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MAY, 74 CE

Ambrosius had been given less than three weeks to heal on a painfully, sheer bed of thin straw, on the ground of a stone floor, during his captivity with his Roman subjugators in his homeland of Britannia. Four walls and a roof provided the only redeeming feature of his imprisonment and a begrudgingly welcome change from the preceding months, exposed to the elements.

It had taken almost a month to reach Burdigala[1] from the port in Petuaria[2], as the seas had proven treacherous around the Britannic coast. Despite his injuries, his robust frame and strong arms would be deemed indispensable at the oar, with the lash of his captors ensuring he remained aware of that fact. Calmer waters would meet them on the Mediterranean and ensure smoother sailing from Narbo[3] towards Ostia, where Ambrosius would once again be forced to limp on his lame leg, when the caravan of soldiers and slaves marched towards the capital.

He had been allowed to rest for mere moments as they had arrived at the modest entrance to the pomerium[4], having travelled upon the Via Ostiensis[5] past the Circus Maximus and coming to a halt in the Forum, betwixt the Tabularium[6] and the Tullianum[7]. The imposing façade of the record hall only added to the dichotomy of the dank recess of the neighbouring carcer[8]; dwarfed in grandeur, yet unparalleled in prompting visceral sensations to those in such a precarious position. The myriad of emotions that raced through his mind, as he absorbed and analysed the unfamiliar surroundings that he would now be required by circumstance to call ‘home’, would not shake the immovable and impassive expression that he had adopted months before his present predicament.

“Go find the Praetor,” the commanding officer of the detachment ordered of a subordinate legionary. Ambrosius had understood the Roman’s short directive well enough, but this would be the first time he had encountered the term ‘praetor’. He would soon come face to the face with the man who held such a foreign title, but for now he could rest again. Along with his newfound and circumstantial compatriots, they would be placed in to separate and temporary, three-walled holding cells, jutting out from the exterior wall of the prison. He planted his shoulder in to the clay edifice and propped himself up, hoping to ensure stability in spite of the pervading adversity resulting from his weak and aching left leg.

@The Young Pope

Reader Advisory:

  • [1] Burdigala is the Latin name for modern Bordeaux, France.
  • [2] Petuaria is the Latin name for modern Brough, East Yorkshire, UK.
  • [3] Narbo is the Latin name for modern Narbonne, France.
  • [4] The pomerium is the historical and religious boundary of the city of Rome.
  • [5] Via Ostiensis is the Latin name for the via Ostiense, the road from Ostia to Rome.
  • [6] The Tabularium is the record office of Rome and an important hub of civil and judicial activity.
  • [7] The Tullianum is the Latin name for the modern Mamertine Prison.
  • [8] 'carcer' is the Latin term for 'prison'.
Edited by Polarity
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In the recent weeks there had been an influx of prisoners of war from the 'Barbarian' territories that had to be inspected and accounted for. Lucius, not only acting as a Senator but also that of a Praetor, was tasked to oversee their transition from captivity to whatever service these men (and women) were required to forcefully work for, whether they actually liked it or not. Thus it was no surprise that it was expected of him to visit the Forum Romanum which contained the Tullianum, reputed as one of Rome's harshest  prisons to have ever existed, with quite a known number of interesting individuals having the 'luck' enough to temporarily remain as prisoner there prior to their impending doom, one of whom meant a lot to Senator Lucius in a simultaneously indirect and direct connection. He'd naturally arrived earlier before the prisoners' arrival in the forum itself, but since he noticed that there was still some time left before 'dirty work' could begin, a visit to the imposing prison would've been in the right order of business.

He requested the guards stationed there to be brought down to one of their darkest and most inhospitable cells, which may have made them wonder as to why on Earth an upstanding senator such as Lucius would've wanted to do so in the first place. Giving them reasons such as 'quality control and maintenance check' before threatning about taking this matter further to the Caesar if they didn't comply with his wishes, Lucius managed to convince the guards without much hassle and was thus escorted to this notorious cell located at the bottom of the prison. "I would like to conduct this without any interference from anyone of you, including my own people, so kindly wait upstairs as I'll return to the surface in a short while. I kindly thank thee." With these issues now nonexistent, Lucius could now concentrate at hand on what surrounded him. "So this is where you spent your final days, Peter." The senator said in a lowered voice, taking in the first expressions of the cell which was said to have hosted the Apostle Peter before his eventual execution.

The cell itself, which resembled more like a pit, contained a spring in the bottom of it which enabled him the Apostle to conduct baptisms. Lucius started to become emotional after only spending a few moments in the pit, and had to force himself to potentially stain his toga by sitting on the floor, propping himself against the wall. He'd only heard the tales of Peter's adventurous and significant life through the words of Linus himself, who was the closest person he'd camr into contact with aside from the Apostle Paul. Even then, the senator couldn't help but feel admiration towards the man entrusted by the Messiah to hold the transferable keys to heaven, Linus now in posession of them. "To be truthful, you were somewhat of a walking disaster, Peter...amongst a few other epithets" Lucius chuckled, looking straight at the ceiling above him, as if he were in a direct communication. "You promised our Lord that you wouldn't abandon him at the most critical of times, yet you basically ditched him as he was being taken to be sacrificed like a defenceless lamb." 

Before resuming his talk, Lucius nodded his haid in approval however. "Yet, despite your faults, your strength and greatness as a man eventually triumphs everything else. You were the first of His companions to recognise Him what he truly was, a remarkable achievement that only the Devil and a few Canaanite women beforehand managed to do so. Knowing that your life was at risk following the teachings of Christ, you nonetheless devoted the rest of your life on earth to spread his word of salvation and eternal life for those who believed in him, redemption being possible for each and every human no matter how grave their sins were, as long as their sincerity of regret was real enough to be able to be forgiven. Eventually you suffered torture at the hands of the Caesar, being thrown into this cesspool of a prison and suffering hardships that many of us couldn't possibly fathom. Yet, you continued to do God's holy work baptising the other prisoners here who opened their hearts to Christ. When the final day of your mortal existence arrived, Linus told me that you were executed, crucified upside down since you considered yourself not worthy enough to face death the exact way as Christ did."

His eyes stated to become slightly watery, though no tears were produced, taming these stong emotions at hand as he continued with his tribute. "Peter, this is the reason why you were His favorite all along, being entrusted the keyes of the kingdom of heaven since you represent what makes all of us human, showing everyone else that despite all of your faults, you redeemed yourself in the end and now sit on the father's right side. Your memory and legacy shall never be forgotten, and instead be cherished by your brothers and sisters to come in future generations all doing God's works of grace and mercy. So through you, I therefore ask the Lord to forgive me for my weaknesses that are visible on the surface from time to time, guiding me out of them and improving my character, so that I'll never stray from the path to enlightenment. I also ask for strength and courage to face death when the time comes, as I want to be willing to sacrifice my life for thee and join the big feast that will never end."

