Reforging The Broken

Chapter Two, Alessia and Aatazaz.

Upon opening his eyes, he was met with nothing but darkness. His backside felt numb as the ground beneath him continuously infected him with its cold embrace. He couldn even feel the rocks which stabbed into his backside like knives, just dull enough to not pierce the sad excuse for a tunic he wore. Outside of his tent where he lay, the wind howled throughout the empty land, as if crying out in its loneliness. His mouth felt dry and parched. He had been deprived of water for two days now . . . or was it three?

He couldn remember, but that didn matter. He had things to do.

Yes, thats right. Thats why his body had woken him up just now, because it understood the dire consequences if he could not fulfill his duty to the master. He had been chosen to become his next personal servant. If he failed at the simplest task of getting up in the morning on time, then the master would surely take notice. And once the master noticed his folly, there would be no hope left. His life would end the moment he took one wrong step. Many others had been chosen before him, all never seen again. This thought alone made him shudder from within, shivering from the very depths of his soul. It was different from the shivers you get from being cold; this shiver was born from fear.

Rising to his feet, his body groaned in protest. His knee felt like they had rusted over, his back spasmed, and his arms felt like noodles. For a moment, he fantasized about falling to the ground and resting for a few minutes . . . but thats all it was. Just a fantasy. He staggered through the dark room towards the exit of his tent, stumbling over other slaves that belonged to his master.

Once outside, he was met with a brighter scene. The sun was just barely poking out over the mountains, not yet giving the world its full luminance. In the early morning light, he could see the vast, empty plains that made up the majority of the northern side of the Asteron Kingdom. They extended out as far as his eye could see, the rolling hills like a green ocean of grass occasionally spotted with a small tree or large boulder. It was a lonely sight.

As the breeze swept by, it stole the little warmth he had left. His ragged tunic did little to help. He shivered and wrapped his arms around himself in an attempt to keep warm. However, it was for naught. Despite all his efforts, the cold still seeped into him. It was like someone was slowly stabbing his whole body with dozens of icicles. It was so bitterly frigid outside that it almost burned.

He would have gone back inside long ago if not for the fact that he was waiting for someone. Every slave tent had a overseer, a guard per say. This person was the one that would take him to the master, however, he was nowhere to be seen. Not knowing the way himself, nor wanting the punishment of leaving the slave tent unattended, he simply waited. After a few minutes, he felt the ground underneath him vibrate slightly in the rhythmic pattern of a horse. Upon turning around, he saw a rider approaching him from a few hundred feet away, riding down from a nearby hill.

After a quick minute, the rider arrived in front of him.

”Come on, lets get moving. ” The rider ordered in a harsh tone, his eyes filled with annoyance as he extended his hand to the slave boy beneath him. The boy hastily spit out a reply and grabbed the riders hand, hoisting himself up onto the back of the horse.

”Yes sir. ”

After a few minutes of riding, they came to the top of the hill. They were greeted with the sight of a half dozen tents, much larger and sturdier than the one from which he came from. They were surrounded by several guards wearing heavy armor and equipped with swords. Each of these men carried a large shield upon their backs, each emblazoned with an intricate design of a red rose. Although they lacked mounts, they looked much deadlier than the rider who escorted him.

They were led by a tall, muscular man who had to have stood near seven feet. His skin was tanned from years spent outdoors, like he had lived off of hard labor his whole life. A scar ran along the length of his forehead, likely from some unfortunate incident during battle.

”Off you go! ”

Without warning, the rider threw the boy to the ground. With a dull thud, the slave boy had the wind knocked out of him. For a moment, he struggled to breathe. While the slave boy writhed around on the ground in agony, the seven foot tall warrior called out to the rider guarding the slave boy, his voice sounding rough like gravel.

”Any trouble? ”

Without missing a beat, the rider responded. ”No sir. Slave tent 3 had no problems. ”

The muscular man nodded, and then looked at the slave boy on the ground. ”You know what you
e supposed to do? ”

The boy answered as he finally took a breath of air, returning to his feet. ”Yes, I am to serve the master for the day. ”

The man looked at the boy and squinted his eyes. He didn look very happy.

