Cain strolled over to the window in the large study room, crossing his arms as he stopped. Down below in the town. The train stopped on the edge of town, the stage resting right next to it. He watched as a few workers set up the dividers behind the stage- the place where the new slaves would be held until it was their turned to be auctioned off. Most came out, scrawny and dirty, some scared. But they always had that same look in their eye, freedom. It was so close yet so far, like when provoking a small child with toy just high enough that they can reach up to touch it, but just far enough up that they couldn’t.
His right hand, closest friend, and cousin; Klaus strolled up next to him.
“I’ve been told, or so the Traders are claiming that they have a Blessed human in this group.”
At the word ‘blessed’ one of Cain’s eyebrows rose. Blessed humans were rare, and hard to come by. Someone would be paying a hefty golden price for the human. Yet at the same time, Cain felt pity for the Blessed. Despite the name, it was more of a curse. Blessed humans had wondrous powers, but great power can quickly corrupt even the purest man.
“I think I may just take the trip down there to see this Blessed human for myself.”
“And pray tell dear cousin, what happens when they have no Blessed human? It could easily be a lie as it could be the truth.”
Klaus clasped a hand on Cain’s shoulder, shaking him. “You must learn relax dear cousin. Whether they give the truth or a lie, the rumor will give the Trade some excitement. Look now, the train has barely stopped, the stage is barely built, but already people are squishing in to see the Trade.” Cain pulled his shoulder from his cousin’s hand, turning as he did.
“Despicable, the whole lots of them all are!” Taking a seat next to the empty fire place, Cain picked up a few papers from the table, his eyes scanning over them. “Oh, you don’t mean that! Here, open the windows, the fresh air will do you good. The winter was hard on you!”
Cain ignored Klaus, keeping his eyes down. The truth was the winter had not been hard on him- but the girl had. The girl who smelt of Jasmine and peppermint, the one he had spotted while at the shopping market during his time in Tobus. He had stormed from the High Lord’s meeting, having gotten into a small squall with the High Lord. Taking his car, he drove, stopping randomly at the market.
After spotting the girl, he had returned and things with the High Lord were settled. They all left on good terms, with papers signs and chest puffed out like real-men.
Cain had spent the rest of that day, and the next, in search of the girl. When she never showed up, he was forced to return back towards his own home land. Since then, the girl had haunted his dreams, sleeping and awake. It seemed no matter where he turned or what he thought- she was there to haunt him.
“So, are these papers confirming that the land in Drale is ours?” Cain shuffled through the papers once more, trying to push the thoughts of the girl from his thoughts. “Yes, the secret delivery team brought them this morning. Next the small cabin on the land will be fixed up and used as our headquarters there.”
“Good, Muis needs to learn his threats won’t go unanswered. His head’s too big for his title.”
“He is stupid-”
Cain held up a hand, and Klaus stopped speaking almost at once. Despite their blood ties, and long standing friendship, Cain was still King. Klaus was to respect that.
Standing up, Cain dropped the papers back down on the coffee table, and lifted his nose to the air. Taking a sniff, he moved over to the open window, pushing past Klaus. He didn’t turn from the window, instead looking down to the stage where the auction was to set to start at any moment.
“Do you smell that?”
Behind him, Klaus lifted his nose to the air, taking a sniff. His nose wrinkled at the sour smell of unwashed bodies. He highly doubted that was what Cain was referring to.
“No, what is it?”
Looking down to the stage, the first chain-group of slaves were being brought up. Focusing on two girls standing next to each other, Cain leaned on the seal. Something about the short brown hair that hung limply around the girl to the right seemed familiar. Moving his eyes to the girl to the left, he froze as she turned to face the girl behind her.
Pushing off the seal, Cain spun on his heels. “I’m going down there.”
“To buy what’s mine. Isos, Enaro, Peron, Vern and Klaus, let’s go.” Without questioning his cousin any more, Klaus followed after Cain the four body guard falling into steps behind him.
As Cain stepped out his car, he realized that Klaus had been right. People were squished up next to each other, their bodies forming human walls between him and the stage.
“When a superior talks to you, you are to answer promptly and properly!”
Cain turned his head at the scream, noticing that a girl laid on the stage with fear in her gaze at the Head Handler.
“Wait- please, let me explain, no stop!”
