Chapter 29 - A New roommate. Robert Voss the nobleboy
"How can I help you, little boy? Do you need any help around? Have you got lost around here? Hey, are you listening to me?" asked Vlad, looking calmly at the boy in front of him, who was looking fearfully at him.
The boy was only staring at him like he was expecting a beast to lunge at him. The boy remained like this for a bit until Vlad coughed a bit to wake the boy up.
"Sir, I have been assigned to this house by some people. I'm sorry if I disturbed you just now." said the boy while apologizing to Vlad, still with a hint of fear in his tone.
"Ohh, have they said so? Well, come in, boy, we have a spare bed for you taking dust for some years." smiled Vlad to the boy while gesturing for the boy to enter.
Still skeptical about the man who opened the door to answer, the boy entered timidly inside, followed by Vlad. When the boy got inside, the first thing he noticed was a young man quite tall but smaller than the one who opened the door for him, looking at him saying.
"Wow, there's actually a fresh meat arriving in this hellhole to live with us. Damn, isn't it funny, Vlad, Kipset? It has been like forever since I got a new roommate. Boy, you can now relax, nothing will happen while being with us here. Not even the guards can't deal with us." said Inorra while checking the newcomer.
It didn't take long for the third young man in the room to comment, sneering at Inorra.
"Stop talking empty words to the boy. Why people avoid us, or the guards don't start conflicts with us is because of Vlad, so don't be smug about this fact and corrupt the kid." added Kipset while also checking the newcomer.
'The kids actually handled the shift quite well, glad that Inorra didn't turn stupid because of his head trauma from two years ago.'
The boy was average in height. He was 1,50 meters, black hair, brown eyes, and his nose, which looked to be taken from some sculpture, gave him a noble appearance. Overall when not taking into consideration his bruised face, his appearance was fine to the eye.
The boy wanted to relax, but he just couldn't. From the time he arrived in this hellish camp, he started thinking of all kinds of scenarios in his small head.
'Shit, my body hurt like hell. Curse those annoying guards. I only insulted that fat fuck for a bit. He didn't even listen to a single thing I told him about my status and the fact that I can give him money. Who does he think he is to buy and enslave me?'
'They really didn't hold back and even hit my face, I rarely even got hit in my face back home, and now I have to feel it on my skin.'
'They even smugly told me what home I was assigned right after beating me and about the Blood Devil living there. I never heard of devils living on any island from Teacher, but hey, who knows what crazy kingdom have I been sold by that dirty pirate.'
'On my little heart, how can people live in these conditions? What kind of crap of road did those idiots build here? What's that by the side? No, (disgusted face) they really did it on the roads, look there's glass everyone on the road, even the houses are missing wood.'
'Finally, I reached my new home. It was number 115, right? But how is it possible? Almost every single shack I passed while walking was in a decayed state, yet this hut is in good condition. Couldn't be, there's really a devil living here? Ahhh! Whatever, if I get eaten by the Devil is to be seen, but I have to show respect at least and knock on the door.'
'(Knocking-sound) I really did it, now let's hope the devil living here is just scary talk.'
'Ohh, someone at last responded. No way! Is he really the Devil? Damn, he's really handsome, curse him, even dad isn't so handsome. His eyes are really nice, those dark-green eyes I rarely saw these colored eyes at home. They really look mysterious. He also seems to have a strong body, look at those muscles and scars, even dad's guards are lacking when comparing this man with them. He is kind of scary considering everything.'
'Phew, he's a good person. He doesn't seem to be as bad as the guards described him to be. Here we go, let's see what's inside. Who's the "new meat" crazy guy? Ohh, so that's why the house looks so well. No one wants to deal with this person.'
Vlad watched the boy, Kipset and Inorra, from the side, still close to the door, and laughed when seeing them flex a bit. Getting closer to the boy, he touched his head and asked.
"Kid, nice to see that you calmed a bit. You can call me Vlad or Blood, and as that cheap mouth said, you should fear nothing here, at least for now. The one who talked first is Inorra, who has a big mouth. As for the second, he's Kipset. He's more normal than the silly one. You'll get used to this environment kid, we have been here for a long time, about 4 to 6 years."
"Haha, probably he was still crying for his mom when we were smashing stones in the mine. Hey kid, nice to meet you. I am Inorra, you can come to tell me your problems, and we'll see what it can be done." commented Inorra while laughing a bit when thinking of all the time he stayed in the mine, going to give the boy a handshake.
The next one to shake the boy's hand was Kipset. He didn't say more than introducing himself. He started acting like how a future adult should, trying not to act like Inorra most of the time.
The kid understood that his future roommates were good people and dropped his guard a little. Facing them, he introduced himself at last. Bowing at first to Vlad, who was the first to act friendly towards him, he said.