The last act of Lucius before exiting that pit was pray the Lord's Prayer, thanking the Divine for all that was well so far and that his faith would continue to be strong for the days to come ahead. The senator heeved himself from the floor, dusting his own Toga from the dirst and took one good look around, wondering if this is where he would potentially end his last days if his true fath were to be discovered. With no fear and worrying left in his mind and soul, Lucius took the stairs to the surface of the prison, and it proved to be a good timing as a soldier happened to be looking for him. "Senator Lucius, there you are! The first batch of prisoners have arrived in the forum as we speak, and it would be most appropriate if you were to begin the inspection, do we could get this over with." he said, meeting him right at the entrance of the prison. "I should perhaps remind you soldier, that I'll take my sweet time conducting a fair and proper inspection of everyone who's brought into our custody. So kindly bring me to these prisoners." 

SOME TIME LATER...

Lucius didn't like what he witnessed taking a look at some of the prisoner of war who'd arrived in Rome, seeing them in such pitiful conditions, some worse than others of course, but he was of the opinion that they deserved far better treatment than what was already being given to them. Shaking his head whilst taking notes on his scroll, the soldier escorted him to one of the last prisoners of this batch, but out of every single one of them the senator would consider him to be the most peculiar. "Soldier, could you kindly tell me about this young man?" The initial part of the answer Lucius would receive would surprise him, as apparently one could've considered him to be a "elderly boy". On taking a closer look, that seemed to perhaps be the case but it was hard to identify this Briton, his craftly built and fit body already marred by scars of warfare that was commonly seen on older men, and his height was quite impressive at that. His character almost was equal to Lucius himself. "Let me in to his cell, please." Lucius insisted quite stubbornly, as his interests grew by the minute he stood there.

"Surely Senator, you must be joking? Letting you in to a cell belonging to a vicious Barbarian who can easily kill you? If you must for whatever reason, let me accompany..." Before the soldier could continue, Lucius could gladly restate his case to be let inside. "I think I'm perfectly capable of making a clear judgement whether I can handle a 'vicious Barbarian' by myself and without any protection, thank you very much. Now are you going to question my abilities or actually let me inside?" Eventually, with a small sigh Lucius suddenly stood in the middle of the Briton's cell, seemingly catching the full attention of the prisoner. Taking a few small steps at a time to not alarm or spook him (understandably) that easily, he made assurances about his harmless intent. "Don't be afraid friend, I'm just going to take a look at your leg, nothing more, nothing less." The senator closed in, probably risking his own safety by doing this at the horror of his subordinates outside the cell, readying themselves to draw their weapons in case the situation turned serious pretty quickly. 

Finally Lucius was close enough to lower his entire self, bending the knee in front of the prisoner and was about to inspect the leg. "Sorry about that...Ok here we go" he told him, in case it started to hurt. Gently lifting the injured leg up, he could immediately see that it had remained untreated for quite some time, exerting too much pressure on it forming a swollen lump and other nastyness. Clearly this young Briton had to endure so much hardship prior to his arrival in the Capital, which only stirred up so many feelings within the senator. Unless it wasn't already too late and something could be done about that leg, he would probably limp for the rest of his life, and it could prove to be a disadvantage for someone fighting in the gladiatorial pits. There was also a voice that slowly but surely krept up within him, about what he must do to ensure his survival and wellbeing, as he couldn't trust anyone else to handle such a delicate matter. At first he hesitated, since a specific notion contradicted his new views he gained from the Christian faith, but in the end reasoned with himself that this was a necessary evil to perform God's work. 

"What's the meaning of this, you fools? Why hasn't anyone fixed his leg, can't you see that he'll be useless entertainment in the fighting pits, is this how we would like to please the Caesar? I demand that he's brought to a medicus, right in this instant, or I'm going to make your lives miserable henceforth if this botched up leg affects his prowess in combat, and do trust me that the wrath of a Furius Pontius Thracius isn't something to temper with! ALSO...I would like to speak with the responsible overseer, as I'm interested in purchasing this specimen of a prisoner and have him under my authority!" With more than enough fiery encouragement in those words, the soldiers didn't waste any time adhering to Lucius' demands. Turning his head facing the prisoner once again, he assured him: "Everything's going to be alright, you hang tight in there. All of this will come to an end, that I swear upon my family's code of honor." The senator wishpered.

@Polarity

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In the short period between the relaying of the directive and the arrival of the Praetor, Ambrosius had been allowed a few moments of solitude in his new confines to analyse the new surroundings he was experiencing. The cell he now occupied was embedded in to the clay structure of the prison, encompassing a row of similar constructs, located within a narrow alley between that aforementioned building and the record hall. This would allow the processing of new prisoners and captives in to the city to undergo this procedure, mostly away from the prying eyes of the public. Nevertheless, a multitude of people could be seen going about their business and making their way to and from the epicentre of the city, the Forum. Though he could understand simple phrases, brief sentences or words without context in the language of his captors, due to their close proximity and tenuous relations with his native tribe, he could make out a vast array of foreign languages and alien cultures being expressed, vocally and visually.

Ambrosius would be wrenched from his quiet observation by the mention of “a Briton”, closely followed by the Latin designation he had been assigned. Drawing his eyes away from the passersby, his gaze set upon the senior legionary of the detachment in charge of his supervision, now conversing with a more affluently dressed man, with a naturally autocratic bearing – the Praetor. His social distinction perhaps most recognisable by the two lictors[1] holding fasces[2], standing behind him – this Ambrosius could only interpret as servants, holding a strange bundle of wooden rods; perhaps some sort of kindling. Was he sent to Rome to be burnt alive? The act would provide some small mercy. At least then he could be rid of these damned Romans.

The exchange between the two Roman men was quickly becoming heated as the Praetor signalled towards him and barked orders at the reluctant legionary. Ambrosius’ nostrils flared at the movement towards his cell, but his expression remained stoic. He would not give his tormentors the satisfaction of showing fear. When the door to his iron cell sprung open, he would examine the cautionary movements of the Praetor as the Roman inched ever closer to his own upright position. Unsure if the Roman before him was planning malicious intent or simply closer examination, he was resigned to whatever fate were now to befall him. He could not bring back what he lost by waging attempting to wage a solitary war within this lone street, in the heart of enemy territory. It may be said that he possessed a penchant for fruitless endeavours, yet he was not nearly as foolish as that. Though his eldest sister would probably disagree… or, would probably have disagreed. He didn’t know now. He hadn’t known for several months. If only he had her knack for solutions. She’d know the right course from here. These thoughts provided cold comfort in this, his darkest hour.

