Predatory Marriage — Chapter 305. Isha (5)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
The screaming child was not even half Isha’s size. From the disbelief in his face, it seemed he had been loved well by his parents, before he was sold into slavery.
“Help, help me!”
Like the other Kurkan slaves, he most likely had been sold because he was a half-breed. It was common practice, for the first few days of their captivity, to beat them with iron bars to break them. But this boy was taking it worse than most, and the slave tamer turned his gaze to Isha.
“You,” he said, gesturing with his iron bar. “Come here. I’ll only beat you a little.”
“Or you can take his beating instead.”
His smile made his intentions clear. He was deliberately trying to provoke Isha, and as the usual rebellion rose, a hand shot out to grab his arm.
“Isha,” Mel whispered, calm but firm. “You’ll get in trouble if you cause problems again.”
And then he stepped forward in front of the cowering child.
“Stop,” he said. “Or you will die.”
The tamer burst out laughing.
“Looks like there are a lot of them that want beatings today,” he said, shifting targets without hesitation. But Mel was a less satisfying victim, accepting the beating in contented silence. The tamer frowned and smashed the boy’s forehead with his forehead.
“It hurts a lot, right?” he asked sarcastically.
“You’re a lowly slave. I will stop if you beg me.”
Mel spat blood.
“I’m Kurkan,” he said through bloody lips. “You cannot break my pride.”
The statement did not impress the tamer. He laughed aloud.
“Pride?” He repeated, as if it were a joke. “What pride have those who sell their own people as slaves?”
It was impossible to argue that despicable truth.
“You will be sent to the hole,” the tamer added with a nod.
Mel’s eyes went wide at the word hole. That was the punishment the slaves feared the most. They would be beaten nearly to death, and then dropped into a hole where there was no light. For the entirety of their confinement, they would be given no water.
It was a brutal punishment, spent in complete darkness until the wooden door in the ceiling opened again.
The threat even surprised another tamer, who quickly tried to dissuade him.
“I think another punishment would be better,” he said nervously. “You remember what happened last time…”
The first tamer clicked his tongue. The last Kurkan child who had been locked in the hole had gone mad. When he had been let out, he had not even known his own name. For a moment, the tamer was thoughtful, and then he shook his head.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “The one who bought him likes unusual things.”
The tamer met the eyes of each Kurkan, one by one, ending with Isha, whose gaze still burned with rebellion despite so many lessons. The tamer smiled broadly. – Posted only on NovelUtopia
“It wouldn’t even be a bad idea to kill one of them,” he said, grabbing Mel. “As an example.”
“Mel! Mel! Mel!”
The Kurkans cried desperately, not knowing what to do.
“I’ll be fine,” Mel said calmly, trying to comfort the Kurkan children even now.
He left with determination in his face. And he did not come back for a long time.
Every day that he did not return, Isha’s anxiety swelled. He tried to sneak away to get into the hole, but was caught every time. Days passed, and he could do nothing but wait.
A week passed before Mel returned.
“Gather round!” shouted the tamer, and every Kurkan’s mouth suddenly dried as they approached.
Mel followed the tamer into the room, limping, with his head down. His face was concealed by his lank hair. But Isha’s eyes went to his hands, where every fingernail was cracked and broken. Probably from trying to get out of the hole, clawing at the door with his fingers.
The tamer pushed Mel into the center of the knot of Kurkan children, to be sure everyone could see him, and then tapped him, like a signal.