The Pawn

The Pawn

Long ago, war between two kingdoms was averted by the creation of the ultimate combat game: chess. The two Kings were each given one queen, two rook fortifications, two magical wizards, two of their best knights, and eight pawns. A winner was decided when a side’s pawns were killed off. Every month, there would be a new game but never had a pawn managed to overcome any of the greater pieces. With extraordinary power, the knights, wizards, and rook towers were unbeatable. It was all a game to see which side lost all their pawns first.

Pawns were drafted from the common people. Every family was to place their sons in a lottery. When names were called out, the pawns had no choice but to arrive at the capital for training. Desertion or rebellion would lead to their entire family being killed.

Joshua was a simple blacksmith’s apprentice when his name was called out. Already a man at age sixteen, he put down his tools and joined the other seven. “Do you not have family to say goodbye to?” the collector asked him.

“I am an orphan,” he replied.

At the capital, pawns were trained for war. They were given two wooden swords and were forced to train all day. “You are the pride of the kingdom. If you fall so does the kingdom,” the trainer told them.

While the pawns trained, an already existing battle was taking place on the field of glory. The Kings dressed in White and Black approached one another. “One more loss and you lose for all time,” the Black King smiled confidently.

“You will not win this time, my friend,” the White King replied.

king
-White King

The two walked back to their respective sides. “Advance,” the White King said to his pawns. The White pawns took out their sword and shield and marched forward. While heavily armored, it would not save them from the mace of the knight, the wand of the wizard, the arrows of a tower, or the sword of a queen.

The pawns of both sides ran towards each other shouting and screaming as they did. The two sides clashed in the middle of the field slashing at each other with their swords. Knights of both sides quickly entered the battle on horseback. The wizards instantly moved to where the pawns were fighting. The White wizard would freeze a Black pawn solid causing him to shatter to pieces. The Black Wizard would send a steady stream of fire that would roast a White pawn alive.

The towers moved slowly hovering across the field sending a rain of arrows down on them. The greater pieces would occasionally attack the other side's, but it only served to slow them down. A tower was blasted apart by a wizard's spell and then moments later reassembled itself. A dead knight would come back to life after a fatal blow from another knight.

The pawns in training watched the battlefield from afar. The field was filled with smoke and fire as the pawns battled one another. Finally, the White Queen instantly came upon the last Black pawn and stabbed him through. White had won this match.

“We are now equal,” the White King said to his counterpart.

“So, we are. After centuries of battle, we are no nearer to finishing this war,” the Black King said amused.

“I await our next meeting with glad anticipation,” the White King said politely and turned away. On the battlefield were fifteen dead pawns with shattered helmets, broken swords, and torn armor. This was the fate of pawns. The surviving pawn would be allowed to retire with gold and land. A job well done.

***

At night, the pawns would make anxious chatter. They were all young men all hoping to be that one survivor that would make it in this cruel world. “What happens if you get to the other side of the field?” Joshua asked a fellow pawn.

“No pawn has ever made it that deep into enemy territory,” Paul said.

“Yes, but what if it did happen?” Joshua insisted.

“Some say the game stops and all the pawns still left alive get to go home,” Paul said.

“I would like to reach the other side then,” Joshua mused.

“You’re dreaming. If you want to stay alive, fight with the rest of us in the center,” Paul insisted.

Joshua and Paul became sparing partners and learned quickly the art of the sword. “How do we defend against the wizard’s magic?” Joshua asked.

“You cannot block the wizard’s magic. You can only try to avoid it,” the trainer told him.

Joshua
-Joshua

During lunch, Joshua raised a question that had been bugging him. “Why do girls never train to become pawns? There are queens but never pawns.”

“It is because men are not necessary for the kingdom’s survival. One man can have children with many women,” Paul pointed out.

The group of pawn trainees experienced trials of all sorts. Joshua raised his shield to block a fireball explosion. He fought against former knights with sword and mace. He used his sword to deflect arrows being shot at him. All day the pawns trained until they reached complete exhaustion.

“It is your patriotic duty to survive for as long as you can. As long as you survive, our greater pieces will be given more time to destroy the pawns of the other side,” the trainer reminded them.

On their final night, Joshua and Paul stayed up late. “You have a girl back home?” Paul asked Joshua.

“No,” he shook his head.

“You have a beautiful face. There’s no excuse,” Paul said to him.

“I never had the courage to ask I suppose. It’s easier for girl I think. They only have to wait for someone to ask them,” Joshua said.

“If I was a girl, I would dread having to say no,” Paul smiled.

***

On the day of battle, the pawns took up their armor, their helmet, and their weapons. They were all dressed in perfect white without a stain or scratch on them. The eight of them nervously took their positions. If they were lucky, some of them would survive.