”And? ”

After a brief pause and a moment of thought, the boy continued.

”And . . . it is an honor to be chosen to serve him personally. ”

The boys tone was deadpan, his eyes glazed over. He meant nothing of what he said. The man frowned slightly, then turned to the horseman.

”Tell me something, does this look like someone who feels honored? ”

The rider smirked, knowing what was about to happen. ”No, not at all. He doesn look a bit grateful to be handed such a task. ”

The man turned back to look at the slave boy. ”Thats exactly what I thought. ”

Before the boy could even react, the man backhanded the boy across the cheek, leaving the young boy reeling once more. Without a word, the man grabbed the collar of the boys tunic, yanking him closer to his face.

”Im going to do you a big favor and give you some advice. Dozens of people with better acting skills than you have been killed for even looking at the master wrong. Pull a face like that in front of him, and youll find your head on a pike by morning. Do you understand? ”

The boy just grunted in response, his cheek still stinging.

The man released his hold, then turned back to the horseman. ”Go back to your station and report to me if anything happens. ”

He then turned to the boy. ”Get up. ”

Still dazed, the boy did as he was told. His legs felt weak after the blow to his cheek. However, he knew better than to complain. With a slight limp, he walked behind the man and the horse, heading deeper into the center camp.

A few moments later, the pair had reached the largest tent in the center camp. It was painted a midnight black, with the image of a red rose repeated constantly across it. At the entrance, two guards stepped aside to allow the man entrance, while the boy followed him inside. The man then bowed, his movements smooth and precise.

”I have arrived, Lord Sessair. ”

At the other side of the room, a man sat in a wooden chair, painted red and black. He held his chin in his right hand, his uncaring gray eyes focused on nothing in particular. His black hair looked wild, unkempt, and dirty; a rarity for a noble. His body was tall and skinny, but also lean and dangerous, like a starved wolf. He wore all black clothing with gray accents, as well as a ruby red cloak draped over his chair. As he stared into nothing, he rubbed the cloak between his index finger and thumb as if he was bored.

”Have you picked a replacement? ”

There was little emotion in the lords words, only unending apathy could be picked up from his tone of voice. The man replied without hesitation.

”Yes, he is ready and waiting for his turn to perform his duties. ”

Lord Sessair looked down at the boy, his expression unchanging.

”Good enough. Return to your post, Ivan. ”

The muscular man bowed deeply before leaving. Sessair turned to the boy, and asked him a question with a bored tone of voice.

”Do you have a name? ”

”Yes. My name is *****. ”

Sessair looked at the boy and thought for a moment before responding.

”No, I don like that name . . . your new name is now Servant. ”

Servant blinked in confusion.

”Sir, I don understand . . . ”

”Whats wrong? Don you like it? ”

His voice had grown colder with each passing moment. Now, Sessair spoke with a low, menacing tone. Servant remembered Ivans advice and hastily tried to make up for his mistake.

”Forgive me sir, I misunderstood. Its a wonderful name. ”

Silence filled the room, broken only by the sound of the wind outside. The air seemed to grow tense with each breath he took. In his mind, he could feel his heart beating rapidly, as if it wanted to escape through every opening of his body. Sessair then stood and rapidly approached the boy. In a flash, Sessairs expression changed into one of murderous rage.

”You dirty, idiotic, mud-blooded vermin. You think you can lie to me? ”

Servants head was suddenly forced into the ground. He wouldn have been able to react if he wanted to, Sessair was that fast.

Tears welled up inside Servants eyes as the pain assaulted his mind. His nose began bleeding everywhere, horribly disfigured and mangled as it had been unable to bear the weight of his master. Every time his master adjusted his weight, it seemed like lightning itself would course through his entire being, causing him to twitch.

It was a horrible experience, but he knew he couldn protest or cry out in pain. If he did, there was no telling what might happen. Thus, he kept silent, silently enduring the torture.

