The Wizard and the Torch

by Flaulus

Chapter 4

Slaves were in demand. Across the river from the city were the wastelands. An empty area, but the river bank was gradually being reclaimed as farmland. The slaves Malcolm's father trained could manage those farms. Gene understood that much. He also understood farm managers were in great demand in other cities also trying to expand farmland. The big difference was in attitude. Yousif valued Malcolm's father's skills. In other cities, slaves were beaten to death for forgetting their place, and Gene would be expected to crucify Malcolm for his rudeness. Slaves bought in from other cities could not believe their luck in how they were treated and troublemakers got little sympathy when they were flogged to death, or sent to the mines.

Compared to others, Gene was staying in a kindly, tolerant city. Malcolm had spoken up for his master and had gained respect for his loyalty. He was still a slave and as Gene had discovered, he could be hired out or used in any way Gene chose, but he was also prospering. The city of Droyskova was attracting enemies because of it all.

The pirates saw the wealth being generated and wanted it. The city to the north, Starislav, saw its slaves escaping south for a better life. It saw the value in trained slaves and wanted more but did not try training its own. Giving slaves status, diminished their own and was too much trouble.

The pirates raided Starislav just as much as Droyskova until an uneasy alliance formed. Take Droyskova and share the wealth, at least, until Starislav could crush the pirates. Of course, the pirates would be able to raid and pillage local cities from two strongholds. Either way, the whole region would degenerate into wars and poverty. Gene's arrival had changed the balance of power and if Droyskova won the coming conflict, it would influence the region for centuries to come. Spies had already warned Geog Af Builnia of what was happening, and Droyskova's best hope had been in a long, drawn out war until everyone just gave up.

Gene's arrival crystallised Geog Af Builnia's fears into a certainty, and provided an alternative. It did not matter if Gene was a fraud, or a spy spreading fear and uncertainty because he had given hope amongst growing despair. For now, he must be made welcome as the bearer of good news, not treated with suspicion as a spy. If he turned out to be genuine then there would be an easy and decisive victory, and Gene would be encouraged to stay for as long as possible.

Yousif understood his father's reasoning, otherwise he would not have noticed his discreet signal not to object to being second-in-command to a stranger even if Yousif had to grudgingly admit, Gene made sense — if his magic boxes worked.

"I get it." Gene said, "It's going to take time to call up the whole army and issue them with weapons. We need our own volunteers to work the radios. I need to get to the coast and try another of my gadgets to find the fleet. Then you can work out where to set a forward base."

"My troops can travel as they're supplied, but they'll be spread out along the road. I can tell them to make a base-camp at Tye. There on your bird's eye view." Yousif said pointing to a copy of the map, "We'll move forward from there as an army when it's assembled. We're lucky it's a good road. If we leave at dawn, we could be there by evening. You do ride, I take it."

"If the roads are good, we could leave now and be there well before dark. You, me, Malcolm and four others. Malcolm, we'll take the base station and a couple of handsets. I think I know how the beacons work, but we'll set them up later. You can drive back here and teach some of your friends about radio."

"Yes Master. Trey can act as your servant." Malcolm replied, "May I speak privately, please Master?"

Gene nodded, and once alone Malcolm said, "May I have permission to find a boy for tonight, Master? Trey will be very willing to serve you."

As Gene stared, uncertain how to answer, Malcolm added, "Dutiful wives stay chaste when their men are away, and I'm not your wife."

"No. You're a rude, insolent slave who doesn't know his place. Is that why you've kept Trey hanging around?"

"Trey is a beggar because his father was stupid and greedy. He was my friend when he was rich, so he's my friend now."

"We'll do it your way. Just don't complain if I prefer him to you."

"No, Master."

Malcolm seemed unconcerned as they unpacked the items Malcolm needed while Yousif found four soldiers.

Gene could not help remembering that passengers should not sit in the space behind the rear seats while Yousif wondered what was going to haul such a load which included a trailer filled with supplies. Gene drove with Yousif sitting beside him with Malcolm and two of the four soldiers in the back seat.

