A Warrior's Redemption (The Warrior Kind) (Chapter Two - Branded, page 1 of 18)

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The fighting school of Ramnotan was located on the outskirts of Carsea. We were yanked out of the wagon roughly by the guards.

I'd hit the ground face first, after having been shoved by a guard off the wagon. I'd tried to get up spitting the dust from my mouth as I did so, but I was knocked flat down again by another guard. I'd tried to get up again, but several hard kicks had slammed into my side and I'd curled up into a ball in the dust. It had been hard to breath and I'd had to repeatedly gasp to get my breath back. I'd looked up into the face of my tormenter then before trying to get up again. He'd stood with his feet shoulder width apart and appeared to have no weapon upon him. He smiled down at me. His face had looked like worn cracked leather and the smile that was splayed across it did not reach his eyes.

"I'll show you the meaning of what it is to be a slave boy! I think I'll start your education with your pretty face!"

He had reached down with one hand and grabbed my hair jerking my head up. He extended his right leg behind him and I knew that he intended to smash his knee into my nose. As he drew his knee back I had stopped resisting the grip on my hair and instead I flung myself forward at his support leg. Unbalanced he gave a surprised grunt and fell over backwards away from me.

He had released my hair in an effort to catch himself as he fell. He hit the ground hard and I had gotten shakily to my feet knowing I had probably just made things a lot worse for myself. Surprisingly he had lain there in the dust for a moment and then he'd started laughing as he got up to his feet. I'd regarded him warily waiting for him to strike out at me like a viper.

"This one has spirit left in him! Cato take him to the keep and see that he gets branded as a fighter, but not cut. He'll fight better that way."

I was seized by strong hands from behind and shoved inside the fighting school. It was cooler inside than the outside was, but that was as far as the comfort went.

I was shoved against a wall of a room that received some light from a skylight in the ceiling above us. I and the others that had arrived with me were handcuffed to iron rings that projected out from the wall above our heads. I had watched as two powerfully muscled guards held the farthest slave from me away from the wall, as a third guard rose up from a fire kindled in the middle of the room. In one hand he held a hot poker and in the other a hot knife.

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