After what seemed like hours of torture, the master took his foot off of Servants head. For a moment, Servant felt relief inside his chest, but it did not last long.

”Not only are you incapable of performing the simplest tasks, but you also have the impudence to ruin my new rug with your blood? Is there no end to your incompetence? ”

Servant put his forehead to the ground and pleaded with everything he had.

”I will not make that mistake again, master! I may be a stupid, weak slave, but I will not make the same mistake again. Please, forgive me! ”

His master did not answer. Instead, he unsheathed the sword at his waist, filling the air with the sound of a snake hiss. Servant closed his eyes, and waited for the inevitable. He was afraid . . . very, very afraid. He felt his stomach churning, a mixture of bile and fear filling his mouth. The master crouched down and brought the edge of the blade to his throat. Then, he whispered to Servant.

”Do you think I am a fool? ”

Servant didn respond. He simply stared into the ground, hoping beyond hope that his master wouldn kill him.

”Servant, you just lied to me again, didn you? I can see it in your eyes. You hate me. You think its my fault that the carpet is ruined. ”

Servant shook his head, his face still pressed against the ground.

”No master, I wo- Arhg! ”

Servant tried to lie again, but the master slammed the flat of the blade against Servants temple, making him see double for a moment. Then, he put the tip of the blade onto Servants chest, and began to slowly drive it in.

”Tell me the truth. ”

Servant closed his eyes and felt hot, salty tears run down his face again. The pain was unbearable. His head pounded, his nose felt numb, his limbs weak, and now his chest began to scream out signals of pain. Feeling that his death was near, Servant would speak his mind.


He screamed the words as loud as he could, over and over, roaring them at his abuser like a mad beast. He reached upwards with his hands, grabbing onto the blade even as they tore through his hands. The master stopped with the sword, which had reached Servants sternum by now. Servant met his gaze, and realized something. He was smiling, but the smile held no warmth.

”You actually told the truth . . . Hahahahaha! That marvelous look of desperation, that hatred . . . finally, someone is willing to tell me how they really feel! All those other servants wouldn stop lying to my face, even as I threatened them with death . . . but you, YOU are different! ”

The master then took the blade out of the boys chest and sheathed it before yelling.

”Ivan! ”

Within a few moments, that huge muscled warrior appeared inside the tent. For a moment, he gazed at Servants broken figure on the ground. I

”Shall I arrange a replacement for you, my lord? ”

The master replied with a sick joy in his voice. ”No. Hes perfect. This one still has some life left inside him. You did well by bringing him to me. ”

Then, the master began to laugh. Ivan looked confused. He had never seen his master express so much emotion before.

”I don understand, my lord. ”

”If they are too obedient, its boring. I don want a servant to do my bidding. I want a Servant to rebel against me. I want him to fight, struggle, and have hope in his eyes. I want someone with a strong spirit . . . so that I can watch it shatter into a thousand pieces. ”

Ivan felt his heart skip a beat when he heard those words. In his mind, he began to wonder if the master he served was even human . . . but he needed the money Sessair paid him. If this is what it takes, then so be it.

”I do not understand why, but if it is what you desire, it shall be done, my lord. ”

”Good. Now, prepare me some tools for torture, and give Servant here a few healing potions. If he dies before Ive fully broken him, Ill dock your pay for a full year. I shall return once Ive had lunch, make sure hes awake by then. ”

As soon as he finished speaking, the master turned away and left. Ivan stood there for a moment, stunned to his core. Never before, in his six months serving as Sessairs personal guard, had he witnessed this depth of cruelty. His cast his gaze down to the small, broken slave boy who was just barely awake, and whispered his condolences before leaving to do his masters bidding.


A few hours later, Servant awoke. His back still felt that same cold earth as usual, and for a moment, he thought everything had been a dream. As he became fully aware of himself, he noticed that his wounds had disappeared. His chest wound had closed up, and his limbs felt like they could have power put into them. His nose felt a little crooked and bent in a strange way, but it didn hurt. This was the best he had felt in months. A glimmer of hope started to appear within his heart. Maybe things would get better from here . . . maybe.