Yousif watched as they negotiated the city streets but gasped as they picked up speed. While Gene followed computer warnings to keep below sixty kilometres an hour, Yousif wondered how the carriage just kept going without tiring. Sometimes Gene slowed down when the road deteriorated, but they made good time. Impossibly good time, so far as Yousif was concerned, but they were not constantly resting their steed which was not tiring, and it seemed as sure-footed when it arrived as when they left.

"Malcolm, take charge and set up my tent. Yousif has his own, but his soldiers can handle it. Set up the base-radio as best you can and generally get everything ready. Yousif and I are heading for the coast. Be ready to drive back as soon as we return. I want you to bring back a team of spotters who can work the radios in the morning."

"Yes Master."

Yousif sat quietly as Gene drove, only asking when they stopped, "Shouldn't we head for high ground if we're looking for the fleet?"

"No, The beach is a nice large flat area. I'm trying out some new magic and if it works, we'll be able to track the fleet wherever it is."

"If you say so."

Gene unpacked a drone and studied the control box. It had a flip-up screen and for a time, he read the instructions despite Yousif's growing impatience.

"I'm learning the chants for the magic." Gene explained, "Training, if you like."

"It's easier training than a soldier slapping you with a sword because you let your defences drop." Yousif smiled, "I hope it's powerful magic."

"Let's see."

Yousif could only stare, yet again amazed at the magic Gene controlled as the rotors spun up, and the drone lifted from the beach and flew out to sea.

"Landing it can be tricky, so I wanted plenty of space, and I didn't want a gust of wind blowing it off the edge of a cliff. It's flying to where the fleet was. We'll do a search and try to find it. We just have to watch the screen, but it's boring when it's only sea."

"My friend, you are anything but boring. Why do we need spotters onshore if you have this?"

"I said, it's new magic. I do have another drone, but it was nowhere near as powerful."

"Yes, of course. Tell me do you have any magic weapons or do you have magical spells for ours."

"No. I don't have any weapons." Gene replied.

"Yes, but you are trained to fight?" Yousif asked.


"So we have an army led by someone who does not fight. Interesting."

"I did try to tell your father, but I was taken by surprise."

"Yes, you did. We'll dress you as a soldier, and give you weapons. If you see an enemy, wave the sword around a bit and yell."

Gene grimaced, "It's not what I expected."

"Perhaps not. What did you expect?"

"I don't know. A couple of days ago I was more concerned about my studies. Now I'm talking about fighting pirates with a sword. I suppose I'm thinking I sound pretty useless."

"No! If you were useless, you'd be magicking your way home. This will be my first battle too. I'm trained but what will happen when the enemy is charging down on me, and I have to stand?"

"It's only a game, but I play football. The coach says it doesn't matter how good the other team is: look for their weaknesses. I guess if he is charging down on you, he's relying on brute strength. What do you have?"

"Speed and a wizard who gives me confidence. What's that?"

Yousif pointed to black dots on the screen and as Gene worked the controls, so the drone closed in.

"The fleet." he said and as Yousif nodded, he added, "We need an expert sailor. The drone's calculating wind speed and direction, and we'll learn more if we have someone who understands this stuff."

"Your new servant, Trey, might help. His father owned ships."

"Malcolm!" Gene exclaimed, "He must have known so how come he picked Trey, but didn't bother to tell me."

"He may have picked Trey's cock for your pleasure." Yousif chuckled.

"No. He's too clever for that."

"And you don't like a slave using you or betraying you. Interesting."

"We were talking about battles and maybe getting killed. I guess I'm annoyed Malcolm kept something useful from me."

"Why is the magic eye flying so low?"

"To get pictures of the ships. It might help our expert, whoever he is."

Gene was still annoyed as he drove into the camp.

"Malcolm!" Gene yelled, "Get your butt over here."

"Yes Master."

Malcolm could see Gene's anger and looked worried.

"Does Trey know anything about ships and sailing?"

"Yes Master. I thought he might be useful."

