Monday, August 27, 2012

The Ridge

The Ridge
A Tale of Silenced Sentries

Charlie Zero Six and Knobarius

Almost nude, young Hunda kept her head low as she crept barefoot through the trees, careful to make no noise.  Her marvelous body was clad only in a dark green loin cloth that bared her sleep hips, its flaps run through a thin leather belt that bore her scabbarded dagger. A thin rawhide cord was looped around her neck; suspended from the cord and between her naked breasts was a metal vial.  Hunda’s short blond hair stood out against the shadow of the forest in the early morning light.  Though barely eighteen years of age, she had already seen life as pleasure-slave, arena fighter, thief, assassin, and mercenary warrior, and had slain many foes both male and female.

Keeping close to her friend and partner, as she had since both girls had left camp earlier the night before, was Vara, another young yet experienced mercenary.  The Kushite beauty , with dark skin and short close-cropped hair, was dressed identically to her longtime friend -- save for the black hue of her loincloth, and the oiled leather cord secured to her belt  -- and she kept her tall frame low as she surveyed their surroundings amidst the large trees and brush.  She could see an opening ahead, leading to the dirt path they desired.  Vara knew Hunda had seen it as well, as she saw her blonde companion crouching lower to the ground, preparing to leave the cover of the forest to have a look around.  They had to be careful; the path led not only to their destination, but also to an enemy camp a few miles away.  Hunda and Vara had already managed to penetrate through the thick woods to get behind the line of enemy sentries, whom they planned to strike from the rear.   But as skilled as the two girls were, they could not handle a large number of enemy warriors out in the open -- at least not armed only with daggers and Vara’s cherished strangling cord. 

Motioning to the Negress to stop and to keep an eye to their rear, the blonde girl moved up to the end of the tree line and peered up the path in the direction of the enemy’s outpost line.  She spotted two young female sentries heading their way.   It was about time for a shift change in the guard, Hunda noted.  Both girls were lightly armored, with a pair of small bronze breast plates that displayed ample cleavage, rows of thick, bronze-studded leather strips descending from their belts to protect their groins and rears while leaving the thighs bear, and leather sandals strapped onto shapely feet.  Their heads were covered by bronze helmets with nose guards.  Each girl held a spear carelessly in her hand as they sauntered down the path, unaware of Hunda’s predatory blue eyes watching them from the tree line.  She smiled to herself, seeing that one sentry was white like her, the other black like Vara.  They were perfect!  Hunda gestured Vara to her side and silently pointed at the approaching girls in armor.  Vara only nodded and smiled, showing her white teeth as both mercenaries ducked back into the tree line.  
As the two sentries continued to make their way back from the ridge after being relieved by their comrades they unknowingly passed  Hunda and Vara’s hiding spot.  The two young mercenaries waited for just for the right moment, then dashed from their hiding spots and behind the two sentries with daggers in hand, Hunda taking the white sentry and Vara the black.  The two sentries had time only for a gasp of surprise as each found a strong left hand clamped over her open mouth to stifle any attempt to sound an alarm.  Eyes wide, both dropped their spears and grabbed at their attacker’s left arms with both hands, but this motion only allowed their stronger attackers drive their daggers home into each guard’s unprotected left armpit.  With muffled efforts to cry out, each sentry died quietly on her feet, eyelids fluttering and then drooping sleepily, only a defeated moan escaping her lips as she and her comrade went utterly limp in the mercenaries’ arms.
Vara looked over at Hunda and her limp victim and grinned, removing her dagger from her own sentry girl’s body. Hunda nodded, and both girls seized their victims under the arms and dragged their corpses towards the tree line and the cover of the forest.  The dead sentries’ bare arms dangled, their heads lolling onto their buxom chests, their legs slightly parted with their toes canted outwards and sandaled heels making a trail in the dirt as their lifeless bodies were dragged quickly into the woods.    

“That was too easy my friend,” Vara declared in a breathy whisper, lowering her dead sentry’s body gently to the forest floor.  She wiped her slim-bladed dagger on a nearby fern. 

Hunda did the same, laying her own victim down next to Vara’s.  She knelt over the body and carefully undid the chin strap of the dead girl’s helmet before pulling on its red-dyed horsehair crest.  The girl was beautiful, with shoulder-length brown hair that bloomed out when Hunda removed the helmet. “Huh! These two dead sweeties look like fresh recruits!” Hunda observed, grabbing hold of the dead sentry’s chin and examining her face.  The teenage girl looked up at Hunda dully with half-closed brown eyes and jaw slack in death.  Hunda closed her eyes, gently.

Vara removed her own sentry’s helmet, revealing the girl’s close cropped black hair and a lovely  brown face with dark eyes half open in a sleepy death stare, sensuous dark lips parted to show her  ivory teeth and pink mouth..   “Pity… but they had to be silenced,” she said softly, closing the dead girl’s eyes with thumb and forefinger.  She caressed the girl’s cheek and ran her finger across her victim’s thick, parted lips before putting the helmet over her own short hair as prelude to what was to come.  “Sleep tight, honey.  We’ve hushed those sweet lips of yours.”

“Let’s get these whores naked before the third sentry comes,” Hunda suggested as she removed the bronze plates from the brown-haired sentry’s luscious breasts and stripped the leather strips off her loins, revealing the dead guard’s womanhood.  The sandals came off next, The dead girl flopped around like a beached fish, limp and open-mouthed, as Hunda stripped her.  Soon she was completely naked and lying on her back next to her similarly naked comrade, whom Vara had taken care off and whose large breasts and hard dark nipples she fondled before donning the dead black girl’s armor.  Both mercenaries stood over their naked foes with one bare foot on a cooling body, as each adjusted her newly acquired armor and checked her partner’s appearance.  It might prove important to be able to pass for the dead sentries, at least long enough to approach and “silence” other guards, and to kill the young men tending the enemy’s horses.   
Vara, now completely clad in the armor she had stripped from the dead Negress, kept watch on the path for the third sentry, spear in hand, while Hunda, similarly clad, crouched over the two naked bodies, fondling their impressive bare breasts.  The dead sentry girls lay shoulder to naked shoulder, their eyes shut and faces relaxed as though in deep slumber.  Hunda leaned over and kissed both sentries on their parted lips before moving the body of the Negress so that she lay snug against her white partner, her dark cheek resting sweetly on her comrade’s pale breast. ”Farewell, sisters.  I’ll come back for you later.”  Hunda gathered some oversized ferns and neatly hid the two stripped bodies, taking careful note of their location before using the last of the ferns to cover the dead girls’ naked feet.

“Is there any sign of the third sentry?” Hunda whispered, appearing at her friend’s side and looking up the path, and at the rising sun.  It was getting late; if the third sentry had not showed up by now there had to be something wrong.  “This is not good; let’s go hunting.”   She adjusted her plundered helmet, remembering with relief that since the girl she had stripped wore her long hair tucked under it, Hunda’s own short hair would not alert the dead sentry’s comrades.

Vara nodded with a wide grin and handed Hunda the second spear as the two mercenaries proceeded up the path away from the ridge.  Dressed as the two sentries whose nude corpses were now safely concealed, they walked on the path comfortably, expecting to ambush and overpower the last sentry quickly and quietly, hide her dead body, and then head back to the ridge.

The sound of grunting and giggling caught Hunda and Vara off guard as they stopped in their tracks to listen and get a more precise bearing on just where the unexpected noises were coming from.  They concluded it was beyond the tree line to their right, just a bit within the forest.  Both mercenaries, with their spears held at the ready, moved past the tree line in a stalking crouch.  The two partners reached a grassy clearing and kept behind the cover of some thick bushes as they surveyed the area.  Hunda spotted some armor stacked up against the trunk of a fat oak tree, along with a spear leaning against it, and a grazing horse.  Then both girls spotted a naked, bald young female – a golden-skinned Eastern girl from Khitai -- straddling a well-built male of perhaps nineteen summers, just as naked as the lusty girl on top of him.  The woman moaned and laughed wildly as she rode the male’s member, the long, braided scalplock growing from the crown of her head swinging back and forth.  The slave let out grunts as he thrust upward into the straddling woman.  Hunda and Vara figured him to be a herder boy or bed-slave to his mistress, owner of the stacked arms – and of the sword that lay unsheathed near the young man’s body.