"Thanks for the welcome. I'm called Robert Voss of Antulum Kingdom. About how I got here. A hateful pirate crew attacked my ship when I was travelling to another kingdom for a diplomatic mission. In the end, those guys were too strong and got captured by them. Not even my family guard could do anything to them. To think that even paradise is infested with those human traffickers."
"Damn, he has a surname. He's for sure a noble kid from a big family." said Inorra while looking at Vlad, while turning back to the young man, Robert.
"Ahh, right, I forgot to say that I'm 12 years old. And yes, I'm still of noble birth, but my family is not really important among the noble families. My father is a Count overseeing a city of the kingdom, but that's all. The royal family doesn't care about my family or the city we administrate. They are only asking for the tax money."
'Those guys are really not stupid for some slaves. They can figure me out in no time, it will be hard to keep secrets from those guys for how long I will stay here. Teacher, you annoying old man, this is all your fault convincing father to sent me on that stupid diplomatic mission to marry some princess.'
"I see, so you got here similarly to us. For you to know Little Robert, Kipset and I got here in the same way you got, the same fate as you. We also got captured by pirates, but maybe your capturers were grander than ours to have the guts to attack a noble ship." added Vlad, followed by Kipset agreeing after him.
After ending laughing, Vlad continued and asked Robert for more information.
"So you're of noble birth, you got sent for a diplomatic mission at your age to forge some alliances most likely. Oh right, how old are you this year?"
Nodding his head, understanding the boy's situation, he ended questioning him about his family. Furthermore, he complimented the boy's ethics.
"Robert, you seem to be a good kid, when you said that you are of noble birth, I started thinking about the spoiled brats that never got to see the outside world. But looking at you and seeing you react makes me think you got a great teacher looking after you. In the end, how did you manage to get those bruises?"
"Thanks for the compliment, and you're right on the spot. My teacher is really a weird one. He would beat me since young age whenever I acted spoiled, but in rest, he's a great person." saying that and thinking about how he got beaten by the guards, gritting his teeth, he said.
"My bruises are from the guards. When those pirates captured me, they sold me to an auction house which later sent me here. I got brought by a fat guy, a guy so annoying to the eye that I couldn't hold myself from insulting him."
"So you insulted that pig and got beaten by his guards. Sigh, that's a bad mistake on your part. You should just keep silent. Did you offer him anything in exchange for your freedom, such as money?" asked Vlad slowly and calmly, taking his time with the new kid.
When Robert heard Vlad's question, he nodded his head while holding a hateful expression on his face. "That's right, my family might not be rich compared to the royal family or the dukes, but it has enough to get me released from slavery."
"Oh, that fat retard seems to have learned his lesson from that incident 2 years ago not to buy into this kind of offers. So he's not really that blinded by greed to accept any offers from anyone. Sigh, I'm sorry, kid, it might be my fault that he didn't accept your deal."
"If you're curious why I say this, it's because when I was younger than you, when I was freshly brought by him, he suffered some sort of humiliating loss against the other influential people. Story short, he began beating me, probably like what happened to you. However, some escape from his short memory, but I never escaped his memory. He wanted me to suffer, and so he kept putting his goons to attack me, torture me and so on. Until two years ago when I met him again, where I offered him a deal, which he didn't take."
The boy was shocked thinking about how that fat guy was surrounded by a guards squad when checking the people he brought. However, the memory of him being kicked by Mayer was still fresh in his mind.
"Have you eaten something?" asked Vlad, the new boy called Robert, who quickly wanted to disagree with this help, not wanting to be indebted to anyone since arriving here. Seeing the boy refusing him, he chuckled a bit with a grin on his face and continued.
"You don't like to own others favors? Don't worry, I'll not ask you anything in return, just take me as a generous big brother looking for someone who's just lost." said Vlad while smiling slightly at Robert
Kipset looked at Vlad, who talked to the young boy and thought to himself.
'More like an uncle helping out some unfortunate kid. But I better don't say that in his face because I don't want his secret to be revealed.'
"Robert, right? You can go to the table and wait for a bit, there is still some food in the room, but don't tell anyone about that, it would only create more trouble for us. If you're a bad boy and tell this secret of mine, you'll upset me."
"No, no. Who should I tell this information to? I don't know anyone here. Should I go and tell the guards? Are you kidding me after what they have done to me? No way. I'm not a rat to betray the trust of generous people, if I would have done such a thing, my ancestors would curse me from their graves or even rise to spit me on the face."
"Good, I like you boy, go sit by the table. Right, to not forget, if you want, you should stay in the shack to recover a bit. You'll get to the mine next day." turning to Inorra, he said. "Go pull some food from the storage while I'm preparing to go to the mine. Also, take care when you're in the mine. I heard from old Nius that some parts deep down are starting to give up and crumble.
