The bullock cart pulled in after a long wait.
She could see her father, who could barely manage two square meals per day was able to buy a bullock cart for himself. Maybe not a chariot with Arabian Stallions but a bullock cart was not that bad either.
Then one by one the family members came down.
Her elder sister was really beautiful. She was an year older than Sonica, that meant she will be eighteen, a bit late for upper castes but in lower castes sometimes it happened because of dowry. No one made a big fuss about it like the upper-caste people, where they had to marry off their daughters at tender age, before puberty, or else the entire family became social outcast. So they married their daughters off to anyone available, as long as the caste system was maintained. Even a dying person did the service. She has seen girls being dragged to get married off to a man on his deathbed, the family got a free servant thereafter, who wont be able to run away even after being torture, abuse.
They were far better off, they could remarry.
She watched from a nearby tree, swinging her legs, as her sisters helped her mother cleaning up, tidying the house. Her baby sister ten years old, a chatterbox.
She watched them all evening, till they fell asleep.
She craved to see a few drops of tears in her mother’s eyes, or father’s for her but saw none.
They seemed quite happy with their new life.
She returned home when the stars started to fade.
The king was working on some fake skin that will allow them to go out in sunlight for brief minutes without getting reduced to ashes.
“Bring me some naive vampires I can experiment upon.” He has instructed the older ones, his favorite ones.
She has seen him tricking some of the vampires using that skin and getting roasted within a minute or two.
Then others became shrewd.
There were no more volunteers for him.