Master Leifae Arkson was finally able to stand. His eyes was still glued onto me, confused.
”She didn do anything. It was I, who wronged her and for that I am sorry. ” Master Leifae Arkson tilted his head to me as a sign of gratitude.
”Yuqin, please leave us, but stand guard behind my doors. ” He continued to struggle to speak.
”Yes, Master. ” Yuqin leaves, closing the doors behind him.
” Master Leifae Arkson said to me,
e not a little boy. And you can talk. ”
I took a deep breath in and spoke calmly, ” I am not a little boy and I can talk. I can also launder your clothes, clean your quarters and organize all your belongings within these four walls. ”
”You are the thrall taking care of my things. Well, Im quite embarrassed to say this, but thank you. My sincerest apologies, miss uh.. Miss… ”
”Everyone calls me little one, but my name is Sereen. ”
”Miss Sereen. ”
”I am not a miss, master. I am Thrall, please address me as Sereen. ”
”Yes, Sereen. I am truly sorry. You may leave. ” Master Leifae Arkson rubbed his neck where my mother had grabbed him earlier and his pale face says it all, ”Was it a ghost? ”
”Yes, master. ” I head towards the door.
”Er, Sereen, who were you talking to earlier when, clearly, there was no one here but just you and I? ”
I took a deep breath and contemplated telling him. Suddenly, the words slipped out on its own, ”It was my dead mother. Don worry, she won hurt you anymore. ” I opened the door and hurried to my quarters.
A familiar voice is yelling my name in the distance. I am afraid. I am hurt. I am running. Deeper into the darkness, I disappeared. I can see anything now and all I hear is my own breath panting. My lungs are burning from running around in the cold air. Suddenly, a set of yellow eyes pops out of the darkness and the howling of a wolf scares me awake.
A few months had passed since my mother left. Not much has changed except Master Leifae Arksons birthday which placed him in exile.
”Little one… I mean Sereen, please get up. The master wants to disembark from Iceland as soon as possible. ”
”What? Disembark? ” I asked, rubbing my eyes. Yuqin has become more of a father for me than anything. I have much respect for that old geezer.
”Yes. Please make sure all his things are put away nicely. The master will not be happy if things were to fall and break. This is Julianas first time going to sea. ” Yuqin chuckled in delight.
”You don know her? ”
”Well, you should. Youve lived in her for four years, you should at least know her name. ”
”Yuqin, Im awake. Please leave me to get ready. ”
Ever since Yuqin found out I could talk, he had been trying to get me to talk more. He even got me dressing like the ladies do. Most women my age worked as artisans for the master or whores for the crew, but Yuqin brought me on as a cleaner, so all I do is clean and nothing else.
Ive heard rumors about Master Leifaes secret land to the west. How he was establishing a new place there, where no one had been, just to make it easier for him to travel through the canals, so he could discover the land there.
Looks like the rumors might be true.
I have been on this ship for almost five years now. Never has this ship left the docks. Im guessing that the master knew one day his family would try to get rid of him, so this ship was just his preparations. All those other trips he took to seek new discovery, was really to establish new land for himself.
I quickly got ready and ran out to the deck. From where I was standing I could hear Captain Blight Druer shouting to the crew to prepare for disembarkment.
”Heave anchor! Hoist sails! Clear the deck, put those crates in the storage below and tie them up! ”
Everyone seemed to be running around with a new sense of duty.
The Great Juliana was her name, this beautiful boat that had been my home for the past few years. With everything cleared off the deck except for a few wooden crates, she was looking more and more spectacular. Ive been working behind these walls, barely seeing the ship for its worth and now it is like my first time ever really seeing her.
I stood there in awe of her beauty.
”Beautiful, isn she? ” Master Leifae Arkson said, walking up to me from behind.
I nod in agreement.
”Don tell me youve forgotten how to talk again. ” He joked and I smiled. He stood next to me, eyeing me up and down as I studied The Great Juliana.
