Giantess Stories: Squire to the Rescue  by  deathworks  Chapter 1

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Squire to the Rescue

by

deathworks

Chapter 1 : Dark Clouds Rising

The raven- haired man on the ebony throne looked down at the man kneeling at the

base of the stairs leading up to him. The throne's occupant couldn't be older

than 30 years with a soft and boyish face and was attired in a blue tunic with

brown trousers, the plain look of which underlining his youthfulness. The

crimson robe with white trimming attached to his shoulders and the simple,

golden crown on his head were in stark contrast to that average appearance as

were the wrinkles above his eyes. His thin lips hid any emotions he might have

had, while his green eyes were fixed on the man below. That man was quite the

opposite of his sovereign. He was thin to the extreme and looked worn- out

beyond belief. He certainly counted at least 60 years, but no one could say for

sure, how many more, as his pale face was a maze of wrinkles and scars. His hair

was white seemingly shining before his black robes. Next to his right hand,

there lay an ebony staff, the head of which was carved to resemble a blazing

sun. Although he was old and showing his respect, there was a gleaming in his

brown eyes telling of inner strength and defiance. Neither he nor his sovereign

cared about the guards and courtiers surrounding the scene in silence. And no

one dared to move or even whisper a word to his neighbor.

After this short pause, King Gerald III continued to speak:

"Have you understood what I ask of you, bishop Jeremiah? What is your answer and

what payment do you desire?"

"I have understood my task and I understand the necessity of the subject to obey

his lord. I will do as you have asked, but there are some things I need to be

able to finish the ritual. As your subject, I can't possibly expect you to give

me any other reward than your enlightened rulership. The Holy Mother Azkata is

another matter, though. All the power I have comes from her, and it is her

generosity that helps us prevail, although she had been betrayed by her

children. Therefore, I have to beg your Highness to have a great temple built in

honor of the holy mother so that I may spread the wisdom of the past among the

people."

"A request most fitting for a holy man like you. The ritual's success would

without doubt bring safety and peace to our lands. How could I possibly fail to

acknowledge the Holy Mother's generosity that helped us in that time of need.

Succeed in the ritual, and I will built a worthy Great Temple of the Holy Mother

here in the capital. And I will also erect subsidiaries in Greenriver, Stormedge,

and Willowshade. Once they are under our control and the populace pacified, I

will see to the building of temples in Redsand, Deepswamp, and Brightcloud. I,

King Gerald III, ruler of Stormrock, promise to do all this if the Holy Mother

would look favorably upon my request."

"Then I am sure that your prayers will be answered. As for the things I require,

it's a complete list of all people in the castle and the lives of two men for

each one of them."

"Rest assured that I will see to it that everything will be as you need it. You

are dismissed."

"Thank you, my Lord."

Using the staff to carry most of his weight, the bishop rose to his feet, bowing

his head before his sovereign. Then he turned around and left the audience

chamber. Both men knew that there had been no other way things could have

developed. And both men knew that Jeremiah's submissiveness was more show than

anything else. The necromancer was probably the only living creature King Gerald

was afraid of, but he needed him and his powers. Needed them too much. As the

old man disappeared from sight, the sovereign wondered, when the necromancer

would rise against him - and if he would be able to prevail. But that was the

future, he had to see to it that his spies gather the information the magician

had asked for. Very soon, he would own Blackberry Fields as well. And he would

have his bride, fair Elizabeth. At this thought, a smile crept onto his face.

Chapter 2 : A Common Squire indeed

"Ah, fair princess Elizabeth. If only I could be among the lucky ones that are

allowed to climb the stairs of the tower to wait on you. Just seeing your

distant face at the window makes me comprehend that there can't be a fairer

being in the world." THUD! A wooden sword smacked the young man's side, making

him return to reality from his day dreams and sending him into the court yard's

dust. It hadn't rained for two days now, so that his sudden impact sent grey

clouds into the air, making him cough. The dirt immediately covered his green

tunic and trousers, as well as his brown hair. The man whose sword had struck

him, couldn't help but laugh at the sight of this. This little pause wouldn't

last of course.

"What were you thinking, John? It is an honor to become a royal knight's squire,

and you should be grateful for anything I, your master and mentor, are teaching

you. When we are practicing the fighting arts, your thoughts should only be with

your sword and your foe. Had my sword been real, and I your enemy, you would be

dead by now. Get up, so that we may continue and pay attention this time." Sir

Humphrey Ironshield was one of the well- known royal knights protecting

Blackberry Fields from any threats. He was a broad- shouldered man of 44 years

with black hair having a slight grey shining to it. Well- trained, his body was

strong and agile, and few would have claimed to be a better swordsman than him.

The tales of his deeds are many, the most reknown of them being his fight with

Goldenfang, the dragon, a terrible beast that invaded the country and tried to

conquer it 12 years ago. It is said that, although he had been accompanied by 20

most formidable knights, it was him alone who dared to enter Goldenfang's lair.

The other knights, ashamed of their cowardice, couldn't abandon him completely,

so they waited outside the cave, hearing the sounds of a fierce battle. After

two hours, legend has it, Sir Humphrey emerged, carrying Goldenfang's head in

his arms. Being only 16 years old, John Fields could hardly judge whether this

was true or not, but if a mortal could defeat such a terrible beast, Sir

Humphrey would be most likely. John was lucky indeed that his father somehow

knew Sir Humphrey and had been able to convince him to take John for a squire.

Otherwise, his chances of getting this close to the royal court would have been

naught. And he would never have been able to see princess Elizabeth.

Princess Elizabeth. The only child of King Rupert II of Blackberry Fields, her

beauty had already become a legend. It is said that she is a gift from Lord

Fukar, the Creator, himself. After testing the King's devotion for many years,

and having him wait for an heir, he had finally found him worthy of such a

wonderful boon and had Queen Margarita give birth to a child as fair as can be.

She had black hair, glistening in the sun, while her skin was slightly pale with

only a rose tinge like snow on a winter morning. Her eyes were of a deep blue

and her voice more enchanting than those of the most wonderful birds. King

Rupert was of course the happiest father one could imagine, but soon he became

convinced that he had to shelter his precious daughter from the dangers of the

outside world. He kept her in a big tower he had added to the castle, and only

the most reliable and loyal nobles were chosen to wait on her. Still, her form

looking down from the tower's windows had enchanted several men, and so word of

her beauty had spread even to distant kingdoms.

