Alright, everybody – this is the latest update for Lost Sanctuary! I hope you like it. It took me a while to piece this together, and 1 hour to check through for mistakes, and adding a few things here and there. I hope you like it!
Let's have a recap, shall we?
Last Chapter: We practically meet the whole cast, except Kosuke and Daiki. Krad seems to be a bit of an ass, Daisuke is super cute as usual, Satoshi his cool self, and Emiko her hyperactive self and Towa-chan half-mad. Emiko buys a certain dark-haired boy we all know from a slave fair for Krad, who is in serious need of somebody to clean his house.
This Chapter: Krad's interaction with the new slave(who is at that moment, still unnamed. But don't worry, his name will come up in the next chapter!). Krad threatens to set the slave free, and Emiko just tells him to do as he wishes. 75 of this story's scene is in the kitchen, so you can guess where the title of this chapter came from. Anyway, Krad is rather cold to the slave in this chapter. Forgive me for this, but this is the storyline of the story, if you'd pressed the back button and check Chapter 1!
A Kitchen of Warmth
Krad stared at the boy – at his flowing, silky but a little dirty, violet hair, to his creamy, pale skin, his long eyelashes and, eventually, scanning over the many bruises and cuts that flawed the perfection of his porcelain skin.
By the time he'd finished gazing at the boy, an uncomfortable silence had settled upon the room.
The first one to break it was Emiko.
"Well, Krad – he's yours now," Emiko smiled cheerfully. "You don't have to pay me back for it. All you have to do is take care of him."
Krad was speechless for several moments, before he managed to splutter out his first words. "…w…why on earth did you buy him for me?" he exclaimed. "I thought you were going to get yourselves a slave!"
"Oh, we had already planned before going out that we were going to get you a slave," Emiko said readily. "Just that we couldn't find ourselves a suitable slave."
"T…t-that doesn't mean you have to get me one!" Krad yelled.
Suddenly, the ball on the armchair began to move. Everyone froze as the small boy opened slowly fluttered his eyes open, revealing a pair of beautiful, deep amethyst eyes. The boy suddenly sat up in a hurry, looking around before realizing he was completely surrounded by people. He scrambled off the armchair and went to his knees at once, trembling violently.
"…s-s-s-sorry, M-M-Mas-Mas-ter…d-didn't m-m-mean t-to…t-t-to f-fall a-a-asleep…"
Krad couldn't find his voice.
He just stared.
When the boy opened his eyes slowly, he found himself lying on something unbelievably soft. His first reaction was fear.
W…what am I doing on something so nice and comfortable? Where's Master? Am I…am I going to have to do…do that again?
He didn't want to do that again! It hurt so much each time. He let a small sound escape his lips as he scanned his surroundings. He gazed in horror at the many people in the room. He scrambled off the armchair immediately, despite the small longing to lie on it much longer.
Oh…oh, no! Who…who put me here? What if…w-what if Master punishes me…? Why…why are there so many people?
He quickly scrambled to the ground and stuttered a quick apology.
"Shh, it's okay," the red-haired boy comforted. "You fell asleep while we were coming here."
He couldn't hear the kindness in the boy's voice. He could only hear the words.
I…I really f-fell asleep? Oh, no…Master is going to punish me…
"You don't have to apologize for falling asleep," the blue-haired boy's stoic and firm voice pierced through the air. "It's not a crime to fall asleep if you are tired."
"…s-s-sorry…M-M-Master…" the poor boy choked out. He was terrified. Is he going to beat me? Or worse…do that? No…I don't want to…it…it's too soon…please…no…
"I am not your master," the blue-haired boy said indifferently.
"Your master is going to be Krad here," the lady said. "Oh, poor boy. There, there. Nothing to be afraid of. Raise your head, please."
The small boy whimpered softly to himself and forced his eyes to scan the many people. He saw the cheerful red-haired boy from before, but this time he was looking more sullen. The blue-haired boy stood next to him, the usual stoic expression on his face. The brown-haired, kind lady smiled at him from beside a very tall young man.