Hunda quietly stabbed her spear into the dirt and withdrew her dagger as she stepped out from the bush silently.  Vara, with spear at the ready, followed, eagerly eyeing the couple, who had their backs to the two mercenaries.  Hunda wished she was still barefooted; stalking was easier for her when she wasn’t wearing sandals and she could move faster as well.

The two women had only made half the distances to the third sentry and her bed-slave when an arrow sliced through the air between them and into the back of the naked sentry, piercing her heart.  She reacted with a sharp gasp as she threw her head back and went limp with a sigh, falling forward over the slave whose member was still inside her dead wet womanhood.  The slave, with short black hair and boyish good looks, sat up in wide-eyed surprise, pushing his  mistress‘s limp body back with his own as her lifeless head lolled against his bare shoulder and her naked breasts pressed against his chest.   Eyeing the two mercenaries with horror, the youth opened his mouth to cry out just as an angled throwing stick struck him squarely in the forehead.  His brown eyes rolled back in his head and his eyelids slipped shut as he dropped back limply with a moan, to lie on the forest floor beneath the naked body of his dead mistress. 

Hunda and Vara turned around to see a grim-faced Eastern girl drop down with catlike silence from the leaf-shrouded crook of a tree.  Like the dead Khitai sentry, the girl’s head was plucked virtually bald, but the newcomer had, not a scalp-lock, but a long, narrow crest of stiff black hair atop her scalp, descending from the start of her hair line to the back of her neck.   Like the two partners, the newcomer was tall and about eighteen years of age.  She was barefoot and virtually nude, her golden-skinned body concealed by nothing but a thigh-baring red loin cloth, with a panther-skin quiver full of bronze-headed arrows slung from her right shoulder and hanging low on her back.  A dagger rode in a brass-studded black scabbard on her right hip, and in her hand was a long, polished bamboo bow.  Her firm breasts bounced slightly as she quickly closed the distances between herself and the two disguised mercenaries.

 “Yao, what are you doing out here?” Hunda asked with a smile, recognizing a fellow mercenary from their camp.  Even though she and Vara had never had the privilege of working with Yao, they knew that the former slave and concubine turned mercenary was good with both bow and killing dagger, and could track anything or anyone down.

Yao, keeping her serious demeanor, walked past the two other mercenaries. “I’m in heat and the camp has nothing to suffice my needs,” she replied flatly.  Standing over her prey, she jiggled  the nude girl’s shapely but unresponsive arse with her bare foot to check for signs of life, then pressed her foot down on the dead sentry’s lower back and leaned down to pull the arrow from her body.   She retrieved her throwing stick, then seized the dead girl’s shoulder and roughly rolled her body over, freeing her womanhood from the slave’s member, which still stood erect.  The dead Eastern girl now lay on her back, her lovely brown eyes open wide and now staring aimlessly upward into the trees, her jaw slack in death, nipples erect.  Hunda looked down at the dead sentry; she was more mature than the two that she and Vara had killed earlier, with a well toned physique and lovely full breasts.  Like the girl who had killed her, she had high cheek bones, a small nose, and slant eyes.  Yao left the sentry’s spread-eagled corpse to lie tits-up as she settled over the unconscious slave, wiped his groin with his own discarded loincloth, and inserted his swollen member into her own wet womanhood.  Tossing her bow aside, Yao began to thrust herself on the slave while leaning forward and vigorously kissing the comatose young man on his slack lips. “What are you two do out here this early?” Yao asked between pants.  “I saw you kill and strip those other two sluts, so I didn’t mistake you for that Khitai bitch’s friends when I saw you wearing their armor.” 

“Looking for bounty and horses.  There’s nice horse herd near the ridge up the path.” Vara answered, watching the Eastern woman satisfy herself next to the guard’s naked corpse.

“Do you wish to assist?” Hunda asked Yao.  “We’ll split the horses and any bounty with you and all you are required to do is to guard our flanks and rear.”   The blonde girl seized the sentry’s bare ankles and dragged her luscious golden body away from the comatose slave and his lusty ravisher. “That’s what you get for making love on sentry duty!” muttered Hunda to the dead wench, closing her brown eyes. “Now my friend will give your young man a better riding than you ever did.”

The Eastern mercenary thrust her body twice more, then leaned over and kissed the slack-faced youth a last time before getting off.  The slave’s manhood, covered in her juices, glistened in the morning light, until Yao again wiped it clean with the slave’s loincloth. “Sounds like a deal,” Yao replied, maintaining her serious look as she adjusted her own loincloth.  She paused to crouch on her haunches over the dead yellow girl, despoiling her corpse of several golden finger rings, her earrings, and a green jade pendant.  “Help me hide this dead Khitai whore and store my new slave and we shall proceed.”   

Vara had gathered up the dead sentry’s armor and spear, as well as the reins of her horse, and Hunda now seized her lifeless arms and pulled her into a sitting position.  “Come on, yellow girl,” she urged. “Time to go.”  She slung the dead Eastern sentry‘s naked body over her shoulder, enjoying the slain girl’s warmth and utter limpness as she carried her.  Yao likewise had her knocked-out slave boy draped nude over her shoulder, hands and bare feet dangling, with his member pressing against her body and his slack mouth gagged by his former mistress’s black silk loincloth.  Yao followed the other two mercenaries back to the spot where the other two cooling corpses waited.  Hunda added the dead Eastern girl to the pile of naked flesh, tracing her cheekbones with her finger before leaving her with her slain comrades, her bald head resting on the shoulder of the slain Kushite girl.  Vara stashed the Eastern girl’s weapons with the others  beside the path nearby, just in case they were needed.   Yao sat her unconscious young bed-slave nude against a tree and untied the gag, tilting his head back and dripping into his slack month a few drops from the sleeping potion vial she wore around her neck like the other two women, to insure the naked slave remained inert till their business was done. 

Before Hunda covered the bodies again, Yao approached her victim’s corpse and yanked her long braided scalp-lock straight up so that the dead Khitai woman was jerked into a sitting position, Yao gazing without expression into her slack face.  Yao briefly caressed the girl’s bare breasts.   Then she drew her razor-sharp dagger and with a single stroke cut away the scalp-lock a finger’s breadth from her victim’s bald head.  The dead Khitai girl flopped backward onto the shoulder of the Negress with a smack of warm flesh, tits jiggling and mouth open as though she had just fainted after love-making, her lips almost grazing a shapely dark breast.  Wordlessly, Yao tied the dead sentry’s hair to her belt.  
Yao easily climbed the tall tree barefoot and eased herself onto a thick branch where she could watch while concealed by foliage; she slithered along it expertly, distributing her weight and keeping balance even while holding her long bow in one hand. She then straddled the branch with her long naked legs and sat up to survey the horse herd in the clearing some distance below.  Yao also took careful count of the four young herder boys who patrolled within the herd, generally with their backs to the tree line.  These slaves were in their late teens at least, beardless and with well-toned bodies, and nude apart from brief rectangular loincloths draped through belts of rawhide cord.  Aside from small knives, they were armed  only with knobbed wooden clubs, and spears with fire-hardened wooden points – mostly to defend the herd against wild dogs and wolves, not human enemies, Yao thought. Though they seemed strong enough, Yao was  confident that Hunda and Vara could dispatch such untrained fighters quietly and with no fuss. Still, she pulled an arrow from her quiver silently, just in case. She clicked her tongue as arranged, telling her new partners it was safe to attack. 

