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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2316527
Carter finds out that Arthur doesn't want him to live in the same tower as him.

The flap to the hut opened, and nobody walked in. "Come out!" screamed someone from behind the tent flap. Carter lifted himself off the hard floor and walked out of the tent. A miasma of stench followed him out of the tent, and he breathed a great big whiff of fresh air into his lungs.

"Go to the back of the line so I can't smell you," said Arthur as he held his nose. Carter's eyes finally adjusted to the light, and he could see Arthur leading a large group of armed women. He recognized some of them from his burlap bag parade.

Arthur was wearing a generic black beetle carapace armor on top of a long, hooded robe made out of fur. His ensemble finished with a bright pink rope around his waist and fur-covered shoes. He raised his rapier sword and said, "Let's go." The motley crew walked out the gate and down the path to the desert. Carter took his spot in the back of the line.

"Did you have a good night's sleep, Carter?" asked Arista. She wore her new armor and had a large sword on her hip. The two women in front of her he didn't recognize. They were carrying large burlap sacks full of water and manna. When he thought of manna, Carter felt a bit of bile in his mouth.

"Yes," he answered.

She realized why he had a weird look on his face and said, "It's easier the second day. You won't be hungry at least for a few days," said Arista.

"Enough talking. I want it quiet," said Arthur from in front.

Carter released his Detect Area spell, and his floating map was populated with many objects. He saw many monsters on the map, and the black sword symbol was missing. A slight frown went on his face as he wondered what that black symbol represented. The map did bring good news; the stairs were only a few minutes away from where they were, and he could start hunting on his own again.

They walked up the staircase to the fourth floor and entered a verdant world of grass, flowers, and trees. Carter rereleased his Detect Area spell. He was about to look when he was interrupted by Arthur and the halting of his guards.

"Bring me the women from the Village of Despair," Arthur said as he pointed to a small hut up a hill. Captain Harlow, Cindy, Seminole, and Yuma, his abductors, walked up the narrow path to a set of makeshift grass huts. Carter looked around, noticing the nice weather this floor had. The sun was shining, not as hot as the desert floor, but comfortable. In the fields, he could see groups of goblins and skeletons. The notion of freedom and fighting monsters excited him for some reason.

Sudden screams came from the hovels atop the hill as Arthur's guards pulled three filthy women down the trail by their hair. They begged for mercy until they stood in front of Arthur.

"Master, please," pleaded a rather dirty-faced woman with one leg. She and Carter could be sisters and brothers from the state of dirt.

"Oh, it's time to take out the rubbish," said Arthur as he snapped his fingers.

All of Arthur's guards moved toward Carter and grabbed him. This time, Carter would not take bullying lightly and started pushing his weight around. The women grunted, clawed, and bit as they tried to hold Carter into place.

"You—dirty women—help them push that thing back," screamed Arthur as he pulled out his rapier sword and whipped it around a few times.

The Village of Despair women walked over to the group holding Carter, wailing and crying, and started pushing Carter and his detainers towards a dirt hole covered by a net made from black beetle bodies.

The guards weren't strong enough individually, but collectively, the dozen women started moving him toward the hole. He didn't want to pull his sword out and kill them all, for he never killed a person before.

Arthur walked up with his thin sword and stabbed it towards the mass of people. The sword flew by so many women's heads as it neared its target. Just a few inches that way or the other, and there would be more people dead today. Arthur was not very good with a sword but did fine when his target was not moving.

The blade went into Carter's chest and missed his heart by a few inches. Arthur pulled his rapier back and forth several times, inserting the blade tip into Carter, the human pin cushion, until his hand was tired. Carter stopped moving, and the women started pushing him back. He looked forward and saw Arista's face. Tears stained her cheeks as she mouthed, "I'm sorry."

He teetered next to the covered hole as three women pulled off the net cover. Carter tried to fight again, but it was useless. He had lost too much blood.

"We can't have two roosters in the hen house, can we," said Arthur as he waved his Thralls away. Carter fell to his knees, and Arthur pushed Carter down the hole. He landed with a thud, and Arthur jumped up and down like a little school bully in triumph.

"Very strong, that shit-encrusted adversary was. I stabbed it five times, and it was still alive. Well, the spider can finish him. Push the Villiage of Despair women in there and close it up," said Arthur.

Several of his guards grabbed their heads in pain because they tried to defy Arthur's command and started to scream. The women from Despair began to beg, but Arthur seemed to get more excited by their begging.

The guards, not being able to take the pain anymore, grabbed the women of Despair by the hair and threw them in. They were forced to do it by their master under severe pain. Not doing what your master says causes unbelievable pain. If they didn't do it, the pain would surely kill them. But this still didn't alleviate their grief as they heard the sickening thuds at the bottom of the hole.

Arthur walked up to the edge and looked down into the hole. He turned around, walked over to Yuma, and grabbed her hand. He pulled her over toward the hole as she tried to pull back. Her head started hurting as she fought. Arista screamed to let her go.

"Don't be scared, Yuma," said Arthur as he stopped a few feet from the hole. "I heard what you said about me in the meeting hall," said Arthur.

"What do you mean?" asked Yuma.

"You might be a bitch, but you are right that I can't kill you because you hunt the Giant Boar for meat," said Arthur. He let go of her hand and told her to stay. He walked over to Arista and looked into her tearful face.

"Jump in the hole," said Arthur to Arista. Arista grabbed her head and started screaming.

"You can't do that! She didn't do anything to you!" pleaded Yuma. Yuma walked towards Arista and fell to the ground screaming, holding her head.

Arthur started laughing as Arista began walking towards the hole. Some of the other women, even Captain Harlow, tried walking forward to stop her but were denied by their pain.

"Stand back, or you will be going too," said Arthur. They stopped, and fear appeared on their faces.

Yuma was still screaming on the ground, holding her head in pain. Arista ran past her and jumped into the hole.

Arthur walked up to the hole and screamed, "I give them as a gift to you, Carter! These women are now yours!"

He pulled Yuma by her hair away from the hole in case she wanted to follow.

"What little time that is," said Arthur with a laugh.

Arthur's symbol on his hand glowed and then dimmed. He smiled and kicked Yuma to the ground. "Stay with me," commanded Arthur.

"Close it up, and let's get going," said Arthur, and he started walking towards the next staircase. He was hungry for boar meat.

Six women grabbed the black beetle net and placed it over the hole, sealing in Carter and his newly acquired Thralls. Captain Harlow grabbed Yuma and helped her walk. Yuma's head wasn't hurting anymore, but her heart was.

The hole went dark, and Carter could hear people whimpering and moaning. He had fallen on his back, breaking a few ribs and his hand. The blood was still pouring out the holes in his chest. His mind was lucid, and he wondered what would happen if he died here. Would his spirit return to the forest? Would his body be trapped here and decompose?

The sound of something walking with sharp claws echoed down the tunnel, and the women started to weep louder.

"This sucks," said Carter softly.
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