The boy's eyes widened. The man had a rather distasteful expression on his face, though he stood in a superior fashion, one hand on the arm of the couch, the other on his hip. His eyes were a sharp, piercing molten gold, and long blond hair was tied into a loose ponytail behind, leaving a sharp, spiky fringe with a stray lock of hair in front of his face. His skin was ever so pale, ever so like porcelain. The boy whimpered. Though the man's features were indeed stunning, but his expression was one the boy had seen so many times before, and was so afraid of – displeasure.
Master…Master is not happy with me…I am…I am going to get…beaten…
"My name is Emiko," the lady smiled. "Remember? Niwa Emiko. This here is my son, Niwa Daisuke," she pulled the red-haired boy to her. "And this is his friend, Hiwatari Satoshi. Do you remember? And this man here is Hikari Krad. He will be your new master. So you must obey him, okay? But don't worry – he is a nice man and he will look after you just fine, I expect."
"Emiko!" Krad yelled. "I am not taking care of this…this…this thing!"
The boy immediately lowered his head. He…he's going to be no…no different from Master before…he will punish me…he will do that to me…he will…he will sell me after that…I should've known…Master's friends look nice…but Master isn't… The child looked at the ground in front of him. Why must this always happen to me? What did I…do wrong?
"Krad!" Emiko said, in a rather fierce voice. "How can you call him a thing? He's only a boy! He may be a slave, but he's human like us! Don't you believe in that, Krad?"
"I believe in that, but," Krad seemed to be contemplating. "I really don't want a slave! Just…just set him free!"
"He will starve on the streets!" Emiko shot back.
Set…set me free…? The boy wasn't too enthusiastic about that. He'd been outside a couple of times before, and as far as he was concerned, the world outside all his masters' home had never been one he was particularly attracted to. Moreover, most of them scared him. The outside, bustling, busy world frightened and bewildered him.
"He can take care of himself!" Krad objected. "He may be a boy, but he can take of himself. Just like I did that time!"
A silence rushed over the room.
"Krad, you can't expect everybody to be like you," Emiko sighed. "But you are right. He can take care of himself…maybe. But he's yours now. And that's your decision to make. Now, if you'll excuse us, we must going now. I must make dinner for Kosuke-san. He'll come back soon. Come on, Dai-chan, Satoshi, Towa-chan."
The foursome went out. The boy looked up in alarm. They…they are leaving me here with this…this fierce man?
But the red-haired boy stopped at the door. The boy felt a wisp of hope.
"You…you aren't really going to set him free, are you?" Daisuke asked.
"Hn," was all Krad said. "If you still see him tomorrow, it means I have revised my opinion."
Daisuke nodded and went out.
The boy felt a chill of fear as the door closed, and his new master turned down to look at him.
"Next…what am I going to do with you?"
Krad raised an eyebrow. Jeez…he's pretty skinny…even for a slave…he looks like skin and bones…
"Can you stop kneeling?" Krad asked. "Stand up."
The boy obediently stood up. But he still kept his head downcast. Krad stared at the thick metal choker slung around his neck. It was half an inch away from the skin only, and a long heavy chain hung from it. The boy was dressed in what seemed like poor excuses for clothes – they looked more like tattered, falling gray pieces of rags. The boy's wrists and ankles, Krad could see, were red-raw. Bite marks from ropes could be seen on his wrists, and it looked like something heavy had bruised his ankles.
Probably more chains, Krad thought. On the skin not covered by his poorly clothes, Krad could see the many gashes and cuts on the boy's body. Some of them were even infected!
Man…I have to hand it to the kid… Krad thought for a moment. Ugh…why does he keep his head down like that? Must be painful for his neck… "Lift your head, kid."
The child trembled and lifted his head up slowly. Krad stared down into the depths of amethyst. His eyes were sparkling with unshed tears, but they looked so empty. They contained no other emotion except fear.
