Her master

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I gave him my hand and he pulled me up mounting behind him. I smelled bad, dried sweat and dirt coated my skin unable to bathe for the last couple days, but this did not seem to bother him, or he didn't care. He noticed my inexperience as a rider as I squirmed around his back trying to find a comfortable spot. My new master told me that I was free to hold on to him once we start moving.

I tried not to touch him and he also made sure the horse's strut was gentle enough where I would not fall off my mount. As I got more acquainted to the flow of the ride, noticed he barely packed anything, a bag with a change of clothes, a sword slung on his back, and few other items. My new master is a lite traveler.

He spoke nothing during our short ride and I wondered what kind of person he is and what kind of life waits for me as his servant. What can I expect from a man that seemed so young? He looked like he's only a few years older than master Li He.

I barely noticed when he brought us to a halt. We were outside a local inn not too far away from the manor.

"We'll be staying here tonight." He said as he dismounted leaving me mounted. He then guided the horse to the hitching rail.

I chose to remain quiet, watching the bob of his straw hat as he moved around. He inclined his head to me searching for my quiet response. I said nothing, and he understood that I wasn't going to speak to him.

My new master offered me a kind smile. "Do not fear me." He murmured. "We'll stay here so you could have a nice long bath. I have some numbing herbs in my bag, it should soothe your pain a great deal once it's spread on your wounds." His gaze swept over to his pouch and I followed the movement of his eyes.

I questioned his kindness in my mind, but he saw what I solemnly debated in my head.

"I saved you from a terrible life, you should thank me." He said.

My eyes wide at how he knew exactly what's on my mind. "Thank you." I murmured.

"It's nothing, you cost less than the prize of a healthy cow." A flash of a grin from him and I didn't know whether he's joking or telling a cruel insult.

When he saw the stiffness on my face, he told me to..."Relax, I was joking. I meant to say, you barely cost me anything."

"I'm worthless." I murmured, sounding pathetic.

His face darkened feeling guilty at his choice of words.

"I didn't mean it like that!" His voice rose a few octaves out of panic, perhaps worried he's getting on the wrong foot with his new slave. "You're worth more than a cow!"

I frowned at him and he bit his lip loosening a ragged sigh. "You're human, and you deserved to be treated as one." He said carefully.

A smile caressed my lips

"That's better." He said and helped me down from my mount afterward. I groaned at the tenderness of my entire body as he guided me down. "It's alright, we'll take care of all of that swelling and pain once we're inside."

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