Chapter 2: Touching Watchmen
Thomas, a Zardiw swordsman serving at the watch post beside the dirty road marked as a trade route, finally ended his shift and climbed down to the first floor of the purple-roofed tower, where both of his fellow soldiers had their humble feast. Sauerkraut wasn’t a very delectable meal, but beggars can’t be choosers; with all the supply issues caused by crazed mages wreaking havoc, they couldn’t afford to look down on any kind of food. Thomas approached the two with a march and saluted them exactly how their statute ordered.
“Lieutenant Thomas served his guarding shift,” Thomas grabbed some cabbage for himself, “it’s your shift now, private Beld.”
Beld, a solar elf with a witty face, blonde hair, and long ears, gazed at Thomas and grimaced as if he just bit into a lemon.
“We’ve been through this. You want your parole? You gotta follow orders,” Thomas stared him down.
“Come on, lieutenant, there’s no need for all that watching stuff now. No one’s going through here anyway, except for a couple of old merchants whom I all know like the back of our hands.”
“Yeah,” nodded Harred, who was a large, broad-shouldered man with a beard and surprisingly naive eyes for a soldier, “no one’s giving us trouble these days. Well, except for the insane mages, but we can’t fight them anyway.”
Thomas let out a sigh. Oddly enough, these two slackers were right, the road was completely empty save for a merchant once every two or three days. When he only started serving at this tower, he had all these visions about him fighting wild beasts, bandits, and enemies of the kingdom. In reality though, all activities here boiled down to standing under the hot summer sun for hours on end, playing dozens games of cards, and eating this damned cabbage. Still, orders were orders.
“Wasn’t I clear enough? Private Beld, begin your guarding shift this instant!” Thomas was getting angry, “and fix your chestplate, it’s loose.”
“Alright. As you say, boss,” the blonde guy let out a sigh and climbed to the top of the tower, grumbling and whispering rude words about his lieutenant.
“See something there?” Harred asked in a joking tone.
“On, you won’t believe it. I see trees. Also some bushes. A couple of birds and a…” Beld’s voice suddenly stopped, “a naked redhead riding our way!”
“You’re taking your imagination too far, lad!” The bearded soldier laughed.
“No-no, I’m for real! A nude girl with red hair is approaching us on a horseback. She’s got some curves, great boobs! Come on out, she’s close already!”
Thomas and Harred looked at each other in disbelief and ran out of the table with their weapons in their hands. In sheer shock, Thomas realized that Beld didn’t lie. The nude girl was riding towards them with a confident smile on her pretty face, waving to the guards with friendliness. She was stunningly beautiful, Thomas barely took his eyes off the girl’s majestic breasts that bounced along the movements of her horse.
“Greetings, soldiers!” She saluted the two gawking watchmen, “name’s Katrina, I came here by the orders of the Supreme Judge of Tholcing Kingdom to assist the local powers in restoring orders. Uh, soldiers?”
The two just gawked at her with slight nods, clearly more focused on her body than on her words. Suddenly, a third watchman got down from the tower and ran up to the redhead.
“Hello, miss!” He exclaimed and started kissing Katrina’s arm, moving upwards, “we’re very glad to see that such a warrior would honor us with her presence.”
“Ahem, I appreciate your hospitality”, she responded, removing her arm, “I really do, but can you let me pass quicker, please? I’ve got a meeting with the mayor!”
“Oh, apologies, ma’am,” Thomas forced himself to act professionally, “wait, what did you just say? You were sent here to help restore order? By whom?”
This time, Katrina actually had to respond, and she did, saying that she was sent by the order of the Supreme Judge of Tholcing Kingdom. This only made watchmen doubt her even more, they were grinning and subtly joking with her, probably thinking she was putting on a show. This lasted until Katrina searched through her bag and gave them all the necessary documents, including the scroll bearing a seal and signature of the Supreme Judge. Their faces suddenly became more serious.
“So you’re the assistance we were promised?” Thomas raised his eyebrow, “don’t get me wrong, ma’am, we could use any help here, but the judge’s letter said he’d send a pyromancer knight who will be unaffected by the craze.”
“I am the pyromancer knight!” Katrina exclaimed with a proud smirk, “although I prefer to be called a firewielder. I’m not a wizard, my connection with the fire is of a deeper, wholly natural level, something folks in Zardiw call “the old magic”. Observe!”
