Please see disclaimer from Chapter 1
II. If The Fates Are Not Laughing Then They Are Crazy
You who are reading this manuscript would perhaps wonder what a woman like me doing writing something in this scroll. That's true, slaves in this realm are forbidden to read and write. We are forbidden to know a lot of things. Why you asked? I really don't get the reason behind it, but I think it has something to do with us slaves being too numerous in numbers and that illiteracy is a good way to stop or prevent any revolution. If we know nothing then we'll do nothing. So what am I doing right now?
I don't want to say that out of all the slaves in the castle of Fuuka, that I was the lucky one. Perhaps in some regards, I was. I had no idea why, but our Queen, Queen Fumi had been nothing but good to me. She had cared for me during my stay in the palace as if I was her own child, and despite her head advisor's protests, she didn't changed and instead she allowed me to be taught how to read and write. Yes I was a slave and yet I felt not.
I asked the Lord Conqueror a while back to write her thoughts, you see, the Lord Conqueror is a woman of few words. Aside from presiding meetings in the court room, there were few times that I saw her speak to anyone about herself, about what she was thinking or feeling or just anything that wasn't about war strategies. So one time, out of the blue she asked me of what I wished, I was so stunned that nothing really came to mind…not even my freedom. I told her I wished for her to write her thoughts on a scroll.
You might be wondering why she would do that…I myself wondered too, all I know was that I felt that there was 'something' the first time we met.
I was called from my rest by the head of the palace kitchen; she told me that Selena's husband perished in the war against the Queen of the Dominant Realm. Every man that was of age to fight were conscripted by the crown to fight and Selena's husband was one of them, and unluckily he met his demised on the war that everyone who has a brain knew we won't win against. So here I am chosen to replace the mourning woman to serve the Queen's guest, our lord conqueror.
Every people in this realm knew of the Conqueror's viciousness in fight, she was for the most a warrior; she was their savior and liberator. I don't know what I would think of her, for me all of them were the same. No matter who owns this land, that won't change the fact that we are slaves and they are our masters and are free to do to us what pleases them. I walked the clean hallway going to the kitchen to join the others who were selected to served the Queen and the Conqueror and as I passed along, I could hear women talking,
"I am intrigued; no one really knew what the conqueror looks like except perhaps those soldiers who had faced her in battle." I heard Leonila, one of the female servants say to Akemi, the other servant.
"Well that is if the soldier lives to tell," Akemi said,
"I also heard she never dines with the leaders of the kingdoms she had conquered, maybe our queen is really special for her to agree to dine with her."
"Perhaps the Lord Conqueror thinks our Queen is pretty enough to be her concubine!" Akemi's voice was tinted with a bit of jealousy. "Well…we are but servants, who will the conqueror choose to warm her bed? Of course it will never be one of us."
"I'd settle to becoming her body slave, I heard she's good to her body slaves and she never lets them go hungry!" Leonila suddenly looked at me scowling, "You bitch, are you listening to us?"
I looked at them with defiance in my eyes. Being treated well by the Queen compared to others and leaving me with the rest of the slaves is a curse, no slave wants to have anything to do with me; none of them were nice to me. They wouldn't want to be associated with someone who might get them in trouble because that someone happens to know how to read and write. "If you don't want anyone to hear of what you were talking about, you should not chatter in the halls where anyone can pass by and hear you two." I said and walked pass them
"Bitch!" Leonila yelled and was about to lunged at me when Akemi stopped her,
"Calm down Nila," she said grinning, "Althea would be mad if she gets bruise right now," she looked at me and I knew I'm in for a lot of pain later.
"You are one lucky woman but that will not always be the case," Leonila told me, her eyes boring into me like a hot lava, "You are not in the Queen's chamber," she grinned, "Ohhhhh…she isn't our queen anymore!" she said mocking me. I did not make any retort as doing so will just prolong this nonsense, instead, I continued walking pass them and into the kitchen where I am needed.
"What took you so long?" Althea, the head cook asked of me a little louder than usual. I did not reply instead I looked at her apologetically and a small smile crawl on my face when she smiled at me and patted me at my back gently, "I heard some noise outside, was there a problem coming here?"
I shook my head no before voicing out my reply, "No, there's no problem Althea." I said turning my back on her and walking to the kitchen sink to clean the mess left there.
