After that display, my man became extremely weakened, then he returned his head to my lap.
“Now, does anyone else want to challenge our leadership?” (Empress)
They all very quickly shook their heads in fear.
“As I said before…. If you want to leave, you’re free to do so. However, if you stay here, you’ll work for us. In the future, the elderly and the young that are traveling with us will have the following roles; the skilled elderly will take students no more than ten years old as their children to care for them and teach them their skills. The skills we want to be taught are blacksmithing, farming, or politics. If you have something to pass along, you will do so.” (Empress)
I then took a breath before continuing.
“You will then take another young person that’s older than the rest, but still too young to be of any use in battle. Along with the guards of that group, they will be taught your general skills and how to fight. The people at a mature age that don’t fight will learn medical skills and put into roles that fit those learned skills You will learn to stop bleeding and save the lives of the warriors. Do you have any questions?” (Empress)
The ones in the front started discussing amongst themselves, then a voice from behind them spoke up. It was a mature woman who looked to be about in her mid twenties. She was thin and had injuries all over body, some of them fresh. Her words would have probably been ignored because of her tone, but I heard them spoken with determination in my mind as well. This was the first time I heard another person other than my man speak so clearly like that.
“I want to know what you deem permissible to the women who were prostitutes? In the last three days, many of the men have been on us like pups in heat.” (Former Sex Slave Dogkin)
I got angry after hearing that. The men should have been satisfied by the human women they took in the last town. The prostitute role was common in all lands, and each held different standards.
‘What do you think about this?’ (Empress’s Mental Link to Emperor)
As I listened to my man speak, a gentle smile grew on my face.
“After discussing it for a moment, we decided that we can’t make an absolute decision about that.” (Empress)
I then saw that the dogkin became shocked and disappointed in me for saying that.
“However, it’s clear that you are to be a citizen of our new nation and with rights equal to any other. If you’re unwilling to lay with a man, that’s fine. You will have to service the cause another way by cooking, cleaning, maintaining the weapons, the armor, caring for the animals, or treating the injured. Any number of lower looked upon roles essentially. Those of you that do remain and service with your bodies will have a larger portion of food and higher priority sleeping arrangements and bathing rights. Also, if you ever carry the child of a man you previously slept with, that man will become your mate and serve under you from that day forward.” (Empress)
There was a shock throughout the crowd again, as my man smiled seeing the unexpected declaration.
After hearing more of his thoughts, I continued speaking.
“Furthermore, those that are too young to feed their own child, or those that have never bore the pain of a man will not be permitted to be a prostitute. They will seek a man of similar age, or be sought by one themselves. When they are of age to be able to care for their child on their own, that’s when they can pursue their carnal desires. Furthermore, a woman can remain without a bonded man while with child and still be given priority choices. However, it will be that woman’s obligation to bare as many children with as many men as possible.” (Empress)
Unexpectedly, it went quiet after saying that, save the crackle of the small fire in the middle of us. The wolfkin from before looked at his child with worry, as many of the things discussed probably had no meaning to her.
I looked right at him after seeing that.
“You are of able body. Can you not fight?” (Empress)
The wolfkin almost jumped at my statement.
“I am, but I have been caring for my daughter. We come from a small village that was recently raided, and we haven’t found a new owner when we were freed.” (Wolfkin Father)
I understood that they were perhaps the least slave like amongst us all after hearing that.
“What can you do to support the cause?” (Empress)
He took a deep breath before speaking.
“I grow onions.” (Wolfkin)
There was laughter from the group, but both me and my man remained serious. That affected him more than the laughter.
“What else?” (Empress)
He thought about his answer, then looked at his daughter.
“I know a little about numbers, and I can build a barn if I’m given the lumber and tools. I also know about cows.” (wolfkin)
I smiled after hearing that, which he quickly noticed.
“So you’re a farmer. Many of the cows we have will be butchered for their meat, but we’ll get more later on. The lands in the north are rich from volcanic ash, so you can farm easily. How many others like you can also do these roles?” (Empress)
The wolfkin then looked at his daughter.
“I am among the group of twelve who can feed an army.” (wolfkin)
His words shut every mouth there but mine.
“All twelve of you will have a guard assigned to you and your families. You will share information and teach one another your farming styles. When more farmers come later on, they’ll join you.” (Empress)
I was deeply impressed by my man. The way he was thinking about such things seemed to be like building an empire from scratch. As far as I know, he could have done such a thing in his former life. He could be the sickest and most heartless monster in his old world, and I would still feel the same way I do about him now. The night was getting spent without any rest, so after a little more talking, we retired for the night. I returned to the canopied wagon with my man in my arms, then I began to rest after covering him up with a light blanket. He then grabbed my hand and looked at me seriously.
‘It’s fine if you don’t tell me anything about your past, but I still wish to know. Did you ever have a child?’ (Emperor)
He took his hand back, then balled it up in pain. The strain on him over the last few days has been rather severe.
“Once after I was captured. I was rented for the night by several men. It was unpleasant to say the least. What came from that was eight months of child bearing. My little girl was born sickly and was gone by morning. I was regularly beaten for a long time for letting my masters income be lost when I was pregnant.” (Empress)
His next words shocked me to my core.
‘How can I ever dare to complain about my burdens when you know such sorrow?’ (Emperor)
I don’t know why, but a tear left my eye from his words. I didn’t even notice it until it fell on my hand. For the first time in a long time, I was allowed to feel emotions. Sorrow and pain filled my entire being. I started weeping for the dead to myself. Mourning those that I cared for that were now gone. All the bottled up remorse could no longer be contained as I wailed in pain. I saw some people come to the wagon and look upon what I was doing in alarm. It was to their surprise that they never considered letting it out now that they had the chance.
The average citizen of the empire is trained and owns a form or another of the combat arms of the era. While not what many would call military grade, some are more effective than the standard arms. They are not just proficient in one form of combat either. From hand to hand combat, all the way to archery and magic5magicstory mechanic battles, to the technological limits beyond. Each citizen is trained in a basic form of self defense at an early age. This in turn usually keeps crime down because criminals that rob someone like that will then become the prey themselves.
However, crime in itself never vanished. With the combat standards raised, they themselves have reached the level of needing a small nation to mobilize in order to stop them, if not in the empire. One famous case is of a mass murderer that would rape and kill young dragon1dragonspeciesoids. If it wasn’t for the woman that had claimed the emperor’s curse for herself in that age and time and remained unnoticed by the sadist, the criminal may have never been caught. It’s the fate of those with such responsibility to deal with those kinds of individuals.