Shadow of the Sun

1. Cassus Bella

by dietsoda

Tags: #cw:noncon #cw:sexual_assault #D/s #f/f #pov:bottom #sub:female #bondage #bratty_sub #dom:female #fantasy #sadomasochism
See spoiler tags : #exhibitionism #humiliation #transformation

first ever smut fic, let me know what you think! story-wide cw for non-consensual, violence, and a heck of a lot of angst.

By any measure, the grand marble hall of Queen Helena’s court is incredible. Located in the center of the royal palace beneath a massive domed ceiling, it is a technical marvel of magic and masonry alike. Inside, Arlunn’s greatest politicians, thinkers, and sorcerers engage in lavish festivities and earnest discourse, gathering to discuss the state of the world inside a monument to their progress. It is without a doubt the most spectacular and opulent building in all of Arlunn, and I absolutely despise it. I hate the crystal chandeliers, the ceiling fresco depicting those stupid dancing forest spirits, the detailed silk banners and rugs lining the walls, and the rows and rows of groveling courtiers at their ornate wooden desks and pews. The bustling footsteps of clerks and murmuring of advisors serve as the accompaniment to my loathing, and the perpetual smell of ink, paper, and perfumes make me want to retch. Most of all, however, I hate the court’s imposing silver throne and She who sits upon it. Queen Helena is the highest object of my contempt, and I have spent many a night resenting everything about Her: Her aloof demeanor, Her potent sorceries, Her calculating green eyes, Her mature good looks, Her full elegant curves, how She claims my mouth with Her tongue…

“...and thus our problem is not the cabbage harvest, but rather the transportation of said cabbages,” spouts a nearby courtier, some fat oaf of House Lannith named Bartholomew. His loud declaration brings me back to the present, and I blink rapidly to try and dispel the warm pulsing desire pooling deep in my stomach. Damned curse. Damned court of fools. Normally I can push through my perpetual arousal to keep track of the intricacies of court life, but Master Lannith has been drawling on about cabbages all morning and I simply cannot find it within me to care. To be fair, he’s not really worth my notice—he wields power clumsily and has absolutely no charm or guile. The fact that he earned an audience with Her Majesty only proves how far the aristocracy has fallen.

It wasn’t always this way. Not so long ago, I saw Queen Helena’s court with fresh and ambitious eyes. Starting as a young noblewoman of the small House Tiern, I was thrilled at the opportunity to walk beneath the dome and play the court’s high-stakes games of wit and subtlety. For six years I bribed, negotiated, and cheated my way to power, rising higher and higher in the esteem of Her Majesty and my fellow courtiers. At my height the clerks were in my pocket, the other houses came to me for favors, and my vast network of spies fed me information and carried out my will. I was effectively the shadow ruler of Arlunn, and Queen Helena could do nothing about it. 

I couldn’t stand it. Ruling from the background wasn’t enough; I wanted everyone to know what I was capable of, to know how I had outplayed them all every single step of the way. The pursuit of power had consumed me, and I would not be satisfied until I was crowned Queen Veronica. My plan to take the throne was elegant and simple: Royal guards loyal to me would assassinate the Queen. Then, I would turn Her killers over to the noble houses and warn them of a broader conspiracy. This would serve as the justification for me to eliminate any of my remaining opposition, whereupon the throne would be mine. A quick and ruthlessly efficient coup. I put it into action three months, two weeks, and four days ago. That night, I retired to my chambers early, sipped the finest wine in House Tiern’s cellar, and silently toasted the future Queen of Arlunn. 

But something went wrong. I have since obsessed daily over what it might have been, but to this day I am still unsure. Were the assassins double agents? Did they simply fail? Did someone warn the Queen of my deception? Whatever it may have been, Her Majesty survived. The next morning, in what should have been my moment of triumph, I entered the court and found Her waiting. At that moment, I saw the place for what it truly was: a hollow and decadent tomb for youthful ambition and naivete, filled with a bunch of squabbling idiots who blundered their way into and out of success without ever knowing why. In a just and sane world, I would have ruled, for I was the smartest, the cleverest, and the most cunning of them all. But justice and sanity do not penetrate the marble dome of the royal palace, and my fate was determined by that petty bitch Luck instead.

