Kandric brushed tears out of his hazel-green eyes as he walked down the combination dirt and cobblestone street with slumping shoulders. For three days now he had tried to find a way to earn a cooper or even a loaf of bread, but all to no avail. No one wanted the help of a puny half-elvish 11-year-old equivalency boy.
As he turned down the road leaving the village of Slome, two boys stepped in front of him. It was clear they had every intention of making his life even more miserable than it already had been over the last month sense his teacher had left on a quest of some kind. Both kids had the look of street thugs, only younger.
The younger of the two wore a tattered leather vest over somewhat grimy shirt and britches. His blond hair had clearly not been washed in days and he probably had lice judging by the way he kept scratching his head. A rusty dagger hung loosely from a makeshift wood and rabbit skin sheath. Its leather belt looked as if it were ready to break at any moment. He carried a pathetically made short bow and had a quiver of 7 arrows over his left shoulder. At least two of the arrows were missing feathers and none looked really straight. His sandals were held together with strips of twine and a couple leather straps.
His buddy had what looked to be some discarded studded leather armor that was quite a bit too big for his 13 year old frame. Several of the bronze studs were missing and the youngster had cut slits along the sides of the top so he could adjust it with a rope belt to fit him. The pants were crudely cut along the bottom of each leg. It was clear whomever the former owner had been, must have stood quite a bit taller than the brown haired, brown eyed tough who now clamed them. He carried a set of bronze throwing knives in bandoleer. It should have contained six knives, but two were missing. Over his shoulder he carried a poorly made bronze short sword.
The older one looked over to his friend with a smirk, “Looks whats we haves here! They’ll let a half-breed in almost anywheres don’t they.”
The younger one snickered, “Ya Porma, my pa always said there was nothin worser than mistake like them there halfers. Even worser than the Elves. That’s whata he always said.”
Kandric took a few steps back and to the side hoping to avoid more than a few mean words. By now he was used to them. Very few thought much of Halfelves. The Humans hated them because of the Elvish side and the Elves felt they were contaminated by the blood of an inferior race. He was also out of the growing loop of both races. Elves aged much slower then he did while humans raced by him growing at more than double the rate. For an example Kandric would be considered an adult at the age of 35, while his full Elvish siblings would not be adults till 60. Humans on the other hand were adults at 15 or 16 depending on the customs of the land.
Over the course of time an equivalency rate had been established so kids of various ages could be kept in similar grouping. For purposes of the ratings a Human was considered adult at 16. Why this had ever been done was still a mystery to Kandric because he very seldom saw interaction between the races. Kids tended to gravitate toward their own kind and was often the case this caused a tension between races that lasted into and through adulthood.
Porma the older of the two looked over at Kandric, “Where ya think yer goin halfer. We ain’t done with ya yet.”
Before Kandric could run Porma jumped forward and grabbed him, tossing him to the ground like a rag doll. Kandric’s hunger, small size and discouragement just made him to weak to defend himself against a well-fed punk, let alone two of them.
Porma pinned Kandric’s arms behind him and pushed up causing enough pain to force a cry of pain and a few tears from the Halfelf below him.
“Oh, poor halfer is crying.” Porma taunted while pushing up even harder. “Emroc, bring your dagger!”
Kandric watched in horror as the younger boy unsheathed the rusty Iron weapon. Elves were allergic to Iron, a trait they passed on to their halfelvin children. Rusty Iron was by far worse than regular iron. “No! Please!” Kandric shouted. Only to have Porma clamp a hand over his mouth and push his arms up to where he was sure they would come out of socket at the shoulder.
“Come on Emroc!” Porma jerked his head indicating to come over to where he held the halfelf down. “I’ve always wanted ta see what iron does to a halfer!”
Emroc knelt down and waved the dagger in front of Kandric’s eyes. “What do ya want me to do Porma?” Emroc sounded unsure of himself, but refused to seem weak in front of his older and tougher friend.
Porma’s eyes glinted with pure malice as he smiled, “Let’s experiment. See what happens when you touch his arm with it.”
Emroc shrugged, “OK” then pushed the flat of the rusty weapon onto Kandric’s arm. Almost instantly the skin under the blade started to turn red.
Kandric squirmed with all his might, but couldn’t hope to get out of the grip of Porma. Tears flowed as the efforts of his struggles only caused his shoulders extra pain. The burn of the iron on his arm reminded him of the time he accidentally fell on a glowing ember from the fire in his mom’s one room hut in the middle of the swamp slums.
“Neat!” Porma smiled seeing the bright red mark left behind, “Try his leg!”
A new flash of pain erupted as the dagger was pushed onto Kandric’s calf. He tried to kick, but this only caused Porma to laugh and sit on his thighs pinning him even more.
“Hey,” Emroc stated, “it is even in the shape of the blade! Now what?”
