Don't Mind the Smell

(Faith)

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Ymiden 48 Arc 716

The stench of decay coming from the bag slung over Yana’s shoulder was hardly bearable. Especially under the warm Ymiden sun, the corpse within seemed to release even more of its stinky smell than it had in the cool home of the Denvor family. The man inside the bag had been the father of the current head of the business they ran. Merchants had a knack for accumulating wealth, and these ones had been no exception. Unfortunately for them, some thugs had seen in the now deceased Arthur Denvor the means to get their hands on quite a lot of coin. Whether it had been intended or not, Arthur had been stabbed in the gut a couple times and died, soon after he had called for the guards. Perhaps it was that which was producing that agonizing smell. Intestines weren’t exactly known for bringing forth a pleasant scent.

Yana shifted the weight of the dead man again, slowly making her way to the undertaker the family, her clients, had directed her too. Dirty work was her business, and while she’d rather work with living individuals, it seemed that either she wasn’t deemed good enough to protect a live man, or that she needed to have a certain reputation before she was hired for more … exciting jobs. Either way, working with the dead had the benefit of them being silent. No annoying chitchat from them.

A guard apprehended her, eyeing the bag with a suspecting eye. The Yludith merely fished a piece of parchment out of a pocket of her pants and showed it to the woman. It said the Denvor family had hired her, Rayna Ramsey, to take the body of Arthur Denvor, beloved father of the current head, Phillipe Denvor, to the Undertakers. And that she was to protect the corpse from further harm. It even had a seal stamped in wax on it to prove its authenticity. The guardswoman gestured she could pass, and Yana did so with quick strides. Transporting the corpse was no problem thanks to the foresight the family had had to give her that document, that way she didn’t have to avoid the knights out of fear she might be arrested. The transport was however the most difficult about her assignment. “Protecting the body” basically just meant staying with it at all times, and was only necessary because the family wanted Arthur’s stinking corpse to be buried wearing his favorite (expensive) clothes and jewelry, which were also in the bag, wrapped in a perfumed cloth. Why that sort of thing was necessary was beyond Yana, but she complied nonetheless. She was getting paid for this, after all.

After what felt like an eternity, the Undertakers front door finally stood in front of her, and she knocked the wood a couple times, hard. The body started slipping from her shoulder, and she adjusted it again, impatiently drumming a tune on the pommel of her sword with two fingers. The faster she was out of this damned sun, the better, else the corpse would be shriveled up like a dead leaf, and Yana would have to forget about her money. Sadly, being out of the sun would do nothing about the smell, since she was fairly sure what she was smelling now was not nearly as bad as what would be released upon opening the bag and placing the corpse on the undertaker’s table. At least she didn’t have to be hanging over it, she could just stick to the edge of the room, away from where the stench would be the worst.
Last edited by Yanahalqah on Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 609
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Faith was alone in the shop that trial, Jamal had gone out to buy some things and left her there. So, when she heard a knocking at the door, she moved quickly and answered it. The girl who answered the door was maybe late teens, slight and quite waif-like in her physique, wearing black trousers which were ripped, old and poorly fitting and a strapless black top which was in a similar state. She was clean, though, her long black hair was tied back and that revealed the slave brands she had; the one on her shoulder was old and stretched, like it had grown with her. The one on her neck, though, was much more recent and whilst it had healed, it was still obviously fairly new. She took stock in a moment of what was happening and she stepped forward to help Yana with the weight of the body.

"Mistress, come in." the girl said, and her voice naturally held that hushed tone best suited to libraries, universities and funeral parlours. "I am Faith, Jamal the undertaker owns me." she explained and she tried to not wrinkle her nose. This corpse was particularly smelly. The slight young woman looked at the corpse and she wondered if she would be able to carry it. She came to the conclusion that she would not be able to and so she spoke again "I can go and get a trolly, or you can bring your dead body through, mistress. I apologise, I am not strong enough to carry the deceased" That seemed to be the only thing that she could do, although she wondered how this new client would react. She might, after all, be a test from Jamal, or a genuine client. Her owner's propensity for psychological games was something that Faith was learning about and, as such, she did not really trust anything. So, she waited to see what Yana (althought she did not know her name, of course) would do; as Faith saw it she might carry the corpse in, let Faith get a trolly or she might insist that she tried to carry him. Whichever it was, she would follow to the best of her ability. "Am I to assume that you wish us to care for this individual in death, mistress?" she asked, politely.
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When the door opened, a rather waifish girl dressed in something that were more akin to rags than clothes stood there, a slave-brand on both her neck and shoulder. The girl stepped forwards to help support the weight of the corpse, though it was not quite necessary. She introduced herself as Faith, immediately mentioning her owner as well. Good, it seemed Yana was in the right place, not that she’d have knocked if she weren’t. “Rayna,” she spoke in response, more out of habit than consciously being friendly. “Your master isn’t here?” she almost-stated as she stepped inside, only the slight inflection of her voice making it a question. Yana did not need an answer though, as she believed the slave would have gone to fetch her master if he were in.

