THE LYCIAN PRINCE Chapter 15
copyright 2006 by Pueros, all rights reserved
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This story is intended for ADULTS ONLY
This long saga, describing the adventures of a young Prince in the Roman Empire of the 3rd Century AD, was originally posted elsewhere but has been revised and amended, including a changed ending, for this site by the author. The tale is mainly a work of pure imagination and the writer hopes that historical truth will be forgiving!
Chapter XV - Athletes
(June 290 AD)
Anthonius spent the next few hours sobbing in excruciating torment in the complete darkness, as weakening limbs and gravity slowly encouraged his bottom back onto his mattress. The boy had initially believed that the compelling forces pulling his genitals downwards had to rip them from his body or at least irreparably tear them. However, Ceionius' trainer had learnt this particular torture from his legionary days, and had expertly passed on its refinements to his young athlete who, with practice and the odd early mistakes involving some inconsequential victims, had himself become quite adept in ensuring maximum discomfort without permanent damage.
Ceionius sent one of his gang just before dawn to release Anthonius. The boy's bottom had by then reached his mattress and the resultant agony in his groin had mercifully subsided. He had subsequently succumbed to fitful slumber.
Ceionius and his trainer had calculated that the humiliation, pain and sleep deprivation alone, inflicted on Anthonius by being subjected to the torture, should cause him to compete in the impending octathlon poorly. The fact that it was also very difficult for an athlete to perform with a severe groin strain would be a pleasant bonus.
After his release, Anthonius lay on his mattress for a while grasping his tortured genitals. Subsequently, after the boy eventually regained his senses and composure, he went to the baths to cleanse and attempt to restore his stretched and fatigued body.
Anthonius gave special early attention to his tear-stained face, which looked drawn, and scrotum, the base of which was red raw from Ceionius' cord. The boy then paid his wearied arm and leg muscles careful focus, particularly his sore wrists and ankles.
Luckily for his pride, as he did not want anyone to see him in his current state, no one was about at the early hour and so Anthonius had the baths to himself. The boy later redressed in a spare thong after completing his ablutions and returned to his bed but he gained little rest before his own trainer arrived.
The efficacy of Anthonius' at least superficial restoration of his body was now confirmed when his trainer noticed nothing untoward about his young athlete. This situation was helped by the facts that the red marks created by the cords that had tied his wrists and ankles had faded and that Lysus had been proved correct when he had suggested that the boy would not be a telltale.
During subsequent limbering up and performance of some exercises during final practice with his trainer, Anthonius also managed through immense willpower not to exhibit any obvious adverse reaction to his unpleasant experience of the previous night. He did so despite serious discomfort in his groin and his success in disguising his woe subsequently enabled him to take his place in the subsequent parade of about 400 boy athletes that entered the amphitheatre later in the morning.
Anthonius' superlative character was of a different calibre to that of the other rivals Ceionius and his own trainer had attempted to coerce previously. The boy had recovered sufficiently from his ordeal to want to compete successfully, if only to defeat the plans of the cheats, although he worried about the effect that the discomfort in his groin would have on his performance.
All of the parading boys heard the loud lecherous shouts and whistles from amongst the full crowd, which almost exclusively comprised pederastic men. However, most of the young athletes, attired only in their minuscule thongs, managed to ignore the ribald cacophony and so avoid faces reddening in embarrassment.
The short opening ceremonial was also soon over. This development enabled the boys subsequently to run to their various event positions, either for an immediate start or to await the turn of their particular age group.
There were the same eight events in each age group, running for 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 paces, discus, javelin, long jump and wrestling, plus the octathlon. The latter competition, which was the most prestigious and had the richest prizes, combined all of the other contests.
Boys were segregated into five age groups, namely 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s and 15s. The young athletes tended either to specialise in one or two events or try for the octathlon.
The special Imperial arena, in which the boys were currently about to compete, was elliptical in shape, with two tall columns at each end, 200 paces apart, around which runners simply ran to achieve their laps. There was a sandpit at the side for the long jump.
The throwing events took place along the main arena during intervals between the various running competitions. The wrestling occurred at various points around the amphitheatre and was always the last contest.
Anthonius and his 19 fellow competitors in the 13s' octathlon had to wait for over an hour for their first event, the 400-pace run. During this time, the gregarious former Lycian Prince had fatefully chatted amicably with another contestant, whose name was Sura.