The wealthy Roman addressed Ambrosius directly as he stalked ever closer, but the Briton lad’s limited understanding of Latin, as well as his exhaustion, would only allow deciphering of bits and pieces. “Don’t…friend…look…more…less”, these were words of the litany that he was most familiar with, in his dealings trading wares to Romans in Petuaria. The word “friend” was a word that the Romans seemed far too liberal with. As they pillaged and murdered their way across the ancestral homelands of their subjugated nations, enslave their peoples and then presume to use such terms of endearment to address their captives in their blustering rhetoric. Had he a ‘leg to stand on’, he may be inclined to give this man a swift kick, yet he was no closer to discerning the tangible meaning of the Praetor’s words.

As if reading Ambrosius’ mind, the Praetor knelt down and grasped the lame leg he had been sporting, forcing him to clutch the metal frame of his cell for balance. He had become very concerned as the Roman appraised his leg, uncertain as to the direction this was heading. The awkwardness of his current position would force a nervous lump to rise in his throat, disabling him from offering any interjection as the act played out. This momentary display would end in another round of rowdy discussion between the Praetor and the senior legionary, before the latter went about the order he had been assigned and the former returned to his prior standing position.

“Everything… to an end… I swear… family… honor,” the Praetor had whispered to Ambrosius, but the young Briton could once again only distinguish the most familiar of Latin. The ambiguity inherent in these few recognisable terms did little to raise his expectations that his situation may yet improve. To his mind, the possibility that he would die today was still more likely than he would live to see another and may still prove more appealing. Only time would tell.

@The Young Pope

Reader Advisory:

  • [1] Lictors are civil servants and bodyguards, attending to magistrates of the Roman senate.
  • [2] Fasces are bound bundles of wooden rods, with an axe whilst outside the sanctity of the pomerium, held by lictors. A symbol of the authority afforded to the accompanied magistrate.
Edited by Polarity
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"I can't believe what I'm hearing now...No available medicus in this instant? You've got to be joking!" It was probably to be expected, but according to one of the returning legionaries all of the slaves posessing medical expertise were currently preoccupied tending to other war captives that suffered similar fates to this Briton in front of him. It became clear enough that waiting until one of them didn't have his hands hands was out of the question, considering the senator could notice how much pain the Briton in questioning was suffering and he was slowly yet surely being drained out of his remaining strength as time went by without proper care and energy in the form of food. No, Lucius had to quickly come up with a viable alternative, whilst taking a look at the Briton once more who probably felt lost and scared, not knowing what's going to happen with him in the next moments, him being a complete stranger in the lands of foreigner's who ravaged his and everyone he knew back home. Luckily it didn't take long enough for the senator to realise that the solution was easily obvious.

"Let's bring him to my Domus located on the Palatine Hill: we'll make use of my own medicus. Now, could you please hurry up and fetch a stretcher with a pair of slaves to carry him?" With only a few strange looks exchanged between the Roman soldiers, Lucius' command was obeyed and two slaves did in fact arrive with a stretcher, entering the cell as it were, gently lifting the damaged Briton from the cold, hard floor and unto it making sure that they didn't cause unnecessary suffering to his leg. As the entourage exited the prisoner complex and made their way out of the Roman Forum, Lucius couldn't help but feel shamefuly pity towards the other captives sitting in their cages and cells as if they were merely animals waiting to be used for butcherous entertainment or outright pets with no seminal value whatsoever. But he had to reason wth himself about trying his best, as he couldn't simply help everyone who may have needed such a merciful aid to begin with, just like how he told himself that prior to meeting this Briton who had a chance at survival if taken care of. 

The Palatine Hill happened to be the location of the the Imperial Family and their palace, surrounded by the homes of Rome's fabulously rich, located roughly 40 meters above the Roman Forum. These homes were only granted to the privileged few families who'd been long time supporters of the Caesars, which included Lucius' own, and these homes could've been considered palaces in their own right. The Domus of the Furii-Pontii family was similar like the others when it came to opulence and design, though it was notable in particular as to how the layout was presented, where aesthetics were intelligently incorporated with practicality, especially in how different sectors and rooms were divided and organised between them. Roman and Thracian symbolism in the form of motifs and mythology were meticulously chosen to decorate the interior, which was reflected clearly in the outlying garden area, offering full tranquility and contemplation to the family members. However, due to the crisis back in 63 AD and other factors, many family members either died or moved elsewhere. 

Aside from his sister who was already residing with her husband's family and occasionally visited, Lucius remained to be the only member of the family to reside there permanently, aside from the hundreds of slaves who were busy in the large Domus' maintenance and making sure that everything was running according to plan. Some of them happened to be waiting already right at the entrance, expecting their master and a peculiar guest as they received a messenger who informed them of their arrival already. A dussin or so eyes were quickly aligned to further inspect the war captive lying there on that stranger, though their concentration were soon fixated on the senator giving them instructions. "Alright listen up, I want him to be transported immediately to the medical room where our Medicus will heal him. Whilst that's under way, I also want him to be given all the compliments that a regular guest visiting the Domus would receive: food, clothing, massage...You know the drill, and oh kindly clean him as well, considering it smells like a wet dog's among us." He chuckled. "Understood? Alright, let's get a move on people and perform your expected duties!"

Lucius and his two Lictors accompanied the Briton to the medical facility, instructing the latter two remain outside and guard him for his and everyone else's safety: it wouldn't have been the first time that a captive slave decided to run from it all. "Please call upon me if he tries to escape or cause violence, thank you kindly my good sirs." He left the vicinity, smiling at the the war captive who had mometarily gazed upon him, and Lucius could only imagine how it must've felt for him to suddenly receive an upgrade in accomodation and service fit for an Emperor, instead of lying there in that forsaken cell rotting away like some de facto corpse. Lucius also made sure that the ones about to attend to his wellbeing were the most beautiful female slaves he had in the household, and one could say that there was a multitude of them, a privilege afforded only by the wealthiest of senators, and having that many certainly offered additional advantages and benefits many could only possibly fantasize about. Feeling assured that the Briton would receive a momentous 'joyful' time of his life, he made his way back to what one would call an 'office'.

1 HOUR LATER...

One of the trusted slaves and closest friends Lucius had within the household happened to be his old yet wise butler (OOC: name to be determined later). He happened to have served a few generations of Lucius' family ever since he was a learned young man being a Greek in origin, and over time he climbed the ranks to attain this honorable position for someone of his status, making good use of his knowledge about law and rhetoric, and he couldn't have wished anything else than to serve in this particular household who'd literally saved his life from destruction. The butler considered once upon a time to get the hell out of Italia once he earned the freedom from years of service, though what made him stayed was the fact that he probably no longer had any family left back home in Greece, and Master Lucius became to be the other main factor to compell him to remain in the family's service, offering every piece of advice the young Master of his desired from him. "So, how's our newfound friend doing under our care, hmm?" The butler asked, about to finish the conversation with Lucius.