For the next hour, John kept himself focused and tried to beat the old man. But

no matter how well he tried to protect himself, the knight always found the flaw

in his defenses. And no matter how hard or fast he attacked, the knight's sword

was always there to parry his weapon. John had just hit the floor again, his

muscles aching and pain surging through his body, when a messenger, a boy of

John's age in a white tunic approached the fighters.

"Greetings, Sir Humphrey. I am here as a messenger to arch wizard Michael. He

wants to inquire, if you could spare your squire this afternoon, as his

assistance would be very helpful. Arch wizard Michael hopes that you appreciate

the importance his tasks have."

"Go tell arch wizard Michael that I will send John to him after lunch. He isn't

really concentrated today, so lessons would be lost on him anyway." After

hearing these words, the messenger bowed and turned around heading back to the

castle's buildings. With an angry scream, John jumped towards his master trying

to hit his left side. The two swords met, entangled each other, and suddenly

John's sword went flying through the air, while the squire lost his balance and

pushed his face into the dirt once more. "Much too slow and unfocused."

Chapter 3 : An Interlude of Dark Tidings

"Here, your Highness. The list of all persons residing and working at Blackberry

Fields castle. It counts 124. The King also tells you that the main hall of the

castle and 248 men are ready for the ritual. The King hinted at the fact that

haste would be greatly appreciated." Finishing that sentence, the young

messenger, who was already kneeling down, bowed his head nearly touching the

ground with it, while his outstretched arms presented a roll of parchment.

Bishop Jeremiah approached him and fetched the scroll. Unravelling it and

studying its contents, the necromancer started to speak:"Yes, this will do.

Squire! Tell His Majesty that my preparations will be finished the day after

tomorrow. Before that day's noon, I will start the ritual, so that the King's

men will be able to claim the castle that same day. You are dismissed." Without

any further comment, he sat down at one of the tables in this smoky room. Taking

a quilt, he started copying names from the scroll. Thankful for the order to

leave, the squire retreated. Visiting the bishop's abode always made him feel

weak and insignificant. A man to be feared, no doubt, with powers mortals are

not meant to have.

Chapter 4 : Doomsday

"Ah, it is good that you could come, John. I have heard that you are a healthy

boy and not the weakest squire at the castle. I suppose you know who I am and

what my purpose here is." "You are the royal arch wizard Michael, advising King

Rupert II and helping the royal knights defending our country from any dangers."

The old man was obviously pleased with John's quick and correct response as a

smile filled his wrinkled face. Although his white hair and sick complexion told

of a life that had lasted for too long already, the arch wizard was obviously

still very strong and energetic. His laboratory was a large room filled with

tables upon which diverse pots and bottles with the most bizarre of ingredients

were stored. Smoke from two fire places and an oven filled the air, but its

owner didn't seem to notice. John, on the other hand, found his surroundings

bewildering and more than a bit scary. But this was the King's arch wizard. He

was their ally, therefore John had to trust him.

"I have summoned you, because I needed to test a new spell I have devised for

His Majesty's knights. If it succeeds, I will be able to grant you the strength

of a hundred men. Currently, our spies are reporting that King Gerald's men are

gathering at the border. His attack will begin very soon, so I have to get this

spell finished now. Don't worry, there is no possibility that harm could befall

you. Just stand over there and wait until I am finished with the incantation."

John moved to the clear spot the old man had pointed at while the latter began

murmurring strang words of magic. King Gerald of Stormrock. He was a very famous

man. It was said that he had to ascend the throne at an early age after his

father had been killed by an assassin. The plan of the usurper to steal his

heritage failed, though, but King Gerald had learned how to fight. He had been

ruling his country with an iron fist. As it would seem, he had heard rumors

about princess Elizabeth. Being impressed even by those oral descriptions, he

had sent a vast treasure together with a message asking for the princess's hand.

Considering what a dangerous man he was, and the dealings he had with

necromancers and other creatures that would certainly lead to heavenly

punishment one day, all counselors concurred, and King Rupert denied King

Gerald's request. That King Gerald wouldn't accept 'no' for an answer was

something everyone had been apprehensive about. John was glad, of course, that

the princess wouldn't be handed over to such a monster who was believed to steal

his peasans' children for dark offerings to the necromantic gods.

John suddenly felt strange. It was a feeling just as if a lightning storm was

about to begin. The sensation filled his entire body. Although not really

unpleasant, it was odd. Looking around, he noticed that the arch wizard had

stopped with his chanting and was examining him. "Grab that iron bar and try to

bend it. No normal mortal could do that bare handedly, so if you are able to do

it, your strength has certainly been increased." Looking at the heavy iron bar,

the squire got a bit dishearted. He certainly didn't feel stronger, and the mage

was certainly right about no one being able to bend that metal bar without

applying fire and hammer. Sighing with resignation, John still tried to pick up

the pole. It certainly was heavy and he really felt it. He had to try, though,

just to make sure. Holding the iron with two hands, he started to push using all

his strength. All his muscles tensed and blood rushed into his head, but the bar

wouldn't change a bit.

"Stop. It is no use, the spell has failed. I will have to UNGH! ..." The old man

was never able to finish that sentence as flames suddenly erupted from his body,

turning him into a living column of fire. The flames hungrily ate at their prey

and the heat was intense. Within a few seconds, the wizard was reduced to ashes,

overwhelmed before he had any time to act.

In distant Stormrock, in the castle's main hall, an old man chanted arcane words

and invocation while lifting the blood covered knife in order to slit another

man's throat.

John was stunned only for a second by the shock. Then he recovered. "You are a

royal knight's squire. You have to inform your master and his liege about this

incident. You have to defend the castle, the king, the princess" He kept telling

himself these words so as to keep himself from thinking about the fact that he

had just seen a respected man spontaneously burst into flames and die within

mere moments. Hastily, he ran up the stone stairs leading to the castle's ground

floor.