When the 400-pace run subsequently eventually did start, Ceionius was the first to emerge in front. He soon established a healthy lead over everyone else.
The race necessitated just one lap around the arena and, by the time that Ceionius turned round the column at the far end of the amphitheatre, Anthonius, troubled by his groin problem, was a long way behind, with many other boys between him and the leader. Although the former Lycian prince subsequently made a desperate valiant effort to catch up, eventually overtaking several fellow young athletes in the process, he remained far behind the victor when he passed the winning post, represented by the other pillar.
Ceionius won the initial event of the octathlon for 13 year- olds easily, with Anthonius' groin problems causing him to finish in a disappointing 8th place in a time well below his best. As the 20 competitors were awarded 20 points for coming first in an event, 19 for second and so on, the former Lycian Prince now trailed the leader by a score of 7.
Ceionius and his trainer naturally immediately believed that their nobbling had worked and wrote Anthonius off as a threat to their dishonest ambitions. Of the same opinion were Casperius and Lysus, watching from the Imperial box, who also believed that their nefarious plans for the boy were working. However, Emperor Diocletian was not happy, as was exemplified by the disgusted look on his face, which boded ill for his young page's immediate future welfare if he continued to under-perform.
Meanwhile, Anthonius cursed himself for paying attention to the discomfort in his groin instead of ignoring the pain. He therefore decided that he would not make the same mistake again in the octathlon's next event, the long jump, which happened to be Ceionius' worst competition.
The Roman Imperial long jump event was dissimilar to that of games held in the Greek style, in that participants were permitted a run-up. However, Anthonius' first of two permitted attempts had to be aborted when, in his eagerness, his front foot crossed the take off line. Nevertheless, now completely ignoring the discomfort in his groin, he fearlessly sprinted as fast as he had ever done to launch himself into the air for his second effort.
Anthonius felt himself flying through the air and, when he landed, he heard loud cheering from the nearby crowd and especially from the Imperial box. His jump had far outstripped the previous leading effort.
Ceionius came 11th and suddenly Anthonius found himself leading his wicked rival in the competition, now having 33 points to the other boy's 30. However, someone else, with one 2nd and one 4th place, actually led overall on 36 points but there was still a long way to go.
The next event was the 800-pace run. This was Anthonius' most awkward distance because it made least use of his sprinting and stamina capabilities. Nevertheless, he finished a commendable 3rd behind a victorious Ceionius.
The last event of the day was the discus and Anthonius' excellent technique could not quite match Ceionius' power, the pair being 2nd and 1st respectively. However, the two boys left the arena now equal leaders overall, with 70 points each.
Ceionius and his trainer were naturally highly displeased by this outcome, as were Casperius and Lysus. However, Diocletian was now happy, as was exemplified by the grin on his face.
Anthonius knew that Ceionius was bound to try to do something nasty to him again that night and so he had made arrangements to sleep elsewhere. Sura, who had ended the day in 4th place, agreed to share his own single dormitory cell with him.
The earlier conversations between Anthonius and Sura had soon revealed that they had both been victims of Ceionius' nefarious scheming to sabotage potential rivals. The pair therefore proved to be more like allies than opponents in the 13s' octathlon, despite the desire each held to win the event.
Sura readily agreed to allow Anthonius to use his individual cell, where they ended up sharing much more than sleeping accommodation. The former Lycian Prince originally offered to slumber on the floor but his new friend told him not to be so silly, as there was enough room on his bed for two.
Both young and beautiful athletes had been told that they had to resist their natural bodily urges whilst in training for the games and remain chaste. However, the resultant desperate need for sexual relief and the presence of a pretty near-naked companion immediately next to them overnight produced the inevitable result.
The development all began innocently enough, with apparently accidental contacts between Anthonius and Sura, as they tossed and turned whilst seemingly trying to sleep. However, the touches gradually began to linger for longer and become more adventurous until, no opposition but rather the opposite being evident from their companion, eventually the boys' clearly shared lust removed inhibitions.
Anthonius and Sura began to fondle each other intimately and with increasing passion, until lips finally met and hands initiated acts of mutual masturbation. Only after subsequently despoiling their shared straw mattress with their semen virtually simultaneously did they finally fall soundly asleep in each other's arms.
Meanwhile, Ceionius was furious at not being able to find Anthonius, whom he was again seeking in order to sabotage more proficiently his performance on the next day by breaking one of the boy's toes. However, he realised that he could not risk searching the whole barracks for him and so would have to subvert his main rival in another way.
The first event of the octathlon for 13 year-olds on second and last day of the competition was the 1600-pace run. Anthonius had just taken the lead from Ceionius on the last lap when he sadly felt a foot hit his ankle, causing him to tumble to the ground.
The prone Anthonius subsequently espied the wicked look on Ceionius' face, as he ran past to enjoy his victory. His shocked and sore rival eventually trailed in last.
With only three events to go, there was now surely no way that Anthonius could overcome the resultant 19-point deficit to overtake Ceionius, but he continued to try his best. A supreme effort won him the javelin but his wicked confident rival was happy with 2nd place.
In the 3200-pace race, Anthonius carefully watched Ceionius. However, he forgot about his gang and one of them was also competing in their discipline.
The collision bringing both boys to the ground looked accidental but Anthonius knew otherwise. He also realised, after regaining his feet to run again, that his chase of Ceionius was forlorn, as by now his wicked rival had established a substantial lead.
Anthonius realised that he would not be able to catch Ceionius, although another boy was beginning to do that. He therefore wished him the best and concentrated instead on gaining third place.
Then, suddenly, there was a loud gasp from the crowd and Anthonius looked up to see the two leaders on the ground. As he passed the tangle of bodies, he recognised that the other boy was Sura.
Despite his earlier fall, Anthonius' stamina over the long 3200-pace distance was too good for the remaining 17 other competitors and he now romped to victory. Ceionius, having kicked Sura in the groin, eventually came next-to-last.
Sura, now hampered by his own groin discomfort, came last. Nevertheless, his efforts in other events enabled him to retain a position of 4th in the overall competition.
Anthonius and Ceionius were again level on points. However, the former's worst and the latter's best event, the wrestling, was still to come to close the competition.
The victor in each wrestling bout was the boy who caused his opponent to fall within a designated circle. No holds were barred to achieve this aim, apart from eye gouging and attacking the rival's genitals. Each fight was supervised by judges, who stood nearby and held whips to encourage observance of the rules, including actual engagement because no spectator wanted to see shadow contests in which competitors circled each other but avoided contact.
Fortunately for Anthonius, given his weakness in the event, the top four in the overall octathlon competition did not participate in the early wrestling bouts. The other sixteen young athletes competed first to reduce their numbers to a quartet who would then fight the leaders.
Even more fortunately for Anthonius, his eventual quarter- final opponent lost his advantage of being a better wrestler than the former Lycian Prince by picking up a leg injury in his previous bout. His consequent serious reduction in mobility literally led to his downfall.
Anthonius was next paired against Sura. Having won his own first bout, this boy was guaranteed at least overall 4th place despite sacrificing a good position in the last run to help his new friend by deliberately colliding with Ceionius.
The prize for overall 4th was not insignificant. Despite actually being a better wrestler, Sura therefore happily discreetly deliberately lost his bout with Anthonius, generously to allow his new friend to face Ceionius, who had been easily victorious in his two fights.
Anthonius realised what Sura had done, namely sacrifice his realistic winning chances in two events to enable his new friend the opportunity to beat Ceionius. Consequently, he was more determined than ever to overcome the wicked rival in the final contest, which actually comprised three bouts. However, he also knew that he would have to use guile to emerge victorious, as he was sure that the much bigger boy's superior size, strength and technique would be too good for him in an ordinary fight.
Anthonius formulated his plan and quietly prayed to the gods that his guile would work but not for his own glory. He instead wanted to ensure that such a cheat like Ceionius did not win and that Sura's generous sacrifices were not wasted.
The contest took place immediately in front of the Imperial box, in which Diocletian was sitting on the edge of his seat in great excitement. Casperius and Lysus were calmer. They had never expected Anthonius to perform so well, especially after the attempts to sabotage his efforts. However, they remained highly confident that Ceionius would now emerge victorious and so earn the defeated former Lycian Prince a severe public beating at the post-games banquet under the terms of their bet with the Emperor.
In the opening bout of the final contest, Anthonius implemented his plan by using his speed and the wide perimeters of the circle, inside which the wrestling took place, to full advantage to prevent Ceionius from grasping him. He knew that, if his bigger opponent achieved a hold on him, this would probably be fatal to his cause.
Ceionius was confident of beating the seemingly terrified wimp running around in front of him, desperately attempting to avoid contact. He should have waited patiently for the smaller boy to be coaxed into combat by the whips of the nearby judges, who would not allow such behaviour to continue for too long.
Ceionius, however, was over-confident and lurched out to grab the infuriating coward. Anthonius allowed the approach until the bigger boy almost had him but then suddenly darted to one side, cleverly tripping his opponent as he did so.
To everyone's surprise, not least his own, Ceionius found himself sprawled on the ground. The initial shock actually caused Anthonius' supporters amongst the spectators, including Emperor Diocletian and Sura, to gasp before belatedly beginning their cheering. Casperius and Lysus were naturally less pleased.
Anthonius knew that Ceionius would not lose the second bout so easily, especially as the only hurt caused by his trip was to his pride. His bigger opponent would surely now be more circumspect and therefore dangerous.
The second bout eventually started the same as the first but this time Ceionius sensibly waited for the whips of the impatient judges to threaten his opponent's bare back, forcing his rival towards him. Meanwhile, Anthonius appreciated that he was in deep trouble, as the fear of the flailing scourges thwarted his original tactics. However, he also knew that there was little that he could do about the situation and so reluctantly advanced towards his fate.
Ceionius soon had Anthonius within reach and managed to grab an arm. He quickly also had a leg and soon moved his hold to the boy's nude rump, lifted with all his strength and executed a successful and fierce throw to the ground.
The successful throw hurt not only Anthonius' pride but also his bare bottom, which he appreciated was likely to bruise. The boy also knew that glorious victory or ignominious defeat would depend upon the last bout.
Ceionius' confidence had returned and he now expected the third bout to be just a repeat of the second, especially as Anthonius seemed to be hurting. However, he was quickly disillusioned.
Instead of again holding back, Anthonius, in line with his original plan for a third bout, came straight for his surprised opponent. The shocked Ceionius managed to grasp the speeding boy but not cleanly and he soon found his opponent's smaller body swiftly backing into him.
Ceionius was trying to gain a better grip when he next experienced excruciating pain shoot up his right leg. As he subsequently instinctively lifted the limb slightly to gain relief, he then felt his other begin to slip.
Anthonius had actually stamped with all his might on his opponent's right foot, which was within the rules, and was now attempting to trip the other. The manoeuvre worked superbly for, as Ceionius lost his balance, his more diminutive opponent was able, by backing in further, to use the bigger boy's own weight against him.
Ceionius soon found himself somersaulting over Anthonius and onto the ignominy of the dust below. He did so to the accompaniment of loud roars of acclaim from the crowd and especially the Imperial box, where only Casperius and Lysus were silent.
Anthonius was later full of pride, happiness and gratitude, as he collected his laurels from a similarly proud Diocletian. The boy was also pleased to see the miserable expressions on the faces of Ceionius and his trainer when they eventually came forward to receive their lesser awards.
Anthonius actually subsequently kissed in privacy the much more content expression on Sura's very pretty face, when he gave the 1st-place prize-money to his new friend to go with that for 4th in thanks for the boy's help in his victory. In doing so, the former Lycian Prince was not only being generous in gratitude but also being realistic. Living as he now did in the Imperial palace, he did not need the precious gold coins.
Anthonius later had to pay another price for his victory because Diocletian's passion for the young victor became even more intense. After dancing at the closing banquet, the boy had to share the Imperial bed not just for the whole night. The Emperor and his favourite page did not emerge from the bedchamber for two days.
Anthonius was never to know that the post-games entertainments required from him could easily have been completely different, and much more humiliating and painful, namely suffering a severe public beating for humiliating his Imperial master by being defeated. If he had been aware, he would certainly have recognised that the perpetrators of the idea, Casperius and Lysus, would plot to make up for their disappointment.
Whilst Anthonius was spending the 48 hours pleasuring Diocletain, Casperius and Lysus did indeed meet to discuss their serious under-estimation of the former Lycian Prince. Not only had their plan failed but also the boy's unexpected victory had enhanced his prestige with and attraction to the Emperor, as well as cost them a lot of money. The terms of the lost bet meant that they also had to pay for the post- games banquet, which was very expensive.
The conspiratorial Casperius and Lysus eventually decided that, for now, Anthonius' position in Diocletian's affections was unassailable and so they would patiently bide their time. They were content in the certainty than an opportunity to destroy the boy would come sooner or later.
Meanwhile, Casperius and Lysus had perceived the significant role that Sura had played in the disaster. They would just have to wreak their revenge on that young boy for now.
(To be continued)