Rome: The Forsaken
4 - Role Model
The bath house was full of steam but you could still see everything clearly. Every woman had a different color bathrobe and Robin would be lying of she didn’t think some of the colors and women were beautiful. She watched as men filed back in as soon as everyone was decent. They brought in three different outfits.
One was simply a white dress with a grey band around it just below the chest. The material looked like canvas but it was softer and it flowed down. She watched as a group with purple robes were given these dresses. She noticed most of them had darker skin, probably from all around Africa. ‘Cooks...’ She thought paying attention to the smaller details.
The next group was given ash grey cotton dresses, they looked very durable and she was sure that was on purpose. Anyone with a yellow, orange, or red was given this outfit. They were given thick belts that would go on their lower backs, she could see two loops on the sides of the belt. ‘Field workers.’
The first two groups were sent away to change while the last outfit was presented to everyone else who was in the room. They were a cream color with red threading and the same color stripes down the sides. They smelled like fresh bread and and felt he mixed feelings erupt in her stomach like a storm.
Two women were not given any clothes. Robin and the woman the man had selected in the house. She was given a golden dress with red embroidered flowers that sparkled. The sight reminded her of a lamb being sacrificed to a lion. That was all that Rome was, a lion ready to pounce on threats and prey on the weak.
The woman was probably around 5’2” and her skin was now a dark olive color her Egyptian roots showing very clearly now. Her hair was long a thick, the black waves cascaded down to her lower back. She was going to the slaughter house and everyone knew it.
Louis motioned his hand and Robin was handed her clothes. It was a simple roman toga with a silver band around the waist and a belt to hold it in place. She looked at Louis her eyes questioning him. She didn't like long dresses they got in the way. “Not my call, go put in on.” He pointed to the stall she came out of. looked at him. “Kracka de pache” She mumbled turning away from them and heading back into the stall.
“What was that?” Louis voice rang in her ears. The flowery smell was beginning to give her a headache, it smelled too much of joy and happiness when all this place was basically hell. She turned around before she entered her eyes piercing into his. She have him a little smirk before she translated.
“You are all morons.” Her Latin was surprisingly good as she could see his eyes swirl with surprise. She had learned many languages throughout her time, Latin and her home language were the ones she spent the most time speaking in. She didn’t bother anymore as she walked in the stall closing the door and locking it before she began changing into her new wardrobe.
She knew she would hate it and she was correct. The dress would make it hard to run it would limit her movement altogether. Perhaps that was what they were thinking. She rolled her eyes and laughed, they weren’t that smart. She took the bottom of the dress and pulled. The fabric ripped and she pulled until it reached just above her knees. She ripped it around her legs making the bottom uneven with it being a little longer in the back. “Better...” She mumbled throwing the extra fabric into a bin.
Robin walked out of her stall with her altered outfit. Louis turned around and his smile turned to a flat line. “A little to short don’t ya think?” He asked knowing it wouldn’t be that easy to get through to her.
“A little to long if you are asking?” The sass was returned as the woman placed a hand on her hip. She could see a spark of humor in his eyes and the corners of his mouth turned into a smile.
“Come along then, we don’t need to be late.” Robin was glad he wasn’t asking anything of her. She had expected a fight over it yet he simply dismissed it. She shrugged ignoring everyone else since they had not earned her respect yet. Louis seemed to be like someone she could get along with unless he forced her to do something she didn’t like.
The group walked out of the bath hose the sun was setting behind a rew mountains on the horizon. The sky was a variety of oranges, blues, purples, and reds.
That was the first thing that came to her mind. The blood of innocent people, the blood Rome never cared for, the blood that spilled because the lion had caught its prey.
The temperature was dropping and goosebumps were starting to form on her sand skin. They walked into a building that was larger than the rest they had been in. There were white marble columns with black stone lions roaring warding off any unwelcome guests. She couldn’t even begin to imagine how much it would cost to make the building before her possible, and there was even more, this was just the house.
Louis made sure the guards knew what they were doing as he began barking orders making a few leave and a few take their places. She heard it, even though it blended in with the grass it snuck around. Her breathing became uneven as she watched it trying to keep her demeanor. She had no problem with most animals but she absolutely hated the creature, it was one of the only things that could rattle her to the core.
She was glad it was gone by the time Louis had picked up on her demeanor. “Looks like we found something you don’t like huh?” His tone was teasing and she was afraid he had seen it, but her thoughts were calmed as soon as he spoke. “What was it?” She rolled her eyes not bothering to even answer the stupid question.
“You could go find out for yourself.” She responded as they walked up the steps, her muscles feeling the strain, her walk back from the city had taken its toll on her, more physically than mentally though.
