He looked broken, he looked done-in. Experience had taught Tiradates to read the difference .. between a body tortured beyond the extreme and a fully-fledged corpse .. he had seen enough of both.
A strong body, muscled like he’d not known in other nobles. The belly had sunk in deep. The solid jewels of his belly muscle like rocks trying to force themselves out of a bag. Hard as stone but not moving, motionless . And the power in his shoulders crushed by that stretch .. it pulled into shrieking pain, hour after hour.
Nothing would move when he was freed. Nothing could move, stuck like that for a day and a night. Stiff, cramped. He WOULD be done-in. No man, however strong, however tough – no man could beat the rock. And the contemptuous sneer of the cruel sun.
Despite appearances he’d not be dead, These guards knew better than to make that mistake. They knew their general would take excessive revenge. But not a patch on what their emperor would do to them and their families once Vologases got that news.
Stretched-out, near-roasted alive, there’d still be some life in the dog yet, – but not like this troublemaker had been before suffering the Stone. The Stone would have made sure of that. Tiradates towered over the inert torso. For hours slowly tortured, as good as starved to death, the Stone wouldn’t have left much fight in this prick-of-a-prince. Nothing to fight back with.
Little sign of visible life here, barely breathing. His skin coated with the dried-on salts of his sweat. Will tortured of strength by the harsh rays of the sun. This dog would not be giving him much trouble now.
The camp was ready. Ready to head off to court. And to a grateful emperor .. in tow the best gift any general could bring. Returning with the captive prince in his hands. Handing over to his emperor a wrecked enemy. Broken in body, broken in spirit. Weak and submissive. Just how Vologases would appreciate this dog.