"Arix found out Shory was a slave in Abasaril. Before he came here." Rishi had all but blurted it before Shory could speak. So much for all his attempts not to say it aloud to Orun.
Shory hadn't thought he'd ever see Orun wide-eyed, though. "That's..." Orun began. "That has to be make-believe." Those eyes were fixed on Shory. "Slaves don't get out of Abarasil."
If Orun didn't believe that part of it, that was probably safer, at the moment. Shory wasn't going to try to tell him differently.
But Rishi was not to be shut up. "Arix believes it. And there's this." Rishi's hand slid to Shory's left arm; Orun's eyes followed it to the mark of the tattoo, the intertwined lines circling Shory's bicep. "That's how slaves are marked in Abasaril."
Orun stared. Then his eyes moved back to Shory's. He was no longer wide-eyed; now there was anger dawning in his expression. "Shory, if this is some cheap game you and Arix have cooked up to make my son go along with some ridiculous story..." He let the rest go unsaid.
This didn't help. Now Orun was forcing Shory to defend himself, to insist it wasn't a lie. "Sir, you know me," Shory said, as earnestly as he could manage.
"Thought I did," Orun said.
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