Piercing the Darkness
Ayrmeis brought his blade up, blocking his brother’s swipe. Tardison grunted, pushing forward in an attempt to knock him off balance.
A grin creased Ayrmeis’ lips as he gave ground enough to initiate a back somersault, grabbing a shuriken from his belt. When he came back up to face his brother, Ayrmeis launched the projectile toward Tardison, following quickly behind.
As Tardison ducked the shuriken, Ayrmeis came around with a sidekick, followed by a combination of jabs and cuts.
“Gods!” Tardison yelled, throwing up both arms to block the devastating onslaught.
When he fell back another step, Ayrmeis dropped low, spinning both legs around. He contacted his brother behind the knees, sending him sprawling to the floor. Tardison’s sword fell as he landed hard on the ground. Before he could move to counter, Ayrmeis plopped down on his stomach, placing his dagger in his groin.
“The match is yours! The match is yours!” Tardison sucked in his breath, placing both hands in the air.
Ayrmeis laughed, tapping his brother’s manhood with the blade. He stood, pulling him to his feet. Tardison clutched his stomach, regaining his breath.
“The contest was not fair,” Tardison said after his breathing had calmed.
Ayrmeis flipped his long braid to his back, wiping down his sword. “Were the rules established before we began?”
“Rules? The rules remain the same. We fight with honor.”
“Honor? So, I did. Where did the honor lack in my technique?”
“You sat on me, Ayrmeis!”
He laughed aloud, clapping him on his back. “I used whatever means available to subdue you, yes.”
“And the dagger to my groin?”
Ayrmeis laughed even louder. “Advantage, Brother, advantage,” he said, patting his cheek.
“Dagger to the groin? Mayhaps it is good that I am late,” Raithym yawned.
They turned, regarding their cousin as he took a seat on the bench, drinking from his wineskin.
“Late?” Tardison repeated. “Our practice is at an end. Where have you been?”
Raithym waved a dismissive hand in the air. “There is more than practice on my mind.”
“Not Ceron again, I hope.” Ayrmeis rolled his eyes, replacing the practice swords on the wall.
“Not all of us are Jasiri warriors. Unlike you, there is more than fighting on my mind.”
“Well, I am no warrior,” Tardison said. “Yet, I take our training seriously. Your father asked us to train together. He expected you to be here improving your prowess.”
“Oh, are you to tell him that I neglected my duties, Tardison?”
“Of course not. Still, we awaited your arrival. You could have told us of the delay.”
“I did not know myself,” Raithym said, walking across the room and draping his arms over their shoulders. “I did not know that the ladies were enjoying a hot bath in the common room.” He winked. “After they finished, they rubbed each other with oils. You should have seen their perfect glistening bodies: the round hips and full breasts. Ceron’s would fit perfectly in my hands and my mouth. That sight was more pleasing than the two of you.”
Ayrmeis removed his arm, turning to face him. “You need to focus on what is important, Raithym. Finding a place to stick your cock is not your purpose. Our parents continue to struggle against those that would see them ousted from power, and the quisling is in the custody of the Jasiri. Soon, he will be in the citadel. Your mother worries.”
“Please,” Raithym scoffed. “I do not fear some old and withered man. He means little and less to me. Mother worries without cause. My prowess is sufficient enough for one as he.” Raithym grinned. “But Ceron…now that is a project worth pursuing. If training is needed anywhere, it would be between her thighs,” he said, licking his lips.
“Your mother would not think so,” Tardison said. “Ceron is nearly six years your senior and serves the citadel. She has cared for you since you were a babe. That alone should stave off your desires.” He shook his head. “With all that has happened with us, caution must be taken. After the dangers have passed, your parents will seek a pledge for you. You are the eldest. There are many young maids that would desire a bond with the son of the Nakshij of Nazil.”
“Pledge? Why would I want to have only one when there are so many to sample within these very walls. I have seen Ceron looking at me when she thought I did not see. I will have her as many times as my cock will rise.”
Ayrmeis and Tardison laughed aloud, shaking their heads.
“If your mother finds you bedding the attendants, it will rise no more,” Ayrmeis japed. “Save your seed, cousin.”
“For what, a warrior-ess of the isle as you? I will be well satisfied now, and when I decide to bond myself to another, she will know pleasure like none other.”
“If I am blessed to earn a wife, I do desire one of K’ohshul. Sir Yego tells of the maids there, and I want to complete the trials and take part in the N’gohne of selection. Now is not the time. Much lies ahead for us; all of us.”
“He speaks true, Raithym. Why do you not take the shift seriously? Look at us; our age is nearly that of our parents. Does this not raise a fear in you?”
“I am the only one of us who has taken it seriously, Tardison. How are we to know that the next four seasons will not cause us to shrivel as old men? I will not spend all of my time in the practice chamber. I will enjoy what life I have until it is taken from me. If your desire is to never taste the sweetness of a woman or join your body to hers, so be it. I am not of the same mind. I will have my fill now while my cock will rise and my tongue will please,” Raithym said, walking away and grabbing his wineskin from the table.
“Raithym is a fool, Brother,” Ayrmeis said as the door closed.
“Indeed. However, not all he speaks is false. We do not know what the next season will bring. Our parents have told us little of what has caused this change. If the shift persists, what will become of us?”
“Tardison, no other changes will occur. The Guardians told of this, and Ahvixx explained what has taken place and why. We must prepare for the dangers ahead, not give into hedonistic desires. There will be time when our purpose is complete,” he said, raising his hand to his brother.
Tardison smiled, raising his right hand as well. When their palms met, the Guardian marks tingled and glimmered. Both closed their eyes, feeling the connection with not only each other, but with the Guardians as well. Once the light dimmed, they released a heavy breath, taking a step back.
“This is our purpose,” Ayrmeis said.