"Haven't had the time yet to check up on him, though I received a message from one of the servants he's well taken care of and the Medicus has done a superb job mending that leg of his. With enough rest he should be able to recover swiftly and walk properly again, thank the Lord for that. I'm still waiting for one of the overseers to arrive, so we may negotiate the terms of transferring his ownership to me, though it's sad to say that he needs to be deprived of this comfort and start training in a Ludus." Lucius said so in a somewhat depressed manner, as he knew that he had no choice but to probably send him back out there and risk the Briton's life through close combat. Not even an influential Praetor could dictate everything to his wishes and one had to comply with the customs and laws dominating the empire, and even the Butler knew this. Both of them had actually read through scrolls detailing the laws, though no matter how much their brains had to devise a solution, there wasn't a perfect ending in sight.

The paticular room there were in was known as the 'Tablinum', situated one one side of the atrium and opposite to the entrance. It happened to be the office in a Roma house, the father's centre for business where he would receive clients. The walls were richly decorated with fresco pictures, and busts of the family were arranged on pedestals on the two sides of the room. The old butler took the opportunity to sit on a chair opposite the desk, whilst Lucius was more active circulating the room with his hands interconnected with one another, playing with the fingers behind his back. "Lucius you need to always reasonably about this, and don't let the emotions take control of your actions entirely. I know this annoys you immensely by making you hear this again, but remember what's at stake here. Even if you somehow manage to pull him out of his gladiatorial servitude and place him under direct care as a household slave...This wouldn't fit well in the eyes in others of the senatorial class and you know well enough how words can spread easily like wildfire, up to the Emperor's ear. As you pointed out, the others have started to suspect your changes as a person, giving up on your tremendous amounts of drinking and whoring, something I can only feel gratitude for finally adhering to. Now I may not agree with all of the tenets of these Christians, especially how one can believe a Jewish man claiming to be the son of a God,  and declaring himself to be the entire world's saviour, such delusional...-Oh well, my point is that at least this faith is sensible enough to convince thee of abandoning practices that serve no other purpose other than promoting vile morals, how it's apparently a given fact that any man can sleep with whoever he desires, with or without their consent, even young children. It just sickens me to the absolute core and makes my insides turn upside-down."

The old butler banged his fist on the desk, and Lucius espoused the same sentiments as he couldn't believe that he was once like every other senator out there acting as if they were superior Gods towards everyone else, deciding each and every other's fate belonging to the less privileged and disgraced members of society. He decided to keep his mouth shut for now and continue listening to the old Butler as he spoke, though he chuckled a bit as to how he referenced Jesus. "Going back to the point I was trying to make...You need to be more cautious when trying to implement changes; For example, it's perfectly alright that this household now only eats more fruits and vegetables without the consumption of meat, save for few special occasions of course when we're celebrating or guests are coming over to visit. I've personally felt better as a whole since we made this radical decision, and my inflamations around my ankles and joints have lessened considerably; At least this Briton will now get a luxurious taste of the type of diet he'll receive in the Ludus. If these senatores think it's us cutting costs ignoring the healthy benefits and reserving meat consumption for special occasions, then so be it. But when it comes to the matters of slaves...Your entire reputation and face is on the line whenever you try to buckle that trend; you're going to be considered to be un-Roman and a weak man. No one in this household thinks so, especially someone like myself who has everything to be great for thanks to you Master Lucius. Try to continue adapting to the current situation at hand and make the best of it, that's all you can really do for him and so many others. I wouldn't try to challenge the Emperor's wrath, as I fear that me and the 499 colleagues of mine will have a rough time ahead if something were to happen with you."

Lucius could only agree to what his trusted on friend had to say about this dilemma, and after a few seconds of contemplating the next steps, he told him that this Briton would be sent to the gladiatorial school that his family supported for decades, Ludus Dacicus, as at least he knew the owner personally and in theory keep an extra eye of him, as to which the butler nodded in approval. Afterwards, the young senator thanked him once more for the advice and that he stood by his family's side for so many years, despite being given the chance to leave as a free man when he no longer had an obligation to serve. The butler then reminded him about his faher Lucius major, who always was a man of honor if he wasn't an outright angel, never betraying Lucius' mom and his wife Tullia Maria by lying with others and always showed decency towards the slaves who'd earn their upkeep, whilst showing the same disapproval of Lucius' 'carefree' lifestyle prior to his eventual death and the son's subsequent conversion to the Christian faith. Whether he and the mother would've approved of it, one could only hope they wouldn't consider it to be betraying Roman traditions, but they would have been glad at Lucius' radical change of lifestyle for sure. 

"Ah welcome, please take a seat. We have a few matters to discuss..." Lucius said, greeting the overseer of the war captives by the entrance to the office and lead him to the disk, whilst the butler stood beside the desk.

SOME ADDITIONAL TIME LATER...

It didn't take much convincing at all to negotiate the change the Briton's ownership to Lucius, as well as transferring him to the Ludus Dacicus. Now that the bureaucratic parts were taken care of, it was thus finally time for the senator to check upon his newly acquired slave that was for now spared from certain death. He waited outside the medical room for one of his other slaves, who happened to be a briton as well though it wasn't a guarantee that she spoke the same language as him. One could only hope that it was the case: "So, are you ready my dear?" Lucius asked the female interpreter, as to which she said that she was indeed for the duty at hand, right before the duo entered to see the Briton being pampered at by the female slaves. They've seemed to have taken a liking at him , rubbing in oils and what not on his skin, giggling and couldn't take their mesmerising looks on him. Indeed, he was quite attractive with those characteristic physical features of his and Lucius could see that behind those  eyesied an intriguing personality that he couldn't wait getting to know more about.

"Thank you my beautiful ladies, but I would't mind spending some time with our guest privately. I'll call upon you in a bit." he smiled towards them, as each and everyone of them made a gullible sigh and joked amongst themselves how they must leave this handsome, stunning man already. With the last females exiting the medical room, and the medicus doing so as well, Lucius gathered chairs for himself and the interpreter from a corner of the room and sat opposite to the Briton resting on a bed. Nodding at the interpreter, he began the conversation, hopinh that he could understand his female counterpart. "Good day to you, I'm senator Lucius Furius Pontius Thracius and you're currently being patched up in my home on the Palatine hill, which is actually the same location where our highest leader, the Emperor, and his family resides as well. I'm glad to say that I managed to find you in time or your fate would've belonged to a different, dreadful outcome to put it mildly so. What's your name young man, and where do you exactly come from? I'm aware that your origins lie in Britannia, but nothing more than that."