She snapped her fingers. Suddenly, the girl’s entire head caught fire and illuminated everything around akin to a giant torch.
“Ah hell, hang on lass!” The bearded footman screamed, grabbed the nearest bucket of cold water and splashed Katrina’s face.
The water put out the flame with a loud sizzling and caused Katrina’s entire face to pinch like it was getting bitten by a swarm of wasps. Thankfully, the pinching only lasted for a second, but it was still a horrible feeling to get your magic put out like that.
“Never do this again,” the knight wiped her brow, her hair wet from the splash.
“Sorry for doubting you, ma’am!” Thomas said, trying his best to look at her face and not below it, “it’s just, uh… A bit unusual to see a knight… Like this.”
Thomas knew tales and legends about brave heroes and warriors from ancient times who used to fight fully nude, he even heard that in some distant provinces of the kingdom or in some faraway lands, such as white woods of the solar elves or the tropical archipelago, it was still normal for people to not wear anything in public. But he never would think he’d see someone like this himself, in his own hometown no less.
“No worries, I understand!” Katrina waved her hand, she was obviously used to it, “now, I must be on my way!”
“Wait a second! What about a search?” Beld suddenly shouted with a large grin, “we’re ought to frisk her to make sure she doesn’t smuggle anything.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Lieutenant sighed, “she has a scroll from the Supreme Judge, and well, it’s clear that she doesn’t hide anything in her clothes, because, well…”
“Yes, but per mayor’s orders we have to search folks for suspicious items, regardless of their clothing. We have to follow the order according to our statute. Isn’t this how it should be?” The blonde guy said, his eyes flashing with anticipation.
“You’re a fast learner,” Thomas said in a defeat tone, “alright, let’s do this for the formality, but make it quick. Ma’am, I hope you won’t mind?”
“You’re gonna search me?” Katrina looked down at her stark naked body and raised her eyebrow.
The absurdity of this idea made her chuckle a bit, but what if their statute actually stated they should do that? Katrina didn’t want to cause issues for these soldiers right away, she wanted them to be her allies, so it’d make sense to agree. Also, the fire knight knew very well that a naked female body worked wonders in establishing connections. The redhead shrugged and daringly jumped off her horse, her nice breasts and perky butt bouncing from a sudden movement.
“Okay. Your town, your rules,” she stood in front of the footmen, arms up and feet shoulder-width apart, allowing them to frisk her however they’ll please.
The footmen began their “search”, slowly moving their hands across Katrina’s athletic body, as if trying to find something. Thomas was quite reluctant and barely touched her, while the bearded soldier and the blonde elf seemed to enjoy the process a lot. Beld really went all out, taking time to grope the nude girl. The knight herself found this absurd situation very funny and decided to play along.
“Check my pockets!” She said with a smirk and Beld placed his hands on her hips.
“How about the back ones?” She suggested and the elf rubbed her buttocks.
“Hmm, maybe there’s something under my robe?” Katrina laughed as Beld started groping her slim, toned belly.
“How about my chestplate? Doesn’t seem suspicious?” She said with a hint of challenge in her voice.
The solar elf reacted by placing his hands on the girl’s breasts. As he started slowly groping them, savoring every moment of this delight, Katrina’s body filled with pleasant tingles. Especially the breasts and her tight, pretty pussy. The nude knight loved being in the center of attention like this, and the pleasant touches the watchmen gave her only reassured her of how beautiful, appealing and desirable she was to them. Also, it was just nice seeing them have fun.
However, even she had limits. When Beld finished with her boobs and reached with his hand to her pussy, Katrina suddenly activated her magic and let out a small gust of flame, nearly burning the guy’s finger. Beld smiled and put his hands behind his back with a satisfied nod.
“Sorry, but that place is only for someone special to search”, Katrina said, proudly raising her chin, “anyway, I trust you didn’t find anything suspicious and will let me go?” The girl added in the serious tone. Fun and games couldn’t last forever.
“Sure, nothing wrong. Please, go ahead,” Thomas saluted and started yelling at Beld so he’d go back to his post.
The blondie couldn’t get enough of the redhead’s company and offered to help her get on her horse, but after seeing her masterfully jump on Ash’s back without any issue he just fell silent and climbed back to the tower.
“Sorry for my subordinate, he gets too excited sometimes.” Thomas apologized.
