Guess what! No one left any votes for Chapter 9. No problem. I decided to combine the two choices.
You will notice at the bottom of Chapter 10, there are no choices. This is intentional. I love the reader involvement in the story, but after considering it for a bit, in order to save the story from boring you to death, I needed to take the choices back into my hands. That being said, I will go back to posting a chapter every week instead of every other. Yay!
Thank you all so much for reading faithfully up to this point, and even though I won’t be collecting votes, I’d still like to hear your thoughts and or predictions.
Like chapter 2, this chapter is a bit more graphic and violent. I would not recommend anyone younger than 14 reading it. I want the fight scenes to seam realistic while not being too terrible. If there are any other writers out there who would have tips on this, let me know!
Now, please enjoy!
The Story Thus Far:
Listross was a slave on a potato plantation. Everything changed on his twenty-fifth birthday when he was given a box from Grandmother, an older lady that looked over the slaves. She recounted the tale of how the Ferronians took over Tavalask enslaving the few remaining people they left. At the end of her story, she had Listross open a box with a crown and a note in it from his father saying that Listross is indeed the next ruler over Tavalask. In order to become King, he must free his people and take the throne.
That night, Listross decided to do just that. He rallied the men on his plantation and stormed the manor house. Unfortunately, they took heavy losses, loving half of the slaves on their plantation- including his beloved, beautiful wife, Ideara.
After a short break to celebrate their freedom and mourn, Listross alone went to the next closest plantation to free it. After being turned in by the slaves there, he managed to escape and single-handedly took out the slave masters. Thyrin, the head slave of that plantation, saw where he went wrong and pledged his loyalty to Prince Listross.
Listross brought all the slaves from the new plantation back to his own. Not long after they arrived, Magistrate Ossillion and Ferrionian soldiers arrived to take account of how the Raughlin farm was faring. Listross tried to deceive the magistrate, having different members of the group pretend to be his old slave master’s family. Ossillion saw through the lies and a harsh battle ensued. The slaves were victorious and didn’t lose lives, but the plantation, the only home most of them had known was burnt to the ground.
Under advisement of Grink, a middle-aged man who had stood behind Listross from the beginning, they decided to make their way towards Sholance, another neighboring country, to seek aid. As they travel, tension rises as Listross’s best friend Flouth is not shown the respect he believes he deserves. After they make us, Listross decides he needs a hierarchy amidst the slaves to keep the peace.
He ends up freeing yet another plantation as they move towards Sholance, and asked Thyrin, who’s been charged with taking care of domestic affairs to take inventory of the supplies they just recieved. Unfortunately, Thyrin, and two-thirds of the other now freed-slaves do not know how to read. Grandmother had always instilled in Listross the importance of literacy, so on top of Listross’s other duties, he decides he must also now teach the slaves how to read and write.
One night, after planning on taking a small nearby town, he was about to start one of his lessons when a random horse ran through his camp, the Lady Eppra Tizkul following close behind it. Instead of immediately killing the enemy Ferronian, Listross decides to enlist her help, since she seems willing to. When she stops listening or becomes a hassle, he’ll be rid of her. He was surprised when she decided to listen to all the Listross had commanded her, bringing him and his men weapons from her city.
Eppra convinced Listross to focus on capturing the city without murdering the Ferronians that lived there. If he were to simply go around murdering, he was no better than a Ferronian himself. They marched into the city and divided into smaller teams to capture the most influential men, Listross marching with Eppra to the manor house itself. As Listross walked in, they realized lord Tizkul was awake and talking with Magistrate Ossillion. Listross has his men bind both nobles. In a fit of rage, he goes to kill the magistrate, but Eppra tackles him foiling his plan.
Prince of Slaves: Chapter 10
Listross’s dark, rage-filled eyes turned to Eppra. He tightened his grip on his sword. “You little-!”
The door to the manor house flew open and Grink ran to Listross, his right hand man at his side. “Prince. From what my men and I can tell, battle between us and the Ferronians started at the Rigor farm. News started coming this way. We subdued the blacksmith and his family before he awoke, but, as you can hear, they’re almost here.”
“To arms!” Listross pointed his weapon towards the door as seven men from the city pushed into the room, engaging all the Tavalaskian men.
Listross took a step back as he parried a blow to his torso. He nearly tripped over Magistrate Ossillion in the process.
“Ferronian scum!” Listross screamed, slashing his attackers wrist off clean, sword clattering to the floor.
Without a second thought Listross finished the man.
As he pulled his blade out, all his senses were heightened and the dip of blood from his sword onto the floor echoed in his mind. The scarlet drips matched the red roaring flame of hatred in his soul.