He decided to take it easy at first before making the conversation a bit more advanced, knowing that there would've been alot for this Briton to take in and the circumstances he currently experienced must've felt like highly unusual and unexpected. 

@Polarity

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Despite the size of the city, the Praetor’s domus resided a mercifully short distance, directly south of the Forum. Had Ambrosius known what to be looking for, he would’ve been able make out the marble walls of the impressive structure from their central location. As it were, he had taken the opportunity that this status of invalid had granted him and decided to rest his eyes for a while. When he opened them again, it was to a bronzed, familial seal upon a colossal and groaning gate, providing entry on to the premises. Passing under the archway of the entrance, he rose his head to examine the surroundings of the Praetor’s property. Slaves, servants, guards and other manner of employees congregated around various positions of the courtyard as the Briton was carried in to the vestibule of the palatial building and set down in the atrium.

After a brief repose to address the assorted assembly of workers, the Praetor and his two, constant companions followed the stretcher to a large cubiculum[1], modified and devoted for use as a makeshift medical facility. The expansive stores of medical paraphernalia, herbs and remedies that could be seen littering the shelves and receptacles within the room would give weight to any claim of rivalling the capabilities of a public hospital. As he left, Ambrosius cast a final gaze upon the Roman who had taken him in to his household, hardly beginning to understand what to make of this man. The Praetor had, in such a short window, acted so very differently to any Roman he had ever met before. This city was meant to be the heart of his oppressors, yet it was as if he was being extended a strange kindness.

The Medicus responsible for seeing to his injury had just finished dressing the wound when the arrival of several female servants in to the room marked the beginning of a different procedure. The two remaining lictors left the room to allow the women to go about their work. The eldest of the ladies attempted to engaged Ambrosius in conversation, to the latter’s dismay as he understood very little of what she had tried to say. Taking his silence as an affirmative, her and her compatriots started to lather their hands and rags in olive oil contained within clay pots and apply it to his body. At the conclusion of this exercise, he was led out in to the adjoining peristyle and allowed to bathe in the piscina[2] for a while, before they returned to his room and the women proceeded to remove any remaining excess of dirt and grime from his skin, through the use of a strigil[3]. The re-entrance of the Praetor on the scene would bring an end to the lengthy process and the beginning of a conversation.

“I, uh… Ambrosius… we… Parisi,” Ambrosius struggled to form a sentence in Latin, repeating it quietly several times before surrendering early in to the attempt. Despite the convenience of an interpreter, he was unsure of the appropriate protocol for reply when addressed by a Roman of distinction. He hadn’t much time for words whilst fending off the dregs of Roman society that tended to form legionary patrols and neither were the Romans in such a situation typically welcoming of any form of parley.

Turning his attention from the Roman opposite him, careful not to offer offence through this gesture, he began to converse in his native tongue with the kinswoman who had rendered the Praetor’s speech comprehensible, in a recognisable southern dialect. Whilst some words may only be loosely understood, as a result of the the transitory nature of the Brittonic tribes, the regional languages were fairly homogenised and interchangeable.

“I come from the north. I’m of the Parisi tribe… or I was,” Ambrosius hurriedly explained to the Interprex, as she simultaneously relayed the information to the Roman. A lull extended over their discussion as it was assumed he had more information to give. “We lived near Petuar[4]. It lies on the bank of the Aber River[5],” he continued upon noticing the expectation in his host’s eyes. Reflecting on his home in Britannia, he couldn’t help but recollect fondly of the pristine, blue waters of that estuary. Far cleaner than the cesspit they deem the ‘Tiber’. He would fight to retain whatever pride he could manifest, in spite of the beauty and opulence he had seen on his arrival.

“Why am I here? Aside from the medicine. You Romans don’t tend to be so considerate of your prisoners,” he asked, almost demanding an answer of his current captor, before remembering his insurmountable predicament. Perhaps he was more foolish than he believed, as his impertinence could easily jeopardise the recent improvement in station.

@The Young Pope

Reader Advisory:

  • [1] Cubiculum is the Latin term for a private room within a domus.
  • [2] Piscina is the Latin term for an outdoor pool or bath within a domus.
  • [3] Strigil is a tool used by Romans to scrape off dirt and oil after bathing.
  • [4] Petuar is the native Brittonic name for Petuaria.
  • [5] The 'Aber River' is the Brittonic name (Latin: Abus River) for the Humber River, which forms a natural boundary between East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, UK. 
Edited by Polarity
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"There's no need for you feel nervous, you're doing a fine job so far." Lucius reassured the interprex sitting beside him, a slight smile forming on her mouth before she continued translating the Britonnic language into Latin. He always made sure that his words were clear enough in order to make them translatable, as there were terms that wouldn't sound well in the other's language, speaking slowly in addition to that. The senator listened also intentively on the first impressions this prisoner of war who'd just given him his name for the first time, and where he originated exactly from. His 'demand' of an answer as to why he was brought to Lucius' domus and being shown such merciful kindess was hardly surprising at all, as it was to be expected from someone who nearly succumbed to certain death but was now given a new chance to live through the day and beyond. There was going to be a bit of explanation for him to conduct and all of them would probably sit in that room for a while.

"Ambrosius of the Parisi tribe from Petuar on the river Aber...Huh, interesting. Well it's lovely to get to know you in person, though I wish that it was done under more preferable circumstances." He said, referring to as how Ambrosius ended up hear in a forceful manner rather than voluntarily accompanying Roman legionnaries to the heart of the empire. "But both you and I perfectly know that 'Ambrosius', which means 'divine' or 'immortal' in case you didn't know, is a name given to you by the captors. I'm more interested in what your ACTUAL name is. Also, now that your 'immortality' has been extended thanks to the likes of someone like me, I'll try my best to explain why I decided to bring you up here instead of rotting away in the cell of yours, and what will happen from now on." Hmm, how would he begin the explanation Lucius wondered...well it shouldn't be that hard to begin with, but making up a quick sketch of points to bring up in his head wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.

"I would like to first apologise on behalf of my people for the treatment on your way here, as we could seriously improve our standards when handling prisoners of war...Firstly, as you probably noticed by now is that I'm not your standard Roman citizens out there, as you could probably call me a 'Roman with a real heart', and not the one which seemingly is made out of cold and stone. Originally a medicus was supposed to be brought to your cell, but for whatever reason my people could muster from their mouths, there was no one available to see to your needs, so I decided to bring you up here to receive such care in my home and by my own slaves.

