It seemed the man was calming and she was half way into hoping that things would be alright after all. Then he spoke up, words that would be considered treason if any one else had said them. Even loyal guards, though this was Nero's brother and he certainly would not allow some common slave to insult his brothers name without proof. She wasn't sure what to do, nor what to say. However at his words she went as still and as rigid as stone, her fingers stopping mid stroke as her eyes bulged in shock. Was this a test? Was he trying to find out if she was disloyal or not? Or if she had finally learned the etiquette of the slave girls here?
In the end she said nothing and was incapable of even stopping him as he got up and left. Was her silence a key to her guilt? Were the guards going to burst in and beat her before dragging her to the dungeons? Worse still would Nero himself do it? She bit her lip and waited but even through the fear of punishment there was something else in her mind, Nero was not going to be happy he left so quickly.
_ _ _ _
As was proven the next day, she was not in the gardens today but form the depths of the halls there was the sound of a whip followed by the yelps of the girl being hit with them. After five lashes she was set free to the eunuchs who were ordered to go threw her training again and when they were done with her she was to be locked in the dungeon for the remainder of the day as a reminder of what happened when Nero was not pleased. Threw her punishment she had wept but she said no ill to Nero for her treatment, even as he watched. He was a cruel man, capricious but he had to be in many ways.
When the eunuch's had cleaned her up and redressed her books were balanced with bowls of water upon her head and she was made to walk and recite for a multitude of hours until he feet bled with the exhaustion and the extent of her training. When this was done they had her practice her skills with her hands until her fingers were numb and there after filled with needle marks before finalyl she was cast into the dungeon in nothing but the rags they'd covered her with and left there in the cell as they had been instructed. Where upon once more she began to weep, curling her limbs in tight and cradling herself in them.