Chapter 10.1Mature

Robert did his best to distance himself from everything, from his surroundings, his guards, his lack of strength... None of it worked though. Everything he tried failed.

He heard the door down the corridor burst open and he tensed, expecting either a beating or a new slave.

The guards stopped by his cell, horrible grins on their faces. So, a beating it is, Robert thought as he looked at them blankly.

One of them unlocked the door and stepped in, grabbing his arm and dragging him to his feet. He said nothing as they pulled him out, though he was rather confused when they turned right instead of left. Left lead to the courtyard but right lead... to the house.

He stayed silent as he met Au’ra’s anxious eyes. She moved closer to the bars of her cell but stopped and shrank back when one of the guards kicked at the bars.

Robert didn’t dare to ask what was going on. They passed a few more cells. The inhabitants looked upon the little procession with great interest, though no one was quite sure of what was going on.

Ahead, one of the guards nudged the man beside him.

“Oi, what did the Baron actually say?” the former asked quietly.

“Well, how’m I supposed to know, stupid?” the other responded.

“It’s none of your business,” snapped one of the more senior men.

Silence settled.

The door was unlocked—it took a while as there were so many heavy locks that usually secured the door in place. It took two men to pull it open.

Robert looked around the large room. It was very well decorated, with chandeliers, and fancy carpets, and intricate rugs. He was marched past all of this finery.

He let his eyes glaze over as he walked down all the corridors. He didn’t see any of the old paintings, or the delicately carved pottery, and not even the engraved hunting blades that would have interested him once, a long time ago.

He thought back to the night that had led to all this. He didn’t regret his decision to take Beth’s place. At least... He didn’t think he did; every emotion, every memory, was as though it was happening to some far off stranger that he didn’t know, or had perhaps known a long time ago. He felt as though he wasn’t in sync with his old self. Not that it bothered him much anymore.

The End

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