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Chapter 4 : Late Evening
Anton entered the dungeon and moved to stand directly in front of his prisoners. Neither one of the dark elves would raise their heads to actually look at him but by the increased tempo of their breathing, it was very clear that they were aware that he was there.
He had also noticed that their long ears had gone from a drooping stance to alert, and it was quite obvious that they were both now listening intently to every move he made.
Anton turned away from them and glanced around the room as he took note of each piece of furniture. He had already known which pieces he wanted but still went over what was available. He took one of the high-backed chairs and set it about ten feet or so in front of and in between the two dark elves. On either side of this chair he set up a slim, bedside table. Each of these two tables was placed directly in front of it’s own dark elf.
Satisfied with the simple set up, Anton left the room and quickly returned with a pitcher of water that had been imbued with a bottle of blue healing potion, and two tall glasses. He set these down on one of the tables and turned back to the dark elves.
Both of the dark elves had still refused to look at him or what he was doing. And at this point he was beginning to think it was possible that they were attempting to feign unconsciousness. Though if they were this effort was completely wasted as their ears betrayed them by slightly twitching back and forth as they followed his every move.
With a quiet sigh, Anton took his seat in front of them and waited.
Having had spent enough time among dark elves to have a fair understanding of their basic traits and mannerisms, Anton was familiar enough with them to know just how haughty yet dignified, proud yet courteous and avaricious yet elegant they all seemed to naturally be.
For the majority of people the way of thinking and worldviews of the dark elves were found to be very off putting, if not down right frightening, as they generally followed behavior patterns that were eerily similar to the sadistic, and conquest-hungry demons. Unlike the demons however, the dark elves had absolutely no interest in ruling over the world or it’s people as a whole, but instead only sought control at an individual by individual basis.
Their reputation as natural slavers was not a baseless stereotype, as the drive to dominate and control other living beings was a core element in their design as a race. For many of them living in the modern world, this need could be met by purchasing legal slaves, dominating willing, naturally submissive people and by keeping pet animals.
Some among them however would forgo what they considered to be societal chains and would magically enslave any and all that they choose. These actions were of course illegal on Terra and the offending dark elves would face prosecution for their crimes. This however did little to alleviate the stigma and fear from the general public. And these fears were again, not entirely baseless. Since for a dark elf, controlling the life of another sapient being was as natural an act as breathing, and in their views, there was little to no real difference between the rights of another person and those of a parakeet. For in the mind of a dark elf, both examples could make for an excellent pet.
One aspect of their reputation that Anton had found to be astonishingly false was that they were allegedly violent and abusive to those that they controlled. This was generally not the case. Although sadistic to the point that they delighted in causing pain, humiliation and fear, they were surprisingly playful in their cruelty and even while preforming acts of actual discipline they never sought to cause any permanent injury or damage. On the contrary, they were actually quite devoted to the upkeep, physical health and appearance of their chosen charges. This aspect of their behavior was more than likely due to their egotistical nature and innate desire to showcase their favored possessions to both each other and to the world at large. These desires would then manifest in an almost instinctual form of legitimate compassion. Regardless of where this behavior derived from though, it was still a universal trait nonetheless and was illustrated in a common saying among them that “Only a fool breaks their own toys and kills their own pets” and a “pet” or a “toy” is exactly what a person was likely to become if they ever found themselves in the hands of a dark elf.
Finding oneself in such a position was not necessarily an easy task however, and the vast majority of people in such a predicament did in all actuality truly deserve to be there.
Though the modern era was in essence a time of peace, violence, wanton destruction and illicit actions between and perpetrated by individuals, groups and even entire populations or species was and always would be an inevitable aspect of life.