During the afternoons, Sir Humphrey was always in the court yard practicing with

the other knights or telling the squires about the duties of the knights. He was

a hero. He would certainly know what to do. Missing his footing, John fell just

as he reached the top of the stairs. Instinctively, he put his arms in front of

his face so as to stop his fall, but the impact was still very hard and he cut

open his left hand. "No time for that. Just hurry and get some help." There was

the door to the court yard. He opened it and was greated by screams. Looking

around, he was only able to see two of the squires sitting in the dirt and

holding each other in their arms while screaming at the top of their lungs. But

no sign of the knights.

Then terror gripped him as it dawned to him. Looking to the ground, he saw them.

The knights' suits of armor, terribly burnt and molten to dark clumps of metal,

they were still able to confirm his fears. This wasn't just a backlash of the

wizard's spell. This must be some kind of divine punishment - or attack! King

Gerald's necromancers! Could it be that they had such terrible powers. If that

was so, the princess would be in danger. This last thought gave the squire the

goal he needed. Saving the princess, becoming her hero, her knight, her ...

He ran back into the main building. Running through the corridors, he just came

across two places where the fine carpet was still smoldering and a disgusting

stench of burnt flesh lay in the air. There was the door to the princess' tower.

It was open and two clumps of molten metal told of the guards' dire fate. Right

behind the door, a charred tray lay on the floor among shards of a tea pot and

some cups, no doubt. Sugar dissolved in the pool of liquid upon which some ashes

were still drifting. This was all just too unreal, this couldn't be happening.

Understanding the urgency and the imminent danger, John climbed the stairs as

fast as he could. As he came across a window facing the yard, he was able to

witness a gruesome sight. The two squires had still been in the court yard, too

scared even to move. Suddenly, one of them burst into flames. The other didn't

seem to notice, he still held him in his arms as the flames ate away, burning

his flesh. Once the fire was gone, the surviving squire suddenly burst into

flames and was released from his miserable existance. As the flames died down

leaving behind an empty court yard, John realized that he had stopped to watch

the incident. A stupid mistake, there wasn't any time left.

Just as he was nearing the top of the stairs, with the open door to the lady's

chambers in sight, John was gripped by terrible pain. Searing heat filled his

entire body, he couldn't breath, he couldn't think. He only knew that this was

it. This was the fiery death the others had already suffered. He wouldn't get to

wait on the princess after all. He wouldn't even become a knight. What a lousy

fate.

Chapter 5 : A Great Triumph

"Your Highness, there is no doubt. It's our horn signal we are hearing." "Good,

the ritual is finished then. Sir Winston, have the army advance. Blackberry

Fields is ours. If there is any futile resistance, crush it mercilessly, but I

don't think that anyone would dare oppose us." "Yes, my liege."

King Gerald III watched as the knight rode his horse to the front of the army.

Then his soldiers began moving towards the border. It was an awesome sight, a

great army that no one could resist. Blackberry Fields stood no chance

especially without any leaders to rally the troops. "Yes, princess Elizabeth is

mine. But it wouldn't do to rush things. There is nothing she could do, so I

better stay calm and first see to it, that word of my conquest gets to all

corners of Blackberry Fields. Then, I will go and collect my bride." The king

was very pleased with himself. He set his horse into motion, following slowly

his army, only accompanied by his royal guard.

Meanwhile, his forces had reached the enemy border towers. While most soldiers

fled upon seeing the army advancing, some valiant archers remained firing away

at the enemy unwilling to allow them to enter their country. They paid for their

bravery with their lives, as the army crashed into the towers sweeping away the

gates like the tide rushing in. None of the defenders that had stayed was

spared.

The refugees had reached Greenbeech with the news of the attack. The village had

no defenders in addition to the border patrols, so that the populace panicked.

People gathered their family and the things they needed most before running off,

either along the road towards Redsand or into the forests, hoping to escape King

Gerald's wrath.

Blackberry Fields was small and rather densely populated. Therefore, the first

refugees hit Redsand just as the sun was touching the horizon. The terrible news

spread immediately. The city had its own forces though, which would be able to

hold off the enemy for a short while during which reinforcements from the castle

and the rest of the kingdom may be summoned. Thus, the city prepared for a siege

and sent messages to the other cities and the castle.

In the meantime, King Gerald and his men kept on moving slaying anyone who tried

to put up resistance. Greenbeech had been burnt to the ground as this lack of

respect angered King Gerald. He ordered the village burnt and all its residents

slain when found. He would have this people obey him, no matter what the cost.

Chapter 6 : An Impossible Situation

John's head was on fire. He shouldn't have had that much wine with his master.

Being a hero, that man certainly also knew how to drink more than a mortal. And

he would soon have John get up and start practicing with him. Why couldn't John

be like him a great hero, a strong knight protecting the kingdom. It was no use,

he had to get up, no matter how much his head hurt.

He opened his eyes. "Strange, I don't recall having such a high ceiling. What

did we drink last night?" Raising his torso, the squire wiped the sleep out of

his eyes. The pain in his head was lessening, and his thoughts were more focused

again. Looking around, he couldn't recognize his surroundings. He had been lying

on a stone floor, obviously built of gigantic granite boulders. Off to his left,

the floor ended after a few meters, while a fifteen meter wall limited the plain

to his right side. Forwards and backwards, unbelievably high wall rose into the

sky in the distance.

Puzzled, John got to his feet and walked over to the edge where the floor

suddenly ended. Looking down, he saw a plain similar to the one his was on

fifteen meters below. And below that one another and another, going on and on.

Just like a titanic staircase. Staircase. He knew there was something about

stairs. Stairs he was climbing.

Then his memory returned and he was shocked. The people being turned into living

torches. The death. His wish to save the princess. The pain. His death? No, he

was still alive. But if this was the princess' tower and he was on its stairs,

then he must have ... No, that can't be right. He must be mistaken. He can't

have been shrunk. But then there was the arch wizard's spell. Maybe it did have

an effect after all.

He could sort this out later. If this were the right stairs, he would have to

climb up in order to check on the princess. If she was still there, he would

have to get her out of here before she gets hurt. Pushing away all his doubts

and fears about the situation, filling his mind with a vision of the fair maiden

in distress, he approached the wall.