Secondly, I've personally asked the overseer and convinced him to transfer your ownership to that of mine and its authority, as well as sending you off to one of the gladiatorial schools that my family is a patron over...Ludus Dacicus.

Thirdly, my position in the hierarchy is called 'Praetor', think of it like a Judge more or less. Even if I somehow managed to make you a household slave serving as a bodyguard rather than risking limbs and life in the arena fighting other poor sods such as yourself, it would arouse the suspiscion of others in the upper levels of hierarchy including the Emperor, and I would also in return risk the fate of everyone gathered under my household including the 500 slaves and free servants here.

Fourthly, I wish there was a better alternative but this is the best that I could do, though my family knows the owner of Ludus Dacicus and we can arrange for you upgraded accomodation, food, as well as the best trainers and doctors to be there for your wellbeing. In the end however, it's up to you how well you can fight and survive the day, thus I shall always pray for your safety and hopefully ou'll be able to earn your freedom and a passage home to Britannia.

Fifthly, I've talked rather much now and I need to moisturize my mouth in this instant so if you got any questions or concerns you may ask them now."

He drank a cup of fresh water...Oh good that felt to be able to take a break from endless blabbering which was needed in order to clarify as much as possible about Ambrosius' fate, handing said cup to the interprex who quickly grabbed it and literally drenched everything in one gulp. It made her and Lucius laugh a little. "Also, you'll learn how to speak our Latin tongue, so we don't need to abuse the beautiful voice of hers, though you've actually inspired me to seek lessons in your Britonnic tongue as well...Additionally, the protocol and manners as well are important to keep in mind, though when you're in the company of me you can simply say 'Lucius', no need for 'Dominus', Sir or whatever fancy title is out there. I hope we're clear on that one."

@Polarity

Edited by The Young Pope
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His host was evidently unsatisfied at the repetition of the Latin designation that had already been ascertained from Ambrosius’ legionary guards. Why this Roman would care what his name ‘used’ to be was a mystery. They had assigned him an arbitrary name of their own design, so as to not suffer the indignity of learning a barbarian tongue. Not to mention the quality it provided to the mental disassociation from a slave’s life with the one they would come to accept in servitude. It had been many months now since he had heard his own name, longer still since he’d had call to use it himself. His keepers didn’t much appreciate fraternisation between captives during their travels and he became prone to speaking sparingly, lest he wished to risk the lash.

“My name was- uh, is… Turi. My name is Turi,” Ambrosius initially hesitated to correct himself, before projecting proudly, as fleeting memories of his former life assisted in drawing him out of his despair and giving way to the briefest of smiles. His momentary happiness was replaced with a tightly, clenched jaw when the Roman continued to speak in vast and unabridged rhetoric that he had come to expect of their ilk. It had long ago occurred to him that these people loved hearing their own voice as much as the pleas of the vanquished. Perhaps not all his preconceptions were correct, but it did appear to hold a kernel of truth.

This Praetor – Lucius as he wished to be referred – seemed to hold many presumptions. It appeared to be a trait that no Roman could escape, no matter how humble or noble of heart they believed themselves to be. Ambrosius needed no empty apologies from this relative stranger nor did he want one. This man could not make right all that was wrong with his society and all the wrong they had inflicted on himself or his kinsmen. Though this man did seem to be a mass of contradictions, at odds with his culture and innate sensibilities; a unique commonality between these men of very different backgrounds.

“I don’t think it's very clear at all. This seems unusual to say the least. What do you gain from this? All of you Romans want something,” Ambrosius reflexively insisted in response to Lucius’ ‘bestowments’. What could he have possibly done to warrant any such magnanimity from his enemies? His suspicious mind assumed himself some pawn in a greater play, but could not discern the intent.

@The Young Pope

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"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph...I like the spirit of this man! You make it sound as if it's a crime to help out a fellow man in need?" Lucius descended into a hysterial laughter of sorts, though the nature seemed to be out of frustration and irritation rather than pure enjoyment. It looked quite hilarious when the interprex attempted to 'translate' the laughter into a Britonnic version of it, though stopped rather quickly when she realised that it was most likely a silly attempt. "Christ, were you paid and sent by those senators that I have to constantly deal with every day in the curia, in order to pester my fragile mind?" Lucius tried to calm down and took a deep breat before he continued, as trust had yet to be fully function between the two of them, and he would've most likely remained in that room for an afternoon just to convince him how much of a different man he was compared to his other Roman counterparts. The senator regained his sensibilities and continued.

"Oh Ambrosius, or Turi, or whatever you'd like for me to call you...I truly wish that there was an annual prize for the amount of deeds one has committed to perform, with the message of 'Good Job, Lucius' inscribed on that piece of solid metal. You see, these senators whom I affectionately drank, gambled, and whored with, day in and night out, can no longer understand what the hell's going on with the likes of myself. Instead of asking me how it'd went with helping out the poorer, downtrodden people of the Empire, or what they could help out with...they insist on asking what's in it for me; has this something to do with gaining increased favour with the Imperial family? It's such a ridiculous and shameful question to ask! So what if any of the Imperial members decide to partake in a project or two that I happen to be a part of as well, caring about the wellbeing of those who're often forgotten and disregarded as trash by the rest of the upper classes, when they're in fact so much capable of more and beyond than anyone could possibly imagine, simply for not opening their eyes wide and clear enough?"

"The same could easily be applied to you my friend. If I were like every other senator then frankly you would have ended in a ditch somewhere outside Rome, no one knowing who you might've been nor care enough to find out whether you had any family and other relatives still alive trying to find and bring you back home. Before that, I could've literally have you raped til' the mind, body, and soul rotten to the core...Oh I've seen the effects of being used like a broken toy with no nominal value whatsoever, its mind completely eradicated and the entirety of this prisoner's sole existence is to provide cheap, heinous services of lustful pleasure, obeying every little command no matter how disgusting or incomprehensible it was to many others. I wouldn't have any reason whatsoever to spend time, energy, resources and manpower to prop up someone like you, being a dirty Barbarian who has to learn the manners of so-called proper Roman culture and what not they try to justify themselves for pillaging and burning down entire societies for simply wanting to lead a different lifestyle compared to ours."

"Don't get me wrong Ambrosius or Turi, I do love the empire with all of my heart and there are several areas in which we could be superior at, whilst I acknowledge that there are so many elements that happen to be unfortunately broken. I assume that it's the same with your tribe and nation, which makes me to believe that one can learn from one another. But yes I do understand your pain and know how much you'd like to destroy me where I'm sitting, beside this interprex of your kind who actually volunteered to translate this ghibberish instead of doing something else theoretically much more worthful. It would be the exact same thing if the tables were turned, me sitting there with a damaged leg, not knowing what the hell is going on or what's going to happen to me in the future, whilst plotting for revenge at those who destroyed everything I knew about, took me captive and put me through entire evil ordeals just to sate their sadistic minds, oh how much of this bunch should suffer and pay for their crimes..."