“No worries, I’m glad he enjoyed himself. Gave me a nice massage, too,” Katrina straightened up her back.
“You can go now, but please, be careful. Zardiw is in chaos,” Thomas’ voice was full of concern, “I think you can imagine how it goes when almost all your wizards go insane simultaneously.”
“Insanity? I thought that was a normal state for a wizard,” Katrina let out a laugh, but no one felt like it was funny.
She stopped and suddenly realized something.
“Wait, you said “almost” all of the wizards? Who is still sane, then?”
“Well, very few were able to save themselves by not using their magic since it all began… The mayor’s counselor is one of them.”
“Huh,” the naked knight scratched her chin, “this already sounds suspicious. Thanks for the information.”
“Don’t hurt yourself! Looks like that it’d be… Easy to do, you know.” Thomas reiterated awkwardly.
“Sure. Good luck, hope to see you lot again sometime!” Katrina shouted as she rode forward with Ash causing a whirlwind of dust that clouded the guardians’ view.
“What the hell even was that?” Harred laughed cheerfully.
“I’ve no idea,” Thomas replied, “but don’t you dare tell Amy about any of this, understand?”
Harred saluted and marched back to the tower, still giggling.
Katrina kept riding forward, noting how the landscape around her gradually changed as she got closer to the town. The wild greenery of the woods became tamer, with some of the trees and large bushes cut down entirely. At certain points, the forest would stop and give room for vast wheat fields and vineyards that stretched far into the horizon. The surroundings weren’t soulless anymore, occasionally there were farmers, townsfolk, or guards nearby. That watch tower must’ve given them some sense of safety.
Katrina made sure to greet everyone she met, and they mostly replied in kind. Many gave her long stares filled with either shock or enjoyment, occasionally someone would laugh or even cheer her on with whistles or shouts. There was a surprise in their eyes, but they didn’t seem like prudes.
Then, her good attitude suddenly shifted as she heard a distant female scream. A scream of sheer terror, no less. Katrina did her best to determine when it came from and steered Ash there, towards the abandoned lumbermill to the side of the road. The mill itself was destroyed as if it got hit by a catapult, and smashed tree trunks were scattered everywhere, hindering Ash’s movement. A result of a magic attack, most likely. The horse did her best to go over all the obstacles, and Katrina gave her reassuring head pats each time she managed to do so.
“Help! Please, help!” Somebody screamed once again, followed by a series of animal growls.
“There!” Katrina pointed at the nearby greenery and drove Ash forward.
There was a big, mighty tree, and a bunch of wildlife gathered under it, growling, roaring, and clawing at the wood. Katrina counted four wolves and a wild boar who tried to ram through the trunk with its giant tusks. The voice came from above, as there was a girl sitting on one of the branches. A nice-looking solar elf with a blonde ponytail, clad in a long white robe, which now seemed gray due to all the dirt that got stuck on it. The girl was in tears, shaking and crying for help in desperation, while the feral beasts seemed to be solely focused on getting to her.
“Hold on there!” Katrina shouted as she dismounted and jumped towards the tree with her sword in hand.
The redhead activated the firewielding with a swift move, her sword ignited like a match in a second.
“Get out of here, savage beasts!” The nude knight shouted and began swinging her sword left and right, expecting that the animals’ instinctive fear of fire will to do its job.
However, it didn’t. The wolves smelled their new prey and instead of running away started to close in on the naked firewielder. That’s when Katrina noticed how strange the animals looked: milky eyes filled with all shades of purple, foaming jaws, dirty and damaged fur… Might’ve been a disease, or even a curse. Judging by the current situation in Zardiw, everything was possible.
“Alright. Come ‘ere, have a taste of the apex predator!” Katrina said with a challenge, realizing that the battle was inevitable.
The first wolf charged toward her, eager to have a bite of that bare muscular flesh. The redhead put out her flame, evaded, and delivered a wide slash with her sword, cutting the wolf’s entire side. The animal landed in the nearby bushes and fell to the ground with quiet whimpering.
“You know, I really got the hang of dodging attacks after years of fighting naked. You have to try harder than that,” she bragged as if the animals could understand her.
