We arrived in the bath. Veraina had already joined Eschele in filling it. It had a ways to go so I just sat back and let my feet dangle over the edge. I watched as the girls carried water from the room where it was heated. I accessed the layout of the castle. It overlaid the room. It reminded me of a heads up display on a fighter. I pulled back and thought about what I was wanting to accomplish. The tank would have to be high enough to give a good pressure for what I wanted. I stared at it for a while, the the obvious hit me. I scanned the tower and found that the stone was quite thick enough to support it and I could go down though the stone with the feeds. The problem would be filling it. I scanned down to the well. It was too far away to be convenient. Then I went down and scanned beneath it. It was fed by a stream. It was deep, but it went almost directly underneath the tower itself.
~Can I file notes on this layout?~
~Yes. I will interface for you.~
I drew the lines in my mind and figured on the runs. The sediment tank would be no problem, since no one entered the tower except for the sisters or me. It would be about seven stories beneath the ground. The pump would have to be fairly large though. I filed it away and came back to three lovely elves that were staring at me worriedly.
“Sorry, I was just planning on making your jobs here a lot easier.”
“You worry us when you do that. You fade out.”
“I am sorry. I suppose when I get lost in thought, I truly get lost.” I quipped.
They were not amused. I settled into the tub and lay back, letting the heat soak into me. I heard someone enter and a few seconds later, Melriea, Licyntha and Aerealn joined us. I drifted off again for a while and came back to Sinimia and Yondelin sliding in. Next was Asinith and Seara. I smiled and waited. Sure enough, Tinimia, Lyndara and Karia joined us.
“We want you to know that we love you and trust you, sire.” Elerith explained.
I sighed. “I did not like what happened today...”
“We know and we wanted you to know that it is alright. We understand.” Elerith continued.
“Sire, we could see the pain that it caused you. It was something that needed doing. We know that far better than you.” Lyndara stated.
“We realized, when you did it, that you could have done that with any one of us. It was a scary thought, until we considered that you hadn't. It showed us how much that you cared for us.” Yondelin added.
“We just want you to know that we love you, sire. You have taken great pains to care for us and make us happy.” Melriea added.
“You are making our wildest fantasies come to life and have given us a purpose beyond caring for a musty old keep.” Asinith added.
I thought about it for a while. They were beautiful creatures in both mind and body. I thought back to my witches. Then it hit me.
“Ladies, join hands. I am going to try something, so please do not be frightened.”
We joined hands and I let the power flow out from me. I felt the love for my little elves flow forth with it. I felt it encompass us all. I held it until I started to hear the voices of their minds. I held it as the voices grew louder. I let the power build until I was sure that we were all linked then went even deeper. I started to feel what they were feeling. I gently put the controls into place. I felt the excitement through the link as they started to discover their newfound power. I still held it. I taught them how to heal themselves and others. I taught them how to shield their minds. I taught them how to draw from the matrix and how to defend themselves. I taught them how to veil. I reinforced everything in their minds until I was sure that they understood it. Then I let my memories of my time with my witches flow to them. I answered all of their unasked questions and I taught them what all of the strange words were that I used and their meanings. I showed them how to summon the creatures. When I was done, I broke the link.
There were thirteen very stunned elves in the tub with me. I listened with my mind as they started to chatter back and forth. It took a while before it died down. They finally calmed and I felt a peace settle in.
“I suppose that we are your little sluts, aren't we?” Elerith said with amusement.
“How did I know that was going to come back to bite me?” I laughed.
“Sire, you have made us like you!” Veraina said with wonder.
“Why would you do this?” Seara asked.
“Because ladies, I love you.”
Licyntha, Yondelin and Asinith got out, declaring that someone was going to have to fix lunch if we were to eat any time soon. They started to walk out the door then stopped. I watched a veil form and the were gone.
“I bet that makes for some broken pottery in the kitchen.” Elerith laughed.
“Tell me sir, what was that thing that you used on the girls. The one that held them on the edge of ecstasy, but would not let them cross?” Veraina asked.
“It was something that I would have a hard time doing here, without electricity.”
“Electricity is what made those torches glow without flame, isn't it?” Eschele asked.
I was amazed. “Yes, and it does a lot more besides.”
“What was that strange box that you got into, that let you travel from place to place?” Sinimia asked.
