowning experience from which the King's Chief Torturer had derived so much simple pleasure over a year ago. The Village Tormentor, a master of his craft, had been interested to see how long Roberta could spend with her head under water and live to tell the tale. He had a theory that people could be got used to longer and longer immersions over a period of time. Roberta had been his far from willing guinea pig in this interesting experiment. After her release he had told her, his eyes shining with mad enthusiasm, that she had been able to last over a minute longer at the end of his programme of experiments than the beginning.
Roberta was convinced that her thumbs were far flatter than she remembered them before the thumbscrew experience, although Paula assured her that she could see no difference in shape.
"You let your imagination run away with you, darling," she had said. "You should get out more."
Roberta had got to know the rack extremely well during hat long and painful week. "I'm inches taller, Paula. Inches! And it still hurts all over."
"You look the same height to me, Roberta. Your posture is better, though. You'd been inclined to slouch recently. In the Guard they'd have pulled you up for it. You really do make the most of all your troubles, don't you? I never met such a one for complaining!"
And now the silly girl wouldn't cane her any more. Just because of a few days pain! There were times when Paula almost lost all patience with her!
As a gesture of goodwill the council had refunded all of Paula's living costs and medical expenses, giving her a handsome purse full of gold pieces into the bargain. Roberta had been fed on wholesome food and allowed to sleep in the Chief Tormentor's garden while Paula continued her recovery. Surprisingly, in view of the pain he had caused her, Roberta got on very well with this cruel gentleman and they shook hands warmly when the couple departed.
"You are the first of my customers who never cried out, Roberta. What a wonderful girl you are! A pleasure doing business with you! Some of my clients make a terrible fuss with their shrieking and groaning. It can be very upsetting to one so sensitive as I!"
"I always try to show consideration to other people!" replied Roberta with perhaps a tinge of sarcasm in her voice.
She promised to give his regards to the Chief Torturer at the Palace when she next met him.
"Does my illness and your torture count as an adventure, Roberta," asked a slightly sulky Paula when it became clear that she would get no more lovely caning from her "Slave".
“No! In view of the fact that I wasn't whipped, we must think of it as more of an interlude than an adventure!”
"I do hope we have a real adventure soon, Roberta. One where you get a really imaginative whipping and I'll get to stay in some nice hostelry and maybe meet another cat. And you don't mind a bit of hard work at the same time, do you? Just so long as you're out in the fresh air!"
"Quite, Paula! It's the confinements I can't take! Might I remind you, by the way, that in our second port of call I spent days and days on end in a filthy stinking cellar in near pitch darkness! It isn't all fresh air for me when we have our adventures. Being chained up in that noisome hole was even worse than being tortured. At least the Village Tormentor kept his Chamber of Horrors sparklingly clean! Very house proud! I think maybe he was gay."
"Like us, you mean?" giggled Paula, sticking her finger, first into Roberta's cunt and then into her mouth.
Roberta frowned at this. "We're different!... aren't we?" she asked.
The Area Convenor of the Ladies' League for Truth and Decency stood in her back yard in the charming hill town of Rockwell Green. She had her eyes fixed firmly upon the heavens, not only because of her high-minded and otherworldly righteousness of soul, but because she was expecting a message from the said heavens, to be delivered by a pigeon. Soon the winged messenger came swooping down and settled in its box.
With trembling and eager hands, Sister Amelia removed the message from the bird's leg. It read simply.
"The whore Roberta and her companion Paula are heading your direction STOP They hope to bypass your village, in the same way as they have avoided the last five on their way STOP Vital you intercept STOP Philippa MESSAGE ENDS."
Sister Amelia hurried to the house of her assistant and fellow bigot, the Mayor's nagging wife, Clarissa. "Our chance is coming, Clarissa! Whore Roberta, whose juicy cunt drives men wild with filthy desire, including our husbands, is coming this way. We must inveigle her into the village."
"Exactly how are we supposed to do that, Amelia? Roberta is a big girl and she knows how to use that sword. And the men are no help. The first sight of that naked whore, with her big tits and succulent cunt, and they are putty in her hands. Let her pass and thank our lucky stars she gave us a miss!"
"No, Clarissa! Where is your sense of moral purpose? Where is the zeal you once possessed? Shame on you! Some of the men will do as we tell them. My husband for one. I'd like to see that wimp even think about disobeying me! That'll be the day! Round up the entire Chapter and five men with axes. We'll be having Whore Roberta as our unwilling guest tonight. Are the stocks ready?"
"No, Amelia. They are still away being serviced!"
"Curses! Foiled again! Never mind, we'll think of something just as good - or bad - for her. But no burying her underground in a cellar this time! She must be confined in such a way that all can see the utter powerlessness of her and her reactionary degenerate kind before the mighty forces our movement has unleashed! Come, sister! We have not a second to lose!"
