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Strength Chronicles, The: Hero of Mordac
The Gordian Challenge
|With Goliath taken away, the Queen removed the girdle for she knew its dangers if it were worn too long. She placed it back in her drawer and went to bed to rest from the exhausting night.
Estus's body hung from the chains in the dungeon. Half alive, half dead. He could barely see with his left eye and his right was swelled shut from the beatings. Tears of blood from his head left dried tracks on the side of his face. His body was battered, bruised and bleeding from the whippings, kicks, burnings and punches. His chin rested on his dirty and bloodied chest as he barely had any strength to hold it up. The room was partially lit from the torches that hung in the walls. The iron door to his cell was closed but the barred window at its top let more light in from the flaming urn in the hallway. Suddenly the door swung open but Estus made no effort to look up for he did not wish to see the next round of torture he felt was coming. Axus walked in, smiling at the tortured man before him. "Estus, wake up!" he shouted. "I bring you good news. Your torture is over for we have learned what we needed to know about Goliath!" Estus weakly raised his head to look at him with his left eye. "I have told you nothing, you pig" Estus hissed with defiance. "Yes, yes. But unfortunately for Goliath, someone else did," answered Axus who snapped his fingers at Estus's cell door. In came three guards, two of whom were carrying the broken and wounded body of Markus. Estus opened his left eye as wide as he could to see who it was. Markus slowly lifted his bloodied, swollen face and looked up at his friend and barely able to speak whispered, "I'm sorry, Master Estus. They promised to stop if I told them. I overheard Goliath at the temple speaking of his vow."
Estus said in fright, "No you didn't Markus. You didn't hear anything. No!"
"I had to tell….forgive me, the pain…." and Markus's head went limp and he expired. As the guards began to take the body away, Estus shouted, "No, it's lies! Markus doesn't know anything…it's all lies!" and he began to cry.
As the dawn arrived, Maciste awoke. He got up and looked in his mirror. He could see the caked cum on his arms and chest. He stared at himself. Were his biceps and pecs bigger? He flexed his right bicep. It rose high, round and large. Could the cum have changed him? Could he have Goliath's power now added to his own? He wasn't sure. No matter, he thought. Goliath could not have that god-like strength anymore and he was confident he could overpower him. He undressed and bathed in the hot springs tub next to his sleeping quarters. As he rose from the tub, his tan muscles glistened in the morning sunlight. He looked again at himself and rubbed his hands across his inflated pec wondering what it would be like to have a god's strength.
An hour after the sun rose, a palace guard knocked on Goliath's door and entered his room. "Awake, Goliath! It is time for you to prepare for the Gordian Challenge!" The muscle titan slowly opened his eyes. He grabbed his head with his hands as it pounded with a headache.
"Awake!" shouted the guard again.
"I heard you!" shouted back Goliath, "Now leave me before I crush you!" The guard quickly retreated.
The giant slowly stood up and staggered over to a basin of fresh water where placing his arms on the side of the table to told himself upright, his inverted v-shaped triceps jutting out. He bent his arms and dipped his face in the cool water. He shook the water from his head and raised it looking in the mirror in front of him. As the water dripped down his face back into the bowl, he saw that he looked tired. He noticed his arms looked smooth and not as defined as usual but they were still large though not as pumped. As he stood up, he noticed his pecs were not as full. "Too much wine and salty food," he thought to himself. He quickly bathed and got dressed and ate the bread and berries that were in his room. He remembered nothing of the night in the Queen's sleeping quarters as the elixir Maciste had put in his wine was still working its magic. Axus then arrived and escorted him to the arena floor where Maciste was waiting for him.
The Queen had filled the arena seats with her supporters, many of whom were to be paid for their attendance and cheering. She sat in front wearing her regalia. On her right as is the custom for the Gordian Challenge was Arellus who was the challenger. "So glad you are here, Arellus," she said, "so you can see the death of your friend at the hands of my Maciste who is, no doubt you have heard, the strongest man there is."
"I am glad to be here today, your Highness, so I can see Goliath bring an end to your rule," Arellus replied unemotionally.
Axus raised his hands before the crowd and it grew silent. "Today is the day of the Gordian Challenge," he shouted. "Senator Arellus, through his challenger Goliath, challenges Queen Lyvna, who is defended by Maciste. Each challenger may pick a weapon which if lost may not be used again. What do you pick, Goliath?"
"I pick the whip."
"And you Maciste?"
"So be it" answered Axus and each man was handed their weapon of choice and they were placed twenty feet apart.
Axus clapped his hands and shouted, "The Gordian Challenge has begun!"
Each man slowly began to move toward the other. As Maciste and Goliath grew within range of Goliath's whip, Goliath snapped it and Maciste jumped back. Goliath charged and using his whip, snapped the sword from Maciste's hand which then fell to the ground. Stopping, Goliath snapped the whip again and it wrapped itself around Maciste's mighty forearm. It stung but Maciste grabbed the whip with both hands and yanked it hard. Goliath was pulled forward and landed face down on the ground with the whip pulled from his hands. As Maciste quickly removed the whip from his arm, he ran toward Goliath raising his left fist but Goliath was too quick and recovered to his feet where he grabbed the left arm of the charging Maciste and with his leg kicked him in the abs. As Maciste bent forward, Goliath slammed his clasped fisted hands into Maciste's wide lats sending him to the ground. As Maciste came up, Goliath wrapped his mighty right arm around Maciste's neck and began to choke the Queen's defender from behind. "Surrender now, Maciste or you will meet your end," he said. Maciste groaned and grabbed Goliath's right wrist and tried to pull the arm away from his throat. At first Goliath's arm did not move but slowly Maciste began to pull it back. Goliath pulled harder making his bicep even larger and once again his arm was squeezing Maciste's neck. Maciste brought up his right foot to the ground so he was now only kneeing on his left knee. Maciste's triceps began to tighten and swell more and again slowly Maciste began to move Goliath's arm away from him. Goliath could not understand this. He called upon more of his strength. He saw his bicep's muscle fibres dance under his skin but his arm did not respond with greater power as it had in the past. "How can this be?" he thought and he tried harder but Maciste slowly pulled Goliath's arm away. Goliath began to wince in pain as his bicep fibres began to tear. Maciste slowly rose up while jabbing his left elbow into Goliath's abs sending the former super powerful muscle god back hunched over in pain.
Now Goliath was having doubts. Where was his strength and unlimited power? Could Maciste be stronger than he was? Why did his muscles not respond when he called upon them? How could Mordac have allowed this? Maybe he was still just tired from last night. His thinking and doubts distracted him and helped Goliath. Both giants rose and faced each other but Maciste turned around too quickly for the distracted Goliath and with his right leg Maciste gave Goliath a swift kick across his jaw turning it left. Then like lightening Maciste with his other leg's kick, hurled Goliath's jaw to the right, stunning him. Using his great tan quads, the Queen's muscular champion jumped off the ground and slammed both feet into Goliath's muscular chest sending his body against the stone wall of the arena. With the now stunned Goliath up against the wall, Maciste pounded his fists into the titan's six pack abs. Goliath instinctively tightened them when the first fist struck, making them rock hard as his mind attempted to clear. However, the fists continued to pound his strong abdominal muscles. With each pounding, one right then one left, Goliath's abs began to weaken. Once again Goliath tightened them making them harder than before and once again they began to weaken. He tried harder but his abs tightened each time less than before. The pounding continued and the muscle fibres began to give way to the continued strong onslaught of Maciste's relentless fists of power. Soon, no six pack was visible any more as the fibers became soft. As his mind began to clear, Goliath used his arms to shove Maciste away and out of the reach of the defender's fists. Goliath hunched over in agony fell onto one knee in pain wrapping his arms over his abs. The crowd cheered. While the push was powerful enough to move the 220 pound Maciste back, it did not send him far or to the ground as Goliath had expected. Goliath knew now that something was seriously wrong, his power was failing him and he did not understand why. "Lord Mordac, do not abandon me in this time of need," he whispered. Having heard his whisper and looking down at the kneeing giant, Maciste taunted him. "What is the matter mighty Goliath? Where is your great strength? Your broke your vow and don't even know it! You are a weakling compared to me now! You should worship me!"
Goliath was shocked. How could Maciste know of his vow? Then Maciste said, "Maybe this will help you remember," and the towering muscleman repeated the magic words that the Queen had taught him that would break the spell of the elixir that had suppressed Goliath's memory. "Marrock boc sheeji." Goliath grabbed his head as his mind exploded with a visualization of all the events that happened last night in the Queen's bedroom. A look of horror and then anger filled his face. "Lord Mordac, please forgive me and help me one more time," he prayed.
Maciste looked up at the cheering crowd. Meanwhile Goliath summoned all his power and strength into his left arm, back and leg muscles and quickly swung up from his kneeling position like a discus thrower and as Maciste turned toward him, Goliath pounded his mighty fist into the other giant's jaw turning it and sending the man stumbling to the right. Goliath thought Maciste seemed to be woozy from the blow. Maciste turned his face back to look at Goliath and smiled with all his beautiful white teeth. "Is that all the power you have left, weakling?" he said. Goliath swung his left again at him but Maciste put up his thick striated right arm and blocked the swing. Then using his left fist, Maciste swung it into Goliath's jaw and then hit him again with his right. The once mighty Goliath just stood there not able to move or regain consciousness fast enough to counter or escape. Maciste's fists pounded Goliath's head. Then the Queen's champion raised his fists overhead and pounded Goliath on his broad shoulders sending the stunned giant down onto his knees. As Goliath began to teeter, Maciste went around Goliath's wide back and grabbed the semi-unconscious victim's head and with a sharp powerful jerk, twisted it around to the back snapping his neck. The lifeless body of Goliath then fell forward into the dirt. Maciste stood up and flexed his huge arms in a double bicep pose as the crowd cheered at his victory.
Axus shouted, "The contest is over and the Maciste has won. The Queen wins the Gordian Challenge!"
Arellus had the look of shock and fright on his face. The Queen turned to him and said mockingly. "I am so sorry but it looks like you have lost. Now guards please take Arellus to the dungeon where he can join Goliath's other friends. Oh, did I forget to mention? As we speak, your rebel friends are being rounded up this very moment outside the arena in case you were thinking they might rescue you."
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