“It was called a car. I doubt that we will ever need something like that here.”
“I think that the workers could use something like that to carry things.” Sinimia continued.
Whoa, they were getting a little ahead of themselves.
“I do understand what this plumbing thing is now, that shower looked like fun.” Elerith stated.
“I want to be a scrub brush like Angel was.” Eschele giggled.
It would seem that I had created a monster. Actually several. Well, it would be worth it. They were happy again. I wondered at their ability to absorb not only the knowledge, but to cross-apply it. I wondered what would happen when I started to introduce new ideas to the rest of the elves. This could get interesting.
I felt a pulse of air behind me and heard a thump. I turned and Asinith was there. She dropped to her knees.
“Sire, lunch is served.” She was grinning as she said it.
I had just given the kids some pretty powerful toys and they were playing them to the max. I kind of pitied the poor villagers. This was going to be hell on their nerves, till they got used to it. I let the girls do a quick wash job on me, and we left the tub. I made them port to the hall outside the dining room, but we still scared the living daylights out of one poor villager.
Gavin was eying me critically as we came it. “Sire.”
“Good day Gavin.”
“It would seem that you have been busy again.” He was looking at me with a neutral expression on his face.
“It would seem that you made good your word with the sect mother and now we have sisters popping in and out all over the keep.” He sounded exasperated.
“We are just trying the gift that the master gave us, good Gavin.” Elerith interceded.
“All well and good, but there will be a price to pay for sending a mindless Kisselia back to Camelot, mark my words.” Gavin looked grim by this point.
“I don't think that will be a worry.” I smiled. “El, have you sent someone to Kisselia's room to fetch her for lunch?”
“Yes milord.” Elerith replied.
“The people are not going to like...” Gavin stared at the entrance.
Ah, the sound of breaking pottery. I smiled as I turned to see Kisselia, in the company of Eschele and Veraina, enter the room. Then my smile faded. Kisselia had a roll to her gait that would make a runway model envious. Watching her walk towards me, I got the full impact of the almost outfit that I had put her in. The fire was back in her eyes, but it was a different sort of fire this time. She looked... hungry... and I don't think food was on her mind. I wondered if this was what the mouse felt like before it was taken by the cat. I glanced around and even the sisters were in shock. She strutted slowly to the head of the table and knelt before me.
“Milord, master, might I dine with you?”
You could have heard a pin drop. Gavin had paused in mid-word and hadn't shut his mouth. I doubt that he realized it. I considered her kneeling there. She had come out of it, but she had changed. I was repelled and fascinated at the same time.
“Please do Lady Kisselia.” I addressed her formally.
“I thank you sire.”
She rose and my eye was drawn to the flash of the gold ring between her legs. She caught my glance and paused, licking her lips. I wondered if this was a side effect or had this been hiding inside the shell that she had built. She turned and I got a brief rear view of her strut as he moved down the table to sit next to Elerith. I resumed eating and noticed that Gavin had come out of his trance. Conversation gradually resumed, albeit in hushed tones.
“Elerith, it is good to see you again, how do you fair?”
“Now that we have a new master, I fair well, thank you.” Elerith looked decidedly uncomfortable.
“Yes, I look forward to the arrival of our new master. Do you know of him?”
“Alas, no, milady. I have but rumors and they are wild and varied.” Elerith flat-out lied.
Kisselia sighed. “I can only hope that he is as your master.”
She looked up at me, catching my eye. At that point I wondered if it was possible to get raped by someone’s eyes. I would definitely be relieved to send her back. Gavin coughed and cleared his throat.
“Um, Vegal will be starting after lunch, sire, and would like to meet with you.”
“Is he here?”
“No he takes his meals with his crews. They have started some shops outside the walls. There is talk of petitioning you for the right to stay here.”
“I have no problem with that. They are welcome here.”
“Might I ask your name sir?” Kisselia asked Gavin.
Gavin looked uncomfortable. “Um, I am Gavin, Milady.”
“Why do the people wish to stay here?”
“Milord has turned back two attacks, destroying the enemy in detail.”
Kisselia looked at me in wonder. Mentally, I kicked Gavin.
“So you are a master in more than title.” Her look dialed up a couple of notches.
It was my turn to be uncomfortable. “So I am told.” I said neutrally.