Steep as it may be, it was still roughly hewn stone, especially to him. Many

holes and ridges allowed even an unskilled climber like the squire to overcome

this obstacle. Reaching the top, he was confronted with a sight sending both joy

and chills down his back. An open wooden door of impossible size loomed up

before him. There was no doubt about this being the princess' tower just meters

away from the goal. There was also no way to ignore the fact that he was tiny,

an imp. Still, the princess was probably in there, and he had to get to her.

Running past the door, John came to a halt. There were three more doors after

the first one. Since only the most priviledged courtiers were ever allowed to

see the princess, John had never been here, and therefore couldn't tell where

the doors would lead. Since the door closes to him was still fifty meters away,

he wanted to figure out which would be the best choice before starting off. But

how should he figure out such a thing.

Just then, the central door opened. Light flooded into the room and in that

light, he saw a gigantic tower. When his eyes had recovered from the sudden

change, he realized his mistake. It was an angel in a white dress, soft features

and blue eyes. Her pale face was surrounded by perfect, black hair. Even her

incredible size couldn't hide her perfect proportions and her cuteness. John

couldn't breathe, he was simply stunned by princess Elizabeth's beauty.

The princess had stopped a moment and was obviously thinking about something.

Then she began moving forward. Certainly, she took just small steps as was

fitting for a princess, but to John, it looked as if she advanced at tremendous

speed. The white wall of her dress rapidly approaching was just frightening

enough to the shrunken squire to make him recover from his reverie. As loud as

he could, he shouted:"Your Highness! Stop! Down Here! Your Highness!" She

paused. She turned her head as if trying to find the source of some faint noise.

John shouted again.

Then she looked down and saw him. A soft smile formed in her face, and she

looked at him as one would look at a young animal whose cuteness makes one want

to protect it. She bent down and John shouted again "Your Highness!". She

paused. A cute frown was building on her face. John was puzzled. "You talk?"

"Your Highness! I am ..." "You are a gremlin, aren't you? My nurse had told me

everything about you. You steal little babies and naughty children. Be gone, You

won't find anything here you could steal." She began to rose again. "No! I'm no

gremlin! I'm a squire." She halted. "I am Sir Humphrey's squire John Field!" "I

know Sir Humphrey, he is a tall man, and his squire is a normal- sized boy. How

could such a small creature like you be a royal knight's squire." "I shrank just

this afternoon. After the arch wizard's spell failed and everyone got - " John

stopped in mid- sentence. he couldn't just tell her that they were probably the

only living things in the castle. This was all absurd. What could he do? She was

right, at his size, he couldn't be a squire, he couldn't even defeat a mouse,

much less a human adversary. How could he hope to protect her? But he could try

to help her escape. If this really was King Gerald's doing, he would certainly

come here in order to catch the princess and force her to marry him.

"You do look nice." John was startled by the princess' voice booming directly at

him. While he had been thinking about the future, she had been kneeling down all

the way and was examing him closely. "My nurse always told me that gremlins were

small and ugly. But though you are small, you are quite hansome, like the

courtiers usually attending me. You started saying something about 'everyone'.

Do you know what has happened? The afternoon tea has never arrived, and no one

has come to look after me for what must be hours. They have never forgotten

about me before."

"Well, Your Highness. There was an emergency. And everyone had to leave. And I,

and I was sent to fetch you, but then I shrank and was delayed. The castle isn't

safe anymore, so we have to leave." "Ah, so that is the reason. But why aren't

there any other servants to help with the lugagge?" "It's an emergency, we have

to leave immediately. Without lugagge." "What!? Is it really that bad? Well, if

father thinks it is that important, then let us not wait any longer." The

princess started to rise again.

"Your Highness!" "Yes?" "Well, I am a bit ashamed, but under these

circumstances, could you, could you - could you carry me?" The princess was at

first surprised, but then she smiled gently at him and put down her hand next

him. John was quite embarassed while climbing onto it, but what choice did he

have. He was just a centimeter or so high and would just slow them down if he

tried to run on his own. Elizabeth carefully rose after seeing him sit down in

the middle of her palm and started walking down the stairs holding the hand

carrying the squire in front of her chest.

 

Squire to the Rescue (Part 2)

by Deathworks

Chapter 7 : Interlude at Redsand

King Gerald's army had reached Redsand just two hours after the refugees. They

found the city as prepared as possible and the tall gates in the stone walls

firmly closed. Neither side started attacking the other, though, as the army

awaited its king's orders and the city hoped for reinforcements.

It was King Gerald himself who broke the silence. He rode up in front of the

gates and shouted at the defenders:"Behold my form and recognize King Gerald

III, king of Stormrock, who has come to claim ownership to Blackberry Fields. Is

there anyone on those walls with the authority to represent the city of

Redsand?"

"There is, Your Highness. I am Sir David Armstrong, Knight of Redsand and its

protector. I make all the decision at Redsand as requested by King Rupert II.

Your invasion is ill- advised. Blackberry Fields Castle is noot far away from

here, and they have been informed about our plight. Surely, a formidable army

led by the best knights we know is already on its way. You are better off

leaving this kingdom peacefully. We don't want any unnecessary bloodshed, but we

will protect our city from any attack. And we will certainly be able to hold the

walls more than long enough to see the King's men drive you away."

"Well- spoken, proud knight. I am sure that there will be a good position in my

realms for you after your city's surrender. I can assure you that King Rupert

and his knights are all dead by now. There is no need for you to fight me. The

last member of the royal family alive is princess Elizabeth who will become my

bride. I know that you can't simply trust my word in this case. Therefore, I and

my men will wait before your city's gates until your messengers return. They

will confirm that there are no mighty knights that will come to your rescue. I

will come to accept your surrender tomorrow noon." With these words, the king

returned to his men and ordered them to prepare a camp, a normal military camp

without any siege preparations. He knew that the war is already won, so there

was no need for haste.

Chapter 8 : On a Lonely Road

Being carried by a 100m princess really needed some getting used to. Her skin

was soft and warm, and it was giving off a sweet smell that was making John kind

of drunken. It could have been the most wonderful ride one could imagine,

especially since he could always look up and see her beautiful face high above

him, if she wasn't climbing down a long chain of stairs. She took only gentle

and small steps, being a well- raised princess and all, but even her slight

movements became gigantic leaps to the shrunken squire.

