“What is the second rule of the guild?”
Maul could hear his voice from five years ago, eagerly chanting the required words. These words would change his life. By the skin on my back, I will not betray any of our brothers of my own free will. He did not open his eyes. There was nothing to see. Held in a crouched position by heavy chains fastened to the floor, his body was all knotted muscles, sweat, and dirt. Silence was the only thing he had left. The punishment was coming but if he answered, a whimper might escape instead.
There was a soft whisper, the sound of cloth being slit, or a scourge being uncoiled.
Cantus whispered in his ear. “This will teach you to steal from me, wretch. You should never have made me your enemy. I’m better than you, but I suppose that after today you’ll never ever forget that.”
His breath disappeared as it had appeared.
The sound and the pain were simultaneous. White, red, then black pain forked like lightning across his vision. His body began to leak.