And with such a vast array of sapient species inhabiting the planet as well as the outer realms, the artificial realms and the Void, there was realistically little to no way to safely accommodate such a multitude of different beings in any one form of prison facility for any extended length of time. At least not without said facility breaking down into what was essentially a slaughterhouse. Where larger, stronger, or those beings born with forms of natural weaponry, would inevitably injure, kill and even consume those that were tasked with guarding them, each other, and any fellow inmates that were smaller or weaker than themselves. As such, nearly all of the prison facilities that currently existed were designed to be little more than holding areas, whose only goal was to contain their given charges by whatever means were necessary.
These facilities would often be forced to resort to extreme measures in their efforts to accomplish this goal. And having to readily sacrifice the comfort, safety and mental well being of their inmates was considered an unfortunate but inevitable reality. Cruelty, through isolation, physical immobility, constant chemical sedation, manabinding and the removal of natural weapons through surgery, were all deemed regrettable but necessary practices. These and other factors often meant that most inmates would experience a sharp decline in both their physical and mental well being fairly quickly and very few would be capable of maintaining even a fair degree of health for any length of time beyond even a few months, let alone a year.
Creating a facility capable of complete segregation, and thus long term containment, was certainly possible but was in no way practical. As building, staffing and maintaining such large and complex facilities on the mass that they would be needed, was simply not cost effective for the majority of the world. Nor was it considered practical, or even possible, for most municipalities and governments to continuously cover the cost of feeding and maintaining the health and well being of such large and diverse groups. Especially when it was taken into account that some species facing life sentences would have lifespans that could number not only in decades, but in centuries or even millennia.
Another aspect that made such facilities impractical was that there was a wide host of beings that for one reason or another simply could not be contained within them. Species such as devils, sphinxes, phoenix, inari, demons, many of the draconians and so on and so forth, were simply too naturally powerful to even attempt to contain them safely in such environments. Or at least not without said beings having been first heavily modified to the point of mutilation. Other beings such as many of the voidlings, living spirits and undead, were intangible in their nature, and so too could not be easily contained by such facilities, if they could even be contained at all.
Other, far more practical, alternatives to imprisonment did exist and these included, but were not limited to, monetary debt, banishment to outer realms, execution, rehabilitation programs, and of course, enslavement.
Though the practice would always have it’s proponents, slavery, through binding curses, charms or enchantments, was considered a very necessary element of both modern society and civilization as a whole. As it had proven time and again to be a viable method to safely remove individuals that refused to or were, for one reason or another, deemed unfit or unable to remain a part of functional society and place them in controlled environments where they would have a much higher likelihood of maintaining a better quality of life than they would otherwise find in a pure prison setting.
Such a punishment which entailed the stripping of nearly all given rights, was rarely handed down for a first offense, with the exception of murder or the attempt there of, but was often utilized as a means to remove overly violent aggressors or repeat offenders who had shown an inability to uphold a moral standard that fell inline with the rest of civilization and would thus be facing an extended period of incarceration. This fate was no secret to the general population, and was openly touted as a deterrent to potential criminals.
Although the various states, countries, kingdoms and realms that made up all of Existence each had their own sets of laws and were free to hand down judgments on their offenders in whatever manner that they saw fit. An atmosphere of zero tolerance for unjustified violence and the majority of criminal activities was nearly universal. As was the practice of making examples of the guilty as this in of itself worked to discourage many would be aggressors. Though this mindset may at first appearance seem to be lacking in compassion it was without question considered absolutely necessary, as the world was populated with countless individuals who possessed the natural strength, abilities and power that made them all quite capable of taking lives or generating extreme levels of destruction at any given moment. For such individuals the incentive to behave morally and make the correct choices in their lives would often come down to the singular realization that if they didn’t maintain control of themselves, then someone else would happily do so for them.
Though stripped of their freedom and the majority of their rights, a global standard for those placed into slavery on Terra did exist. And a series of regulations were in place to alleviate the potential cruelty, abuse, neglect and exploitation of those enslaved.
