The two friends kept their odd joke about brushing chins and especially Longinus seemed to think he was definitely worth it, while Rufus kept pulling back from such a notion. It didn't matter though. Marcus didn't look down on any of them for it. Sometimes he did enjoy a male in his bed, especially Germanus had been suffering a bit lately, which wasn't entirely bad and actually better than Tinus at the moment. Aculia was still satisfying too though. Manus... was just better for other kinds of work. But when it came to suffering and punishmen, he explained that basically he did think punishments were the right way to go, to make the slaves fear him and work well. He wondered if the two men never disciplined their slaves and Longinus first said that he did indeed do that, glancing shortly to Aculia afterwards. Did he fancy her? Marcus smiled. Perhaps that would be another kind offer from a barber, to make sure Longinus might return another time.
Longinus explained that he was probably too easy on his slaves and that Rufus would consider him soft. Marcus imagined as much; that Longinus was too soft on his slaves, he seemed like a way too merry and cheerful man to be harsh on the slaves. So of course he would never get as quiet and well-behaved slaves as Marcus. Rufus confirmed that his friend was soft and said that the lash was good, but he also enjoyed taking his slaves priviledges away. That was an interesting idea. Maybe he could talk to his friend Titus from the Elysium about such things?
"Indeed." Marcus said to Rufus' last comment on not spending money on food for slaves that were not well behaved, "I also see no reason waste coin nor time on slaves that cannot perform their duties as they are supposed to. I have one fairly new slave, who is quite troublesome so far. I'm sure he'll break soon though." He had to, or else he might end up broken some other way. Marcus stood then, to continue with cutting Rufus' hair, picking up the scissors that he had allowed Manus to clean, so that he would not be using a dirty pair of scissors on a new client. He trusted Manus to even do such a thing and his oldest slave still did not fail him. And soon enough, he was trimming Rufus' hair to look as fine as it did all the time.
Meanwhile Longinus stood there in the doorway, just watching and talking and Marcus recalled his earlier thought about Aculia. It wasn't something he did all the time, far from it, but these men were of a quite high rank and Marcus did enjoy such clients returning to his shop. He decided to offer her to the other man, if he would have her. He glanced at Longinus, "Do you want her?" He nodded towards Aculia, didn't look at her though, as he was busy cutting hair.
Marcus could only agree with Rufus, that people needed fear in order to be best controlled. It was surprising though to hear, that such ideas were also common in the military. Although Marcus did not think you needed to fear death itself to be controlled... although it certainly was useful to the whole thing with taming slaves and making them obedient. He didn't answer the question though, because Rufus was also ready to be shaved and requested a scent on his own.
"Of course we have some frankincense." He said with a smile, it wasn't as cheap as the orange though, but there was no need to mention that. A short glance to Manus made his longest living slave understand, that he should get going and make that shaving oil ready for the fine Senator. Meanwhile Longinus had leaned against the doorframe to the shop and Rufus seemed more than ready for having his hair cut. Longinus then suddenly spoke up, wondering how Marcus got his slaves to be so quiet and well-behaved. Rufus agreed they were very quiet and well-behaved and Marcus smiled, that made him quite proud. He had done a good job with these at least. Germanus had been more troublesome, but hopefully he would soon learn too... or he might never!
Now Rufus was curious too and Marcus sat down on the stool next to the chair, "It's really not so hard. You spoke about making the soldiers fear death, to make them easier to control. I think death is maybe a little bit harsh, so I agree more on your first notion... don't deal it out every time. Very often a good punishment is enough. And make sure they know their place and make sure they know that they are replaceable. They are only slaves, after all." Marcus pointed out, "Manus there, he is good though. Aculia is satisfying too so far." He added, glancing at each slave in turn, Manus had been with him three years and it was probably best to keep him loyal, when he had been that so far. And Aculia was definitely learning too. Still though, it was worrying that they had to ask, the Senators. Were their slaves not as well-behaved? "Do you never punish your slaves if they fail you?"
Silence fell for a bit, as it was impossible to talk anyway - over the roar of the crowd around them and Marcus' eyes were also fixed upon the sands below, watching the interesting scene playing out there. He almost wanted to tell everyone to be quiet, so that he could hear that crack of the skull, but of course he could not. He would just have to imagine it. And Marcus also yelled afterwards, while the body was being dragged out. Such shapes the blood made upon the sands, he thought.