The White King and Black King came together to converse. “This battle will decide it,” the White King said confidently.

“So it shall,” the Black King smiled just as confident.

Once the kings came back to their position, the pawns were obliged to move forward. The battle had begun. Joshua thought he would know what to expect. He had seen battles played out on the ground but when the battle actually started it was nothing but chaos. Beams of light caused explosions all over the field. Joshua raised his shield as fire swarmed around him. A White wizard blasted the fire with ice giving Joshua some relief.

A knight engaged Joshua with his sword. The two clashed and Joshua fell to the ground stunned by the knight’s strength. The knight went for the kill with his horse about to trample Joshua went a White Knight sliced off his head. The Black Knight remained headless for a brief moment and then regained his head once more.

Horrified, Joshua fled from the knight across the field. “Stay close to me,” Paul said as they met in the center of the field.

Towers exploded on both sides sending pieces of debris at the pawns. With their shields, they managed to survive. One pawn was hit hard to head by debris and was instantly killed. Another pawn was hit with a wave of fire. The pawn dropped his weapons and ran in circles as the fire consumed him.

Joshua and Paul engaged the enemy Black pawns. With their backs to each other, the two guarded one another and defeated two enemy pawns. Joshua breathed heavily with excitement and horror at his first kill.

A rain of arrows came down upon the White pawns. “Shields up,” Paul shouted. The remaining pawns gathered together and put their shields up to block the arrows.

“At least we have shade,” one of the pawns joked.

An explosion ripped the pawns away from each other. Paul and Joshua fell to the ground with a thud. One of their comrades had been blasted away in the explosion. “We have to get to the end,” Joshua said.

“Stay in the center,” Paul shouted at him.

A blade suddenly entered a pawn’s chest and out the other side near Joshua. The Black Queen materialized before them. Joshua backed away stunned. Looking around, all he could see was death and destruction. It was as if the world were now in slow motion and his limbs refused to move.

The Black Queen gave Joshua an amused look slowly walking towards him. “You don’t have to do this. You have powers of your own. Your king is nothing without you,” Joshua said to her.

“Foolish child. All power comes from the king,” she said as she advanced on him.

A bright flash of light interrupted them. The White Queen engaged the Black Queen in immortal combat. “We meet again, sister,” the Black Queen spat.

Joshua scrambled to get away and realized two Black Knights were chasing him. Running towards the end of the field, Joshua could see the end in sight. If he got to the other side, the battle would be over. That was what everyone had said. He would accomplish the impossible.

The chasing knights caught up with Joshua nearly taking his head. Beams of light caused an explosion of fire in front of him. Braving against the fire, Joshua continued on his way forward. Burned and exhausted, Joshua was suddenly blocked by a tower. It sent a wave of arrows against him. Joshua blocked with his shield but a few arrows got through puncturing his left shoulder, knee, and gut.

Although near death, Joshua knew he had keep moving if only for the sake of the others and winning the game. The knights went through the wall of fire like it was nothing and went straight for him. Deep in enemy territory, Joshua knew he couldn’t receive help from his side. It was all or nothing.

The Black King then noticed Joshua crawl his way to the end of the field. With his greater pieces preoccupied with the battle, the Black King took out his own sword and slowly made his way to Joshua. Crying out with effort, Joshua reached the end of the field before the Black King could kill him.

As soon as he had reached his goal, he collapsed on the ground. He had done what no other pawn had been able to do before him. He had fulfilled the prophecy of legend and now the game would be over. He had saved his comrades from certain death.

After a few moments of elation, the battle continued to rage. Joshua looked back on the field in confusion. He had reached the end yet the game was still going. Confused, Joshua crawled a little further but was blocked by an invisible wall that wouldn’t allow him to go farther. He then tried to go back but was blocked as well. Pawns could never retreat, never take a step back, and always had to move forward.

Joshua then felt something happening to his body. His wounds closed up and his energy returned to him. His armor fell away and disappeared leaving him defenseless. He stood there in his one-piece underwear confused and afraid.

Joshua then felt his short naturally curly blond hair grow and become straighter down to his shoulders. His face became more delicate and feminine. His warrior hands that had been stained with dirt and blood became perfectly clean and dainty. Joshua felt his face wondering what was happening to him. It was a face he didn’t recognize, perfectly smooth without blemish.

Joshua then felt two mounds bulge from his chest. He felt them as they expanded in his hands. His waist pinched in and his hips expanded outward. His muscular arms and legs became slimmer while his shoulders moved inward. Finally, his manhood disappeared inside his body.