"Sure, sure, you don't have to babysit us so much, Vlad. Hey kid, come here, see what you want to eat." said Kipset while taking note of what Vlad said.
Robert went to where Kipset was, seeing on the ground storage with food. He was shocked by the variety it held.
'Those guys are really good people. Those guards calling Vlad a devil could only imply that he really did some messed-up stuff in the guard. Even this weird Inorra or Kipset seem to be good guys from the way they interact and talk with me.'
'Old man, can you see this? I might have been unlucky since the start of my journey, but it seems my luck shine upon me right now. Food and sleep that's what I need the most right now.'
More or less, that's how Robert had his first full meal in days since the day the pirate crew took him hostage. Not even the auctioneers took care of his meals properly. When he got here, he was all bruised up and with an empty stomach.
Seeing the boy smile while emptying the food on the table, Vlad chuckled slightly while Inorra was cursing the boy for stuffing himself.
"Just let him be Inor. Why curse the poor kid? If you were in his shoes, wouldn't you do the same?" questioned Vlad while dressing in his day-to-day clothes.
Inorra was left without words to reply. Grumbling, he was also prepared for the mine work. Where Kipset did the same, but when seeing Inorra being put in his place by Vlad, he could only laugh at his misfortune.
After some minutes, the three of them left the shack, going for a new day. Robert was left alone, but he sat down thinking with a full stomach, going toward his bed.
'What weird guys, but they aren't so bad, even the food wasn't so bad for starters. Now, I should focus on recovery to get some strength back. I don't want to be too indebted to those guys later on.'
While their new roommate was recovering, the three culprits, respectively, Vlad, Kipset, and Inorra, were now facing the staff member who assigned jobs for the mine. It was only an assignment in the name because after being for so many years in the camp, pissing off diverse people of the higher echelons, made it. Hence, their job was almost the same.
The staff told them quickly what they got to do, only to escape from Vlad's cold stare that started to give him sweat on his back.
Inorra and Kipset got the job of carrying stone from the middle point, whereas Vlad got back to his normal station that was the gallery depths.
In those four years, the miners with Vlad and old Nius on the front reached quite far compared to the point they were at Vlad's first job. With a pickaxe in hand and chisel on the other one, he walked together with Inorra and Kipset until the two had to stop. Vlad had to walk quite a bit to reach the current site. It went without problems or any incidents coming from the guard side or the miners. Whenever Vlad was going down, the best comparison was that of a plague walking down. Everyone wanted to be as far as possible from him when that happened.
Walking for some time with a clear path. It felt like Moses was splitting the Red Sea, but only the scenario was going without any waterbody, but with the guards and miners.
'Those fuckers are so overeating, I didn't kill a single slave, wait, that little rat I killed two years ago also counts as a slave. But still, they are really pissing me off with this overreaction, them doing this also draws more attention to me, which I don't want.'
At last, Vlad heard people talking, laughing all alone in the depths, but one was the most distinctive for him from all those voices. Old Nius was likewise tasked with the job here.
Greeting the miners, and when he reached old Nius, he asked with a shocked face.
"Old man, how come those arrogant pricks didn't send you for some clean air? For them to want to kill such an experienced worker, they are so cruel."
Turning to see Vlad's faked shock on his face, Nius only sneered and replied in kind. "Ohh, if it is not our shining star, Blood Devil. Guys, the workhorse is back in action. Get out, or else he will collapse the roof on you!"
The other miners laughed at Nius, and some said. "Old Nius, stop scarring the new guys again. It's tough to get new working hands down here, maybe you don't mind staying your entire life here, but I have a family waiting at home each night."
"Yeah, sure, you and a family? Do you think I don't know what you've been spending your money lately with those girls from the hellhole? To even say such cold words to me when we worked for so long down here.
When the miner heard what the old man had to say, he stumbled some steps back and dropped on the ground making the other miners laugh.
"Sure enough, so that's where you were going most of the days. Sigh, you retard, don't you know those girls are dangerous. Well, fuck it. Should we get going and end this job faster for today." added another miner.
Nodding at what the other miners said, Vlad got close to the old man, saying quietly and seriously.
"Old man, I will try to escape soon from the camp. I'm saying this to you because of everything you've done for me, from you looking after me when I just arrived here until this moment. I am pretty much indebted to you.
"No need to say this stuff, lad. Aren't we close, bounded by the events we walked past?"
"That's why I am saying this, old man, you're like my father or grandfather that I never met. This is I feel inclined to tell you this. I will come back to meet you again when I get powerful enough to kill my enemies. My escape should be happening in about one week because of that festival happening in Kalerna Town and around Kaysang.
'Should I also tell him about my real identity, or at least the name? I feel really bad to leave the old man in the shadow after being one that helped me the most, even showed me this much trust.'
"Right, there's also something else I have to tell you, but it will be on the last day before I escape from the mine."