I suppose this could be the pettiness shining through again, but I’m really not liking these guys deciding they don’t owe allegiance to me. I know I tried to give up the Riccan throne at one point, but I did a whole weird marriage scam to make this happen. And the Bronze City’s excuse isn’t even anything like “you’re bad at your job” or “the citizens overwhelmingly vote to not let you rule them”. They just don’t like my tits. Ridiculous. I got great tits. Everyone should like them. I’d show them off all over the place if I could. I’m proud of these bad boys, especially the aereola. My boobs should be on display at the Louvre, but then I’d have to steal them on general principle.
So my plan was to just wear my power armor, crater the opposing champion’s ass with a well-placed boot, and lord my victory over them all. But as I stepped out into the square arena they had, they did this ritual with tossing some sort of powder on me. The crowd booed me actually wearing armor instead of the traditional loincloth. From up in the VIP box, or whatever the old school equivalent would be called, the Elders called out, “She spits on our traditions! We should have her forfeit the fight for this!”
I held up all four hands, then opened the armor up and stepped out. I nodded to a pair of my guards, who picked it up and carried it up into the stands out of easy reach. I figured I could still beat whatever champion they had in mind for me. He was a big guy, thick. Most people would picture a bodybuilder, but this guy was more like a weightlifter. Round, thick, and strong. He wasn’t obese, but he had enough flab on him to absorb some punishment and some slices from the sword I didn’t bring with me. He didn’t seem all that distracted by my nudity as he hefted his bronze warhammer and spun it overhead.
“It’s a shame you have to die for a bunch of cowards,” I called out to him.
He bowed his head briefly, “I don’t intend to die.”
I winked at him. “It’s the last thing anyone intends to do.”
He didn’t rush me. He walked purposefully toward me. I crossed my arms and tapped my foot on the sand of the arena, waiting. When he got a few feet from the reach of his hammer, I turned and ran at the wall. I jumped and pushed off it, leaping over the champions’ head. The gasps of the crowd and the wind on my back suggested I almost didn’t make it.
My training is to kill. Kill first, kill second, add a pithy one-liner, then start asking questions. But, I dunno, I felt different. I smiled and jumped back to avoid getting hammered when he whirled around, hammerhead first. “Close, but no cigar.”
He took a side swing at my head. I dipped and came up quickly, but he managed to stop the hammer and reverse it to try and put a bronze spike through my eye hole. I did a split and dropped below it, blowing him a kiss. He showed some skill by redirecting the swing around and up over his head to try and bring it down on mine. I lunged forward so I was laying on my belly and elbows, legs still spread. I felt the wood smack into my ass as the head barely missed.
This was completely wrong for me to do. I knew it then, and I know it now. I just felt different, ya know? I was a proud bearer of boobs for all to see. I am the Empress. I am awesome. I can fuck a goat and make it pay me. I was happy and feeling good, so I played around. It was way different than the usual style of killing first, killing second, pithy one-liner, then start asking questions.
Anyway, he took one hand off his hammer to reach down and grab me by the hair. He hauled me up to my feet, then squealed in pain when my lower hands gave him a purple nurple. A weapons-grade nurple. I put some torque into those bad boys while laughing at him. “Say the safeword!”
He didn’t say the safeword. He banged the hammer’s handle into me as much as he could at that distance with one hand. I put my foot on his belly and pushed. He fell back and I walked toward the middle of the arean a few steps, showing off my trophies for the audience. “Behold, I give you nipples!”
The crowd ate it up, except for the Elders. They seemed disgusted, which is quite a take for the people who made the decision to put me almost nude into a life or death fight in the first place. They made their bed, now they get to lie in it. They get to die in it. I tossed one nipple up to them, smacking one of their pompous faces with it and leaving a small streak of blood on his cheek. That startled him.
The vibrations in the sand brought my attention back around to their champion. I turned and ducked to see the man running for me, hammer’s pointed top lowered at me like a spear. I tossed the other nipple into his face and the man reached up to try and salvage his amputated body part. I grimaced in anticipation as I threw my body toward him, legs first, to baseball slide for his lower body. He closed his legs at least, but I still threw my fist into his groin. A large part of the crowd let out a collective “Ooooh!” in male sympathy.