Faith then suggested to go get a trolley to move the body, which Yana curtly refused; she could carry the old man’s corpse for a bit or two longer, no problem. Though her shoulder and arm were killing her, she hadn’t been spending four arcs in the Etzori Military without developing some strength and endurance. Running a break with a backpack filled with stones was far worse than carrying a corpse for maybe fifteen bits tops. Though she had been switching shoulders every so often, as the body still was rather heavy.

“I don’t,” she spoke at the slave’s query, “but the people who hired me did. Details are in here.” She fished another folded parchment from her pockets, a different one from the document she’d been given to avoid being arrested by the guards. It held the expectations of the family, as well as their requests in regards to clothing and so forth among its contents. Instead of handing it over though, she just put the folded letter back into her pocket. “But that’s for later. Right now, I’d like to get this weight off my shoulders.” She stared incisively at the slave with her one eye to have her lead them to the workplace already, as if her tone of voice and words from before had not yet been enough.
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"No mistress" she confirmed when the woman clarified that Jamal wasn't there. But the woman who had introduced herself as Yana refused the trolly with the kind of curt sharpness which made Faith clear that there would be no trolly. She did not wish help, so Faith stepped back to give her space and she nodded her head "Of course, mistress. Through here, please" she said and led her in through the back of the reception area, down a short corridor where they passed by a door on the left and right, and then in to a cool room out the back. It was obviously where the corpses were kept, in fact there was one on a stone slab already, although it was covered over with a white cloth, the outline of a woman could be seen.

"There, mistress, please" she said, motioning to the nearest stone slab for her to work on. If Yana noticed such things, the room was clean and well organised. That meant that the corner where there was a bowl with water in it and a neatly folded but very threadbare blanket looked even more out of place, of course. Assuming that Yana put the body down, Faith moved to a small table next to the workspace and she picked up a small pot of salve. "If you wish it, mistress, you can put a dab of this under your nose to lessen the smell. The salve can sting if you get it in contact with your eyes, so I can administer it for you if you require it" she said, her voice hushed and careful. This one seemed to be a particularly smelly corpse, which was fine, but she knew that to those who did not spend their trials with the dead it could be quite nauseating. So, the lavendar and eucalyptus would stop the smell. Then, she stood, holding out the pot and waiting to see what the woman wanted her to do. She did not ask again for the letter or instructions, it was not her place to do so but instead she waited to be given instruction.
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Whether it were her words or her stare, they had the desired effect, and Faith the slave girl led her through the building, into a cool room where the bodies of the deceased seemed to be kept, examined and prepared for the funeral. There was a corpse on one of the stone tables already, but Yana had no interest in it. Seeing a dead body in a morgue was like seeing leaves on a tree. They were there, like they were supposed to. Besides, the body was covered up, and even if the Yludith would have been interested in cause of death, she’d first have to see the body itself for it to pique her interest.

So she walked past it, placing the smelly bag with the corpse in it on another stone slab, and moved out of the way, so the meek slave could do her job. For the moment, Yana assumed said job was just preparing the room for her master, so he could start doing his own job as soon as he got back. In the meantime, Faith offered her some salve, which she accepted. However, she did refuse the offer of having the girl administer it. Instead, she used her own right hand to put some of the concoction under her nose, breathing in freshness for the first time in a while. With her right eye blind and covered, there was no danger of her rubbing in that eye, and even if she’d rub her left one, she’d use her left hand. Yana didn’t thank her for it, as the slave did what she was supposed to do, and the Yludith felt no need for using the usual, somewhat social act she reserved for interactions with people.

