┋An arm shot past the crowd, followed by the red, exhausted face of a plump man, wearing robes lined with gold.
‘That one! How much is that one?’ he yelled to cover the sound of the men behind him.
‘This one?’ Kulaan replied, placing a hand around her cheek and the other on her shoulder.
The man panted for a few moments, then managed to catch his breath. ‘Yeah, that. Be fair with the price, man, you’ve already made a profit!’
‘Oh, this one…’ Kulaan paused, looking as if he pondered, as he brushed her cheek with his thumb. He smirked; he knew the answer already. It was the only answer to give. ‘This one, let’s see.. for this one, you’d have to pay with your life.’ he paused again and watched, amused, as the man’s face contorted in shock. ‘Yes. And the life of your wife. And your children, and your children’s children. And all of your wealth. Even then, still, it probably would not be enough!’ he finished with a raised tone.
‘You’re mad, my man, you’re mad!’ the man yelled, his voice filled with rage.
The room had gone quiet, and only his voice echoed throughout the chamber.
‘You’re mad! She’s only a girl!! Why would you ask that much for just a girl?!’
‘Because…’ Kulaan paused again. He knew everyone’s eyes were on him and he made the slightest nod towards the men behind him. ‘Because this girl is mine. And she’s worth more than your sorry existence could ever account for.’
Kulaan nodded and the guards behind him rushed the plump, angry man, their spears thrusting through his flesh like knives through butter. Time seemed froze and the only thing to break that illusion was the sound the man’s body made as it fell to the ground, lifeless.
‘Now, gentlemen…’ Kulaan smiled lopsidedly. ‘Any more offers, or would you like to leave this place with your lives?’┋
✠ Thank you to my wife, Ryanna, for the support and for posing with me! Check her Flickr by clicking on her name!