A dragon knight’s training prepares you for most anything.
Sleep deprivation, cold, hunger. The weight of sword and armor, the soreness of prolonged physical exertion. Forced marches and long fights, rough sleeping and danger behind every corner. It’s a harsh life, and not without its ironies, since all this finely honed training is supposed to prepare us to protect a god that needs no protection.
Even so, I have genuinely believed, for most of my life, that there was nothing I wasn’t prepared for. Well, maybe Margaret’s behaviour in the bathhouse… her playful smile, long legs, the way she proffered her foot to me with a knowing smile.
But out in the real world, sword in hand, my training would enable me to face anything, endure any privation, and come out victorious in the end.
As such, it is devastatingly painful for me to admit it: my training never prepared me for this.
I find myself nestled deep in the heart of darkness, as deep as a person can go. After defeating me, Illuminata led me down into the depths of the tunnels, so deep that it feels like we walked forever, that I could never find my way back unaided.
I passed countless rocky alcoves, some small, some large, just briefly illuminated by my captor’s torchlight. Screams and moans alike emanated from all occupied alcoves. I don’t know what chilled me most… the screaming, or the moaning.
As for my own alcove, my own prison of earth and rock… I don’t even know what shape it is, or how large. Because Illuminata had something very special in mind for me.
I find myself buried under the ground, lying on my back. The soft, cold soil presses against me from all sides, totally restricting my movement – the most invincible form of bondage.
The ground before my nostrils is relatively free, allowing me to breathe, but not to see, much less move myself.
My only connection to the outside world is a single feeding tube made from bamboo, stuck between my lips.
Whenever Illuminata sees fit to visit, I get just enough water and sustenance to keep me alive… and nothing else.
When she first buried me like this, Illuminata told me I was meant to be a seed under the earth. That my knightly shell would crack open, allowing the silly, girly maiden underneath to blossom at last. That this is her true garden, and I’m to be one of her beautiful flowers.
She’s… planted me. Surrounded by soil and fed through a tube, I definitely feel closer to a plant than I do a person.
I experience sensory deprivation on a scale that simply defies description. Time stops being a concept to me. I have no reference, no interaction with other living beings, no stimuli. I am trapped in complete darkness and silence, unable to move even a single finger from the pressure of the dirt pressing against every inch of my figure.
The lack of stimulus is slowly degrading my mind. Just randomly thinking about the unbreakable, all-encompassing darkness around me makes my heart start to race. It hammers against my ribcage, but I do all I can to calm myself down. Being agitated in here is a really bad idea, but what is the alternative?
Acceptance? Submission? Surrender?
I whimper softly in the darkness. I’m losing hope that I can extract myself out of this situation, or that people might find me. Even if other dragon knights were to storm the cave, would they ever descend this deep? Even if they did, they could pass right by this alcove, and never notice the thin bamboo tube sticking out of the soft ground, let alone the vanquished, humiliated girl underneath…
And what if Illuminata sells me?
Yes, the inquest into the human trafficking ring will continue. Maybe one day, they’ll catch her and stop her. But I could be halfway across the world by then, reduced to little more than chattel, untraceable for anyone who’s ever cared about me. Little more than a cow, or worse, depending on what Illuminata’s buyers look for in her wares…
I really have been vanquished. The lack of motion, the dampness and cold, the barely adequate nourishment are sapping my body of all its strength. My muscles, honed by countless hours of training, my pride and joy, are withering away, day after day.
I don’t even know how long I’ve been in here, but it’s long enough that I can feel my own helplessness, like a blanket. Illuminata utterly dominated me and reduced me to her foot holster when I was still strong. Right now, she’d probably be able to decimate me one-handed.
I hate the treasonous part of my brain that tells me that’s why she deserves to win, and I deserve to be sold into slavery.
When you live as a seed under the soil, everything is muffled, distant, unreachable. The only thing that comes sharply and in focus is the emotional pain, the humiliation at the comprehensive totality of my defeat. I’m being turned from a strong, proud knight into a thin, harmless girl with no strength and no independence.
It’s when I find myself perking up in excitement and happiness at the sound of Illuminata’s footsteps that I realise my training is failing me.
That she’s slowly but inexorably breaking me.
I try to emit desperate, muffled sounds around the bamboo stick, but my throat is slow to flex, unresponsive and out of practice. I feel like some grunting animal, too stupid even for words, and tears sting my eyes at Illuminata’s reaction – cruel laughter echoes above me, bouncing off the curved walls of the cavern.
Illuminata’s footsteps draw closer, until the soles of her boots come to rest exactly above me, the increasing pressure building up against my cheeks – but only slightly, as the soil around me distributes most of the actual load.
I don’t need to be able to see anything to understand the deep symbolism behind Illuminata’s gesture. I’m not even under her soles, like last time. I’m under the very ground she walks on.