Hunda and Vara casually walked out from under the cover the trees into the soft morning sunlight. “Remember: we only leave two of them breathing,” Hunda reminded Vara in soft tones, her partner grinning as she nodded assent.  The two mercenaries, still in the garb of the dead sentries whose stripped bodies now lay safely hidden, were not worried about alerting any of their other enemies.  One of the half-naked slaves, about fifty paces from her, looked Hunda’s way – a youth of perhaps her own age, with wild, longish curly brown hair and a slender muscled body.  Hunda looked back at the unsuspecting slave, confident that at this distance the nose-guarded helmet would conceal her features, and nodded silently before he turned his back to her.  Nearby, Vara spotted another young slave, with his nicely muscled back turned to her; he had close-cropped blond hair, light skin, and broad shoulders.  She looked to her right at Hunda, and stabbed her spear silently into the ground before removing her bronze breastplates and helmet.  Hunda nodded and did the same and began her death stalk to her unsuspecting slave.  The two young mercenaries had agreed to kill all but two of any slave boys they might meet, leaving one apiece alive for their own lustful enjoyment, since Yao had already captured hers.  The breathless bodies of the others, though dead, would still be of use, in fetching the small bounty collected for enemy slaves killed.  

Vara wrapped her oiled leather cord around her knuckles to make a deadly garrote as she silently approached the short-haired herder boy, keeping her gaze on his strong neck and naked shoulders.  With quick sudden motion she wrapped the garrote around the slave’s throat and tightened the leather cord. 
The slave gasped and dropped his club as he clawed at the garrote.  Vara kicked him behind the knees, and brought him to a kneeling position, naked upper body pulled back against her waist.  She locked her legs and pulled back hard, leaving the slave’s mouth wide open as he gasped for air.  He fought for a few moments before his contorted face relaxed, his eyelids slipped shut  and his half-naked body went limp, his muscular arms jangling at his sides.  He was dead on his knees before the strong young Negress, his close-cropped blonde head lolling lifelessly against Vara’s naked belly.  Smiling, Vara unlooped the oiled cord from around his dead throat, and rubbed the blonde stubble on her victim’s head.   

As Vara struck, Hunda pounced and whipped her powerful left arm around the wild-haired slave’s bare throat, using her right to seize his waist and pull him back, his naked back against her body.  The herder boy dropped his club in surprise and tried to reach back at his attacker, his cries choked off.  But Hunda stood fast as she held him tight in her death grip, her powerful legs rooted to the soil under her naked feet.  The slave fought vainly, then convulsed once and slowly went limp in Hunda’s embrace, his half-naked body a dead weight against hers, eyes closed.  “Sleep,” she whispered.

Finally releasing her stranglehold and letting his head loll pleasantly against her bare shoulder, mouth agape, Huna gently lowered him to the earth so that he lay face up, then knelt at his side.  She peered closely into the long-haired youth’s handsome face, eyes shut and mouth still gaping.  She thumbed his eyelids open and shut, each in turn, to check them – “Finished” she muttered --and partly closed his mouth before kissing his warm lips.  Running her hands through his matted shoulder-length curls, then down his muscular chest and his taut belly, she admired his dead body -- along with his large member, standing erect under the loin cloth.  Hunda smiled to herself as she pulled the flap of the loincloth through the cord belt to expose her victim’s manhood, then finished stripping off her sentry disguise with a lusty sigh.  Naked, she mounted the dead slave.

A few paces away the blond slave boy lay dead and naked on his back, eyes closed and mouth slack.  He looked as if he was asleep, aside from the clean red band neatly circling his pale throat.  Vara, having stripped him nude, smilingly gazed at this proof of her garrote’s handiwork, and cut a leather cord from a sandal of the black girl she had killed.  Gloriously nude, she straddled the strangled herder boy at his bare thighs as she tied the cord firmly around the base of his erect member for some later fun – for she had spotted a young black slave, slender and with head shaved bald, close by and it was too risky to have her fun before he was silenced.  “I shall return, my pet,” she cooed into the slave’s dead ear, and kissed him on his warm lips before getting up, picking up his dropped club and creeping towards her next target -- the black herder boy she wanted to take alive as her own bed-slave. 

Yao silently stared down on Hunda as the blonde girl thrust herself down upon the handsome naked body of the slave she had just killed.  She could tell that the young mercenary was enjoying herself.  But a sudden movement turned her attention away from Hunda’s fun.  Mounted atop a magnificent white stallion came another young armor-clad sentry girl, holding a long spear with its blade glistering in the morning sun as she surveyed the herd, counting the horses -- and the slaves who watched them.  She had only counted two of the herder boys so far and now rode toward the very place where the naked Hunda was having fun with her dead slave.  Yao waited until the rider was only about twenty paces away from Hunda, then calmly drew back her bow string, aimed carefully, and sent an arrow punching deep into the girl’s left breast.  She uttered a strangled cry and clutched the arrow in her chest with her rein hand, then released her spear as both her hands fell to her sides.  With a sigh, she dropped off her horse as it continued to walk forward.   

Hunda opened her eyes in surprise at the girl’s cry, and saw the sentry drop to the ground near her.  The girl’s helmet fell off as she landed and rolled onto her back, her luscious blonde hair spilling out onto the grass. Hunda looked at the arrow sticking from the girl’s breast and savored the girl’s beauty as she lay there, obviously dead, with blue eyes half-open and jaw slack.  Hunda  kissed the dead slave once more before climbing off him to go stalk the herder boy she wished to take alive.  Picking up the dead youth’s dropped club and stepping quietly over the dead blonde girl, she went in search of her next target.  She had not gone far before she spotted a red-haired, fair-skinned slave boy standing watch with spear in hand, presenting his bare back to her gaze. Over his shoulder, by a thin cord, hung a steer’s horn which the boy was to sound in case of trouble.  Hunda crept towards him with the club raised over her head.   

“Huh!”  The young black slave grunted as he dropped his spear, dropped on to his knees and pitched forward onto the grass with a low sigh, to lie face-down, utterly unconscious.  Vara stood over him, grinning from ear to ear, hefting the club she had gotten from his dead blonde comrade.  She looked down at his backside, left virtually bare by the rear of his white loincloth flap disappearing between his buttocks; dropping the club and kneeling, she caressed his bottom, then turned his utterly limp body over. Licking her lips with anticipation as she pulled down the loincloth’s front flap from his groin, she eyed his slack face and well-toned nude body, from his muscular chest down to his limp member.  She caressed the youth’s bald head and smooth cheeks, and bent to kiss his full, parted lips. Settling over his thighs, she bent over and kisses his naked torso and worked her way south all the while as her hands fondled and carefully massaged his dark member.  Soon the comatose slave’s manhood was erect and Vara mounted herself on it, moaning sensuously as she began thrusting.  

