Chapter 26

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"Mimoza."

"Yes Gaiana?"

"Do you believe in Greek rights?"

"To a certain extent, yes."

"Okay, good... So you understand that enslaving a Greek is illegal, right?"

Gaiana's arm was tied to the bedside. She sat on the ground waiting while Mimoza carefully kept watch over her. "You're not Greek, Gaiana. Neither of us are."

"Still," Gaiana shrugged her shoulder, "even slaves have walking privileges. If you let me go, I'll promise not to run away."

The cottage they were all staying at was relatively small. The stone foundation and clay walls were old but sturdy. It was abandoned, and made for a perfect resting stop before moving onto the next city. Mimoza wanted to go and collect supplies, but she didn't trust Gaiana to stay there alone. So instead, she sat on the chair across from her to keep her company during her captivity.

"I'll let you go only if you swear by Artemis that you won't return to that temple."

"I promise."

"Gaiana, you're lying. Your nose wrinkles whenever you lie."

Gaian glared hard at her. She stuck her tongue out as Mimoza rolled her eyes. Astrin and Imani walked in through the door to the sight of Gaiana being held hostage. "Gaiana, what's going on?"

Gaiana quickly pointed a foot to Mimoza's direction, "she's betrayed us! Slay her!"

Imani reached for her satchel to pull out a crystal. Astrin rested a hand over Imani's bag to stop her. He knew them both well by now. While Mimoza had a calm collective attitude to whatever choices she made, Gaiana was the reckless one, going out of her way to stir up trouble for the sake of it. "Mimoza, what's going on?"

Mimoza crossed her arms, "Gaiana, why don't you tell them what you told me earlier?"

Gaiana puffed her cheeks and turned her head away. Imani asked, "is this some Greek custom I'm missing?"

"No," Astrin said.

"It is," Gaiana refuted, "she wants to murder me. Slay her Imani!"

Imani looked over at Astrin for permission, he shook his head. Mimoza said, "tell them the truth Gaiana, tell them why I had to tie you here."

Gaiana stuck her tongue out. Astrin asked, "Gaiana, what did you do to get you tied up?"

Gaiana squinted him. She murmured beneath her breath.

"What was that?" Astrin asked.

"I want to become a Hetaira at the Acrocorinth."

Imani gasped, "this is oxen shit!" Imani ran up to Gaiana and flung her satchel over her face. "I could make you queen, and you'd rather be a prostitute!?"

"See?" Mimoza hissed. "Me tying her there was for her own good."

"Fuck you too," Gaiana raised her middle fingers up. "This is Greece, land of the free. You don't get to tell me what to do with my virginity!"

Imani pressed her satchel against her face, muffling her voice. "I will strangle you before I let a deviant become a lowly whore. You are godly! If you're going to become cattle, it'll be to birth a hundred deviant children for a noble dynasty!"

Gaiana struggled as Imani tried strangling her to death. Astrin walked forward to pull Imani back. Astrin spoke in a calming tone, "Gaiana, I'm not against you joining them, but-"

Imani covered Astrin's mouth, "don't encourage her! She's clearly unfit to make choices!"

Gaiana huffed out, "See? That's what I hate! Everyone keeps telling me what to do. I can't fall in love again, so why can't I just sell myself at the Acrocorinth?"

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