What she did do, though, was asking questions when she felt like it. No beating around the bush, no wrapping them in a mantle of idle chitchat. Just questions she wanted the girl to answer, and that was it. “You can prepare a body, yes?” came the first, a rhetorical one, after a quick deduction. Surely, Jamal wouldn’t leave his business opened without there being someone around to perform the craft. She fished the requests of the family out of her pocket and offered the document to the girl, and should Faith have reached out for it, Yana would pull it back before the slave had a chance to actually grab it. The merc had two reasons for it; firstly, she was bored and wondered if she could drive the meek slave far enough that she’d fall out of her kind’s behavioral patterns. Naturally, as a pastime, Yana was planning to keep pestering the girl for the entirety of the time it took for Faith to prepare the body. She’d only stop if she succeeded. That said, she’d not just wave the Denvor family’s letter in front of her eyes the whole time; the corpse needed preparing after all. If it didn’t happen, Yana wouldn’t get paid. The second reason was a different matter: “You can read, can’t you?” she asked, now laying a demeaning tone in her voice, it being entirely different than the almost emotional tone she’d asked her first question with. This was of course in hopes to drive the slave-girl to the edge of her patience and meek behavior.

The letter itself, which Yana would hand over for real this time, should Faith state that she could read, was fairly simple. It stated that firstly, Rayna Ramsey had to be in the room with the body at all times, until the preparation was done and the funeral started. Secondly, no items, included in the bag the corpse had come packaged in, were to be taken out of the preparation room. If any attempt to smuggle them out of the room was made, be it by accident or intentional, Rayna was to treat it like an attempt at theft and should act accordingly. Thirdly, if the undertaker or a third party was about to leave the room, Rayna was to search them, to confirm no items were being stolen. If the undertaker, or the third party, refused, Rayna was not allowed to let them leave. Fourthly, all items included in the bag were meant for the deceased to be wearing after his body had been prepared by the undertaker. Fifthly, the undertaker was to prepare the body in a way befitting of a former head of a wealthy merchant family. And lastly, the undertaker would be rewarded handsomely for agreeing to these terms and the trouble it may cause.
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The woman with the eyepatch walked through and deposited the body. Faith handed her the salve and waited, quietly, as the woman called Yana applied the salve to underneath her nose herself. There appeared to be no need for any social niceties, or any other such thing. But the slave girl was used to being treated in a much worse way than someone not bothering to chit chat. "I am, mistress, yes" she said, when asked if she was able to prepare a body. She was more than able to do that and, in fact, Jamal let her run the shop alone these trials. But the mistress has asked one simple question and Faith had answered the question that she had been asked, nothing more.

There were instructions and the woman held them out to her. Faith carefully and slowly, as she did most everything, reached out to take them, but the woman pulled them back, snatching the paper out of the way and asking in a voice which told of her wish to torment Faith if she was able to read. "Yes, mistress, I have been allowed the privilege of reading in servitude to my owner" she replied, her eyes cast down and her demeanour as meek as ever before. If Yana thought that being demeaning to her was going to break her, she had never met a slave trained from birth in Athart before. As Yana gave her back the instructions, Faith spoke again "Thank you, mistress" she said and she examined the letter.

Five instructions and she read them and re-read them. She knew what Jamal would say was he here, and she read the five points one more time in order to ensure that she fully understood what it was. "We can accept this, mistress. The body will need to stay in here, my owner will provide you with a place to sleep in the room if you need it." she probably would want to sleep, Faith considered, as it was likely to take a few trials to sort everything out. Jamal certainly wasn't going to want to be bothered with these ridiculous conditions. "My owner will be back soon, with your permission, mistress, I will begin the preparation of the body. May I, please, mistress?" she asked, softly. Her expression, her demeanour, her whole way of being was meek and submissive. If Yana was determined to get a rise out of the young girl it was almost like she knew it and was purposely not responding in any way other than the ways that a good slave would.

Or maybe she was that submissive.