All individuals who found themselves as slaves, regardless of where in the world they were made as such, would be entered into a global registry that would assign them a unique identification number and would maintain a record of their lives for the duration of their enslavement. Slaves recorded as such by this registry would be viewed as “Living Commodities” and could then be sold and traded freely across a global market where they could be purchased by individuals only, as non-individual entities such as municipalities, corporations, enterprises, laboratories, religious institutions or any other form of organization whether for profit or not, could not legally own slaves as this would be considered a form of exploitation.
Once a purchase was made a slave owner would then be in complete control of and wholly responsible, both financially and morally, for their given slave and would then be required to both provide proof of heath checks and pay all registration fees on an annual basis. They would also be free to bind their slave in any way that they saw fit. Though the majority would generally utilize one of the aforementioned curses, charms or enchantments.
Slaves bound in such a fashion would then become linked to their owners via their souls, in a pliable non-permanent way. And depending on the will of their owners, could have their minds “Locked Back” to varying degrees, where on one end of the spectrum they would have complete freewill and essentially be at a non-bound state, while on the other side of the extreme they could be reduced to a doll-like, nearly autonomous state where they would be incapable of any freewill at all. Regardless of where on this spectrum an enslaved individual fell they would still remain purely biological and would continue to require sustenance, shelter and upkeep. Slaves, as living biological beings, would still be subjected to the effects of fatigue, sickness, hunger, injury, environmental conditions, mental stress, hygiene and other natural urges and instincts. All negative aspects that they did not share with purely artificial beings.
Constructs such as golems, automatons and homunculi which could all be crafted to varying specifications, subsisted purely on mana and could be created in whatever numbers were needed, made the concept of using slaves as a labor force completely impractical and in no way cost effective. As such the vast majority of slaves were not and had never been, even historically, kept for such purposes, and if given jobs at all would more often than not be regulated to simple domestic roles such as servants, housekeepers, cooks and groundskeepers.
Slaves were of course also commonly kept and used for personal entertainment and pleasure as well. But this was not as all-inclusive as one would think and slaves were just as likely to be seen as bodyguards, personal assistants, live-in caretakers for the elderly, babysitters or even utilized as living elements in home defense. Added to this list were the many slaves that were kept simply for the novelty of keeping them, with such slaves existing as little more than companions for their owners.
Although the vast majority of slaves found themselves as such through their own illicit actions, it was entirely possible for any person to voluntarily enter into slavery if they so choose to. This was far from typical but was still common enough that it was not necessarily considered a taboo and many people would choose to do this to escape their various hardships, or to simply live as such under the care of another being. Those who entered into slavery willingly could simply become a slave outright or they could instead choose to sell themselves through a proxy agency that would allow them to choose their own owners via a veto system.
Surprisingly, there was actually a wide range of species that were naturally predisposed to such conditions and would often willingly enter into such a lifestyle. Beings such as brownies, the various species of cubi, nekomata, monuca, silkies, kikimora, gargoyles, nightgaunts and many more. Were all inclined to enlist the aid of such agencies in order to find a compatible and willing owner. These beings would then live their lives as little more than sapient pets that were completely reliant upon, and often infatuated with, their chosen owners.
This, as was said before, was of course in no way typical. As the vast majority of slaves were by and large of the criminal persuasion and as such were generally overtly aggressive and potentially violent beings that were often ill-disposed to even the idea of being under the control of another individual. This fairly common tendency made it necessary to treat most slaves with a certain amount of hesitation. And those that did not wish to lock away their slaves freewill and personality would often be forced to “Tame Down” their slaves through various methods.
One of these methods would be to subject their slaves to what was known as “Behavior Modification Training” and there were many owners who would enlist the aid of an experienced individual who could then administer this training and “Tame Down” their slaves for them.
And no single race had a better reputation for both taming and training other sapient beings than the natural slavers themselves, the dark elves. Two of whom were currently experiencing such a process first hand, though not quite from the perspectives that their kind were traditionally accustomed to.
