What Ch'uya Recommended

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"We have to tell him," said Mark. "His livelihood could be at stake also."

David's reply was almost exasperated. "But this way he could claim ignorance!"

"Think about it for a moment. Imagine if some slaves came and branded all of your cattle before running them onto your neighbor's property. Who would you go after?"

"The ones who did it!"

"No, David, that isn't how things work here. You are responsible for what the people under you do." Mark paused. "It might make more sense if your dad had ever been in the military. The leaders know they can't control everyone's kids so instead they place penalties on the parents for the misbehaviours of those kids. That encourages the parents to take responsibility and make sure that their children are well-behaved."

A silence followed for a few moments before David replied. "I'm not a slave. He still doesn't have to know."

"David."

"OK, fine. We'll tell him."

"Good. After all, you are eating his food."

"At least then we can get a decent place for Sañi to sleep. That is assuming that we don't get booted out or given to Mallqu's guards." David hurriedly turned to the girl who was standing nearby, unable to understand anything, and apologized.

He had meant it as an apology for bringing up Mallqu but at the apology Sañi began to wonder if he was threatening to just turn her over to the king. It can always be awkward when dealing with different languages. Mark told her he would explain in a moment.

David switched to Runasimi for the benefit of Sañi and continued. "We might as well do it now."

"Let me finish this real quick."

"Quickly. I hate putting off things I don't want to do."

Mark asked Sañi if she was going to survive as he ran the plane along the board a couple more times.

"¿Do I have a choice?"

Mark smiled and tried to form a reply as he inspected the board. He soon gave up his attempt to manage both at the same time and examined the smoothness of the board first. It was good enough. "We're going to have to go talk to Ch'uya. He should have a place where you can sleep."

A short time later they had a private audience with Ch'uya. This time it was in a small room on the back of his house.

Ch'uya addressed Mark. "¿Is this the young woman you've mentioned?"

"Yes, we've had... a small problem. Her master tried to kill David today."

The man sighed. "¿Are you asking for leave to go or where she can stay?"

"I don't know. We hadn't planned to leave now and I still owe you. What do you think we should do?"

"If you want to keep your part of our deal, I would appreciate it. This is messy. Um... keep quiet about where she is from." Ch'uya turned to address Sañi specifically. "If you're going to live here, I will put you to work. Would you prefer to help them cut boards or to help my wife with the cooking?"

"Probably more of the cooking and washing," she replied.

"Alright, you're going to take care of the food for my other workers. Your 'pay' is going to be the time that Mark is using for his business. If you want to earn money, talk to him about hiring you in between meals." He addressed all three of them again. "Please try to be inconspicuous. I don't even want to think of what Mallqu's men would do if they found out about this."

They thanked Ch'uya and he walked them over to the slave quarters. Ynti happened to be the one making dinner that night and Ch'uya told him that Sañi was a friend of David's and was going to stay with them for a few weeks. While she was there, she had offered to cook for them but needed to be shown around. She would sleep in the main house.

David and Mark stayed nearby even though Sañi seemed happy to have something to do. She did say that she would help them as much as she could. It did not take much skill to start a fire or drive nails and she had grown up on a farm.

Vigilant

Man, one has to be a careful reader of your story--you never know when something is going to be changed. But at least you made the title fit. :P

And kudos for getting it put up on time. *claps* :D

Chris's picture

What do you mean?

What do you mean about the story being changed? There are a few ways that could be taken and I'm pretty sure the details of the story have not changed -- only how the characters understand them.

Thanks for the kudos on the title and the timing.

Hmm...

Well, I meant that you added to it. The part about them talking with Ch'uya wasn't there before. It stopped right around here: 'David switched to Runasimi for the benefit of Sañi and continued. "We might as well do it now."' That's how it ended when I first read it. So *shrugs* maybe there was a fluke?

Chris's picture

Ah.

Hehe, I was actually still typing that part...

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