Joshua's Transformation
-Joshua's Transformation

Joshua knelt down to the ground in despair. As the last changes morphed his body, he was now an unarmed and unarmored young woman on a battlefield. Unable to move in any direction, she was now useless to her side. As she saw her comrades continue to fight, a tear fell to the ground. The prophecy had been a cruel joke. It had merely disqualified her from the battle.

As she cried, her clothes began to change again. Her one piece underwear became a long dress, female battle armor formed on her chest, wrist guards materialized on her arms, white elegant shoes appeared on her feet, and a small crown was placed on her head. A sword was placed in her hand. Joshua felt immortal power go through her. She was no longer a pawn but a queen. Joshua, the pawn was gone. Now, Queen Josephine was born.

***

Paul did his best to stay alive as he engaged a seasoned knight. He had no hope of defeating the immortal knight. He had to stay alive long enough for the Black pawns to be defeated. A Black pawn suddenly was stabbed through the back. Paul stared as a second White Queen joined the battlefield.

“Impossible,” the Black Knight said doubtfully.

He disengaged from Paul and rode towards the new White Queen. Instinctively, Josephine defended herself clashing with the Black Knight. Another Black Knight went right through a White tower to engage her. The two Black Knights circled Josephine and finally stabbed her through.

Josephine felt pain but not sudden death. As the Black Knights looked stunned, she slit the throat of one of the Black Knights and stabbed through the other. There was a flash of White and Black light as the three of them became perfectly healed. Two Black wizards fired streams of fire at Josephine. She simply allowed the fire to reach her. She could feel the heat but her body did not burn.

With the Black greater pieces focusing on Josephine, the last of the Black pawns were killed off. The White and Black Kings approached each other in the center of the field.

“Impressive moves,” the Black King complimented.

“I will honor your son when he comes to battle,” the White King promised.

“Thank you, my Lord,” the Black King bowed his head and faded away. The remaining Black greater pieces faded with him.

***

The White King then turned to what remained of his army. Only three pawns remained including Josephine. “You shall be given land and titles for your service to the kingdom,” the White King dismissed the pawns.

He then turned to Josephine. “Did you know this would happen?”

“No, my Lord,” Josephine said bowing her head to him.

The King smiled amused. “In the history of the game, no pawn has ever reached the end of the field. In accordance with the rules, a pawn may become any greater piece. I would have thought you would become a knight or wizard. It would appear your heart desired this form.”

“Yes, my Lord,” Josephine said flustered. She didn’t feel she had made a choice to be a queen. Was it her subconscious desire to be the most powerful piece to save her comrades or something more?

“You will not be given land and titles like a common pawn. No one will know what you have done. You will be a servant for the true White Queen. You will never see battle again,” the King told her.

“As you wish, my Lord,” Josephine said feeling she was being punished.

Josephine’s armor and sword faded away leaving only a white dress behind. Her crown disappeared from her head. The King then motioned for her to follow the White Queen off the battlefield.

pawns
-Paul, the Pawn

***

A Black Knight rode into a dark castle with urgent news. All of the towns people were dressed in dark clothes as the knight rode past them. The knight came before the Black Prince, knelt before him, and presented the message to him.

The young prince read the message and sighed with grief. “I am now your king. Begin preparations for my coronation at once,” the prince ordered.
Black Prince
-Black Prince

***

Paul came upon his land. It was a beautiful meadow with streams and fruit trees. For generations, his family had toiled on land that wasn’t theirs. Now, he was a land lord. The only thing missing in his life was a true love whom he could have children with. As he looked upon the land, he felt guilty. He had survived by virtue of Joseph becoming a White Queen. He wondered what had become of her.

The White Queen made Josephine clean, knit, and cook in the kitchens as if she were a servant girl. The queen was resentful of Josephine’s beauty and audacity. Inside, she knew Josephine was a greater fighter than her on the battlefield. Her position as the true queen was at risk.

Josephine made no complaints. She was happy to be alive; so many had died before her on the battlefield. It took some time for her to learn how to braid her hair. The queen found her lack of female mannerisms amusing but punished her none-the-less for it.

“Perhaps, I will marry her off to some peasant. She can give birth to sons we can use as pawns,” the queen said to her noblewomen friends.
White Queen
-White Queen and Noblewomen

For a time there was peace between the two Kingdoms as the Black side had their transition of power. The Black Prince received his crown from a Black wizard bishop. After the coronation, the Black King had a meeting with his greater pieces.

“I will not suffer the fate of my father and his father and so on. I will end this war once and for all,” the king said ambitiously.

“How?” a knight asked.

“My father was defeated because a pawn managed to cross to the other side. What other wonders do we not know about?” the king demanded.