"How the fuck can he be useful if I don't know?" Gene yelled.

Malcolm's eyes widened in fear.

"I'm sorry, Master. There's so much going on. I didn't think you'd need him so soon."

"You should have told your master, but we're not used to his magic." Yousif said, "Tell us what you should have said."

"Trey's father owned several ships and Trey often sailed with him, Master. His father knew he was gambling against the winter storms, so he left Trey ashore on his last voyage. As you know, he never returned. There were other beggars I could have selected, but I thought Trey might be useful when the ships were spotted. Master Gene is busy organising everything, and the ships aren't in sight, so Trey and I set up Master's camp."

"Yes, but the ships are in sight. You forgot Master Gene's magic." Yousf said.

Malcolm dropped to his knees, forehead on the ground, but Yousif had spotted the tears in his eyes.

"He's your slave." Yousif said to Gene, "How will you punish him?"

Yousif's timing was good. Gene had also seen Malcolm's despair, and the idea of punishing him appalled him.

"Stand up, Malcolm." Gene commanded and as he obeyed, tears rolled down his cheeks.

What would hurt him, is knowing he has disappointed you. The torch had warned him and now it had happened.

"OK! I guess I overreacted." Gene said softly, "I see soldiers have arrived. Are any of them sailors as well?"

"Yes, Master. Two of them. I would have told you."

"I know. Fetch them and Trey, please. No. Clean yourself up, first. I want you back to your rude, insolent self."

"Yes master, but I displeased you, and I'm truly sorry."

"Honestly? I was rattled at the idea of waving a sword at the enemy. I'd be useless. The two things I can do are reconnaissance and communications and I found something wrong. I'd have been just as pissed if Yousif had sneezed while you were explaining something."

"Thank you, Master. I'll fetch the sailors."

"Remind me not to sneeze around you." Yousif said, "I think you could have killed him."

"No! I've never killed anything, and I don't want to start. Let's see what our naval experts say."

A little later, they were huddled around the map.

"The only reason they're standing so far out to sea is because of the wind. They're tacking to make distance along the coast. When they change tack they'll be blown a little way back along the coast but will come inshore. Those ships sail fairly well into the wind, and the current is pushing them along. They might manage the foothills, or a little along if they turn now but as long as they maintain this course then I'd say they were aiming for the harbours here."

Trey and the other soldier nodded as the soldier spoke, so he continued, "If your bird needs feeding for long periods, I'd send him out in the late afternoon. They'll turn and when they close the coast, the night will hide them. Unless a patrol stumbles on them as they're landing, it could be days before the alarm is raised and then more time before the army can find them, and if they're dug in …"

"So, what are our chances against them?" Yousif asked.

"Without Wizard Gene, the whole army would be spread along the coast. The rumour is, this is a diversion while Cradoc attacks from the north. If the rumour is true, and we let at least one ship escape, it'll sail home quickly enough, and convince them the north is undefended. They'll send a message to Cradoc, say five days for it to arrive, but we'll still be scattered along the coast. With Wizard Gene, we'll be on the beach with our bows. It'll be a slaughter once their boats are in range."

"Wizard Gene deserves some slaves as prizes." Yousif chuckled, "We could let some ashore."

"No." Gene said, "Keep our numbers hidden and drive them back. They'll think our army is bigger than it is. Would they be able to land further along the coast?"

The soldier grinned, "If they do, we can pace them on land, and they'll believe our whole army is here."

"Are those mountains really impassable?" Gene asked, "I'm thinking of the Spartans. A local goatherd led an army through a pass to attack the enemy from behind."

"I've never heard of the Spartans, but I get the idea. They could attack us."

"No." Gene said, "I'm thinking of attacking them. Nothing big like capturing the city, but we could burn a village or something. Especially if we could block the path when we come back. I don't like making people homeless though."

"We'll find them half-starved and beaten, so we'll take them as slaves. We'll feed them and treat them well, and they won't complain."

Not so long ago, Gene would have been horrified at the idea. Now it seemed reasonable.