Finally, they reached the base of the tower. The princess couldn't fail to

notice the broken tea set on the floor. She paused. "Don't worry. They - they

just heard about the emergency and were so surprised that they dropped the tray.

And then everyone had to leave and no one had time to pick things up and, and,

and everything will be alright." "Yes, of course." John wasn't sure if he had

been able to convince the princess. "Her answer was too short. She has doubts.

Or maybe that's just my imagination going wild. How could she possible guess at

what had happened here? I'm just too worried. Everything is going to work out

fine. But how will it work out fine? Where should I take her? Who could help us?

If we left the kingdom, we might get another king's protection. But wouldn't

that king want to marry the princess himself? Surely, he couldn't help himself

seeing such a wonderful being. No, we need some help here. Maybe someone who

could give us some advice, like a wizard, or a sage. Yes, that's it! Wasn't

there some sage living near Deepswamp. If we could just get there, he may help

us to figure out what happened and what to do next."

"Where to now?" John was startled by the voice. Soft and sweet as it may be, it

became booming loud to his reduced form. Looking around, he realized that they

were in the castle's court yard. The sky was already turning crimson as the sun

was about to hand heavens over to the moon. "Can you ride, Your Highness?" "No,

I have never learned it, as it was considered not appropriate for a princess to

do so." "In that case, we will have to leave on foot. Just go through the main

gate and follow the road. I will tell you where to go. Please trust me." "A -

Alright ..."

John looked up at the beautiful face. The fading light drew dark lines of shadow

over it, making it look as if she was frowning. "She isn't sure if I am telling

her the truth. But I can't tell her now. She might refuse to go on. And how

could I save her then. I couldn't even move her little finger much less her

entire form if she doesn't want to move. I am so sorry, princess."

The road they were travelling on was miles wide it would seem. Formerly, there

had been a merchants' village around the castle's entrance. Then news came about

how an intrigue involving such a merchants' village led to the death of King

Robert IV of Seasight, and King Rupert decided that the village was to be

removed. Both the merchants and the castle's servants were not happy with that

decision, but they couldn't help it. Thus, the village had been torn down and

the path leading up to the castle reduced in width. Only John's small size made

it look to him like a gigantic plain. But it helped the squire to get a feeling

for their speed now. As he had been afraid, the princess just couldn't move very

fast. And she was bound to get tired soon. Besides, the sun's light was nearly

completely gone, so they would have to stop soon.

"Now comes the crossroads. Please take the route to the left. Only a few more

meters, than you can rest, Your Highness." "Thank You." Princess Elizabeth

sounded tired. She wasn't used to running around that much, she hardly ever got

out of the tower, so who could blame her?

After some more twenty minutes, John bid Elizabeth to step into the woods beside

the road. Being tired, she put up only few words of resistance before agreeing

to lie down leaning at a tree. Although there were animals in the woods in

abundance, none of them would hurt a human, they wouldn't even approach them.

As the princess lay down, she was still holding the squire in her hand. John

wasn't sure whether she was simply too tired to notice or didn't really mind,

but everything suddenly tilted and he landed on the bosom of her dress as she

lay down. The fabric was soft, and the princess' hand above him was like a warm

blanket. Before he knew it, the exhaustion of the day overwhelmed John and he

was fast asleep.

Chapter 9 : Interlude at an Abandoned Castle

Later that night, a sole horseman rode up to the castle. When he came near the

gate, he shouted: "Alarm! Invaders! To Arms!". But only silence answered. There

were no lights, no music, no life. Certainly, the night was still young and

there would be court activity. The messenger was puzzled. The gate was wide

open, so they weren't preparing for an attack either, so why was there no one

around?

He entered the court yard. No servants came to greet him, no one came to take

care of the horse. He knew that the main building was in front of him, but there

were no candles or torches to show him the way. The moon was already very thin,

but it still provided him with a little light. After getting off the horse's

back, the messenger was able to tie it to a pole at the stable's entrance.

Making his way to the main building, the horseman nearly fell as his foot caught

something heavy lying in the middle of the court yard. Even in the moon's light

it looked dark. It felt like dirty metal, although its shape was terribly

twisted. He just couldn't imagine what purpose it would serve. Leaving the heavy

object alone, the messenger continued towards the main building, cursing his

forgetfulness that has kept him from getting a new torch after having used up

his last one the day before. On the other hand, there should have been people

here to greet him.

Searching his way through dark corridors, he finally found some red glimmering.

Some wood already reduced to coals as the last survivors in an abandoned

fireplace. Just minutes before, the man had found some candles. Pushing the wick

into the hot ashes, he was able to get some light. Now that that was taken care

of, he could try to figure out where everyone had gone.

Chapter 10 : Gerald's Glorious Day

King Gerald slept peacefully and satisfied this night. After all, the last day

has not only provided him with a greater kingdom, it has even sent him on his

way to fetch the most lovely bride in the world. He really was a fortunate man.

He dreamed of the beautiful princess he had yet to meet in his real life. He

would shower her with presents, he would conquer the world if she asked him to.

He would stop the sun in the sky and give her the moon. And she would return his

feelings, would be his loving wife. He would finally have someone to share his

life with, someone to trust.

He awakened to some change in his surroundings, he couldn't quite place. Looking

around, he can see the vast interior of his tent, complete with two tables,

chairs, chests with clothes and everything. Light came in through the partly

opened entrance, and next to the bed, Sir Winston knelt. "Good morning, my

Liege. Your Highness have asked to be woken an hour after sunrise, which is now.

The royal bath has been prepared as has been the royal breakfast."

King Gerald looked down at his knight. "Ah, a loyal knight indeed. He is doing a

good job as my general thus far. Yes, I think I can give him Blackberry Fields

Castle, once things have settled." Out loud he said:"I think, I will start with

the bath." "Yes, my Lord." Sir Winston left the tent only to return seconds

later accompanied by four soldiers carefully carrying a wodden tub filled with

water. They were followed by two women carrying sponges and brushes.

After setting the tub down, the knight and the soldiers left. Stepping out of

his bed, the sovereign allowed the maids to remove his night gown before he

stepped into the tub. "Yes, this will be a fine day."