“There is an ancient legend of a sword that can kill immortal pieces. However, it is rumored to exist on top of a dangerous mountain guarded by Red Knights,” a wizard said.

“Then I shall go to this mountain and acquire this weapon. You will accompany me on this quest,” the king ordered.

***

The Black squad dressed thickly as they went up the dangerous mountain. They were only immortal on the battlefield. A fall from the mountain would be fatal. The king led the group to the top of the mountain and came across the Red Knights.

The Red Knights approached them as they came up. “Why do you come here, Black King?” the Red Knight asked him.

“I seek the sword that can kill kings and queens,” the king replied.

“Defeat us in battle and you shall have it,” the Red Knight said to him and showed him the sword which was lodged in stone.

The five of them took out their weapons and engaged the Red Knights. The wizard filled the mountain top with fire. The Red Knights went through the fire as if immune to it. The group furiously fought until the Red Knights were defeated.

The Black squad was bloody and exhausted by the end of the fight. The king reached for the sword and took it out of the stone. Looking it over, he could see ancient language on the sword. With this weapon, he would finally end the war and bring about Black supremacy.

sword
-Legendary Sword

***

Being the only female piece, the White Queen practiced her sword play among women. Josephine was present with a bowl of water and cloth. The elation of being alive had already faded. Treated as a servant girl, she envied the pawns that had died gloriously in battle. The queen continually mocked her and embarrassed her in front of the other women.

Once the queen was done with her practicing, she placed her hands in Josephine’s bowl and washed her face. She took the white cloth to dry her face and then threw the cloth on the ground for Josephine to pick up.

Meanwhile, Paul became a pawn trainer. He had become a celebrity of sort for surviving the last battle. Bored with managing an estate, he decided to do what he could to give pawns a fighting chance. With Paul dressed as noble and Josephine a servant girl, the two would occasionally cross paths but not recognize the other.

***

The two sides once again came to battle. The two kings approached in the center. “I see you have no queen,” the White King remarked amused.

“I will have one soon enough,” the younger Black King said confidently.

“Until you do, you will lose every match,” the White King smiled.

“Call out the pawn that became a queen. I can defeat you even if you have two queens,” the Black King mocked.

The White King glared at the young man’s boasting. “You will suffer your father’s fate.”

The two went back to their sides of the field. The Black King took out the ancient sword relic and handed it to his best knight. “Forget the pawns. Destroy the White Queen,” he ordered.

“As you wish, my king,” the knight replied.

As the battle began, Paul watched from on top of a hill. His pawns engaged their counterparts in ferocious battle. The Black Knight zig zagged across the field passing through towers on his way towards the White Queen.

Josephine was present on sidelines to care for the queen after the battle was over. Her eyes looked over the battlefield. As blood was spilt on both sides, she felt a little queasy as if battle disturbed her.
The Black Knight finally found the White Queen. The two clashed with their swords. “You think you can distract me?” the White Queen mocked.

The White Queen suddenly disappeared and reappeared instantly across the field. Not deterred, the Black Knight went after her on his horse. Paul eyed the Black Knight with confusion. Why was he wasting time going after the White Queen instead of focusing on pawns? The Black greater pieces ignored the White pawns and focused on cornering the White Queen. Oblivious, the White Queen started slaughtering Black pawns.

The Black Knight struck at the White Queen distracting her. The two engaged at speeds faster than normal human reflexes. The long dress of the White Queen swirled as she spun with her sword. The Black Knight ignored the pain of being cut by the White Queen and then sliced her through.

The White Queen smiled still believing herself to be immortal. The Black Knight stared as the White Queen started coughing up blood. She gave the Black Knight a look of horror and then turned to the White King. The White King stared in bewilderment as the White Queen fell to the ground dead.

All of the White King’s attendants including Josephine gave shocked looks as a greater piece was killed for the first time in living memory. “So, the legend is true,” the Black King smiled.

Wiping his blade clean, the Black Knight rode off to kill more White greater pieces. Whirling his blade while on horseback, the Black Knight pointed the blade at a tower. A beam of energy hit the tower causing it to explode pieces of debris across the entire battlefield. Unlike before, the tower didn’t reform itself. The Black Knight then went after a White wizard taking his head cleanly off.

“Kill the pawns quickly!” the White King ordered his men wanting to end the game before he could suffer more losses.

The Black Knight ignored the White pawns going through them and then getting close to the White King. Suddenly, all White pieces were frozen on the field. “Check, my Lord,” the Black Knight said to the White King.

Taking out his own sword, the White King took a step away.

