Anger and rage swelled and rose like a tide. This was a betrayal most foul. I tasted bile at the back of my throat as I stared down at the goblin in front of me, and all color drained from my vision save a hate-filled burning white. Not only did he single-handedly destroy any chance of a reasonable peace, he managed to get himself banished, and declare war. I stood slowly and glared at the little weasel. “Treason.” I declared in a quiet voice. My throat felt tight with ire. My sword called to my hand, and I pulled it from its sheath. It sang of bloody revenge, and my rage sang in harmony. The goblin looked frightened, and began to run. My sword arm was faster.
The scent of piss and blood filled my throne room. I yanked my sword out through more of his flesh, and the reek of guts and feces tainted the air with it’s sickly sweet smell. Dizziness and giddiness overcame me as I looked at the writhing, helpless goblin. I heard a chuckle before I realized it was my own and became quiet. He looked to either side at the guards. “Have this cleaned before I return from my study. Don’t waste your time finishing it off before you throw it into the incinerator.” The guards looked uncomfortable as I skipped over the dying thing and began to stroll towards my study.
My halls were stark and barren of decoration. The stone walls were unfinished, and oily smoke rose from the torches. My sensitive nose twitched with distaste, and once more, I vowed to get candles and clean the place up. I vowed the same thing every day, but it was simply too expensive.
Thin legs carried me without thought to my study. It was the most lavish room in the entire castle, if the term ‘lavish’ could ever be applied. It had a whole two chairs, a desk, and one over-stuffed and overflowing bookshelf. In irritation, I toppled one of the chairs. I took the other behind my desk and sat. My servants were fools. Only one was trustworthy, and he was a double agent serving my enemies. A wry smile creased my face and I looked up at the clock over the door. It was a gift from him, and it likely was also a method of spying. I playfully winked up at it. During meetings, I was an impeccable actor. They knew that I was aware of their spying– it was a circle of knowledge. We knew all about each other. The charade continued, however.
It was a game these days. The only gamble was lives. For me, the cost was negligible, I ruled the most populated country in the world, and besides that: I payed for my gambling with monster lives. To my people, it was a game. To the monsters, it was their proper place. To my enemies, I was considered vile and vicious for my tactics. My armies were unafraid to devour enemy troops. Only a few other countries brought me worry– though that number was now increased thanks to incompetent diplomacy.
His sheer inability set my own cousin against me.
My cousin. My mind traveled back through time, back to better days. She was a beautiful creature. She looked frail and pale, and her eyes were large fields of spring grass. I sighed. A small smile formed on my face as I remembered fond times, back before her side of the family pulled her away in bloody revolt. The wounds on my country were still raw.
My temples began to ache. I rubbed them slowly. What was the best way to fix this? I rested my elbows on my desk and raised my face to look at my clock. It continued to tick and tock away. Tick. Tock. One of my eyebrows twitched.
I rose from my seat and exited the room. A guard stood outside. “Bring him to my chamber.” Any question of who I referred to at this point was grounds for dismissal. I turned to the right and began the long and winding trip to my bedchamber. It was the safest place, ever since I had every spy hole sealed cleanly with boiling water. Two screams had been all it took for everyone in the castle to fear crossing me. Since then, the spies were set out in the square in stocks, and their entire passages were sealed with stone.
I glanced out a window down at the courtyard. The two spies sagged listlessly. For a few moments, I debated mercy. It would be a decent way to gain more public favor, and to gain favor with a few other countries. I absently told a guard to take the two spies to my personal doctor, and to ensure they were kept secure.
Every guard was human. Anything less, and I would not feel safe.
When I arrived in my room, my most trusted underling was waiting. He was sprawled on the bed, pretending to doze. “Hello, love.” he purred. His outfit was gauzy and covered in jewels and precious metal. I leaned over the bed and kissed him. His lips were soft and opened eagerly, inviting me to enjoy him more fully.
His body was warm and felt deceptively fragile. Our every touch was abusive. He kissed me, and I scratched or pinched him. He was a kitten for punishment.
His brown curls smelled like the peaches from my grand-uncle’s orchard.
After we exhausted ourselves with our embrace, he spoke in a more business-like tone. “You called me for more than just a bout, I suppose?” He sounded eager. “Where will you send me, and will my enemy fight back?” His tone was like a small child’s, eager for his birthday presents. “Please send me on something killer, love!” He begged. I tweaked his button-like nose from side to side, and his little angel-lip pouted forward.
“You’ll enjoy this, darling.” I assured him. “I’m sending you to kill someone who will kill you.”
The sheer joy on his face was overwhelming. I had my plan, and despite regret at losing a good bed partner, I also had a plan to lose my dearly beloved spy.