He's scared of me…way to go, Krad. "Come on," Krad said, turning to walk into the kitchen. "I'll get you something to eat."
Why am I even bothering! I'm supposed to just set him free and leave it as that…
The boy followed several steps behind him. Do I stink or something? Is that why he's so far away from me? I do remember taking a bath just one hour ago…Krad thought sarcastically.
"I hope you're fine with anything," Krad said stonily.
"Call me 'Krad'. It'll be making a scene if I go out with someone who waits on my hand and foot and calls me, 'Master' all the time."
"S-s-s-sorry i…if…M-M-Master…is u-u-upset…"
"Don't call me 'Master'," Krad snapped, a little fiercer than he had intended.
The boy flinched and cringed away from the kitchen. Krad sighed and shook his head. Pathetic thing…not that I pity him or anything…I already made it clear I can't be bothered enough to punish him…Krad went to the counter and began to prepare sandwiches. "If you are hungry, stay. If not, then get out of the kitchen."
The boy bowed his head. "P-p-please f-f-forgive, M-M-Master…" and he slipped quietly away from the kitchen.
Hn…guess he's not hungry then. Whatever.
The child flinched and walked to the front door of the house, freezing every few moments. He trembled with fear as he walked, wondering what his Master wanted for him to do.
In truth, the boy was so famished he had watered at the mouth with the very sound of food. But he had bad memories from his other masters. They had never allowed him to say he was hungry, until the very last moment he couldn't take it anymore, and then they would punish him, saying that slaves were not to blare their needs outright.
They had taunted and tempted him with food so much it hurt. The boy shook the painful memories out of his mind, and walked to the door. He tried to go out, but it wouldn't open.
I must find out from Master…where the key is kept.
He just walked about the house, sure that Master was still in the kitchen eating. He finally returned to the door of the kitchen after a few minutes. He knelt down before the door and waited patiently, shivering.
He hugged himself, wishing he had thicker and warmer clothes. All he was wearing was a thin white shirt that was more like gray, after being soaked in the grit of time. He also had on black Capri trousers. He was barefooted. His shoes were still outside. He was so cold that he felt quite numb. He could smell delicious hot food from the other side of the door. He felt like crying.
Krad ate his slice of pie without batting an eyelid. He couldn't really care less what that slave was doing.
The phone rang and Krad stood up, going to answer it.
Krad winced, pushing the phone away from his ear.
"E…Emiko! What the hell!" Krad screamed into the phone. "Emiko! What is the meaning of this?!" It seemed the hyperactive woman had returned to her former nature. Serious mood swings…
"My, Krad! You are back to your lively nature, I see!" That should be you, Emiko…Krad thought darkly.
Krad glared into the nothingness of the wall in front of him. "Whatever…what do you want?"
"Nothing! I just wanted to know how you and your new slave are doing!"
"We'll just fine, thanks."
"How nice to hear! Have you give him dinner yet?"
"He said he was not hungry."
"Oh, is that so? Judging from your brains, Krad – you must've figured he was lying! All slaves are like that, you know…and since you never kept a slave before, I called up because I thought you didn't feed him because of what he said! But you are a sweet, smart boy! So I was saying…is he good? Is he a good boy? Does he…"
Krad had choked on the food in his mouth the moment he heard that the boy somewhere in his house had been lying about his hunger.
"W…wait a minute, Emiko! Are you saying that…that he was lying when he said he was not hungry?"
"Oh? You didn't see through that? Sigh…so you aren't as bright as I thought you were, Krad…"
Will she stop hitting on that! "So he needs to eat?"
"Obviously! The slave fair started about four days ago, so even if he has eaten before that, he wouldn't have eaten in four days! They don't feed the slaves during the fair, you know. Moreover, he's a that kind of slave, you know, so they would feed him even less frequently. He needs to eat, Krad! Get him something right now! Or would you rather I came over with Towa-chan to make something for the both of you? I don't mind…"
"No thanks!" Krad said hurriedly. "I still have more frozen pie in the fridge." If she comes, she'll bring Towa-chan and Daisuke along, and Satoshi will come with them, and Kosuke would have returned by now, so he would join them, too…I'm not sure I can handle any more noise for today…
Krad quickly hung up. He slipped out of his seat and went to the kitchen door, opening.