I hear the slow, grinding sound of the topsoil being crunched as Illuminata crouches above me. It reminds me of my own destruction, ground to dust beneath those very soles, and it makes me shiver and whimper.
“Hello there,” Illuminata says, the voice muffled by the earth separating us. What I’d give for a glimpse of the torchlight she must be using up above…
“How is my little seedling doing? Are you ready to crack open? Are you ready to burst, and let the girl be born?”
I only answer in desperate, guttural pleas. The sad truth is, knightly concerns do not apply in this situation – I have been reduced to a much more basic level of need. Water.
Nourishment. Like a desperate animal trying to stay alive, no matter what’s necessary.
She laughs above me, but I only whimper with desperate, docile joy at the trickling sound of water being fed through the tube. It’s the joy of a grateful pet, of a broken captive. Sensorily deprived, underfed, cold, weak… it takes this little to train me to respond.
And I do respond, because the water tastes like heaven, sweeter than any wine. In gratitude, I suckle at the end of the bamboo straw, gulping down as much as I can.
“You know, Forte,” Illuminata says, “you ought to really be asking yourself what I’ve laced the water with, this time.”
I don’t even flinch. I keep drinking eagerly, which elicits another cruel bout of laughing from my conqueror up above. Illuminata loves to employ her botanical knowledge against me, subjecting me to a number of nature-born substances.
I know the drugs are changing me, sapping my will, taking away my focus. The effect is subtly different each time, but I always lose any residual perception of time I might have, and worse, they have… other effects on me. Lubricating me. Bombarding my mind with visions of women’s boots and shoes and feet.
Making me relive my defeat at Illuminata’s hands over and over again, while also making my sex pulse and throb.
Unbidden, the images from the last time she did this flash before my eyes. The flicker of the torchlight, the way the flames danced across her face, her toothy grin, her cruel eyes…
Illuminata actually dug me out of the ground for the occasion of my first drugging down here. It was my one time being partially free – from the chest up at least, but my gratitude was short-lived, then.
My captor had been a vision in the tenuous firelight. The only human face I’d seen in so long, half her smile illuminated by the torchlight, as she waited for the toxins to take effect. It crushes me to admit it, but she was… beautiful.
The toxins made my skin crawl and pearl with sweat. I was so sensitive that the slightest gust of air inside the tunnel had me wiggling my upper body to try and break free.
Illuminata simply laughed at my sensitivity, then closed in on me, and placed her gloved hands – rubber gloves, not to make contact with my toxin-bearing sweat – on my nipples.
What followed was a never ending, torturous massage that made me scream in pain as she pushed, pulled, pinched, and twisted. The toxins magnified my response tenfold, and Illuminata knew exactly how to exploit that to put me in my place.
A seedling girl, beneath the earth.
Eventually, and to my undying shame and shocked disbelief, I climaxed, my juices soaking the dirt that trapped me. After that, Illuminata ignored my desperate pleas for mercy, and back into my dirt prison I went. I’ve replayed that encounter countless times in my own mind, left to my own devices here, in the dark and quiet.
I’m sure that was Illuminata’s intention from the beginning. To make me marinate in my slow, agonising breakdown. In my shame, my surprise, my fear… and my newfound arousal. Drug-induced or not, it’s real. The idea of a broken heroine, crushed under the iron heel of a better woman, suddenly feels titillating.
Certainly better than the slowly gnawing horror of utter, impenetrable immobility and silence.
That brings me back to the present, as I eagerly suckle every drop of drugged water from the bamboo tube, like a good, obedient girl. Would I be willing to go through that torture again, just to see the firelight, and the face of the villainess?
Would I humbly kiss her boots in reverence, to thank her for the privilege of having my nipples tortured? Would I gasp and just barely spread my thighs, inviting her gloved fingers to access every part of me? Would I go red in devastating, identity-killing shame as she laughed and laughed at me, the knight who whored herself for a trickle of water?
To my utter shock, the tube starts moving between my lips, and is then pulled away. I whimper and moan desperately as my only connection with the outside world is taken from me, but Illuminata only laughs above me.
Then, scraping sounds silence my dog-like whimpers. Illuminata slowly, methodically removes the packed layer of dirt resting above my face, and for the first time in who knows how long, the cool air of the cavern brushes against my cheeks.
I cough, blinking. After so long spent in pitch-black nothingness, the torch on the wall is enough to make my eyes water. At the edge of the firelight, floating above me like in a vision, is Illuminata’s face. She’s standing above me, her feet planted more or less above my chest, leering at my now-exposed face.
A knight knows no fear, but I am terrified to my very core. In fact, I will be afraid of solitude and the dark for the rest of my life. It logically follows, therefore… that I am no knight. Not anymore.
Perhaps I never was.
“I want you to lick water off my boots, little seedling,” Illuminata says. “You want to quench your thirst? This is how.”
I stare, bewildered, into her eyes. She stares, amused, into mine.
