She was beginning to wonder why her master did these things to her. No matter what errands she ran for him, she always ran into trouble. Trouble always being large, scary men who pushed her around and demanded what she had of his. Honestly, this was probably why he didn’t run them himself. It seemed she had no luck whatsoever in this area…or any area really.
“Your master owes us! Give us the goods or we’ll take what he owes us from you.” He held her by the steel collar around her neck, her feet dangling off the ground and her eyes were wide with fear. She didn’t know what to do. If she didn’t come back with what her master asked, he’d beat her but…
“Hey! Put the girl down!” A voice called from behind the two and her eyes widened. It certainly wasn’t from her master. It sounded young, likely from someone her age. She struggled to see as her captor gripped her collar even tighter, swinging her around with him as he turned to face the intruder.
“Stay out of this, brat. It’s got nothing to do with you.” He spat, turning back to her with a smirk. “Now, it’s your choice, little girl. The goods or you?”
“P-please. My master will pay you, I assure you.” He wouldn’t. He had a habit of not paying debts. She’d definitely plead with him to do so. Before she could say anything else, the intruder interrupted with a very sharp kick to her captor’s face. She was dropped to her knees, her collar now released, and watched in shock as he turned with incredible speed and delivered another kick to the other man before he could assault him.
“I said let the girl go.” He said flatly to the two now lying on the ground, groaning. Slowly, they sat up, cursed the two and ran off. The boy remained standing there firmly, his arms crossed until they left. She looked up at him with wide eyes, the wind blowing gently.
His hair was long and purple, tied back into a long ponytail. He wore a pair of large golden hoop earrings and was dressed in a white Eastern outfit and a pair of flat shoes. As he turned to face her, her head tilted and a soft blush came over her face. His eyes were a soft gold, brighter than his earrings, and a charming smile was spread across his lips, charming enough to fluster her.
She bowed to him immediately, pressing her face and elbows into the dirt, spewing apologies and thanks to him. Her forehead remained pressed to the ground until a hand on her shoulder urged her up. She slowly sat up, gave a small bow and stood, bowing again.
“Again, sorry for bothering you, but I thank you for your help. Surely my master would be willing to compensate you.” She wasn’t completely sure, if she was honest. Her master wasn’t the most hospitable man, but he wasn’t the most hostile, either. He liked his slaves in peak condition; rather, he demanded it.
His eyes narrowed at master and softened a little. “So you’re a slave?” He didn’t have to ask. The question seemed more of a confirmation of what he already knew. Even at his age, Sinbad knew of slavery and he despised it. More importantly, he knew what the collar around her neck meant. It signified what kind of slave she was and well, it disgusted him to his core. *
She frowned, a blush coming to her face, but this time out of embarrassment and shame. “Yes, sir.” Back to her usual servant manners, as necessary, she bowed to him with a hand over her heart. “I am here for anything you require.”
His eyes narrowed even further. “Take me to this master of yours.”
She nodded and turned, gathering the things that she had been sent out for in the first place before heading in the direction of her master’s residence. She was sure there was something different about today, about this boy, but she wasn’t sure what. She was excited to find out and it was the first positive emotion she’d had for some time.
Humming as she opened the door to her master’s residence, she gestured for the boy to enter, just now realizing that she didn’t know his name. He entered, walking stiffly and giving a courtly nod in her direction. His demeanor had changed in the walk over, or since he’d found out she was a slave really. It had shifted from that initially charming hero to someone angry but somehow reserved about it. It made her nervous. Her master was like that. She never knew when he was going to strike her and he always made sure it was unexpected.
Once she entered the lavish mansion, she noticed the halls were empty and sighed. She could hear the all-too-familiar laughter and smell of smoke coming from the parlor room and motioned for the boy to remain at the door as she wandered towards it, slowly opening the door, carrying the goods her master had requested. To no surprise at all, she found her master with his many servants, her fellow sufferers in this regard, laying among them like a King among his subjects. The smoke was heavy in the air and she coughed, announcing her arrival.
He took another puff off of his pipe and blew it out, a thick dark brow quirking. “You’re late.”
She placed the goods before him and bowed, face to the floor. “I’m sorry, sir. I ran into some troubl-“ Before she could finish, a foot hitting her hard on the back of her head caused her to whimper, but she didn’t move.
“Unacceptable. I told you when to return and you’re late.” She bit her lip, focusing on suppressing the pain she was feeling as he dug his heel into the back of her neck.
“Sir, I brought back the person who helped me.” The words were muffled, but he heard them. He kept pushing his heel into the back of her neck. “He saved your goods from theft, sir.”
That gave him pause.
“Well, if someone has saved my goods from theft, bring them in!” He lifted his heel from her and she was eternally thankful. She stood, nodding and exited the room, gesturing for the boy to enter. He slowly did so, keeping his eyes on her.
“Sir, this is…” She glanced at the boy as she bowed.
“Sinbad.” The boy finished, remaining standing, his arms crossed.
“Sinbad.” She repeated, pressing her forehead to the ground.
“I hear you protected my goods from theft.” Her master stated, shooing the other servants out of the room. They whispered about and ogled Sinbad as they left and quite honestly, she couldn’t blame them. She was definitely going to have something to talk about with them later.
Sinbad glanced at her. “I did.”
“Well, I suppose I have to thank you. After all,” He grasped her by the back of her collar and pulled her over to him, shaking her a little. “This one does get in quite a bit of trouble, despite her fetching price.”
He sighed and dropped her. “I can give you a night with one of my girls. Not this one, of course.” He gestured to her on the ground beside him. “She’s far too expensive.”
Sinbad shook his head. “I require no such thing. I am a simple merchant with no place to stay.”
“S-surely you could just let him stay, sir?” She offered from the floor.
He rested his face in his hand. “I suppose.” He gave her a light kick towards Sinbad. “You take care of him then, Hikaru.”
“I-I will, sir.” She stood from the floor and gestured for Sinbad to leave, following him out. She gestured to a few servants to return, as she knew he would request.
Sinbad watched her in silence as she prepared his room, making his bed and preparing the nightstand for anything he might need. His eyes remained on the collar around her throat, unable to shake its meaning. He bit his lip as he recalled her master’s treatment of her and how he hadn’t done anything. He’d wanted to but he knew, unfortunately, that if he had, it would only have been made things worse for her. That was the only reason he hadn’t laid the man open right there using his Djinn.
“You don’t have to do that.” He spoke softly as she piled his bed with pillows and smoothed out any wrinkles on the sheet.
“I offered to do this.” She replied with a smile. “Therefore, it’s my choice.”
His frown didn’t change.
She stood in front of him and bowed.
“Do you require anything else, sir? Are you hungry?” She asked.
He bit his lip and for a moment there was silence. Sinbad was clearly debating what he wanted to say (for once). Then he spoke and his words were deep and sincere.
“Don’t do anything you don’t want to.”