A/N: Hmm...I'm feeling bored now. Pon's been gone for a week on an adventure with a party of heroes, so I've just been sitting around during work. *Repeated knocking on the door* I wonder if that's the succubus I requested for a new guest. *Opens door, Pon rushes in and slams door shut behind him* "Oh, you're back. Did you have fun on your little break?" "Can I please have more hours here?" "Sure, I'll even lend you this for the time being." *Gives Pon a piece of fur on a string* "What is this?" "It's a charm that I asked my wife to make for you. It'll ward off any monsters that approach you; just watch out for magic-users." "T-Thank you sir..." Now that Pon's back, I'm already feeling at ease with myself and you all know what that means. Yep, time for my mind to go back to its normal, crazy self. At this very moment, I could express my distaste for a number of things, but I'll leave it at that. We've got an actual prince for today, and he kind of acts just like me, so you can see why I used him. However, against a Minotaur, I'm not sure even he could do much. We'll see, though. Oh, by the way everyone, I've removed the word limit to these one-shots. Instead, they will now be a minimum of 1000 words and will go on from there to practically any length I choose. Enough talking, let's get into the chapter!
No matter how many times I hack at the training dummy, it's never good enough. With each slash of my sword, the dummy is worn down further, yet I'm still not satisfied with the power behind my blows. Fast attacks only scratch it, and heavy cleaves barely lop it apart...every technique only ends in failure.
If only I was stronger...then I could show them all my power.
“Aster, hold your blade please.” An aging voice comes from behind me.
“Father, what do you wish to discuss?” I sheathe my sword and turn my full attention to the elderly man before me.
“I think it's time for you to join the war. We're at a stalemate, but I believe you could tip the balance.” My eyes widen at this statement.
“Thank you, Father. I will lead our troops to victory no matter how many stand against us. I will inform Commander Lowell that I shall-”
“No, young prince.”, my father hold a hand up to quell my excitement, “You will not be taking control of our army; Lowell shall remain leader of our forces. You, my son, will be put in charge of a more critical role.”
As soon as I showed my eagerness to fight alongside our troops, my father denies my destiny on the battlefield. With a sneer, I resume my training on the practice dummy, barely listening to him even if he is the King.
“If I'm not sent into the center of battle, then this conversation is pointless. I don't care how leisurely my new position may be nor do I care for my own safety at all. If I cannot meet the enemy head-on, then I'd rather withdraw from the war.”
Despite my nimble slashes at the air, with one hand my father catches my sword and holds it down.
“Aster, you will fight the enemy; I can assure that. As you've always wanted, the most important and dangerous unit will be at your command: the Phoenix Unit.”
“What is their purpose?”
“They undertake the most dangerous endeavor on the battlefield: assassinating enemy commanders.” I pull my sword out of my father's grip and continue swinging freely against the air.
“Can't we use archers?”
“Archers are easily repelled if they fail; your unit will not have that luxury. For you, it will be success or death just like you desire.”
“Are you really the bravest men that our army has produced!?” I shout to my unit of 200 veterans.
They are well-trained and experienced, but they lack the courage needed to succeed in our role. Many of them are powerful warriors, but none of them possess the inherent bloodlust that I'm looking for. Despite my inexperience, I show them the fury that I want directed towards our enemies. This intimidates them deeply, yet inspires them to strike furiously. I find it amusing that they start to call me the 'Blood Prince' after my vicious display.
Our training goes on for a week before they finally start to show promise in killing strikes. By now, I can comfortably lead them into a charge without any hesitation. The 200 that I started with have now been reduced to 50 after my examinations. With pride, I stand in the training fields to watch these few men who have the strength to face impossible odds.
“Prince Aster! Someone is here to see you.” A knight tells me.
“Very well. Get back to your training.”
With a nod, the knight leaves and I see a cloaked figure approaching me.
“Who are you and what is your purpose here?”