Louis let out a laugh, “Your attitude won’t do you any good here, they aren’t as forgiving as I am.” Robin could hear the man’s half joking tone. Why would he warn her, she had figured as much. She had to have done something to impress Louis or make him like her because anyone else treating guards like she had would be dead. Perhaps he just felt bad for her since he knew what was to come.
The two doors opened and they walked inside and it was even more beautiful than the outside. She didn’t have time to admire the room before the smell hit her nose. It was a mix of rose and peppermint, it was definitely a feminine smell, and the teenage girl and woman walked out she put two and two together. The woman and girl were the same ones she had seen when she had arrived. She looked at the older woman, she was elegant and carried herself with a gentle aura. The younger one seemed to be the exact opposite. The jewels and bright fancy fabrics contrasted greatly to the simpler wardrobe of the woman.
“She will be in training for most of the day until you need to leave, and if you act out of turn you will not be able to go entirely.” The woman left the girl no options. The annoyed huff coming from the frustrated teen made it clear she understood but she didn’t agree. The woman gave Robin a quick smile before leaving the group of guards and the girl.
The girl looked at Robin. “We leave in 5 hours, you will be here in three hours to help me get ready.” The girls voice was annoying to the Arkean. Her bright blond hair identified her as a roman, she didn’t even have to speak. Her hazel eyes fit in with her image, she walked back into where she had come out with her mother before Louis cleared his throat.
“Off to the fields men.”
Louis looked over and could see one of his men roughly push the smaller woman to get her going. He knew that he would probably regret that decision later. He watched her lps curl into a snarl for a moment before it disappeared and she walked towards the courtyard. They walked through the building instead of going out the doors they had come in. It smelled of blood and sweat, a stark difference between the girls chambers.
It was if she could see the power of Rome. Thousands of men were in the large courtyard all of them taking their fury out on each other. There was really no way to describe it, you could see raw anger and pride as they trained. She could see a spot where spectators could watch but the sign is what caught her attention.
She had been bought by the emperor himself and she would be forced to serve the very slug who killed thousands of innocents.
Louis watched her hands form tight fists. His gaze followed hers and she assumed she had figured it out. “On too it, I’ll take it from here.” He said waving off the rest of the group off as they dispersed without question returning to their posts.
“Aren’t you afraid I’ll get away?” She questioned the man, her voice was low and it was clear she was testing him. “You would have already hurt me if you didn’t like me.....Plus,” The man spoke a small smirk on his face. “It would be practically impossible for you to get out of here alive.” Louis seemed pretty confident in his answer as she started walking off without her. She was sure he was telling the truth before following after him. They walked down a stone path to the center of the courtyard. An annoying sound caused her to look up to the spectators box, girls of ages ranging from 14 to women her own age were watching the soldiers train.
“Don’t they have anything better to do?” She grumbled. The man chuckled.
“Actually they don’t.” He had gotten used to being watched. She saw another familiar face, it was one of the men who walked in while the slaves had been lined up. “Liam, this is Robin.” Louis spoke to the man as if they were old friends. Liam nodded at them before turning towards the men before giving a boy beside him a signal. The boy raised a horn to his lips before blowing. The noise made her want to cover her ears, but the men all stopped what they were doing immediately
She wondered what it was like to have that much power. He raised his hand and waved for people to come in. The people who could see came but what interested her more were the people who were too far away to see just followed the other soldiers. They were trained to the core, they did what they were told or they followed someone else, none of them were doing anything out of line.
“Cohorts 4-30, you are dismissed.” And Liam had just dismissed almost 2,000 men. They were cleared out except for the 3 cohorts left. “Now let’s talk...” He motioned towards Louis and Robin. “What did you think?” Louis smirked knowing what was supposed to happen. She couldn’t just walk in and not be tested. They had heard how big of a hassle she had been to catch.
“It was alright I suppose...” Louis contemplated clearly mocking the men. Liam shook his head.
“Which is not acceptable in my book.” Liam walked and cleared the way so the stone circle in the center of the court yard was clear. “You all fight for something. You fight to win.” Both points Robin could agree with but she knew they were up to something. It only took two milliseconds to realize when Louis was up to something. Louis pushed her towards the center of the circle. “You should fight for survival. August....fight her.”
Robin immediately looked for her opponent where as August looked hesitant before looking at her. Liam made sure to point this out, she now understood.
She was the demonstration.
She would be fighting to survive.
Guess who is backkkkkkkk! An extra long update today to make up for my inactivity. It's good to be back and expect more updates! See you guys soon!