Lost souls: Road to Godhood
After bringing Luz a bucket with cold water and mixing it with one that had water at almost boiling point, Luz decided to clean himself.
Grabbing a linen piece, Luz tugged it into the hot water before slowly rubbing it onto his body. It was hot but bearable. After cleaning himself with water, he followed that up by rubbing his body with hard soap. It took a few rounds to remove the dried blood and dirt from his body.
It took him a few rounds of cleaning his body of all the dried blood and dirt, except for one spot since he couldn't properly reach it.
That spot was his back, and only after trying a few times while Lewis glanced toward the door did Luz finally give up his stubbornness and ask Lewis.
"I'll gladly help you with that," sighed Lewis before grabbing the soap and the linin piece from his hand.
"So what kind of person is Master Brian?" asked Luz while getting his back rubbed by a friend on a no homoerotic basis.
Lewis's nonchalant mood immediately disappeared, and his face got serious.
"So you want to know more about Master Brian, huh?" commented Lewis while slowly throwing the linen piece into the water to let it soak.
"Of course. One needs to know one's master so they can act accordingly," Luz sighed, to which Lewis nodded.
"Master Brian is a kind man who uses most of his own free time into finding and saving slaves. All of your new brothers here were once slaves," replied Lewis.
"Well, aren't we technically still slaves?" asked Luz back.
Hearing that, Lewis abruptly laughed before immediately turning serious.
The room temperature immediately dropped from a warm 30 degrees to a chilly five degrees in a blank of an eye.
"Normally, I would have beaten someone for even uttering such unintelligent words. But since you never really were a slave, let me tell you something. This place is like heaven compared to the hells that all of us except you went through," replied Lewis with a cold voice.
Before Luz could even apologize for his comment, Lewis immediately continued.
The cold attitude turned into something else, as Luz saw how the face of the man in front of him changed to someone who was under shock or was reliving past moments.
Lewis's face was by now twisted, and he clenched his teeth.
"Have you ever slept on the dirty floor with other and prayed that the master would not come into the room today, and if he did, hopefully, you would not be picked today?" Lewis asked with a trembling voice that grew louder with every second.
Luz gulped at his words while being thankful for never having lived through these memories. But unfortunally, the latter derangement only worsened, and it got worse. His speech slowly turned into slurring, which one couldn't understand, while his face showed twisted emotions unknown to men.
Seeing how the latter has completely lost his mind and started grabbing his own hair, Luz chose to do the responsible thing. That was, of course, slapping the lad so hard that he would come back to his senses.
'Hopefully, that helps. I don't know how to deal with such people, but leaving them in such a state isn't the wisest option,' thought Luz as he swung his palm, and the impact was echoed through the room.
'At least it was helpful,' thought Luz after seeing how the lad got back to his senses, even though he had a fat red hand palm across the left half of his face.
"I'm sorry for that comment. I should have put more thoughts into it before voicing it out," Luz apologized.
"Thanks. I'm sorry that you have to see me getting deranged so early," muttered the embarrassed Lewis while looking down.
An awkward silence immediately befell the room, and Lewis grabbed the soaked linen piece to clean Luz's back as he needed a distraction.
"Master Brian might be kind, but that doesn't mean that he would ignore any kind of justice. I remember how he personally executed a child around your age after finding out what he did to some of the female servants," whispered Lewis.
"Master Brian dismembered the boy with an ax in the courtyard in front of all the servants, keeping him alive. Although the man lost his head, his agonizing pleas for mercy could still be heard when one wanders through the yard. It's said that Master Brian made sure that neither heaven nor hell would ever accept his soul, and that should be a reminder to all of us," continued Lewis.
Luz gulped at Lewis's words, and his body was filled with goosebumps by now. "Damn, that's scary." he whispered before adding: "Please continue. Also, could you maybe tell me what we are supposed to do as servants?"
"That part is at least not so dark. Most of us will work general jobs. But none of us is sticking with any work for too long. For example, you might be overseeing a field for one week before ending up in a workshop the following week or training in an arena. You might even end up under one of the mages here if you can gain their interest," explained Lewis, and it seemed as if his nonchalant attitude was back.
"I see," commented Luz while stroking the beard on his chin before asking his next question. "But why are we working such jobs? Like what's the point of it?"
"Since most of us are mage apprentices and former slaves who probably carry mental scars, as you've seen earlier, the work and jobs here serve two purposes. On the one hand, to reintegrate us into normal society, and on the other hand, to give us a chance in life if our path as mages should ever fail," explained Lewis.
"That's pretty cool," commented Luz, feeling a tinge of embarrassment. "So, for how long does one remain here?" asked Luz.
"We, of course, get paid for our work here even though they take a cut from it since they provide us with food, shelter, and education. One gains the right to leave after either Master Brian or Alfred sees you fit to live on your own. But when you reach that point, they will also offer you other choices," explained Lewis.
"So what are those choices," asked Luz as he was curious about what kind of opportunity awaited him here.
"They will offer to pay for your tuition in a mage school for a couple of years, and one can choose if they still want to take Master Brian as their patron. But one can also choose a different path, and that is, taking one of the mages or even Master Brian himself as their master," explained Lewis.
Before the discussion could continue, Lewis immediately followed up with: "As for the difference between visiting a magic school and taking a mage as one's master, that subject is beyond the scope of a damn shower chapter."