It had now been just over two days ago that Anton had first locked the dark elves into their bondage. Two days at least without any food, water or interaction of any kind, save for the few instances in which the dark elves had each inevitably messed themselves and it had became necessary for them to cleaned. This had of course been a humiliating situation for them and Anton couldn’t help but to be amused by both their refusal to look at him as well their failed attempts to remain stoic and aloof throughout these experiences.
These instances aside though, the dark elves had been left completely alone and with nothing to sustain themselves beyond their own thoughts and will. And regardless of how strong willed these dark elves may be, their bodies would eventually begin to give out and betray them. All that was needed now was time and patience, two things that for the moment at least, Anton had in spades.
For the next several hours the dark elves proved out on their reputation of being stubborn, prideful creatures. But try as they might the subtle signs of cracking were there.
With the relentless and randomized stimulation from the sybians keeping all but the most fleeting slips of sleep at bay, their exhaustion was obvious. Both of the dark elves were currently slumped forward and were literally hanging from the chains attached to their shoulder harnesses. When they had first woken back up and found themselves locked into their bondage, they had fought fiercely against their bounds. Pulling against their chains, bucking atop the sybians, and screaming through their gags for hours and hours before finally breaking down to their fatigue. Their battle ultimately proving useless against the unyielding leather and metal that held them in place. Even now it was all too possible to believe that they left their heads to hang low out of fatigue rather than pride. Or at least it would be if it were not for the alertness of their ears, and the unmistakable essence of raw, unfiltered, boiling hatred that seemed to be emanating out from every single pore of their entire beings.
But again the cracks were there, and as Anton studied his prisoners and noted every subtle wobble, every slight droop of an ear and listened to every labored breath, the cracks became more and more obvious.
It was the dark elf on his left who broke first.
Her breathing slowed, her aura waned, and then she gave. Her body slumped completely and her ears hung limp from the sides of her head. From one instant to the next she was done, she had given in. The other dark elf shifted an ear towards her sister but otherwise didn’t move. Anton grinned as he watched the defeated dark elf all but wallow in her surrender.
Taking the cue, Anton picked up the pitcher of water and slowly filled one of the tall glasses. He then set it down on the table in front of the beaten dark elf with a ominously loud tap.
The sound of pouring water was enough to cause both of the dark elves to stir but only the defeated one gave in and slowly raised her head.
Her large ruby colored eyes immediately locked onto the glass sitting in front of her. So close and yet still impossible for her to reach.
This was the first time that Anton had seen her eyes in over two days and the contrast was remarkable. Two days ago these same eyes were glowing with fearsome confidence as she first toyed with and then threatened him. Now they were sunken in, bloodshot with fatigue and filled with a fearful desperation.
The dark elf shifted her gaze and locked eyes with him for a moment before suddenly losing her focus. She blinked and shook her head as she came back to her senses. Now slightly panicked her eyes darted from him to the glass of water and back.
Anton’s eyes never left hers as he reached over to the glass and, with his fingertip on the rim, slowly began to tip the glass over until a tiny splash of water hit the table.
The dark elf’s eyes widened as she watched in horror and Anton became stoic as her eyes turned to him and became pleading, he never stopped his movement until finally her desperation at its limit she clamped her eyes shut and let out a tiny almost inaudible whimper.
Anton grinned at her and the dark elf, her eyes open again and never leaving his, lowered her head and gave him another slightly louder but no less pitiful little whine.
A thin grin still on his face, Anton set the glass back upright and stood up from his seat.
The dark elf’s face took on a look of apprehension as he approached her but raw fear immediately filled her eyes as he knelt down in front of her and casually picked up the controller for her sybian.
“Well this is quite the awkward situation now isn’t it?” said Anton as he flipped the controller right side up in his hands “I’d imagine that this is not exactly how you expected things to go whenever you decided to bring me here…”
The panicked dark elf remained motionless as she stared unblinkingly at the controller in his hands.
“…I’d like to have a little talk with you” said Anton as he stared at the dark elf and absently tapped his finger on the controllers knob “And in order to do that. I’ll need to remove your gag. At least for a few minutes…”
Moving only her eyes, the dark elf shifted her gaze upwards and silently stared back at him.