He was about to step forward, before he stopped suddenly. He looked down, an eyebrow raised.
Curled up on his side on the ground was the slave boy. He was shivering violently, making small whimpering sounds.
Krad looked at him. The boy's eyes were tightly shut in pain and fear. Krad frowned. Is he…having a nightmare? The boy was also whispering inaudible things. He tossed and turned a lot. Krad had half a mind to just leave him there for the moment, but when he heard a terrible sound coming from the boy.
It sounded like a whine. It was full of pain and terror. Krad couldn't bring himself to move away. He knelt down next to the boy and shook him gently.
"Hey, hey – wake up," Krad shook him a little more roughly. "Hey, kid."
The child slowly opened his eyes and flinched when he felt Krad's hand on his shoulder. He cringed away and got up abruptly, kneeling before Krad and bowing his head and keeping his eyes downcast.
"M-Master… s-so s-s-sorry…"
Krad put a slender hand over his mouth, shutting him up promptly. "You don't have to apologize for anything," Krad said. He wasn't exactly sounding kind, he knew but he really couldn't care. "Emiko tells me that you were lying when you said you weren't hungry. That's true, isn't it?"
The slave nodded slowly, flinching and making little whimpering noises. "…s-s-sorry, M-Master…"
Krad looked at the boy, one elegant eyebrow raised. "Why did you lie?"
"…o-other m-m-masters s-said…t-t-that a s-s-slave d-doesn't d-d-deserve…t-to…h-have h-his n-n-needs…h-h-heard…s-s-so-sorry, M-Master…"
Krad closed his eyes and let out a heavy sigh. "Look…do you have to ask me if you can walk?"
The slave looked at him, a little curious, but still frightened.
Krad answered for him briskly. "No. You don't ask me if you can raise your arm either. You don't ask me if you can breathe either. You do all those things without asking my permission. Same, you don't you ask me if you can eat." He realized the boy kept looking at the ground. A little annoyed, Krad put a hand under his chin and lifted his face. The boy averted his eyes wildly. "Look at me."
The slave fidgeted a little.
"Look at me, kid."
The slave finally locked his amethyst eyes with Krad's golden ones.
"If you are hungry, say it," Krad said calmly. "And under this roof, you do not follow your other masters' rules. I will be offended that you live by those scumbags' rules. You listen to what I want, not them. And don't ever compare me to those fags again."
"And you can start by not calling me 'Master'. My name is Krad. Hikari Krad. I don't care if you call me 'Hikari' or whatever, I just don't want to hear 'Master'."
"I said," Krad glared at the boy, causing him to flinch. "That my name is Krad."
The boy's eyes were full of tears now. "M-Master…c-c-can't…p-please…M-M-Master…"
Krad's eyes widened a bit. The slave looked quite ready to cry. Maybe I went too far…asking him to call me by name might take a while…
"Whatever," Krad unconsciously put his hand on the slave's head, ruffling his hair a bit, trying to knock some fear out of the boy. "Come in. I'll reheat some of the pie left in the fridge."
As the small boy finally scrambled to his feet, Krad looked at his hand as he walked to the fridge.
Why…did I do…that?
The small boy took comfort in the homely warmth of the kitchen. Master had gone to reheat the food using the microwave. He looked at his master and shivered a little. Though the kitchen was warm, he was still feeling a little too cold.
"Do you want a blanket?" Master asked in his usual voice. It wasn't kind, but it wasn't fierce either. Master was different from others masters. He seemed to have a superior air about when he walked, and he seemed to be very confident and composed. For one reason or another, the boy didn't feel as threatened as he felt when he was with his other masters, though Krad seemed almost as stern as them.