Cain watched as the man hit the girl again, and he found his hands clenching into fist. Taking a breath he looked beyond the dirty smells, and found the one he was looking for. Jasmine, looking to the girl, he knew at once it was her. It really was her.
“She can’t speak-”
Behind her, the girl Cain remembered as smelling of peaches spoke out. The Head Handler ignored her, keeping his gaze down on the jasmine-girl- his girl, Jasmine.
He hit her again, he hit Jasmine and Cain watched as her mouth let out breaths-of cries. He felt his anger rising, but also knew he needed to keep his cool. His enemies had just as many spies in his land; he was sure, as he had in theirs. He couldn’t risk letting the whole world see he was so protective over some human girl. Because he was, he was ready to destroy the whole world, as long as it meant his Jasmine was safe.
“I can interpret for her, I-”
A smack to her face with a reed cut off and silenced the peach girl. The Handler was clearly getting annoyed with the girl, and was ready to act. Jasmine’s eyes held pure fear as the Handler ripped his sword from his belt.
“I shall teach you to be so distrustful!”
The peach girl screamed out, but not even Cain could keep his eyes on her. Jasmine raised her hands, and in that moment everything froze. Using her hand, and some power, she pushed him up and away… all without ever touching him. He stood frozen, as his sword hung mere inches from her chest. The crowd around him went silent. Opening her eyes, Jasmine looked to the lead Handler. She dropped him to the ground, lowering her left hand. Her right flung the sword to into the crowd, and people scattered to avoid it.
“Well, folks, there you go! Is this stupid mute Blessed or what?! Can I get 200?”
The crowd let out a gasp, though Cain felt no threat.
He waited for the right moment to move; watching Jasmine rise, the left side of her face was sickening. Looking at it made Cain’s blood boil and he could feel his pupils dilating. Relaxing his hands, he cracked his neck.
“One million gold for the girl.”
The whole crowd gasped, went silent and begun to mumble among themselves.
“My, oh my! Is anyone willing to up that bid? No? Going once… Twice… Sold- to our mighty King! Congratulations your majesty, though just as warning she’s not that bright. She doesn’t speak!”
The crowd laughed lightly as the joke, but soon stopped and parted a way to let him through. Cain didn’t move from his spot, and watched as they brought Jasmine to him. As she walking towards them, he leaned over to Klaus.
“Go to the castle and get the funds straightened and be warned; I’m getting the next one along with her.”
Klaus nodded, before backing away and moving down the street.
“A-hm, right then, onto the next! We got us here a real, natural beauty folks!”
She paused in front of him, her eyes casted down.
“Release her of the chains, now.”
She was released at once, keeping her head down. He snuck a glance to her, though his ears were with the auction.
“50,000 gold for the girl!”
“…Going once…twice… sold- once more to our mighty King!”
The auctioneer chose to keep any joke about the peach girl to himself, a wise choice in the long run. They moved peach girl from the stage and down to him. When she arrived, he had them free her from her chains as well. Then they left, he had what he needed.
Arriving back at his home- of which some called a mansion, other a castle; he was prepared to see that the girls were cared for himself. Looking up, he could see Klaus and Claudia standing in one of the windows. Their faces were grim, and he knew at once they needed his presence. Looking to the small, group of three staff members, he gave them a small frown. He pointed to his car, looking each one in the eyes.
“Make sure the two girls in the back are properly taken care of. They are mine now.”
The three nodded, and he was off.
Climbing the stairs by two, Cain quickly strolled to Klaus’s office. Opening the door, Klaus had taken a seat in at his desk, as Claudia rested one hand on the back of the chair to stable her bent over body. Her free hand pointed something on a paper the two looked at.
“What is it?”
The both looked up, straightening themselves. Claudia folded her hands over each other, and strolled to the side of the desk.
“There’s news from eastern border, three days ago it was talk that Muis was going to put out a draft out. The rumors of war are still floating around and no one thought anything of it. Until Muis started talking to his High Court, these came in just now, look.”
Cain strolled over and looked at the papers on the desk. It seemed to be letters, but red ink circle random words. It was clear it was a secret message within the letter itself.
“How did we get this?”
“One of the spies snuck it, copied and sent the real on its way.”
Cain nodded, as he slipped the papers back to Klaus.
“Write and tell them to keep their eyes open and ears clear.”
