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A few days after her conversation with the assassin, Manika accompanied her daughter to the slave market to find a suitable mate. Kalaya kept grumbling how useless this endeavour was and how none of the slaves at the market were worthy. But it was necessary and Manika was determined to make her daughter settle for someone – anyone. If she had a boy she could always find another mate later but this was an important matter. She still pondered the assassin’s words. It’s about her state of mind… If what he said was true their little trip was indeed useless. But they had to try!
The slave market was fairly crowded as a new group of slaves had arrived earlier this week.
This event was probably the only reason Kalaya had agreed to come in the first place. Manika just hoped that the treacherous slave who had spread these vicious rumours was not around – for his own sake.
Kalaya scanned the many men they passed while walking up to the house but none of them seemed worthy of her. Too thin, too old, too grumpy… She sighed. How would she ever find someone who could give her a suitable heiress? The slave market’s master came up to them and bowed deeply.
“Welcome, Creator. If you tell me what you seek, I will be glad to be of assistance.”
His tone was submissive but Kalaya saw his mouth twitch involuntarily giving away the pretence of his words.
She knew what kind of reputation she had. First, she failed the fight at the temple then she came back with ideas of war in her head. No wonder she wasn’t the most popular Creator in the Amazon.
“I’m looking for a mate. Someone strong and of brave character”, she didn’t waste time with politeness.
If the master had little respect for her, she would have little for him in return. Still, she felt an inner satisfaction about seeing the master forcing himself to behave respectfully as was his duty. I’m still above you, whether you like it or not. She grinned inwardly.
“Very well. Follow me, I have a few candidates in mind.”
Again, he bowed and led them across the market. A blonde slave was working in the gardens. He looked up as they approached and Kalaya noticed the slightest grimace on his face before he started smiling.
Anger built up inside of her. Maybe she was being overly sensitive but the obvious disrespect of all these men was making her angry. She was Creator, it should be an honour for them to father a Creator heiress. Before the master could even start praising the blonde slave, she turned away with a dismissive gesture.
“Not him”, she simply said and let her eyes wander the compound. There must be someone here who did not know her. Or at least someone who didn’t care.
“Do you have any new slaves from the North?”, she asked the master. The man frowned in thought for a second before replying.
“I do”, he said ever so slowly, “Follow me.”
Kalaya hoped that the northern slaves hadn’t heard of her reputation yet. They approached a pair of slaves, both dark skinned and well trained. They turned towards Kalaya as she came near and she felt two pairs of piercing blue eyes on her – but there was no anger or disrespect in them. Just curiosity.
The slaves both bowed before her and the master dutifully introduced them.
“These men are twins from a northern slave tribe, this is Thiago” – he gestured towards the man on the right – ” and this is Vitor”, he said nodding towards the man on the left. “Both are strong slaves. You will be pleased.”
It didn’t sound like he actually cared for Kalaya’s pleasure but she ignored it, turning her attention toward the northern slaves. They were both handsome and strong. How should she choose?
“Tell me about yourself”, she said looking at both of them in turns. Thiago spoke first.
“We grew up in the north. It’s harsh there, but it made us strong”, his voice was deep and full of vibration. Kalaya felt a slight fluttering in her stomach.
“Thiago is strong indeed, no one is stronger”, Vitor told her, his voice more gentle than that of his brother but still deep and warm, “Me, I’m strong, but not as strong as him. My real strength is wit and quick thinking.”
He winked and Kalaya smiled involuntarily. Vitor seemed to spread joy simply by talking. But Thiago’s muscles and strength did hold a great appeal to her.
“It would be an honour for both of us to father your heiress”, Thiago added. Kalaya could see the master frown from the corner of her eye. Clearly, he had hoped to see her fail. She made a mental note to complain about this master at the temple.
“You both seem strong in body and character. Who should I choose?”, she addressed her mother with the last question.
“Be aware of you position”, Manika said, “You want to send the right signal to the other tribes.”
Kalaya nodded, she knew what her mother meant. She was here to disrupt the rumours of war and her choice of mate would either support or undermine that mission. She then knew who she would choose.
Next: Chapter 57