”Sereen, how old are you? ”
I turned my gaze towards Master Leifae Arkson, ”Im not sure but maybe 16 or so… ” I mumbled.
e practically a maiden, yet to be wed. ”
I shook my head in disagreement and turned to look at a few crew members dropping barrels.
”You don wish marriage? ”
”No. ” I answered almost immediately. ” I want what I want. Not what society wants of me or expects of me and women my age. ”
”Oh, and what is it that you want? ”
”To make my own decisions, on my terms, whenever I want. ” I rolled my eyes at him and we locked eyes.
”If that is what you wish, Sereen, then you
e living in the future. This world is cruel and for women to be equal to men, it will take more than this lifetime for that to ever happen. ”
I couldn tell if he was agreeing or disagreeing with me. The tone of his words are neither sincere nor angry. This left me very confused. We stood there in an awkward silence.
We finally disembarked, nearly two days later. Everyone on The Great Juliana cheered as the ship broke through the thin layer of ice on the surface of the sea. As for me, I yearned for green grass and the hot summer sun. Living in this cloudy cold weather and sheltered from others, had made me a little depressed.
Once it was all open sea around us with nothing else to see, left the deck and headed for my quarters. It was supper time and today we
e eating clam chowder and salted meat. Its probably going to be one of the best meals well have while on this trip. You can keep vegetables so fresh for only so long.
After only four days, I heard Captain Blight Druers voice yelling.
”Land HO! LAND HO! ”
The thumping of footsteps on the ship floors drummed through the halls. I popped my head out to peep and all the thralls were rushing up towards the deck, crowding every nook and cranny of this place. I closed my door and walked to my window and peered out.
A new ocean of green grass and tall trees stretched for miles and miles, for as far as the eye could see.
”Land ho!! ” Captain Blight Druer yelled again. A crew member is ringing the bell to alert everyone.
Ding~ding. Ding~ding. Ding~ding.
I close my eyes and a flashback of London takes over.
The bells ringing, the plague, larvae infested bodies everywhere, and the smell. Then the souls of the dead ones standing all around trying to find someone, any living person to communicate to about their unfinished business. Wandering the streets of a broken down alleyway, from one house to the next. That is until they saw me looking at them and then gravitated towards me, swarming me all together.
I covered my ears as it ringed from their cries. I shut my eyes as tightly as I could so that I couldn hear them anymore.
Two hands grabbed my shoulder and shook me. I opened my eyes and saw Yuqin.
”Sereen, are you alright? ” My whole body goes limp and I pass out.
I woke up in a strange place. The room was so big, you could probably fit a whole ball in there. The bed had silk sheets, silk covers, silk pillows and the most luxurious blanket. Everything was a bright red color with gold trims. The wallpapers were red and even the flowers were red.
Then I noticed it. I was no longer at sea, fighting to stand still against the bouncing of the ship. I worked my way to the window and watched in amazement.
We were in a huge mansion and in the near distance was The Great Juliana and the sea. Thralls are moving wagons of wooden crates, gold, silver, paintings, food and more.
”Sorry, Sereen. You fainted and I need my nurse to see you as quickly as possible. No one knew what happened to you. Are you feeling well now? ” Master Leifae Arkson walked in asking.
”I think Im okay. This always happens to me when… ” I look up at his eyes and shut down the idea of further conversations.
”Its alright. You don have to tell me anything. ” Master Leifae headed towards the door then quickly turned back to me and said, ” This will be your new chambers. I established this new place several years ago. Here, I am my own King. I would like it if you would accept me? ”
I stared at him, shocked as he stared at me with anticipation.
”You don have to give me an answer now. But Id really like it if youd consider me, thats all. ”
Again, we stood in awkward silence.
”Well, I shall leave you to rest, my lady. ”
”My lady? Master~ ”
”Here, I am the King and Id very much like you to call me Lei…and you… ” he paused for a second. ”You are a lady. ” He said softly.
I am still confused about everything around me. Without realizing it, I pinched my cheeks to try to wake myself up.
e not asleep, but you should be. Rest up. ” Lei left the room.
I walked to the bed and thought to myself. ”What in the living hell is happening? ”
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