"Malcolm, you seem to be able to talk to anyone. See if you can find a guide. You'll need to get closer to the mountains so take the car."

"Yes Master. I won't let you down again."

"On second thoughts, it'll keep until tomorrow. I want you in camp tonight."

"Oh yes, Master." Malcolm exclaimed.

"And there was me, hoping to learn some magic tricks in arousing a lover." Yousif laughed.

"From what I can tell, you're the wizard in that field. You certainly taught Malcolm well."

"Having seen your magical skills I take that as a real compliment. Thank you. Are you sure you don't want to learn from the master or do I rank so far below a slave?"

"Excuse me, masters." Malcolm interjected, "While we were breaking our fasts on the first morning after Master Gene saved me, he told me something curious. In some places on his world, it is bad manners not to clear the plate offered to you to show how much you enjoyed it. In other places leaving a little and belching are polite signs of a full and contented stomach. Small things can cause great insults when the opposite is intended. I believe on Master Gene's world, it is bad manners to be too eager."

"And if I am patient, will the wait be worth it?" Yousif asked and Gene detected humour rather than irritation.

"Definitely, Master. Master Gene's world is one of thinkers. When they act, there is far more passion to be released."

"And is too much passion directed to a slave?"

Gene knew Yousif and Malcolm were teasing him, but he stayed quiet. He had unwittingly insulted Yousif, Malcolm was trying to put it right, and he was curious about how Malcolm would answer.

"Master Gene's world relies on magic and does not have slaves, so a lover is a lover. It's odd because I love him in return. Am I right in thinking you see his charms even if he hides his body in strange coverings?"

Yousif grinned, quite happy to watch Gene's increasing embarrassment.

"And would I see more of his charms if he removed them?"

"I've seen them, Master. He does not have the hard body of a soldier, but neither is it fat or flabby like a lazy rich man. It displays the same easy charms Master Gene always displays."

"Enough!" Yousif laughed, "Gene, I'm falling into your bad ways and treating a slave like an equal at your expense."

Gene grinned in return, "I did not mean to offend you, and Malcolm is right. I'm not used to your ways."

"Then I am at fault as a discourteous host. However, could I at least dress you properly?"


"As a soldier. No, you will not be expected to fight, and we will have a bodyguard to protect you, but you are a general, offering us a great victory. The men should see who to thank."

He turned to the soldiers and asked, "What do you say?"

"I'd rather you led us into a bloody battle, Yousif, but I like a general who can avoid them and still bring us glory. The men should see who is leading them."

"Well?" Yousif asked.

Gene shrugged so Yousif added, "Undress while Malcolm fetches your tunic."

There was something in Yousif's attitude that suggested it was now more than teasing, and since Malcolm merely hurried off without speaking, Gene did not protest and pulled off his shirt then removed his shoes and socks. It was not too bad taking off his jeans because back home, he could still be on the beach. However, the others were waiting, expectant, and it was not like the beach, changing room or even the waterfall. He took a deep breath and pushed his boxers down.

"Yes, your body does nothing for my patience. I want to explore it even more, but may I be indelicate. Is untamed body hair a fashion on your world?"

Again, Gene was embarrassed but not how he expected. Swimmers were supposed to trim their body hair, but most of his friends allowed hair to grow naturally on their legs. He was unsure how to answer.

"I suppose so. I've never thought about it."

"Ah! Here, pirates and barbarians are hairy. Would you allow me to make you look more cultured?"

Gene suddenly understood. Yousif was not being the slightest bit patient. He was finding ways of handling Gene's body. The problem was, it was stirring, enjoying the attention it was receiving, and eager to receive more. Gene still thought of Malcolm as a boyfriend back home and was relieved when he returned.

"May I spend time with Trey, Master?" Malcolm asked, "I'll call you when it's time to check the fleet."

Gene nodded and Malcolm took Trey's hand leading him towards some trees. Gene understood the message. Slaves needed permission but masters did not.

"Your tent or mine?" Gene asked in defeat.