But just as Yana might answer, there was the sound of the door and in to the back room strode a man in his fifties, human and with grey receding hair and a grey beard. He walked into the room, looked around and saw Yana, the corpse and then he spoke a word "Position one" and Faith moved, quickly moving to next to him and kneeling, head bowed and eyes on the floor. "Tell me what a client is doing here" he said, looking at Yana but obviously speaking to Faith. She replied, telling him that mistress had brought the body to the door, had carried the body through and had given Faith the instructions from the family. He listened, questioned again and told her to read the instructions. She did, quickly, quietly and obediently. It was only then that Jamal would turn to Yana and speak "My slave has told you well. We accept. She will prepare the body and she will adhere to your clients' demands. She can not stay in this room, she must attend to my needs, but to make up for that and to ensure that your clients are paying for a good service, she will not sleep until her work is done. While you are here and she is in the room with you, you may command her and she will obey you unwaveringly. Instruct her and use her as you will" he said, his hand on Faith's head, keeping it bowed. "Do you need me to arrange the funeral or will the family be doing so?" he asked, thoughtfully, looking at Yana with a very businesslike expression. But this was a man who was well aware that he was talking to a cat and giving it a mouse to play with. But for whatever reason, his eyes and his expression told her that he was quite alright with that.
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Yana’s demeaning tone only seemed to have the opposite effect, which wasn’t too surprising really. The Yludith was quite certain that if the slave was aware of what she was trying to do, she would do her utmost best to stick to her meek behavior. For the slave, there were most likely serious consequences attached to forgetting one’s place and position. Faith responded to the demeaning question as a perfect subservient slave should. Apart from the mercenary handing over the letter, the slave didn’t get another reaction out of her; no hint of a smile, no twitch of the facial muscles that might point to one emotion or another. Just the same face with the same expression Yana had been wearing since she’d knocked on the door.

With the slave reading the letter a couple times, Yana pulled a notebook out of a pocket sewn into her cloak, then rummaging through another to fish out a charcoal pencil. She browsed through the pages, finding the section she’d titled “Individuals”, and added a new, smaller title in a neat handwriting. “Faith”, it read. Then, she decided to describe the girl with the keywords ‘slave’, ‘undertaker’, ‘owned by Jamal’, ‘malnourished’ and ‘submissive’. This was just basic information so Yana would be able to recall who exactly she’d taken notes on. As good a memory as she had, Yana usually couldn’t be bothered to remember the names of people she only came across once or twice every cycle. She doubted she’d run into Faith after this job was done, as well as of the slave would prove to be an interesting subject, but at the moment, anything was better than just twiddling her thumbs, bored out of her mind.

As she made a title ‘notes’, and started to write down the slave girl’s reaction to her demeaning behavior, said slave informed her that she was willing to accept the conditions outlined in the letter. Yana looked up from her notebook only briefly. “Good,” she spoke, part of her mind thinking of ways to prompt a reaction from the slave. On the first glance, it did not seem like Faith was likely to talk back to her. If anything, Yana had only been able to witness an extreme display of submission. Everything from her expressions, to body language, to tone of voice, they all screamed submission. Even a retard would be able to recognize the girl as nothing more than a slave. Yana wasn’t even sure if it was a very convincing act, or if the girl actually behaved this way naturally. As odd as it was, as surprising to find it in a slave girl, Yana found herself wanting to know. Even more so, she wanted Faith not to be acting at all. That way, she could delve deeper, reveal more about the why and how. Her eye shone fiercely with the desire, but before she could act on it, the sound of a door opening resounded, and Yana was pulled back out of her thoughts, acutely aware that she’d been spacing out.

A man had appeared, ordering Faith around like a trained dog. Yana made a note of it in her journal, a little amused by the sight; it was quite impressive how low a human could fall. Or maybe, she corrected herself, she never was human in the first place. Perhaps she never even needed to fall. After an exchange with his possession, Jamal spoke to Yana too, indeed agreeing with the terms, though it did not seem as if he was planning on being bothered by them himself. In his generosity, he delivered Faith entirely to Yana’s mercy, which was a pleasant surprise. Instead of only using words, Yana could now use just about anything to ‘experiment’ on Faith. She looked at the kneeling girl, her eye fixing on the downcast stare of the slave, however, Yana didn’t let her expression change. “Thank you for your kindness,” Yana said with honey-sweet tone, “I’ll take good care of her.”

The funeral was then to be discussed, and Yana refused his offer politely, her behavior entirely different from her interaction with Faith. It was only natural though, as Jamal was a being, whereas Faith was but a tool, an object. Like a spoon, or a chair. “The offer is appreciated, but the family is already in the midst of organizing it. They will be taking care of the preparations for the ceremony, but do request to be notified when the body is fully prepared.”