“…You must be frustrated. And I understand that” said Anton “But be that as it may. If I’m going to let you speak. Then I expect you to be grateful for that opportunity, and to condone yourself appropriately”
The dark elf remained completely silent as she tightened her eyes in annoyance.
“…So, are you willing to behave yourself?” asked Anton as the dark elf’s eyes shifted to the controller in his hand “Or do you need to be punished a little more?”
The dark elf’s eyes remained fixated on the controller as she breathed out through her nose in a vague manner.
“Hm, so you’re not ready to behave yet?” tested Anton as he made as if he was about to turn the dial on the controller “Well, if that’s the case…”
With a sudden surge of motion the dark elf pulled wildly against her chain and growled furiously though her gag as she frantically shook her head and made an obvious, though futile, attempt to swing her bound arms forward and strike at Anton. Failing in her efforts to attack him, and glaring now with her ears pointed straight back in anger, the dark elf turned to Anton with fire in her eyes but was stopped short by the stoic look on his face. They both remained silent and still as they stared at each for several moments. Easing back up on her chain, the dark elf sighed through her nose as she lowered her eyes to the floor in front of her.
“…Are you done?” asked Anton after a moment of stillness.
The dark elf’s eyes tightened as she nodded her head.
“I’m not going to tolerate another outburst like that” explained Anton in an eerily calm tone “You will control yourself from now on. Am I clear?”
The dark elf’s ears remained pointed straight back as her eyes tightened even further.
“Am I clear!?” repeated Anton as he narrowed his eyes at her.
The dark elf blinked and moving only her eyes, she looked back up at him. They stared at one another for a long moment before the dark elf broke their eye contact and looked back at the floor. Slumping against her chain she darted her eyes back and forth before taking a deep labored breath through her nose.
Lifting her head up just enough to tilt it, the dark elf turned to her left side and stared at the still slumped form of her sister. She stayed this way for several moments as her eyes began to tighten themselves up in obvious worry.
Blinking slowly, she brought her eyes up even further and locked gazes with Anton.
Finding himself now under her scrutiny, Anton did his best to remain still and unimposing.
The dark elf’s large, shimmering eyes stared unblinking at him for several long, silent moments as she seemed to be studying both him and his eyes. At some unseen signal she blinked slowly, and apparently satisfied with her examination, she eased her head back and hunched down on her shoulders as her own eyes softened and became imploring.
As Anton watched the dark elf very slowly and deliberately lowered her ears and then folded them back until they disappeared from sight and were laid completely flat behind her head, in a manner that was very much like a submissive animal.
“…Does, this mean something?” he asked as the dark elf finished her odd display and went completely still “…Does this mean that you’re going to behave yourself now?”
The dark elf stared at him for a moment before lowering her head even further and nodding slowly.
“…Hm, well then” nodded Anton as he switched off the sybian “That’s good to know”
The dark elf’s hips quivered uncontrollably as she hunched in on herself and whimpered in relief. She chirped out another little whine and clamped her eyes shut as Anton took hold of her head-harness and pulled back on it to lift up her head. With his free hand he released each clasp that attached her head-harness to her face plate and gag. Once it was free, he peeled the plate away from her face whilst slowly and gently pulling the large bulbous gag out from between her stretched jaws.
Anton went to set the gag down next to his bent knee but stopped short as he noticed that the harden rubber that made up the gag itself had somehow been heavily damaged in several places and was covered in what appeared to be deep puncture marks. Upon closer examination it was immediately obvious that the shredded areas and odd markings were the impressions left by the dark elf as she repeatedly bit into the gag with her apparently very strong teeth and fang-like canines.
“Hm” mused Anton as he set the gag down and turned back to the dark elf “Looks like you Dark Elves have got a pretty mean little bite. Not that I didn’t already know that!”
