Rising Ch2

Published February 23, 2024 tag category
Rising Ch2

Ahma woke to the same routine. But Ahma did not feel the same. She was usually able to go through her days with a surprising measure of cheer and grace for her station. Her stomach felt as if it had half devoured itself. She had never gone to eat after yesterday?s unpleasant events. Despite the gnawing of her belly not a tingle of appetite came to her this morning.

She felt heart-sick with loneliness and misery, sitting upon her bed while Hannah?s deft fingers worked her hair into a braid as they always did. The Wingling girl missed the tattered remains of her family sorely. A man was preying upon her, using her for his pleasures at threat of starvation for her and her only /friend/real-friend/">real friend. The days moved on, endless and bleak; the Manor that had once been cheered by and centered around the /master/">master?s presence was now a husk being sucked dry from the inside by a wretched and vile leech. And one of the few people who mattered to her was gone, taken by Father Sky or whatever God watched over the Humans. At least now he dwelled in a better place.

The thought comforted her little.

?What troubles you??

Ahma sighed and shut her rich brown white attractive slutty whore xxxxvie eyes. ?It is so hard without him here, Hannah.?

?I know,? the older Wingling replied softly. ?Best we let him go though. All we can do is what we?re told and not cause any trouble. The last thing anyone wants is irritate the Steward.?

?He was so young,? Ahma whispered, as if Hannah had said nothing. ?Older than I?older than you even?but he had not even lived a quarter of full life by our peoples reckoning.?

?He is not of our people,? Hannah reminded. ?By Human standards he lived for a reasonable number of years?a good number if you consider the war. At least his death wasn?t wrapped up in the war. Thank father Sky for that.?

?Perhaps,? Ahma conceded. She stood as Hannah finished with her braiding.

?Are you sure you?re ok?? Hannah asked as she stood stunning brunette hussy diana xxxxpv and smoothed the wrinkles from her drab skirts.

?I will be,? Ahma replied. She took a deep breath and gave a soft smile to her friend. ?I just need to get up and about. Tending to the study should brighten my mood.?

Hannah nodded and smiled, though she still worried about her friend.

Ahma took another deep breath, and her mood was genuinely lighter as she followed the other /women/">women to the kitchen. Hers was a miserable lot, possibly more so than the other servants with the Steward?s lecherous attention focused upon her. But she had a roof to shelter her from the harsh world, a home to reside in instead of being homeless in the dangerous streets, and a reliable source of food and clothing, even if it was being threatened by the Steward. It was more than most had, especially in this war-torn time.

Misery was the prevalent mood across the Kingdom, and Ahma felt the Manor?s misfortunes was a small lot to live with compared to the suffering that thousands were experiencing. Those who did not die at the front were suffering the secondary affects of the war. The Kingdom coffers were being steadily drained by war expenses. The common folk were taxed heavily in an attempt to bring more resources to bear against the Naemer invaders. The farms in the farthest reaches of the Kingdom had been raided and sacked systematically. Those safely set away from the borders had a large portion of their harvest and livestock confiscated to supply the war effort. With winter slowly settling in, the farmers would be hard pressed simply to survive.

The capitol of Durinum itself was not much better. Ahma often looked out at the city sprawling at the foot of the hillock the Manor was situated upon. The war was visibly taking its toll?where once thriving markets and trading squares had thrived now sat lonely stalls with a thin measure of wares. Few had the spare coin to afford the liberty of browsing through wares, especially the finery of imported goods that normally sold so very well in the Durinum capitol with all the noble and high born people that flocked to the royal court. Many shops now stood out of business and abandoned by all but the homeless that huddled seeking shelter from the early snowfall. As the winter progressed, even the buildings warmth would do little to keep the chill from the poor folks bones unless they could find something to burn.

Lawlessness had broken out in the capitol as well which bespoke just how heavily the war was taking its toll. The city guard had been substantially thinned in recent months after its majority were sent to the front to act as reserve soldiers in the seemingly endless war. The skeleton crew left behind to man the largest city in the northlands was inadequate at best.

?Far better to be caged than free to the worlds fickle mercies,? Ahma whispered.

In some ways, she believed her words. Mostly she did not.

Perhaps it was due to not eating since yesterdays breakfast, perhaps not, but Ahma was starved. Her meal was meager and tasteless as ever, but she ate it with a hunger and energy she hadn?t felt for days. It drew comments from Cook, who was pleased that the Wingling?s appetite had returned.

?Your spirits seem lifted,? Hannah commented.

Ahma shrugged and glanced at her friend. Hannah was staring at her closely, a curious look in her otherwise blank face. A lock of thin, graying hair /hung/">hung across her face. It was still a beautiful, fair face, but it was lined now about the eyes and creases pulled her lips downward into a soft frown. Ahma suddenly realized just how much her friend had aged in the last six months. It was not a natural thing, for a Wingling to show their age in such a way. Hannah was into her one-hundred and forty third year, but it was almost unheard of for Winglings to age in such a way till well into their three-hundredth year.

?I told you I?d cheer up,? Ahma reminded.

Hannah smiled softly and spooned the thin porridge into her mouth. ?It must be that you?re young. Only the young put aside their troubles and concerns to make such a complete turn of mood. It?s good to see you have accepted the way of things.?

Ahma looked down at where her hands rested upon the table. ?I?ve no more acceptance today than I did yesterday. Or the day before. I just do not see the point of fretting. But I still say this is not how the Master would have wanted, Hannah.? Ahma looked up, her brown eyes intense and sharp as they cut into the older Wingling?s gaze.

Hannah met her young friends eyes and shrugged before returning to her gruel. ?Our lot isn?t his concern anymore, dear. He?s left it to his /son/">son.?

Ahma pursed her lips bitterly. ?His son. Who has abandoned us and all his responsibilities to an unthinking pig of a man.?

?We should not speak of this,? Hannah whispered urgently, her eyes darting about the kitchen. Even though the whole household suffered under the Stewards hand, many servants sought to better their ordeals by catering to the Stewards bidding.

Ahma fell silent and finished her small meal. Hannah was rarely one for gossip, but she would hear no ill word spoken against the young Master. It was one of the few points upon which they did not agree. She knew better than to really bother her with the issue. Ahma put her plate on the counter to be washed for the kitchen servants before making her way to the Master?s study. She shut the door behind her and for several moments stood motionless, eyes shut, breathing in deeply. The room smelled of books and paper and yellowing parchment. The wax polish that had been applied to the bookcases and desk had been lightly scented with pine sap. Her wings tingled unpleasantly where the bindings bit into them. Seven feathers had fallen out this morning. While it was normal for Wingling kind to shed feathers ever so often, it was typically done one or two at a time. She feared she may have begun to malt. She pushed away the thought of how her once beautiful wings would look after another month. Another year. It made her belly roil if she thought of it, and she could ill afford to lose the small breakfast as she had yesterday.

The conversation with Hannah still weighed on her, particularly the way it ended. She felt a swelling of bitterness, like bile in her mouth. The Master?s son had inherited the estate after the death of the father. Despite the honor and privilege of a well established house and family name to run, the young Master?s hand was not present in the governing of the Manor, leaving the Steward to act on his own selfish whims without a Lord to keep his ambition and greed in check.