An hour later, the king had just finished eating breakfast, a knight approached,

kneeling down. Nodding, the sovereign asked him to speak. "My Lord, the town has

opened its gates and a delegation has left in order to bargain about the terms

of their surrender. Sir Winston is currently watching over them and is asking

for permission to send them over to Your Highness, so that they can directly

surrender to Your Majesty." "Good timing indeed. Have them come over here. I

will personally attend to this matter."

"Everything is going according to plan. I am just glad that that Sir David is a

man of reason. He could have felt like being a martyr or something sending his

men to certain death, but he has chosen the wiser path. I will really need to

find a job for him in my kingdom. Conquering Blackberry Fields turns out to

become more and more fortunate by the minute."

"Greetings, King Gerald III, Sovereign of Stormrock. I, Sir David Armstrong,

Knight and protector of Redsand, have come in peace." "Welcome noble knight. I

wager you have received news by now that have made you change your mind?"

"Indeed. Earlier this morning, our messenger to Blackberry Fields Castle

returned. He had reached the castle after sundown and there had been no lights,

no people to greet him. Searching the entire castle, he didn't find anyone at

all, although the horses and arms were still there. Considering this

development, there is no point in fighting the inevitable. All by ourselves, we

can't win against your army, even if the other cities assissted us. Therefore, I

beg you to spare our people, citizens and soldiers alike, as we are willing to

surrender without a fight." "Well, then hear my words. I accept your surrender.

From now on, Redsand and all its inhabitants belong to Stormrock. For the time

being, Sir David Armstrong is allowed to keep control over the city in my name.

See to it that the citizens are informed and that my rulership is enforced. You

are dismissed - for now."

"'...didn't find anyone at all.'? Well, he probably failed to check out the

tower chamber. I shouldn't really worry about it. Besides, I will be at the

castle myself this evening, embracing my bride, so everything will be alright.

Conquering the princess will be just as easy as conquering her kingdom."

Chapter 11 : A Confession

John awoke, feeling an immense pressure on his body. Opening his eyes, he

started looking around. The squire was startled when he saw that he was

suspended several meters above the ground. Looking around, he first saw a white

wall not far from him, obviously tilted to a dangerous degree as it turned into

a ceiling above him. Looking down along his body, he saw that he was entirely

enveloped in the grasp of something of a faint pink color, warm and soft. Only

his head was free. Then he remembered what had occured the day before. "Ah, the

princess must have rolled over in her sleep. If she hadn't instictively held

onto me, I would have fallen to my death. I was really lucky. I have to be more

careful at this size. But we have to get going now."

Although the princess' hand was soft and delicate, her grip on him was still too

firm for him to break or escape. After vainly trying to extract himself

directly, John started to move as much as he could, effectively wriggling in her

hand. Even giving everything he had, he wouldn't really move an inch.

Fortunately, his movements had an effect, as he heard a distant moan. The

princess came to. After yawning and wiping the sleep out of her eyes, the former

being a fearsome sight in spite of her beauty, as her mouth opened wide, showing

teeth just as big as he was, the princess realized her squire's predicament and

set him down on the trunk of a fallen tree.

"I will need some privacy for a moment. I'll be right back." With these words,

princess Elizabeth disappeared between the trees. The squire couldn't help but

admire her. "Just think about it, she has had her every need taken care of for

all her life. And now she is suddenly cast into the outside world. Yet, she

remains calm and puts up with things. She is really strong. Still, she seems

tired and a bit pale. I don't think we can make it to Deepswamp by foot. Ah,

we'll find a solution, I am quite sure of it. While she is gone, I should relief

myself as well."

Just moments later, he heard twigs breaking as his lady returned. Hastily, he

got finished and walked away from any evidence. (Not that he really expected her

to notice, the difference in size was just too big.)

"They are all dead, aren't they?" John was startled, not by the volume of her

voice, but by her words. "I may be inexperienced in the way of the world, but

this is the only reasonable explanation for this entire situation. Something

happened, and they have all been killed. I know that you want to protect me, but

you can't hide the truth forever. Tell me, if I am right." The squire looked up

at her face. She wasn't angry, she didn't blame him. There was just sorrow in

her eyes. He couldn't hurt her, but she was right, he would have to tell her

sooner or later. With a sigh, he answered: "Yes - I think that we are the only

ones who got out of the castle alive. I didn't lie about the arch wizard's spell

though. Probably it was that spell which saved me. I saw ..." He broke off, as

he saw the tears running down her face. Then she turned and went into the woods.

"Your Highness!" No use, his voice wouldn't be heard. He couldn't catch up to

her either. All he could do was just wait for her to calm down by herself. If he

only weren't that helpless.

Chapter 12 : Interlude on the Eastbound Road

Getting the army ready to continue towards Blackberry Fields Castle had taken

ages, King Gerald had felt. After having had lunch, he had grown more and more

impatient. He finally wanted to see his bride. Only forcing himself to stay

calm, he was able to restrain himself. After all, he wanted to impress the

princess by coming to the castle at the head of a formidable army.

Now it was two hours after noon and they were finally on their way towards the

castle. Although the sovereign knew that they would definitely reach their

destination before sundown, he was excited. He knew that he would get his treat

soon, and that there was nothing that could stop him, but he just couldn't wait.

"Your Highness, is everything alright?" Sir Winston has brought his horse

alongside his sovereign's. "Ah - yes, yes." "Should I ask the men to hasten?"

"Mmmmhhh - that won't be necessary. Just leave me alone a while."

Watching the knight returning to his men, King Gerald considered this incident.

"He really is a loyal subject. And he understands his lord very well, even to

the point that he needn't be told about his king's feelings. Is this a good

thing, or a bad thing, though?"

Chapter 13 : Heading towards Deepswamp

After long minutes, an hour perhaps, John was startled out of his daydreams.

Being unable to do anything else, he had reconsidered their situation. The king

and the major knights were all dead. The cause of this was some fould magic.

Yet, he and the princess had miraculously survived and had been able to escape

from the castle. Actually, he was very fortunate. A few days before, meeting the

princess was only something he could do in his dreams, but now he talked to her,

had even touched her soft skin. And he was the only one she could really relie

on, the only one left to protect her. Yeah - right, protect her. Even a sewing

needle would be a major lance to him. What could he possibly do at his size. He

couldn't even go looking for her and console her in her grief. But then again,

he was able to guide her, tell her how to get by in the outside world she had

never visited before.