Hunda sat with the young red-haired slave’s bare legs wrapped loosely around her waist, his chin resting on her shoulder; his boyish face bore a slack sleepy look.  His limp nude body moved as Hunda forcefully thrust his member in and out of her womanhood.  She held him in her arms as lovers would and sighed sensuously as she moved his body to satisfy herself.  He let out a soft moan, and she stopped and moved his body so his slack face was facing hers.  She kissed him on his warm lips passionately before pushing him back and climbing on top of his body, thrusting herself down onto his member until she had reached a shuddering climax.   Panting hard, she fell down with a gasp, to lie beside the slave’s nude body for a while, gazing on his closed eyes and parted lips.  Then, a big grin on her beautiful face, she pondered riding him once more.  She sat back up to remount the slave just as he started to stir. Hunda opened the vial hanging between her bare breasts and dripped a few drops of amber fluid from the tiny metal container into the youth’s mouth. He moved a bit more, raising one arm slightly before sighing softly and letting it flop back as he went utterly limp, his head lolling to one side.  Hunda looked at his motionless nude body and thick member.  “Sleeping like a dead man,” she whispered.   She ran her hands down his body, feeling his heart beat.  “Once more,” she smiled, as she climbed back on over his hips.
It was mid morning when Hunda and Vara, again clad in just their loin cloths, hoisted the naked corpse of the young wild-haired slave onto the back of one of the horses, his limp hands and feet dangling.  Crouching at the horse’s feet, Yao tied the dead boy’s wrists and ankles together under the horse’s belly.  Yao had stripped the corpse of the blonde sentry girl that she had killed and stashed her armor in the brush for later retrieval.  Now the sentry’s beautiful naked body was draped over her own white stallion, her wrists and ankles tied together with rawhide cords, the dead girl’s long blonde hair hanging loose.  Hunda paused a moment to run her hands down the dead girl’s exposed backside, caressing the girl’s smooth skin. She then lifted the sentry’s head by her blonde locks and admired the dead girl’s lovely slack face, her blue eyes now closed.   Then the dead blonde slave boy, eyes sleepily closed, was draped nude over another stallion standing next to the one bearing the young sentry, his nerveless hands and bare feet tied as the girl’s had been, head hanging down limply.  The lusty Vara admired his strong bare shoulders, and teasingly rubbed the blond stubble on his lifeless head, thinking that his naked bottom and short hair made him look charmingly helpless. Grinning, she patted his dead rump, contrasting so with her dark hand, and lifted his head by the chin for another look at his pale, sleepy face.

“That should be all at the moment,” Hunda declared, looking at the other horses bearing limp naked cargo, dead or comatose, across their bare backs – the two knifed sentry girls, the Eastern girl dead by Yao’s arrow, and the three unconscious herder boys.  Yao nodded and climbed up on the back of her new  black stallion, “I’ll cut out four horses for any more bodies you secure and two for you to ride and take the rest of the herd with me. Meet you at the Willow Woods when you are done here.”

“Very well!  May the Gods be with you,” Hunda replied as the eastern mercenary set out to do her task,  gathering the horses before heading back up the path.  Turning to Vara, with a smirk Hunda asked, “We still have some more slaying to be done – shall we begin?”

Vary smiled back. “A quick, silencing death?  Lovely.”

 They had not traveled very far from the herd before they spotted two more male slaves of about their own age, almost naked like their dead comrades, sleeping in the shade of a large tree as they lay a few paces apart from each other.  Both were slim, and handsome, with curly black hair and sun-bronzed skin as though captured from the same place – perhaps the Akkean coastline, Hunda thought, or some outlying island. Now barefooted, the two mercenaries silently crept towards the sleeping youths; one lay on his stomach, head pillowed on one arm, while the other slept on his back.  Vara prepared her garrote and looked over at Hunda, who nodded.

Moving quickly each girl chose and quickly straddled her half-naked victim.  Hunda’s right hand clamped down on a herder boy’s bare throat while her free hand covered his mouth.  He awoke with a start to stare up at her with horrified brown eyes as she grinned down at the lad and tightened her deadly grip, ignoring his muffled attempts to cry out. Having choked off his cries, the blonde girl now used both hands to constrict his throat, until the slave’s eyes slipped shut and his mouth went utterly slack.  His bare feet ceased to kick and his strong legs relaxed to measure their full length on the ground. But Hunda, still smiling, kept squeezing until sure that the boy was dead -- then released her grip, only to deal an insuring blow to each side of his throat with the edge of her hand.  Meanwhile Vara had looped her garrote around her victim’s neck and pulled back tightly, so tightly that the only sounds that escaped his gaping mouth were a gasp and a few faint gurgles.  Pulling his head and shoulders backward by the garrote around his neck, Vara maintained her grip as the slave’s naked legs and arms flailed and shook violently. .

Soon he too went limp and Vara and Hunda relaxed atop their dead victims, bare flesh against bare flesh, before finally rolling off of their cooling bodies.  Once they had regained themselves and Vara had turned her strangled victim over onto his back to lie stretched beside his dead companion, the giggling girls stripped the loincloths off the dead slaves’ groins and inspected their naked sun-browned bodies, playing with all their limp limbs. Feeling satisfied with their handsome trophies, the young mercenaries seized both dead boys by their ankles and dragged their breathless bodies back towards the herd over the thick grass --  naked, eyes closed and mouths open, arms trailing.  Hunda and Vara then propped up their inert bodies into a sitting position leaning back-to-back against each other, dead and nude, their heads lolling limply over their smooth brown chests -- sleepily waiting for their turn to be slung naked over the backs of horses, like their two silenced comrades.  Hunda tousled her slumped victim’s curly black hair, fondled his flaccid exposed manhood, and kissed him on his smooth, still-warm cheek before standing up to survey the two beautiful male bodies. “These herder boys sure look cute and sleepy once they’ve been taken off duty, don’t they?” she asked, smiling. 

Vara, magnificent in her dark near nudity, rubbed her hand against the naked shoulder of her own victim, and looked up at Hunda, grinning broadly.  “O yes,” she said with a chuckle. “We put’ em to sleep for good!”
The black girl pulled back the dead youth’s head by his black hair for another look at his utterly slack face and closed eyes, admiring his fine parted lips and white teeth before releasing her grip. The young slave’s lifeless head slumped sullenly onto his bare chest, and both girls turned to go, leaving the two dead, naked males behind.

All six herders had now been silenced, four of them permanently, along with the rider of the three-woman outpost.   It only remained to quietly kill the two remaining sentries they presumed to be in the area, and to take away their bodies.   
The tall Northern girl with the red hair let out a yawn as she stretched and sat down on a pile of rubble.  She was clad only in a thigh-bearing bearskin loincloth, a leather belt with knife scabbard, and gold bracelets and anklets, her large pink nippled breasts bare and free.  Her mentor and lover had warned her to wear her short sword at all times, but she had unbuckled it, and it stood in its scabbard in a corner.  Combing back her fiery red mane with her hands, she adjusted herself on the pile of stones, making herself comfortable, all the while keeping her spear close by, leaning against the stone wall.  The redheaded sentry was seated in the corner of the remains of two stone walls; the wall against which she leaned her naked back was only about the length of two dead women laid end to end, and partly crumbled so that as she sat there the top of the wall barely cleared her head; to her right the other section of wall ran for several hundred paces, almost to the edge of the ridge.  The walls had once been part of a fortified temple, destroyed many years ago during the Amazon tribal wars.  Now they were simply used by her sister rebels as he ridge’s sentry post. 

Grabbing her spear from its position against the wall and moving it closer to her, the red-haired warrior leaned back against the shorter wall, crossing her bare legs at the ankles and folding her arms across her naked chest.  She had been up all night and had been feeling a bit sleepy even before going on guard duty to relieve those three lazy bitches; her superior and lover watched the other end of the wall for her, so she could go back for a short nap.  Yawning loudly, the young women leaned her head back and drifted off to sleep.

Vara leaned over the shorter wall, looking down at the redhead, then quickly and silently ducked back over.  On the other side of the shorter wall, Vara gestured to her partner as to what she had seen.  Hunda nodded with a grin and moved towards the corner with the wooden club she had  taken from a dead slave boy, to watch down the long wall and make sure no one was coming to interrupt the silencing.   The coast was clear and Hunda gestured her friend to proceed.

The spear was the biggest threat and could be helpful as well, Vara thought, as she silently reached over the partly toppled wall for it, finding it no great stretch to grasp it. Once the spear shaft was in both her hands she quickly moved it in front of the sleeping girl and then in one quick motion pulled back, pressing the shaft against the girl’s bare throat: the wall behind her left her with no room to relieve the pressure.  Her green eyes shot open wide and her naked feet  thrashed around as she vainly tried to push the spear away from her throat. The black girl  remained calm as she kept pulling for a few moments.  There was a crackling noise and a sigh and the girl was limp and dead, bare arms dangling uselessly at her sides.  Vara, with Hunda still keeping a look out, relaxed her pressure on the spear shaft, then hopped over the crumpled wall and inspected her latest kill. 