"Mine. As our guest, you may enter my house without permission but courtesy demands I do not try to intrude upon a guest without his clear consent."

Gene thought he got the message. It helped that after seeing him naked, Yousif was even more eager to be with him. It also helped that even before entering his tent, Yousif kicked off his sandals and untied his tunic, allowing it to fall.

"As Malcolm said, we must check on the fleet soon, and it has been a long day. Did you notice troops arriving as we talked."

Gene nodded.

"We can't do much until enough have arrived. The sergeants can billet them and feed them and if it's a long wait, begin training sessions. Our task is to be unworried and confident. Confident of the battle I mean, you are like a nervous child, discovering the pleasures his body can give."

"I'm not very experienced." Gene admitted.

"So the slave had hinted, and your first passions made you think you love him."

"I do love him." Gene said, "I love his determination to be the perfect slave, and the way he stands up to me. Back home, I'd love it if he agreed to be my boyfriend."

"But you're here. Two soldiers sharing battles equally may develop the love you talk about, but slaves are not our equal. Malcolm will be killed if he forgets it, so you must remember as well."

Yousif paused and grinned, "He'll be in your bed often enough, and I don't think you need a bodyguard for he'll protect you with his life, but for now, could we think about the fun we might have."

Gene grinned and gasped as Yousif grabbed his cock adding, "I said I wouldn't enter. I didn't say I wouldn't come calling."

Gene's manhood was instantly erect as he replied, "Careful. It comes before I'm ready."

"Excellent. We don't have much time, so how do you want me?"

It was too clinical for Gene, and he wilted a little but Yousif turned then bent over to grab his ankles. Gene's pole recovered as he pushed in, leaning forwards to stroke Yousif's equally eager manhood.

Yousif groaned and suddenly his arse clenched around Gene as his hips spasmed. It was too much for Gene and his own hips bucked, pumping deep into Yousif. He staggered, and they both crashed to the ground, rolling apart.

"That was different." Yousif laughed, "Do you know you're the first one ever to remember my pole. Mind you, I've only had slaves, and they just wait for orders."

"What about Malcolm?" Gene asked.

"He was learning, but you my friend were something else. I felt all your strength in your thrusts and that's what pushed me so soon. At least we can get on with the war without thinking about our balls."

Although Yousif seemed happy, Gene was disappointed by the encounter. As Yousif dressed and hurried off, Malcolm arrived.

"Master, I'm sorry, but should I return to the city or find a guide?" He asked.

"Neither. Find my clothes."

Malcolm looked horror-struck and close to tears again, "I'm sorry master, but Trey is washing them. I thought you were going to wear a general's sarong."

"So did I." Gene grinned, "I fucked him, and then he hurried off."

"And he was even quicker than you." Malcolm grinned, "Sometimes he just rode off but other times he showed me the workings of the palace and how a body slave should serve him. His balls slowly refilled, and he went slowly the second time and could not be more considerate to a slave."

"OK! There's too much going on, so I'd like you here, and that means you're stuck with me tonight. The new drone worked better than I expected, so we don't need spotters yet. I'd like you to find a guide, but again, it's not so urgent, because we can't launch our raid until we've driven off their attack. I need you to find something for me to wear, so I can get to my tent."

"Why, Master? You have nothing to be ashamed of, and everyone knows why you were here. Master Yousif catches most people out the first time but if you are dissatisfied, you should be dragging me to your tent, not worrying about dressing for such a short time."

"Maybe I should do something about my body hair." Gene said, "Then dress in your clothes. It'll pass the afternoon."

"I'll find a barber, Master." Malcolm replied, "He'll have oils and a sharp blade. You may have a magical razor, but our way will be more fun."

Malcolm was right. The soldier who arrived had a variety of razors and a box full of small glass jars. To Gene's surprise, he stripped off his loincloth. The barber was in his twenties, muscular from military training and whose manhood was visibly swelling as he handed Malcolm a sheet to spread over the sleeping bag.