Thus, he had just come up with some plan of how to continue, when the princess

returned. She seemed to be in control of herself once more, although there were

dried tears on her cheeks and a sorrowful look in her eyes, mingled with

defiance. By now, her dress was looking just as if it was trying to sympathize

with its owner's feelings. Its edges had been torn, and twigs and dirt had

fastened themselves to it. Although she was obviously miserable, the princess

still had a fighting spirit. The squire was impressed.

After finding him on the tree trunk, the Elizabeth knelt down so as to get her

face closer to her last courtier. "I guessed it already when we left the tower.

Things just didn't add up. But I didn't want to believe it." Her voice was

faintly quivering, but she stood strong. "I am a royal princess, though. And as

it seems I am about to ascend to the throne as queen. I have to be strong, as I

have to be there for my people and my country. I am very grateful for your

efforts, but I can't just keep on following you blindly. Yet, I have little

experience in matters of state, much less in the affairs of the world outside

the castle. Therefore, I ask you to be my counselor."

John was surprised by this turn of events. He had been afraid that the princess

would have been broken by his revelation. But she seemed to have overcome it and

grown. After a stunned pause, he raised his voice. "As you wish, my Lady, I will

do anything to serve and protect Your Majesty. The road we have been following

is leading towards the city of Deepswamp. A sage is said to live in that area.

Since I am but a simple squire, I don't really know what course of action would

be the best for us to take. Therefore, I suggest that we seek out that wise man

to ask for his advice. However ... " He fell silent. "However?" "However, Your

Higness is obviously not used to long travels. My diminished size puts all the

burden on my Lady's shoulders. Besides, we don't have any provisions or any

other things needed for the days to come. Therefore, we seem to need to ask for

help from the peasantry. For food, maybe a ride on a cart, for - for other

clothes for your Highness." "What? Why would we want to do that?" "Beautiful

though it may be, this dress is certainly not fit for travelling. Besides, if

the cause of the disaster that befell the castle was really an alien king, they

would certainly be looking for a princess in expensive clothes soon. But even

the greatest beauty could be hidden with the coarse clothes of the peasantry.

Please forgive me, but this is what I deem necessary." "Your words make sense.

We will try it your way. Step aboard, so that we may continue." Gently holding

her hand next to the trunk, the princess allowed the squire to climb onto it

again. Then she rose carefully and was back on the road seconds later.

An hour later, the quire was already getting hungry, and he noticed that the

princess was also slowing down, they saw the beginning of fields of to the

right. Envigorated by new hope, the princess walked faster again. Soon

thereafter, they were able to see a farm house and a barn. They had already

talked about the John's reduced size. Explaining it would take a lot of time,

and he might still scare the farmers. Therefore, they had come to the

conclusion, that he was to hide in the princess' ear only showing himself if

absolutely necessary. Thus, the Elizabeth lifted her hand to her left ear and

waited for him to climb off. A tickling sensation told her that she could lower

her hand again.

For the squire, this was another new experience. The entrance into the princess'

ear was just as high as he was tall. After walking in a few steps, he had to

kneel down, though, as the ceiling grew lower. It was quite hot in there, and

the soft floor and walls were covered with fine hairs. While being carried on

her hand, he had been surrounded by air full of the forest's smell. Now, the air

was warm and filled with a sweet smell. As he moved around, the ground shook a

bit and there was distant giggling. Obviously, the ear was rather sensitive. Not

wanting to cause his beautiful host any discomfort, John sat down and waited for

things to develop.

Just after putting down her hand and the tickling sensation from within her ear

had stopped, the princess saw a woman stepping out of the barn and walking

towards the house. Raising her right hand and waving, the princess shouted

"Hey!" and came closer. The woman turned in her direction, hesitated and then

ran towards her.

"Who are you? Those clothes, such lovely blue eyes. It couldn't be!" The woman,

obviously in her thirties threw herself into the dirt kneeling down before the

girl. "Rise. I need your help. And I don't know how urgent things are." "Yes, of

course, - Your Highness?" "Princess Elizabeth, yes, but let's talk inside your

house." " - - Yes, yes. I'll just prepare it for you." The farmer got back up on

her feet and ran back to the house, nearly tripping over her own feet.

The house had but one room featuring a single table, some stools, a fire place

and some straw on which the family could sleep. In a corner, a child of no more

than three years was playing with a ball made of straw, wearing naught but a

shirt. Next to it, there was a chest. On a board attached to one of the walls,

wooden spoons and bowls waited. The woman was wearing a simple brown dress and

an apron, both well- worn and patched at several places. Many wrinkles filled

her face adding years she actually hadn't passed yet.

She and the princess were sitting at the table. Dried fruit and bread were lying

on it, provided by the host on the princess' request. The latter was watched by

sympathizing eyes as she explained that the castle had been attacked by some

strange magic, and that she had been the only one able to escape. She ended her

tale by asking for the farmers' help, namely food, some clothes and help in

finding a ride to Deepswamp. In return, she couldn't give much but the dress she

was currently wearing, although she would certainly remember their help, once

the crisis was over. At first, the older woman said that a princess couldn't

wear peasant's clothing, but the princess insisted, so that the senior gave in.

Opening the chest, the woman brought forth her most expensive dress, stating

that though it wasn't really fit for a princess, it was the best she had. The

princess hesitated, then asked if she couldn't give her something more plain.

Reluctantly, the woman handed her some simple brown dress. In addition, she gave

her a scarf she could use to hide her features. After helping her to change her

clothes, the woman excused herself, saying that she would get her husband since

he could help her with a ride.

The princess used the chance to consider the situation. The dress was coarse and

itchy, hurting where it touched her bare skin. It certainly was different from

what she wore at court. Fortunately, her undergarments covered most of her body,

protecting her quite well from this wretched thing. She then told herself that

she shouldn't think bad of the peasants. They didn't have much more than this,

and helping her would certainly cause a lot of trouble to them. She should be

grateful for their effort. Elizabeth felt ashamed of herself.