Queen Helena purged my entire faction over the course of a single afternoon. The vast majority of my loyalists were jailed, exiled, or hung before me. My inner circle was then bewitched, their minds erased and bodies transformed into Queen Helena’s eerily perfect and completely obedient automata. Finally, She wreaked a foul curse upon me, transforming me from a proud, tall, and athletic noblewoman to a small, soft, and needy little slut. My razor-sharp focus was replaced with insatiable lust, and I was made both extremely sensitive and unable to find release without Her permission. Then, as one last parting insult, House Tiern was disbanded and I became simply Veronica. With no family, no power, and no control over my own pleasure, I had to beg for the privilege of being Her Majesty’s concubine right there in front of the entire aristocracy.

My life since that day has been filled with elaborate humiliations and sexual frustration. Nobles who once were far below me now have easy access to my body; rivals who once trembled at my name now freely abuse me and face no consequences. Queen Helena delights in all of it. She denies me release for months at a time, watching with glee as my composure slowly crumbles away into mewling desperation. She believes me broken; such a punishment would no doubt break most. But I am not most. I am Lady Veronica of former House Tiern, and underestimating me is a foolish mistake. Every time a noble comes in my ass or down my throat, every time they leave me unsatisfied, every time they tie me up and whip me senseless, I silently swear that one day I will have my vengeance. Their downfall was all but guaranteed the day Her Majesty chose not to take my mind from me. For even in my new station, my cunning and wit serve me well; I have risen from a lowly court whore to my Queen’s favorite, permitted to kneel beside Her throne while She holds court and to sleep at the foot of Her bed. And before long, I will use my newfound station to ascend higher, to find a way to banish Her wretched curse upon me and regain my former—

*snap*

Queen Helena casually snaps her fingers and taps her toe against the floor, still engrossed in conversation with Bartholomew. Propelled by desire, my response is immediate: I crawl between Her legs and bury my face under Her skirts, finding Her sex uncovered.

“I understand, Lord Bannith, but logistics are also your responsibility. There will be no passing of blame here,” my Queen says coolly. Below I shudder with anticipation, intoxicated by Her warmth and the smell of Her excitement as I kiss Her inner thighs and around Her labia. All an elaborate deception, of course—everything from my salivating to the little whimpers escaping my mouth is mere play-acting. So long as I am willingly obedient, I can avoid any of Her magical compulsions. Plus, being a good girl makes me more likely to earn an orgasm, allowing me to briefly clear my mind so I might better plot Her downfall. Everything is going according to plan. Pleased with the logical soundness of my feigned submission, I allow myself to get lost in the task, beginning low with flat licks to taste Her wetness and draw it up to Her clit. Outside, I faintly hear the discussion continue:

“Um, ah, uhh…well, Your Royal Highness, we’ll look at fixing those roads and, uh…repairing the carts. Which I believe will help. With the cabbage,” stammers Bartholomew. Amateur. Any courtier worth their salt knows not to be phased by Queen Helena’s public carnal acts; she’s clearly trying to fluster him and he’s still falling for it. What an incompetent dolt. I roll my eyes as I shape my tongue into a point and swirl it back and forth across my Queen’s hood, teasing out Her clit. While Her composure doesn’t falter (it never does), my efforts are rewarded with Her thighs spreading ever so slightly more open and her breaths growing ever so slightly deeper. I push my mouth harder against her in response, her arousal coating the lower half of my face.

“See that you do, Lord Lannith. I appreciate your bringing me this concern.” Her torso vibrates as she responds, but I am long past listening; Her damned curse has me too distracted to focus on anything besides Her delicious sex and my desperate need. She places a hand on the back of my head and I quicken my pace, my thighs now shamelessly rubbing together as I squirm about and moan into Her.