"Did you know that it sometimes takes one person to change one's life completely, and turn one's viewpoint completely upside down to see it from a fresh perspective one would've never discovered? A little old man called Linus approached me one day while I was sitting by the river Tiber, feeling all so worthless and having no positive outlook on the future in the aftermath of my parents' deaths. At first I thought it was just an ordinary Roman trying to give me a cheering up of hopelessness, because what could possibly entail from someone so random such as Linus himself? Once he started to preach to me about this faith originally from Asia Minor, Christianity, it sounded like hogwash at best and I mean, who would believe in a Jewish man claiming to have been a Son of God, sent to redeem mankind from its sins and grant salvation and eternal life to those who believe in him and follow his footsteps? Well, I happen to be one of these 'miserable fools' who became convinced by the faith, and once I received my baptism...think of it like an initiation rite...my eyes were finally opened to another side of this mortal plain of existence that I never paid particular attention to; namely the outcasts of society."

"So to finally go back to your question whether I have something to gain from this? More coin to fill my pockets? Clearly not or very little compared to other sources of income. Influence? Possibly, depending on the circumstances and the people I'm dealing with. I would gain a smile and a feeling of unimaginable joy whenever I see someone benefit from the good works of merciful charity, I would gain such joy whenever I see a slave regain his or her freedom to do whatever they'd like for the rest of their lives, including heading back home to their ancient lives with the intention of returning to their families. Finally...I sincerely hope and pray everyday that this will have my soul redeemed...Redemption for all those years of careless neglect and not caring to much about my less fortunate brothers and sisters who deserve so much more when they're clearly in need of help suffering from poverty and sickness. In the end, Ambrosius or Turi, I can only provide so much aid on this path towards freedom as the rest you'd need to do it yourself. If you want to simply return to that cell and be forgotten in all eternity, I can oblige to be doing that. If you prefer to remain alive by the end of what's going to be tough journey surviving the hells of the gladiatorial arena, I'm afraid you've no other choice than to completely trust me even if you have several other good reasons not to, because you've no other choice, simple as that."

Lucius proceeded to stand up from his chair and went across the room to fetch three cups and a wine container. "I'm your only key out of this mess...So i would hold off any presumptions you've about me either, it'll do you good in the future as well." Pouring into each of the three cups, handing it to the Britonnic prisoner of war and interprex respectively, the senator raised his cup: "Cheers". He swallowed the wine in one gulp, with no flinching whatsoever. "Think I'm going to have another round now that I think about it."

@Polarity

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Jesus, Maria et Josephus[1],” Lucius had exclaimed these obscure Latin terms before the Interprex initiated her translation. She had come to a brief halt at the use of the word “Christus[2]”, but went on to question the possibility that the Briton could be in the service of a rival Roman. Ambrosius detested the accusation, until realising the farcical and rhetorical context in which the assertion had been phrased. He knew the Romans to be fond of their word games, likening it to a cat toying with a dormouse.

O Ambrosius, aut Turi, aut quicumque[3],” the Praetor had resumed speaking in Latin, giving no time for the young Briton to respond to the previous statement and testing the reactions of the Interprex. Ambrosius had already engaged with the first phrase before the interpreter had been able to cut in with her translation. Despite having given his Brittonic moniker freely, he had disliked the humanising quality that the use of his birth name had instilled in his developing perceptions of Lucius. Summarily, his brow would furrow as he continued to endure the lengthy discourse that proceeded unabated.

The spiel that the Praetor purported would be a struggle for Ambrosius to wrap his head around. From the good deeds he propounded and connections he enjoyed, to the power over life and death that he possessed and the potential horrors a slave could suffer. The Briton was familiar with this tactic, but it usually involved two individuals playing each part and rarely involved boasting. The Praetor had appeared to invent his own variation by assuming both roles, offering an olive branch in one hand and concealing a dagger in the other. It could lead one to question the sincerity of either position, but Ambrosius had never been in the habit of trusting Romans.

Lucius would go on to further acknowledge issues with his civilisation, but presumed to surmise similar problems within Briton society. As far as Ambrosius was concerned, the only issue with Britannia was the continued presence of Romans, but did not allow the signs of his irritability to show. His current subservient position gave him little cause to feel superior. Signs of the Praetor’s snobbish upbringing would begin to show as he casually degraded the Briton’s native tongue as ‘absurd’. The small measure of common ground that had been gained during their conversation was now quickly diminishing and Ambrosius’ impassive expression would finally darken, yet he retained what little patience he could.

Deflecting from the prior insult, Lucius had turned to matters concerning the heavens and imparted a story concerning his own faith. The particulars were not of great interest to Ambrosius, who never took to Roman Gods the way some of his kinsmen had, yet he was as all too familiar with them. Statues of their deities had proliferated around Petuaria in recent years, with Romans flocking to the burgeoning outposts in the north. Fervent as Romans are with propaganda, knowledge of them quickly became commonplace among the island’s population. Nevertheless, he had never heard of this ‘son of God’ of which the Praetor spoke, though the Romans were known to be a somewhat syncretic culture. Many of the earliest Celtic converts to Hellenism were devotees of the sun God, Belenus, of whom the Romans had equated with their own sun God, Apollo. It would stand to reason that this could be a recent addition to their pantheon, by way of the eastern reaches of the Empire. Though questions remained, they would be left for another time.

At this point, the Roman would return to the question at hand and answer Ambrosius’ long awaited question. The Praetor sought redemption, it would seem. A curious answer, indeed. The scepticism on the Briton’s face plain to see, becoming further embellished as Lucius went on to promise aid in any endeavour to seek freedom. To purchase a slave to assist in their manumission? Ambrosius had never heard of such a thing, certainly not of a Roman. He began to believe it was just a cruel joke, perhaps a fever dream from an infection. He probably succumbed to his injury on the voyage and this was some kind of hallucination. He pinched himself in response, but nothing happened that would confirm that theory and he would now be distracted by a biting pain, emanating from his left forearm. Quick thinking was evidently not his forte.

Taking the offered cup of wine in his right hand, Ambrosius would swill the liquid within the receptacle several times as he studied the drink. He had never had wine before, despite its increasing prevalence among the Britons. Mead had been a far more common beverage among his tribe and his tastes would reflect that, spitting the sour wine back in to the cup moments after passing his lips. He would sheepishly sit the cup on the floor, declining to imbibe any further.