Someone near the woman he had spilled his ale upon, said something about bears not liking Gauls and some gambling seemed to have taken place. Marcus arched a brow, being from Gaul himself, he did not see how that was amusing and wondered if he should remember the man who said it and offer him a shave, if there came an opportune moment for it. It really was not fair to speak like that, and how did the man know anyway if bears disliked Gauls? Animals could not tell people apart, not like that anyway. That was one place where animals differed from slaves, or vice versa...
The woman also shuddered and then she told Marcus she was indeed enjoying the day, although she stammered a little... she said she preferred the professional matches and Marcus arched a brow at her words.
"Then you must not be very experienced here." Marcus said, "There are some good names among those fighting... but also some unknowns, I think I heard one is a deserter or criminal or something? I hope they understand they're here to die." He added, "Hopefully they will not die fast though. That would be disappointing." Marcus then said and glanced to the men making the bets just before, then to the woman and he leaned down towards her, speaking in a lower voice, "Do you know those men?"
Marcus had not served in any army at all... he simply had an interest in ways to inflict pain onto others, in a lot of different forms. He might not use them himself, but it was always useful learning about such things. So he had heard tales about fustuarium, and knew what it was, but was curious to see how it ended for the person on the receiving end of it. Meanwhile he finished shaving Longinus, considering this a very good conversation and topic too. Longinius smiled and stood and looked in the single mirror Marcus had in the shop - and he seemed satisfied enough. Longinus asked Aculia for wine and she quickly brought if or him, then returned to her place in the doorway.
Rufus explained that the legionary receiving the harsh punishment had died - what a pity for him, Marcus thought. Wasn't it a bit stupid to give such bad punishments for your military men, that they died from that instead of from a battle. Then they would not be useful for the battle, after all. But it was not his place to ask questions about such things, since he had not served. Rufus continued saying people could escape, and if they did, they would be exiled and live more or less like fugitive slaves. Rufus added that it was a serious and not very common punishment. Marcus nodded, "That makes sense. If you dealt it out too often, the empire would grow very slowly, would it not?" He said with an amused tone, thinking about all the dead soldiers who could have fought battles instead of dying in the camp.
Marcus smiled again, when Rufus complimented his skills at shaving Longinus and then he took a place in the chair for his usual service from the barber.
"Of course, Senator." Marcus said and wiped excess oil off the razor too, "Would you like a scented oil too - orange, or perhaps another?" He asked Rufus. It would be easiest if Rufus would want the same as Longinus, since the oil had already been prepared, but of course, it was not up to Marcus to make the decisions for such fine men. He hoped Longinus was satisfied enough too to return another time. Quietly he began combing some water into Rufus' hair to prepare it for the haircut.
Apparently it was indeed too much to ask, that he just wanted to watch the games and enjoy them. He had even kind of apologized to the woman and for something that was not even his fault! But the woman still looked a little displeased or whatever it was that she felt. She was watching him, with her pretty and long blonde hair hanging down her back and over her shoulders, as if she was some kind of divinity, but he was certain she was not. Marcus was however fine with just watching the games for now, but she didn't let it go. Instead she gave him this sugar-sweet smile and said that there was no harm done, things happened and she would not let it spoil her fun.
"Indeed these things happen. Even when they should not." It wasn't his fault that his ale was spilled and that there was dirt on his lunch! Still she kept on speaking to him, saying that she hoped he was enjoying the day.
"I have been enjoying it so far, yes, although it has barely begun." He said with a little smile, since he looked forwards to seeing what skills the gladiators would show off today... he doubted she was here to watch blood spilled, she didn't look like that kind of woman, so why was she here? To sell her own goods... probably. That was a likely reason for her being here. Marcus didn't know if he'd be a buyer though, but maybe. If she would let him actually have a little bit of fun.
For now though, he was going to enjoy the spectacle on the sands, "Are you enjoying the day too?" He asked, it was a bit strange speaking to her, as she sat right in front of him and she would have to turn to look at him. Then she couldn't watch the games, after all. He wondered what she would prefer most.
Of course Marcus would love to hear the end of the story Rufus had begun to tell. And while he understood that there had been some indecensy going on, Marcus was not so shocked. Maybe he should have been, but he had not served. No, what interested him far more was of course hearing how it did not end well for the prefect and the legionary. He wanted to hear about the punishmen. Longinus seemed amused for some reason, but also wanted to hear more about it and silence fell while Rufus was allowed to talk again.
