This is the first of (hopefully) seven short stories detailing the Barraki Warlords, originally proposed in THIS pitch. I recommend you read that one before this story.
Just a warning: Some of the content is more mature.
As music rang through the icy halls, a ribbon-dancer moved around. She danced for long, long and long, to court’s much surprise. There was no end to this, until the warlord would raise his hand, she had to dance.
Until that monster raised his hand, she had to please him as best as she could, for if she would stop, she would pay for it.
The warlord of ice sat on his enormous throne, dressed in white dress of silk, better one nowhere to be found. Even his mask was beautifully painted, by hands of the best artists of Ihu, for the worse ones already painted the gates red.
The ribbon-dancer, Kylma, by her name, was lightly dressed, in a nicely looking white clothes that left her belly and legs bare. Her quick moves along with impressive swings of her ribbon continued for long, but the warlord hasn’t even blinked, twitched, or moved at all.
Pridak was silent, his eyes fixed on the young dancer. Was he thinking of her? Of the dungeons? Of something different completely? No sane being even dared to think of what was happening behind that mask.
Finally, it must have been hours, the white hand, heavily decorated with rings, has been raised. Kylma fell on her knees, breathless. The sweet music stopped, the court gasped in expectation. The warlord rose from his icy throne, the long, bone-white dress dragged behind him. “So, Kylma, was it?” he was flowing on the ground of ice like on skates, rounding the breathless dancer. “You certainly have stamina.” the cold, dead eyes measured her, up and down. She did not dare to look up. “For entertainment, though, you are not fit.” her heart stopped.
This was her end. She will end up dead, at the gates of Ihu, for all the world to see. “My… My lord.”
“You wish to plead for your small, insignificant life? That petty thing you hold dear is in no danger, I assure you.” his voice was like a poison, a blade that would cut in your heart when you weren’t watching. His own eyes, oh, like an ice-crow, looking at you at all times, watching, never to blink. She could feel the gaze on her right now.
“You still are not in a bad shape. You will still be use to Ihu.” the warlord stopped before her, his decorated finger raising her hand. Kylma fought tears, for she saw those dead, blue eyes, colder than ice itself. “Oh, do not cry, Ihuan women do not cry. Pitty, though be not worried, we will get rid of that.” a smile creeped on his face. It was not warm, nor welcoming, yet wicked and evil.
“You will serve Ihu, as you should…” his soft hand ran over her wet cheek.
I am doomed. I will never see the light of day or feel freedom ever again. Those were the thoughts, running through her head like an unfrozen stream.
Where has Melum gone? How could their god allow this monster to sit the Ihuan throne? Since the League of Six Kingdoms rose up, the world hasn’t seen a single happy moment, a laughter that was not wicked.
“Elemental gods, great Ekimu, I beg you, hear my prayers… Save your children, save your servants. For in times that these monsters walk on this land, no child born will know what ‘joy’ truly means.”