"How many did you get?" the blond man asked, lazily crossing his legs, fingers drumming on the armrest of his chair. He watched with a mild look of interest at the procession that was entering his well-furnished room.
"Ten, sir," one of his men replied, prodding a slower woman into the room with the tip of his rifle.
The man stood up slowly from his chair and walked around his desk, up to the line of women standing a quarter of a way into the room before him. He stared them all down one by one, eyeing their complexion, stature, and simple dress.
"I had heard," he sneered, finally stopping in front of the last girl. "That women in this kingdom were supposed to be beautiful…" He picked up her chin with his fingertips and studied her face which was filled with fear. He scoffed after a few moments belittlingly and let go.
"Gentlemen. These women are not going to sell for much of anything," he chastised mockingly. "I thought I asked for attractive wome…" he stopped midsentence, having spotted one he had not seen earlier. He walked over languidly to the small cluster of people a little distance away from the rest.
There were two men with guns holding the upper arms of a woman, which were bound by the wrist in front of her. She wore a very different type of clothing from the rest- one the man had only heard of in stories; something that looked like a robe, except made of dark, simple, yet fine quality cloth. Her rich black hair was cropped short, unlike most other women he had seen in the kingdom, whose hair mostly came down to their hips. The man also noticed quite quickly that the side of her face was mildly bruised, and she was also blind folded with a piece of cloth. He eyed the situation curiously.
"Why is she blind folded?" he asked one of the men guarding her.
"Because…," the man replied, slightly flustered. "She took out four of our men in the other room, sir."
The blond man saw then that this man's exposed arm was rather badly bruised as well.
He snorted, putting his hand to the piece of cloth blindfolding her. "Oh, really now. I thought it was common knowledge that hands are to be bound as soon as the capturing is done."
"We did, sir," the man on the other side of the woman, clutching her other upper arm replied uneasily. "Her hands were tied…"
The captain raised his eyebrows, tugging at the cloth to unravel it from her face. "Oh, really now…" he murmured again, as he stared down at the girl, who slowly opened her eyes, adjusting to the bright lightening of the room. She finally looked up, eyes narrowed, and he felt a chill of delight run through his spine. The color of her eyes was beautiful, matching the dark hue of her hair, but shining with fire the other women lacked. He picked up her chin as he did with the other woman to study her face; she had pale, smooth skin, unlike the darker, suntanned ones of the women lined up on the other side of the room, and her dark hair was fine and silky. He could not help but lightly run his fingers through it, conscious of the girl's glare following his hand. But other than the movement of her eyes, she was almost completely still, giving off an eerie look of a statue with moving eyes that followed your movements.
"Now aren't you a pretty one," he smirked, raising her chin up a little more, ignoring the fact that she had clenched her small hands into fists. "I am Sir Arthur Kirkland," he declared. "The captain of this ship." He stared down into her eyes. "And you are…?"
The whole room fell silent as they all waited for her answer. When there was none after a long pause, Arthur moved his thumb up from under her chin, and pushed at the bruise at the corner of her mouth. He smirked in satisfaction as the girl grimaced.
"Are you mute?" he scoffed with a condescending smile. "What a wast-…" His sentence was cut off as he quickly yanked his hand back with a grimace. "What are you… an animal?" he growled, shaking out the hand, the middle of a finger now punctured, beaded with blood. When there was no response other than a defiant stare, he took a moment to slap her across her cheek, watching in satisfaction as blood trickled down the side of her mouth. Much to his irritation, however, he saw it curl up to a dark smirk, though her face was off to the side from the impact of the hit. Arthur roughly grabbed the other's face again, holding on tightly this time, his fingers away from anywhere near her mouth.
"I asked you…," he growled. "What your name was."
After a few moments of a glaring match, the other finally spoke. But it was not the response Arthur was looking for.
"I have no name to give to the likes of you," she whispered flatly, her voice clear despite the volume.
"Oh…?" Arthur sneered, staring straight down into the dark eyes. "You know… I've done many women… And I have broken many like you," he said, aware of the frightened murmur that went through the other side of the room. "You will end up no differently if you don't listen to me."
"Ah," the other smiled amicably, in a way that would have made any other man falter in confusion at the sudden change in expression. "I suppose you will be pleasantly surprised then."
The two stared at each other for a few more seconds in complete silence before Arthur gave a dry laugh, pushing the other away. In the process of letting go, he pushed hard enough to force her to stagger back, her guards having to scramble to keep her upright.
Arthur walked back briskly to his desk and turned around. "Take them down to the locked room," he ordered. "We'll sell them off at the next port."
"What do we do with her?" one asked, pointing to the isolated girl who was still glaring at him defiantly. Arthur took a moment of pause, then smirked. "Take her to the room in the basement," he replied, nodding up. "I'll break you," he declared, turning his head toward the girl, staring straight back at her. "You'll wish you never crossed me when I am done with you."
"Good luck," she smiled quite mildly. Had the context of the conversation been taken away, one would have had to assume that she was having a friendly conversation about the lovely weather. "I am afraid, however, that you will be unsuccessful."
Arthur noted the peculiar way she spoke, or rather, the way she enunciated some words, but decided it was trivial. He waved them all out of the room, seating himself back at his desk, folding his fingers together. He watched as the women were jostled out, the defiant one last to go.
He smirked. She had no idea what she had just gotten herself into, and Arthur had just begun to get bored of his routine life style. There was finally something interesting to play with in his life again.