For as long as the undertaker was in the room, Yana wasn't going to do anything yet, knowing the meaning of the words 'politeness' and 'etiquette'. It wasn't like she didn't want the undertaker to know or see what she was going to do to his slave, no, she couldn't care less, but it was just plain rude to order another's slave around in their house, in their presence. Yana wanted to have a reputation that was positive in regards to her interactions with clients. Mercenaries weren't always known for that, but if she could show that she could get her jobs done, and wasn't a rude savage, well, that could only lead to more clients, no?

As soon as he left though (if he'd actually leave), Yana would snap her fingers to draw Faith's attention and say : "Position two." She was actually quite curious what commands Jamal had thought this perfectly subservient slave of his.
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After she had informed Jamal of the situation, he turned his attention to the client. They agreed the terms of the job and it included her and her behaviour around the woman Yana. Jamal gave her ownership over to the woman and Faith understood exactly what that meant. It was not the first time that she had been 'loaned' to another in this way and she knew what the situation demanded. Jamal had offered her to other business owners, to secure the best deal for goods, so she was quite familiar with the situation.

Jamal and Yana spoke, and the voice that Yana used was sweet and friendly. Jamal smiled at her and bowed his head slightly, in acknowledgement. "I am sure that you will respect my goods." he said, twisting his hand in Faith's hair. She did not react to that, not at all and he smiled at Yana. "The preparation of the body, to the standard your clients wish will take her two trials, taking into account her duties for me, I hope that is acceptable. Of course, it might take longer depending on your use, but she is well trained and will please you, I am sure" he said and then he made sure to clarify all the finer details, making sure that they were both happy with each detail. He was a careful man who paid attention to detail. But once that was done, he left the room. Of course, they had agreed that anyone leaving the room would be searched. He acquiesced to that without complaint.

Whilst all of this occurred, Faith stayed in her kneeling position, eyes cast down to the ground. And then, when the two of them were alone, Yana snapped her fingers and called for 'position two'. As soon as the words were out of Yana's mouth, Faith stood and moved to kneel on Yana's right hand side. Instead of kneeling in an upright position, she knelt on the floor and folded her body forward so that her nose and forehead was literally touching the floor in front of her, her chin touching her knees. Her hands were clasped behind her back and it looked to be inordinately uncomfortable. She did not speak and, once she was in place, she did not move until Yana instructed her further.
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All in all, Yana found Jamal to be an agreeable man to interact with. He was all business, wasted no time with idle chatter, and did not complain about still being subjected to being searched even though he’d been nowhere near the bag and its contents. He had informed Yana of everything she needed to know and more, without her having had to ask about it. That was always a good thing. If she could get by without having to open her mouth too much, it always was a good thing. For a man like him she wouldn’t really mind working, she supposed.

Once he had left, Yana began ‘using’ Faith, commanding her to take position two, which did not look all that comfortable, though the Yludith didn’t give a damn. She slowly paced around the kneeling girl as if wanting to inspect her position from all sides and angles. “Is this one used for punishment?” the mercenary questioned, noticing that the position was rather hard on the neck, judging by the muscles and tendons there. It seemed a likely reason for such a position, though Yana could have been wrong. “How do you feel when you’re made to sit like that? And why?” She held her pencil at the ready, preparing to write down the keywords of the girl’s answer. She didn’t even bother asking for honestly, as she assumed the girl was quite incapable of lying. “And what about this one? Position one.” She waited a trill or two for the slave to move, then she asked again, pencil ready. “How do you feel, and why?”

For a bit or so after Faith had given her an answer, Yana was lost thought, pencil tapping against her jaw. Then, she started a bit of a monologue, once more pacing around the slave girl. “I am starting to see the whole picture,” she stated, prodding the girl’s shoulder blades with the stump end of her pencil, as if it tell her to sit up straight and not slump, tracing her spine for an inch or two. “At first I found it strange that your master would leave you alone in the shop, knowing a profession, and being able to walk out if you wanted to. I mean, not taking in account your brands, you could just run away and survive. Make money even. As long as you kept your marks covered up you could be free.” Yana tapped the mark on Faith’s shoulder and pushed the girl’s head to the side so she could view the one in her neck better. “But that’s how people think. How slaves who were once people think. You have never been a person, have you?” She let go of the slave’s head. “How old is the faded one? Sixteen, seventeen years? How old are you? About the same?”