“I will. So, moving onto more important matters, how did your little buy go today?”
Claudia looked from her brother, to Cain.
“You went to the Slave Trade today? Why? You haven’t expressed any needs for new servants.”
“I told him of the rumors of there being a Blessed human there, and surprise, surprise there was.”
“Yes and our dear cousin here paid one million gold for her.”
“One million- gold!?”
“Yes, I did, and I paid fifty thousand for the girl after her.”
Klaus let out a whistle, shaking his head.
“Please don’t tell me the mighty king of Voirol is falling for the rumors.”
“No I’m not, and the business I have with those two young women is none of your concern. Keep me updated on Muis; I’ll be around.”
Cain then turned and stormed out of the office. Claudia moved to sit across from her brother, sighing and tossing her legs over the chair. She begun to pick lent off of her pants.
“So what happened at the auction, how are you sure this woman is Blessed?”
“Because she used her power, she stopped a sword, floating it in the air, push away a man who is easily over 300 pounds of pure muscle and then floated him in the air.”
Claudia swung her head to look at her brother, her blonde hair falling over her shoulder.
“She never touched them.”
Her blue eyes got wide, as she swung her legs down, sitting up.
“So do you think Cain bought her for her power?”
“I’m not sure. He was acting strange right before we went there.”
The two siblings couldn’t talk any more on the subject, as a loud scream pushed through the air like a hard slap.
Cain rushed into the dungeon, pushing the door so hard it broke into pieces. As he had been approaching, he had heard a voice calling out ‘Scarlet, can you hear me, Scarlet’ the voice was gone when he marched in. The main guard standing duty quickly stood up, grabbing his helmet to keep it from falling.
“Where are they?”
“Far cells to the left sire!”
“Get them out- NOW!”
Cain could feel his fangs rip out with his snarl, as his anger reached an all-time high. The guard, a fellow vampire himself but not of any high rank, shrunk back before scurrying off down the hall. Cain followed, pausing as the guard opened the first door. Pushing the guard aside, Cain leaned into the door way and was met with the peach girl. She stood frozen, not moving.
“I’m sorry about this, please come out.”
Moving aside, the peach girl slowly shuffled out. She had her eyes casted down.
“Thank you, my lord.”
“May I have your title?”
“Renee Rogan of Tobus, my lord.”
Cain nodded his head, happy to finally have a name for peach girl. Turning to the guard he pointed to the door that held his Jasmine.
“Open it and free her!”
The guard did as he was told, but as the door open, a body fell out. Using his beyond-human reflexes, Cain caught Jasmine in his arms. Holding her in his arms, he could feel her gentle heartbeat telling him she was still alive.
“Get doctor Cartson, now!”
The guard nodded, and rushed off.
Cain looked from… Scarlet, to Renee, where stood behind him with wide eyes.
“Her name is Scarlet?”
“Yes, yes, Scarlet Solomon- is alive, is she-”
“She’s alive but needs medical attention. I sent for my doctor. She’ll be tended too, and so shall you.”
Standing, his eyes didn’t move from the small cut on her face. It had clotted but left blood lines down her face. She nodded her head, and casted her eyes down.
“So, I wrapped the wounds on her wrist, and ankles; her face is pretty bad, but it should be better within the week. And for you, miss Renee, just put this cream on a few more times and your cut will be gone in no time. If you’re lucky, you’ll have no scar.”
Renee looked from the mirror, to Cain, to Scarlet, laying in her bed, and then the doctor.
“I will thank you.”
Cain wasn’t looking at her, or Scarlet though. His gaze was to the door, where a tall, thin man stood.
“Renee, this is Vern, one of my closest body guards. He will show you to your room and you can get cleaned up there. Vern make sure get to get Claudia to stock Renee with a few outfits until we can buy her, her own.”
Vern nodded, and led Renee away. Cain released Dr. Cartson to go get something, for something. When he was alone, he moved over to the bed where Scarlet laid. He ran a finger down the right side of her face, his whole body seeming to buzz to life.
Scarlet, much better fitting name than Jasmine, even though you are delicate like a Jasmine.
When he pulled his finger away, his body stopped buzzing though his finger went numb. He looked at it, as he moved away from her, just as Dr. Cartson came in.
“…I shall live by Rules of the Old, and be judge by them accordantly. From this day forth, I am a Voirian.”
