Kedar and Ajalia are major characters in The Eastern Slave Series. Here is what happened to Kedar when he was a kid:
Ajalia ran away from home when she was a child, because her father abandoned the family and her mother tried to sell her to raise some cash.
Ajalia Left Behind Her Mother And Brother, Who Are Both Stinkers
Ajalia stole a red horse from a nearby field, and rode north towards a major trade road. She was picked up by some men traveling there, and became a slave in the barbarous west marshes.
Violence, Blood, And Depravity (Off-Screen; You’re Welcome)
She freed herself with a great deal of trouble and violence, was recaptured, and ran away again, meaning to get as far as the East, where slaves were treated better.
Ajalia Was Branded, Twice
When she was a little older, she managed to get herself sold into Kedar’s house. The Eastern trading houses no longer operated under a monarchy, but Kedar was descended from the great Eastern kings. Most people in the East did what he said, and he was very rich.
Ajalia ingratiated herself quickly to her new master, and ascended through the ranks of slaves to become Kedar’s favorite slave
The Eastern Slaves Have Strict Ranks
Kedar’s family, when he was a child, was disturbed to find that he was a genuinely good person, and planned to free the family slaves when he came of age and took possession of the estate.
Here’s That Pilfering Trick They Used
An ugly thing happens when an entire family piles on a child to get their way; the piled-upon child becomes very still, and unsure of himself (or herself, as the case may be). And this happened to Kedar; when he revealed his sensible plan of dividing the vast family lands into plots, and freeing the hordes of slaves, his grandmother and father had a serious meeting, and then spoke separately to all the adults in the family.
They all went to work on Kedar, and their purpose was direct and simple: he was to agree with them that it was right and good to own slaves, and to profit from the labor of the live family chattel.
“It is our way of life,” Kedar’s aunt told him over the silk-spinning.
“They are helpless, and we protect them,” his grandfather told him as they rode to the mountain orchards.
“Many people cannot provide for themselves, and we have a duty to feed and guide those lesser than ourselves,” his father told him over a late dinner.
And Then, Capitulation
Kedar, alas, was a very young man at this stage, and the unanimity of his family overwhelmed him. He could not deny that the slaves were proud to belong to his house, and that, when he looked at the slaves in other lands and cities, his own were vibrant, well-fed, and independent. They could marry freely, or at any rate with hardly any restraints, and their private stockpiles of cash were admirable.
Before six months had passed from the moment of Kedar’s revealing his altruistic intentions, the desire to do right by so many people had withered and twisted into a hunger to gain the approval of those in his immediate circle.
Kedar Gives In
Kedar told his father and mother, together, that he had learned better, and that he would maintain the family lands just as they had always been. His mother cried tears of joy, and his father showered presents upon the lad. Kedar, though he felt at last enveloped in the praise and approbation of his family, felt ever after a whisper of doubt in his heart.
He stuffed this whisper away, and learned to ignore it entirely, until the young Ajalia joined his house. Something about the girl slave awakened the niggling doubt in Kedar’s center, and made him lie awake at night, ruminating on the justice of his wealth and power.
He repeated to himself the things his parents and relatives had said to him, again and again, but still there remained in his heart the shadow of a doubt, and the curl of dissatisfaction.
Surely, Kedar thought, there is some purer way to live, and some way to find peace in my soul.
To find out what happens between Kedar and Ajalia, you’ll have to read the books.
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