Death of Arya

We stopped in hot, moist town of Rajar, named after a nearby river. We were given cool, fresh water to drink, and new names. I was now known as Orchid. We continued the next morning, and I overheard the merchants discussing our destination. The capital city of their empire, Ovas, would be our new home. We were selected from the most beautiful of our settlements to be given to the king as a gift from our beloved desert nation, Vish.

I cried that night with my new sisters, we held each other in our tent and cursed our chains and faces. In the morning, we reached the outskirts of the city; the path became a flagstone road. The city gate loomed before us, a maw, waiting to consume us whole.

After we’d entered to the city, we were taken to a house. It was small and shabby, but filled with ornaments for a woman’s body. We were painted, pressed, dressed in colorful veils, and our hair was arranged elaborately. We marched, exotic flowers chained in a row, toward the marble and gold palace.

I felt myself die.

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