His retinue, fawning and clustering as close as etiquette would allow, followed the royal person - ministers and aides falling over themselves to impress with their wit and sycophancy as he walked - and a small smile flickered on his mouth as he played with the idea of putting some of THEM in the restraining equipment. That would be much more fun than tormenting innocent slaves, and it might buck their ideas up a bit.
They passed the rack, with its screaming occupant begging for mercy; the water torture; the wheel; the slow castration ("pull on the wire, sire?") - Ah, that slave was quite cute. The king whispered into the ever-ready ear of an aide for the slave to be released and brought to his private chambers later - the garrote; the impalements... it went on and on, and the King remained unimpressed. What was needed was a little more imagination for God's sake.
The royal party turned a corner and the King stopped abruptly. "And what have we here?" He asked, tilting his head slightly.
There was subdued consternation in the retinue. Apologetic coughs resounded. "Sire," fawned the aide, "it is not worthy of your Royal attention. It is a piece designed by an apprentice. I will have him whipped and placed on the rack for your enjoyment tomorrow." The aide looked around desperately for something better to show the King. "If your Majesty would care to come this way, sire, I have a piece I designed myself that would..."
"Silence!" The King cut off his whimpering. "Produce the apprentice."
A young man stepped forward in terror. "Sire, I am your servant."
"Explain the idea."
Before them was a hole in the floor. It was about six feet deep and five feet in diameter. Looking down, the King saw a seething mass of vipers at the bottom. At the very edge stood two thin marble pillars three feet high - one each side of the hole. The pillars, firmly fixed in position, ended in flat tops some six inches square. A young slave, naked, and with his arms tied behind his back so that each hand gripped the opposite elbow, stood trembling at the side of the hole.
"Sire, " the apprentice's voice was cracking with terror, "the idea is simply that the slave is lifted onto the pillars, so that he is standing with one foot on each, and that your Majesty may use any means you wish to cause him to lose his balance and fall to his death into the vipers. "
There was an awful silence as the retinue held their breath, awaiting the King's response.
Then the King smiled for the first time that evening. "I like it," he said.
There were gasps of relief all round.
"You have an imagination, young man." The King turned to his aide. "This apprentice is henceforth Director of the Royal Entertainments."
The former Director seethed quietly at the back of the crowd.
"However," continued the King, returning his attention to the pillars, "I would like a couple of improvements. First, put some grease on the pillars and on the bottoms of the slave's feet - that will make it more difficult for him to stand. Secondly, blindfold him so that he is unable to prepare himself for what I shall do to him."
The improvements were carried out immediately - goose fat was spread liberally onto the boy's soles and the tops of the marble posts, and the youth's eyes were covered with a strip of leather. Then, carefully, the slave was lifted up and his legs spread wide so his feet could be positioned on the pillars. It took a while for him to be able to balance himself, but soon he was standing unsupported over the pit of snakes. Small whimpering sounds came from him, but his head rose as the King spoke to him.
"It would be easy for me to push you off, slave, but it would afford me little amusement. I therefore intend to give you a chance to stay in position and live. I give you my word that I will not use force to cast you to your doom. I fancy rather a battle of wills."
The King turned and whispered an instruction to his aide, who immediately departed, returning in a few moments with an object in his hands. It was a large silver plate, in the centre of which was a long, white, pointed feather.
The slave boy stood swaying slightly on the posts, his feet overhanging the flat marble tops by a couple of inches at front and back. The blindfold made balancing more difficult and he tried not to move a muscle in case a foot slipped on the warm grease. He stared ahead into the black leather, having no idea what torture the King planned for him. Perhaps it would be fire on his genitals, or stinging insects on his nipples - the possibilities were endless.
He was therefore totally unprepared for what actually happened. The King walked silently around until he was facing the slave and then, reaching up, he touched the point of the feather to the boy's scrotum and tickled the vulnerable testicles sharply.
The youth let out a squeal of surprise and convulsed in ticklishness. He tried to close his knees together to protect his sensitive balls, and began to lose his balance on the posts. It took everything he could do to stay upright. Gradually he had himself under control again and became reasonably stable once more.
The King felt his own cock stirring under the velvet robes as he watched the boy fighting to retain his balance, and imagined what he must be feeling - helpless and blindfolded, unable to see what was coming, or when.
After a long pause, during which the boy's body still twitched in expectation of another assault on his balls, the King applied the feather to the space between two of the youth's toes. The boy screamed and began to laugh uncontrollably as the King worked the feather in and out devilishly. He tried to move his foot to escape the intense tickling, but every movement threatened to dislodge him from his precarious position. His foot slipped and slid over the greasy pillar dangerously, and he was unable to use his arms to help him balance.
The King stepped back and looked up at the slave - he was indeed a very beautiful boy. His golden hair fell over the black leather blindfold and the tip of his tongue flicked over his red lips as he desperately tried to concentrate on keeping still.
With the feather gripped firmly in his hand, the King moved forward and applied its tip to the boy's thighs - but this time it wasn't just a quick flick - this time he teased and tickled up and down the youth's bare legs, unpredictably and fiendishly. He worked the stiff tip right into the crevices at the boy's groin, he tickled the backs of his knees, and tormented mercilessly the sensitive insides of his thighs. Again, he tickled the exposed parts of the lad's bare soles. The boy desperately tried to use the tops of the pillars to cover them, but his feet were bigger than they were - if he moved the foot back to protect the underside of the toes, the King tickled the base of the heel. When that became too much to bear he moved his foot forwards - which exposed the toes and the front of the sole. And every movement made him sway and fight for balance.
