Ephiny and the Conqueror’s Treaty
by AJ Marks
Ephiny leaned back in her chair feeling her back pop back into place after so many candlemarks of debate. She silently applauded the Conqueror for the direct, and simple concept but there were many issues that could jeopardize everything they were working for. The Conqueror was looking to replace Rome as the supplier for all goods to the Amazon Nation, and it made sense as Greece was closer than Rome, a shorter distance to travel would mean fresher goods, and any amazons would be gone for a shorter period of time.
The main sticking point had to do with attitudes like Valaska who did not like the Conqueror and tried to find faults with everything. Eph felt Valaska was too emotionally involved to see anything but her point of view and the fact the Conqueror wanted to conquer them. Eph did not see things quite the same and wondered how the queen thought as she had been quiet for most of the meeting. Eph felt the treaty would benefit the nation overall, but not as much as it would Greece.
She kept an eye on the blonde, who kept her cloak closed and would make several whispers to the Conqueror who would stop and think before speaking. It usually happened in the middle of the most intense debates and what the Conqueror said was usually quite well thought out. It made Eph wonder who they were dealing with, the Conqueror or the blonde which brought up its own questions.
“There is one more thing,” the Conqueror said as things seemed to have settled down.
“Figures,” Valaska stated. “What now, drafting Amazons for the Greek army?”
“No, but it’s not a bad idea, Amazon scouts are the best,” the Conqueror stated getting a bump from the blonde before unrolling a map showing Greece and Amazon lands. “Greece wants this property,” the Conqueror boldly stated pointing to a plot of Amazon land.
“Now you’re joking,” Valaska said before anyone else could and even Eph balked at this idea. Amazons giving up land for nothing, it seemed unheard of.
“No joke, I didn’t come to joke about things,” the Conqueror stated looking at Valaska before continuing on. “Its been brought to my attention that the city of Petori needs room to expand, they have the ability to farm the fields and build up with this land. If the city grows it brings a closer trading place for the Nation, something this treaty is based on. But there is a concession, Greece will help start the Amazons mine the local mountains with no tribute asked in return for a period of ten years.”
“And after ten years?” Melosa asked.
“If the Amazons no longer feel you need our help we’ll leave, or at anytime prior to that,” the Conqueror said.
“And how is Greece going to do such a thing without demanding any tribute?” Melosa asked.
“Criminals would be used for labor under the guard of Empire soldiers, the Amazon queen would have final say over the guards,” the Conqueror stated.
“I won’t allow men on Amazon land, no way,” Valaska said, and her sentiment was echoed by several others.
“The prisoners will be women, as will there guards,” the Conqueror stated. “If at anytime the Amazon Nation wants them gone, either the criminals or guards request it and we’ll leave.”
“Just like that?” Melosa asked snapping her fingers.
“Yes,” the Conqueror replied with no hesitation.
Ephiny gave it some thought knowing what implications mining could have on the nation. If the mines become profitable it meant more trade, and that meat both sides would prosper even more. It was a very sound investment on Greece’s part and looking over at the queen, Eph saw her thinking about it.
“Your proposals are, intriguing, perhaps even promising. I would suggest we take the rest of the day off to think and relax and meet again tomorrow to go over any questions we have,” Melosa replied. “Until then you remain our guest.”
“We accept,” the Conqueror said looking down at the blonde and the others. “We will not cause you any trouble.”
Ephiny glanced over at Eponin, who appeared as tired as Eph felt and nudged her. “How about a bath and a quiet dinner?”
“Sounds wonderful, I’ll grab our towels if you head over and grab the back pool,” Eponin said talking about the pool in the back which was the most private bath.
“Deal,” Eph replied watching Eponin head back to their hut to get their stuff. Eph stretched a bit stepping out into a white world. The snow had come down while they were out blanketing everything. She turned to look back inside to find her path blocked by the blonde. Eph blinked before saying anything. “Um, can I help you?”
“I hope so, you see I’m looking for the baths, I’ve read that the Amazons use natural hot water and that sounds really good about now,” the blonde stated quickly, her voice actually quite pleasant and soft.
Eph glanced at the blonde, noticing her eyes were green and looking at with an almost child-like innocence. Eph finally recalled the question. “Sure, I’m headed that way now.”