He grunted a breath after another blade sliced his bicep on top of his recently closed wound. Listross’s eyes moved just seconds before the rest of his body, forcing his blade into another Tavalaskian.
Listross glanced up as he took his sword back from the soon to be corpse. An enemy blade nicked Grink in the thigh. He positioned himself into a defensive stance.
“Quickly!” Lord Tizkul’s panicked voice rose above the echoing clang of indoor battle.
Another Ferronian was slicing through the thick hemp ropes binding the noble’s wrists and ankles.
Listross drew in a long breath as he stepped onto the short drink table, pulling the sword up behind his head.
He lept, letting out a war cry, slicing downwards.
Lord Tizkul’s head rolled from his body.
The Ferronians dropped the sword and met Listross’s eyes. “P-please.”
Listross chuckled as he watched the man’s pants grow wet.
“Daddy!” Eppra ran and scooped up her father’s head, and tried to place it back on his neck.
Listross grabbed the head by the hair and held it up, the terrified look frozen on the slightly plump features.
“I am Prince Listross Tavalask. Bow in surrender or die where you stand.”
All eyes turned to Listross, and the screech of metal against metal halted.
There were eight Ferronian men left in the room. All but two of them bowed. Grink and his right hand man ran the other two through.
“You monster!” Eppra sprang up her feet and slapped Listross.
Her father’s head hit the floor.
“Daddy!” Eppra dove for it.
“Wench!” Listross dove his foot into her chest, leaving her winded, on the floor three feet away.
Listross shook the blood of his sword, spraying lord Tizkul’s body.
“Grink, take these men and demand surrender. Kill all who resist. Take the head with you.”
Grink picked up the head, and headed for the door, his posture demanding obedience. Slowly the other men followed behind.
As they left, Eppra scooted into a corner next to a now broken glass display cabinet. Blown glass figurines lay broken all around her. She wept, scooping the pieces up, trying to get them to stick back together.
Listross walked over to Ossillion who lay bound in front of the sofa. He scoffed down at the pathetic state of the man and smirked.
Ossillion closed his eyes and turned his head away. “Does this really make you happy, Prince?”
“Victory? Of course.”
“And all of the blood, death and misery? Do you like acting like a Ferronian?”
Listross bent down to get a better look at the magistrate’s tear-stained face. “I am enjoying the revenge, yes.”
“Die!” Listross barely rolled away as Eppra attempted to stab him with a large shard of glass. It struck Magistrate Ossillion’s cheek.
Eppra screamed in disgusted fear and ran away from her own deeds, crying.
Listross shook his head and looked back at the magistrate. He yanked the shard free.
“I’m actually glad she stopped me from killing you. It let’s me give you the type of death a Ferronian noble deserves.”
“Prince Listross.” Ossillion’s words came out garbled as he spoke through the seeping blood. “Now is not the time for this.”
“Oh? And why not?” Listross rose and sheathed his sword.
“There are greater forces at work. The gods are upset. If they really are–.” He started coughing on the blood.
Listross laughed. “Do I hear cowardice in your voice oh noble magistrate? A Ferronian coward. Ha!”
Listross brought his sheathed weapon down on Ossillion’s side over and over.
The shealth slipped off as he brought it down the fifth time.
Another sword flew through the air and intercepted Listross’s blade with such force, it sent him stumbling back three steps.
The prince’s weapon clattered to the ground as he watched the opposing sword float through the air of its own accord and slice off Ossillion’s binds. The sword landed gently next to Ossillion.
Ossillion coughed and rolled over, trying to rise.
“List.” Flouth placed his hand on Listross’s arm. “The sun is rising and the city is practically secured. Grink is calculating casualties, and Rawruin headed out to bring in the woman and children. Wait. Why is he unbound?”
Ossillion turned towards the two men and put his forehead to the floor. “I bow to Prince Listross. I ask that you would please, please listen to my plea.”
Listross turned to Flouth. His heart broke seeing his normally chipper friend covered in dirt, sweat, blood and a frown. “Have a fire started in the intersection in front of the manor house. All Ferronian flags will be burnt on it as will the body of lord Tizkul. Put the head on a pike next to the fire.”
Flouth nodded and yawned. “Consider it done.”
“Then have our men rest in the homes. They are ours now.”
“Thanks, Prince. We all need it. You included.”
Listros nodded and patted Flouth on the back before he left.
Ossillion watched Listross, still bowing on the floor.
Listross stepped over him to sit on the floral print couch.
“Now, what is your plea, maggot.”
Ossillion sat up on his knees, but kept his eyes closed.
“Do you need to rest first?”
Ossillion shook his head, snapping his eyes to meet Listross’s. “After I fled the potato plantation, I stumbled upon an abandoned temple where I found this sword and a note. We need to stop this pointless squabbling if we want the world to survive.”