Two beasts lunged to attack her from the sides, she ducked and whirled with her blade, delivering a devastating circular strike. One of the wolves instantly fell, painting the grass below it red with its blood. Another one roared and attacked again, but a swift strike of the nude knight’s sword became its end. The last crazed wolf jumped at the redhead, aiming at her neck, but fell into Katrina’s trap. Once its foaming jaw was right in front of the girl’s arm, she set her hand on fire and brazenly grabbed the beast’s head. There was a bright orange spark, then a loud howl, and the wounded wolf ran away deep into the woods, having had enough of this “prey”.
The last enemy left was the giant boar, who didn’t look much better than the wolves. Katrina could only wonder what (or who) did this to the poor animals, but alas, it didn’t seem like she had another choice but to put the last one of them down. The boar kept trying to ram the tree down while the blonde’s whimpers became louder and louder. Katrina swiftly ran by the boar and poked it with her sword, attracting its attention. The crazed animal bolted forward in a rush of rage-inducing insanity.
One touch of its giant tusks and Katrina’s bare body would’ve been mangled, but the redhead already had a plan to avoid that. As the boar neared her, the girl rolled out of the way, making the animal crash face-first into a giant oak. A deafening thud flew through the wood, making all the birds fly away in fear, and the boar’s tusks became hopelessly stuck.
“Bye, piggie!” Katrina exclaimed and raised her mighty sword above her head. A second later, everything was over.
Katrina proudly walked back to the whimpering blonde as if on a catwalk and told her that she has cleared the way.
“Oh…” The girl said in a shy, slightly scared tone, “did all the beasts go away?”
“Absolutely. Climb down, damsel, the distress is gone!” Katrina nodded with a smile.
“Um, I… I can’t,” the elf whispered so quietly Katrina could barely hear her.
“What? Why?” Katrina comically put her hand to her ear as if she had issues with hearing, “come on, princess, don’t waste my time. I can get you back to the town, but only if you’ll be quick!”
The solar elf glanced at her savior’s naked, fit figure with an obvious question in her eyes, but was way too worried to truly focus on it. Instead, she looked around the tree and closed her eyes, shivering.
“I can’t, I’m scared of heights!” The blonde girl whined, nearly hugging the tree trunk, “I don’t even remember how I got up here, I was panicking!”
“You aren’t going to make this easy, are you?” Katrina raised her brows and spread her arms, “alright, let’s do this: you just jump down with no thoughts in mind and I’ll catch you!”
The blonde girl hesitated for a bit, but Katrina’s serious gaze told her that she didn’t have a nice. Finally, she let out a sigh and launched herself down with a terrified scream. Katrina gathered strength in her athletic legs, jumped up and caught the blondie in a swift, beautiful move. A second later they were on the ground again, the redhead’s legs buried ankle-deep in the dirt due to the weight. The elven girl had a taut butt which was nice to the touch even through her robe, and her breasts, unfortunately, hidden by the clothing, pleasantly rubbed against Katrina’s own ones. The damsel’s hot breath landed on the redhead’s neck, causing some goosebumps.
“Come now, you’re safe. Here, you can stand on your own now,” Katrina said quietly to calm the pointy-eared girl down.
The blonde carefully checked the ground below with her toe and, realizing it was indeed safe, freed herself from the redhead’s hug. The next second the elf stepped away, her cheeks rosy from embarrassment and her gaze barely touching Katrina’s nude body.
“T-thanks a lot! I’m much obliged,” she awkwardly rubbed her sleeve, “name’s Sophia, I’m a local sun priestess. Y-you saved me…”
“Katrina,” the redhead shook her hand and playfully grabbed Sophia’s chin to point her gaze right at herself. The elf’s cheeks became even rosier.
“You’re from some kind of a savage tribe? Sorry, I’m unsure with who I’m talking and whether I should be worried…” She got all giggly, trying to hide her obvious embarrassment from the situation.
“No, I’m a proud Tholcing citizen like yourself!” Katrina pointed at her new friend’s chest, “to be more specific, I’m a firewielding knight from the eastern province. Came here to assist you lot with your mage craze.”
“Oh, that is amazing! I’ll be glad to provide any help you might require,” Sophia said, looking at the nude warrior with awe, “but… First, can I ask something?”
“Sure, what is it?” Katrina straightened up, enjoying the feeling of warm sunrays on her bare backside.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but, uh… Why are you naked?” Sophia raised her eyebrow in sheer confusion.
Katrina looked at her own body with a smirk. Interestingly enough, the elf was the first one to ask this question out of all people she met so far, even though it was a very obvious one. Zardiw must’ve been a town with very polite people.