The dark elf apparently didn’t register anything that was said as she was currently preoccupied with her newest bit of freedom. Her half-dazed eyes were now completely unfocused as she drearily stared off at nothing. She made a halfhearted attempt to close her mouth completely but winced in pain as the muscles of her jaw began to tremble on their own. Giving up on this effort, she instead left her mouth to hang limp and rest in the strap of the head-harness that looped beneath her chin. With the tip of her tongue resting on her lower lip, she began to take in deep labored breaths through her newly freed mouth. Each of her ragged breaths not only had a coarse and dry sound to it but also appeared to be a somewhat painful endeavor for her. Despite this, the corners of her mouth still curled up to form a relieved looking smile.
The dark elf’s smile disappeared instantly as Anton cupped her chin in his palm and began to run his thumb up and down her jawline. Holding her head by the chin now, he released his grip on her head-harness and gently tilted her head from side to side as he looked her over. Shifting her bangs to the side and away from her face revealed that this was the meeker of the two dark elves, Kianna.
“Kianna?” questioned Anton.
Kianna’s ears rose slightly upwards and her breathing became shallow and even more labored as she blinked and focused on him. Her bright, but exhausted looking eyes were framed on three sides by the black leather straps of the harness that was still wrapped tightly around her head. Though they were still bloodshot with fatigue, the dark elf’s large eyes were now coherent and clearly full of mistrust.
“Can you hear me?” whispered Anton as he leaned in close.
Kianna’s eyes tightened in acknowledgment.
“Good, very good” nodded Anton as he eased back and let his face become stoic “Because I have a question for you Kianna. There is something very important that I need you to answer for me. And I want you to take a moment and really think about it before you do”
Kianna’s eyes tightened further in suspicion as her ears rose up so as to hear him better.
“…Who is your Master now little Dark Elf?” questioned Anton as he stared into her eyes.
Kianna remained still for a moment before her eyes went wide as she registered his implication. Taking a stance as her pride resurfaced, she leered angrily at him and pointed her ears straight back as she closed her mouth as much as she could in a failed attempt to clench her jaw.
“Answer me Kianna” demanded Anton as he continued to stare into her glaring eyes.
Kianna curled her lips back angrily as she tried to speak. Though it was obviously unintentional, the visual of her bared teeth coupled with the broken hiss that came out of her parched throat gave the impression that she was snarling like a beast. Albeit an adorable little beast that was far more endearing than actually fearsome. But a furious little beast nonetheless.
Anton couldn’t help but to chuckle as he shook his head.
“Well, it looks like this vicious little Dark Elf needs a little more discipline” he said as he reached up with his left hand and roughly grabbed a handful of her hair “How unfortunate…”
Kianna gasped in pain as Anton twisted the handful of her hair and pulled back and up on it to lift her head even higher. Letting go of her chin he raised his right hand and made as though he was about to smack her across the face.
Kianna’s eyes were clamped shut as she tried in vain to pull away from his grip. Blinking them open, she glared angrily at him until her eyes darted over to his raised hand. She froze as a look of confusion spread across her face. Her eyes slowly went wide in shock as she realized what he was about to do.
Anton hesitated as he watched the dark elf slowly shift her eyes back to his. She stared at him for a moment before a sense of determination reached her eyes, and with a quiet mumble, she finally closed her mouth completely and clenched her jaw. Clamping her eyes shut, the dark elf scrunched up her face in preparation as she waited for the strike to land.
Anton continued to hesitate as he watched the dark elf begin to tremble. Breathing out softly he closed his hand into a fist and lowered his arm.
After a moment of stillness Kianna cracked open a single eye and looked at him.
Anton slowly released his grip on her hair as he watched her blink in confusion.
“You’re a pretty brave little Dark Elf Kianna” stated Anton as he nodded slowly “I like that!”
Kianna leaned back and away from Anton as he let her go. Her confusion and apprehension were both still clear on her face as she pointed her ears straight upwards. Her large eyes had become probing as they shifted slightly back and forth in their sockets as she again seemed to be studying him.
