Predatory Marriage — Chapter 306. Isha (6)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Slowly, Mel sank to his knees. Then he lowered his head until his forehead touched the floor, a full abasement. When he raised his head, his eyes were unfocused, looking straight ahead as though dead.
“I am only a humble slave,” he whispered, a broken voice through trembling lips. “I will never rebel again. I am a slave. I will be obedient to the tamers.”
Isha bit his lip until he tasted blood as the tamer patted Mel’s shoulder, his face filled with satisfaction. And then he laughed, the sound echoing in Isha’s ears.
The tamer eventually walked away, leaving Mel behind in an awkward silence. None of the Kurkans dared to approach him, but Isha finally went to him.
For a long moment, there was no response. His eyes remained fixed on the floor. When they finally drifted upward, they were still unfocused and unseeing.
“I want to go home,” he whispered.
There was nothing Isha could say. He wanted to tell his friend that they would, that one day they would go home to the Kurkan desert, but he knew it was all but impossible. He could not lie, but he grabbed Mel’s hand, trying to comfort him.
The other boy sobbed.
“I’m sorry,” he said, squeezing Isha’s hand back.
That night, Mel hanged himself.
Isha was the one that discovered his lifeless body.
The body was motionless in the dim flickering of the torchlight. Isha stared, blank and disbelieving, but Mel’s eyes did not open. No matter how long Isha waited, he would never open his eyes again. – Posted only on NovelUtopia
Isha didn’t try to call his name, or shake him awake. He didn’t try to warm that cold body, or bring back the heartbeat that had stopped. He knew all those things would be futile. He had tried them all so many times before, for so many other people.
All at once, he remembered the nameless child who had died in his place, and he remembered the prayer.
“May you…” His voice trembled, cracking. “May you rest like the sand of the desert…”
It was too hard. He gritted his teeth as the pain of the loss stabbed him, burning in his chest. It felt as if flames would burst from him if he even tried to speak.
When the other Kurkan children discovered Mel’s body, they screamed for him.
Isha watched Mel’s body hanging from among all the weeping children, expressionless. He heard the iron door swing open, and the tamers entered, shouting.
“Get back! Get back!”
The Kurkans choked back their tears at the angry shouts, forcing their legs to move to get out of the way. But Isha did not move. He stayed where he was, listening to the tamers’ rapid discussion of what they would do with the body.
“He would have been sold for a good price, rotten luck.”
“Well, we have to do something before he starts to stink.”
“Why not feed him to the dogs?”
Listening quietly, Isha’s gaze shifted to a corner, where an iron bar lay across an extinguished brazier. The bar’s ends were blunt, but it was enough to do the job.
When he thought about what he was going to do, he knew it was crazy. He should not do this. But his fury was greater than any of that.
“Who knew the little bastard would kill himself for pride?”
“Savages, that’s why they’re beasts. That’s what barbarians do.”
Not everything should be done from cold rationality.
“Tamer,” Isha said softly.
The tamer, who had been worrying aloud about a scolding from the slave trader, swung his head around, and Isha moved before he could react.
The long iron bar with its blunt end stabbed straight through his neck, and the tamer’s blood spattered Isha’s hands. He smiled.
“…Agghhh!” The tamer screamed, his eyes bulging, red-veined.
“This is a Kurkan,” Isha whispered.