A pair of men walked by ignoring the whole thing, either not realizing the torture the boys were putting Kandric through or not caring. They continued to talk until they turned the corner and vanished from site.
Porma couldn’t have been happier, “See halfer, no one cares about you. I can do whatever I want and get away with it!”He glanced over to Emroc, “Put one on his forehead right between the eyes!”
Emroc grinned, “Yea! Good idea!”
By now Kandric had given up all hope. He felt Porma pull his head back with the hand over his mouth and a new burning as the iron was pushed into his forehead. Had he have eaten anything he surly would have lost it, but the nausea came anyway. Next thing he knew he felt Porma let go of him. He fell face fist to the ground and started to sob.
Both boys chuckled as Porma got off him and left him lying in the street. “Bet he won’t forget dat fer a while, huh Emroc?”
“Sounds like a baby. Stupid halfer!” Emroc nodded, “Bet he’ll go home and cry to his little mommy too!”
Both boys turned the corner laughing and roughhousing with each other.
Kandric slowly crawled over to a building and used it to help himself stand. His legs were wobbly and his vision was slightly blurred. Shaking with a mixture of anger and fear he looked at his arm. The welt already had a few little white blisters forming on it, as he knew his leg and head would. The marks itched like he had been bitten by thousands of chiggers and he knew he must not scratch them. It the blisters broke, they would spread.
Carefully he looked around and ducked into a back ally. Making sure no one could see him, he went into thought and recalled the words he would need. The hand movements came automatically as he went through the spell. His hands started to glow with a lime green color until it was almost bright enough to read by. Satisfied he put his hands on his chest and let the magic seep into him. The green glow flowed through him and concentrated on the three marks and his aching shoulders. Only a minute later all signs of his encounter with the boys and the iron weapon were gone.
With the itching all but eliminated, he looked over where he was. Off in the back corner of the ally a cat munched on some discarded stew with chunks of meat. Quickly he went over and shoed the animal away. Looking at the half-eaten and spoiled stew he again went into thought. New mutterings emerged from his mouth as he concentrated on the stew. A bolt of blue green light shot out of his fingertips and encompassed the moldy meal. Seconds later it looked fresh, well as fresh as peasant stew ever looks, he thought to himself.
For a few seconds he debated heating it up with yet another spell, but he didn’t have much magic left. The healing spell drained a great deal and he suspected he had just over done the refresh spell as well. Oh well at least cold stew is better than no stew. He thought to himself as he ate the meal. Even with the magic of the refresh spell, the food tasted terrible. It even crunched some because of sand and dirt. Regardless, he forced down every chunk big enough to pick up.
I wonder what type of meat this is. Oh, bad question. It is probably better that I do not know.
The food, if one wanted to be generous enough to call it that, eased both Kandric’s body and mind. Suddenly he felt guilty about not bringing some home to his mother and siblings. That was the original reason he had traveled to Slome. The winter had been hard on all the swamp dwellers, especially for those who lived in what was referred to as the swamp slums.
The swamp slums was considered part of Slome, but was really an independent village all to itself. Over 75 building most nothing more than one room shacks spread out 3 square kilometers of swamp and bog. During the summer insects, Goblins, and giant lizards played hell with the residence and during the winter the frozen swamp gave up little in the way of food. Often, during really hard winters, Goblins would come and raid taking food, belongings and once and awhile whole families. This had been the case this last winter.
Speculation centered on the children being used as food for the Goblins while the adults were worked to death in the frigid cold getting wood to keep the vile creatures warm. It was during one of the early attacks a few years ago that Kandric discovered he could use magic.
One Goblin had charged into their hut knocking his mother down. Anger roared through Kandric’s small slender frame and instinctively he raised his hands in a thrust like motion. Sparks shot from his outstretched fingers and caused the Goblin’s cloak to ignite. Frantically it jumped out the door trying to get to water, but instead tripped and hit its head on a stone. The impact killed the beast and scared off the other three.
No one had seen what he had done. His mom had been knocked senseless by the Goblin and his siblings had all tried to hide under their threadbare mats. Scared and weakened by the magic he didn’t tell anyone. But somehow, a man who lived in the swamp slums did find out.
While Kandric’s body digested some of the food and got its strength back, he sat in the back corner. The rest caused his mind to drift back to what had led to him becoming a trained spellcaster…
Two days after the Goblin’s death the one armed man, as everyone had called him for as long as Kandric could remember, came and offered Kandric a job that would pay real copper. Eagerly his mom accepted the offer for him. Coins could be used to buy things in Slome, and could also be put aside for emergencies.
Over the next four plus years the man would send Kandric to cut wood, help mend fish nets and many other simple, yet meaningful jobs the one armed man could not do, but those chores were for show only and took only a fraction of the time the man wanted.