“I would speak with you after... lunch... if you would.”
Damn it! “But of course, milady, after I meet with Vegal.” ~Elerith.~
~You will not leave me alone with her.~
~As you wish, milord.~ Her thoughts sounded amused.
Remodeling and Relocating
“Because I do not need a throne room.”
I had been at this over an hour. Vegal was something that I had not seen before, an old elf. His skin was mahogany and looked like old leather. He was also set in his ways. He could see no reason for changing the throne room into a gathering place.
“Then where are you to rule?”
“I am not going to rule. I am going to moderate.”
“That's not proper!”
I laughed. “I never claimed to be proper. I want to help with peoples’ problems by listening to them first. Elerith, Gavin and I will sit together and decide what the best course will be in a given situation. You can't listen from a throne.”
The old elf's eyes narrowed as stared at me, slowly nodding. “They were right about you.”
“What do you mean?”
“You are not a man, you are a master.” With that he just grinned.
“You have great patience, I admit that. I will start tomorrow on it.” He continued.
It was my turn to stare. I shook my head.
“Then all of this...”
“Son, I think you already know, it is not what people say, it is what they do.”
I laughed. “I would hate to face you across a poker table.”
“What's a poker table?”
“Well, poker is a game played with cards. A lot of money can change hands if you are good at bluffing and play your cards just right.”
He laughed. “You might just have to teach me that one.”
“Oh, I almost forgot, here.” I held out five gold coins in my hand.
“What is all that for?”
“For the gathering room. You need to pay your workers.”
“That's enough to...”
“Well, it might cut down on the negotiation time on my next project.” I laughed.
He looked at me seriously. “Aye, that it will. You know that this job is not worth half of that, don't you?”
“I had guessed, but I am glad that you are honest enough to tell me.”
“No, not a man at all.” He walked away shaking his head.
I wondered back to my room lost in thought. The elves were adaptable, it just seemed that new ideas were just something that they didn't grasp at first. It wasn't that they were resistant to them; it was just that the concept of doing something different was almost beyond them. That was what was going through my mind as I entered my room, almost stepping on Kisselia. I looked up startled.
“Milord, how may I serve you?” She purred.
She was on her knees by the door. Tinimia was curled up on her blanket, watching me carefully. There was no sign of Elerith.
“You wished to speak with me, milady?”
“Not really speak, milord. I am in need.” Her voice dripped honey.
“Well, I am not here for that.”
“Could I persuade you, milord?” She pouted.
“Kisselia, I am here to talk about any problems that might arise when I send you back to Camelot, not to service your needs.”
“Sire, why don't you help her out?” Tinimia asked sweetly. “I would rather enjoy watching you ream that bitch in the ass.”
Kisselia stared at Tinimia in shock.
“I mean she has always been such a pain to the rest of us...”
Tinimia suddenly looked frightened.
“I will not have vendettas in this household.” Turning to Kisselia. “And you are going back now. You are not for me and I will not have you.”
“Tinimia, I am sorry about what happened before. I didn't know then.” The hurt was evident in Kisselia's voice
I was rather surprised that she didn't snap back at her. It would seem that the conditioning worked. But that didn't change the fact that she was going to be trouble if she stayed any longer. I walked to Kisselia and helped her to her feet as Elerith walked into the room.
“Did I miss anything?” She said with a grin.
Her grin faded at the look on my face.
“No, you didn't. As a matter of fact, you are not going to get to miss your punishment either.”
She turned white. I turned to Kisselia and opened a veil. I drew her through it to Camelot then returned, leaving her standing in the middle of what looked like a large cathedral. Elerith was on her knees shaking when I returned.
“Quiet. I told you I didn't wish to be left with her.”
“But, I... I thought...”
“You thought wrong. I was trying to avoid binding her to me any more than she already was.”
She hung her head. “I am sorry, milord.”
“Damn it El, I can't have you second guessing me like that. Come here.”
She came and knelt before me. I drew her back to her feet and led her to my workbench. I pulled her dress up and found her a nice plug for her ass and a remote controlled egg. I pulled off her thong and shoved the plug up her ass, then put the egg in her cunt. She moaned. I then put her in a set of latex panties, after punching a hole for her ring to go through. She was panting by the time I worked the ring out, and then shrieked a little when I hung a ten-ounce ball from it. Her hands started to go to it, so I caught them and locked them behind her back. Her eyes were like saucers. Then I thumbed the remote. Her back arched and she screamed. I turned it off.