“Of course. Be well, Your Highness.” I squeal in delight as Her Majesty’s muscles rapidly clench and unclench around me. I did it! I pleased her! Another victory for Lady Veronica! I smugly grin into Her pussy as I slow down my licks in time with Her waning orgasm, satisfied with my performance. Let’s see Bartholomew eat cunt like that. He’d probably get lost on the way down. Another tap of the Queen's foot a moment later signals me to stop, leaving me free to nuzzle my face against Her thigh. Much as I am loath to admit it, the simple intimacy is…pleasant. Here I can bask in the warmth, safety, and comfort of Her presence as I catch my breath. Of course, I do not need the approval of a wicked fiend such as Herself, but my gods-forsaken body craves any touch it can get. And besides, I am in no hurry to leave Her skirts—showing my face after pleasing the Queen is never easy. 

But She never lets me stay for long. Once my breathing returns to normal She snaps Her fingers once again, and I meekly crawl out from between Her legs and return to kneeling by Her side. The experienced courtiers pretend not to care, to look disinterested at the tousled hair and wet face of their former superior. After all, I’m supposed to be beneath their notice now; useful for an occasional fuck, perhaps, but certainly not worth paying attention to otherwise. The younger and newer members of the court are much more open with their curiosity and stare openly and explicitly. My cheeks, already warm from my Lady’s heat and my own arousal, feel as though they’re about to catch fire. I grit my teeth and try to sit still, unable to keep my hips from rocking forward and back as if riding some phantom phallus. I want to wipe my mouth, but I know that would displease Her. I want to hide behind the throne, but I know that would displease Her. I need to touch myself, and gladly would even in front of the entire court, but I know that would displease Her. And so I wait instead. I kneel upon my hands and wait, staring off into space and trying to ignore the knowing grins and bawdy whispers of people who used to respect me. My body waits in silence, while my mind retreats away to a distant corner where hurt cannot follow. 

For the next few hours, I am only half aware of my surroundings. Court business continues on around me, with various merchants, scholars, and artisans making requests of the Queen. None of their poorly pleaded cases are enough to lift me from my reverie. Mostly I just fantasize about each of them fucking me hard. Once, during a discussion about grain prices, I imagine the presenting merchant stuffing his fat cock in me and a high-pitched moan accidentally slips out of my mouth. Ever the graceful monarch, Queen Helena slaps my face with the back of her hand and continues on without missing a beat. 

My wallowing in horny self-pity only ceases at the end of the day, when a noblewoman emerges from the crowd to approach the Queen for a private audience. Lady Francine of House Melia, known in whispers as “Lady Vigilance,” is Her Majesty’s spymaster—she replaced the last spymaster, Harlon Carumbee, who was turned into a living sex doll for participating in my failed coup. A shame, really. Harlon was a loyal man. I ride him from time to time, just to check in on the poor bastard. Francine was his natural replacement—she’s smarter than most of the rabble and was a perpetual thorn in my side while I held power. Her narrow, gangly frame and delicate features belie her keen investigative skill and wicked cruelty streak. “Lady Vigilance” indeed. I hate her too, of course. Though I do grudgingly respect her.

“Your Highness,” comes Lady Francine’s raspy alto as she approaches, giving a slight bow.

“Francine. It is a pleasure.” 

“The pleasure is all mine, I assure you.” Francine turns to me, a hint of a wicked grin on her face as she gets down on one knee. I crane my neck to look up; even matching my kneel, she still towers over my reduced stature. She reaches forward and grabs my chin, squeezing just enough to cause a bit of pain. “Hello, little Ronnie. You seem distracted today. Feeling pent-up?”

I vow to send her to the mines as soon as I regain power. “...yes,” I whisper, fixing my eyes on the floor.

“Aww. Poor thing. Perhaps we can play later.” I shudder. Lady Francine’s idea of ‘play’ often involves rope, custom-made metal implements, and a not-insignificant number of bruises. Part of me craves her rough treatment, but I’ve enough of my wits about me to know that’s the curse talking. Lady Francine pats me on the cheek and stands once more to address the Queen. “More news from the border, Your Majesty.”