“I shall live by Rules of the Old, and be judge by them accordantly. From this day forth, I am a Voirian.”
“You may remove your hands and sit down.
“I hope, the clothe fit you well.”
“They do, thank you sire.”
Renee ran her hands down her pants, looking uncomfortable.
“I’m glad they do, it shall be your uniform while you serve under me.”
“Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what your job is to be while in my household. To ease your mind, it’s a simple task really, something you claimed you could do.”
“You are to translate what Scarlet says.”
“What- I’m mean, sorry, excuse me?”
“Yes, you have said she cannot speak, is that right?”
“Well, yes. I mean, I’ve never known her to speak and we’ve been best friends for the longest time. She was born mute, sire. If she ever spoke, it’d be to me.”
“Of course, so that is why I need you. I cannot understand her methods of talking, but you can.”
“Well she’s the only one I know that no one else really does this, signing language.”
“And that is what I want to learn.”
“Not to be rude, sire, but are you planning on using her powers?”
“Possibly, a king is only as great as his people. A war can only be won with weapons hidden away.”
“So you’re going to hide Scarlet away?”
“Yes but no. She, and you, shall stay here, under the impression as my teacher and I the student, so you shall be hidden, but in plain sight. I trust you shall not tell the details of this little meeting to her?”
“Oh- of course, sire, but…I may be over stepping my place, so forgive me, how do you plan to hide us when you bought us at a public auction?”
Cain leaned his elbow on his desk, cracking his knuckles.
“You’d be amazed at what a good rumor can do.”
And that was how King Cainwen Dufur killed off Scarlet Solomon. The people at the auction had seen her beaten, and the guard had seen her passed out in a dead-like state. Soon the gossip was that the Blessed human died from her injures, and was given a private Burning.
He had been overlooking the local paper, which wrote a small article on her, when he had gotten the news that she was well enough to finally be summoned to him. That’s exactly what he did.
Lifting his head to the approaching footsteps, Cain waited for the knock. When Vern peeked his head in, he simply asked if he had them. When Vern replied with a ‘yes’, he had them sent in. Through the crack door, he didn’t get any scents minus Vern’s which was slightly unpleasant being he smelt faintly of blood- as almost all vampires do. Unlike human blood, which can be quite mouthwatering, vampire blood was bitter and clotty. It was a natural defense to help keep others off of you.
When the doors fully swung open, and Cain caught his first glance of Scarlet since she had been put under Dr. Garston’s care, it took everything in him to not leap up and latch onto her there. Not only was she healthier looking, but the gown he had chosen was the perfect color to offset her coffee hair and eyes. It gave her white skin a sort of glow, one that no words could ever explain. As they took a seat on his command, the doors behind him closed and they were left to their affairs.
As he brought up her ‘duty’ to him, she did not try to hide the shock on her face. Her hands moved around, in a beautiful manner, as she spoke in the only way she knew how to. Moving his gaze slightly from her, he looked to Renee, waiting for her to interpret.
“She is asking why a teacher.”
“Because I want to learn the language of sign, and I know of no one better to teach then a mute. You can both see and hear me, something a deaf or blind person cannot.”
“ ‘Why would you want to do that my lord? Surly there is no one you know who cannot speak as, I.’ ”
“True, but it is never too late or too hard for a King to learn something new; to expand his horizons and knowledge.”
“ ‘Oh, I see.’ ”
“Our lessons shall be every day from noon to two; we shall break for a lunch, and shall start tomorrow.”
“ ‘Yes sire.’ ”
“Do you have any questions for me before you are shown to your room?”
“ ‘Only one sire, I was wondering if I could learn the name of my new king.’ ”
“My official title is King Cainwen Dufur, you may call me ‘sire’ ‘my king’ or ‘my lord’.”
“ “Yes sire. Thank you.’ ”
“You are dismissed. The guards outside shall show you to your rooms.”
The two girls rose, curtsied and then left the room. He watched them leave, the doors cutting off the wonderful smell that seemed to wave off of Scarlet in large amounts. He knew at their next meeting, he’d have to explain more of his plan to her. To tell her of her faked death, and the fact that he did indeed plan to use her powers. There hadn’t been a Blessed human since his toddler years, which happened to be a few thousand or so. Blessed only came when the world needed them, and if he was right- then it was not just his kingdom that needed her, but himself as well.