“Great,” the blonde replied smiling which lit up her entire face making Eph wonder how she did that.
Eph led the blonde out of the room into the snow and towards the bathing caves.
“You know,” the blonde said breaking the silence. “You could add some padding to those chairs, no wonder Amazons have a bad reputation. I mean you have some of the best craft makers around and yet can’t make comfortable chair. Hat about your beds, tell me you don’t sleep on the ground, do you?”
Ephiny opened her mouth to reply then closed it when the blonde continued to talk.
“I see that the whole cutting off your breast for archery is overrated, I don’t see any missing breasts around here,” the blonde said.
Ephiny blushed slightly aware that the blonde had been that observant of the things going on around the village. She couldn’t wait to tell Eponin about this question but had to refocus on the blonde who continued to ask questions without waiting for an answer.
“So, why are you on the council? I think I figured out everyone there, the queen, two princesses, and elder, your lover is probably a military strategist or commander, something like that, but I don’t picture you that way,” the blonde said the words tumbling out before Ephiny could even process them.
Ephiny quickly recovered despite the misstep she took when the blonde mentioned Eponin as her lover Of course it was no secret, and she and Eponin did nothing to hide it but to be discovered by this blonde in less than a day in a council room?
“Ah, well I guess I’m an advisor for laws and represent those who are not warriors,” Ephiny replied before asking the question on her mind. “How did you know we’re lovers?”
“Oh that was easy, it’s how you two look at each other whenever Valaska started one of her rants or asked a certain type of question,” the blonde replied easily.
Ephiny had no idea she and Eponin did anything like that and that the young blonde was much more than she appeared. The woman seemed to have observed everything around her without anyone realizing it. Ephiny felt relieved when they reached the baths and showed the woman around watching her reactions.
“Beautiful,” the blonde said.
“There are also a few more private baths in the back which we also use,” Ephiny said making her way to the back pool Eponin wanted her to grab. The further back you went the warmer it got which was welcomed after walking in the cold weather outside, and they did not have to waste resources on heating the water or caves during winter. Eph turned back to the blonde trying to muster the words to ask who she was. “So, uh, what, no, who, um I mean-“
“I am many things to the Empress, but yes my formal title is the Empress’ pleasure slave,” the blonde answered as if reading Ephiny’s mind.
Eph nodded her head as they walked into a smaller cave with a smaller pool carved out of the floor with running water into and out of it keeping constantly warm and could fit four nicely.
“This is really nice, wish we had something like this back home,” the blonde stated looking around at the walls and pool.
“So, what’s your name?” Eph asked having never heard it and mentally kicking herself for waiting so long to ask that question, but the young woman had a way of keeping you off guard. Perhaps she did the same thing to the Conqueror.
“Oh, sorry, it’s Gabrielle, but you can call me Bri,” Gabrielle replied back to her.
“Bri, nice name,” Ephiny sad suddenly uncomfortable. “Um, would you like to join us, I mean Eponin will be here shortly and we were going for a soak and if it doesn’t get you in trouble?” Eph asked not wanting to get the blonde into any trouble with the Conqueror.
“If you don’t mind,” Bri replied and Eph shook her head no. “Then I’m sure we won’t mind.”
Ephiny walked over to test the temperature of the water as sometimes it could be warmer than they thought. She glanced over to see Gabrielle taking off her cloak and the sight made her eyes go wide. Her foot waved in the air over the water at the sight and she realized she had yet to place her foot on the ground and instead went into the water.
Surfacing and sputter water out of her mouth and moving wet hair away from her face she realized Gabrielle was laughing at her. Ephiny made her way to the side and glanced at the blonde waiting until she stopped laughing.
“Um, you know, where I come from we generally take our clothes off before wee bath,” Gabrielle stated ass Eh climbed out of the bath dripping wet and grateful the baths were warm.
“Yeah, and we generally wear clothing under our cloaks,” Ephiny said before she could stop herself. She began to undress and looked over at Gabrielle noticing the woman only had on a pair of heavy boots and a collar, along with a golden chain that went from nipple to nipple and down to, well, Eph turned away for fear of being caught looking but she could see why Gabrielle was the Conqueror’s pleasure slave.
Gabrielle entered the water, having taken off her boots and the chain as Eph placed her wet shirt in a spot to dry off, hopefully quickly.
