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   Chapter 121 No.121

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5337

Updated: 2018-01-20 12:02


"How many questions have I asked?" she asked.

"Four. Unless you intend this to be the fifth, " he answered.

"Of course I don't. Four left. I have strayed too far. You need to tell me more about yourself. I want you to retell the story you told me as Leo. Where you grew up, what your life has been like. Only this time I want the truth, " she said.

"I had hoped you wouldn't realize your carelessness until your stockpile of questions had dwindled. Well, then. Of my earliest years, I know only what I have read. If the record-keepers are to be believed, I was found in the forest. My mother had died giving birth to me. The man who found me handed me over to his brother, a slaver. I was sold with a batch of two dozen slaves while I was still an infant, included free of charge. I was beaten, isolated, and ostracized by all who saw me. The only man who offered any semblance of care was a blind man named Ben. He was not so much fond of me as he was indifferent, but being ignored was as good as being pampered in those days. He and I had something in common. We had three stripes, " he said.

Myranda gave a questioning stare. Lain rolled up his sleeve, revealing a trio of vicious-looking scars, visible even through the fur on his arm. Below it, a similar scar formed a jagged curve.

"A slave is branded once when purchased, and again when they begin to work. The bottom mark is the symbol of the slaveholder I was sold to. The three lines denote my value. One line indicates the highest value, young men mostly. A second line may be added when a slave is less useful. These are gi

. Not only because they have the funds, but they tend to be the only ones arrogant enough to believe they may choose who lives and dies, " he said.

"You'll have to do better than that. I want names, " she said.

"Over one hundred years have brought me more employers than I can recall. It is safe to say that nearly every powerful family in the north has been on one side of my blade or the other, " he said.

"I am still waiting for names, " she said.

"Then you will have to be more specific. Refine your question, " he said.

"Fine. But this is still the same question. Have you ever worked for anyone I might have known? Someone in Kenvard?" she asked.

There was a reason she had danced around the question. She feared the answer. Kenvard was the former capital of the nation of the same name. Every influential family in the west had a representative there, and her parents had known all of them. What she knew of them told her they were good people who would never make use of a hired blade. What she knew of the world made her fear otherwise.

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