Arc The Lad Fan Fiction ❯ Aftermath ❯ Chapter 19 ( Chapter 19 )
Kharg was discussing plans to free Darc with Stalker, Alisha and Adrienne when his back suddenly felt like it was on fire. He cried out at the searing pain and for an instant he felt his twin's emotions. The room seemed to go black and voices seemed far away. Pain, rage... then it was gone as fast as it had came.
Stalker was gripping his shoulders. "Are you alright? Kharg?"
"M-my back, D-Darc," Kharg stuttered shakily. "P-pain."
Adrienne hurried to Kharg's side, eyes concerned. "What's wrong with your back?"
Kharg took a deep breath and let it out. "Not me, it's Darc. They flogged him."
Alisha moved to Kharg's side, eyes wide and filled with worry. "How do you know that?"
Kharg looked at her. "I felt the pain he was suffering, felt his pain and anger."
Alisha studied him then seeming to understand. "You're linked somehow. Mother told me you're the oldest and you and Darc are twins."
Kharg nodded. "We don't know much about it. It makes Darc a bit uncomfortable, so we never really explored how strong it is. I wish we had now."
Stalker, Alisha, and Adrienne looked at each other.
Kharg stood abruptly and began pacing. "We have to go after him before anything worse happens."
Alisha moved to his side and touched his arm, making him stop pacing. "I'm sorry, Kharg. I really didn't think they'd hurt him that bad."
"I shouldn't have believed that! Damn it! I should have went after him!" Kharg whirled and hit the wall with a loud thud. "He'd rather die than submit to slavery, I knew that. If he won't than what will they do? Kill him?" He paused to take several deep breaths and composed himself.
Alisha understood how upset Kharg was and didn't get angry. "We'll go after him as soon as we can. It won't do him any good if we're caught too."
Kharg gave her an apologetic smile. "I know, I'm sorry. I just don't like thinking about him hurting, he's had to suffer more than enough."
"As soon as we can," Alisha repeated.
Kharg looked into her eyes and saw that the tracker meant what she said. He nodded.
Darc was led into the house and down a plainly decorated hallway. The walls were plain white and the floor looked worn from age and scuffed by countless feet.
They were met at the door by two Human men. Both had a muscular build. One blond haired and blue eyed, the other brown haired and brown eyed. They wore no armor just leather breeches and low boots. They bowed to Devon and one opened the door, releasing a cloud of steam.
Erik pulled Darc inside, Devon followed then the door was closed behind them.
Darc heard the soft click of a lock engaging. He looked around the room. It was bare except for a couple benches and two tubs. A basket of towels set next to one of the benches. There was a plain wooden cupboard mounted on the wall with a battered old chest of drawers sitting directly below it. There was another door in the wall across from the cupboard.
Devon glanced around impatiently. "Maida!"
The door opened and an elderly woman hobbled out. "Good morning, Master Devon."
Devon rudely ignored her greeting. He walked over to Darc. He grabbed Darc's chin and forced him to look at him. "Listen to me, half-breed, you'll strip and clean yourself. If you don't then I'll call in the guards outside and they'll do it for you. You can't get out because the door is locked from the inside. The guards will only open it at my or Erik's command. Understand?" He released Darc and stepped back. He took out a key and unlocked the shackles.
Erik had released his grip on Darc, but he moved close once again when the shackles were removed, obviously ready to seize him again if he tried to go after Devon.
Darc had no intention of doing so though. He wasn't a fool. It would do him no good to kill Devon with Erik there and the door locked from the outside. He could see the door had been made with heavy wood. He'd never be able to break though it, even if he got the chance to try.
Devon folded his arms and tapped his foot impatiently. "Well? What are you waiting for? Modesty is the last thing a slave has to worry about. Do as I said before I call the guards. Once you've stripped stay where you are until I say you can move."
Darc glared at Devon and slowly began undressing. No matter what the cursed Human thought modesty wasn't why he hesitated. He just didn't like being on display. Damned pervert probably wants me to strip in front of him, so he can get an eyeful, he thought. Once he was finished, he stood tall and stared straight at Devon, refusing to cower.