"Leave those Shizuru, I'll have Dominic clean that, I need you to go to the changing room and change to our finest robe." Althea instructed and I looked at her in bewilderment, "Don't look like as if I grew another head on my neck woman!" She said in a voice laced with mischief, "Queen Fumi asked that we serve the Lord Conqueror our finest dishes and she told us in a not so subtle manner that she wanted the servants to look presentable too."
I smiled, "But the finest robe?"
Althea grinned, "I heard the Lord Conqueror has a healthy appetite," she said looking at me as if she was undressing me
"And what does her appetite have to do with us changing in our finest robe?"
Once again Althea grinned but this time, her grin went wider, "You have no idea about this Queen of the Dominant Realm don't you?" she watched me shook my head no, "Well then…you are in for a surprise then." She said before turning her back at me laughing, she then said loud for me to hear, "Go now Shizuru and change!"
"YES!" I answered loudly and hurriedly went to the changing room to change to the finest robe as told. There were 5 of us in the room and the four women I found there were already dressed…and my eyes went wide as they were wearing almost nothing. The "robe" Althea was talking about could not be considered a robe at all; it was just probably a long and wide strand of white, silk material that was made dramatic by purple abstract strokes on it. The material was decorated by silver metals that scrunches the sides of the silk cloth, the metals on the upper part exactly lies on the mid-axillary area of the body, and the lower ones were gracing the hips. The metals created an illusion of the women actually wearing something akin to bandeau. The metals on the lower segment has long silk material again that runs from the hips to the ankles on both sides leaving the front and the back sides bare and showing more skin. There was a light band made of silver as well at the end of the cloth that serves as the anklet and anchors the cloth to the ankle so that it won't be totally blown away by the wind but it could show more of the bare legs.
"What are you waiting there? Are you the last of us?" One of the women looking at me said a bit irately,
"Then don't just stand there, go wear the robe because the Queens are waiting for us." The same woman added and I hurriedly went to the closet to get my own. I cringed as I looked at the "robe" but swallowed whatever jest I have in mind about the robe and just wore it.
Not 10 minutes later, Althea came in and I saw how she tried hard to stop herself from chortling after seeing me in the robe. "Let's go ladies, the dishes are prepared and you five are ready to serve them!"
It was the first time that I really felt nervous about doing something. I usually am confident about slave matters and even talking to educated people doesn't make me nervous like now. So what had happened? I know that in the palace, there were lots of rumors circulating and most of these were true. Wise men say: there's no smoke when there's no fire…or there's fire when there's smoke…well whatever, I do believe those wise men, they know their theories. So the five of us were ready and were preparing the plates to be served when I heard two of the lower slaves talking…and they said that the palace has decided to give the Lord Conqueror a gift. Looking at the way we were dressed, I believe they have slaves in mind to give to the conqueror…
I might be a slave but I am not a body slave.
Her eyes bore on me. The way she looked made me feel as if I was stripped naked in front of everyone in the throne room. I got gooseflesh and I secretly shivered and it was only her eyes meeting mine. I have to look away abruptly before I let go of the plate and make a mess out of the hall, and even if Queen Fumi dotes on me and Althea being a nice friend to me, that won't escape me being punished for it. So I returned to my work trying my very best to ignore the feeling the Lord Conqueror has given me.
The first time I saw her…and I am already burned.
The next time I met her was that same day…different time. I just got back from that unspeakable experience in the throne room and I got so careless I bumped into Leonila and Akemi. They were with three of their friends and they blocked my way to my chamber. From the look in their eyes I saw the promise of pain.
I am not a woman made from porcelain, I maybe an educated slave but it doesn't made me weak or meek, I fight when I need to but the five of them all together was just too much. I stepped back a little and look back to see if there's a way for me to turn and go through another hallway to my chamber but one of them, Riga suddenly took hold of my wrist.
"Oh no, you're not going anywhere bitch!" Leonila was the one who spoke and then I felt myself being pushed outside of the hall and into the sandy plane where Fuuka soldiers trained, "You think you upped us again?" she asked
"I don't think I have any choice here, no matter what I say I'll get it." I said looking at the five of them angrily.
"You are good," Akemi said grinning, "Then it won't be any harder for us since you know what you're going to get."
"And what is she going to get?"
The five slaves as well as I turned our eyes on the wide opening from where I was thrown from and all our eyes widened in surprise.
-End Chapter 2-