Anton tilted his head as he watched Kianna’s eyes suddenly begin to drift and lose focus. Blinking she went to shake her head and with the shift in momentum she suddenly lost her balance. The dark elf made a tiny panicked sound as she toppled forward.
Anton’s face was stoic as he reached out and caught her by the shoulders before she would have been jerked back by the chain.
Kianna was still for a moment as she registered that she was being held up by Anton. She immediately tried to lift her shoulders up and away from him but in her exhausted state her body refused to obey. Groaning in frustration she clenched her teeth angrily as her head lolled to the side under its own weight. Sinking in her shame she did nothing as her head fell forward and hung freely. As she stared straight downwards at the floor below, her eyes began to burn in their sockets as they tried to form tears from nothing.
Anton eased the dark elf down until she came to rest at the end of the tightened chain.
Kianna clearly wanted to pull away when Anton took her by the chin and began to lift her head but she just didn’t have the strength left to even try. She pointed her ears back behind her head and clamped her eyes shut as Anton gently cupped both her cheeks in his palms and tilted her face upwards. Without a word, he let his aura flow into the dark elf.
Kianna visually tensed as she felt the flow of power slip into her very being. Her eyes shot open and went wide as a sense of warmth began to permeate throughout her body. Blinking she found herself staring directly at Anton and was surprised to find him staring back at her with a look of concern on his face.
“…You’ve got a strong will Kianna” he whispered as his eyes tightened in worry “And you should be very proud of how long you’ve lasted. But this fight is over now. And for you to prolong your own suffering like this is unnecessary”
Blinking again, Kianna raised her ears as she listened to him speak.
“We both know you’ve already lost Kianna” said Anton “And all we’re doing now is waiting for you to accept it”
Kianna’s eyes tightened as her ears drooped.
“When you’re ready to do that” continued Anton “I promise you that this pain will end”
Kianna clenched her teeth and and broke away from his eyes as she looked down towards the floor between them. Gathering her strength she went to pull away from him but again she was just too exhausted to even lift her own body. Grunting in frustration she began to vibrate violently as her body started to quiver from her rage.
“Stop it Kianna!” commanded Anton “That’s enough!”
Kianna’s eyes shot back up to him and then softened in surprise at the sight of the concern that was back on his face.
“No more” Anton implored quietly “It’s over now. You’re done”
The dark elf’s eyes widened to their fullest as the power that was seeping into her body began to resonate with a soothing calmness. Clamping her eyes shut out of suspicion, Kianna hunched her head down as she attempted to fight back against the effects of Anton’s aura. But pushed to the limit as she was, there was little she could do to hold back the surge of power that flooded her being and with a last grunt of protest she gave in and let the dam break around her.
Kianna’s eyes opened slowly and focused themselves on an invisible spot on the floor between herself and Anton. She exhaled numbly as the intensity of the fear, anger and the will to fight that was swirling within her was melted away and immediately replaced by a sense of warm, numbing relief.
With a quiet whimper the dark elf lost all the tension that had been holding her body rigid and with a tiny sigh she let her head rest limply in Anton’s hands.
Anton remained still as he held the dark elf and listened intently to each of her breaths as they became more even and less desperate. As he watched, her eyes slowly went distant and without a sound she began to lower her ears. The tips of Kianna’s ears came to rest against her shoulders as she again folded them back behind her head and laid them flat in a seemingly submissive manner.
“…Are you done now Kianna?” whispered Anton.
The dark elf was still for a second as she registered that she had been spoken to. Moving only her eyes she looked up at Anton and stared at him for a moment before letting her eyes fall back towards the floor.
Although silent, her message was clear.
“Who is your Master now little Dark Elf?” asked Anton as he pressed his thumbs softly against her cheeks.
Far too dehydrated to form proper tears, Kianna’s eyes again began to burn painfully as her body was racked with a noiseless sob. Keeping her eyes cast down towards the floor she took a deep breath through her nose.
“…You!” she whispered softly.
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