The first day he cut wood for two hours and was called in by the man. Never before or sense had Kandric seen such a contrast in living conditions. The shack was similar to all the others, except this one had actual rooms. The furniture was poor, but at least he had some. He also had a real stove and brick fireplace. Clearly this man was rich compared to anyone else out in the swamp slums.
The man led him to the back of the shack, opened the door to the pantry and pulled a lever. Torches lit a hidden passage down. Within seconds it become apparent the real home was underneath the hut everyone thought the man lived in. There were no holes in the planking above that lead to his “hut” and the place was decorated with real fancy rugs and many weapons, some made of silver and others had gems set into the handles. Real furniture of redwood, ash, and rosewood showed off the man’s wealth. Several heavy doors told Kandric this was just the beginning of what was down here.
The one armed man motioned to Kandric, “Come boy, have a seat next to me. I have an offer to make you. One that I think both of us could find beneficial.”
“That would be up to my mom.” Kandric stammered still not believing or understand the wealth and power of a man who acted poor like all the other slum dwellers. The hut was nothing but a façade. All the real riches were here in the man’s basement. Riches was an understatement of the greatest proportions. This man had enough in one of the jeweled weapons alone to fetch enough to buy a good potion of Slome!
The man continued, ignoring Kandric’s stunned looks, “No, actually it is not. She agreed to sell me your services for work I need around the hut. Under the deal I struck with your mom I can use you for as long as I want each day for whatever type of work needed. In return, she gets a copper a week. My needs are not all that great, for as you see, I am not a man without some means. Therefore, your services for such chores would be no more than 2 or 3 hours a day. What I propose would keep you here for more like 10 to 14 hours a day, sometimes for days at a time.”
Kandric scowled, “Many people here would work for a copper a week for that much time sir that are much stronger than me.”
“Ah but few have your allure, and fewer yet have your ability with magic.” The one armed man maneuvered next to Kandric stroking his long soft reddish silver hair as he spoke.
Kandric froze up, “How do you know about my magic?”
“I felt it in you for a long time now my boy. Now it is active. You did well against the Goblins. You killed their leader. They will never attack your hut again. Word will surely spread. No Goblin will want to take on your hut when there are so many others that have not claimed one of there own, let alone a leader.” The man’s hand moved down rubbing Kandric’s back sliding under the burlap bag that was his shirt.
Kandric noticed the hand and enjoyed the man’s touch. He was not used to physical contact of others, being the only halfelf in the slums no one seemed to care for or about him except his mom. His two brothers and one sister had become jealous over the prior few years because he grew much faster than they because they were fully Elvin. Now he was the biggest and oldest even though his oldest brother had eight actual years on him.
Kandric allowed the man to pull him closer, “How could you know I did that? You didn’t see me.”
“I didn’t have to young’an I felt your power emerge in a great gushing of energy. It was a simple matter to trace down the source. I already guessed it had been you, because like I said, I have felt the untapped magic in you for a couple of years now.” The man’s hand was now completely under Kandric’s makeshift shirt rubbing between his shoulder blades and still moving down.
He could feel the hole his mom had cut in the top of the bag being pulled down thus starting to push at his throat some. Gently he pulled at the opening so it would feel like he was being strangled. “So what do you want sir.”
“First off, my name is Glaster.” He suddenly removed his hand from Kandric’s back and twirled his fingers in a counter clockwise motion. A dark golden beam shot out and flashed around them for a moment. Suddenly they were elsewhere, on a cliff overlooking an abandoned castle with crumbling walls.
“And that, dear boy, was my home until the armies of Molden destroyed it 35 years ago and took my arm in the process.”
Kandric gasped, “Where is the swamp?”
“Over a thousand leagues to the north, dear boy.” Glaster pointed for emphases. “That is why the weather is so warm here.”
“As for what I want,” Glaster smiled at Kandric, “I want to make a deal with you.”
Kandric’s young eyes betrayed his confusion, “Mom already sold you my services. What else is there?”
Glaster’s eyes danced with merriment, “Simply this, I will teach you how to be a shaman, to read, write and cast all of the first, second and third echelon spells I know plus a few even more powerful spells. Of course you will not be able to cast the upper echelon spells for many many years but you will have them in memory for when you do get powerful enough.”
“What’s the catch?”
Glaster carefully looked over the beautiful boy in front of him again. For 3 years since he had first noticed the power in the little boy he knew he would have to find a way to get him, to posses him. Now was that chance. “In exchange you will agree to be my pleasure boy. Furthermore, you will also agree never to let anyone know you are a spell caster or who trained you, even if that means allowing yourself or others to get hurt. I expect you would defend yourself in life or death instances, but you must be sure your life is truly in danger.”