John had established himself quite well inside her ear. Although there had been

one or two close calls when he was nearly expelled as she turned her head, he

was rather safe. He was thankful for his restraint as not to try and watch as

she changed clothes. One of the close calls had been while she was doing exactly

that, and he would certainly have dropped to his death, hadn't he been that deep

inside her ear. Now, he had heard that the peasant had left. Though it may be

considered inappropriate, hunger won over etiquette with him. "Could Your

Highness please be so kind as to share some of the food with the Lady's

servant." The princess blushed, remembering her little guest and that he must

have been hungry all the time. Quickly, she broke off some crumbs from the what

was left on the table and offered them to the squire. He took a gigantic piece

of apple and another big piece of bread from her hand, and returned into her

ear, thanking her for the kind gift. Sitting down, John started to eat his

treat.

Although she felt a bit guilty because of her lack of foresight, Elizabeth had

to smile at the thought of her tiny guardian sitting in her ear, eating his

meal.

The peasant wife returned with her husband and their two other sons. The men

were rather tongue- tied and even a bit afraid, but the father explained that he

had a cart that could be drawn by his oxen. If the princess really wouldn't

mind, he could take her to Deepswamp. The princess was really happy, her feet

still hurting from all the walking of the past two days and agreed.

Thus, the princess and her invisible squire were off to Deepswamp in a farmer's

cart. Two days ago, She had been in her tower, kept safe as a precious treasure.

Now she was clad in what was little better than rags and thrown up and down on a

dirty cart. The only courtier left was so small that he was able to sit inside

her ear right at that moment. Her parents were gone. And she had to be strong

and fulfill her role as a royal princess ...

 

Squire to the Rescue (Part 3)

by Deathworks

Chapter 14 : At an Empty Cage

"Ah, there it is, Blackberry Fields Castle. A nice castle indeed, though not as

well- built as Stormrock Castle. But I have come to claim a beautiful bride and

not an army, so it is appropriate for the occasion. And they left the gate open,

how nice of them." King Gerald enjoyed the sight before him. After travelling

for gruelling hours on the dirty roads, constraining his wish to hasten towards

his bride, his destiny lay before him. Grey battlements designed to protect the

kingdom's ruler seemed white as the sun's full force hit them. Beyond the open

gate, glimpses of the gleaming white main buildings could be perceived. Again,

the sovereign felt the urge to rush forward. And again, he suppressed it.

"Your Highness, is everything alright?" The king was startled as Sir Winston

addressed him, a worried frown on his face. Obviously, he had been caught up in

his own thoughts, looking at the castle. "Of course. Let's go inside and claim

my prize." Angry at himself for showing weakness before his men, the king

ordered his horse to enter the yard.

No living soul was to be seen. It wasn't quiet,though, since the horses in the

stable became aware of the activity outside and demanded to be fed and taken

care of. The king dismounted. Immediately, a soldier appeared next to him and

took the horse's reins. Behind him, Sir Winston dismounted as well and walked up

to his master.

"Whatever the Bishop's flaws may be, it seems as if Mother Azkata's blessings

are really strong indeed. Look at what little evidence of this castle's knights

survived her wrath." The king pointed at the charred armors lying in the dirt.

"All those strong men, these high battlements, and yet they were defeated

without a fight by miraculous powers. The bishop is indeed a powerful man. Who

knows what else he could do to attain his goals." "Indeed, Sir Winston, what

else will he do to reach his goals? Let's concentrate on our current mission,

though. Have the old banners replaced by ours and have the castle searched for

any survivors, looters, or whatever. And have someone tend to the horses, that

noise is getting to me. I will examine my royal quarters and the princess's

chambers, which should be in that little tower here." "Consider it done, my

Lord."

While Sir Winston returned to the soldiers, giving them commands as requested,

the sovereign entered the main building. There was no one here as well, of

course. Everything was quiet and peaceful, only some weak wind blowing through

the corridors caught the monarch's attention. Although he had never been to this

castle, King Gerald figured that the royal quarters were on the left side of the

building, as the small, fine tower that must have been the princess's resident

was attached to that side.

For a moment, he considered visiting the tower last, but then came to the

conclusion that his appearance at the castle had been good enough. Besides, the

princess must be starved by now and worried. As her future husband, he should

take care of her first. Empty rooms and beds can wait. Looking out through the

windows to his left, he was able to see his men do as he had ordered. The yard

was bustling with activity. "How much more activity there will be at my wedding

- all of them are so eager to please me, especially Sir Winston ... Ah, this

must be it!" Finally, the king had arrived at an open door. Two charred sets of

mail lay before and a tray and shards of expensive pottery just beyond. With a

pounding heart, the king began his ascend.

"Why did he have to do this? If we are unlucky, this conquest may worry the

neighboring lords enough so that they could forget their petty bickering and

attack us in an allied force. And for what? A worthless bride?" While overseeing

the cleaning up on the court yard, Sir Winston allowed his worried thoughts to

drift. He wondered if his monarch would regain his senses, once he had seized

the princess and the euphoria of conquest had left. His eyes travelled towards

the building and up that wretched tower. The sun was setting, her fading light

turning the tower crimson red. Sir Winston knew he didn't like the looks of

this.

Just then, a chair flew out of the upper most window and shattered on the floor

below. Before anyone else had a chance to react, Sir Winston was racing into the

main building. Behind him, soldiers gave his disappearing form and the debris

that had once been a finely crafted chair puzzled looks.

Chapter 15 : A Family on the Road

Princess Elizabeth felt rather uncomfortable. She had grown used to the smell

during the past hours, and even the motion of the cart, the jumping at every

rock, every hole in the road, but the situation worried her. Neither she nor her

tiny squire knew what exactly had happened at the castle. They were on their

own, and although he had said that he'd be there to defend her, she knew that

she was responsible for herself and the squire, and for the entire country in

the long run. She was afraid that she might not be up to all of this.

John felt his host was feeling uneasy. This caused him more distress than the

bumpy ride. Although he had advanced deep enough into her ear so as not to be in

immediate danger of falling out, he still jumped up to the ceiling at every

bump. Had it not been for the softness of the surrounding flesh, he would

certainly have broken each and every bone in his body. But his problems were

terribly small when c

Giantess Stories: Squire to the Rescue  by  deathworks  Chapter 1

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