Chapter 19:

Chapter XVII – Ye who art determined.

His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)

Shinasi entered a room in the basement of Algernon’s mansion, in which lay a musty dungeon (not the fun RPG kind of dungeon). There were instruments meant for unsavory business, the whip and a cane, hung up on the wall. Two cells lay in this dungeon, he walked over to the one he was assigned to ‘attend’ to.

In this cell were the two siblings, Ekene and Ejike. Their eyes followed Shinasi with fear. Not a word, other than a few whimpers from the siblings, were exchanged between the two sides.

Shinasi spoke slowly. “The boss says that I’ll have to punish you for your impudence.” He snickered. “He says that I should get to do it so that… so that you learn to fear me. For fuck’s sake!” Shinasi leaned one the dungeon wall as if he was sick. He couldn’t really stand straight. “What type of person would actually go lock people up in a dungeon and beat them up?!” And I had accepted to help that kind of person search for their slave!

The siblings weren’t sure what Shinasi was up to. They watched, waiting for this odd, angry man to calm down. “You’re not going to-”

“Of course, I’m not about to do anything!” He straightened himself back again. “I’m just- You know, you don’t need to listen to me yapping. You probably need something to eat instead.” He took out, from his pockets, two small loaves of bread he had stolen during meal time. “Here you go.”

“Won’t the master get angry?” Ejike accepted the bread anyways, followed by his sister. They hadn’t eaten today, as per Algernon’s orders, so they weren’t in a position to reject food.

“Well, I’m not going to be staying here for long.” Shinasi sat on the floor, to come eye-to-eye with the siblings. “You won’t be staying here for long, if we’re successful. Have you heard of the Azdavay Uprising?”

“Yes, the big man was shouting about it.” replied Ekene. “He personally pledged one of his men to help the count with searching for the fugitives.”

There’s a search for the fugitives headed by the count? That’s good to know… “I’m with the people who organized the uprising.” Or a few of them, anyhow. “My comrades back at the cave will be arriving here by the early summer, and they need all the help that they can get.”

The siblings seemed rightfully hesitant. They weren’t sure if Shinasi was just toying with them by giving them false hope. There wasn’t much hope for anything left in their hearts.

“I don’t really need an answer. If you want to help, then you can do so by supporting them when the time comes.” He got up from the dungeon floor. “Just pretend that I beat you really badly, okay?” He promptly left the dungeon, having fulfilled his mission for the day.

80th of Spring, 5859
Estate of Sir Algernon, Azdavay / Casamonu

Shinasi woke up, as usual for the last four days, with the ringing of the bell at his barracks. This barracks, unlike that of the slaves, was quite spacious with enough breathing room to feel comfortable. Shinasi wasn’t the only newcomer here, ten or so more people had been employed by Algernon since he had signed up.

Sir Algernon was, most correctly, worried about his slaves emulating their brethren in Azdavay. In total Shinasi counted fifteen overseers for around fifty slaves, which was a ratio that was unusually skewed to the overseer side. Thankfully Algernon seemed to be satisfied with this amount, he hadn’t hired anyone for the rest of the week.

The head overseer, a fearsome man of equally fearsome physique, personally entered the barracks as he continued ringing the bell. “It’s payday, line up. Line up at the yard! Quickly!”

The men didn’t need much encouragement to wake up to get paid. All of them were already up, and running to get lined up at the yard. An unorderly line of was formed, overseers of slaves weren’t exactly military grade, waiting to be called by name.

“Kasim! 20 libra.” A man came to the front to receive his pay, which was handed over personally by the head overseer. “Melissa! 20 libra.” This time a woman came to the front, receiving her pay. “Shinasi! 8 libra.” Shinasi stepped forward, receiving ten coins for his efforts (of doing as little as he could for four days).

“Alright, the today is holiday for the second squad. Come back by night, now git!” Thus dissolved the line of men.

Shinasi was among the second squad, comprised of the newcomers to the estate. He parted ways with his ‘comrades’ to meet with his comrades.

80th of Spring, 5859
Mount Curry, Azdavay / Casamonu

“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever."

…old man, your food is getting cold. Ayomide thought so as she slowly chewed her daily bread, made by Hakim from shepherd’s reed flour.

Brown was continuing to pray while standing up, his head bowed down and hands clasped together. His prayer was mostly focused on asking the Lord for the salvation of his dear father, Owen Brown, the salvation of his many children who had perished back on Earth, and for the salvation of his heathen comrades on Gemeinplatz. He then pleaded the salvation of the people on Earth, on Gemeinplatz and on any other realms unknown to him that the Maker might have created before finally pleading for himself. Brown was a pro at prayer, with a brief and comprehensive style of prayer honed with years of piety. Praying for all of the aforementioned only took him two minutes.

“I would bear thy strokes, not merely because I cannot resist them, but because I love and trust in thee. I have no objection against being afflicted; against being afflicted in this particular way. Only be pleased, O Lord, to stand by me, and sometimes to grant me a favorable look in the midst of my sufferings. Amen.” Brown concluded his prayer, and calmly sat down with the others to eat.

Before he could have one bite of bread however, the cave had a visitor. “Captain! I’ve returned.” It was Shinasi, with a look of triumph mixed with that of complete exhaustion.

“Glory, hallelujah!” Brown handed his bread to Shinasi without much thought. “You must be hungry after all of that travel, young man.” He was excited to see his mole come back alive.

“Thank you, captain. I have much to tell you.” He began munching on the bread, which tasted no better than the food back in the Algernon Estate. Still, the blood and sweat of the enslaved tended to ruin the taste of bread, Shinasi had found out. “So, do you want me to start?”

“Of course, if you aren’t too tired. Everyone, gather around!” Everyone in the cave, which was Ayomide, Hakim and Tater, gathered around Brown and Shinasi. “Now, this young man will tell us the situation in the estate…”

“…and we’ll formulate a plan?” intervened Tater.

“Yes, you’re a clever boy, aren’t you?” Brown picked up a solid rock from the floor. He carved (in Gemeinplatzian translated to Latin script) “ESTATE MAP” on to a high point on the cave wall. Of course, nobody in the room could read what he had written, but Brown did so anyways. He had intended to begin teaching them Latin script, but the people in the cave had been too busy with the necessities of life (like food) and the necessities of emancipation (like spears).

“Oh, we’re drawing a map? One second, captain.” Shinasi took the stone off of Brown’s hands. “I’ve patrolled the estate extensively, and made a map in my mind. This is how it should look like…” He made a sketch of the estate’s surroundings to the best of his capabilities, which weren’t much in the case of cartography. Shinasi gave the stone back to Brown, and helped him with labeling the buildings on the map.

“Now, in terms of people…” Shinasi quickly gave a summary on the number of guards and slaves. “The mining slaves sleep in the shed near the mine, and the guards sleep at the barracks with rotating shifts. There are also two personal servants who sleep in a room of the mansion. I have made connections with those servants, keep that in mind when making your plans.”

“Excellent job, for a man like you anyways.” commented Ayomide. “What about the master of this estate? Anything we could use against him?”

“Of course, I can’t really make a judgement about a man’s character in only four days.” replied Shinasi “From what I’ve seen of Algernon, the type who’s quick to anger, especially against anyone who’s not a lightskin. His wife Leila is the only one holding him back from massacring all the slaves in a fit of anger, I feel. He also has two children, but I haven’t had any chance to interact with them.”

“Those who are quick to anger are also quick to be defeated, young man.” Brown made a notion towards the main building on the map. “Perhaps we should provoke him so that he’ll lower his defenses.”

“Umm… there was a proverb about how you have to cut heads off of stuff if you wanna kill them.” Tater scratched his head trying to remember it, but gave up halfway through. “Reckon we can capture him first so that he cannot order his goons around?”

“Separate him from Leila somehow, and we have a very angry man.” said Hakim, briefly reminiscing on the untempered temper of Jacob. “Maybe the servants you mentioned could help?”

“That might be a good idea, yes.” Brown had clasped his hands together on his back, as he did when thinking. “Hmm… Ahem, let us each deliberate on our own and gather together again to finalize a plan. We needn’t be brash unless it’s the right time for brashness, and now is not.”

The people of the cave agreed on this course of action, and they dispersed to their regular duties while hatching a plan for their first raid.

Steward McOy
Taylor J