Kandric was in no way naive about what it was Glaster wanted, he may have only been the human equivalence of 8 but he had lived longer than that. Besides, growing up in the slums educates a boy far more than many would realize. Several times over the years he had seen men, and an occasional woman come to the swamps and offer parents coins for the services of their children. Enough times of seeing the same men come and offer money for the use of the same children was enough to put some of the pieces together. The rest fell into place when he had actually overheard a full transaction. Sex was also not easy to hide in the slums. There were just too many holes in walls to see through and too little privacy.
Kandric felt so small and afraid right then, but tried his best to hide it, “What if I do not agree?”
Glaster shrugged, “That would be of no benefit to you at all. If you choose to decline my offer, I guess I go to your mom and make an offer of, oh, five silver a month for you and do not train you. Your mom didn’t even hesitate to let me work you for as long as I wanted you for a copper a week, do you think she would pass up on five silver a month allowing me to keep you and do whatever I wanted?”
“I truly hope you are smart enough to make the wiser of the two choices.” Glaster stopped letting the boy see just how poor his choices were.
Kandric knew his mom would take such a massive amount of money and even agree to never say a word. With that kind of money she could save up enough to move, and might even agree to sell him outright when she did so if this man still wanted him. It seemed Glaster had him trapped. However, to actually learn to read and write, that was a dream for young Halfelf. Kandric looked up at the one armed man and nervously nodded, “Ok, but I think my mom should get five copper a week.”
Glaster nearly exploded with laughter, “Oh, you do, do you! Even men who work in the village make only about a copper a day! The men of the swamps are lucky to bring in half that much!”
With butterflies in his stomach, Kandric held his ground stubbornly, “Yea, but I heard the baker make an offer to Sarmout’s parents for a silver a week to be his ‘little toy’. That’s 10 copper a week!”
Glaster looked out over his once proud home with a bemused grin. This lad is smart, knows how to count, the conversion rates for copper to silver and has paid attention to what goes on, this only makes me want him all the more!
He ran his hand over the boy’s silk like reddish-silver hair again, “I will agree to pay your mother three copper a week for your services. However, this will mean you must stay over at least two nights a week, and go out with me on the road when I travel. For every three complete days we are gone your mother will get an extra copper. If we are gone for less than three straight days she will not get any extra.”
Kandric thought it over for a few moments before nodding, “OK, you win. Three copper a week.”
Glaster wrapped his single arm around the boy, “Well bargained. Now let’s get back to our little swamp before we get noticed.”
Kandric again nodded. He knew he had just agreed to be little more than a plaything to the one armed man, and as best he could tell, he alone knew the man’s name. Many of the swamp dwellers steered clear of him because he was such a mystery. Not to mention far wealthier than anyone else who lived in the slums. It was well known Glaster traveled on business from time to time. Many thought, because he was rich by slum standards and so secretive, he must run a thief’s guild or something similar.
It took only seconds for Glaster to cast a spell to transport them back to Kandric’s home swamp. Moments after they reappeared in Glaster’s den he grabbed the boy and turned to face him. “You must never speak of what I have said or what you saw. I will be by your house later today to let your mom know of our agreement, but with none of the real details. Do you understand that I will not tolerate you speaking to anyone about this?”
Kandric swallowed hard, “Yes sir. I understand. I will not breathe a word of any of this.”
“You are a very smart and gifted boy. Just remember that when you come tomorrow your job will be much different, and I do expect you to stay with me tomorrow eve. You do understand, correct?”
“I understand.” Kandric weakly stated.
Glaster pulled the boy to him and gave him a kiss to his left temple. Before releasing the boy from his grasp he licked around the hairline for a moment, “You have a wonderful taste.” He whispered far too softly for Kandric to hear.
“Never you mind little one. Just talking to myself more than anything. I expect that you will be bathed and clean when you come to my door. Be here at sun up, no later!”
“I will.” Kandric squeaked in a somewhat frightened voice. Before Glaster could say more he hustled out the door.
As Glaster promised, he showed up later in the day and made the agreed upon offer of 3 copper a week for the boy plus extra for extended trips. It didn’t surprise Kandric at all when his mom called to him and announced the new arrangements and that he was now expected to work for the man seven days a week and spend at least two nights over there.
Never before had he seen his mom so happy with him or happy in general. In her eyes he was now making as much and in a few cases more than full-grown men in the slums. She mistakenly thought Kandric’s work for the man had impressed him enough to make such an offer. This mistake led her to show pride for her son in a way he had never seen before. A guilty feeling crept up into his gut, but he refused to let his mother’s happiness fade. I will do whatever it takes to keep my mom thinking I am a hard worker. No matter what Glaster wants of me, I cannot let mom down.
Kandric showed up the next morning at Glaster’s just as the sun was starting to lay a carpet of long shadows on the floor of the swamp. Before he could knock, the door opened to reveal Glaster in a nice robe, way nicer than he had ever seen before. It seemed to even shine some, and the silvery collar was ordained with strange winged beasts.