Upon looking around, he found himself in a small tent, just large enough for a few people to sleep in. In an effort to explore it more, he tried to stand up using his hand as a support, but stumbled and fell face first into the dirt. For some reason, his hand hadn moved, and without its help, he had been unbalanced, causing him to fall. Servant turned around, and realized that he was bound in chains.

”What . . . ? ” He began to say, but he was cut off by a familiar voice.

”Oh, good. Im glad you
e awake, Servant. I was beginning to wonder whether I would have to wake you up myself. ”

Servant turned to find the master leaning against a wall, his arms folded across his chest as he smiled like a monster. In an instant, the hope in Servants body began to drain away. Memories of what had happened before flooded his brain. He remembered how he had screamed at his master.

Servants face paled. The master grinned even wider.

”Oh, don give me that look. You did this to yourself the moment you decided you hated me. ”

The master held a small pot and ladle in his right hand. He walked up to Servant and knelt down to his eye level.

”Give me your hand. ”

Servant hesitated for a moment, trying to think of a way out of this situation.

”But . . . you told me to say those things! ”

The master shook his head as if scolding a mischievous child.

”No, I told you to speak the truth. If you truly knew how much of a vile, wretched, idiotic piece of scum you are, then none of this would be happening. I need to punish your arrogance for thinking you are anything more than dirt beneath my boot. ”

As he continued, he began to speak more forcefully, wrenching Servants hand forwards, making the chains groan.

”Now, as I said, Give. Me. Your. Hand. ”

Servant gasped in pain as his hand nearly broke under the pressure, but said nothing. The master nodded.

”Was that so hard? ”

The master then shoved his hand inside the pot. For a split second, Servant felt nothing at all, but then the pain set in. Pain like nothing he had ever felt before. Unable to stop himself, he tried to take his hand back, but it was held firmly in place by the master.

”Ah, not yet! You need to think about your actions and reflect. ”


The masters voice was completely overwhelmed by the volume of Servants screaming. His voice cracked several times. The longer it went on, the less sense his sentences made. He writhed in pain, squirming and flopping about like a fish out of water, but the master kept his hand steady nonetheless. The masters strength was beyond anything that should be possible for his scrawny limbs.

After a few more seconds of what felt like years, the master stood, satisfied with his work. Then, he reached into a bag of his, and took out a small vial filled with a greenish-yellow liquid. Servant was silently screaming on the ground, clutching his right hand. His breathing was ragged and uncontrolled, like a panicked wild beast. The hand which had been dunked into the boiling oil was bright red and falling apart. Some parts of his skin looked like dried wax, while others had red ooze and pus covering it. Just looking at it would make one queasy, but not for the master. He looked at that hand and felt nothing but joy. His lips bent upwards in a smile of pure rapture. His eyes turned black for a moment. With those eyes of darkness, he could see it. The spirit of the boy, his very soul, was dimming like a fire running low on wood in the darkest winter night. After a moment, the master composed himself, and spoke once more.

”Now then, how do you feel about me, Servant? ”

The Servant said nothing, too wrapped up in his pain to register anything else. The masters brow twitched in anger and he smashed the boys right cheek in with his boot.

”Didn you hear me, you filthy worm? Don ignore your master when he speaks! HOW DO YOU FEEL? ”

The force behind it caused Servants head to whip to the side. A few teeth flew across the room, tumbling across the ground, painting a few spots red. As the boy struggled to speak, blood mixed with saliva drooled out of his mouth, falling to the ground. When he finally managed to speak, his voice came out sounding wrong. His own mouth now felt foreign to him.

”I feel horrible thir, it hurtth tho muth. I can . . . pleathe, don do it agian. ”

The master looked down upon the miserable boy.

”And whose fault is that? ”

”Mine . . . ”

The room went dead silent. When Servant looked up, he noticed a look of rage upon the masters face.