Queen Helena nods absently, her eyes sweeping across the room. By now, many of the courtiers stand by the entrance gossiping, while a swarm of servants descends to clean the messes left behind. “Walk with me.” 

*snap*

The Queen snaps Her fingers and stands, and I ignore the protests of my aching knees to get up and follow behind her. Together, the three of us exit the court and traverse the wide halls of the royal palace, our footsteps echoing off of the polished granite. Their footsteps echo, rather—I am kept barefoot while indoors, allowed only to wear one of my many impractical outfits. Today’s is a sheer gown of draped silk layers that shift about and always fail to cover everything. I continuously tug on the skirt to conceal my pert rear, automatically following three paces behind and slightly to the right until we enter one of the palace’s many inner parlors.

“Before I begin, I want to emphasize that these sources are not entirely reliable,” Lady Francine begins, crossing to a leather armchair and waiting for Her Majesty to sit first.

“Please, spare me. I know you would not call a private meeting simply to discuss petty rumors and hearsay. If you are wrong, you are wrong, and trying to cover the error with ‘maybe’ and ‘perhaps’ will do you no favors.” A less competent advisor would take the Queen’s acidic words as a threat, but Lady Francine and I know it to be merely venting frustration after a long day. The difference is in where She holds tension: a furrowed brow merely signals exhaustion, while pursed lips and a tight jaw signal furious wrath. I haven’t seen the latter since the day of my trial. My Queen sighs and sits down on a blood-red loveseat, then pats Her thigh with the palm of Her hand. I dutifully walk over and sit on Her lap, relaxing as She wraps Her arms around my waist. “Ah, there we are. So eager! When I see her like this, I almost forget that she was once so dangerous…I apologize for my harshness, Francine. Please, continue.”

“You’ve done a wonderful job with her.” The sadism in Francine’s smirk is impossible to miss. I glare at her with all the fury I can muster, and it only makes her grin wider. Before I can snarl out something I’d regret, though, my Queen starts stroking my hair and I am briefly overwhelmed by Her touch. “And there is no need to apologize, Your Majesty. These long days in court are taxing indeed, and no doubt doubly so for you. I will be brief: I called this meeting because three additional towns along the southern border have spotted knights marching beneath the banner of Sol Gloria.” 

For a long moment, nobody speaks. Lady Francine takes the opportunity to slink down into her armchair, and even my own grievances temporarily slip away as I take in the news. The sun-knights of Sol Gloria, here in Arlunn…their Order is the stuff of legends, a nomadic group of knights who are said to travel the world and fight evil wherever they find it. Their actual exploits are impossible to separate from fanciful stories: tales of cutting down hordes of the living dead, of banishing wicked demigods to fiery prisons beneath the earth, of taming dragons and flying them to the sun itself, and so on. All nonsense, of course. I do not doubt their power, nor their supernatural prowess—there are indeed reliable accounts of the Order’s fantastic deeds—but I am certain they are no force for goodness. Anyone with that much power has done wicked things to get it and must continue doing wicked things to keep it. That’s simply how the world works, and while the Order of Sol Gloria might use fancy words to justify their actions, they are no doubt engaged in the same power struggles one would find in our own court.

Perhaps I can take advantage of that. The silence of the Queen is enough to prove that She fears the sun-knights; Lady Francine’s reluctance to give the news is enough to prove that they are, in fact, a credible threat. Should the Order visit Arlunn and learn of Her Majesty’s misdeeds, learn about the curses which she lays upon her enemies…well, they are rather famous for disposing of tyrants. Perhaps their sorceries are even powerful enough to make me orgas…to remove my curse, I mean.

“Well then. Place additional scouts along the border, and spies among the townsfolk. I want to know who they are, what they want, and what people think of them. No need to act beyond that as of yet, especially with so little information. I assume you have some idea of their recent movements?,” the Queen speaks up at last, slowly and carefully choosing her words. 