“Hello my boy.” Glaster had been eagerly waiting for this moment for hours and it showed.
Kandric had an idea as to what the man wanted but nothing firm. He stepped through the entryway and allowed his “employer” to close the door. He started to turn, but a hand on his back stopped him.
“Let’s proceed down to the den boy. You know the way.”
Kandric took a breath and walked into the kitchen. The whole time Glaster’s hand remained on his shoulder and guided him, almost pushing him to hurry. Keeping his mind on doing what he was told, he opened the door that led to the man’s basement. Instantly the three torches on the staircase lit to shed light on the passage down. The magic surprised him causing him to jump slightly.
“Ah, a lesson in magic before we even start formally.”Glaster chuckled, “Did you feel the power or not?”
“I did, I think I did at least. It felt like the area does before a thunderstorm.”
“Very good! You indeed are very sensitive to magic! Remember that feeling, it will come into play when I start teaching you. Now continue down.”
Glaster nudged the boy forward and guided him to the massive padded couch. Sitting down he used his one arm to pull the boy onto his lap. As he had done the day before he started by running his fingers through the boy’s fine hair. He inhaled deeply allowing the boy’s smell to sink in, and oh what a fragrance it was!
Kandric sat still, not knowing what to do or what the man expected out of him. It didn’t take long before he felt the hand start moving down his back. Like the day before, he had to pull at the hole for his head as the front was pulled against his throat. Nervously, he tensed wondering if this action would anger Glaster. The last thing he wanted was to be magically transported and left on some faraway mountain or some other spell that could do even worse.
Glaster shook his head, “Oh, this will clearly not do at all. Raise your arms up little one.”
Kandric did as he was told. It took no time at all before he felt Glaster deftly use his single hand to remove his makeshift shirt. Feeling the man pull him back, he allowed himself to slide against the man’s chest. For a human of his age and only having one arm, He was surprised at how strong Glaster’s muscles felt. His arm was well shaped and his chest was solid as a carved stone.
Glaster inhaled again, the boy smelled wonderful. Slowly he started exploring the boy’s back and chest. The silk smooth hairless skin seemed flawless, other than its owner’s inability to relax. That was fine though. He had a small mean streak that liked a boy to be afraid. For some reason it turned him on. Yet, he also knew should anyone ever do anything to truly damage one of his special children he would kill on the spot. This boy could very well be the most special of all. He was beautiful and highly gifted in shaman magic as well. However, there was more. An indescribable attraction he could not trace to any source drew him to this boy the very first time he laid eyes on him. Had the boy not agreed, he would have risked exposing himself by buying him. He had done it before, but would have hated turning such a perfect boy into a mere piece of property.
Boys were what made the world revolve for Glaster. No matter where he went, or what he was doing his eyes searched for their youth, vibrancy and looks. Nothing brought a smile to his face faster than a couple of boys playing and being boys. Of course this weakness had led to him losing his right arm in the fight for his home, but it had been a small price to pay to save a boy’s life. The boy had certainly repaid him over the following 4 years.
Glaster glanced at his stump for a moment, sticking only 20 centimeters down from his right shoulder. Oh how wonderful it would be to have both arms to really hold and caress this perfect body sitting on my lap, he mused. So be it. One of these years I will find the magic to get a new arm, until then at least I have this dear boy.
Having thoroughly explored Kandric’s upper body, he moved his hand down to untie the rope holding up his burlap britches. By now he could smell the mixture of fear and uncertainty in the boy. His increased tension had led a light sweat. Glaster licked the halfelf’s back between the shoulder blades and kissed at the neck, enjoying the slightly salty taste.
Kandric felt his belt being untied. He had expected this, but it still caused him to shudder with fear. Next he felt his sandals being kicked off by the one armed man’s foot. This, having been done so easily, told him this man had done this many times before. Even the fact that his belt had been effortlessly undone one-handed, spoke volumes as to this all being done with the practiced ease of a master.
The tongue sliding gently around his back took him by surprise. Kandric quickly realized what it was and thought it disgusting. However, the longer it continued the more he liked it. Involuntarily, he started to relax. He no longer cared that he had been maneuvered out of his britches or that his legs were being explored by the hand. Even as it wandered higher onto the sensitive area of his inner thigh and further still slipping under his badly worn, but freshly washed loincloth, he was able to enjoy being caressed.
Part of his being said this was not what he wanted, but with every passing moment the other half wanted more. Letting this side of him win took no real action other than letting Glaster massage every centimeter of his body. Somewhere in all the kissing, licking, caressing, and fondling Glaster had removed his loincloth. His realization of total nudeness came as a shock. For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out how he had been undressed or for how long he had been naked.