”What did I tell you about lying to me? ”

Servant didn answer; he just cowered in the corner, clutching his right hand. The master began to slowly walk towards him. Servant tried to speak, but in his terror, he was unable to form words. The master approached with his pot of boiling oil, a wrath seated inside his eyes.

”Speak the truth, or Ill dunk your whole head in boiling oil you **ing vermin! ”

Under threat of feeling that pain again, Servants real feelings spilt out once more, slowly and quietly at first, but his voice gained more vigor the more he spoke.

”I hate you . . . ”

”I hate you! ”


The master nodded. Then, he poured the greenish liquid onto the boys hand, and like a miracle, it slowly healed itself. Relief spasmed through every inch of his body; a euphoric feeling rivaling the masters sadistic joy.

”That was very rude, Servant. Im going to have to punish you again . . . once it is done, reflect and think about your actions. Understand that Im doing this for you. Ill make you understand that what Im doing is mercy. Youll know soon enough that a vile, disgusting piece of trash like you shouldn even have existed in the first place. ”

Servant could only look on in terror as the master approached with his boiling oil once more.


The days, weeks, maybe even months, all melted into one another. Each day, he would be tortured. His mind would be broken further and further each day through endless torture. One day he used boiling oil, the next he used a whip, and the next he used hot spikes, and the next . . . and the next . . . and the next.

It seemed to never end. He lost count of how many different ways he had been tortured. Before long, he started to lose himself. At first, he found himself not even able to remember anything past a few minutes ago. He was losing his short-term memory. He could still recall his past and who he truly was, but couldn recall what had just occurred not half an hour ago.

It was as if his mind was erasing the memories of his torture, trying to protect him against their painful presence. In the nights, he woke up from nightmares of the masters torture, not knowing that those nightmares would soon become reality come sunrise.

As the days turned into weeks, his sense of time began to disappear. How long had he been here? When was the last time he had seen the light of day? When was the last time he had a decent meal? When was the last time he had a good nights sleep?

He didn know.

With his short-term memory and sense of time gone, he found himself stumbling through life like a man deprived of all of his senses. Blind to the future, deaf to the past, mute to the present. Without even realizing it, he began to forget his life outside of this endless hell. His spirit and mind were being eroded away before the great ocean that was Lord Sessairs cruelty.

Eventually, after an amount of time which he couldn even begin to understand, Servant had lost his memories to the point where he wasn even sure if he was alive anymore. Who was he? What was his real name? He knew the master called him Servant, but that didn feel right . . . something was missing.

His mind was breaking down, not just repressing the experiences he had just gone through minutes before, but also the experiences of his life outside of this tent. His subconscious blocked everything out as it tried to help his conscious mind cope with reality. The memory that something existed outside of this torture was too painful for him, so those happy memories were repressed. His father, mother, childhood friends . . . all of them disappeared from his mind. He simply existed in this hellish world, existing until death claimed him.

Without anyone else to fall back on and desperate for support, his mind began attaching itself to the one person present throughout all of this. He even began to love the master. The master didn want to torture him, he only wanted to make Servant see the truth. Yes . . . yes that was it. The master was right for putting him through all of this pain. Servant was a wicked, evil, arrogant thing, and should have been killed. Only through masters infinite mercy was he being tortured. Only through masters mercy would he see the light.

Only through master . . .

only master.


The master gazed down at Servant. For the past few years, he had tortured him everyday, feeling joy at his pain. Every time that mouth released a scream, he felt joy. Every time the slave boy cursed, screamed and yelled profanities at him, he felt so much happiness. But as of late, he no longer screamed and yelled.

Those eyes, which had once told him ”its your fault ”, no longer held that same independent shine to them. Now, he said ”its my fault ”, and he meant it. The boy no longer lied to him. Sessair could feel it. The boys fragile soul, his once great but now pitiful life energy fluctuated in a different way when he lied. Sessair could tell he was lying like a lie detector, picking up the subtle changes in his soul the same way a lie detector picked up the subtle changes in ones heartbeat.

