Stupidity and Punishment
“Aah! You disgusting people! Let go of me!”
A meaty hand grabbed Angelo’s behind, causing him to scream continuously. Just like this, they were surrounded by more lecherous men.
“I’m warning you all…. Don’t come over!” Angelo yelled. His voice trembled behind his facade of false confidence.
“Stupid.” Zero inwardly complained. Within the darkness, he observed that he and Angelo had been completely encircled. It was no longer possible to avoid an incident from happening. Right now, he wondered whether he should resist or not.
The orlop deck had thirty people. If he resisted, the sounds of the fight would attract those from the second deck and might even attract the attention of the deputy captain. The result would unequivocally be being thrown into the sea as shark feed.
But…. Zero glanced at Angelo. His fist unconsciously tightened.
Let me go! No…. Aaaah….”
“Hurry! Can’t hold it in anymore!”
“Jeez! Ain’t no wonder why he’s worthy of being the nobles’ ‘white sheep’! His skin is so smooth!”
“Yo, the little babe said ‘fuck’! Don’t ya think we should satisfy him?!”
The men’s hands were running all over him and lubricious words assaulted his ears. Someone was already impatient and grabbed Zero’s hand to stroke his member. Another placed his smelly, unwashed shaft near Zero’s mouth. He deeply furrowed his brows but still didn’t resist.
“No! Don’t! You monsters! You beasts! God will send you all to hell!!! Let go of me! Mmph mmph mmph….”
“God? Hahaha…. This is Pulondela, the place where the wars started! God doesn’t rule this no man’s land! Alright, baby, now just enjoy my dick. Lick it well! AH!!! Fuck! You bit it!”
Zero obediently serviced the men with his hands yet his eyes had never left Angelo. Finally, he took a deep sigh. He removed his hand and placed it in one of the men’s hair, stroking it softly like a cat. Suddenly, he gripped his hair tightly and cruelly kicked the man’s member with his knee. The man opened his mouth, ready to scream in pain. Zero noticed his intention and quickly muffled it with a deep kiss.
Just when he was about to continue his torture, a ray of light shone upon them and they all stopped ― the hatch was open.
“Party’s over, you bastards! If you don’t want me to cut your filthy things off, you’d better stop this animal breeding!” While he shouted, there were also sounds of a whip cracking on the floor. Under the dim glow of the light, one could see his wild, flaming red hair.
It was Burnett, the deputy captain. Why was he here? Zero stood up and carefully monitored the situation.
Behind Burnett was a blond youth, under fourteen years of age. He timidly hid behind the deputy captain.
Burnett took one good look at Angelo who lay on the floor. His face was full of shame but he stubbornly contained his tears.
Afterwards, Burnett took out his whip and flogged him. Angelo immediately cried out.
“You piece of trash! You’ll be punished! Severely!!! Now get your ass out of here!” hollered Burnett.
“As for the rest of you…. If you’re not going to sleep, then go row the boat! I want to be able to eat Saiwon City’s bat sandwiches by tomorrow morning. If I don’t get them…. you slaves better watch your asses! I’ll beat them until I see flesh turned inside out!”
After he had spoken, everyone quickly tidied their clothes and climbed to the upper deck to row. The slave ship was enormous so it required fifty people to row it. Shifts took place every two hours; however, because it was a punishment, all of the orlop deck and the second deck’s twenty people who had participated rowed without any rest.
What could be miserable than working on an empty stomach?
Ignoring his abdominal pain, Zero climbed out of the hatch. When he neared Angelo, he whispered ‘thank you’, not caring whether he had heard him or not. When he got close to the youth who had reported to Burnett, Zero shook his head in pity. Tomorrow night at the latest. Another tragedy!
Zero walked to his work spot. Above the area where he applied tung oil was a small window. The full moon in the silent night sky beamed down its gentle light.
“The moon’s beautiful, isn’t it?” A voice echoed.
Zero turned around. It was a youth around his age. He was frail, had brown hair, and his face was full of freckles. Zero seemed to recall that his name was Barney.
He was one of tonight’s more badly abused slaves.
Not bad. He was able to stand up straight but he rowed very strenuously. Zero hoped that he would be able to survive tonight’s ordeal.
“Where I’m from, the moon represents family reunion.” explained Zero. His ancestral country was China, but he was born in Europe. He had never been to the mysterious land of the east.
“Really? Do you miss home?”
Zero kept silent. Of course he didn’t miss ‘Darkness’ but his old man must be very angry. He still couldn’t get used to the fact that he had suddenly left the organization. Zero reminded himself that as an assassin, having such sentiments are dangerous.
“What about you? Where is your family?” Zero asked him back. Today, he felt like talking.
“I have a sister. In a remote village in Pulusi, we farmed for a living. About half a month ago, a vampire noble chanced upon my sister and drained her blood dry.” Barney’s expression turned ugly.
“Vampire?” repeated Zero. Even though he suspected B.M. Saad to be a vampire and was genuinely afraid of him, his knowledge of vampires in general was next to nothing. But this was all in the past. On another night of the full moon from three days ago, a vampire had appeared on his slave ship. During that time, he slept very soundly. When he woke up the following morning, the ship was full of corpses. He still felt nauseous thinking about that horrific scene.
“Barney?” Zero looked at the one next to him and discovered that his face had become extremely pale. He stopped all movements and his body then leaned heavily against Zero. If Zero was to move just a bit, he would fall straight to the floor.
His rational mind told him that he should leave him but Zero didn’t move an inch.
“Shinxiya, don’t be afraid. Brother’s coming….” Barney mumbled. His eyes were empty and looking afar, as if he could see his sister reaching out to him.
The light in Barney’s eyes were scattered but then suddenly focused. He stared at Zero and muttered, “You are beautiful.”
Stunned, Zero then lowered his head and removed the towel.
Barney raised his hand towards Zero’s face. The latter instinctively shied away but then gave in.
Barney caressed his face, wiping trails of dirt along the way.
“God said that man should be with a woman. The filthy me would only end up in hell.”
“No. This isn’t your fault. God saw it. You’ll go to heaven and be together with Shinxiya.” [As for me, I’m already in hell.]
Barney weakly smiled. The hand on Zero’s face finally fell limp.
Zero looked at him, his face emotionless. He then raised his hand and reported to the supervising deckhand.
Very soon, Barney’s position was replaced and everyone continued to row as if nothing had happened.
T/N: Ship arc is over. Thank goodness. By the way, bat sandwich sounds so gross if it’s literally what it means.