“Nooooo, sire! Please, don't stop... please, I was so close, please...” She whimpered.
I pulled her dress back down and clipped a leash to her collar.
“You are going to stay so close. Till after even meal in fact.” I turned to Tinimia. “You seem to be interested in taking care of problems, you are to take her for a walk. If she cums then you will join her in her punishment, do I make myself clear?”
Tinimia's eyes were huge. “Yes, milord.” She said meekly.
I watched as she led Elerith from the room. With a sigh, I sat down to think. I picked up my garmin and started to make a to do list. I had too many different things going and I had to get a handle on it. With the girls out of the way, I had a few moments to try to put it in some order. It seemed as if every spare minute was taken up or turned into a distraction. Then I looked down and the screen went blank. I fought the urge to throw it across the room.
~Can you interface with this device?~
~Attempting... interface accepted... low power source... power source recharged... backup complete.~
Well, that was easy enough. I turned the power back on and the screen came to life.
Then it hit me. What else could this thing do?
~Can you do the molecular realignment that was described previously?~
~What is the estimated time frame?~
~Approximately four hours, your reckoning.~
I smiled to myself.
~Display layout with modifications.~
The room disappeared and I was staring at the castle.
~Highlight all bathing areas in blue.~
Whoa, there were a bunch of them!
~Show configuration if all bathing areas are connected as previous example.~
I watched as the lines traced then retraced themselves. It would seem that the stone was optimizing the layout. Finally it settled into a pattern.
~What is the estimated time frame?~
~New time frame is nine hours, your reckoning.~
I suppose that it never hurts to delegate. I opened a veil to a plumbing supply house and started “shopping” for fixtures. I overpaid them just like all of my previous “purchases”, but I figured it would make up for the mysterious loss of stock.
~See if you can find Gavin for me.~
"What do you mean, who teaches the youngsters? Why the mothers of course." Gavin Looked perplexed.
"No, Who teaches the trades?" I should have known that I was assuming too much.
"Why the fathers of course. Where do you go with this?"
"I need someone to teach a new trade."
I could see that the idea of a new trade was not something that came normally to him. He stared at me with his mouth hanging open. I almost was tempted to find a mirror and see if I really had grew another head. While I let him adjust to the idea of a new trade, I considered what I was asking of him. Almost everyone had a trade, if nothing more than hunting. Which in itself was quite important in this society. After a few minutes of deliberation, I came to see what I was asking of him. I decided on another tack.
"Tell me, is there anyone who is without a trade that is skilled with their hands and willing to learn something new?"
"Well, if that is what you seek, then I would recommend young Elrod and Fenrick."
I remembered Elrod from our chance meeting in the dining hall. Fenrick was a new name.
"Elrod is rather young..."
"Yes, but he is quite skilled with his hands and, more importantly to you, quite open-minded."
I chuckled to myself. "What is the story behind him?"
"His father died in an accident a few season turns ago. He was a maker of jewelry, quite talented. He never finished showing young Elrod the trade, and so Elrod was left without recourse, save as a laborer."
I considered what he had said for a few moments. "Tell me, are there any others that are without trades? I care not what sex."
Gavin looked shocked for a second. "I suppose by now that you shouldn't be able to set me aback with your words, but I doubt that I will ever become accustomed to your way of thinking. Yes, there are quite a few that are without traditional skills, both male and female. But you are going to be setting some traditions on their ear if you train a female in a trade."
So the elves were fixed in the gender trap too. Interesting. I considered what I was about to do. The ripples from this would cause some major upheavals in their society, but passing up a good mind because of their sex was downright wasteful. Should I wait and ease them into it?
Gavin watched my face for a few moments. "You might as well have out with it. I would never say as such in polite company, but there are a lot of skilled hands that are wasted rocking a cradle."
It was my turn to be surprised. It must have shown on my face.
"I do not walk with my eyes closed, sire. There are many things that are done because that was the way of it. In my thinking, there are many that are ill suited for what they do, yet are forced into it by an accident of birth. Worry not of an outcry, you are a master, the people will adapt. Once the path has been shown, the people will tread it."