It takes my drug-addled, isolation-dimmed intellect a moment to comprehend the scope of what Illuminata is asking. The symbolism. The significance of this moment.
If I say yes to this, what will I ever say no to? I should refuse. I should find the last vestige of knighthood inside me, hold on to it, and resist.
And then what?
Get buried back beneath the earth, with no water, my agony stretching into the silence, until Illuminata makes me the same offer again, and again, and again.
Until I give.
I might as well give now… and live. It will end me as a knight, I know, but though I am too weak to save myself, there is hope, so long as I live. And so, tremulously, I nod my acquiescence, submitting fully to my captor. And the stretching of her smile fills me, in equal parts, with defeated arousal, and with dread.
Illuminata pours water all over her boots, cold droplets striking my face and my dry, cracked lips. I open my mouth in a wide, pathetic o, eagerly catching any spill. Illuminata nods approvingly, but then her fingers snap, and she points down.
“Lick my boots,” she says, and I throw myself into it willingly, my parched throat and subdued mind pathetically eager.
I lap the water from the rough and uneven leather, filling up the rocky alcove with wet, needy, slavish sounds. I know I sound like a dog, a desperate animal, lathering a pair of boots with sweat, picking up what little hydration I can from the very shoes of my conqueror… uncaring about the drugs currently being ingested into my system.
“That’s it,” Illuminata says, “lap it all up. Drug yourself for me, little seedling. Water is life, and my boots are just that to you right now. You should beg me for mercy every waking moment, lapping at my soles like the human doormat you are.”
Her words wash over me, making my conquered, drug-stimulated pussy throb. I lick from the tip to the ankle, then up and down. I lick under the soles, even though no water is to be found there – purely because I know Illuminata wants me to.
I suckle at the tip, my cheeks reddening at the shameful, lewd image it evokes – of pleasuring a man with my girly, quietened mouth. It’s all in a desperate attempt to capture one more droplet of water, but also to appease my captor. I don’t want to go back under the dirt. I don’t want to be planted again…
As always, each lap of the tongue against Illuminata’s boots makes me feel even less of a person. My captivity has rendered me tame and docile, eager for instructions. I never think of myself as able to extricate myself from this predicament anymore.
If Margaret came bursting here in shiny armor and glittering sword to save me, I’d follow her meekly back to the surface. But my strength is gone. Uncountable days spent with the cold seeping from the dirt into my body from every pore have left me like this… a simpering, powerless little girl, good only for polishing the shoes of her betters.
It doesn’t matter that nobody else is witnessing this. I am. The old Forte died up there in the caves, when I reduced myself to begging Illuminata to spare me. Whatever I am now, it’s something less than human. Something that deserves to be enslaved.
At last, Illuminata steps back, her face retreating partially away from the firelight. Pathetically, I start panting like a dog, eager for more water, for more human contact, for more… anything. Most of all, eager for air. I don’t want her to put me back down there. I try to tell her as much, but my throat is not cooperative, and words fail me.
Illuminata’s face reappears from the darkness, and now, she isn’t smiling anymore.
“I’ve found you a buyer,” she says, matter-of-fact, and it makes me skip my heart, the careless way she says it, like it’s a complete afterthought to her. She’s tossing my entire life away, but to her, I’m so meaningless that it’s like giving away a pot, or a dumb farm animal…
“I intend for you to be ready for her,” she continues, arching an eyebrow at me, wagging a finger in admonition. “A perfect, feminine, beautiful flower. And for all your progress, we still have a while to go!”
I shake my head, desperate, eyes wide with fear and pleading, but Illuminata is unmoved. She takes another step, closer to me, and her boot covers my field of vision. Moments later, it rests delicately atop my forehead. A perfect image of victory and subjugation.
Then, Illuminata leans forward, and the weight slams me back into the ground, the flat heel of the boot smashing against my lips.
“Mmmpphh!! Ngghhh!” I muffle, panicking, the best imitation of a scream of terror that I can perform, while the sole of her boot utterly masters my face. Illuminata just laughs at my fear, pushing me deeper into the ground.
“Shh, little seedling,” she says. “Get back in there.” She removes the boot as she says this, crouching to push the bamboo tube back between my trembling lips. As she does, we find ourselves face to face with one another. It’s almost… intimate.
“You’re about to have a very nice, intimate experience with the plant toxin you’ve so eagerly lapped up from my boots,” Illuminata says, her eyes so close and so big that I find myself swimming in them. “It will let you simmer… like a good soup. And then, we’ll talk a little more, and see if you’re ready for selling.”
She steps up at that, and I close my eyes, sobbing, knowing what is about to come. The immobility, the cold, the silence. The darkness.
“You better believe I’m going to be very upset if you’re not,” Illuminata says. And then, the first splash of dirt hits my face as I am shovelled back into the ground, and I know in my heart of hearts that this is the end of me, and she has won.
That my knightly façade is ready to crack…
And let the slave girl be born.