Glaster felt the boy tighten again. He smiled. His one hand kept a light hold on the two robin egg sized boy balls. He enjoyed it as the sack tightened and they moved up as the boy’s fear and uncertainty reappeared. Part of him was disappointed that he didn’t cause the spasms of an orgasm to overtake this beautiful lad. Yet, he could enjoy this youngster’s fear as well. It was a two-sided coin both of which were wins as best Glaster could determine.
Finally he decided to speak to the boy again, for not a word had been said since he had guided Kandric down the stairs. “This is only the beginning. By tomorrow eve you will understand almost everything I want from you. In the meantime, you must learn the rules regarding your duties.”
It took a few moments for Kandric to find any voice at all. When he spoke his words were mere squeaks. “What rules, sir.”
Glaster started using his thumb to stroke the boy’s penis while still holding the now tight boy sack. “There are a few things you must get used to. Are you ready to pay close attention? Say so if you aren’t because I will punish you for not following them.”
Kandric could tell by voice inflection alone the man was dead serious. A slight squeeze to his testicles further confirmed just how important it was for him to get this right. He took a breath and got ready to pay attention before answering. “I’m ready.” He stammered out at last.
“Excellent! First, you will come here clean every day, no excuses.”
“I have to take a bath every day?” Kandric was mortified at the thought.
“Yes. I do not care for a dirty boy. Nor do I want anymore dirt than is absolutely necessary to come into my den, or any other the lower rooms for that matter.”
Glaster’s eyes gleamed at how resigned Kandric sounded. “Next, each night I will tell you chores for the next day. These are to be done before you take your bath.”
Kandric meekly nodded. This at least made sense.
“Third, you will report to me after getting clean. I will then undress you and we will start your studies. You will remain on my lap unless told otherwise. Breaks will be given as needed, so do not be concerned about necessary matters.”
“Unless I say differently, which will be seldom. You will spend four hours a day learning to read and write Elvish, Northmen, Universal, and of course Shamanistic. Another hour after lunch will be learning Mathematics. Magic lessons will take up several hours following your other studies.”
“I’m going to be indoors all that time everyday?” Kandric could feel his love of being outside, fishing, hiking and exploring being crushed.
“No, no, no.” Glaster chuckled, “You will get play time and we will do quite a bit of traveling. But this will be rare until you learn the basics of reading and writing all four languages. The harder you work and the faster you learn the more free time you will end up with.”
“I also want you to master all the auto-spells. This will not take you much time at all as long as you follow instructions and practice.” Glaster took his hand and started rubbing on the now hard five centimeter long boy muscle the thumb had gotten started. His own was now fully up and he could feel the beginnings of his own cum wanting to explode outwards.
Kandric shifted trying to get off the ever-growing lump he felt pushing into his bare boy crack.
Glaster stopped him almost immediately. “No. You must get used to it. Now move back to where you were.”
Kandric swallowed hard and slid back over the large bulge under Glaster’s robe. He noticed the man adjust as well pushing the man-rod up into his butt crack. It was very uncomfortable for a few minutes, but he gradually got used to it. With his mind so preoccupied he suddenly noticed he had missed some more instructions. Almost terrified he interrupted, “Sir I kinda lost track of what you were saying.”
“You told me you were ready to pay attention boy!” Glaster growled.
“I was. I mean I did.” Kandric stammered out
“You did promise, but didn’t follow through!” Glaster made his voice angrier than what he truly felt. One thing he had learned about children was: it happened to be far easier to start out to harsh and slack up later then to start slack and try to become more firm. “Stand up!”
Kandric chewed on his lip as he stood. The very last thing he wanted was to find out what would happen when this guy got mad. Now he was and to make matters worse it had been his fault. He turned to face his employer hoping whatever punishment was to come would be quick.
Glaster’s had shot out at lightning speed, “I did not tell you to turn around. Did I?”
“Yet you did. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior. See those two large books on my end table?”
Kandric felt the man’s hand tighten like a vice over his bare shoulder. Each second he looked around trying to find what the man was talking about, the pressure increased. By the time he spotted the two black tomes lying behind an unlit lamp on a black table tucked into the shadows of the room’s rear corner tears of pain threatened to start falling. “I see them.” He gasped out at last.
Glaster released his grip, satisfied by the clear finger marks he had left on the boy’s right shoulder. “Get them.”
Kandric hefted up the two massive books, each weighing over five kilograms. He never realized paper could weigh so much!
Glaster went over to his cabinet and withdrew an hourglass. “Lift the books over your head boy!”
Bewildered, Kandric did as he was told. He looked around expecting the man to go for a cane or paddle. Instead he watched as the glass device was turned upside-down. Bit by bit grains of multicolored sand started tumbling into the bottom area.
“If you do not wish to use your brain, you will use your muscles instead.” Glaster announced angrily. “You are to keep both books held above your head and feet still until the very last grain of sand falls to the bottom. For every time you drop your arms you will spend another full cycle of the time piece in stocks in the middle of the freezing cold bog dressed just as you are.”
