“What’s your decision?” Aaron asked, the tip of his sword scraping against my neck. It was sharp. I felt a trickle of blood travel down onto my collarbone.
“If I say no what will you do to me?” I asked, perhaps I was feeling brave.
“Whoa, he has spirit.” praised Abimbola.
“Don’t praise him.” snapped Aaron, “Don’t encourage his stupidity! If you want to survive it is better to work together, if you are against us then you are already standing in your grave. In fact if you say no… I will kill you now.” There was a cold confidence in those blue eyes that made me know he wasn’t joking.
His threat was real, I could tell. It was better for my survival to agree. So I smiled and said, “Well then I guess you have yourselves a new ally.”
They all stared at me blankly. Riku’s eyes particularly wide as he exclaimed, “He’s weird, we’ve got a weird one!”
“You should at least resist more.” Said Enzo.
“He agreed too easily.” said Louis.
“Don’t be so impressed by him,” stated Aaron, “We gave him a choice and he picked the logical option.”
Even though he said that Aaron seemed flustered as well. He put his sword away expertly but he seemed puzzled. Perhaps he expected me to be more panicked, confused or resistant. I was glad that I went against his expectations.
To be honest I surprised myself, I didn’t know why I was so calm in this situation. In an unknown place surrounded by hostile people. One of them even put a sword to my neck. Maybe I was calm because of the shock. Or perhaps because deep down inside of me I was excited. This was the first step in my own adventure, my first time out of the cage that I had lived in. Even if I was in some weird prison, forced into some weird death game it didn’t matter much to me at that moment. Now that I think back on it I guess I was, still am, a weird guy.
“You seem confident, do you already know the situation you’re in?” Aaron asked, his expression still puzzled.
“No. Of course not.” I answered “Why would I ask you to explain things if I knew already.”
“He’s weird, he’s definitely weird.” muttered Riku. Wang seemed to nod in agreement with him.
“Well then.” said Aaron. “We should explain things to you. First things first you should know that you have been bought, your life is no longer your own but belongs to your sponsor.—”
“Bought….but how can they buy people? That shouldn’t be allowed—”
“Don’t interrupt me!” Aaron spat, ” I was getting to that!” He composed himself. “Sometimes the sponsors go to your Parents or guardians, my father was the one that sold me and the same goes for Abimbola and the twins, people sold them for money. Other times if the sponsor can’t buy you through normal means they hire criminals from black market gangs or societies to kidnap the kids that have caught their eye. Either way as far as your Sponsor is concerned they own you.”
“So were you sold or kidnapped?” asked Riku.
“Kidnapped.” I say slowly, but I was confused, I wondered who my sponsor could be. I had never been allowed out of my house. The only people that knew about my existence were my Mother and the staff. Who could have wanted to buy me? Who was the sponsor? Maybe it was Lisa or Jamie, however if they had that much money there is no way they would have been mere servants and they had countless chances to kidnap me over the years. So who could it be?
“So your like myself and Wang—”
“Anyway!” interrupted Aaron, ” You’ll never get to meet your sponsor. But they will contact you using letters that will be shoved under your door or at other times,” he pointed at a telephone in the corner of the room. “They will personally call you. They’ll give you little tasks, or games to complete, sometimes they’ll make you compete against other Princes or Princesses’ in other sections. If you lose a match or do not complete a task you will get penalised. Your sponsor chooses your penalty. If you get penalised too much your sponsor will deem you useless and then…well I don’t know what happens to those that disappear, but it’s definitely nothing good.” Aaron said this all very flippantly like he wasn’t talking about something he was directly involved in. It was like he was numb to all of it.
“It’s better for the people in specific sections to get along.” Aaron continued, “Because it’s easier to complete certain tasks together and sometimes they put us against the other teams in different sections.” Aaron paused and glanced at me, “You’re taking this very well.”
“Should I be taking it badly?”
He just blinked at me and sighed. “You’re definitely weird.” Then he smiled “but the weirdo’s normally survive so I guess you won’t be a useless new edition. But you should understand that in this team I am the leader. I have been here the longest, so you need to follow me.”
“But what if you get an order from your sponsor to kill me. Then should I still look up to you and follow you?”
There was silence.
“You’re smart, I guess you’ll survive here for a long time.” I noted that he didn’t answer my question and instead he left the room.
After him they all left one by one, except for Riku who leaned to my ear and whispered. “Don’t trust Aaron, the previous section 1 was all wiped out by him. His sponsor has a tendency to order him to kill.” He winked at me and then left as well.
With the room empty and silent all I could do was sigh and lie back on my pillow. This was going to be interesting, I thought.