His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)
It was night, and like many other nights, the overseers of the first squad had drunk themselves to an inebriated stupor. The world was their oyster, and oysters went well with booze. The newcomers would deal with anything that happened anyways; they needn’t worry about their own state. With incongruous speech and laughter, they were on the path back, hearts carrying no worries or fears.
This group saw Shinasi at the gate. He saluted them while furrowing his brows. “You’re a bit late.”
They passed Shinasi without caring about his remark, only one of them stopped to reassure him. “Thatsh you Shenasshy? Dun’t wurry, we’ll short thish out… wif de big head oversheer. You keap thish plaesch shecyure, mmkay?”
“Don’t worry, everything is all fine and dandy around here. As safe as it could be.” Shinasi turned around to address the rest of the drunken crowd. “You all, quickly go to the barracks before the head overseer notices your absence!”
Shinasi received a solitary reply. “Yer not mah father!” Still, they didn’t want to be berated by their boss, so they hurried to their barracks to rest.
It was dark out, so they noticed nothing out of the ordinary like the fact that there was no one else outside or the fact that the slaves were ready, with weapons and rope in hands, and positioned inside the barracks to capture every last one of them.
Without being able to put up much, or any, resistance, the last of the overseers were captured by the freemen of the estate. The raid of Sir Algernon’s Estate concluded thus, with no casualties except for a few overseers.
1st of Summer, 5859
Former Estate of Sir Algernon (new name pending), Azdavay / Casamonu
With summer came more rain, combined with rising temperatures this made summer an unbearable, humid hell for many in the lowlands of Northern Gemeinplatz. Especially those otherworlders coming from a colder and dryer climate would be unlucky to find themselves sent here at such an inconvenient time.
Thankfully, for one certain American whom was known as John Brown, he was busy being high up in the mountains where the temperatures were cool and the air was suitably dry. He watched the dawn of a new day along with his newly emancipated comrades-in-arms.
Of course, they weren’t here to leisurely watch the sun rise, as beautiful as the scenery was. Brown would have loved to sit, relax, and pray away while partaking in what he saw as the Lord’s majestic Creation in full display. However, there were many things to do today. These things to do started with the carrying out of heavy justice.
All of the (now former) overseers were lined up in the yard for payday, of the non-monetary kind. The freemen were crowded together into the yard as they watched their former oppressors be thrown into such a sorry state, the tension and irony in the air feeling quite palpable to everyone in the yard. Brown and Ayomide marched on, as they inspected every single one of his special guests. They reached a pile, of rope and sacks, ready to get on with their business.
“By order of the Lord Almighty, we have gathered here to right what has been made wrong.” Brown took one of the ropes, tying it into a noose. He further tied this noose to a cherry tree that had failed to bloom in the cold mountains. The freemen followed, preparing a noose for everyone on death row.
“Now, to make sure that there are no miscarriages in our justice…” Brown turned around to the audience of freemen “…does the jury agree that all these people, who are lined up in front of us, are truly guilty and deserving of their punishment?”
This question was only a rhetorical one, the freemen knew the answer, though there wasn’t much to trial. In front of them were those who had beat, whipped and violated them to no end. Those who’d, if successful, would see them waste away in the copper mines. Life had been made hell for them up until now; the overseers had a lot to sow from what they had reaped. Hence, the response was uniform: “Yes!” The ‘trial’ of the overseers ended. They were guilty.
In an ideal world, Brown wouldn’t have to hang anyone, or fight with anyone. In his heart, he was a humanitarian man of peace who saw the aforementioned as a waste of human life. Unfortunately, Brown hadn’t been born in, and sent to, an ideal world. A man like him could only be at peace when he arrived at the Pearly Gates. “So be it… May God have mercy on your souls!”
With the command given, the crowd of slaves carried their oppressors toward the trees, and put them on boxes and chairs from the mansion. Some of the overseers were pleading, some were resisting, some had quietly accepted their fate. They were all gagged to prevent the use of magic, so not much could be heard from them.
With a harmony oft seen in orchestras, this orchestra playing the song of the oppressed, the chairs and boxes were kicked and the oppressors were left to hang.
“That’s Kasim. Bastard was the one who whipped me yesterday.” Ekene spat out the hull of a sunflower seed, quickly taking another one from a bowl. Her brother was doing the same as they watched the hangings from the second floor, where the room of the former mistress lay. The siblings were in a state of jubilee, but they were too tired from their grueling life of work to show it openly, contenting themselves with an internal feeling of alleviation.
In great contrast to the relaxed attitude of the siblings sat another pair of siblings and their mother, (soon to be not a) Lady Leila. Ani and Timmy were huddled together, while Leila was trying to assure them that everything was going to be fine (it was going to be fine, just not for their father). “He’s going to a better place now…” With how he had treated the slave however, even Leila had doubts as to whether her husband would end up in a good otherworld.
“Oh, there’s the big man.” Ejike pointed at Algernon being carried by slaves. “He’s gonna be gone in a moment now. Can’t believe it.” He spat out a hull, aiming at the balding head of Algernon. This shot somehow landed right on top of his head, though the moribund Algernon wasn’t in a state to care.
