Chapter 13: Chapter 1
After Lancet admitted and said the truth, Artemis took his time thinking of whether to act out or stay calm. He chose the later but still he was pissed off at Lancet for going against his decisions especially when it comes to the woman he loved. He could have forgiven him if he did anything, literally anything but when it comes to Aurora, Artemis played no games. He knew many people would be against his decision to marry the love of his life, nothing was new but still he wanted his friends to respect Aurora. It was enough for other people to be against his decision but it hurt him when it came from his closest allies.
Hence he sighed, looked at Lancet and said “Now go and apologize to Lady Kholin and make sure she shows up at the ball later” then Lancet nodded.
“I apologise Your Grace for what I did”
“That doesnt matter anymore Lancet, go correct your mistakes and make sure you invite her like a lady. Its an order”
Artemis walked inside his chambers, Lancet bowed and left. Along the way he was thinking of what he could say inorder to get into Auroras good side again especially after what he did earlier.
“Oh what a day!” Artemis sighed loudly. He was so exhausted after being on his feet all day. He took out his robe, the shirt and the trouser – when he was naked with only his drawers, he laid down on the bed looking at the ceiling. Artemiss room was huge and at first it belonged to his father but now it was his. The very first day he slept inside the kings room he felt weird and as if he didnt belong. Everything from the huge bed at the centre of the room, the paintings of former kings of Maldonia, the elephants head just near the bathroom which reminded him of his fathers courage against the tribe which lived with elephants. It is said King Arteides slaughtered the elephant all by himself – what a brave man Arteides was.
When lying down he felt a little bit calm and his head which was racing finally came to a halt. He took a deep breath one time and repeated it again, thats what his father taught him to do when he felt overwhelmed.
Just the thought of his father made Artemis shed a tear from his left eye. The denial caught up to him, all day pretending to be fine and smiling at people all day finally caught up to him. It hadnt even been a week since he buried his father. And now he was the king of Maldonia and sleeping on his bed. He saw how people cheered for him at the arena, his people, but what if they cheered because of what King Arteides accomplished and not the speech he gave.
Perhaps he should have stick to Auroras powerful speech instead of his own. “Aurora!” He startled and quickly sat on the bed. “I havent seen Aurora, could she be mad at me” he asked himself.
In the midst of his thoughts a door was knocked. “May we come inside Your Grace” a sweet female voice came out.
Artemis reached out for his trouser and put it on quickly. He was sure whoever wanted to get inside his chambers was a woman. After he covered his lower body he raised his voice “Come in” and anxiously waited to see who was it.
The door was opened and entered Selma, a beautiful woman in her mid twenties the same age as Artemis. Selma was a black slave who was born a slave under King Arteidess rule, she entered inside with other three fellow black female slaves who were as slim and as beautiful. The three slaves each carried three basins full of water while Selma carried a soap made of perfume leaves and a pair of open black sandals.
Everything was new to Artemis, he has never seen these slaves before but he was aware that his father owned slaves which he inherited from his father before him. The slaves gave birth and their children continued to be slaves hence that will explain why Artemis became a slave owner – he inherited them from his father.
Selma wore a beautiful blue gown which covered her breasts and her back, it was also long and the way she was so sexy it actually made her look like a shiny princess even though the dress was a symbol of a “slave” in Maldonia. The male black slaves wore blue scarfs around their waists to cover their lower body parts but leaving the upper body on display. The women wore blue dresses hence even the other three slaves who entered inside Artemiss chambers with the basins were also in blue dresses.
Their hairs were tied backwards, unlike normal Maldonians the slaves were pierced. Their ears were pierced, the noses, and most importantly their foreheads were marked with the names of their masters. Selma had a mark on her forehead which read “Arteides” as so did other slaves. But now since King Artemis was the king of Maldonia and rightful heir to Sweet Waters throne, hence that called for the change of marks on all the slaves. They had to be burned on their foreheads to remove the Arteides mark, and gain a new Artemis mark.
All of that was new to Artemis and he didnt even know that he owned slaves till that time. Selma arranged the slaves to kneel before Artemis and they did.
“Your Grace, we are at your service” said Selma and then she curtised before Artemis.
“Whats this I dont – I dont understand”
Selma was confused, she didnt know what to say to Artemis but also she didnt want to upset him. “We are here to bathe you, Your Grace and prepare you for the ball”
“Yes, Your Grace”
This was amusing and strange at the same time for Artemis. “Who are you” she asked Selma.
“Selma Your Grace and these are my fellow slaves with no names”
“Selma Just Selma...”
“Yes, Your Grace. I am slave, I have no last name”
“What about your friends, why dont they have names”
“They havent earned them. Only the lead slaves get names”
“And you are the leader” asked Artemis and then he sat down on the bed.
Selma nodded and smiled, Artemis took his moment to look at the slaves who were now inside his chambers. Ever since he was young Artemis believed in equal human rights, he never praised himself above everyone else just because he was a crowned Prince. Also the idea of slavery sounded wrong to him.
But he was now a king and he acknowledged there are things he cant change, like the slaves in his kingdom. “I figured a male servant will be here to help me dress” he said.
“Your father preferred female servants Your Grace. And he specifically request for slaves, everytime” replied Selma.
“Does this mean you and... your friends have been inside this room before Dressing up my father”
“No Your Grace. Each king gets new servants, it is our first time here”
Speechless and maybe shook too Artemis found himself unable to speak. He let the slaves do their work while he sat on the bed. Selma however preferred him to be naked, and inside a bathtub which was right there in his chambers. Thats how big the kings chambers was to actually fit a bath pool full of hot water.
Reluctantly Artemis agreed to Selmas request and took off his clothes. He remained naked and got inside the pool, it turned out to be the most pleasant experience hes ever had before. The slaves were charming and they made him comfortable with their tales, laughter and joy. At first he thought all the slaves were miserable and sad, but now he was experiencing it first hand at how slaves were apart from the ones who were stationed at the mines. Now those were having the worst time of their lives, very far from civilization and bound for torture.
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Selma spoke of the speech Artemis gave at the arena while scrubbing Artemiss shoulders, the other slaves were on his chest and feet. Being served by four women did make him feel like a king and in charge.
“The people screamed at your speech Your Grace. Some said they havent heard such a miraculously written speech before” said one of the slaves who had no name, she was the youngest of the four at only sixteen of age.
“I dont think if it was good. I had another speech you see, written perfectly by my one true love”
Selma seemed interested “Who is your one true love Your Grace” she asked applying more pressure into scrubbing Artemiss shoulders, then she moved to his ears.
The way Selma knew how to scrub the ears gently made Artemis lean on and close his eyes. That piece of cloth which was warm and filled with soap got inside Artemiss ear drums and Selma made sure she scrubbed in circles. “Aargh...” Artemis moaned with a smile still his eyes closed. At the same time the other slaves were cleaning his feet, his chest and even his manhood something which made him feel like he was in heaven.