The boy looked down at his shaking hands and quickly replied, "N-no…it's…f-fine…M-M-Master…"
"You don't have to lie," Master said coolly. "You've been shivering since just now. But I'm not going to get anything for you. Go to the living room and get the couch blanket."
The boy slipped out of his chair and obediently went to the living room. He saw a thick, comfortable blanket on the couch and he folded it into a size more easily carried by his small frame. Then, he pulled the thick thing back to the kitchen. Master had finished reheating the food, and was putting the remaining three-quarters of the pie on a plate, cutting slices and placing one in each of the other two plates on the table.
"Wrap that around yourself, and come sit," Krad instructed.
The small boy tried, but his body was too weak to climb onto the chair and carry the heavy blanket up at the same time. Master sighed and got out of his chair. To the boy's fright and shock, Master lifted him on the chair and picked up the blanket, draping it around his skinny frame. Master poked his shoulder in distaste.
"You should eat more," Master said. He pushed a plate of pie towards him. "Eat." He stood back and returned to his seat.
The boy looked at the food uncertainly. Is…is Master testing me? But…but he said not to follow…other masters'…rules…only his…Master says…I can eat…but can I eat?
Master must've realized he'd not taken a bite, because he looked up again and gave the boy a rather chilly look. "What? The food not hot enough?"
"N…n-no, Master…n-n-not t-t-that…j-just…"
Master gave him a look. "Excuse me. What did I say earlier about your other masters?"
"M-M-Master s-said…n-not…n-not to…live by…other masters'…rules…"
"Too right," Master said, sounding rather sarcastic. "Which is why you'd do well to listen to me."
"Eat," Master said.
This is too tiring for my own good…
The bag of skin and bones in the form of a skinny little kid could not even get up on the chair with the couch blanket at the same time. Krad had decided to lift him up only because he looked so pathetic. The boy weighed practically nothing, and he was so small.
The boy…the boy…jeez…doesn't he have a name?
"Hey, kid," Krad said, looking away from the piece of pie on his spoon. "Don't you have a name?"
"N-n-no, M-Master…" the boy said quietly.
"What did your former masters call you?" Krad asked.
"E-each o-of t-t-them h-had…a d-d-different n-n-name, M-Master…"
"What about your master before me?"
"H-h-he…c-called…" his words were lost along the way. "…M…Midnight…"
Midnight? I guess it suits him…but there's no way I'm going around calling, 'Midnight, Midnight'. It's too girlish. Krad frowned. "Well, forget that name. What's your real name?"
"…don't…r-r-remember, M-Master…" the boy said, his voice frightful.
"How can you forget your own name?"
"Well, I can't think of anything right now," Krad said simply, leaning back on his chair. "Maybe some other time. But forget everything your other masters told you – the names, the rules. I'll think of a name for you…don't worry." The boy looked up at him.
"What," Krad reached out a finger to poke the boy's forehead. "You don't want me to call you, 'kid' all the time, do you?"
The slave shook his head hurriedly.
"I thought so," Krad said. "Anyway…just eat for now."
The boy looked up at Krad, and Krad turned slightly just enough to see something spark across his eyes. It was faint, it was barely there, but yet it was. Krad just barely missed it. Maybe it was caused by the warmth of the kitchen, maybe it was because of Krad's words, maybe it was because of the lack of punishment – but whatever it was, it caused that something to flash across the slave-boy's beautiful amethyst eyes.
Was that cheesy? I hope not! Is the story progressing too fast? Is there a little bit too much fluff between Krad and the slave whom we all know too well? Please give your comments!
I promise the next chapter will be up soon. I'm already working on it!
Don't forget to review! I appreciate all your reviews, they make me smile so much! And please – don't give me reviews that just say, 'Great story' and all that blah! They are nice to hear, pleasing to look at, but it gets kind of old after a while. So, please, everyone! Give some advice on how I can improve on this story!