Book 4 Chapter 349

The Barbarian Temptation

Leguna stared at Legg's back, confused. He was still dissatisfied with what the barbarian had did, however, so he didn't bother asking.

Night fell and Leguna returned to his room. Today had been his last day of relaxation. Tomorrow the serious business would begin.

He had checked the barbarian farms. They couldn't really be called farms at all though. The eternal winter kept the ground permanently frozen. No crop, no human crop at least, could be grown there. Plantlife, much like the animal life, had adapted to these frozen wastes, and the barbarians had a kind of edible algae they cultivated there instead, however.

The annual harvest was poor beyond reason, however, and what little it grew Leguna hardly considered edible. It had taken all his willpower to keep himself from puking the moment the stuff touched his tongue. He'd managed to gulp, and that was the correct word, down two algae crackers, though. He couldn't believe anyone could stomach them regularly, but they formed a crucial, if limited, part of the barbarians' diet.

No matter how bad, he supposed, food was food, which was a rare commodity so far north. So rare, in fact, that several men were always on guard duty over the farms. It was one of the few things considered important enough to keep a barbarian from the hunt.

Leguna had worked the fields for five hours with the women during his tour. It wasn't much to him, but he didn't think he'd find it so lacking in thorns if he had to do it every day all year long.

His footsteps lost their facadal vigor when he reached his bedroom door. He pushed it open and started for the bathroom. Everything in the barbarians world was in short supply, save water. Unfortunately wood wasn't water, and that made water hard to heat up.

"You're back, sir," a female voice spoke.

"Oh, it's you two."

The two barbarians stood at careful attention, facing him.

"I heard humans have a habit of bathing before they sleep, so I heated some water for you. Would you like to take a bath now?" the woman asked politely.

"Oh? Thanks. You did well. I'll head for it this very moment."

Leguna nodded, quite happy someone had seen to his bath. When he reached the bath, however, the woman had followed him and knelt in front of him ready to wash his feet.

"What are you doing?" Leguna half-jumped when he saw her knelt behind him.

"I…" the woman muttered, shifted back a few scootches on her knees, "My mother said human lords are used to being waited, so…"

"I can bathe myself, you need not wash me," Leguna said quickly.

He may not be a nobody anymore, but he surely wasn't one of those lords. If nothing else, he would never be one of them by the mere fact that he'd been born a stray. He doubted he'd be treated with any kind of respect by the emperor or any of the other nobles if he stopped being so useful. Vera had treated him like her brother, but she'd never had the habit of washing her brother's feet before, and she didn't develop it with him. Kurdak had actually done the opposite and asked Leguna to help him wash his feet. Leguna, innocent as he'd been back then, had made the mistake of agreeing. He'd realised the error of his ways when he came to again several hours later, Kurdak's feet still unwashed.

Annelotte, for all the years they'd been together, had only gotten as far as talking with him somewhat normally. And since his fallout with her several years earlier, she'd only since made it back about two thirds of the way to where they'd been before that. He doubted she would ever wash his feet no matter how good their relationship, however. His Eirin had offered to take care of him as he supposed a standard wife would, he couldn't bare to allow her. He'd taken Innilis water with which to wash herself a couple times, even washed her feet once. They were cute and petite and definitely didn't smell, though Leguna doubted anyone's feet 'smelled' compared to Kurdak's.

He'd never been on the receiving end of waiting, now that he thought about it, and the thought suddenly made him feel supremely inferior to his peers.

That didn't mean, however, that he could accept the woman's offer. So he washed himself alone, while the woman stood in a corner of the room like a statue, unsure what to do with herself. Her son hugged her legs, staring at Leguna with utter terror on his face.

"Alright," Leguna sighed, feeling the woman's eyes boring into him, "You can wash off the soap. And get me something to drink."

"Yes, Sir."

The woman's nervous expression vanished along with her.

"I'm sorry," he said several minutes later while he sipped his drink while the woman dried him off.


"I could have saved your son. But…"

The woman's face melted into grief for a moment, but then she hid it.

"It's not your fault, Sir. My son was careless. It's my fault for being a useless mother. If I could fight like the female warriors he wouldn't have had to go out hunting so young."

"He didn't stop until the very end," Leguna said solemnly.

"I am proud. My Ja'il died a true warrior," the woman whispered with a breaking voice and wiped her tears.

"Be that as it may, I still feel bad for not saving him. I'm sorry," Leguna insisted his eyes locked on the two, "I will find you and your son a home in the empire. Consider it my compensation."

"Child? My son is dead."

"I'm talking about this one," Leguna said, pointing at the thin child still clinging to the woman.

"Sir--" The woman's eyes turned to the boy and she finally realized he couldn't understand common tongue. "He's not my child."

"Not your child?" Leguna asked, his mind completely unable to understand what was going on.

The thought that the boy might not be the woman's son had never even crossed his mind.

"Then who's child is he?"

"He's…" The woman hesitated for a moment. "--He's the king's son."

Leguna's drink painted the walls.

What?! Legg's kid?! Legg the sick bastard! The ruthless piece of shit! Even tigers didn't eat their own, yet he kicked his own son out because he was weak?! Even tigers didn't eat their young yet he kicked his son out of the tribe for being weak? Legg definitely had no heart. How could he kick his four-year-old son out of the tribe like it was nothing?!

This finally let him understand why the barbarian had thanked him, however. Was it gratitude for saving his son? Couldn't he have done it himself though? Why did he have to have Leguna do it? What a joke!

Leguna's opinion of barbarians crumbles even more, if that was even possible.

"Alright! Let's go to sleep," he said, stretching.

He had to have his wits about him the next day for the negotiations, and that wouldn't happen if he was ill-rested.

He plopped himself on the mattress and readied to let the night take him. He was not so kind as to offer his only mattress to his unexpected guests. They weren't sleeping on the floor though. They had a haystack in the far corner of the room.

He heard a rustling behind him as he prepared to blow out the lamp, however, and turned around to find a voluptuous figure laying on the bed, burrowing under his sheets.

"Now ho-ho-hold on a minute! Hold on for just one chaste moment! What are you doing?" Leguna gasped, leaping out of the bed to the room's entrance.

Startled yet again, the woman followed and knelt in front of Leguna again.

"I… Sorry, Sir. I have no ill intentions. I only wanted to serve you in your sleep."

"Serve me in my sleep?!"

Leguna retreated to the doorway like a molested maiden. He shivered there until he saw the woman wasn't following, then breathed again. Chaste or not, he did not keep his eyes from wandering over the woman's body shamelessly.

She'd thus far only worn a loose cotton dress which hid much of her curves, which Leguna could now see where incredible curves indeed. She might even outdo Vera if his sister wasn't careful.

Her breasts, for example, could swallow a child's head, and they were voluptuous to the tearing point. Her stomach was smooth and curved ever-so-gently towards her thighs, none of which showed any signs of childbirth.

He now finally also saw that her legs were the greatest contributors to her length. They were long and positively criminally seductive. They were thicker than Veras, but the proportions were just right considering their greater length, and her caramel-colored skin danced golden in the soft lamp light.

Leguna gulped. For all the clout surrounding his abilities and social status, he was barren as a desert when it came to experience with the opposite sex. His youth suddenly awoke, and he found himself fighting to keep his pants from tearing.

Do it! Bed her! Say farewell to being a cherry boy! Tonight you become a man! Come on! If you have any self-respect as one of the male sex, then you damn well better make the bed creak tonight! his hormones roared as the seams of his pants stretched.

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