Her green eyes were dreamily opened halfway and her jaw hung slack as she slumped back against the wall awkwardly. Vara straightened the dead girl up, crossing her muscular legs at the ankles and then closing her sleepy eyes, so that she looked much more comfortable.  She admired her lightly freckled face and fondled  the girl’s breasts briefly before placing the spear into her dead hands.  Vara leaped back over the wall silently, leaving the dead redhead sitting slumped with head hanging limply over her bare chest as if merely asleep, the spear resting across her thighs..

Hunda peered around the corner, waiting patiently.  It was clear. Finally she turned back to Vara:  “No one is coming, so you might as well move that dead bitch into the trees.”  Vara nodded with a grin.  Rather than go to the other side of the fragment and drag the dead girl’s body around the end of it, the Kushite warrior simply leaned back over the broken wall, first to retrieve the spear, then to grab the dead Northern girl under the arms and hoist her over.  Once the lifeless redhead was over the wall Vara laid her on her back, then seized her by the ankles and dragged her away from the wall, red hair and dead arms trailing. Reaching the treeline, Vara grabbed a limp arm and slung the pale body over her shoulder, and bore her half-naked corpse deeper into the woods.  Setting the warm body down into a sitting position at the base of a tree, eyes closed and mouth agape, the black girl stood admiring her latest trophy while stripping off her own loincloth.  Bending to kiss her victim’s slack lips and again caress her sweet breasts, Vara stripped the slain redhead of her splendid bearskin loincloth and leather belt, and to put them on herself.  Next Vara seized the dead girl’s naked left foot and proceeded to despoil the strangled guard of her golden anklet.  She wore a fine gold signet ring on her left hand, and Vara took this too, slipping it carefully from her dead finger, and the golden bracelet from her nerveless wrist.  Soon the young sentry was stripped of all her clothing and finery, slumped against the tree, utterly nude and with shapely legs spread wide.  Clad as the Northern girl had been scant moments before, Vara adjusted the new golden bracelet on her left wrist and grinned down at the dead beauty.  

Almost as soon as Vara disappeared into the tree line, Hunda heard a voice – a strong female voice calling out: “Hey, Bruna!  I’ve still got some wine and food left over, lover.  And Sarissa’s still out riding that white nag of hers.” .The blonde girl peeked around the corner quickly and spied an attractive, broad-shouldered female, bare-chested, striding forcefully in her direction down the path parallel to the ruined wall.  Lifting her stolen club she prepared herself for the coming figure.  She barely could make out the footsteps, but they were getting closer.  Hunda’s rapid glimpse had told her that the woman was tall and well muscled, and carried a short boar spear in her right hand.  In her left was a tied-up cowskin bag.  Just as the woman passed the corner Hunda got a better glimpse of her frizzy, shoulder-length grayed brunette hair, showing that she was an older warrior -- a veteran.  Hunda deftly stepped behind her and  brought the club down hard onto the crown of the older woman’s skull.  The woman’s head jerked back, her mouth open in a grunted “ugh!” as she dropped her spear and bag, staggered out of her unfastened rawhide sandals, and swayed. Dropping the club Hunda got behind the dazed woman.  Taking her by her iron-gray locks, the girl pulled her back with her to the piece of wall around the corner, bracing her own bare back against it as she wound her arm around her enemy’s neck and felt her naked breasts pressing against the older woman’s bare back. Despite her muscular arms, the stunned woman could struggle only weakly as she tried to pry Hunda’s strangling  arm from her throat, making faint noises until she went utterly limp against Hunda’s sweaty naked chest, her bare arms falling to her sides.  She was dead on her bare feet, as though standing erect.   But Hunda made sure of her, squeezing steadily and then flexing her arm until she heard a satisfying crunch of windpipe. She let her dead victim’s weight lean back to rest  against her own naked flesh for a moment, the woman’s head, open-mouthed, eyes closed, lolling back against the blonde girl’s bare shoulder, as Hunda enjoyed holding up the limp form with an arm around her bare waist and the other at her chest.  She straightened her victim’s head as though she was standing upright, then she let the dead woman topple forward like a felled tree, half-nude body straight, limp arms at her sides  and dead knees locked – falling onto her face and bare breasts into the dust.    

Looking down at her defeated foe, Hunda noted the woman’s muscular but attractive bare back and her firm buttocks, left exposed by the scanty loincloth flap disappearing between them.  She let her eyes wander over the woman’s shapely legs and dusty soles.  The fallen warrior’s legs were naked save for gold anklets around each ankle.  Hunda jostled the rump of the limp corpse with her own bare foot.  There was no response.  She knelt down and smacked the fallen warrior’s firm bottom and smiled at her newest victory. 
“That flame-haired little Northern slut is all taken care of,” Vara announced, emerging from the tree line holding the dead redhead’s spear and clad in her victim’s loincloth and jewelry.  “How do I look in her    – say, who do you have there?” She approached her partner without taking her gaze from the motionless body lying face-down in the dust.

“Some old whore that won’t be giving us or anyone else any more trouble,” Hunda replied, proudly looking down at the half-naked corpse at her bare feet. 

The black girl knelt down and grabbed a fist full of grayed brunette hair and lifted the dead woman’s face from the dirt.  Her strong, attractive features were dusty, her eyes closed, her mouth agape, but Vara knew her identity at once.  “Achillea!” she gasped, and looked up at her friend, shocked.

Hunda looked down wide-eyed at her dark-skinned friend and knelt down beside her.  “Let’s get her tits up,” she said.  Achillea’s limbs flopped limply as the two girls rolled her heavy corpse onto her back, mouth open, large bare breasts jiggling as they pointed skyward.  The older warrior now lay with muscular arms slightly spread from her sides and shapely legs stretched out. Hunda grabbed hold of the woman’s chin and turned the dead warrior’s sleepy face toward her.  “That’s Achillea alright,” Hunda confirmed, looking over the strangled corpse of the famous Amazon warrior.  Achillea wore a black loin cloth with a black, gold-studded leather flap in front, and matching leather bands around her wrists, while a heavy brass-studded leather belt at her waist held gold-tipped scabbards for her dagger and sword.  The dead Amazon had several gold and silver rings on her fingers and toes, and a gold anklet above each bare foot.  A heavy gold amulet and chain hung around the woman’s neck and between her glorious breasts.

Vara stood and looked down at the well-muscled corpse, “I saw her in the arena when I was younger. I thought she was taller.”

Hunda smiled at her friend.  “She must have seemed that way.  You and I were only young slave girls back then, without a kill between us.”

Vara nodded and smiled.  “Look at all the jewels she has on her.  That amulet!”   

“Plunder,” Hunda replied simply. “There was a raid on a royal official and his family a couple summers ago. It was rumored that Achillea’s band was responsible. That is a royal amulet.” Hunda knelt down and picked the circlet of hammered gold from Achillea’s dead breast, examining it carefully before reaching around the back of Achillea’s warm neck to undo the chain’s catch and removing it from her dead throat.  She then playfully tossed it back towards Vara, who caught it and examined it.

“Now we know it was not a rumor,” Vara said, looking up from the amulet. She handed Hunda Achillea’s fallen spear. “You may claim for yourself a tremendous victory, my friend.”  It had long been had claimed in camp that the famed and much-feared Achillea had been seen fighting on the side of the enemy, and had even been responsible for the disappearance of several sentry girls whose dead or unconscious bodies had presumably been carried off.   Just in case the rumors might prove true, a triple bounty had been offered for her capture or dead body.

Hunda stabbed the spear into the dirt and placed one foot atop Achillea’s taut stomach.  She  raised her arms up in victory as Vara looked on and smiled.  The black girl refastened the catch on the amulet’s golden chain and handed back her friend’s plunder. “Wear it proudly.”