It was at this moment, the master realized his game was probably over. The boy was broken, shattered, and completely destroyed. Everything he once was, was gone. The master, seeking to confirm this, gave the boy one last test.

”What is your name, boy? ”

Servant looked upwards, his eyes filled with reverant adoration towards his master.

”Servant, my lord. ”

The master frowned with displeasure. His fears were true, but it never hurt to double check.

”Youve had no other name before? ”

The Servant shook his head from side to side.

”No! Never! My only name is the one you gifted me . . . I am Servant, now and forever. ”

The master stared at the boy for a long time, before sighing.

”A pity, but I guess you lasted more than I would have ever hoped . . . ”

The fun was over. The master turned around and called out to his personal bodyguard.

”Ivan, pick him up and follow me. I want to put him out of his misery away from camp. ”

Ivan entered the tent. For the first time in years, he saw that uncaring look return to Sessairs eyes.

”Understood. ”

The Servant looked confused. Ivan walked over, unshackled his restraints, and hefted the boy onto his shoulder. Servant, who couldn remember seeing the light of day or even being unchained, was surprised.

”Master, where are we going? ”

The master did not even seem to hear him. They continued walking, slowly getting farther away from the center camp. Servant gawked at the landscape around him. The rolling green sea of grass swayed in the wind like a drunken man walking. The sun, high in the sky, illuminated the world with its light and warmth. The mountains, tall and strong, cast their shadows across the land.

The master stopped and spoke to Ivan.

”Here is fine. Drop him. ”

Ivan let his arms go limp, dropping Servant to the ground with a dull thump. The Servant, with great difficulty, got back up on his feet and staggered forward a few paces. The master waited patiently until he had recovered his balance. Once he had, he looked up at his master, waiting for instructions.

”Master, please forgive my ignorance, but why are we . . . where are we? ”

The master looked at the boy with eyes of boredom. Nothing more, nothing less.

”On your knees, and put your head to the ground. Fitting to do it here, where it all began. Kind of ironic that you finally broke while we were passing through this place again. ”

Servant did not hesitate. He knelt down quickly, his head lowered to the ground. The master raised his sword high in the sky.

”Thank you, *****. You lasted quite a long time . . . You can take pride in the fact that a commander rank warrior of the Zelksis took so long to break you. Now, let me devour that soul of yours. ”

Servant blinked in confusion. He didn recognize that name, the one Sessair had thanked him with. Something inside him stirred. He felt memories inside his brain squirm, but he couldn bring himself to remember. It was too painful. He raised his eyes to his master, intent on asking him why he had used such a name, but stopped in his tracks.

The masters blade was falling, aimed directly at him. The blade glinted in the sunlight, its edge looking as sharp as a razor. Time seemed to slow down, giving Servant enough time to feel the deepest pain he could remember.

Master had forsaken him? But why? He knew he was wicked and deserved death, but surely after so much repentance, could he not live? Had the master truly given up on him?

At the realization that his master was about to discard him, Servant felt more pain than any physical body could process at once. His mind had been broken long ago, but now his soul shattered too. The very thing which made something exist was broken and scattered inside him. The only thing the boy could feel was pain. There was nothing left other than this unending pain. His mind, unable to endure this monstrous, inconceivable pain, tried to save itself by repressing all his memories. Every single last bit of his life was sealed away . . .

But it didn matter. The pain remained. His existence was unnatural. A being with a broken soul can only experience pain and nothing else. As the boy looked upwards at the blade coming for his head, he couldn feel any fear of death. He could only feel pain.

His mind didn even register the fact that the blade which was supposed to take his life had suddenly been stopped in its tracks by another blade. This new sword shone with a deep blue brilliance, like the sky itself had been used to forge it. Its edge remained undisturbed, perfectly straight, and razor sharp. His masters sword, which was supposed to end his suffering, deformed as the cheap iron was pushed back by azure steel. Its edge had broken and crumpled, sending tiny flakes of metal onto the boys head.

Then, he heard a girls voice speak.

”Thats enough. ”

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