Black greater pieces closed in on the White King for the kill. The Black wizard fired a stream of fire preventing the White King from moving. The Black Knight went for the kill but was blocked by the White King’s own sword. The Black King watched from afar as his pieces prevented the White King from being able to move. The White King stabbed the Black Knight through, but he in turn was stabbed. The immortal Black Knight remained unharmed while the White King fell to the ground dead.

“Checkmate,” the Black King smiled victoriously.

***

The White kingdom was in disarray with the death of their king and queen. A ten-year old child was quickly crowned the new King but no regent was apparent. The nobles discussed amongst themselves who should represent the queen regent for the child. Paul was present for the discussion.

“A pawn crossed the other side and became queen. She should be our new queen,” Paul said.

“A commoner cannot be our queen,” one rejected.

“If we do not win on the battlefield, we will all perish,” Paul said forcefully.

***

After the meeting, Paul went to find Josephine among the servant girls. “Joshua, is that you?” Paul asked her.

“It’s Josephine now,” she said bitterly.

“The council will make you queen. You are the kingdom’s rightful queen now,” Paul said to her.

“So, I can be killed in the next battle. Did you see that Black Knight’s sword? No one is safe now,” she said.

“We cannot concede to them,” Paul said.

“What difference does it make who is king?” she asked. “For me and all the servant girls I work with, it makes no difference. To you it does, because you have land and titles.”

Paul was taken aback. “I could have lived out my days as a lord and master, but I came back to train pawns, so they would have a fighting chance. You must do the same.”

“If I become queen, will you join me on the battlefield?” she tested him.

“Absolutely,” he replied.

Amazed by his patriotism and valor, Josephine was moved. “I will be queen then,” she relented.

***

Josephine was dressed up in queenly attire for the coronation. She would be acting queen regent for the young boy until he reached maturity. Despite her commoner roots, the nobles were impressed with her beauty.

“Is this really the warrior that will save us?” they wondered to each other.

Shortly thereafter, Queen Josephine led the White pieces to the battlefield. The boy was put into position in ceremonial wear. He was given a sword but not expected to use it. He gave a brave face even knowing he would be the Black side’s main target.

Paul showed up in pawn armor. “Why did you not choose to be a knight?” Josephine asked alarmed.

“If I get across, I can be any piece. It’s better this way,” Paul told her.

“Very well,” Josephine said concerned for his safety.

Josephine and the Black King then met in the center. “The pawn that became queen,” the Black King said amused.

“Fight with honor. Get rid of that sword,” Josephine pressed.

“I don’t think so. I learned from my father to never show weakness. I fought hard to acquire it,” the Black King said to her.

The Black King then looked over Josephine’s beauty. He hungered for a queen of his own. He reached out to her with his armored glove hand. “Join me. Together, we can end this destructive conflict. Become my Black Queen,” he offered.

“You would make us second-class citizens under your rule,” Josephine objected.

“But not you. I would treat you with the respect and chivalry you deserve. I admire your common roots. I read of how you sprinted across the battlefield and sacrificed your sex and honor to defend your men.
You have nothing to fear from me,” the Black King assured her.

“Give us equality, and I will join you,” Josephine offered.

“No,” the Black King shook his head. “Your kind killed my father and his father. You have killed my countrymen for generations. I will make your people pay for what they have done.”

“Then we have nothing more to discuss,” Josephine rejected.

“I will give you no mercy,” the Black King said to her.

“Same to you,” Josephine replied.

The Black King went back to his side furious at being rejected. “Kill the White Queen last. I want to see all her pieces destroyed before her,” he ordered.

The battle commenced as usual with pawns clashing with another. Josephine did double duty as commander and as the most powerful piece in the match. White pieces all kept their guard up as they didn’t know which piece had the legendary killer sword.

Paul went sprinting towards the other side of the field dodging explosions and arrows being flung at him. Josephine instantly appeared near him as he ran to guide him in. The Black Knight with the legendary sword engaged her as Paul continued forward.

Josephine and the Black Knight clashed across the field with neither one of them scoring any hits. “Kill that pawn!” the Black King shouted at his pieces referring to Paul.

Black pieces moved to cut Paul off but let the Black King open. Josephine pointed her sword at the Black King freezing his men in place while forcing him to move. Josephine dodged the Black Knight and kept pointing her sword at the Black King. Finally, the Black King shielded himself with his second Black Knight.

The Black Knight swiped to take Josephine’s head off, but she disappeared and reappeared at the other end of the field. A tower moved across the field to crush Paul, but she impacted it with her shoulder keeping it at bay. Paul reached the end of the field as Josephine cried out to keep the tower from crushing them both.

Josephine then noticed that Paul’s wounds were healing like before. He would become a second queen and the two of them would be unstoppable. Instead of changing into a queen, Paul’s armor became enhanced and a horse materialized next to him.