Kandric was mortified. “I am not dressed at all!” he nearly shouted.
“Exactly.” Glaster stated matter-of-factly. “The cold would not kill you, but by the time one side of this empties, you would wish it had. Therefore, it would be in your interest to keep those books held up high.”
Kandric watched the grains trickle down making colorful patterns. Somehow each color seemed to try to stay together making neat swirling designs in the glass. This held his interest for only so long though. The books pressed down on his graceful slim arms. Long before the top part had even half emptied he felt his arms shaking.
Glaster calmly went over to a chair and sat facing the beautiful halfelf. Making sure to seem very disinterested in the plight of the boy, he reached down and started studying a scroll. Occasionally, he glanced up just to make sure the books were still held up then would return to his reading.
Over the years Glaster had paid close attention to this child. He knew this would be far worse than any beating because Kandric was not one to do things slowly. Everything the lad worked at he accomplished as quickly as he possibly could. In many ways this exercise would build his mind as well as strengthen his body. A person who could not learn some things had to be done over the passage of time would be on a path to self-destruction.
Kandric continued to watch the sand drain down in agony. By now his shoulders were aching, especially where the man had clamped down. He began to suspect the pressure had been applied just so on purpose, which of course it had. Briefly, he wondered if he would be forced into stocks in the middle of the bog. One look at the man when he did glance his direction answered with a resounding YES.
Finally, he could bare the pain no longer, “Please let me stop!”
“No.” Glaster answered without looking up.
Tears started to blur his vision, “I can’t hold them up anymore.”
“Then lower them for a few minutes and go to the bog for a cycle after you are done here.”
“I’ll freeze! Please let me put them down.” The pain caused tears to start trickling down his cheeks
“No.” Glaster repeated, looking up annoyed. “You agreed to my terms for 3 copper a week, a man’s pay out here. You wanted a man’s pay, now you must deal with being man like in your decisions. A man who agrees to something then backs out after already being paid could be flogged or worse. You are under contract to me, yet couldn’t even pay enough attention for me to lay out all I expect of you. Now deal with your punishment. No more talk.”
Kandric looked back at the glass; it still had a whole lot of sand in the top. Tears flowed freely now. He didn’t see any way of keeping the books up. His fingers started to spasm and his arms hurt far worse than any pain he had ever felt. Even his legs were starting to cramp up. Not being allowed to even move his feet prevented any shifting that would allow some relief.
Just as he was ready to give up on himself, he felt Glaster cast a spell. The top book lifted up in the air and landed back on the small table where he had first picked it up. With half the burden lifted, he forced himself to make it until the last grains spiraled down to the bottom area of the hourglass.
Glaster jumped up and grabbed the exhausted child before the youngster could react. He used another spell to replace the book on the end table, as he lifted the boy onto his lap and cradled sweat drenched head. “You have a very strong will. I am proud of you.” He whispered gently.
Kandric cried as next to every joint in his body had stiffened and was trying to loosen up. It seemed strange. He should hate this man, but he had taken the first book off in the nick of time and didn’t allow a single extra second of punishment beyond what he had promised from the start. The words of praise hit an especially tender spot. Never before had anyone other than his mom said kind words to him, and she almost never seemed proud over anything he did, except get a job from this man.
Tenderly, Glaster worked on each and every sore spot on the boy, rubbing and helping each muscle to loosen. Again he wished he still had both hands. It would have made his work faster. Still, I wasn’t a bad thing to take twice as long when working on such a living work of art. As the boy calmed and loosed, he started over where he had begun earlier in the morning. He couldn’t help but smile as the boy drifted off into a soft sleepy nap.
Glaster’s hand lingered on the boy’s chest for quite some time. Each breath felt precious and sounded so gentle. He hated what he had forced the boy to do, but knew this would not be the last time he would have to deal with such problems. In the long run, his discipline would do far more to help then the discomfort had caused.
Kandric woke on the man’s lap to find him again studying a scroll. Clearly his waking up had not been noticed. His legs and arms still hurt some, but nowhere near as bad as they had been. Feeling comfortable, he decided to close his eyes again and rest. Every once and a while he noticed a hand slide over a part of his body almost always coming to rest on his testicles. Every time this happened he would also feel a kiss and or a couple of licks around his head, upper chest or neck. If this is what the man wanted, he could easily live with it.
Finally Kandric had to relieve himself. He took a deep breath and stretched. Instantly he felt a hand turn his head as a kiss fell on his lips. He tasted the kiss and found nothing disgusting about it at all. In many ways he found this fun and comforting. Yes, he could live with this no question.
“How are you doing little one?”
“Ok, but I got to go outside.”
Glaster chuckled, “No you don’t. Get up and come with me.”
