Listross pulled back on the reins. His horse whinnied and pulled to a stop. “I just needed a drink, please, Prince Listross, I was just about to get back out onto the field.” The ferronian’s blond hair was caked to his forehead with water he had dumped on it. He pressed himself against the well, slowly making his way to the opposite side. Listross hopped off his horse and undid the clasp that held his whip in place on the saddle. “Slaves can get water when they break for lunch. It looks like I’ll have to teach you how to work better and harder.” “No, please.” The man turned to run, but froze and screamed as the whip fell on his back. “One.” He tried to take another step away. “Two.” The man fell to his knees. Listross stepped closer for a better angle. As he slammed the whip down for a third strike, he felt small arms wrap around his leg. “Daddy, stop! You’re hurting him.”
Listross’s stern eyes flashed between Emmya and Eppra. “Fine.” He drew his weapon. “Come men, let’s go take this city. We’ll enslave the Ferronians as they’ve enslaved us.” Eppra let out the breath she was holding and gave Listross a small smile. “Thank you.” “Bolfreed, take Emmya to Tales, and make sure she stays there. The rest of you, grab a weapon. When we go in, we will make a point to not kill. If the Ferronians resist, bind them. Flouth, grab the rope.” “Got it, Prince.” “But Daddy!” Bolfreed hoisted Emmya as she reached towards Listross. Listross turned his back as Bolfreed started jogging off. “I love you, Emmya. Just stay with Tales. You’ll be fine” Grink strode over and pointed at Eppra. “Your family lords over this town, correct?” Eppra gave a single nod. “Then, Prince Listross, I suggest you select three others to march with you to take that house. It’ll be a sign of power. Have the rest of the men position themselves in the city.” “If you’re breaking into teams, I’d send one to the blacksmith, one to the innkeeper, and one to the Rigor Farm. They have the most renown in town, that is, besides my father.” “Grink, take the blacksmith. Flouth, the innkeeper. Rawruin, the farm.” “Yes, Prince,” the three men saluted in unison. Listross thrust his blade into the air before marching. Eppra led her horse by his side through the forest to the city.
“I know it will be difficult to keep the children quiet, but we must.” Listross looked over his following, scanning the crowd. “Thankfully there are plenty of trees in the area to hide us, but we are only about three hours from the village. We will attack at night. By this time tomorrow, I hope to see everyone settling down in homes by fireplaces just as you all deserve.” Flouth, who stood at the back of the group, applauded softly and the rest followed. “Let’s try to avoid a fire tonight and eat our meal cold. We don’t want the smoke drawing unwanted attention.” “Yes, Prince,” Wanetha stood and started emptying various food items from the cart, commanding some of the other women to chop and slice. “Those of you needing to learn to read and write, please meet over there, and I’ll be with you in a moment.” Thyrin and the majority of the slaves that were new chattered excitedly amongst themselves. Listross smiled and waved as they passed by.