“At last...I finally meet the famed Prince.” A surprisingly feminine voice comes from the figure.
“If you won't answer me, then...” I raise my sword towards my mysterious guest.
Then, without any sign of fear or concern, she lowers her hood to reveal beautiful red hair and smooth horns above a set of furry ears. I know exactly what she is, but for once in my life, I feel a subtle sense of wariness from watching her. My eyes widen at the sight of even more cloaked Minotaurs gathering behind her.
“What do you want with me?” I keep my sword raised as all of my men crowd behind me.
“My name is Valerie, and I boldly request to join your unit.” All of the Minotaurs throw off their cloaks, revealing light armor beneath.
“There had better be an excellent reason for this.” I sheathe my sword and gesture everyone to follow.
“Your father was concerned about your troops, so he asked us to merge with your unit for future battles.”
“I'll judge your worth for myself.”
I draw my sword and swipe at Valerie, who blocks it with her hands. Another swing comes, but it misses also. This continues for a while as I let loose a flurry of powerful attacks, only to be blocked or dodged. However, just before I bring my sword down for another cut, Valerie' body relaxes slightly enough for me to take advantage of. I free my left hand from the sword and throw a shattering punch as my blade comes down. Amazingly, Valerie uses her horns to parry my sword and ducks underneath my punch, tackling me to the ground.
“Does that satisfy you?” Valerie asks me as we stare into my defiant eyes.
“F-Fine, d-do as you please.”
“Excellent. Girls, find yourselves someone fun .”
Listening to their instincts, the other Minotaurs all run after my men while shedding their armor at an alarming rate. Some of the men try to strike out, but their swords are unable to harm the Minotaurs who mount them nonetheless. Soon enough, our entire training session is ruined. Valerie closes in and kisses me as I turn back to face her.
“Well, your father did say he would do anything to keep you safe, and you are a handsome man...”
“Go any further, and your life is forfeit.” I retort.
Valerie slowly gets off of me and helps me up. The sounds of pleasure are filling the field, but it does little to break my concentration as I glare at my new subordinate. She doesn't seem troubled at all, but rather pleased. I let out a low snarl in annoyance before stalking off to a bench with Valerie following. After a few deep breaths, I finally calm down.
“How many Minotaurs will be joining my troops?” I ask as I sit down.
“Including myself, 25 of us.” Her tail swishes around, sometimes touching or rubbing against me.
“Can they fight, or will they just occupy my men all day?”
“They'll fight as long as I order it. Otherwise, they'll be loving their husbands. Speaking of which...” Valerie's tail starts to wrap around me, but hesitates with appropriate caution.
“What deal did my father make with you?” My eyes narrow at her in suspicion.
“In return for your loving embrace, I can guarantee you the support of my people.”
“How is that possible? Aren't you just a mercenary?”
“My full name is Valeria F. Minotaurus of the Minotaur tribes.” My jaw drops in shock as I hear that name.
“Y-You're the leader?”
“It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my fiancé .”
A/N: I need to invite Prince Aster to a drink one day, because that man is admirable; I told you he's a bit like me. Come on, I think we can all agree that the ideal leader takes no sh*t from anyone and absolutely refuses to submit to others, even if they are female. Let's drop the subject there, though unless you all want me to explain my principles. Isn't it outrageous how 200 troops were reduced to only 50 after a week's worth of training? If some of you caught on, then that's fine, but for the majority of you who didn't understand: the Phoenix Unit is based on the Phoenix Program (look it up), but I changed it so it would resemble more of a 'berserker unit'. I originally made this chapter to be a conversation-based one, but this seemed much more...enticing, so to speak. I'm honestly a bit scared because right now all of the Minotaurs we brought in are still having sex with the Prince and his troops even after we dismantled the set. I would get Pon to break it up, but he looks a bit traumatized at the moment; oh well. Be sure to come back next time for our next trip to the desert where we'll meet with a Mummy and hear about her stories of finding love. Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone!