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Chapter 23


Golden Roses

Kronus and Yoshibeth display their love – The men retire to bed, seeking to imitate Kronus – A gift is given so the men will remember – The guests return home to find bitterness and fear – Remembering the House of Kronus – The forty men abandon tradition and custom – Changes are made – Two hundred women are sent to Kronus – Kronus receives news of war – Markus Tobias and Seti-Kahn – Seti-Kahn threatens Kronus

 

1  And before his gathered guests, in the hall of feasting did Kronus woo Yoshibeth with tender kisses and soft embraces, disrobing her through gentle touches while she did likewise disrobe him also upon the bed.

2  And all which saw, whether man or woman, were deeply moved and filled with fevered passions; for the room was filled with soft music, and Kronus and Yoshibeth did move upon each other in equal fashion.

3  Touching here and kissing there, drawing from the hearts of each, the most tender expressions of love and trust and full acceptance; for each was filled with fiery longings and tender yearnings.

4  Thus did Kronus seduce Yoshibeth to love her, while she likewise seduced him; casting upon each other a fullness of their desires, holding nothing back; being in each other neither reluctant nor unwilling to give a fullness of their faith and trust in the expressions of their love.

5  And the men which saw were filled with wonder, for never had they seen a woman move upon a man as Yoshibeth did move upon Kronus; for together were Kronus and Yoshibeth filled with smiles and gentle laughter, mingled with tender sighs; gasping and groaning midst such pleasures as they would give to each other for love’s sake.

6  And when two hours were fully passed, Kronus gave out a mighty roar which did shake the whole house, for in the midst of his fiery passions did he cast into Yoshibeth an over abundance of his seed; spilling into her womb the fullness of his love.

7  By such means did Kronus awaken in every man an equal desire, whereby each man might seduce the woman beside him through tender kisses; to steal away for himself such pleasures as the woman did lock most deeply away.

8  Being hidden in the heart of her, to lie in dreams and longings of her own until some man should call them forth through tenderness and kind regard; causing that the woman should give release of all her gifts midst some fiery kiss and soft embrace.

9  Thus were the men instructed in the playing of the game, and each man did retire unto a bedroom which had been especially prepared by the woman which sat beside him; which bedroom had in its center a soft pallet upon the floor, being itself surrounded by a rich variety of fragrant flowers; and there burned within the room, the scented candles of honey and cinnamon spice.

10  And in the night did every man seek to imitate the man Kronus; plying through kisses and soft touches the shadows of sweet seduction; and in the night did every woman speak softly unto the man which moved upon her, speaking into his ears words of encouragement and kind regard;

11  To open herself unto the man whereby he might taste for himself such pleasures as the woman would yield unto him for love’s sake.

12  And throughout the whole night were the men most softly pleasured; and when each man had expended the fullness of his seed into the womb of the woman, still did the man lay his head upon the woman’s breasts whereby she might gently stroke and fully nurture the man which lay beside her upon the bed.

13  Now when it was morning, Kronus set forth for all his guests a sumptuous breakfast; and every man and every woman did eat together, being made as equals through the loving of each the other; and Kronus stood forth to speak, saying:

14  “My brave and noble fellows, well have you honored the whole of all my house; proving yourselves most worthy in the receiving of such gifts and pleasures as I would give unto you. Receive then this token of my regard and remember with fondness the women which sit beside you.”

15  Then did every woman bring out from the folds of her garment, a golden rose exquisitely made; and every man marveled at so costly a gift; and each man thought himself most highly valued by Kronus Maximillius; and in the heart of each man did there stir some strange but pleasant feeling towards the greatest man of all.

16  Now when the feasting was completed, the guests returned again to their own manors and estates, being sent away with loving kisses and soft embraces by the women of Kronus.

17  And each man, on entering his manor grew dissatisfied with such women as were forced to serve him; for they were always fearful and filled with bitterness; being in their minds and bodies but dull and broken beneath the hands of angry men.

18  For such women were made, by custom, to walk about naked and unadorned; being constantly whipped and beaten midst the harshness of their labors, being made subject to such natural elements as raged about them;

19  Having in themselves no gentle recollection of any kindness ever given, being pushed and goaded by fear and constant hunger; causing that such women should view with cruel suspicion the deeds and actions of such men as ruled over them.

20  For in the manors of the forty men was there never heard the singing and dancing of women; neither did any woman smile or laugh or gently speak; being made through harshness as dark and sullen creatures filled with loathing and hateful spite.

21  Neither could any man engage such women in delightful conversations, for such women were kept ignorant and always fearful of the ways of men; having in themselves no refinement or grace, having for themselves no beauty or courtly manner, being made as broken vessels which all men raped and plundered.

22  Thus did the forty men sit disconsolate upon their beds in the quietness of the night, to gaze in soft reflections upon a golden rose filled with memories; for in gazing upon the golden rose did they dream of such fiery kisses and soft embraces as they had found in the House of Kronus.

23  And each man resolved separately to seek out Kronus, whereby they might put forth their petition; and unto each man did Kronus give both wise and goodly counsel; causing that each man should return again to his manor, being himself firmly resolved to follow in the steps of Kronus Maximillius.

24  Thus did the forty men endeavor to create such a house as Kronus had made for himself; being hopeful to gain in like manner a treasure far greater than diamonds and gold.

25  Out then came the whipping posts, and the dogs of war did the men remove far from the house; and each man gave unto their chief steward a firm command that never again would the women of their house be slapped or beaten, neither would they permit that they should be whipped or in any manner abused.

26  And each man built within the walls of their estate, an inner wall which did surround the manor and the lands round about; causing that there should be planted a variety of gardens and walkways.

27  And the house of women did they tear down to build anew, while the women of their house did the men move into the upper floor of the manor itself;

28  Building in like fashion even as Kronus did, to place in the uppermost floor a variety of pools and baths and soft appointments, made rich in all manner of bright and cheerful colors; being always scented by candles of honey and cinnamon spice.

29  Thus was every woman made to marvel, for they were released from all their heavy labors, being each given some soft and lovely appointment within the master’s house; being made no longer fearful or hungry, but in all aspects of their lives did there come a swift and good improvement.

30  Now each man sent five women unto the school which Kronus had made whereby they might be schooled for one year, paying unto Kronus some five thousand golden crowns; yet did Kronus send unto each man in return, the very woman which had sat beside him at the feast.

31  For which each man did most gladly pay another five thousand golden crowns, causing that the women of Kronus should serve in the house of some other man for a period of one year only; to be made, themselves, as the First Woman of his house.

32  And there came into the coffers of Kronus Maximillius some four hundred thousand golden crowns, for Kronus desired that the men of war set great value upon the women of his house; also did he likewise desire that they should most equally value the women which he would teach for their sake.

33  For this truth above all is known, that men shall value greatest the thing which cost them most; for those things are most dearly cherished and highly esteemed, which will draw from the man the efforts of all his labors; being himself most anxious to pay, whereby he might take to himself the greater treasure.

34  Thus was Kronus compelled to enlarge the school of women; and seeing that there remained in his house just ten women only, even these did he appoint to teach, setting to preside among them, the woman which he loved most dearly, even Yoshibeth Mahali.

35  And there soon came unto the House of Kronus some two hundred women, and all which Kronus had done unto the women of his house aforetime, even this did he likewise do for their sake also.

36  Thus did it come about that the women which were sent unto Kronus, even these did fairly swoon for the touch of him; for his grace and kindness had left undone the fears of all their yesterdays; to imbue in the women which came from afar, a kind regard for themselves and all others also.

37  Now on a certain day there came unto Kronus a courier from the Office of War and Strategy, saying: “My Lord, there comes quickly upon us, a war with Rome. Come therefore, quickly on the morrow, at the rising of the sun; for the Emperor would seek your counsel.”

38  And so speaking, the courier went away quickly unto Trajenium, and Kronus did sigh deeply within his heart, saying: “This world is filled with madness.” And so saying, Kronus went forth to bid farewell unto all his house till he should come again unto them.