The blonde fighting girl smiled and looped the chain around her neck, the amulet gleaming against her lightly tanned breasts, and looked down at the dead Amazon.  “Shall we?” Her friend merely smiled back at her in reply. 

Together the two half-nude young warriors stripped the remaining clothing and golden ornaments from Achillea’s lifeless body.  Hunda began by crouching down and taking the older woman’s limp hand in her own, slipping a golden ring from her dead finger before letting her arm flop back into the dust with a soft thud.  The ring fit her own finger perfectly.  After removing Achillea’s  heavy belt and wrapping it around her own waist, the short-haired blonde ripped the black loin cloth from Achillea’s hips.  She then kicked Achillea’s legs wide, exposing her shaven womanhood and shaming her in death.  Achillea had several old scars on her mature body; Hunda and Vara both ran their young hands over these wounds, thinking of the history beneath their finger tips. Achillea had once been feared…now she was a mere trophy. Dead!   

Having stripped her stark naked, the girls lifted Achillea under her arms and knees. Her limbs limply dangled as they carried her to the wall.  They placed her in a sitting position against the wall, nude, legs spread wide and head slumped onto her ample chest, and examined her further. 

Then Vara remembered something. “Let me go check out that bag of hers.”  She rose from her crouch. 
“Aye,” said Hunda.  “And gather up her weapons, too.  In the meantime I’ll carry our poor sister Achillea here into the woods.”  As Vara went off to gather up the bag and weapons, Hunda picked up the dead woman’s loincloth from the ground and wiped the remaining dust from Achillea’s face, breasts and thighs.  Tilting the older woman’s head back by the chin, Hunda leaned over and kissed Achillea’s warm lips while weighing her left breast in her free hand.  Finally, with a moan of satisfaction, she leaned back to gaze into her fallen foe’s relaxed face She grinned, thinking that she had won her greatest prize that day.  “Pity I couldn’t slay you in open combat,” she whispered to the dead Achillea, never doubting that she could have done so. 

She sighed, let Achillea’s head fall sullenly back onto her dead bosom, and seized her wrist, grunting with the effort as she stood up and slung the older woman’s naked corpse over her shoulder.   The limp, breathless body was heavier than that of the Eastern girl, but Hunda did not mind the dead weight of the woman who was a legend within the Amazon Nations.  “Come on, big sister,” she murmured, with Achillea’s warm flesh against her cheek. “Time to put you with your dead lover.”  She began walking toward the tree line, the naked woman’s hands and feet swaying slightly with the movement of her conqueror’s confident stride. 
Once safely in the shade and concealment of the forest, Hunda lowered Achillea’s heavy form, to sit next to the naked body of her young charge.  They let the two strangled nude corpses lean on each other, Achillea’s head resting sleepily on the redhead’s bare shoulder while, the girl’s head leaned against Achillea’s graying locks.  “How sweet!” said Vara.  From the bag she had placed between the dead Bruna’s legs the black girl drew bread, a joint of beef, and a goatskin water bottle.  They rested and enjoyed their meal, gazing on the bodies of their slain foes with satisfaction and discussing the bounty they would fetch. 

Finally, the black girl rose and put the remnants of their meal away.  “Let’s go get the horses. Yao is waiting for us,” she suggested, and began walking down the ridge.  Hunda lingered, looking over the two silenced sentries once more before leaving, while knowing that she would be back for them very soon.  Then she turned to join her friend, leaving the two lifeless naked bodies behind seated against their tree, legs outstretched with bare toes canted outward, slumped together like two lovers sleeping.
They retrieved the horses that Yao had picketed and left behind for them, then rode back to the broken walls and began gathering their trophies.  “It’s only a short ride,” Hunda suggested, patting one of the dead herder boys on the bottom after securing his wrists and ankles with rawhide under the horse. “So these dead lads can travel with some female company for a while.”  Soon Hunda and Vara were riding toward their meeting place, two of the horses following with a double load of naked cargo slung over each horse’s back, two naked bottoms side by side.  A handsome dead youth rode snug against the glorious stripped corpse of Achillea, his strangled comrade nude beside the sweet body of Bruna, her bright red hair hanging down. 
It was high noon when Hunda and Vara arrived at the Willow Woods.  The lush, grassy area was masked with large willow trees that provided considerable shade.  Soon they spotted Yao’s makeshift camp beside a peaceful pond, near which grazed bareback the several score horses and mules that the Eastern mercenary had taken with her.   They spotted a row of the day’s naked dead nearby, four silenced rebel girls and the other two strangled male slaves.  All had been laid out straight, with arms at their sides, bare toes canted outward, shoulder to naked shoulder under the shade of a willow tree. There was a cooking fire nearby -- but the Eastern mercenary was nowhere in sight. 

Hunda dismounted and drew Achillea’s sword.  She looked around and spotted the three slaves they had left still breathing that day.  They had been placed comatose at the base of a large tree, their bodies stark naked as they rested in a limp seated position against the broad trunk, heads lolling over muscled chests.  Vara, still mounted, hefted the dead redhead’s spear and looked around the area cautiously, sparing only a brief glance toward her black bed-slave’s unconscious nude form.  They suddenly heard leaves rustling and whirled about just in time to see Yao gracefully drop from a willow tree with her bow in hand.  Hunda and Vara both relaxed. 

“You two are too loud.  Even these dead trophies could hear you from across the path,” Yao said gravely, walking past her two comrades. “I have roast rabbit,” she added, squatting on her naked haunches next to the fire where three skinned rabbits were hanging over a small flame

 “We are lucky to have someone with senses as keen as yours on our side,” Hunda replied, smiling at the beautiful girl who she knew never smiled in return.  She turned to Vara.  “Watch the path.   I’ll relieve you in a while so you can eat.” Vara simply nodded before guiding her horse back towards the path. “Help me unload these horses,” Hunda then asked, looking back over at Yao.

Together they unslung the lifeless bodies from the horses, adding the two dead bronze-skinned slaves and then fair Bruna to the row of nude corpses, making nine in all.  Since Achillea was the only legend among the dead, Yao and Hunda kept her separate from the others.  They laid her naked body out on her back near the campfire with her head resting on a thick tree root, lips parted, her nerveless hands at her sides, and her shapely legs crossed chastely at the ankles.   !   

While Yao drank some of the wine Vara had brought and examined the new batch of nude bodies (with special attention to the handsome corpses of the two black-haired herder boys as they lay side by side), Hunda revisited her redheaded bed-slave who was still unconscious, but whose body, with her expert use of massage and pressure, was soon capable of giving her much pleasure.  She ravished him gleefully, knowing that the drug ensured that he and the other two naked slaves slumped beside him would remain comatose for at least four days.  Hunda soon relieved Vara, who was eating her rabbit from a skewer as she watched the path.  Heading back, Vara found Yao fast asleep, naked, cuddled with her newly found bed-slave, whom she had dragged from beneath the shade of the large tree.  The black girl smiled at the sight as she settled down to devour her rabbit, all the while enjoying the sight of a silent Achillea next to her.  She would revisit her own unconscious slave before they left the peace of the Willow Woods, then sling him naked across her saddle for the trip home, caressing his dark, limp body the while as he rode silently before her. 
The sun was just setting by the time the trio reached their own camp.  Hunda – now proudly wearing the slain Achillea’s black loincloth with gold-studded leather groin-flap, black wrist bands and sword-belt, the jewelry stripped from her cooling limbs, and the golden amulet that had hung between the dead woman’s breasts --  led the procession of victorious mercenaries, who rode their horses with heads held  high, followed by a herd of captured horses and mules, the foremost animals  with captured armor and weapons and most of the day’s thirteen naked trophies, dead or senseless, slung over their backs.  Hunda sat her mount with Achillea’s lifeless form in front of her as she rode, the older woman’s breasts resting lightly on Hunda’s arm as she kept it wrapped around Achillea’s abdomen. Achillea sat before her naked and limp, with her head thrown back against her conqueror’s bare shoulder, mouth agape, her muscular arms hanging at her sides and her once-powerful, dangling legs lifelessly straddling the horse – a picture of utter surrender.  The other mercenaries in the camp, men and women, came from their tents to watch the procession go by.  They muttered and whispered among one another at the sight of the slain and naked Achillea as Hunda loudly announced the famed warrior’s death at her own hands.   