By no means could Yana tell the age of the scar, but she could follow her deductions to make an estimated guess. Not that it was too hard though; the extreme submission, the stretched out, faded mark, the timid and meek attitude. It all made sense. It all added up. Yana’s hypothesis was that Faith had been born into slavery, probably condemned to her fate by her own mother, who’d been a slave herself. It wasn’t too unusual for slave women to become pregnant, and usually their children weren’t considered people. More like…cattle. Yes. Cattle. If one of the herd gave birth it only meant an extra addition to the workforce. If isolated, those children who had never been people, who didn’t know any better, truly became a slave in mind and body. Like Faith here.

Yana stood in front of the slave, a finger under the girl’s chin to make her look up. The Yludith studied her eyes with a slight frown, as if she were looking for something. “If we were to compare ourselves to animals, I’d have said you were nothing more than a dog. I mean, I say sit, you sit. I say stay, you stay.” She shrugged. “But that’s not quite the case. You see, even a dog would bite an owner who’s not good to them. You, on the other hand… you wouldn’t. You’d just endure it. For the rest of your life, if you were so unlucky.” The merc gave the girl a look of “Am I right or not?” for just a brief moment, then she resumed looking for something in the slave’s eyes. She placed her thumb and index above and below one of Faith’s eyes, holding it open so the blinking would not interrupt her. Incidentally, the hand used was her right, the same hand she’d used to smear the salve under her nose earlier. Her fingers were actually still a little greasy from the salve. Yana was aware of it, deliberately having used her right hand. “No, I am the dog here. I do tricks in return for treats. Pay me, and I do as I am told. You, on the other hand, you’re just a sheep. You have your uses and you’re not too hard to control. In reality though, I am not a dog, but a person. As is your master. You though… you are a spoon.”

The Yludith let go of the girl’s face, removing her fingers from her eyelids, both content with what she’d seen, and not. “Not even a trace,”Yanahalqah muttered, speaking of Faith’s lack of humanity. “Deft work, and yet so disappointing.” With even the most insulting and humiliating of words and tasks Yana would not get the desired response from Faith, it seemed. She’d probably have to resort to actual physical torture for that to happen. However, that would be damage of property, and Yana wasn’t quite willing to lose a potential future client over something as a slave. “Tell me, where were you trained? Was it here? Did Jamal expertly mold you into this?”
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Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:12 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Fanatical Philanthropist
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Wealth Tier: Tier 10

Don't Mind the Smell

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She stayed in position two as she replied to Yana's question "Yes, mistress. It is used by my owner to punish me" she said, her quiet and hushed voice calm and controlled. She might have been discussing the weather, so calmly did she respond. Jamal did indeed use it for punishment, but she did not know how much information Yana wanted in terms of just how Jamal used the position. "Would you like me to explain how, mistress?" she asked. If Yana wanted this explained, Faith would tell her, explaining that Jamal would instruct her into position two for breaks at a time, once a whole trial. Sometimes it was in response to her behaving in a manner which he did not approve of, sometimes it was in response to a failure in a task he had given her. Sometimes, she would explain, she did not know why he instructed her into this position, but it was always to remind her of her place. If Yana did not wish her to explain, of course, she did not. But either way, she answered the next question.

"I feel privileged to be in servitude to my owner, mistress. I feel concerned that I might have failed in some way" she explained it carefully, quietly. She was used to answering such questions, Jamal insisted on her describing her responses in detail to him, so that he could better use her responses to punish and train her. She then transferred, immediately, to position one and when Yana asked how that made her feel, Faith considered and then answered "I feel safe, mistress, at my master's side and in my place" Yana was correct. There was no need to insist on honesty, Faith was a fundamentally entirely honest individual who knew no ability to lie.

As Yana moved her, twisting her head around to see her slave brand more clearly, Faith said nothing and simply remained in position moving with Yana's hands. "The first one was on my birth, mistress, yes. I do not know how old I am, exactly, mistress". At Yana's monologue about how she was a dog, but then she was not even that, she did not flinch when Yana held her eye open, with the hand that had used the salve. Her eye reddened and water started to pour from it, but she did not flinch. But at Yana's question of 'am I right', Faith answered softly. "No mistress, you are wrong. I do not endure my life or my owner's treatment of me. I welcome it as it is my place. I am no more than his property, not a pet like a dog" she said, looking at Yana.

But the final question was easier to answer "I was born and trained in Athart, mistress. Jamal bought me there just over an arc ago, mistress. Jamal has continued my training, mistress, and tells me that I am nearly fully trained". She remained, of course, in position one and waited to see what further questions or orders for her Yana might have.
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Life, Death and the In-Between .
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