“As of two weeks ago, we’ve seen…” I try to listen closely to the details while appearing disinterested, not wanting to arouse suspicion. In an attempt to look at anything but Lady Francine, my gaze settles on a mirror in the corner—a huge mistake on my part. Fake distraction quickly gives way to the real thing as I stare at my reflection, unnerved at what I see even after all this time. The woman looking back at me is not a Lady. Nobody would ever mistake her for having any position of esteem. Everything about her is small: Her delicate hands ball into tiny fists, her petite cheeks are tinted pink with embarrassment and arousal, and her lips form an adorable little pout. Her skin is smooth and flawless, all of its imperfections magically removed, and her curves are subtle and tight. One of Queen Helena’s arms wraps around her waist, while the other strokes her shoulder-length wavy brunette hair. I watch as she arches her back and preens at the attention. She looks weak and helpless, and I can’t help but feel excited by the fact that she is me.

“…their supply caravans trailing to the east…” She eventually wrenches her hazel eyes away from the mirror, as my confused feelings grow too strong to bear. The gleeful shudder that runs up my spine when I see myself this way must have an unnatural source. It must be the most devilish component of the curse—the magical temptation to embrace what I have become, giving up all I have worked for in favor of the crass hedonism of submission. I refuse to interrogate such thoughts further. My captors have inflicted far too many humiliations upon me to be spared my wrath. I will exhume my ambition from its marble tomb in Arlunn’s court, even if I must make it a tomb for my enemies in the process. Whether I want to or not, such is my fate. “...all of which will be in my next report.”

“Thank you, Francine. You are dismissed.” Queen Helena’s interest seems to have slowly drifted away from the tactical details toward me, the tension draining out of Her body as She focuses more on Her caresses. Do not falter, Veronica. She wants a doll to play with. Not a partner or companion, but a doll that can feel shame. There is no salvation in surrender; no catharsis. Struggle is all you have.

“Thank you, my Queen. Be well.” The royal spymaster bows and then remains bent over, placing her hands on the knees of her trousers and smiling at me. “Goodbye, Ronnie. I’ll see you soon!” She pivots and exits the room, leaving me alone with Her Royal Highness. Queen Helena is in no hurry to depart, happy to spend the evening hugging me close and kissing my cheeks right there in the parlor. Fine. Let her indulge in my flesh and savor the twitches and exhales that She elicits from my oversensitive body. I cannot stop Her.

“I see you clamming up, Veronica. Did Francine make you nervous?” In private, Her Majesty’s voice is higher and softer. “Or are you planning your next coup?”

I freeze, and Her body shakes beneath me as she lets out a melodic giggle. “I expect nothing less. Do as you will, sweetheart. Whenever I see you in court, still trying to scheme even as you pant and writhe with need…absolutely delicious. It’s why I merely defanged you, rather than destroying you utterly. I couldn’t help myself.”

A great wave of fury finally spills over the dam of my self-restraint. “Defanged? You will never defang me, Helena. Until worms take us all and rise up to claim the earth, I will never—aaah!” I manage to wriggle halfway out of Her grip by sliding down toward the floor, growling with indignation along the way. But before I can escape, She grabs under my arms and heaves me back up onto Her lap in one effortless motion.

“And there’s the tantrum. Let it out, sweetheart. Let it all out.” I oblige. I fling vicious insults until my voice is hoarse, but She remains impassive. I writhe and batter my fists against Her arms until my muscles ache, but Her grip never falters. I unleash everything I have until exhausted by the effort and disheartened by its futility, I give up and quietly sob into Her shoulder. “It’s been a while since you had one of your little meltdowns. I’m surprised it didn’t come sooner, frankly. Feel better?”

I sniffle and She pulls me closer, rubbing gentle circles on my back. “Okay. I’ve got you, sweetness. I’m here. We will discuss your behavior later; for now, try and get some rest.” I’ve no energy left to resist. Her breaths are regular and even, the rhythm colluding with Her warmth to lull me into slumber. Sleep for now. Sleep, for tomorrow the Sun brings a new day. With my head tucked underneath Her chin and my face pressing against Her breast, I barely hear Her whisper:

“Oh, Veronica. How you brighten my days.”

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