Yao broke off from the group with a nod, her share of the horses strung out behind her, two of them bearing the nude bodies of the beautiful sentries she had killed with her arrows.  The dead Eastern girl’s comatose young bed-slave was slung across the horse in front of her, Yao’s hands resting on his bare buttocks as she gripped the reins.  Hunda and Vara bade their ally farewell as she rode off to her tent on the other side of the camp.  Then the two partners continued deeper into the midst of the camp until they arrived at their own tent.
Hunda and Vara shared a large tent that was loaded with expensive rugs, cushions and other luxuries fit for royalty, honestly acquired a few months before.  The two partners had boldly attacked and plundered a convoy escorting a beautiful rebel noblewoman, and in doing so had  killed the noblewoman, her guards, and most of her servants, keeping two lovely servant girls for themselves after knocking them unconscious and carrying away their stripped bodies.  These two slave girls, Musa and Clonia, waited obediently outside of the large tent as their mistresses arrived.  Musa was a young girl with dark flowing hair and olive skin, while Clonia was bit older, with bright blonde hair bound in a single braid at the back of her head; both girls were dressed in short, sleeveless white tunics provided by their mistresses.

Vara dismounted as the procession came to a stop.  She carefully unslung the black herder boy’s comatose body from her horse and laid him out face-up and naked on the grass, then motioned the two servant girls to assist her in lowering Achillea’s heavy body from Hunda’s horse.  The Amazon legend limply came off the horse with limbs flopping as the three girls lowered her naked to the ground onto a blanket.  “Unload the rest of these horses. I’ll go see about our prize money,” Hunda then ordered, riding off to meet with the camp’s appraiser. Since Achillea was so famous, she thought – correctly --  that the appraiser, who had once seen the renowned Amazon fight in the arena, would be glad to visit her tent to see and register her dead body on the spot  rather than oblige Hunda to haul it with her, and give her payment for the other bodies on the spot as well.

Vara nodded, stepping over Achillea’s naked corpse, and turned to an eager Musa and Clonia, who were to oil and wash the bodies, applying the ointment that would keep them fresh and supple, and to attend to the unconscious slave boys.   “Let’s clean these dead bitches and slaves for the party,” the Kushite girl said with a wink and a smile.    
Musa hung her head low as she briskly walked passed howling, drunken male mercenaries.  It was already dark and she hated wandering the camp without her mistress, especially at this time when there were so many drunk and carousing mercenaries out and about.  But after finishing her highly enjoyable work of tenderly administering to Hunda’s new slave and parting his red hair to examine the bruise at the back of his head, she had been ordered by Hunda to seek out Yao, and had risen reluctantly from the unconscious herder boy’s muscular nude form, giving a last caress to his bare bottom and leaving him lying on a bed of furs belly down, eyes closed and mouth slack against the clean white sheet beneath his head.  

  As she entered the east side of the camp she noticed a large open tent into which scores of mercenaries, both male and female, were crowded. Musa looked toward the large tent, curious to see what was going on, then counted the tents that bordered the outer edge of the camp.  The fifth one, she had been told by her young mistress, was owned by Yao; but as this tent was close by she figured it wouldn’t hurt to see what all the commotion was about before seeking out the golden-skinned mercenary.

The servant eased her way through the crowd, careful not to get too close to some of the male mercenaries, who might knock her unconscious and kidnap her for their own. Suddenly she was under the large tent.  There were two swordsmen dressed as if they might be Imperial soldiers; however, their armor markings identified them as elite mercenaries belonging to a mysterious body known only as the “Order”. They stood watch, keeping the crowd at bay and in order.  Musa noticed their commander nearby, a shaven-headed, well- muscled man clad in a heavy black leather loin cloth and thick black waist belt bearing a silver- tipped scabbard for his silver hilted sword.  He stood next to a buxom woman in a short grey tunic and sandals, a gold-hilted belt dagger her only weapon, who stood auctioning nude bodies, alive and dead, to the crowd.
Looking into the tent Musa noted several bound and unconscious nude slaves – and two naked female bodies hanging by their ankles from noosed ropes tied to the overhead support of the tent, eyes closed, mouths agape, arms dangling limply, fingertips gently swaying a few hands’ breadth from the hard ground.  One dead girl was a blonde, the other a bald, golden-skinned Eastern girl.  Their naked bodies were fit and athletic; Musa thought they looked like two of the slain warrior women from her mistress’s expedition that morning, confirmed in her view by the small blue tattoos freshly stamped on each naked girl’s left thigh -- symbols marking them as kills tallied and paid for, so that their bodies could not be submitted for a second bounty.   She quickly snapped out of her trance, tore her gaze from the two naked bodies hanging upside down, and hastily ducked through the crowd and out of the auction pavilion.

She approached Yao’s modest tent and was about to open the flap and enter when she recalled what Hunda had told her.  Yao was very alert and keen to her surroundings; if she failed to identify herself to the Eastern archer she might have an arrow through her sweet breast before she knew it.  Musa stepped back from the tent, scratched at the flap, and bowed as she called out, “Mistress Yao, it is I, Musa, obedient servant of my mistress Hunda.” She waited and heard nothing.

Then a calm voice came behind the flap. “What is your business, servant of Hunda?”

“I am here to bring Mistress Yao to my mistress’s tent for a celebration,” Musa answered, adding  quickly, “--  of  your very successful raid this morning.”

“You may enter, servant of Hunda,” Yao replied.   Musa opened the flap to the tent, now strangely eager to enter.   The tent was round, and much smaller than the tent that Musa shared with Clonia, her mistress and Vara.  The floor was thickly layered in bear hides and a single frame bed blanketed with tiger skins sat directly in front of her; lying on the bed were a young male and a female, both nude, and wrapped in each other’s limp limbs in a lover’s embrace.  The girl was slender and beautiful, with long brown hair; she surely was not a mercenary but a bed-slave, as was the handsome young man. Both seemed unconscious.  “Welcome to my tent, servant of Hunda,” said Yao, stepping out of shadows with her polished bamboo bow drawn, and with a silver-tipped arrow aimed at Musa’s breast.

Musa had only heard rumors from the other servant girls in camp of the great and silent archer known as Yao.  She was deadly with the bow and could track anything or any one down.  She was a former bed-slave and as a result (so the slave girls said) was a young woman who found herself in heat more than others.  Now Musa saw her in person, and chills went up her back on seeing  the arrow aimed at her, and behind it the bald,  nearly naked Eastern woman, clad only in an orange silken cloth wrapped around her waist, covering her legs to the ankles.   “Please, mistress,” Musa pleaded, dropping to her knees, the yellow girl following her with the bow to maintain aim on her heart.  “I only come to bring you to mistresses Hunda and Vara‘s celebration. I mean no harm.”

Yao relaxed the cord of the bow and lowered her weapon. “Very well, we shall leave then,” she replied with calm gravity.  She donned a sleeveless red tunic and sandals and slung the bow over her shoulder  along with her full quiver of arrows.  She leaned over her bed, kissing both of the unmoving occupants before covering them from ankles to breasts with a soft deerskin robe, then turned to gaze on Musa with her serious dark eyes. “Lead on, servant of Hunda.” 
Musa held open the flap to the large tent and Yao stepped in, ducking her head instinctively, though the tent was huge compared to her own, and much better furnished at that.  The ground was covered with animal robes and rich, thick carpets woven in the capital city.  Lamps and a cooking fire illuminated the tent, catching the gleam of silver-chased weapons and plundered armor.  Piles of silken cushions were spread throughout the large space. A large square table, placed on short wooden supports that allowed banqueters to sit cross-legged or place their legs under the table as they dined, was set with a feast worthy of a king. Musa lowered the flap and joined Clonia at one side of the tent where they would await their mistresses’ pleasure – and where each girl had a dead slave to have fun with for the night.  The two dead youths, one blonde, the other with longish dark hair, were each limply supported by piles of cushions in a seated position, their splendid naked bodies already oiled and cleaned. 

