Chapter 16:

Chapter 16: Sneak.

The Master and The Slave

After the outburst from Neya earlier, everything has finally come down. Neya eyelids are puffy and swollen from all the crying she made. The room has been clean by Nesto in a short time. Neya enjoys the meal that was prepared again by Nesto. Nesto is not even angry at how much the food is waste instead he is grateful that his master finally eating again.

There is a guilty look on Neya face, "I'm sorry Nesto for making a mess."

"Don't worry, I'm just glad that Master is eating again," Nesto said with a smile on his face while standing a few feet from the table.

"Why don't you eat with me?" Neya asks as she looks at Nesto with a pouted lip.

"A Servant never eats with his master," Nesto said.

"No, I don't care about that. I order you to eat alongside me," Neya said.

"Yes, Master," Nesto said as he nods his head.

"Don't call me Master. Call me Neya," Neya said.

"Yes, Miss Neya," Nesto said as he nods his head again.

There is a big smile on Neya faces as she heard Nesto said her name. Nesto went outside to grab a plate of grilled fish and went back inside to enjoy the meals with Neya. Nesto eats with proper etiquette when eating at a dinner table while Neya eats a bit messier than Nesto.

Both of her eyes went to Nesto, seeing how he ate properly, Neya feeling a bit ashamed, she tries to remember how to eat with proper etiquette. She begins to eat like a proper lady again when the memories of her living in the castle resurface. Nesto stares at the dirty white shirt that Neya is wearing.

"Miss Neya, I think we need to buy you some cloth," Nesto said.

Neya looks down at the white shirt she wore, her lips pursed. "Your right," Neya said.

"Then, I will go to the city alone to buy you some cloth," Nesto said.

Neya looks back at Nesto, her lips parted. "I will come with you, I don't want to be alone," Neya said.

"Are you sure, Miss Neya?" Nesto ask.

"I'm sure," Neya replied, gulping the saliva in her throat.

"Okay then. After we finish our food, we will go to the city together," Nesto said.

It doesn't take them both too long to finish their food. Nesto provides Neya with a slipper he made from wood and rope. To serve as temporary footwear while she walks around the forest. Nesto brings a scarf with him to the city gates.

When they both arrive at the outskirt of the city gates. Nesto wrapped his slave collar with a scarf while Neya put on a cloak to cover her body and head. Neya notices that Nesto is covering his slave collar.

"Why are you hiding your collar?" Neya ask.

"Its because slavery is illegal here. I don't want my master to get toss into the dungeon for breaking the rule," Nesto said.

Neya remembers the dark hallways in the city underbelly. Her mind put what Nesto just said and why the men in the sewer were so restless. Those men were transferring the slave out of the city without getting caught.

"What's wrong, Miss Neya?" Nesto asks as he looks at Neya face.

"Nothing, let's head to the city," Neya said.

They both head to the gate checkpoint. Nesto thought that they were both going to pass the gate without a problem, but they were immediately stopped by one of the guards. The guard look at the elf girl wearing a cloak, he then turns his head to Nesto.

"Who is the kid?" The guard asks.

Neya hand start shaking when he was close to the guard and her heart start beating faster again.

"She is a girl that I save in the forest, her wagon was attacked by Woodfolk. Both of her parents were deceased when I found her," Nesto lied.

"Show me your face kid," The guard said.

Neya body froze for no reason causing her to disobey the guard request. The guard looks at her, suspicion begins to grow. The guard slowly moves his hand to pull her hood. Neya for no reason back away from the guard hands and hide behind Nesto.

The guard reaches the hilt of his sword, "what's wrong with her?" the guard asks.

"I think she is a bit overwhelmed after the accident," Nesto reassures the guards while putting both his hand up.

"I don't care what happens, I want to see her face or I will toss both of you down the dungeon," The guard said.

"Okay, please let me talk to her first," Nesto said.

"I will count to ten if she doesn't reveal her face. I'm going to arrest both of you for disobeying the law," The guard said.

Nesto quickly squats down to meet Neya face, he was surprised to see the sheer terror in her face. Nesto hugs her and said, "Everything is going to be fine."

"Don't let him touch me, please," Neya whispered to Nesto ears.

"I won't. Trust me," Nesto said.

Neya closes her eyes and nods her heads slightly. Nesto pinches the edge of her cloak and pulls it back revealing her face to the guards. The guards look at Neya, he then releases the hilt of his sword.

"It ain't so hard right? It's just a procedure." The guard said.

Neya took a breath of relieved so do Nesto. Nesto let out a calming smile, but Neya body still shaking a bit while she smiles back at Nesto.

"Damn Woodfolk, their must did a number on her. Barbaric, no offense Nesto," the guard said.

"It's okay." Nesto reply.

"You can move along." The guard said.

Neya takes hold of Nesto hand, and they were both walking away from the checkpoint. Nesto notices the inspector just staring at Neya with a blank face from afar. Nesto change side with Neya to block the inspector vision as they walk away from the checkpoint.

When they both arrived at the central plaza, Nesto let Neya took a seat on the bench. Nesto takes look at her face closely, her eyes movement were erratic, her gaze kept switching to a different person.

"What's wrong?" Nesto ask.

"Ever since I escape, I can't stand the thought of touching other people. It just gives me so much fear for just thinking about it," Neya answer.

"Then don't think, I'm here with you," Nesto said.

"I'll try," Neya said.

"Come on let buy you some cloth," Nesto said, Neya nod her heads in agreement.

They both walk away from the central plaza and head to the nearest clothing store. Arriving at the front of the boutique, they both enter and was greeted by an upbeat female elf shopkeeper. The shopkeeper upbeat personality cause Neya to hide behind Nesto back again.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you," The upbeat shopkeeper said.

"Don't worry, my friend here is just a little uncomfortable with strangers," Nesto said.

The shopkeeper back away slightly giving them both a little space before asking, "So what kind of cloth are you looking for?"

"Something that easy to wear and comfortable for my friend here," Nesto said.

"I got the perfect thing, follow me," The shopkeeper said.

They both follow the shopkeeper through the store. Neya was in awe by the amazing and beautiful cloth collection that is available for buying.

"You know, we just have a wonderful kind of new cloth that just arrive from Arbia if you are interested," The shopkeeper said.

"Isn't Arbia is ruled by Wolics? Arent those people a little bit hostile to do deal with?" Nesto ask.

"I know someone from there. He helps me with the deals and I handle the shipping. Those fox people may seem like a battle-hungry folk, but they actually pretty nice when you get to know them," The shopkeeper said and stop on her tracks.

"Okay, here we are," The shopkeeper said, she reaches for the cloth on the top shelves and brings it down.

The shopkeeper unfolds the cloth, revealing a dark green one-piece dress in her hands. Neya looks at the dress and completely smitten by the color of the dress.

The shopkeeper pulls out a green hood, "It also comes with a hood," she said.

"Do you want it?" Nesto ask Neya.

"Yes!" She said excitedly.

"We'll take three set of it with black boots to go with it and do you have any leather glove?" Nesto said to the shopkeeper.

"Leather glove?" Neya said.

"Trust me," Nesto said.

Neya nods her heads, and they all went to the back room to get Neya dresses. When Neya came out from the dressing room, Nesto was surprised to see the cloth fits perfectly with Neya. The black boots match with the dark green dress and the hood just goes perfectly with the dress.

Neya looks at the leather glove she wears, then she looks back at Nesto with her eyebrow raised.

"Try shaking the shopkeeper's hands," Nesto said.

"Okay..." Neya said hesitantly.

The shopkeeper laid out her hand for a shake, Neya reaches for her hands and expecting the worst to happen, but it didn't happen. There was no nausea or dizziness. Everything just went fine, Neya was surprised the glove actually work.

"How did you know?" Neya asks Nesto.

"A guess really," Nesto answer.

"I have no idea what's going on, but I'm glad it worked out," The shopkeeper as she releases Neya hands.

"How much is for all of this?" Nesto ask.

"Two gold pieces," The shopkeeper said.

Nesto pays the shopkeeper, and she brought the extra cloth to the back to pack it. When she comes back, she gave the cloth wrapped in paper to Nesto and both of them say thank you before heading out of the boutique. Neya gazes at her leather gloves with so much joy that she doesn't notice Nesto talking to her.

"Miss Neya?" Nesto ask.

"Yes?" Neya snapped back to reality.

"You ready to go home?" Nesto ask.

Neya looks around her at the bustling street with no fear for once in her life. She closes her eyes as the smell of delicious food from the stand linger under her nose. She opens her eyes and looks back at Nesto, he sports a smile of understanding on his face.

"Do you want to get something to eat?" Nesto asks then Neya nods her head in response.

Nesto offers his hand to his master, Neya grab hold of his hand, and they both start walking down the street. They both occasionally stop to buy snacks from the stands. With an abundance of food in Neya hands, they head to the central plaza again to find a bench, so they can enjoy the food.

Neya and Nesto sat on an empty bench. Neya grabs one of the sticks of meat and devours it without remorse. Nesto let out a smile when the sauce that on the meat drip flow down Neya's chin. He proceeds to take out a napkin and wipe the sauce away.

Neya cheeks redden and her lip pursed after Nesto wipe her chins clean off the sauce. She took another stick of meat, but this time instead of devouring it, she took a small bite off it without getting herself dirty.

"Today has been so much fun. I don't want it to end," Neya said.

"It should end because tomorrow we can have an even better day," Nesto said.

"But today will always be the happiest day of my life," Neya let out the biggest smile on her face because for once in her life she has hope for tomorrow.

Neya and Nesto enjoy the rest of their evening by sitting in the plaza while eating delicious food. When the sun begins to set, they both head home. On the way home, Nesto instinct flares up when they suddenly enter a suspiciously empty street.

"Miss Neya, stop," Nesto said.

"What's wrong?" Neya stop on her tracks.

"Something is not right here," Nesto said.

"It's just an empty street," Neya said as she looks around her.

Nesto waits and examines every dark alley. Nesto looks back Neya, she has a worried face. Nesto thought maybe what Neya said was true, maybe he was just paranoid.

"I just have a bad feeling about this, we should get going," Nesto said when suddenly a small sharp pain can be felt on his back.

"Nesto!" Neya scream.

Nesto turns his back. He was shocked to see a tall, lean, red leathery skin with no hair and a spiral horn on each side of its heads. Nesto examines the tribal tattoo covering most of her body.

"A Xintari!" Nesto grunts.

Nesto reaches for his back and felt the dagger in his back. He pulls her out and his head begins to feel dizzy. He looks at the Xintari face with confusion. The Xintari blinks her fully black eyes while looking at Nesto with her head lean to the side. She was surprised to see the man in front of her still standing. Nesto notices the Xintari mutter something, then suddenly her entire body disappears into thin air.

"Nesto?!" Neya let out a muffled scream.

Nesto turns his back, seeing the elf inspector from the gate covering Neya nose and mouth with a small cloth. Nesto tries to reach for Neya with his hand, but fail when his entire body shut down, causing him to fall to the ground, knocking him unconscious.

Everything went to black.