“Why?” Josephine wondered.

The Black King laughed to mock them. “It would appear that a woman is your true form,” he said to her.
Josephine felt flustered with this realization. She had never thought she had wanted to be a woman. Did she feel deep down that this was what she wanted? Paul knocked her out of her stupor. “We have a battle to win,” he reminded her as he got on his horse.

The Black Knight used his legendary sword to kill a wizard and one of the knights. The Black pieces then moved in on the young White King. Josephine looked at Paul uncertain as to what to do. They could try to checkmate the Black King or keep their own king safe.

Their last pawn made their decision for them by slitting his own throat. With the last White pawn dead, the match was over. The Black pieces backed away from the young White King back to their side. A demoralized and frustrated Josephine went to meet the Black King in the center.

“My offer still stands,” the Black King smiled arrogantly.

“Until next time,” Josephine replied coldly and returned to her side.

Josephine
-Queen Josephine

Josephine sat in the throne room alone. She had led men into battle and not all of them came back alive. Even the one that killed himself to prevent the king’s death was on her conscience. Paul approached still wearing his knightly armor.

“I can’t win,” she said softly. “I might be able to win a few matches here and there, but the Black King will kill one-by-one our greatest assets,” Josephine said sadly.

“We can guide pawns to the other side and make more knights,” Paul assured her.

“For every pawn we bring across the board, we will lose several men,” Josephine said hopelessly.

“We cannot give up,” Paul told her.

“The Black King offered a truce if I join him,” Josephine revealed.

“You’re not seriously considering it?” Paul asked shocked.

“No, but what choice do I have?” she shouted at him. Her voice echoed in the empty hall.

Paul contemplated the answer. “We change the rules.”

Josephine stared at him as she realized what he was suggesting. “So many will be killed; It will be a bloodbath,” she said imagining it.

“It will end the war,” Paul argued.

“There must be another way,” Josephine said. “We take the sword away from him, and we kill him,” she said referring to the Black King.

The two were silent in contemplation. “I’m sorry I didn’t visit you. You saved my life,” Paul apologized.

“Being a servant girl isn’t so bad,” Josephine said dismissively.

“Well, at least you were around beautiful women every day,” Paul smiled.

Josephine eyed Paul oddly. “I actually didn’t enjoy it. Maybe, the mystique of it is ruined by being with them all the time.”

“Don’t tell me you are…,” Paul wondered.

Josephine gave him an uncomfortable look. “It wasn’t just my body that changed. My mind wanders to strange places, unholy places.”

“You don’t have to deny yourself forever. There is no scandal for a woman to love a man,” Paul told her.

Josephine felt butterflies in her stomach and felt suddenly drawn to him. She lifted herself from the throne and stared up at him. During their training sessions when they were both pawns, they were equal height. Now, she was looking up at his tall strong body. The transformation from pawn to knight had exaggerated all of his features.

Alone in the throne room, the two of them felt it and couldn’t deny it any longer. The comrades in arm leaned towards each other and kissed passionately. Josephine nearly stumbled as she felt him kiss her. Even with all her new attendants, she hadn’t truly felt loved and wanted until now. She reached around his armored shoulders and let him kiss her until she nearly ran out of breath.

“This could be our last month alive. Let’s not waste it,” Josephine said to him.

“As you wish, my lady,” Paul smiled.

***

Josephine hurriedly led Paul to an empty bed chamber where she had used to sleep. No one would know what they were up to there. In these trying times, the kingdom would be alarmed what their queen was about to do.

Josephine locked the door with her key and gave Paul an anxious smile. “Are we really doing this?” she asked him.

“Only if you want to,” Paul allowed.

“I’ve seen you on the battlefield. Show me what you can do here,” Josephine consented to him.

Paul unstrapped his armor and placed it gently on the stone floor so no one would hear. He then took off his chain mail and finally his belt. Josephine waited with anticipation as stripped down to his one-piece white underwear. Paul smirked amused by Josephine’s expression. He peeled off his underwear revealing a muscular hairy body.

“I think you chose the better position,” Josephine said in awe of him.

“There are plenty of knights. There’s only one queen,” he said to her.

“I don’t want to be a queen. I just want to be your lady,” Josephine said to him.

“I would like that,” Paul said and stripped down entirely.

Josephine could help but stare at his male organ. Was this her future now? Would she always find it memorizing? “Do you want me to?” Paul asked her delicately as he touched her dress.

She merely nodded. Paul went to work untie her dress from the back and letting it fall to the ground. He then gently took her underwear off and looked over her naked body. She was beautiful, perfectly made.

“You really do look like a queen,” he complimented.

