In some other place, a group of slaves dressed in tattered clothes with shackles on their hands and feet were walking. The iron chains were connected to the respective other slaves so that no one could escape on their own.
One could see that all of them starved to their bones. If Luz were here, he would have immediately recognized his two siblings. You could see their burning hatred in their eyes as they continued to march the path while dragging rotting slaves with them.
The slavers didn't care that some of them died and weren't so keen on taking unnecessary breaks to remove the dead from them. Some of them saw it more as an amusement to see how the group struggled in their pace.
It's kind of ironic since we all would think that they want to sell as many people as they can. But unfortunately, for the slaves, some enjoy seeing how desperate some drag their dead comrades while walking to their sealed destiny.
"One day, I'm going to hunt them all down… Gab, we aren't allowed to lose any hope till we reunite with our brothers," Raph whispered to him.
Gab nodded. His eyes were red in madness. Every cell of his body was filled with hatred. His only reason to continue moving on except for his brothers was hatred towards his enslavers. Every day he was busy daydreaming on their march how he would strangle the slave traders to death.
'My biggest regret is not being a mage yet. Luz used a spell above his weight class to give us a chance to live another day. It's kind of pathetic that we ended up as slaves. I'm not even sure if he would die because of the injuries of using such a spell… It only makes our current state more pathetic…' went through Gab's head as he continued marching onwards on the hot sand.
His throat was burning, and everything hurt, but he continued moving on.
His anger slowly turned to sadness and despair.
"Dying with all the other villagers, fighting desperately against a dragon, would have been a more honorable death than my current situation," muttered Gab.
"Don't say that, brother. We'll escape this hell one day. I only got you… please don't lose any hope yet.… I can't lose another brother," Raph pleaded as he slowly held Gab's hand.
"What the hell are you two morons doing?" shouted a voice as the sound of the thunderous whip plash could be heard.
"Brother…" muttered Raph as he watched how his older brother Gab took the blow head-on to protect his younger brother.
Blood dripped down Gab's back as he continued striding forward, gritting his teeth not to let his pain heard.
"It's ok, Raph," he replied before the two silently marched on.
While marching, the number of dead corpses they had to drag because of the chains that bound them together increased.
If they were lucky, some of the slaves just collapsed out of tiredness and would carry the burden with them later on.
The slave traders ordered a stop after the sun went down. Their horses needed a break so that they could recuperate. Some unfortunate slaves got grabbed by one of the slave traders to relieve their stress.
It was a grotesque sight to see what was happening, and the two brothers wanted nothing more than to continue their walk.
Raph was afraid of ending up as the next victim. The ration, which they got was a loaf of bread. The piece of bread looked as if it wasn't even edible and had no taste.
Both of them continued resting till one of the slave traders approached them. As grab pretended to sleep, he planned on how he could protect his brother from such a sicko.
"A young and tender male whose afraid is the kind of people with whom I enjoy it the most," the man whispered to himself as he grabbed Raph's arm.
Raph screamed, but the man slapped him before falling over him and trying to tear his tettered clothes apart.
He even succeeded to a certain degree.
"You sick psycho," went through Gab's head as he stood up.
He used the moment of surprise to wrap the chains around the throat.
Throwing himself to the ground with the man while tightening the chains around his throat.
The slave trader felt for the first time in his life fear from his own subjects.
He wanted nothing more than to scream for help, but the chains were so tightened around his neck that he had problems with breathing.
Desperately he grabbed the chain while gasping for air, straining at the chains, but it did not change his situation. The other slave drivers were not there and did not notice what was happening.
Slowly a boy stood up with eyes filled with hatred as he slowly chanted a fire spell enveloping his hand with a flickering fire.
The slave traders realized by then what was happening there. But they chose to watch the theater with amusement.
"Show it to him," cheered one of them as they watched with laughter on what was happening.
The fear in the man's eye became visible as his breath grew more ratted. He tried to get away while Raph slowly moved to him. Unfortunately for him, Gab made sure that he couldn't even move an inch.
Smilingly, Raph pressed his burning fingers against the eyes of the fat merchant, whose bone thrilling scream echoed through the camp.
The finger of Raph slowly buried deeper and deeper into his eyes before he took his hand out. His screams continued as the burned smell of flesh filled the air. The stomach of the siblings growled at the smell of grilled meat, but they suppressed their cravings for it.
After that, Raph began punching the fat merchant, as his laughs of madness and glee echoed a few minutes till the man slowly died of strangulation.
Even after the merchant's death, Raph continued punching him, and a small crowd surrounded them slowly.
"He's already dead," one of them said before kicking Raph away.
The two brothers got beaten, but it didn't take long till they focussed only on Gab. Raph tried to protect Gabs head by laying with his stomach on him.
"Enough," said an old slave trader before sending them all away.
The two brothers lay on the ground, beaten up while bleeding from their noses.
A smile appeared on Raph's face while he stuttered: "Thank you."
Gab smiled painfully back before whispering: "We're going to make it, and soon we will be reunited with our siblings."
"Hopefully. I hope all of our beloved siblings are in a better situation than us," replied Raph before falling asleep.
Gab slowly moved his almost broken body next to Raph to hug his brother while falling asleep, protecting him even in his sleep.
Luz was reading a book as always while being bored. This time it was called "Introduction to wind magic for mage apprentice." It didn't take long for Luz's brain to ache. Wind magic seemed to share a lot of similarities with water magic for whatever reason.
The way to control air or gases sounded quite similar to the way one might manipulate water.
'I think they called this discipline "Fluid mechanics," or so. If you ask me, that subject sounds and is horrible. It relies too much upon physic, which I don't yet fully understand. I should have studied something more occult-like that would probably be easier,' thought Luz before putting away his book.
"Anyway, I should meet with that guy with whom I worked last time. Hmm, what was his name again?" questioned Luz himself.
[Author also seems to have forgotten his name. Going to look it up later]
On the next day, Gab woke up with an aching body. It didn't take long till he realized that Raph, his younger brother, was no longer next to him.
"Where is he," asked Raph while fearing for the worst.
"Normally, I wouldn't reply, but he's with the chief and will be carried on a horse. He's too valuable to leave any chance of him dying because of exhaustion," replied the standing slave trader as he watched his animal drinking water.
Gab only nodded and prayed for the best. The pile of dead slaves got removed, making it easier for him.
Soon they carried on their journey, and it didn't take long till another slave collapsed, dying of exhaustion and malnutrition. Their march continued for days, and in the end, Gab was the only survivor of his little small slave group, which consisted of 50 slaves before the beginning of the march.
The slaves got grouped into groups of 50 people before getting bound to each other via chains. On the last day, Gab was walking exhausted, carrying five dead slaves with him, with every step he took. The only thing that kept him alive was the desire to reconnect to his brothers one day. Seeing Raph being quiet well compared to him bought a smile on his face, even though it was only a matter of time till he collapsed.
Gab got regularly whipped while marching because he's too slow. His back was bleeding almost daily, and his clothes got too torn up, revealing his scarred back from all the whipping he received.
"One day, I'll hunt you all down. I'm going to rip all of you into pieces. I'll let you suffer the same way I suffered," shouted Gab back while someone was whipping him.