Kandric stretched again and followed his employer through one of the heavy doors. Before him an elegant bedroom opened up with a real canopied gigantic bed against the far wall. Two dressers with silver mirrors stood on each side; one looked to be set up for the height of a child, the other considerably taller. Next to the bed another door opened into a stairway going down.
Once down a new set of torches ignited revealing a room with a pair of chairs on a wooden walkway. Both seats had holes cut in the middle. Under the platform a fairly swiftly flowing stream splashed through one wall and out the opposite side. A pile of sponge leaves was stored in a box next to each chair.
Glaster smiled at the boy’s slow understanding of what the uses of this room were. “There is no need to go out into the cold when you can allow the current to sweep your waste away. There is another one of these rooms through the redwood door at the end of the hall. This one is only for the two of us.”
Kandric nervously started to pee into the stream. “Do others come here?”
“Yes, I do some business out of here. I am a merchant of many things, those who want really expensive goods I transport here magically then take them back. They never see where I live or where I store some of my most valuable wares. You will learn how to be a servant when I bring in guests. The clothing in the small dresser is for you during those times. It also contains traveling clothing, which you will unfortunately have to where when we do travel.”
“Why do you have two rooms like this?”
“Because the other contains smashed papyrus. Sponge leaves are just too expensive to use on someone I do not care about or for. Besides, I like not having to go far at night, and I do not like the idea of people I know little about walking around in our bedroom.”
“Oh, yes. You will be sleeping with me when you stay over. Had you been paying attention earlier, you would have already known this. I do hope your morning exercise taught you I will not allow you to be lax on listening to me nor on your studies.”
Kandric nodded vigorously, “Yes sir. I will do a better job of listening from now on.”
“I am sure you will. Never forget, however, those two books will always be close by as will my timepiece. I truly do not like to use them, but when I instruct you to get the books you will know what you are to do. Any complaints from you and I will either make you stand longer or add an extra book or two.”
The very thought of having to stand holding more books or even a fraction more time caused Kandric a brief cold tingle. “I will never argue sir.” Never before had his words held more sincerity…
A loud clattering sound returned Kandric to his present situation. He shook off the memories and stood, again looking around to make sure no one noticed him. Of course, with his small size and poor peasant clothing, it wasn’t all that hard to blend in. Quickly, he identified where the sound had come from and forced himself not to giggle. The cat, which had been eating on the stew earlier, had startled a woman causing her to drop a mound of dishes she had been washing.
To make matters worse, the old woman angrily kicked at the stray, but it jumped clear causing her to slip and fall.
Kandric held a hand over his mouth preventing any sound from emerging. He couldn’t help but cheer for the poor animal. After all, it had already lost one meal. This thought reminded him of what he needed to do.
Having found a meal for himself, makeshift as it was, had improved his demeanor and resolve to find food for his family. He still couldn’t believe things had gotten so bad so quickly for his family.
He guessed his mom had gotten too used to the three copper a week. Over the years she had stopped saving, instead spending it for clothing, extra food and to send his oldest brother to school. She never once realized her desire to have at least one of her children learn to read and write had already become a reality. In some ways he found this funny, in other ways it hurt because she hadn’t even noticed the few times he had tried to show her. He couldn’t come right out and say it, Glaster had forbidden that. However, he had given permission for him to use his reading skills when his mother was around. Thus far, she had yet to notice. It hurt his feelings so much each time that he had all but abandoned trying to show off over the last few months.
Even worse, in Kandric’s opinion, was that she seemed to be blaming him now that the money was no longer coming in, complaining that his brother couldn’t go to school. Meanwhile, all her kids were going hungry. It was becoming clear that she was never really proud of him for getting the job, but instead only wanted the money. He half thought of forgetting about her altogether, but he couldn’t let his brothers and sister go hungry. He sure wished Glaster would return.
All the current problems started about four weeks ago. His master had left on a sudden quest, saying it was far too dangerous for Kandric to come. This was highly unusual. Glaster had even taken him out to practice his magic against the Goblins more than a few times. Twice he had been slightly injured. Both times the offending Goblin had instantly wished it had never hurt the boy throwing spells at it.
Each time Glaster cast an extremely powerful spell, which killed, but unfortunately for the Goblin did so in a very slow, terribly painful manner. Interestingly enough, both times all the other Goblins ran away in terror.
The day he left, Glaster handed Kandric’s mom six copper promising to make up any difference when he returned. When the money ran out after only three weeks, Kandric tried setting several traps to catch game, but all had been raided by Goblins and even the snares had been taken. He could not fish on the thin ice still covering the swamps for fear of falling through, nor could he cast a line in because there was still ice covering pretty much the whole swamp this early in the spring. He knew if worse came to worse he could go in and take something of Glaster’s to sell. His master would understand. Yet, he bet Glaster would be disappointed in him. That was not something he wanted to see in the man’s eyes. He would just have to figure out something else.