39  Yet would Kronus not say good-bye to the woman which he loved, but took her unto himself to love her through the night, to dwell together in some secret place where he might cleave himself only unto her.

40  And taking Yoshibeth into his arms, he spoke to her most tenderly, saying: “Fear not, my Love, neither concern yourself overmuch because of me; but take full care to guard well the affairs of this house;

41  For whatsoever you shall deem as necessary to our benefit, even to this will I give my full assent; for in you have I placed the sum of all my trust, to give into your keeping the hopes and dreams of countless ages.

42  Only, my Love, remember me as I remember you; for in you have I placed the affairs of all my heart; while yet in me there is made to dwell the likeness of your image, being softly shaped and gently fashioned by such songs as I do hear within me because of you.”

43  And Yoshibeth did press Kronus yet closer still, to draw him most deeply into her womb; and kissing him upon the lips, she spoke softly into the very breath of him, saying:

44  “Return most quickly and keep you safe, my Love, for I shall gently wait for thee; that in our love we might come again face to face, heart to heart, flesh cleaving unto flesh, being bound and strongly guided by such tender passions as do burn within us.

45  For I do long for thee, yearn for thee; finding in your presence the greatest joy of all; for in your arms am I safely sheltered from the storms which rage about; for you, my Love, are that mighty tower which does but lift me higher, causing that I should find in you, the only place which I call home.

46  Anoint therefore, my innermost part and draw me closer still to thee; for in my flesh is that certain power which would bring you back to me; casting aside such bitter things as would seek to come between; until at last we come again to kiss and gently hold, to lie in dreams and sweet repose in each the other’s arms, being made as one forever.”

47  Such did Yoshibeth speak, and on the morrow, before the rising of the sun, Kronus gave unto all his house some final instructions; then did he turn most quickly away and with firm resolve set hard his mind unto the ways of war.

48  Now when Kronus was come to the palace, there came to greet him, a general which was made the First Councilor of War to Seti-Kahn, whose name was Markus Tobias; a man of fearsome presence, wearing upon his cruel visage a great many scars.

49  And grabbing Kronus by the arm, he spoke abruptly unto him, saying: “Come with me, for the Supreme Commander would have a word with you.” Then did he turn suddenly away, and Kronus did follow after him.

50  Thus was Kronus brought face to face with his father, causing that there should stir within him a cold and sullen rage; for Kronus remembered well the torments of his mother; yet before Seti-Kahn did Kronus seem as strangely calm, being in his very presence both cold and aloof before the man of war and power.

51  And Seti-Kahn spoke unto Kronus, saying: “This day shall I place before the Emperor, the plans of war and battle; for there gathers against us the legions of Rome which even now would steal from us the whole of Antarctica; for they would seize for themselves the water stations of Neropolis.

52  For this cause shall I submit the surest course of action, whereby we might preserve our southern realm against the encroachments of Rome; for soon the legions shall sail against us, and the ice city of Neropolis must soon come under a fearful bombardment.

53  Thus do I command you to give assent unto my plans, for I know full well how you have turned the Emperor in favor of all your words; causing that he should place you near the throne whereby you might review the battle strategies of men far greater than yourself.

54  Hear then my words and give to me a quick obedience, for if you should give assent then are you advantaged; but if you should go against me, then shall I do worse to you than I did the bitch which bore you.

55  Go now and remember well my words, for I stand not alone against you; for the men of greatest power have set their eyes upon you to watch you closely.

56  Agree therefore quickly to such plans as I shall place before the Emperor, and seek not yourself to study them, but agree only to my words, to speak well with eager breath of all which I shall say.

57  Go now and get you hence, for you are an offense to me; but remember well my words to obey them, lest you yourself should die the death.” Then did Seti-Kahn turn his back to Kronus, being filled with bitter scorn.

58  Now when Kronus was gone from the room, Seti-Kahn spoke, saying: “What think you? Have we turned the boy to our favor?” And Markus Tobias answered him, saying: “He is not turned, my lord, but stands himself against us.” And hearing this, Seti-Kahn cursed a bitter curse filled with hateful rage.

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