"Master Gene may just wish a shave." Malcolm said quietly, "Don't be insulted if he doesn't want your other services."

"I know he prefers you, but it's still a pleasure to work on such a beautiful body."

Gene noticed the iron collar, "You're a slave?"

"An army slave. I train and fight like a free man, so I'm allowed to dress like one. This is slave's work, so it's better I'm naked. Would you lay on your stomach and spread your legs."

Gene had never experienced a masseur before, but it was what it felt like as the barber gently massaged his legs, rubbed in oils and then seemed to stroke them. Gene groaned in pleasure as the barber even worked deep in his crack.

Being told to turn over, Malcolm knelt so that Gene's head rested in his lap. Malcolm took a bottle the barber offered and gently rubbed oil into Gene's chest, and worked his armpits. Both slaves smiled as his manhood swelled, aching slightly because it was still recovering from Yousif, but responding to the gentle touch. Gene was puzzled because he was expecting the barber to use some razor-sharp blade. Instead, the strigil just seemed to scrape off a layer of dead skin, dirt and hair.

"Why is my hair just falling out?" Gene asked

"It's a combination of oils that comes from ancient times," the barber explained, "It penetrates deep and removes the hair beneath the skin. Over time, they kill the seeds the hair grows from."

"Follicles." Gene murmered, but he was almost asleep.

"As you wish, Master. I can complete the task or do you want your own slave to satisfy you."

The barber touched his cock and Gene was instantly awake. The barber just smiled and withdrew his hand.

"You're nothing like the hairdressers back home." Gene said, "Most talk about the weather or sport and only do our heads."

"These oils are to remove hair, so I'll leave a fine crop like yours alone. If I find a master who'll allow me to open my bathhouse, I'll have slaves in a separate room to deal with it."

"Find a master?" Gene queried.

"When I leave the army, I'll be sold. In recognition for my service, I'll have a say in who buys me."

"So you'll offer body treatments, hair cutting, sex and baths."

"Yes, Master. It'll be a place where men can come and relax."

"Will it work?"

"It should do, Master. Other cities have them and travellers complain about the lack of facilities here. We'll hire a few female slaves to cater for all tastes."

"What about women, will they be allowed to visit?"

"Master, what sort of place do you come from? Husbands and fathers would never allow their womenfolk to cavort with other men."

"OK! How about a separate place, women only?"

"Staffed with female slaves? Now that is a thought. I don't suppose you'd consider my plans, would you?"

"Master Gene may not be staying for long." Malcolm said, "This isn't his world."

"A pity."

Gene could not help giggling, as he thought of a conversation with his mother.

"Hi Mum. I'm fine, but I'm moving out. You see I've been offered this business opportunity, and the town mayor and the army will be involved."

"That's nice, dear. You seem to be mixing with the right people, and I'm sure it will make you very respectable and rich. What is it?"

"Owning a gay brothel."

It was one conversation he would never have for real, though he did wonder what would upset her the most, owning a brothel, or the fact it was gay. Neither fitted into the mundane suburban life she had mapped out for him.

His daydreaming was interrupted by Malcolm, "Please, Master. Are you going to check on the fleet before dark?"

"Yes. I need to get dressed. Do I owe you anything?"

"No, Master. The army takes care of it."

As the barber left, Gene stood up, glancing down at his body, impressed by the healthy sheen. Malcolm fetched a sarong and the belt Gene had been wearing when he arrived. He wrapped the sarong around Gene's waist then picked up the belt though he looked uncertainly at the fittings, so Gene showed him. The top edge of the sarong folded down, hiding the belt. Finally, Malcolm knelt down to slip on leather sandals.

"Many officers find themselves naked in battle." Malcolm said, "They tie their sarongs with rope, and it's difficult to get it right. Your leather strap is far better."

"Set a table up outside and fetch the boxes with the drone."

"You're going to work it from here, Master?"

"What do I look like, Malcolm?"

"A general, Master."

"I think soldiers should see why, don't you?"

"Yes, Master. I'll attend to it."

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead