Flashback Bastard for sale (Shiress)

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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Reed on March 10th, 2020, 6:25 am

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2nd of Summer, 508 A.V.


Underneath a large grove of oaks, Reed rested. It was late fall, and there was a crispness to the air. The trees had long since changed their colors, their leaves occasionally alighting on the ground. They pleasantly crunched when he shifted on the ground, giving him a sense of security in this dense wood. He opened his eyes and stared at the blue sky that peaked through the branches above. It would be sunset soon, so he would have to head back, but not before enjoying a few more chimes of this peaceful place. Taking in a deep breath, he reveled in the earthy smell of the forest floor. This was home, his true home. A bird sang in the distance, and sitting up on his elbows, Reed tried whistling the tune back. It came out as a puff of air. Reed laughed and got to his feet. Maybe there was some time to pick a few apples before he-

A cold splash of water washed over him, and his eyes shot open. “Master Reyes wants to see you” Matus barked at him, seemingly annoyed. The older, weathered man stared at him for a few moments through the bars before leaving back up the stairs to the main floor. How bout we break his skull? Reflexively, Reed clenched his fists and pain immediately shot up both his arms. Memories of the previous night’s fight flashed through the hang over that clouded his mind. Had he killed that last one?

Carefully he flexed again, the pain giving him something to focus on now as he stumbled to his feet. Walking closer to the lone torch that burned pitifully in the cell, he got a better look at the fresh bruises that now overlapped the older, darker ones across his knuckles. Dried blood caked the meat of his palm, but when he scratched it off with his thumb nail, he could see it was not his at least. On his body was a similar pattern of bruises that covered mostly his lower sides. With a groan, he slid back the cage door to his cell, and walked over to the trough.

Splashing more of the cold water on his face helped shake some of the fuzz of his hangover, and in its place came a raging headache that throbbed at his temples. Maybe cracking a skull wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Why had Master Reyes plied him with so much wine last night if he was going to wake him up at the break of day? He rubbed unsuccessfully at his temples as he looked up the stairs to where his master waited. What a farce, he hadn’t woken up this early in at least a tenday.

Hurry up” Martus grumbled, and Reed hocked a loogie onto the ground. Petch that, let him come down here and make us. Grumbling, he splashed some more water across his body, and relieved himself before finally making it up the stairs. The old man was waiting for him with a whip coiled in his right fist. He was about a head shorter that Reed but was broad and thick with muscle. He wore a thin white chemise, and some dirty green trousers tied to his waist with some old rope. On the left side of his neck, the skin around his slave brand glowed a mottled red.

As Reed crossed the threshold, Martus shoved a pair of simple white breeches and an undercloth into his arms. “Get dressed, and out the front door. Masters taking you for a walk today.” Reed dressed quickly, suddenly very interested despite his relentless headache. It had been a long while since he’d last been out and about. Martus just chuckled nastily at his expression while he watched him dress. Once he was through, they both walked to the door, but only Reed went through. On the other side, Master Reyes waited for him in a small hand cart, curtains parted as the man gave orders to a couple of young men whom ran off when he approached. Reyes was finely dressed today, with a black jacket over his tan shirt. The jacket was stitched with a gold thread, as were his black trousers and boots. He wore his long, dark brown hair combed over to the right side over towards the right side of his face. Hesitantly, Reed approached the cart slowly and watched the men depart.

I need you to carry the cart today. We’re going somewhere new, and quite out of the way so I’ll guide you as we go” Master Reyes said, not even waiting for him to respond before he pulled the curtains together. Are we horse or man? Reed’s brow crinkled in confusion, but he said nothing, instead just walking over to the front of the cart and taking the two long poles in his arms. He felt the muscles in his back tighten as he took on the extra weight, but with a grunt he got it settled in a midge more comfortable position to carry. “Straight ahead” Master Reyes voice rang out before he had a chance to ask, and with a sigh under his breath, Reed started walking.

Still nursing his hang over, Reed tried focusing on something else while he carried his master down the narrow street, avoiding unnecessary bumps where he could. Fortunately, the Master was not a heavy man, but he was as tall as Reed and nearly as muscular. He used to be more so, but he’d let himself get a bit of a paunch with his heavy drinking these last few seasons. Something had been bothering the man of late, though what, Reed hadn’t a clue. He mostly stuck to training in the warehouse the master kept, or in the old kennel where he slept, ate, and did everything else.

Right, up that road a way to the bend then follow it left” Grunting, Reed nodded, and shifted his grip. Pain shot up his elbow. His fingers that had resolved to a dull ache flared to life once more, burning across the back of his hand. Just turn down an alley and kill him. They’ll probably congratulate you in these slums. Reed gritted his teeth, trudging onwards. The voice had been apart of him since he could remember. His curse for killing his mother. For attacking her when she had scarcely just birthed him. It was why he wore this collar. It was why he had to remain in chains. He repeated that last refrain to himself for the better part of a bell till finally they drew close to their destination.

Straight across this field now, towards that house” He looked up to see a small, white house out in the distance. A small fence wrapped around it. The road grew wider and was paved with large flat stones that made driving the carriage substantially easier. As they grew closer, Reed could pick out a couple of figures tending to a fire beside the house. His stomach rumbled at the sight. Pressing through the final few meters, he released the cart carefully in front of the house before letting out a sigh. He let his arms swing loose at his sides for several moments as he tried to work some feeling into them. Behind him, his master waited in the carriage for several chimes till a man emerged from the house, taking his time to stroll over to the carriage. The man leaned inside. Standing a discreet distance from the cart, Reed gave them their privacy. He didn’t have to wait long for soon the man was heading back to the house with Master Reyes in tow. Without needing to be, Reed followed them in after a longing look towards the fire.
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on March 10th, 2020, 3:17 pm

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From the tiny kitchen, Shiress heard the sound of the front door slamming shut and knew that Master Jordan had left to greet his expected company. Turning her attention back to the small girl sitting atop the counter before her, Shiress smiled and resumed the gentle cleansing of the little girl's split lip. Giant, round tears hung precariously to the girl's bottom lashes, yet to break free and run down her grimy, plump cheeks. Placing the cloth down, Shiress cupped the girl's face gently with both hands, mindful of the darkening bruise forming at her right temple and eye, and placed a soft kiss to her forehead.

The little girl's face scrunched up, and the tears finally broke free once again. Shiress could do nothing but hold onto the four-year-old and whisper soft words of soothing and comfort and wish she could tell the child that things would get better, that Master was just in a drunken mood, and that she would have reason to smile one day again. But it would be a lie because little Niya was just as enslaved now as Shiress was.

Nearly a season ago, Niya's mother had been captured and sold at the slave markets by Shiress's Master. Little Niya, with her giant blue eyes and hair the color of snow, had been given to Shiress to care for, and once of age, would be sold for "a sight more gold than five of his finest whores," or so Master Jordan had boasted. Shiress would die before she would let that happen and had vowed to herself, and to any deities that would listen, that she would lay down her own life to protect little Niya.

There were some things Shiress could not shelter Niya from, though. Those times came when Shiress herself lay beaten, fighting back the black of unconsciousness. Then, Master Jordan would turn his ire on Niya because his weak, shyke for a house slave had gone down so quickly beneath his fists.

Shiress pressed a tentative fingertip to her own swollen and bloodied lip just as the sound of the front door and her Master's voice came booming through the house. A chime of tense, anticipatory silence passed before Jordan's voice rang out again, calling for his slave. Shiress shoved her tousled, hip-length hair back over her slender shoulders, grabbed Niya's small hand, and hurried toward her Master. Eyes downcast, the slave went to her knees before her Master, Niya, mimicking her stance, though the little girl was turned more toward Shiress, seeking shelter before Elijah Jordan's cold glare.

Jordan bent forward, wrapping steel hard fingers around Shiress's arm. "On your feet, filth." Shiress was jerked upright painfully and shoved toward the door. "Take him," her Master gestured to someone, but she dare not lift her eyes, "and leave us. We have much to discuss."

Only after she had exited through the doorway did the slave risk a glance up to whom her Master had gestured, and it took every ounce of control she had not to let her jaw come unhinged. The man, if man was the right term, was hugely muscled, and his taut skin was a color that Shiress had never witnessed on any other being. A hesitant flick of her emerald gaze to his face revealed eyes of near the same color as his skin. Shiress fought to contain the shiver that slid down her spine. He was not human, nor was he any race that Shiress had ever known, and she didn't think he was a slave either.

Swallowing hard, Shiress leaned into Niya, whispering urgently in her ear and a tick later, the little blonde spun on her heel and ran around the house and out of sight. Shiress's gaze flicked up once, meeting the stranger's before her head lowered in supplication.

"My name is Shiress, M'lord, and my will is yours. How may I serve?"
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Reed on March 11th, 2020, 2:46 am

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A man emerged from the door, asking “This him?” Reyes nodded. “Still interested?” To Reed’s surprise, the man just laughed a short, harsh bark before walking back inside. Reyes just followed, with him hesitantly in tow. Wonder what that was about? You’d think he’d look at us when talking, but then again you are just content to be property. Reed had an unpleasant feeling about this man. Something about the brisk way he greeted Master Reyes didn’t sit right with him, but he held his tongue. He didn’t like most of the men his master introduced him to and getting lippy right now would just earn him some lashings. After the night he had before, he didn’t want to add the bruises ripening across his body.

Stepping inside the house, Reed felt almost chilly. A sheen of sweat covered his bare chest, and out of the morning suns warm rays his skin briefly cooled. Ahead of him, Master Reyes took a seat while the man was talking with someone inside of the house that he couldn’t make out around the man. He moved to step around the table to get a better look, but Master Reyes put a hand on his forearm, stopping him. “Some privacy.” Reyes said, in an uncharacteristically dismissive voice. Reed frowned as the man said much of the same just moments ago, but acquiesced. A woman and child approached, well more like were shoved in his direction, and obediently Reed followed. He resisted the urge to look back as they went outside but did arch an eyebrow at the little girl who scampered away.

Before he could speculate though, the woman turned around, her words keenly familiar. Reed cringed and looked away from her. “No need for that, my orders are to give them some privacy. Nothing more.” He said, his voice flat. What are you doing fool? Swallowing past the sudden dryness in his throat, Reed eyed the woman carefully. “What is your name?” He asked as he set his back to a wall and sat down on the floor cross-legged. His stomach rumbled in protest. “Is that girl your daughter?” Then remembering himself, he nodded stiffly towards the woman. “My name is Reed. You don’t have to answer my questions if you don’t want to. I’m just killing time. If I’m keeping you from something, let me know and maybe I can help.Oh, why don’t you go petch a plank. Reed grinned, pleased with himself. Helping a fellow servant never bothered him, but it drove the voice inside of his head batty. His left hand flexed involuntarily, which wiped the smile off his face quick. He didn’t deign to voice a response though, and instead focused on whatever Shiress was saying while he massaged the back of his hand.
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on March 22nd, 2020, 2:15 pm

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"Shiress" she said, after some time of perusing the stranger's form, curiosity drawing her gaze.Only when she spied the slave's brand on the man's chest did Shiress relax somewhat, but she still didn't think the man was a slave as she knew them. A guard perhaps. Muscle for his master. Shiress wondered, idly, if he was treated any differently since he was obviously relied upon for protection.

"Niya? No, she's not my daughter. Her mother was sold some moons ago, and she was placed in my care. She's had a bad day, and I sent her off to rest while she can."

Shiress fell silent, trying and failing to move her gaze from the stranger. Ignoring the man's offer, Shiress asked a question instead.

"May I ask what you are? What race? It's just," her words trailed off, a blush coloring her cheeks, "I just haven't ever seen a pink man before."

"Fancy seeing you out here." A male's voice cut through the awkward silence following Shiress's inquiry, making the female slave cringe.

Shiress knew that voice. Avery. Not a slave, though you wouldn't know it by the way Master Jordan treated him. Shiress often wondered why the man would show suck loyalty to someone who treated him no better than he did his slaves. She didn't know the actual role the man took under her master, but he was a familiar face around Jordan's lands. Avery was of average height with shoulder-length, greasy dark hair and hard gray eyes. Those gray eyes raked over Shiress with disgust as he came close.

"Sir, Avery." Shiress said, only bowing her head slightly at the approaching figure.

The man only spared Reed a cursory glance before focusing his attention back on Shiress. "I require you, slave." Avery produced a wilted, brown plant in a small planter, and Shiress recognized it immediately. She didn't know the name of the plant but knew it was dried out and smoked. She also knew that Master Jordan had forbidden her to do precisely what Avery intended for her to do.

"Im sorry, Sir, but Master has forbid..."

The dark-haired man stepped forward, lips curled in a sneer. "Just the one, he won't mind."

Shiress shook her head, eyes lowering. "I'm sorry, but I can not..."

Before she knew what was happening, Avery had hold of Shiress's neck and had slammed her against the side of the house. Stars exploded before her eyes as she felt the mouth of the brute close to her ear, hot, rancid breath making her stomach crawl.

"Do you see Jordan here, bitch?" His hand grew tighter against Shiress's windpipe, cutting her breath off with a squeak.

Shiress tried and failed to shake her head. Finally, relenting, her hand raised to settle trembling fingers against the base of the plant's stem, just above where the roots were buried beneath the soil. Closing her eyes, Shiress focused Bala's will into the source of the plant until her calf began to tingle, then burn. The wilted plant began to move, its color shifting to green as the shaft straightened. Several new limbs sprouted out from the stem, and within chimes, fresh, thick buds blossomed on its ends. Avery's hand loosened its grip on Shiress's neck as he grinned down at his prize.

"Atta girl" he crooned, turning away.

Shiress slid down the wall, coughing and wiping away strained tears from her cheeks. Once she took several needed breaths, her green gaze shifted sideways to Reed, whom she had slid down beside and let out a humorless chuckle.

"Nice to meet you, Reed."
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Reed on March 28th, 2020, 9:00 pm

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A bad day. He had seen the girl’s face. He had known such violence when he was younger, and in the care of someone with a temper, and their master was certainly one of those men. Shiress was right. It was best she was kept far away from her master’s attention, and right now, he was certainly a party to that attention even if he did not know where its focus lay yet. He looked away from her as she blushed, and his eyes roamed the courtyard. His mind went back to something his master had said offhandedly one day about his race. Akalak he had said. There was supposedly a whole city of them somewhere far to the west.

His head snapped to regard the man that approached, but he didn’t make a move to get up. The man was familiar with Shiress so he wasn’t worried about an attack. Instead, he observed quietly while his left hand slipped to the ground. Judging by her reaction, he took it that this man was the same flavor as her master which wasn’t a surprise. Such men seemed to flock to one another. He carried a strange potted plant with him that he cradled in one hand. Reed sucked in his breath when things grew heated, and the man grabbed Shiress. Unconsciously, he grabbed a handful of dirt, while he braced himself against the wall with the other. If his attention shifted, Reed would be ready to respond though he was torn as to what exactly he should do.

Then the woman restored the plant, and his hand tightened around the dirt. He blinked several times. The man walked off, and Shiress slid down on the wall beside him. Reed watched her in silence till she broke it several moments later. He did not let go of the dirt but kept it out of sight on the other side of him. His right hand he relaxed after taking in a deep breath. “Do you do that often?” He asked softly, putting an emphasis on the word ‘that’. He felt suddenly very aware of his body, and hers, and the distance between them. He had never had the misfortune of facing a magic user. Suddenly her mistreatment seemed to make sense, if they were keeping a mage slave. There was not a Sunberthian alive that hadn’t heard of the horrors inflicted by magic users.

A great fear filled him, and always one to abuse an advantage, Merdem took control. The switch was seamless, except for a few subtle details that Shiress might have notice if she was watching him carefully. He was sitting straighter now, and the corner of his mouth was twisted up in a smirk. His pupils dilated as he looked her up and down brazenly. Still watching, he shifted to face her, and crossed his legs so he could sit comfortably across from her, relaxing his grip on the dirt as he did.

Interesting talent you got there...” He said leadingly, his voice was deeper now, and he pronounced his words with a lazy drawl. “I’m an Akalak. Almost forgot.
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on March 28th, 2020, 11:24 pm

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“Do you do that often?”

Shiress gave the stranger a laugh that held no humor, glancing sidelong at him. "You could say that." she replied, dryly "Almost daily, usually."

Shiress leaned forward and plucked a small stick from the ground, twirling it idly between two fingers. Reed shifted position beside her, and shiress watched him cautiously from the corner of her eye. Shiress had never been one to mistrust easily, but her time as a slave had taught her that placing her trust in anyone was a sure way to be hurt, if not an outright death sentence. Sure, there was something to be said about confidences between fellow slaves, but Shiress knew those confidences could be, and often were, used for the other's personal gain or favor. Never again.

She could feel Reed's eyes on her, and when she glanced up and met his gaze, she had to fight not to squirm beneath the weight of it. Something had changed. Shifted. He seemed...abruptly more confident. Gone was the stranger's slumped, almost nonchalant demeanor and, in its place, was a straight back and nearly arrogant smirk. Even his eyes seemed to have darkened. Shiress braved a smile, and she hoped it didn't look as uneasy as she suddenly felt.

"Not talent, not really." she said, shoulders rising and falling in a half-hearted shrug. "Some call it a gift. Devine magic." her gaze fell to the stick in her hand, then continued in a softer tone, "I was enslaved because of it -it's hard to call it anything, save a curse."

Shiress was silent a tick, chewing on the name 'Akalak' before concluding she had never heard of such a race. In many ways, Reed seemed human, spoke like a human, only he was colored differently. She decided to ignore her piqued curiosity and instead attempt to calm her unanticipated and jittery need to flee the Akalak.

Shiress came to her feat quite awkwardly and cleared her throat. "Would you..um..like to take a walk? I could show you the fields?" she pulled long strands of hair from her face, securing them behind an ear, "The rain barrels are out there and Im a bit thirsty."

Another fleeting smile skittered across her lips as she turned and trudged off away from the house. Behind her, she heard the male slave shuffle to his feet and assumed that he had taken her up on her offer. Shiress knew that her trust issues often times outshone even the brightest of good intentions. The man had said nothing, did nothing, to warrant her shadowing judgment. Besides, what slave was in their right mind? If she genuinely didn't want to mistrust every being that she set eyes on, she would need to start somewhere. Right?

The slave slowed her steps, allowing time for Reed to catch up to her. As he fell in beside her, Shiress met his gaze briefly, before setting her sight forward again. Color aside, the man was handsome, with his dark hair and eyes. He was muscular, too, but not overly so.

"Where are you from? I mean..where are Akalaks from? I've never heard of them before." She wanted to ask him why he was a slave. Where he was caught, but those sorts of questions were often times thrown back at the one asking, and Shiress would rather not think of her own story just then. It made her heart ache.

Silence descended a time, the sound of dried leaves and gravel the only noise surrounding the two slaves. As they crested a hill, a low field lined with rows upon rows of small knee-high shrubs lay out before them. Several forms worked or meandered between the rows, holding baskets or shovels. Shiress didn't really know what the plants were, nor the slaves handling them. Lifting a slender arm, Shiress pointed toward a closer field half-hidden by a large brown shed. From where the pair stood, it looked as if the field was stranged with vines looped haphazardly across short fencing. "When I work, I work that field. The vines are.." she paused, grimacing "they are some type of drug, I think. Well, not the vines themselves. There's a process that the vines are the main part of."

Shiress shrugged, letting Reed come up with his own conclusions. She didn't know much more than what she had said " I have learned, though, from first-hand experience, not to let the vines linger on my skin or place my fingers in my mouth after touching the bright green plant; I had thought Mizahar would never stop spinning."

She had to admit, though, she had never felt quite like she had from the effects of the drug since and never before, but she kept that bit of information to herself.

Shiress stepped off to the right, toward a line of rain barrels skirting the edge of the field. Stepping up to the closest, she lifted a small ladle dangling from its side by a chain, dipped it into the lukewarm water, and took a long sip before offering it to Reed, surreptitiously studying the slave from one eye as his focus shifted to her ladle.

"How about you? What do you do for your Master?"
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Reed on March 29th, 2020, 3:47 pm

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Merdem stretched out, and rested on a propped elbow while she talked, his eyes still looking her over. To his surprise, she met his gaze and smiled back. His smile broadened. “How long have you known it?” A divine gift made sense. He doubted any Sunberthian would be so foolish as to keep a mage enslaved. However, he had never seen nor heard of such an ability before, so hers must have been a closely kept secret. His master would—Bah petch that word, and the whoreson who taught it to him. Maybe he’d keep this information to himself, or let it slip if a profitable opportunity arose. Even if she was a mage, he didn’t fear her so long as he kept close.

He did not immediately react when Shiress stood up, and instead kept staring at the place she had vacated until she spoke. He could feel Reed pushing at him, cautiously feeling his way through the dark place that had been Merdem’s home for so long. His mind did not stay there long. He knew how this game was played better than Reed. Merdem smacked his lips and stood up.

I do have quite the thirst. The way here was long, and hot.” The prospect of walking out in the fields would not usually have appealed to him, but Shiress was comely, and he was intrigued at the possibility of learning more of this gift. Unlike his brother, Merdem didn’t let something useful lie fallow because of a cultural distinction. Tools were meant to be used, to his advantage preferably. He followed her, content to let her walk ahead of him so he could continue viewing her at his leisure. Reed would never have taken advantage of such an opportunity. He felt a flash of rage at that, his own. Why was he continuing to think of his brother? He was in control now. Shiress slowed down, and Merdem caught up.

There is a city far in the west full of my people.” He hesitated the slightest bit when saying ‘my people’, because he had never known another Akalak. His master had informed him of some vague details of his heritage, mostly as fluff to keep in mind when he went into the cage. It made him more exotic for his fights when he could spout some of the garbage they came up with. For all he knew the city didn’t even exist. It was a sore point for both him and Reed, yet his master’s words came to him nonetheless; “I was brought from there in chains, forsaken by my people.” Better to tell a palatable lie, than a harsh truth. He had a reputation to uphold after all.

Merdem was starting to wonder where these barrels where when she spoke again. They were a good way into the fields now. He looked to where she pointed though his gaze did not linger there long and soon, he was looking at her again. He wasn’t half so much interested in the weeds as he was with her, but then she mentioned drugs and his eyes flicked up from her chest to her face. That could be why his master had come here. There was no other reason to come this far out of their territory. Not unless this man had some fighters tucked away, but Merdem doubted that. This was a long way away from the cage. Was his master thinking of changing the business?

Absentmindedly, he took the small ladle from Shiress and gulped down the water, before going for a second and third scoop. He had not recognized that he forgot he was going to say something until Shiress spoke again. Making eye contact, he took a sip, and tossed the ladle to Shiress. “I kill for him. In the cage usually.” He grinned, and watched her face carefully.
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on April 23rd, 2020, 7:25 pm

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Shiress wasn't sure what she had expected the Akalak to say, but killing for his Master was not it. She felt her eyes widen before she had the mind to suppress any outward surprise at Reed's answer, hands fumbling to secure the ladle that was tossed at her. Fighting cages were not unheard of, she had known of such fights in the city, but the fact that slaves were forced to fight for their Master was. Were they forced? Shiress had no clue, but considering the other Slave's brazen reply, she had to wonder.

The silence between the two slaves lengthened until Shiress cleared her throat awkwardly. "I'm sorry" she replied absently, not sure herself if she meant the enslavement or the killing, but whichever, maybe both, the sentiment was meant. Tucking a rogue lock of hair behind her ear, Shiress glanced around, unsure of what else to do or even say. The Akalak's matter-of-fact statement blindsided her and did absolutely nothing for the uneasy feeling toward the stranger.

When her gaze settled on the large shed in the distance, she couldn't help but smile and turn back to face Reed. "Have you ever seen a pig?" she inquired, glancing quickly over her shoulder before beginning to pick her way down the hill, carefully. "I'd never seen one before being...before coming here." Shiress had never seen a horse either, but she wasn't going to mention that; she was near phobic about those huge monsters.

Leading the way through the top terrace, shiress slid easily down a small embankment onto the second field, steering clear of the many rows of vines. She could hear Reed's heavy steps behind her, but she remained silent. The smaller field was devoid of workers as it was usually the first to be tended.

The dilapidated shed, situated into the corner of the field, seemed larger up close from their viewpoint atop the hill. Old and broken farm equipment lay abandoned by one side, and a large, fresh bale of hay was propped near the entrance. Leaning back against the bale was a single guard. Silas. Shiress stopped in her tracks when she noticed the slender man. As far as guards went, Silas was the least vile of most the slave came in contact with, but the man's presence at the shed meant that Master Jordan's "supply" was stocked. The guard stood straight while pulling a crossbow from his side around to his front, eyes locked on Reed.

"Master is entertaining a guest, and this is his slave, Reed."' Shiress cast a glance over her shoulder toward the other slave but didn't make eye contact. "I wanted to see Berthie, to show him."

Silas, the guard, eyed Reed a tick longer than his gaze roamed over Shiress before he spoke again. "Stay clear of the back." he jerked his chin toward the shed entrance that stood slightly open. "and don't open that pin, I'm not chasing that bastard all over the city if you let it loose."

Ducking her head, Shiress moved passed the guard and tugged the large wooden door open enough for her and Reed to slip through. The interior of the shed was one massive space, separated by half wooden walls or stalls. The dirt floor was mud in most places and dotted with puddles, thanks to a leaky roof. To the left, piled in one corner, the remains of a caged wagon listed precariously on its side, one wheel broken and one missing entirely. Just beyond the wagon's resting place, a pile of broken crates littered the floor in front of no less than thirty intact, wooden crates that lined the floor against the back wall.

Master's supply, no doubt.

Shiress veered right toward rotten hay bales slumped across a wooden railing, spilling into a small pin. Inside the pin, an enormous, tan pig snored contentedly on her side, fast asleep. Snuggled against her amble middle, nine tiny, pink piglets wriggled about, in search of breakfast. Leaning her forearms against the rail of the encloser, Shiress couldn't help but smile at the mama and her babies, Reed forgotten about for a long tick until she heard a rustling from behind. Looking around, she motioned him over.



'"Meet Berthie..isn't she beautiful?"
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Shiress
Every path has a few puddles
 
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Reed on May 7th, 2020, 1:42 am

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Merdem watched her thoughtfully, and then shrugged. It was what it was. Thinking about it wasn’t going to change anything. He’d still be required in the ring, and sometimes certain choices had to be made. Might as well enjoy it while your at it so you can get some pleasure in this farce of an existence. How these field slaves coped he could only imagine. “Don’t worry about it.” Merdem hesitated, then added. “Unless you’re put in the ring across from me.” He grinned, locking eyes with Shiress. He had his doubts that would ever happen unless she really petched up, but he liked to have his fun with people where he could. It was tempting to take a step forward as he said it, but the look on her face tempered his eagerness. His control was delicate and scaring the girl off was certain to bring Reed to the fore. So long as he kept her close now, he could enjoy relative freedom.

She slipped in something about at pig, and he cocked an eyebrow. “What kind of creature is that?” He wasn’t quite so inclined to see a beast, but it wasn’t like there was anything else to do on this farm so he found himself slowly nodding his ascent. “I guess it’ll be easier to just see it than hear you describe it” Merdem added, walking over to stand beside her. Now that he was overly conscious of his brother’s presence he made sure to keep close to her as they made their way across the field. He wouldn’t care if it made her uncomfortable, but if she started looking overtly skittish than he’d back off a pace or two.

Sliding down the embankment was quite the experience as he had a hand on the dirt behind him the whole time for balance. He didn’t fancy falling flat on his back. That was death in the cage, and death out here, even up against a smaller opponent like Shiress. An she was an opponent, a verbal one, which had its own dangers. Merdem shook his head. Reed’s thoughts were slipping through. How could this lady be a threat to them? Looking her up and down only reinforced this opinion, causing him to smile confidently. His brother was always worried about the strangest shite these days. If he only learned how to sit back and relax sometimes maybe he’d be a lot less stressed.

They walked up to an old shed with a skinny guard. Merdem cocked his head at that, but kept his mouth shut. His opinion of her master was rapidly deteriorating. In the city, unless you were a well known outfit, a guard outside only spelled trouble. Maybe things were different out here in the sticks, but it still seemed wrong to him. On the other hand, he was suddenly very interested in what they were keeping in this shed besides the beast, because obviously there was something. Chewing his lower lip, he listened to Shiress speak while he studied the guard, trying to get a good measure of him before they went inside. He’d look for general things like obvious weapons and how the man moved when he opened the door. When he passed him into the portal, he just grinned and nodded before ducking inside.

Immediately the smell hit him causing him to pinch his nose. “Well that could have used some word about before hand” He grunted before walking in further. While he allowed his eyes to adjust to the dimness, he looked around, barely making out some vague shapes before Shiress caught his attention again.

Walking over, he stopped holding his nose as he looked the animal over, his lips curled down in a light frown. “Beautiful is a word for it?” Scratching his chin, he said. “What does it do?” He leaned against the railing inspecting the creature for a few more moments before he turned away and gave the room another look. At first glance it looked like this was where the master stored his shite that didn’t have any other place to go, but that didn’t reckon with the guard. “Is Bertha really that valuable?” He asked absently as he masted towards the left hand wall of the shed having just noticed the crates there.

Looking over his shoulder to make eye contact with her, he asked. “What’s in those?” Regardless of her response he would walk over, and tap on the top of one of them.
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Reed
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Bastard for sale (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on May 7th, 2020, 5:41 am

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Shiress cocked her head in thought, her nose wrinkling. What did the pig do? Aside from emitting a foul stench and an awful mess, Shiress really couldn't think of anything beneficial, except for tasty breakfast sandwiches. Shiress shivered, dragging her thoughts away from that particular path.

Luckily, she was saved from answering by another, albeit more worrisome, inquiry from the Akalak, followed directly by a tapping noise. Shiress closed her eyes, knowing, without having to turn, the slave's curiosity had gotten the better of him. Shiress groaned inwardly, turning to face Reed. The pig visit was a stupid idea.

"You remember I told you about the vines? she asked, her voice low, her gaze darting to the entrance then back. "Master sends the vines somewhere to be mixed and concocted into a liquid drug. The liquid is then sent back here in these." Shiress nodded toward the crates, before sending another cautious glance toward the door. "To be honest, I didn't know they were here. Your Master must have brought them, cause they weren't here yesterday."

Shiress fidgeted nervously before placing a gentle hand on Reed's arm. "Actually, we should probably go. If Master finds out I was anywhere close to his..." The rest of what Shiress was going to say evaporated when the sound of voices came from outside. Staring wide-eyed toward the door, Shiress took an involuntary step back and right into the very crate that had earlier snagged the Akalak's attention. The crate shattered, scattering small jars of clear liquid around their feet.

One rogue jar slid beneath where Shiress's stumbling foot was to land, causing her to lose her balance. Attempting to rebalance herself, a flailing hand latched onto Reed's arm but only succeeded in dragging the male slave down with her. They landed amidst the pile of bottles and bits of crate, Reed's massive frame smashing Shiress into the floor. Bottles cracked and broke under their combined weight. Air vacated Shiress's lungs in a woosh, leaving her wheezing and gasping for breath.

Sunlight speared through the open door as Elijah Jordan, and another man Shiress didn't know entered the shed.

"Explain yourself!" Jordan demanded, jaw muscles working.

Shiress tried to speak but had no air left in her to even begin to form a word. Reed's weight was suddenly gone, and she was dragged to her feet by her hair, Jordan's reddened face inches from hers.

"Speak now, Slave!" he spat, irate, but all Shiress could do was cough and struggle to stay upright.

Elijah took a step back, pulling a small short-tailed whip from his belt loop. Shiress would have screamed when the leather straps licked across her shoulder, but the lash drew out what little breath remained in her burning lungs. Elijah snapped the whip again across her back. A third time across the back of her head, snatching clumps of hair in its wake.

Spinning, Elijah's angry glare settled on Reed, and he took a step toward him, drawing back his whip, but a hand wrapping around his wrist halted his strike. Reyes stepped around Jordan, his gaze locked onto Reed's.

"I" he said, snatching the flog from Elijah Jordan's grasp, "will see to my slaves punishment, if any."

Stepping forward, Reyes's nostrils flared in an attempt to tap his rage, his eyes falling to the weapon in his hand before lifting slowly again to his slave.

"Explain to me" he began through gritted teeth, his voice lowered into a growl "why petching this filthy slave girl was a good idea today of all days, boy"
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Shiress
Every path has a few puddles
 
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