Josephine blushed and became frozen like a statue in front of him. “Shall we?” he asked her.

Josephine simply nodded and got into the bed. Paul soon joined her and kissed her passionately. He didn’t know whether it was his transformation to a knight or his own eagerness, but he worked hard to get her ready. Josephine squirmed at his touch feeling more vulnerable than even when she was on the battle field.

Paul kissed her neck and down to her nipples. Josephine arched her back as she felt stimulated there for the first time. She had never thought to think of her beasts as anything about for breast feeding. Now, she was enjoying Paul’s mouth on her. Deep inside, she felt like she was getting moist. With trepidation, she realized what would happen next.

Paul’s cock was good and hard on her thigh. “I’m ready,” she told him accepting the inevitable.

Paul nodded and navigated himself at her entrance. “It’s going to hurt a little,” he warned her.

“It can’t be worse than being stabbed,” she smirked at him.

Paul pushed inside causing her to tense up in pain. “You alright?” he asked her.

“Yeah, keep going,” she told him.

Paul cautiously thrust into her at a slow pace. Josephine had to keep her lips tight as she couldn’t be overheard by anyone. As a young man, she had touched herself occasionally. Being penetrated by Paul’s cock was an entirely different sensation. On her back, she felt completely taken by him. She began to wonder how she could lead men into battle while being so submissive sexually to them. Paul then grunted as he finished early. Josephine felt a warm sensation inside her as she felt his seed. Paul continued to thrust until he softened completely.

“I love you, Paul,” Josephine said to him and the two kissed for a few moments until they were forced to go to their respective rooms.

***

During the day, Josephine and Paul were civil to each other. The two of them practiced with wooden swords as attendants look onward. Josephine was always courteous to the servant girls that came to her after each session. She then had a meeting with the nobles.

“The matches will be a distraction from what we will be really doing. I want men from all the villages recruited and trained as soldiers. I want all the horses we have, and I want siege weapons to be built. All of this must be done in secret,” Josephine ordered.

“An attack of this sort will cost many lives,” one noble objected. “At least with the games, only a few men are killed each month.”

“They now have the power to kill commoners and nobles alike. What happens when we run out of talented men?” Josephine asked.

“Perhaps we should join them. You could become the Black King’s queen,” another suggested.

“You know it will mean the boy’s death,” Josephine said referring to their own king. “I will not allow the Black Kingdom to dominate this land. They will go no farther,” she told them.

***

Word got around among the commoners that an army was being created to fight the Black Kingdom directly. The pawns in training chatted amongst themselves right before a new monthly battle was to occur.

“Your men need not die, noble queen,” the Black King mocked her.

“Do not underestimate me,” Josephine shot back.

The battle commenced but before anything could happen, the White Pawns all stabbed themselves in the gut and fell to the ground dead. Josephine gave a horrified look as her pawns died before her. Even the Black King was shocked at his victory.

“A victory is a victory,” the Black King told his men and rode off from the battlefield.

Josephine stayed behind and looked over the dead bodies of her pawns. They all had conspired to kill themselves to keep the greater pieces safe. They had died to keep her safe. “Prepare a grand funeral for them,” Josephine ordered with tears in her eyes.

***

The nobles, knights, and commoners all gathered as the bodies of the pawns were burned in a ceremonial cremation. Josephine and Paul were together as the people sang grief-filled songs. These eight pawns had given them another month to prepare.

After a month of preparation, the two sides came to battle once more. Josephine stopped Paul from participating in the match. “I need you to stay back,” Josephine told him.

“You will be defenseless. You’ll die,” he said fearful for her.

“Trust me,” Josephine said to him.

She kissed him goodbye and went off with her men to the field. Two witches took their places where wizards would normally be. The Black King smirked as he saw them. “Reduced to witches now?” he asked condescendingly.

“They will do their job,” Josephine replied.

“Are your pawns going to kill themselves like before?” the Black King asked her.

“One way or another, I will kill you,” Josephine said to him.

The Black King snorted. “I was foolish to even ask you to join me. Who would want a man for a wife?” he said insultingly.

Josephine then noticed the new Black Queen with the legendary sword in her hand. “She’s quite talented,” the Black King said proudly.

Josephine turned away and went back to her side. “For the White Kingdom!” she shouted.

Her men raised their weapons but said nothing in reply. White Pawns took up their swords and shields and engaged their counterparts. As soon as there was a gap in the pawns, Josephine engaged the Black Queen. The two sped across the field clashing their swords. The two had unlimited movement quickly racing in every direction across the board. Josephine fought to keep up with the Black Queen to prevent her from killing any of her pieces.