“So, I am to be a ‘gladiator’, you say? I’m to kill barbarians for the amusement of Romans… and you feel that, that will redeem you? You’ll have to forgive me for saying so, but your reasoning seems flawed,” the Briton countered of the Praetor’s supposition. Ambrosius had never been the most tactful of conversationalists, but he attempted a subtler approach than he was accustomed. “Many of my opponents would surely be as downtrodden as myself. Why choose me?”

@The Young Pope

Reader Advisory:

  • [1] The Latin terminology for "Jesus, Mary and Joseph".
  • [2] The Latin terminology for "Christ".
  • [3] The Latin terminology for "Oh Ambrosius, or Turi, or whatever".
Edited by Polarity
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Ambrosius' reaction didn't come as a complete surprise to Lucius, as many others like him didn't understand yet what it truly meant to be a Christian, often referring it to a simple 'Jewish' Sect due to sharing certain traditions and scripts, but clearly it was so much more than that and the Senator could only hope that over time prejudices, misconceptions and misunderstandings between Christians and Pagans would cease and all of them could live in co-existence with one another. Lucius smirked before resuming to reply: "I can agree to an extent that at first glance, there are quite a few concepts regarding Christianity that may seem flawed and illogical. I too shared the same scepticism as you once upon a time when that little old man introduced it to me. But I've got to admit that once you start immersing yourself into it by spending time with other Christians, participate in the practices and read a little bit of scripture from time to time, all of these matters start to make actual sense...As for my redemption by sending you to potentially die in midst of gladiatorial fighting, I can't be sure if God is willing to redeem my soul. One can only hope through prayer and sincere willingness to follow in the Lord's footsteps that it'll truly work."

Lucius couldn't help but chuckle after witnessing his newfound friend from Britannia spitting out what may have been the finest wine that money could purchase. He lifted the war captive's cup from the floor, excused himself a few minutes as he exited the room, and returned later with a full cup. "I assume that your tongue's more accustomed to mead; I can't say for certain if the quality matches that of your homeland, but this should taste better than Roman wine." He said, handing the cup back to him and returning to his seat. "You asked me before why I chose you of all the 'downtrodden' prisoners...The truth to making such a decision is based on spiritual guidance, gut feeling and pragmatism. I prayed hard and long enough to the Allmighty Lord to help me pick anyone of you that I could help, with the full knowledge that it would be impossible, even for the likes of someone such as myself, to rescue everyone from distress. I also noticed that your chance of survival would've resulted in the best possible outcome."

Before Ambrosius could ask him further more questions, the senator decided that it was his turn to get his answers. "Now I wasn't perhaps clear enough when I initially asked this but here goes...What would you like me to call you within my presence...Ambrosius or Turi? Also, since you seem to be clearly displeased at your current situation despite the fact that a second chance has been given for your survival...I could simply end your life if you'd like and be done with, unless you'd take your chances in the fighting pit and fight for your ultimate freedom, the choice is yours my friend."

@Polarity

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It seemed, despite his injury, the reason he had been chosen was because he was the ‘best of the bunch’. Ambrosius assumed that there must be a particularly bad market for slaves in city of Rome to warrant such an explanation. He could barely walk when he arrived, yet he was expected to triumph over the battle-hardened veterans of the arena. The Briton could only hope that he possessed as much faith in his prospective training facility as he did this deity of which he professed.

The metaphorical dagger, formerly concealed, came unsheathed and the Praetor had evidently grown weary at the baiting of the junior Briton. Ambrosius quickly understood that it was no longer wise – had it ever been – to continue toeing this line, but his response would contain a certain edge to its tone. “When I see Britannia’s shores again… hold my sisters in my arms, then you may call me by my name, should you so please. Until that day, I’ll play your game and ‘Ambrosius’ will earn their favour and their fear,” he replied menacingly, yet tinged with hope as he expressed the underlying belief that what remained of his family still lived, wherever they may be. He wanted to curse, but couldn’t fault the Roman for reminding him of his reason to survive.

Using the bed as a counterweight, he rose on to his legs to ascertain the extent of his lingering injury. The sharp pain that shot like lightning through his leg earlier in the day, was now replaced with a dull ache and a sense of numbness stemming from his thigh. He mentally queried whether this was a product of the medicine or the new norm. He was unlikely to be certain until tomorrow.

“When would you have me begin?” He questioned of the Praetor and displayed a foolhardy readiness in the process, as a symptom of his youthful inexperience. Even a fool would realise more time was needed to heal and would unlikely see the gladiatorial school for another month as he recovered, should he manage to retain the hospitality of his new dominus.

@The Young Pope

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"Very well, if that's what you'd like to be called...Ambrosius." Lucius nodded and before he could say anything otherwise, the young Briton rose up on his weary legs in front of him. When Ambrosius told the senator that one may call him by his true name once he returned back to his homeland and reunited with the family, as well as the fact that he asked when it was time for him to begin, Lucius became glad over his re-ignited will to survive this hellhole along with a sense of admiration. The senator then rose from his chair and laid both of his hands on Ambrosius' shoulders, looking straight into his: "I'll do my absolute best and more than that, to ensure your survival long enough for you to one day return home where you rightfully belong, reunited with your family once more. That I can swear upon as part of my code of honor." He then helped him back into the comforts of the bed itself, knowing all too well that the young Briton needed some time to heal.

"I would advise to rest that leg of yours as much as possible, including getting enough sleep and eating properly and well. I can buy you a few weeks at most staying in my Domus before the authorities come knocking down on my door asking your whereabouts. You'll need every bit of strength in order to perform well in that fighting pit, and a clear, fresh mind is to be recommended as well. The medicus will be performing checkups from time to time, and the gorgeous women that we have around here will see to your desires and needs, but you've already been acquainted with them so no necessary introductions." Lucius couldn't help but make a little wink to that one. "There are a few matters I need to take care of in the city, but I'll return shortly before dinner most likely. Well unless there's anything else you'd like to talk about, I need to get going in this instant. So farewell for now Ambrosius...I shall pray for your recovery and that you'll one day reunite with the family in Britannia." 

Lucius truly needed all the spiritual aid he could get from the Lord, well aware enough of the chances Ambrosius had down there despite the promises of having the best accomodations and complimentary staff befitting a gladiator on behalf of himself. The senator really wanted for him to live through  day after day, as he wouldn't easily give up on someone who lost everything he'd held dearly to his name, from a homeland to the family. His will to survive would've most likely been the same case like that of the young Briton if the roles were reversed, especially if someone also pushed and supported him with every trick up in the sleeve. As he now stood outside the Domus along with the two Lictors, Lucius took a second to glance at it before turning himself forward and started heading towards the centre. For the first time in a long while, a feeling of hope for a brighter future had rentered itself in his life, and helping someone else in distress had never felt this damn good.

@Polarity

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