"Did you hear something, Roberta? A sort of crashing sound?"
"Yes. It came from up ahead. We'll soon enough find out what it was. Hand me my sword belt and the rest of my gear. Best be prepared. Put on your dagger, Paula! If there is any trouble we'll fight our way out. No more diversions from now on!"
"That's what I like to hear, Roberta! A bit of action! I can't wait!"
Coming round the next bend in the winding road that led through the forest the couple soon saw what the noise had been. Three trees had been felled and lay right across the narrow road, blocking their path.
"What insolence," exploded Roberta, "blocking the King's Highway! Never mind! We'll soon get this mess cleared. Two of the trees are small and light enough for me to move and the horse will see to the other. Get out the rope, Paula! Then I'll ride into the town and seek out those responsible!"
"Are you mad, Roberta? Can't you see that's just what they want? They've blocked the road to make us go through the town, where they've got something painful planned for you!"
"I am the King's servant, Paula! I must do what I can to bring those responsible to justice. I have no choice."
"A King who would have you put to death if he could catch you! Remember that, Roberta!"
"Not if the proofs of my innocence are still in the Palace as you claim."
"If the Ladies League get their hands on you, it's going to be bad this time - really bad. You won't be coming out of that town for ages. You know the score, Roberta! Six weeks hard labour with a whipping halfway through and another at the end. You don't need any more lashes, Roberta, and what's more you can't spare the time. We need to finish this journey and expose the true villains. You know that! Let's just be on our way once we've cleaned up this mess!"
But Roberta was adamant and so, three hours late, the inhabitants of Rockwell Green were amazed to see a tall, naked woman with blonde hair, already beginning to be long again, galloping into the town. Across the saddle was the form of Sister Amelia. Amelia was screaming to be freed at once.
After the trees had been cleared, Roberta had spotted Amelia, who had not gone back to the town as had the others through secret forest paths. She had been too keen to admire the consternation on Roberta's face as she realised that she must go through the town. She had tried to run away when spotted but Roberta was too quick for her and soon grabbed the fleeing bigot, tying her up and taking her back to the town to demand her imprisonment for vandalism.
Roberta, looking furious, asked for the Mayor. The chief citizen came hurrying out of his house. He was no lover of the Ladies League for Truth and Decency, having one of them for a wife. At the sight of Roberta with her magnificent, if somewhat scarred, young body he was all smiles and anxiety to please.
It seemed that the Ladies' League had over-reached themselves this time, and Amelia looked to be headed for the cells, when it all went wrong.
There was a commotion from the end of the street and a disconcerted Roberta saw Paula being escorted into the town by a bevy of women. The silly girl had disobeyed Roberta and her curiosity had got the better of her. She had approached too close and been captured.
"If you want your friend to be released you'll free out leader," shouted one of the women.
"Are you going to allow my friend to be treated like that? She has done no wrong, unlike me. Make those women let her go, put this woman in prison for malicious damage and I'll surrender myself to you for being naked while suspended from the Golden Guard."
The Mayor nodded. Roberta released the squawking Amelia into the clutches of the Town Constable and Paula was freed. Then came more drama!
From the other end of the town could be heard the sound of many riders. Soon Alfonso and a dozen well-armed ruffians came up the party. He leered at Roberta. "We meet again, my dear. I see you still bear the marks I gave you!"
"What brings you here, Alfonso?" Roberta guessed it was nothing good!
"I thought about your advice to find a new means of earning a living. And I and my men agreed with you. So now we have joined the noble struggle for Truth and Decency. This town is ours now! Mine, actually! Welcome to my town, Roberta!"
Had there been warning of Alfonso's approach, Roberta might have organised a resistance as she had in an earlier adventure, but there was no chance in the present circumstances. She dismounted and handed the reins to Paula, who led the animal away to be stabled. She was sorry for Roberta. But she HAD warned the silly headstrong girl!
After Roberta had made the now familiar visit to the blacksmiths and been fitted with another fetching pair of leg irons she was brought before Alfonso, the new Acting Mayor, and Sister Amelia to be told her fate. "It seems that previous experiences have failed to convince you of the error of your ways, Roberta. You are a Golden Guard no longer and your nudity is an affront to decency. In time all the Golden Guard will be punished for their shameless mode of dress. Now is the time to make an example of you. I hope that in the coming weeks you will reflect upon your moral failings and resolve to lead a new and better life in future."
"Get to the point, you bastard," snarled Roberta. When she was reinstated she'd pursue and destroy this swine if it took her the rest of her life!