First he claimed there was not much to tell, but Marcus arched a brow, as if he did not believe it. Then the other continued, saying the prefect had simply been demoted... but the legionary had gone thruogh a fustuarium, which Marcus of course knew what was. He was always curious when it came to ways to inflict pain on others, so although he had not served, he knew this part. Rufus explained anyway though, what it meant. If Rufus thought he'd killed the mood, he was sorely mistaken. The slaves were as quiet as always and he had managed to get Marcus' attention.
"I know what it means." Marcus said and focused on a moment on Longinus, finishing the last few strokes with the razor, "There you go, smooth as a baby's butt." He said with a smile to Longinus and with a cloth he wiped off the eccess oil from Longinus' face. Then he looked up at Rufus again, interested, "Did he die from it? Or is it a very ordinary kind of punishment, that means they can go on with their duties afterwards? Apologies for the questions, but I am always interested in learning more about how our empire and the defense of it, works."
He had so far not paid a lot of attention to those sitting around him here. Marcus was here to watch what was on the sands, he was not here to make friends or lovers, although it often seemed like that's what half of the others were busy doing. There were certainly more than a few who already were ignoring completely what happened in the arena, and instead they were quite focused on each other. But the Empire was giving this, Caesar was, and there was no reason why it should not be watched and admired for the carnage that it was.
And he would have been doing that all day, happily enjoying his food and drinks and watching blood spilled in the arena, if someone had not rudely walked into his back and made him spill everything and then moved on, before Marcus could stop them. Meawhile it would also seem that the incident did indeed go on beyond Marcus himself, as the ale he spilled accidentically landed on the shoulder of a lady in front of him.
She whirled around and gave him a look, now speaking down to him, as if he was to blame! But the fucker who walked into him was long gone too.
"I do apologize, but it was not my fault. I was knocked over too." He explained and showed his dirty meatstick, "The culprit hurried away though." He added with a huff, feeling a little upset over this spectacle. Had he been another man, he might have tried to sweet-talk her or ask if she was alright and all that, but he was not such a man. And now that he took a closer look at her, she had long and loose hair and the way she dressed... well it certainly did not make her appear any wealthier than he was, so what right did she have to speak to him like that anyway?
"All I want is to watch the games. Is that too much to ask?" He said to the woman, hoping she would just let it go, for all their sakes.
The animal fights had just been concluded, with plenty of dead animals and even a few of the gladiators fighting the animals. Marcus had come without slaves and of course he had been fascinated and now watched equally fascinated as it was all dragged out, leaving behind a trail of blood on the sands before it was covered with fresh sand. Then the editor of the games stood up and spoke of what gladiators were to come.
It would seem there would both be male and female gladiators and even a few deserters given a chance of redemption. Redemption! Hopefully they would die. If someone needed redemption, they usually were not deserving of it.
Marcus looked up when a seller passed by his step on the seats and got himself a cup of ale and a stick with spiced pork to eat. Then he looked down at the games again, watching the first fighters enter the arena and he looked forwards to seeing it all happen. He didn't have any favorites, he just wanted to see how they did it and he wanted to see them die. Hopefully with a lot of blood. He smiled by the thought, but the smile faded quickly when someone tried to reach a better spot on the row behind him and by accident pushed to his back... making him spill the ale and drop the meatstick!
"Watch where you're going!" Marcus yelled after the person, taking note of their appearance (just in case he wanted to seek them out later) and then looked to see if the ale had been spilled on anyone, while he also picked up the stick and attempted to brush off any dirt from the meat.
Marcus knew he could be a little impatient sometimes, but really, his slaves should just also get to work, that is what they were here for. Yet Aculia just stood there... for some reason, his slaves often seemed to just linger, as if they did not know what to do. Maybe he should discuss that issue with Titus, maybe he'd have an idea for making them work better. At least now she began working, placing the plate with food in front of him. There was something off about her though, he thought, watching her while she said that she had not eaten or had anything to drink - because she wanted to make herself available to him.
"Very well, that is a good thought to have. I'm glad you're so eager." Marcus said to her, and then she promised she would not pass out, but eat later tonight when all his needs were met. Marcus arched a brow, "That could be very late." He pointed out, in case he had a need for her. He might have, actually, he thought. She wondered if he wanted wine.
"Yes, bring me some wine." He then said and returned to the paperwork. Wine would do him good now. And then maybe her. Wine had a tendency to make him want other basic needs met.