Devon looked pleased. "He has spirit, perhaps he can be trained without breaking it, eh Erik?" He looked Darc over leisurely. His eyes traced the scales that went along Darc's left side, they slowly narrowed until they ended at mid-thigh. "Hmm." Devon began walking forward.
Darc gritted his teeth in his effort to control himself. he wanted to lunge for the miserable bastard's throat. He barely kept from starting when his jaw was abruptly seized and his mouth forced open.
After a moment Devon let go. "So he has fangs as well as claws. Well, his teeth are in good shape." He touched one of Darc's horns then his hair. "His hair is more coarse than a Human's, almost feels like a mane, but it's not unpleasant." He walked behind Darc for a moment then back to where he'd first been standing. He waved a hand at one of the tubs dismissively. "Go." It sounded like he was talking to a none to bright child.
Darc whirled and stalked to the tub, well aware of the two of them staring at him. Bracing himself, he stepped into it and he was right. The water was freezing! Taking a deep breath, he sank info the water, cold baths were nothing new to him. At least no one was getting a good view of his ass. A bar of soap and a rag was dropped in the water in front of him. The next thing he knew a bucket of ice cold water was dumped over his head. He let out a startled hiss and looked over his shoulder, soaked hair straggling into his eyes.
The old woman was walking away, carrying an empty bucket. She put the bucket down and began searching through the drawers of the chest.
"Get busy, half-breed!" Devon ordered. He went over to the woman and began talking to her in a low voice.
Darc snorted in annoyance and started cleaning himself. The water was cold enough that he didn't linger, which was probably the idea.
Footsteps sounded behind him. "Hold still, Master Devon wishes me to tend your hair," the old woman said. She applied soap to his hair and began to scrub vigorously.
Darc scowled, but forced himself not to move. It was done quickly and the soap rinsed away with another dousing with cold water.
The woman stepped back. "Finished, Master Devon."
Devon nodded. "Good, get out of there."
Darc stood and stepped out of the tub, gladly accepting the towel the woman offered him. He dried himself off then pulled on a pair of worn tan breeches the woman tossed at him. His boots were returned to him and he pulled them on also.
The woman quickly and efficiently brushed out his hair and stepped back.
Devon looked Darc over and nodded. "That will do." He gestured to Erik.
Erik stepped forward and shackled Darc's hands again then took a firm grip on his arm.
Devon knocked on the door and the guards let them out. the room then Devon led them outside.
The warmth of the sun felt good after the cold water and Darc soaked it in gratefully .
Devon led them over to a neatly kept house. It was small, but still had two stories. A brick path led top the door surrounded by a well-tended flower garden. Once he reached the door Devon pounded loudly on it. He waited for all of a minute before pounding again.
The door swung open to reveal a young woman with green eyes and waist length blonde hair that was neatly tied into a ponytail. She wore a plain white robe with no jewelry. "Good day, Master Devon, what may I do for you?"
Devon gestured to Darc. "I have a slave that needs tending, Tara." He turned to Erik. "I have other matters to tend, after she's done return him to the kennel and his cell."
Erik nodded. "Yes sir."
Devon smirked at Darc. "Behave yourself now." He turned and walked off.
Tara shook her head. "Come in."
Erik pulled Darc into the building.
The room was large with a table, some chairs, a cook stove and a large sink. Fragrant herbs hung from hooks filling the air with their scents. Shelves on the wall held an assortment of glass bottles, some empty, some full. A basket full of clean cloths sat on the table.
Tara shut the door. "Now what do I need to tend?"
Erik shrugged. "Just some lash marks."
Darc snorted. Bet you wouldn't say that if you had them, he mused bitterly.
Tara frowned and went over to one of the shelves and took down a green bottle. "Lashes? Why did he have him lashed? Devon usually doesn't have a new slave lashed because it lowers value."
Erik shrugged. "He attacked Captain Rejak and scarred him. The captain demanded he be punished as his right."
