It was at the marketplace where we heard the news. “Did you hear?” Whispers of war against the high masters stirring within the other cities. Leagues away they would march upon the city of the Blood Masters and attack.
“We’d better get back.” I told Salia, worry in my eyes.
The next afternoon, Tarik planned to take me to the coliseum. I hated to think of it, but he said I needed to make an appearance, so that I don’t just pop out of nowhere and take over the city.
The problem was, the coliseum was a game for the high masters to watch. A game to the death. If the slaves who fought won, then they won their freedom. I slipped on a light blue dress that highlighted my blue eyes and dark hair.
Lord Tarik met me in his courtyard. I brought Salia with me, and he brought both man-guards. A copper carriage waited for us. I sat next to Salia, across from Tarik.
I stared at the people we passed, taking in their faces and avoiding conversation with anyone. This thing that we were going to was going to be horrible. I didn’t want to go, but I didn’t have a choice.
The coliseum was filled with tons of people. The crowd was riled up and shouting for blood. Tarik and I had special box seats, away from the crowd, but with a good view of the arena. Other box seats housed the other lords. A giant throne in the middle of the coliseum seating sat the seven high masters.
“Let the tournament begin!” the leader of the high masters shouted after everyone was seated. The first slave was brought out. He was given the choice of a knife, a spear, or a sword. Lion, bull, or man. He was trembling, but he took the spear. Lion. They let loose the beast. It paced around the ring, evaluating his opponent. The slave griped the spear with his beat up hands. The lion pounced on his prey. Blood. I looked away.
After several of these, they had somewhat of an intermission. The slaves kept choosing the spear. No one would go for a knife, and no one wanted to face the high master’s champion, a big man with bulging muscles that looked like they would burst.
I walked with Zuberi around the multiples of people and found myself at the high master’s throne. I drew in a sharp breath. I did not want to be here. Or anywhere near here. I hurried back to my seat, but unfortunately not before I caught the eye of one of the blood brothers.