“Um, Eph, what, uh, huh, did I miss something?”
“Not a word,” Eph said turning to her lover giving her a glare despite seeing the confusion in Eponin’s eyes.
“All right,” Eponin replied drawing out the words. “I see we have company.”
“Eponin, this is Gabrielle, or Bri, Bri this is my partner Eponin,” Eph said introducing the two of them.
“Pleasure to meet you,” Gabrielle said, and Eph noticed a slight smirk on the blonde’s face. “So, tell me, does she always go headfirst into the bath with her clothes still on in winter?”
Eph glared at Eponin who merely chuckled before replying. “Well, she is a bit loony at times, and honey, that look might work if you weren’t half naked,” Eponin said reaching out and cupping Eph’s breasts.
“Argh,” Eph said in frustration moving away from Eponin and finishing undressing before stepping into the water. The water felt really good and waited as her lover stepped in the water as well and settled beside her looking over at Gabrielle.
“Are those permanent?” Eponin asked Gabrielle leaving Eph slightly confused before Gabrielle replied.
“You mean these?” Gabrielle replied, bringing her breasts slightly out of the water and fingering the nipple rings. “Yeah, mostly, they’re made out of gold now so I generally don’t have to worry about them.”
“You’re a braver person than I am, I’m a chicken to have anything like that done,” Eponin replied.
“I wouldn’t know,” Gabrielle replied back to her.
“Um, how wouldn’t you know?” Eph asked a bit confused. She would know if something like that happened to her.
“Well, I passed out after they did my clit, woke up and it was all over,” Gabrielle replied.
Ephiny clinched her thighs together in mock sympathy at the pain and wondered how such a thing happened. She did not think it was proper to ask such a question.
“That was eight years ago now,” Gabrielle replied glancing down. “At first I hated them, and what they stood for. Now, well, I don’t think I could live without them.”
It seemed an odd contrast in ideals to Eph that Gabrielle went though, and her voice softened at the end. Something changed in the past eight years.
“So, the chain, why not wear anything else?” Ephiny finally asked gathering up the courage to breech the subject.
“Because she won’t keep anything else on, and complains too much when she does wear anything that I’ve given up,” another voice said causing Ephiny to jump as she recognized the voice from the meeting, the Conqueror.
Eph started to turn around but stopped at the sight of Gabrielle, whose entire demeanor changed. She appeared to be a bit more relaxed and happy. Eph had to mentally shake her self to turn around and again stopped at the sight in front of her. The Conqueror was stripping out of her leathers revealing what most already assumed, but a perfect woman warrior. There were Amazons who tried all their lives to achieve such perfection and still failed.
Eponin bumping her caused her to look over seeing her lover starting at her with a raised eyebrow. Eph said nothing as the Conqueror waded into the bath and made her way over to where Gabrielle patiently waited.
“You’re not causing trouble, right little one?” the Conqueror asked looking at Gabrielle.
“Me, nope,” Gabrielle replied back to her.
“She’s been well behaved,” Ephiny said quickly hoping to back up the blonde so she would not get into any trouble, and it was the truth.
“Oh, so she didn’t pester you with a thousand and one questions about the Amazon lifestyle?” the Conqueror asked raising an eyebrow at Ephiny.
“What type of questions?” Eponin asked looking at Ephiny with a curious look. To Eph’s relief and embarrassment the Conqueror answered instead.
“I’m sure she asked about your breasts,” the conqueror stated as they all looked over at an innocent looking Bri.
“Our what? Why…oh goddess, not that one,” Eponin said
“Basically what I said,” Ephiny said feeling better that her lover did the same thing. “I wonder who starts these rumors.”
“See, like I told you, rumors,” the Conqueror said looking down at Bri.
Ephiny watched a bit transfixed at what happened next. Gabrielle appeared to be pouting causing the Conqueror to grin before splashing Bri with water. Spluttering Bri wiped the water from her eyes and face glaring at the Conqueror, something Eph would never do.
“Don’t start something you can’t finish warrior,” Bri replied back to the Conqueror. Eph couldn’t believe the blonde was challenging the Conqueror this way. Before Eph could even process the entire scene Gabrielle returned the favor soaking the Conqueror. Eph tensed thinking for sure she and Eponin would see the Conqueror punishing a slave.
