Two men entered the room.
I watched them warily. The first had dark, messy hair and green eyes. An angry scar ran down from his cheek to his jaw. The second had dirty blond locks and a round face, almost babyish, if not for the disgust simmering in his eyes.
"I don't get why they even bother keeping these things alive." He spat.
"Fin, we need to just do what the boss said. He'll be mad if we're late." The scarred man muttered as he bent down and unlocked the chains. My knees hit the floor loudly, and I winced, but I was too relieved at the let up pressure on my shoulders. I slowly moved them down, and left them limp in relief, gently massaging my wrists. I arched my back, and it cricked in several places.
"Yeah, yeah, I know Jerad. But I still think it's better off dead." Fin grumbled as he turned and walked out of the room. Meanwhile, Jerad grabbed my arm, startling a yelp from me. My voice was still hoarse. He dragged me outside where Fin was waiting.
Jerad walked behind Fin, dragging me along. I had neither the strength nor the will to resist. I simply watched the path we were taking, until Jerad noticed and shoved a cloth bag over my head. With nothing to do, I began counting.
After a while, some fifteen minutes later, we stopped. I heard a muffled knock, and a few undistinguishable words, before a door creaked open. I was shoved forward, face down. At the last second, if I hadn't moved my hands, I would have smashed my chin against the floor. I scowled for a second, but immediately hid it as somebody grasped the top of the bag and pulled it off my head.
"You both may leave." The order was crisp and curt. I heard their footsteps retreat, before I looked up at the man. And froze.
It was the same guard, the torturer, from last week. He gave me a small smile at my expression. It looked kind.
My hands began to shake.
"You remember when I said you could keep your life?"
"Yes." My voice came out too hoarse, as a whisper.
This man wasn't going to kill me. Under no circumstances would he be merciful enough to let me die. He would run his blades down my arms until I fell unconscious, then he'd hit my head and tape my cuts and carry on.
"I figured you could be put to better use. Your little escapade caused quite a few problems, you know? I thought you should be grateful, you get the chance to pay off your debt. The guys were talking about putting you in the grey room, but -" he chuckles lightly, and offers me a sickly smile. "You wouldn't want that, would you? Consider this a friendly favour."
The gray room. I had been unlucky enough to get a tour of the place before. Different whips and cages, belts and chains, and other spiky things. And that's not even the worst of it.
You're starved there for three weeks, water every two days and a couple of grains every three. Just enough to get you barely surviving. And through the bars, you can see the boss's table. Food in front of you yet you're chained to the wall, and all you can do is watch the food… It was the most dreaded place in the mines.
I couldn't do anything that would get myself thrown in there. The work after that week is extra tough, and they train you with whips if you're not doing it. For me, when I can barely do much under normal circumstances and extra food...
"Bols." A voice barks, as the door swings open. I'm about to turn around, to look at the newcomer, but before I do, I get a sharp kick in the side. 'Bols' narrows his eyes at me and shakes his head, before turning to man. "Baron Moss!" He exclaims jovially. "Have a seat."
Baron? This person is a noble!
I keep my mouth shut and my head down.
"I want to see it."
"But of course!"
Suddenly, there's a hand on my head, fingers sliding into my hair. They lock on the stands and yank upwards, hard, and I was forced to look up.
The baron's eyes were on me.
He was a large man, taller than I'd thought, and he had a dirty face. Dark hair, long enough to curl around his neck, and sunken eyes under thick eyebrows. He had a scowling face, and his suit was dusted with the grime from the mines.
He smelt like blood.
His eyes scanned over me. I watched them dip from my hairline, over my eyes, my nose, my lips, down my neck and my chest and my beaten up legs. They flicked up to look at my face, and he watched my expression as he spoke.
"I'll take it." He threw a purse at Bols, and I heard the chink of metal coins rattling at they landed on his chest. I wasn't supposed to flinch. I knew that, I wasn't supposed to flinch, but I did, and I saw the cruel smirk grow on his lips.
I hate this world.
A collar was snapped around my neck.
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