"The sentence of the new Council is that you serve six weeks hard labour and receive three floggings, the first tomorrow morning, the second after three weeks and the third to send you on your way, knowing that the same treatment awaits you in every community you pass by or through. Do you have anything to say?"
"Let my friend alone and do what you will to me. Harm a hair of her head and I will kill you one day; and one day a lot sooner than you think!"
"Empty threats from an empty vessel. Put the whore on display for the night. All citizens are to assemble in the morning at first light to witness the justice of the Ladies' League!"
"What's for lunch today, innkeeper?" asked Paula, who was feeling very hungry. Cold weather always did this for her and she had been forced, like all the other townsfolk, to watch Roberta being flogged several hours earlier. Paula hated to go out without a full breakfast inside her!
"Roast beef, followed by steamed chocolate pudding, cheese and biscuits. We have a selection of fine wines."
"Yummy! Can't wait!"
"I am relieved that madam has an appetite. In view of what happened to your friend I thought you might be off your food," replied the friendly innkeeper.
This good man had watched disgustedly as Roberta had been savagely whipped by three of Alfonso's men, each taking it in turn to give the poor girl her lashes. At present the victim was raising buckets of water from the well, walking in circles as she pushed the rotating mechanism, her wounds still bleeding. Later on she would be harnessed to a cart and made to transport supplies to all the houses in the town, there being no running water in this distant time. It would be long past nightfall before she was chained up for the night and allowed a few hours of rest.
"If that stupid girl had listened to me we'd be miles away from here by now. I have lost patience with her. We have a very important mission to fulfil and she keeps getting involved in sorting out the cares of the world. We'd cleared the road. Why couldn't she leave it at that? Don't worry about her! She's amazingly tough, you know! She'll sail through the next six weeks!"
"She did try to help us, madam. And it makes us ashamed that we can do nothing to stop her mistreatment. I doubt she will be here for six weeks. Long before then we will have moved against these horrible women and their bandit accomplices!"
"Those men will kill you all! They are really desperate criminals! Roberta has told me all about them. She'd be the last person to want you to court certain death for yourselves and a fate worse than death for your women and children. She'd sooner go through ten times what she's going through today than see that happen!"
"You may be right. But it shames me all the same to think about it. I heard that Roberta trained the people of one town to fight back against marauders. Could she not do the same here?"
"If she were free, she could. But they guard her too well. Leave her to serve out her time. It may sound callous of me, but it's the only way."
Three days later, Paula had a walk around the town. People were keeping themselves indoors as much as possible. Alfonso's men looked to be everywhere, lounging around and keeping their eyes open. She wondered just how much they were being paid for all this.
Roberta was looking much less distressed by now. She always recovered well after her frequent punishments. Today she was shovelling dirt from the street into a cart. Later she would be pushing the same cart to the tip a mile outside the town. Her next day on water duty was tomorrow. Today it was less the hard work that made Paula's heart bleed, so much as the degrading nature of what she was being forced to do. She could bear to watch no more and knew it would make it worse for Roberta to see her friend observing her brought so low.
Paula decided to walk a few miles into the woods where this particular adventure had started. She heard a whistle coming from a group of bushes and her name being called. A man stepped out and she recognised him. It was one of Rodolfo's band! What was he doing here?
"We were sent to watch over Roberta. Philippa was against Rodolfo sending any more than us two. In fact she was angry that even we should have been sent. It took us far longer to reach this place than it should because of that old witch, casting her spells and leading us a merry dance. Roberta has made a bad enemy there! I fear there is little we can do for her this time. I shall go back to Rodolfo and implore him to send sufficient men to save Roberta from as much of her ordeal as is possible."
Paula shook her head. "It's pointless. I see it all now. Philippa has willed all these misfortunes for my Mistress! She is fated to endure whatever the old woman decrees. We can do nothing for her. Go back to Rodolfo and leave events to take their ordained course."
The two men did as Paula said. But Philippa had been having second thoughts. What right did she have to punish that brave girl further for her failure to believe? Poor Roberta had suffered enough. She decided to raise to more objections to helping her. As soon as the two men returned and told Rodolfo what was happening he despatched enough men to defeat Alfonso and rescue Roberta.
This party arrived in Rockwell Green twenty four hours after Roberta had received her third and final whipping at the end of a very gruelling six weeks. Alfonso had made sure she was worked harder during that time, than even at the terrible Hell Island Prison. He had a score to settle after being bested in combat!
So she and Paula were on their way again. After chasing Alfonso and his band away and seeing that Amelia and Co. had been put in prison for conspiring against one of the King's Golden Guard, the band set out in pursuit of Roberta and Paula, determined to escort them in safety back to their appointment with destiny at the Palace.