His sister attempted the same, but Ekene missed by a wide margin. “I can’t believe it either. We get to spit hulls on him all we like, and no one in sight is here to whip us.”
Ejike stopped his sister from speaking further. “Ssh! That Brown is speaking.” They could easily hear him through the window.
“Hear me, ye who art freed!” Brown stood in the middle of the crowd, Algernon in hand. This was to be the apex of the day. “The Good Book commands, ‘blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy’. I ask of you: has this man shown ye mercy? Does he deserve our mercy?”
The response of the crowd was united and resolute. It was a big “No!” chanted by thirty or so souls in unison.
Algernon looked shocked at this united front. His brief stint in death row had allowed him to prepare his final words. “Have I not fed you, and clothed you? Have I not given you a job, and disciplined you to the best of my ability? What is with this ungrateful mob you’ve formed?”
“And you’ve fed yourself even more, you pig!”
“I never chose to work here!”
“Stick that whip up your arse!”
Brown didn’t approve of the uncouth manner some chose to reply to Algernon, profanity was a big no-no, but he was happy to see the passionate response of the audience. “Well, Sir Algernon. I am a man of the book, and of many books. Let me give you another passage that I think all can agree on, be they Christian or heathen.” He was the only Christian in the audience, actually, but he chose to ignore that for now. “‘Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.’ That is the Golden Rule, upon which I base my cause, and think that all should base their cause, upon.” He leaned forwards, meeting directly eye to eye with Algernon. “Now, Mr. Algernon. Be honest to yourself and God. What have you done?”
Algernon briefly fell silent. It was clear that there was no clear way for him to survive today. “You are trying to run a circus consisting of these sad monkeys, out of some insane idea of thinking that these dogs are equal to you. I hope that your band of savages are taken out before they cause too much damage.”
“I do agree that these people are quite sad-looking.” Brown began pushing Algernon forward toward a noose “I’m doing my part, right now, by enacting punishment on the culprit who has caused such a sad state.” One of the slaves covered Algernon’s head with a sack “There’s one savage to take out, Mister Algernon, and it is you.”
Algernon was raised up with a chair. One of his former slaves stepped forward to deal the coup-de-grâce. “May God have mercy on your poor soul!”
With Brown’s declaration, and a kick to the leg of the chair, Algernon was no more.
…I sense a great disturbance in the force.
Up, high up on the mountains sat a dimly lit room, occupied by one lonely man. He sat with his legs crossed, hands sitting on his lap. This man was Master Long Dong of the Supreme Heavenly Immortal Taoist Sect (or the Dong Sect for short), who had been attempting to reach a breakthrough for the last ten thousand years (or so he says, he had only been locked in this room for three years).
However, something sudden had interrupted his calm meditating session. A sudden irregularity in the weave of qi, as if a dozen souls had been condemned to death in these mountains. He focused his mind even further, seeing images of a group of spirits rising high above to the sky. What happened here? Sudden monster attack? Nuclear explosion? Someone making a sacrifice to some eldritch god? There weren’t many people in these mountains; so many people dying at once was most unusual.
Dong attempted to channel one of the condemned spirits. To his vision came a portly nobleman, who seemed equally distressed and furious. “The empire is falling, sir! Gemeinplatz will be doomed if we do not stop them!” He quickly floated away, the spirits of the newly deceased weren’t the most stable.
Gemeinplatz falling? Dong focused even further, trying to pierce the foggy veil that laid between him and the future. This technique of seeing the future was one taught to him by Diu Nei, one of the jade beauties who he could barely remember the jadely countenance of.
Foreseeing events wasn’t beyond him; to a man that had travelled a myriad realms and a centillion li, seeing a glimpse of the future was like seeing Mount Tai. From the simple son of a factory worker in Shandong, Dong had become something much greater with every ascension into a further realm, every realm he learned new powers that he’d forget to use in later chapters of his extremely drawn-out story. Gemeinplatz was just another stepping stone in his journey to defy the heavens.
After a stient of intense meditation, vague and sporadic visions of the imperial capital of Hauptstadt flooded his mind. Those are… soldiers. Crumbling walls. Flags, people storming the walls… No these are not people. They’re demi-humans, slaves, the lot. A strong, ancient presence stands behind them, commanding them… a Demon King of some sort? People are hanging. A lot of them. The emperor is dead. The empire is dead. A grueling war shall come. Thousands will die. His head was starting to hurt at this point and, due to the absence of painkillers to relieve it, Dong had to stop this sneakpeek into the future.
One of the disciples came running into the room, completely interrupting Dong’s serene state. “Master are you fine? You have been screaming for the last hour…”
Dong quickly snapped back at the disciple “Didn’t tell you idiots to not run in when I’m meditating?! Yes, I’m very much fine. One tends to scream when they’re looking into the future, that’s a normal part of how things work, disciple.”
The disciple breathed a sigh of relief. “I- Is it… What have you seen, master?”
“…Terrible things.” Dong slowly rose up from his seated position. “We must ready ourselves to save this realm if need be.” Dong couldn’t help but cackle. His pitiful sect had been stuck up here for heavens-knows how long, a heroic act could be all that he needed to win the favor of realm. Just thinking of the riches, and the jade beauties, pleased him enough.
“Get everyone together. Get in contact with the local government. We shall defy fate.”