The slave boy was in hysterics. He was excruciatingly ticklish at the best of times, but now, here, restrained and blindfolded, every single touch of that despicable feather sent him into paroxysms of helpless laughter and involuntary muscle spasms which threatened at every moment to dislodge him and send him to his death. He swayed on the slippery posts, his legs bending and straightening maniacally in his efforts to remain upright. His body was bent at the waist in a useless attempt to protect his most ticklish spots of all - his balls and cock - and he thrashed his head to get rid of the blindfold. If he could see it would be so much easier to resist, but the leather was fastened on securely.
Then a shudder ran through the boy as he felt the feather run along the length of his cock. In spite of his predicament, and the fact that he could fall to his death at any second, he began to get hard.
The King noticed this with interest, and set to work on the young penis with vigour. The feather teased along the shaft, ran around the sensitive glans and flicked over the piss-slit, tickling madly. It danced over the youth's balls, explored along the area between his widely parted legs, and teased between the buttocks until it found the pink hole nestling there. But always it returned to the stiff, now dribbling young cock.
It was standard procedure to keep all the King's entertainment slaves in a permanent state of sexual frustration, and this one was no exception. His need for orgasm was urgent indeed - the King knew he probably hadn't cum for over a week. As the royal hand twirled the feather, a wonderful thought occurred to him.
Concentrating hard now, the King worked specifically on the boy's cock. He caused the feather to tickle and tease the rock-hard organ relentlessly, watching it twitch and jerk as the youth involuntarily began the long climb towards orgasm. An expert in the art of male sexual techniques, he knew exactly what he was doing as he began at the bottom of the shaft and slowly - so very, very slowly - worked towards the tip. The soft feather caressed the boy's cock with a kiss of silk - hardly touching, but every movement sending electric currents of ecstasy through the young body. Gradually, millimetre by millimetre, the feather danced upwards towards the sensitive tip of the youth's penis, its cunningly slow progress calculated precisely to cause the eventual orgasm to be of the most shattering intensity possible.
The slave boy's lips were parted, his eyes were closed behind the blindfold, and he was moaning in pure sexual frustration. Occasionally he would lose concentration and his hips would begin to thrust forward and back until, with a sharp gasp of fear, he brought them back under control. As the feather progressed along the shaft, getting nearer and nearer to the tip of his cock, and the pressure of the spunk in his balls increased, his need to cum intensified proportionally. He was now at the point where a single firm stroke on his cock would make him ejaculate spontaneously. He was powerless to control it - either to make himself cum or to prevent his nearing the point of orgasm.
Just then a foot slipped and he cried out as he almost lost his balance. In the nick of time he managed to get the sole back onto the centre of the post.
The King was enjoying himself immensely, and his retinue was silent, watching. Every one had an erection, and several were surreptitiously stroking their cocks under their gowns.
The feather was now well past half way up the boy's cock and the King's hand drew circles in the air as it made the soft tip play round and round the rigid pole. Precum was dripping down from the end in long pearly strands that reached almost to the bottom of the pit where the poisonous snakes writhed in a shiny green mass.
The boy was oblivious to them, however, lost as he was in his private world of ecstasy. His entire universe consisted of that feather and what it was doing to his aching, horny cock.
As the feather reached the base of the glans, a shudder ran through the boy. This was now pure torture - he so desperately needed to cum. In spite of the strict laws of silence, the boy couldn't stop himself from pleading, "Oh Gods - please make me cum, Sire, PLEASE!"
A gasp went through the retinue as the slave dared to speak, but the King was not offended. "Oh, you shall cum, boy - you shall cum."
More and more often now, the boy's hips were escaping his control, and his pelvic thrusts became stronger and more urgent before he managed to stop them.
The feather was now working on the sensitive glans itself, and the poor slave boy was beginning to shudder uncontrollably. He could feel the onset of orgasm approaching and, as before, he was incapable either of delaying it or forcing it to happen. His mind followed every movement on his cock and he concentrated with every bit of his mind, willing the King to deliver the coup de grace.
The King, however, was intent on making the boy's torture last as long as possible - for the longer it went on, the more indescribably intense would the youth's orgasm be - and, for his plan to work, that was exactly what the King wanted. Consequently he lingered on the glans for a long time, stroking, teasing and tickling fiendishly.
He knew that the boy was suspended on the very brink of orgasm. It would take little more than a breath on the tip of his cock to send him over the edge and release all his pent-up sexual energy in one blast - and yet he continued to torture the youth sadistically.
Finally, the King could wait no longer himself. He withdrew the feather, paused dramatically, and then flicked its pointed tip once, firmly, over the piss-slit of the boy's straining cock.
It was more than enough. With an animal scream from the boy, the dam burst cataclysmically and the youth's spunk jetted out of his cock in pulses that arced upwards more than two feet before they fell earthwards, landing all over the King's purple robes. As the boy's orgasm began, the King applied the feather furiously to the bucking organ, milking more and more of the white sticky liquid out of the slave.
The orgasm was the most intense the boy had ever had in his young life - as the spunk squirted out of him and his body was wracked by the overpowering sensations of ejaculation he lost command of his muscles completely and began to thrust backwards and forwards violently and uncontrollably.
This was exactly what the King had planned, and he watched, fascinated, as the boy struggled against his involuntary movements and tried to stay balanced on the posts.
But the intensity of the orgasm was far too much for him. With a feeling of terror he felt his left foot slip backwards on the grease, and he screamed as he fell forwards towards an agonizing death in the snake pit.
He fell not into the vipers, however, but into strong, velvet-robed arms as the King caught him and pulled him to safety.
"I think it would be a waste for such a ticklish boy to die so soon," the King said as he handed the slave to his aide. "I intend to have much more fun with this one. Once he is rested bring him to my chambers. Bring also a St. Andrew's cross and some heavy straps."
The aide bowed deeply. "Yes Sire. And perhaps a selection of feathers?"
The King smiled. "And a selection of feathers."