As the battle continued, only one pawn on both sides had been killed. Josephine worked hard to neutralize the Black Queen stalling out the battle as long as possible. The Black King enjoyed the longer than usual battle knowing he could not lose.

***

Meanwhile, thousands of armed commoners approached the Black Kingdom’s castle. The men were armed with swords, axes, pitchforks, and clubs. A number of reserve knights and a few wizards were also present. Siege weapons newly built came forward and were loaded with boulders. Paul took the lead in front of the large army.

With his hand, Paul signaled for the bombardment to begin. Catapults sent large boulders against the walls of the Black Kingdom smashing them down. Boulders slammed into the towers destroying them. A black raven sped towards the Black King to tell him what was happening. Paul gave a yell and led the thousands of soldiers towards the opening in the wall.

***

The oblivious Black King smiled as another White pawn was killed. In the attack, the helmet of the pawn had come off revealing a woman. The Black King gave the White side an odd look. Were they truly reduced to having women as pawns now? A black raven came to the Black King informing him of the attack.

“No!” he said softly realizing what was happening. Instinctively, he walked towards the edge of the field but was stopped by an invisible wall. He was trapped! As long as the game was in progress, he couldn’t go back to lead his forces. That was why the pawns were women. All of the White pieces were women. They had been stalling the battle out as long as possible.

“Attack! Kill their pawns!” the Black King screamed.

The Black pieces went after the remaining six pawns. Josephine kept the Black Queen at bay but couldn’t stop the other pieces. The White Witches and Knights did their best to protect the pawns from their counterparts. Another White pawn fell leaving them with only five.

Two White Knights engaged the Black King placing him in check. He moved a step out of danger only to be placed in check again. The Black pieces had their feet frozen in place as the Black King scrambled. The White Knights went back and forth putting the Black King in check. They would never get a checkmate this way, but it would prolong the game indefinitely.

***

Paul led his men inside the castle and began clearing each of the rooms. Surprised Black defenders weren’t able to halt their advance as they took over the castle. The Black flag was taken down from the castle roof and replaced with a white one. The battle so far had been won.

After so many moves, the White Knights disengaged from the Black King to avoid a draw and thus an end to the game. A Black pawn managed to run across the field and became promoted. “Another queen,” the Black King said pleased.

The Black pawn however morphed into a knight and horse. The Black pawn was not willing to sacrifice his manhood even if it meant victory. The Black King gave the new knight a furious look. A White pawn crossed over and became a new queen. The female pawn need not change her gender as her armor and dress changed to reflect a queen.

The Black Queen instantly appeared near the new queen and stabbed her through. Josephine also instantly appeared near the Black Queen and fought for control of the sword. The dying White queen and Josephine fought the Black Queen eventually taking the sword from her. Josephine then took the sword and stabbed the Black Queen through the heart killing her instantly.

The White Queen that had been a pawn and commoner fell to the ground. “Thank you for the honor,” she said as she passed.

"The honor was mine," Josephine said appreciatively.

“Pawns! Kill yourselves!” the Black King ordered.

The Black pawns hesitated to follow their king’s orders. Josephine went after the Black King putting him in check. He moved into a corner to avoid her strike. “I am your king, and I command you to kill yourselves now!” the Black King screamed at them.

A White witch got into position placing the Black King in check. Josephine made one final move making it impossible for the Black King to move. “Checkmate,” Josephine said to him.

“No, I will not concede!” he shouted at her. “I will not be beaten by a woman!”

The Black King was suddenly silenced as Josephine placed the legendary sword into his chest. He coughed up blood and stared hatefully at Josephine. “There will never be peace between White and Black,” he spat at her.

The Black King then faded into nothingness. His Black pieces also faded away except for the remaining pawns. The Black pawns took off their helmets and looked at Josephine fearfully. They knelt before her. “Have mercy,” they requested of her.

Josephine turned to the boy-king deferring to him. The young king approached the captured pawns. “You shall have it,” he said to them.

Paul and Josephine were reunited at the Black Kingdom’s castle. They kissed happy to see each other alive. “Has the Black King been defeated?” Paul asked incredulous.

Josephine revealed the legendary sword. “Yes,” she said happily.

The boy-king looked over the Black castle that had been captured. “Let the war be over,” he said upon seeing it.

The boy-king then turned to Josephine. “You may continue to be my regent until I come of age. You have earned it.”

“Your majesty, I would prefer to relinquish my crown and be a lady in the countryside,” Josephine said. She took off her crown and handed it to him.

The boy-king could see the love between Paul and Josephine. “Very well, Lady Josephine. You will be remembered forever as the woman that gave us peace.”

Paul and Josephine then embraced. “Shall we go home?” Paul asked her.

“I would love to,” she replied.
peace



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