I threw another punch into his paunch then, doubling him over. With his head now considerably closer to mine, I grabbed his throat, and threw him at the wall. He crashed into the wood, winded, his hammer on the ground in front of me. He pushed away from the wall and let out a roar of anger and pain. A spear flew through the air from behind me and pinned the man to the wall. The crowd started booing, as did I. The Elders yelled in outrage. All of us looked to find out who interrupted this fight.
It was a man in bronze armor and helmet, a sword at his hip, and a bronze shield in hand.
“Who the fuck are you?” I asked.
With his free hand, he pulled off his helmet to reveal a face I didn’t know framed by blonde curls. The crowd seemed to think something about him, though. “I am Prince Eld, son of Garth, king of the Bronze City.”
I looked up at the Elders. “Garth didn’t have a son. He had a daughter. Unless you had some recent revelations and changed your hair color.” Garth had been the king here. He met his end shortly before I provided myself as a replacement by marrying his daughter. It’d be a funny coincidence if I wasn’t directly responsible for killing him. The whole point had been that he didn’t have a son. I treated Elda wrong, too, but I set her on her path as a traveling adventurer in the Americas with high end armor, a sharp sword, and enhanced strength.
“Some sorcery has changed this world,” Eld said, looking around. “I awoke from my battle with a mad enchanter in a world that says my father is dead, though yesterday he was alive. They say the Bronze City belongs to some foreign-born king. Now I find that king is a woman.”
“You going to be an ass about that, too?” I asked, glancing back at where the warhammer lay. The way I see this, we either have some sort of time travel where people just happened to forget to mention the old king had a son at some point, or we’ve got more interdimensional shenanigans going on. First, I need to find out how much of a threat this guy is going to pose to my rule.
“I am going to take back the throne as its rightful owner,” he said, then planted his helmet back on his head.
Well, that was easy.
He drew his sword and pointed it at me. “Yield.”
I pointed a finger at him and spoke in a mocking voice. “Yield.” In the stands, I saw my guards react, but have to defend themselves as armored warriors of the Bronze Guard drew their swords and spears and attempted to stop their interference.
“Stop copying me,” he said, raising his shield and jogging toward me.
I turned, grabbed up the warhammer, and raised it. He swung his blade and a gleam swept through the air. The wood just above the metal head of the hammer broke. Another gleam, and fell back, blood spurting from my magnificent Imperial boobage.
The Elders cheered, as did some of the crowd. Eld grandstanded, or maybe he grandstood, raising his shield and sword to the sky. He turned around in a circle, not noticing craning necks and anticipation. The spear caught him high in the chest as he turned toward me. Now, I’m not the best shot with throwing weapons, but spears are fairly aerodynamic. And I was no longer having a good time. He had enough strength to throw a spear through a man. I have enough strength to throw my fist through a man.
Eld stumbled back, looking down with wide eyes at the spear sticking out of his chest. He wrapped a hand around the handle, then fell onto his back. I grabbed the warhammer head and tossed it back and forth between all four hands as I walked over. The crowd that cheered for him roared for me as I stepped up close to the guy.
“Is this your king?” I asked of the crowd, looking around. I pulled the man’s helmet off to let them see. Then I asked of them, “Or am I your Queen?” That got a chant.
Eld thrust his sword at my calf, the blade stopping shortly after piercing my skin. I brought the hammerhead down on his head. I didn’t have to do so again. I tugged the sword out of my leg as well and gave a little discus-style turn to toss the hammer head up at the box the Elders were sitting in. The Bronze Guard had stopped, with my Riccan Dragon Soldiers keeping a shitload of firearms at the ready in case they decide to take a mulligan on this whole combat trial.
I raised the sword in the air. “By this ass-kicking, I rule. I am Empress Psychopomp Gecko. I am your Queen. If the dead rose up, they would not beat me. If your gods summon all the heroes who could have ever existed, I would defeat all of them. My enemies can’t beat me. They can only survive me. But you are my people. Your enemies are my enemies. Your welfare is my welfare. Allow me to show you this side of myself as well.”
On my way out of the arena, followed by the cheers of my subjects, I called up Dr. Creeper audio-only. “Hey, Doc, I have a corpse I need you to look into. Need to find out somehow if this thing’s from this universe or another one.”