Instead it turned into a full scale water war with each splashing the other and getting Eph and Eponin as well, who sat there stunned at the sight before them.
“What?” the Conqueror said stopping and looking at the Eph with a slightly odd expression. Eph snapped out of it when she heard Bri laughing.
“Um, well,” Eph stuttered unable to get a coherent thought out of her mouth.
“A girl can’t play with her mate anymore?” the Conqueror said before turning to Bri. “I don’t recall any rules about that in the Amazon nation, do you?”
“Nope, not me, and I know you didn’t pass any like that,” Bri replied smiling and obviously enjoying the Amazon’s discomfort.
“M-Mate?” Ephiny finally managed to ask. “I, um, I thought, well, that Bri was, well, wasaslave.”
“I am,” Gabrielle replied with no hesitation at all considering everything which had happened.
“I’m confused,” Eponin replied not bothering to hide her confusion.
“It’s, well, complex,” Gabrielle finally replied snuggling back up next to the Conqueror who had other ideas and pulled Bri into her lap. Eph had the impression of two people very much in love.
“She is a slave, but in name only,” the Conqueror replied, her tone almost daring anyone to argue against what she said.
“Um, aren’t you the Empress of Greece, can’t you just, well, pardon her or something?” Ephiny finally managed to ask.
“Yes I could, but doing so would cause more trouble than anything else,” the Conqueror said before continuing. “In my younger days I refused any slave owners the same thing when they came forward. I stated they had to obey the rules or else they were punishable by law. Changing the laws so quickly could make me seem weak.”
Eph nodded her head but didn’t quite understand but did show a bit how the Conqueror operated. She led other not by words, but by actions. She supposed the Conqueror could just abolish slavery but such actions could cause more problems and unrest than anything else.
“Peoples first reactions are always the same about us,” Gabrielle stated to them and the recent actions had Eph convinced the younger woman wasn’t afraid of the Conqueror at all. “All they see me as is a small, young, blonde slave and think poor girl.”
“Sometimes,” the Conqueror stated quickly.
“Hush,” Gabrielle said giving the Conqueror a slight slap on the shoulder. “As I said, all they see is a small, young blonde slave being taken advantage of by the big, bad Conqueror.”
“Until they realize she’s taking advantage of me,” the Conqueror stated tweaking one of Bri’s nipples causing her to yelp.
“Um, you know, this is destroying the image of the Conqueror I had,” Ephiny finally said.
“Oh, she’s still there,” the Conqueror said as her eyes went cold causing a slight shiver of fear in Ephiny.
“You know, the effect would probably be greater if you both were not naked, and holding Bri,” Eponin said.
“Yeah, I guess it does,” the Conqueror admitted before looking at Bri. “See, you’re ruining my reputation.”
“Me, you’re the one holding me, not the other way around,” Bri shot back.
“Just wait, paybacks are coming,” the Conqueror said smiling. “We should probably get out and get that monster of a stomach of your fed before it wakes up.”
“It’s not my fault, besides, it takes a lot of energy to keep up with you,” Bri replied as a blush spread across her cheeks.
“Which is why I have to make sure you’re fed,” the Conqueror said standing up and lifting the younger woman out of the water.
“Are you ready to retire as well?” Eponin said causing Eph to look over.
“Huh, yeah,” Eph said recalling what Eponin said before all of this. “You promised me a night to remember.”
“And I did, bathing with the Conqueror,” Eponin replied getting out of the water.
“Ha-ha, now what you meant and you know it,” Eph replied getting out and drying herself. Her clothing was still damp but would suffice to get to back to her hut.
Eph tried not to watch as Gabrielle reattached the chain to the loops before helping the conqueror with her leathers. Everything about their actions appeared very natural to Eph with nothing forced.
Once finished they said their good-nights and stepped out into the chilly night air, which felt even worse for Eph in her damp clothes. Eponin gave directions to the food hut before she and Eph made their way quickly to their hut.
“That was different,” Eponin said finally as they trudged through the snow.
“Definitely not what I expected and it seems like the Conqueror has changed,” Eph said.
“Could be, but let’s not worry about that, I’ve got something else for you,” Eponin said as their hut came into view.
End part 2
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