On a pile of furs near the tent opening, the slave girls had laid four more slain trophies, toes up, similarly washed and oiled.   Their breathless bodies were stretched out full length, nude, eyes closed and mouths slack, the two bronze-skinned youths flanked by the slain brunette sentry and the dead Negress.  But the mischievous slaves had arranged matters so that the back of the black girl’s left hand lay touching the flaccid manhood of the dead slave boy lying next to her.

 At the head of the table sat dead Achillea.  Her body, like the others, was lightly oiled and  gleamed by the lights of the tent lamps and fires. The veteran warrior sat with her inert arms at her sides, resting against the mound of pillows supporting her limp body, and with legs spread wide to expose her sex.  Her head leaned back slightly, graying locks on the pillow behind her,  her inviting lips slightly parted.  Her hair had been carefully combed, and the jewelry she wore included pieces that Yao had not seen earlier among the plunder from her dead body -- including a slim golden slave collar, to mark Achillea’s utter defeat and surrender in death. Hunda and Vara, bejeweled and barefoot in sleeveless silk tunics of green and sky-blue respectively, sat at opposite sides of the table. Vara was flanked on one side of her pile of cushions by her new black bed-slave, his bald head thrown back and his legs wide.  Apart from his dark erect manhood, he looked as dead as the flame-headed Northern girl whose pale, freckled body sat naked on Vara’s other side, her lifeless head slumped sleepily against the black girl’s bare shoulder.  Hunda sat across from her, slightly closer to Achillea, with her redheaded male sex slave who sat slumped at her side, nude and comatose, as she played idly with his flaccid sex.

“Welcome, Yao!” cried Hunda in greeting, raising a crystal glass filled with plum-colored liquor. “Welcome to Achillea’s party.” She gestured towards the dead woman, who looked even more naked with the shining jewelry that adorned her limp arms and strangled neck.   The blonde fighting girl reached forward to slap the older woman’s left breast. 

“Come have a seat and enjoy this great meal – and then you can have your pick of any of these prizes afterwards,” Vara said, gesturing towards the four nude bodies laid out in the corner of the tent.  She rubbed the bald head of her unconscious black slave, and bent to kiss his half-open mouth.

 Yao sat down and began to eat silently.  Then Clonia poured her a glass of the plum liquor, and Yao raised the glass in Achillea’s direction. “To Achillea.” She said seriously. Hunda and the others broke into laughter.
Hunda, getting up from her spot, crawled on all fours over Achillea’s dead legs towards Yao,  having consumed too much of the liquor already.  She sat up again near Yao who eyed her curiously while she ate, knowing it might be some time before she could enjoy a feast like this again. “Yao,” said the short-haired blonde girl quietly, “you are the most skilled warrior in camp -- next to me and Vara. As you can see, we collected a large bonus from today’s work.  I think if we form an alliance of some sort for future raids we could celebrate like this every night. We’ll split the bounties equally, three ways.” Hunda smiled, but Yao remained serious. “And until we sell them,” she added, “you could have all the sex you want with the prizes we take, male or female.”    Hunda knew that she had hooked the archer when she saw a slight grin form on Yao’s greasy lips.

Midnight.   Hunda and Vara sprawled in a dead-drunk sleep among the cushions, tits up, mouths open, legs shamelessly spread, completely nude save for their jewelry, as the moon shone bright through the tent’s smoke-hole.  Each unconscious fighting girl lay with her head resting on the muscular thighs of the other girl’s comatose and well-endowed bed-slave, also quite naked – a pleasing contrast of white and black bodies.
The equally drunken Yao, intending to stagger home to her own tent, had instead slumped senseless and nude across the row of four stripped bodies near the tent entrance, her golden cheek against the smooth dead chest of a bronze-skinned slave boy, outstretched hand resting on the dark breast of the knifed Kushite girl.  Of the fifteen bodies in the tent, eight lay naked and dead, and only two of the remaining seven were conscious.

The two slave girls took  the strangled flame-haired girl – lying sprawled out with red head pillowed on the dark chest of Vara’s slave -- by her legs and under the arms and (very quietly, lest they risk waking the intimidating Yao) carried her to lie at the feet of the other bodies near the entrance.  “Sleep tight, freckle-face” whispered blonde Clonia, arranging the dead girl’s naked limbs gently and stealing a kiss from her silenced lips. 

The stately Achillea they had left where Hunda had last positioned her – her muscular, strangled body propped up on pillows so that she lay with back arched and arms outflung, tits jutting proudly at the tent ceiling, head back and mouth slack, legs spread wantonly wide -- a bunch of red grapes placed between her large breasts. But they had carefully removed the jewelry from her corpse and consigned it to Hunda’s strong-box, leaving the older woman as naked as she was dead.  Clonia had paused only to place a small piece of purple silk over the upper portion of the dead woman’s face, so that her nostrils and invitingly parted lips remained uncovered.   Her naked flesh gleamed in the lamplight.

The slave girls extinguished most of the lamps in the tent and gathered up the leftover wine and food before going behind the silken partition that divided the servants’ quarters from the rest of the tent. Their services were no longer required that evening, and soon the two giggling slave girls had pulled off their tunics, stripping nude to take their lifeless lovers in their arms,  With weapons borrowed from their mistresses, they proceeded to enact a drama of female warriors dispatching young male sentries.  

A garrote of oiled leather cord in her hands, Clonia stealthily approached her long-haired slave as he sat dead and naked against his cushions, hands loosely resting on the spear across his knees like a sleeping sentry.  She quickly had it looped over the dead boy’s head and and garroted him, placing a bare foot on his shoulder and pushing repeatedly until his lifeless head fell forward onto his bare chest and his nerveless arms fell from the spear to his sides.  She pulled the youth’s head back by his bushy hair and placed a dagger against his throat, then whispered.  “This one’s finished.”  Soon she had pulled him onto the rugs so that he lay on his side.  She look the body of her new plaything in her arms, kissing his cool slack mouth and running her fingers through his wild hair, wrapping her naked legs around him, feeling the muscles of his naked chest.   
As Clonia “strangled” her victim, Musa with a suppressed war cry lightly struck her own dead herder boy on the head -- with the same ball-headed wooden club Hunda had used to knock her out during her own capture a few months before—and then clapped her hand over his mouth, propping his head and upper body upright in a sitting position, close to her own naked body. “Sleep!” she hissed.  She removed the sword from the dead youth’s nerveless fingers, and delivered three blows to his throat with the edge of her hand “to make sure.”  

Finally Musa removed her hand from the short-haired blonde slave’s half-open mouth, pulled his limp nude body toward her, and let his handsome head fall forward, as though with a silent moan, between her full tanned breasts -- his lips kissing her naked bosom, his eyes closed. The girl held him close, caressing his bare shoulders and short yellow hair, cupping his manhood and hefting his male parts as though to judge their weight..

The giggling blonde girl, twining her lovely legs aound her prey’s nude body, checked the pulse at the wild-haired slave’s bare throat and chest, and naturally found none. “Good!  This one’s dead,” Clonia whispered dramatically, and glanced toward her friend. “Musa!  Kill that sentry!  Silence him!”

Sweet Musa lifted her own partner’s head, gazed into his slack face, traced the outline of his parted lips with a finger, and then let the dead herder boy’s close-cropped head fall again between her warm breasts with a soft plop.

“He is silenced,” the dark-haired girl intoned.  

The End