Tara filled a basin with warm water, poured some of the bottle's contents into it then dropped a cloth into it. She picked up a towel and brought everything over to the table. "Bring him over here."
Erik led Darc over to the table.
Tara wrung out the cloth and began gently washing the cuts. "If he scarred that arrogant ass he should have gotten a medal, not lashes."
The healer's touch was gentle, compassionate and soothing. Darc found himself relaxing despite himself as the medicine began numbing the cuts.
Tara fetched another bottle and carefully spread salve over the cuts. She looked over her work and nodded. "Finished, bring him back tomorrow, I'll need to put more medicine on the cuts."
"I will, thank you, Tara." Erik led Darc back to the kennel. He removed the shackles, locked Darc in his cell and left.
Miko moved to the front of her cell, eying him with concern. "Are you alright?"
Darc sat down. "I'll survive."
Miko sat down as well. "You're taking this well, I admit I'm impressed."
Darc shrugged. "I've went through worse." He looked around the cell and frowned. "Did someone come in here and clean?"
Miko nodded. "Yeah, a servant keeps the cells clean. They don't want the merchandise to stink."
Darc snorted. "Spirits forbid that we stink."
Miko giggled. "I really enjoyed the show earlier by the way."
Darc couldn't help, but smirk at the memory. "So I heard."
Miko's mood turned serious. "Did you hear what sort of auction you would be sold in?"
Darc's lip curled in disgust. "Private auction for the wealthy."
"Me too. You may not like it, but you'll be better off sold in a private auction than a public one." Miko shuddered. "There are places in the city you don't want to be in."
Darc frowned. "Like what?"
Miko swallowed hard. "Pleasure houses and breeding farms, both places are terrible, slaves that are sold to those suffer horribly and pleasure houses don't just deal in females you know."
Darc felt sick. It was easy to understand what she was hinting at.
Miko nodded. "I see you know what I mean, at least in a private sale you'll be sold for enough that you'll be reasonably well-treated."
Darc muttered something under his breath, not in the least impressed.
Miko shifted with a sigh. "I imagine with your mixed blood you'll be considered a curiosity to be stared at though I might be wrong."
Darc studied her. "What about you?"
Miko smiled bitterly. "My tribe are known to be fit and graceful dancers, most likely I will be what they call an entertainer slave. Of course that won't be all, pleasure slave will be my other role, warming the bed of my master and those of his friends and guests if he wishes."
Darc shook his head. "Bastards."
Miko shrugged. "Still a better fate than the pleasure houses and the breeding farms."
It was then Darc heard a key rattle in the lock and he glanced that way.
Miko looked at the door too then licked her lips in anticipation. "Sounds like lunch is here." She glanced at Darc. "We get three meals a day as well. Same premise, starved slaves get weak and sick. No one buys a sickly slave, especially nobles. You missed breakfast because they took you out of here so early."
The door opened and Erik entered the room followed by two servants, each carried a tray. He led them to Miko's cell.
Miko quickly stood and retreated to the back of her cell, only then did Erik open the cell.
The servant put the tray down inside and scurried out. Erik locked the door then they came to Darc's cell.
Miko hurried forward to claim the tray and began devouring the food enthusiastically.
Darc didn't move at first. He just studied Erik intently.
Erik gestured to the back of the cell. "Get back or you don't eat."
Darc stood and casually retreated to the back of the cell, deliberately standing with his back to Erik.
The cell door opened behind him then clanged shut. Darc didn't move until he heard the door to the building shut and lock. He finally went to the tray and sat down. He was rather surprised when he saw what lunch actually was.
A bowl contained a thick stew with plenty of meat, a thick slice of bread and a mug of clean water, obviously they made sure captives ate well enough just like Miko had said.
After both had finished eating they spent most of the time until supper was brought talking then resumed the conversation. Eventually they settled down to sleep.
Miko dropped off right away, but Darc found it hard to settle down, he kept thinking about Kharg and wondering what had happened to him. Finally he fell asleep as well.
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