"I see. Then if you would, I would meet with at least six of them, ten if you can find them."
"Ten will be little problem, I could easily double that number if you wish."
"Not as of yet. I am going to teach them to teach others."
"I see..." He was lost in thought for a few moments. "Then they will teach the others..."
"So I do not have to attend to it. I will have enough to do without that."
I watched as Gavin slowly walked away, lost in thought. I was putting him in a rather trying position, but it seemed as if he was adapting to it rather well. I don't think that he realized as yet how much I depended on him. I went back over my plan in my mind. Then it hit me that I had overlooked a few things. Shit.
I veiled to the library on the main floor and opened a book. I was right. This was going to be harder than I thought. The book was in Latin as near as I could tell. I checked a few more and found that I was faced with several different languages. Then I hit me that there was a very good chance that none of the "recruits" could read anyway. I groaned. I sat back in one of the chairs and tried this problem from different angles. After a while, a plan of sorts presented itself. I would train them in the basics to get them started, and then take them through school from the ground up. The problem, I didn't have time for that. Not if I had to watch for invading aliens and guide the people through the upcoming changes. Well, after the plumbing was up and running, I could ease up a little. Electricity wasn't a big concern yet and the society was stable, as it stood. If I could teach them the basics, maybe they would be able to learn on their own. Well, with a core of ten elves, it wouldn't be a draw on the rest of the villagers. They could live on the top floor and use one of the rooms down here as a study. I had noticed that the elves, as a race, were quite intelligent. Now I would see just how intelligent.
From The Mouths of Babes
I wandered down the hall and took my place at the table. Dinner wasn't ready yet, so I caught on of the villagers and asked her for a glass of wine. Then I picked her up off of the floor. When I touched her she dropped to her knees. Wonder where she learned that from? Upon her return she knelt and served me, her brown eyes looking up in adoration. I considered her for a few moments.
~Would you come here for a few minutes?~
There was a gust of air and a thump. The little elf jumped but did not budge.
Eschele looked amused then turned to me. “Yes milord?”
I simply stared and nodded my head at the little elf kneeling on the floor.
Eschele chuckled. “You touched her, didn’t you?”
“It is amazing that you could know so much, yet so little.”
I sighed and motioned for her to continue.
“She has been blessed by the master’s touch. She will now be looked upon in awe and admiration by her peers.”
“What, just by asking for a glass of wine?”
She looked at me as if I were a child. “You do not understand yet what you mean to the people. You are their hope and their leader, sire. You are a master!”
I shook my head. This was a little over the top for me.
“Sire, have you noticed that there are few servants that are male in the castle?”
“The people have selected the girls as servants and sent them here in hopes that they would be pleasing to you.”
“For you to touch one is an honor to the people. If you took one to bed, she would be treated as a princess.”
I was stunned.
“If she became with child she would be guarded and pampered for the rest of her life and the child would be treated as royalty.”
It would seem that the elves weren’t the only ones suffering from culture shock. A thousand questions chased themselves through my head. I had noticed that I had been paid difference, but this...
“Eschele, how often do you come in season?”
“Once a season turn, why?” She looked puzzled.
I did the math. It came out to a little over an earth month. I was starting to see a pattern. It also explained why there were so few young elves running around.
“How often when you mate in season do you come with child? By the way, the word is pregnant where I come from.”
“Sire, it doesn’t happen very often. I myself have tried at least fifty times and nothing has come of it.” She looked decidedly sad.
I considered what she had told me. Another puzzle piece had fallen into place.
“If I were to just go out and arbitrarily pick a girl and mate with her...”
“She would be honored amongst the people.” Eschele finished for me.
“And if she were married?”
She looked at me funny. “Why would that matter, the family would be considered blessed.”
“So no hard feelings then.”
She stared at me for a while. “The husband would probably be here just after the news and offer his services for the rest of his life, if that is your meaning milord.”
It made sense now. I let the ramifications sink in, and then changed the subject. No sense prompting an attack by dwelling on it.
“Eschele, can you read?”
“But of course, my lord.”
“Would you be interested in learning my language?”
“I would be honored, sire!” Her eyes lit up.
“Well, I would like to teach you, but it may take a while. I am going to be rather busy.”
“Why don’t you teach me with your mind, sire?”
Out of the mouth of babes...