Manipulated

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Glossary

Zath vo dor – Come to me
   Zath – to come
   vo – to/for
   Dor – me/mine/I

Sigilleanas – Literally 'Language of the Sigils'
   Sigillea – The planet
     Sig – Life
     Ils – Death
     Lea – Continuation
   Phinnas – Mouth, language, talking

Epa – Up
Aedir – Master; a title
Sauva – non-'vampire' slave
-ke – a suffix meaning 'little' or 'small'
Maduk – Bastard; An insult
Da/dach – No
Novoes – STOP!
   Voes – Stop
   No- – Prefix; emphasizes a word's meaning

Dan beel – Are you okay?
   Dan – you/yours/you
   Beel – Good

Mesma – Mother figure
Kosir – Father figure
Esvy – Sibling
Karothe – The largest continent on Sigillea
Brixtis – The second-largest continent. War-torn.
Limka – The smallest continent.

Content Warnings: child abuse, violence, child slavery.

"Zath vo dor," commanded the man with the biting whip, pointing to his feet, 'Come to me.' Mytra didn't move, knowing exactly what was expected and defying it, ignoring the magically-infused collar zapping at their skin. They hated the way this continent used Sigileanas, or, as any regular person might say, Sigil. Words that were meant to conjure magic. Words that weren't meant to be manipulated, sliding past silver tongues and cruel, gnashing teeth.

Retto's brows furrowed, and Mytra could practically taste the blood in their mouth already. He moved the whip around his feet in a lazy circle, but Mytra knew what was coming. The blow wasn't a surprise, neither was the pain or the muddy colour that spilled from the welt. Neither was the next word to come from their Aedir's mouth when Mytra toppled from the second whip-strike, landing pointedly across their chest.

"Epa." Retto commanded, ignoring the glare from his sauva. 'Up.'

Mytra stood, balancing on their intact leg. Their left one, crushed and amputated a year ago and barely healed enough to bear their weight on the new prosthetic, wobbled. The rest of them did not. A rich brown obscured their vision in their right eye briefly from the cut that bloomed under the next whip-strike. The next one landed on their unprotected hips, wrapping around their leg and ripping the world out from under them. Rolling, Mytra knew better than to take the rest of it on their front.

Floating up and away, Mytra watched from above as the whip came down across their back. The beating was over before they knew it, blessedly short after the last training session. They hadn't done so well this time. Their last opponent had really done a number on them and the training regimen after was unforgiving.

When Retto was done, he yanked his teenage slave up by the hair, forcing them up onto one knee and back into their body. The whip was held out to Mytra as always. And, as always, Mytra lifted their eyes to make eye contact with the one person they were never allowed to do so with, and spat. A thick glob of blood and phlegm landed on their Aedir's shirt, no doubt staining the fabric.

Allowing them to finally sink to the ground, there was a deep, rumbling sigh from the man as he brushed off the spit with a cloth, then began to wipe the whip of Mytra's muddy colour.

"Mytra," Retto cooed, moving to circle the magicless teen as he worked, "Dor sauvake." 'My little slave.' Another derogatory pet name. He was good with those. Heat bloomed in Mytra's belly, an anger that swelled abruptly and without reign.

"Retto," they mocked smoothly, using his name without pause. Then, "Dor maduk."

'My bastard.' Not a light insult on Karothe.

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