The Silent Voices Haunting Those Left Behind — Part 1
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
“What the fuck is going on?”
I was standing, all alone, in the middle of a place that I didn’t recognize.
My mind still hazy, I checked my surroundings and came to the not-so-immediate conclusion that I was underground. The walls were made of stone and the structure was supported by large pillars, placed at regular intervals. There was very little light; the only source was the occasional torch, left on the walls, but their flames were so dim that I couldn’t even see my feet. And though it wasn’t exactly cold, the temperature was certainly on the cooler side.
Why am I standing here? In the middle of a hallway? I had no idea. None at all.
The only thing I knew was that I was all alone. There was no one else, anywhere even remotely nearby.
My instincts, which had grown far more potent ever since I switched worlds, had their warning bells on full blast. I felt like someone in a horror movie, shivers running up my spine and all.
Alright Yuki, calm the fuck down and think. What’s the first thing you do when shit goes south?
The answer, of course, was to perform an inspection and verify the status quo.
I first began by checking for enemies, of which there were none. I opened up my inventory and looked for my weapon, but Enne was nonpresent. I had to make do with Echo of Destruction, the mace that I used when I went around the ghost ship dungeon. It was what I normally used, when she wasn’t around.
I also grabbed a pair of evil eyes and had them scout the two ends of the corridor I was in. With them at work, my map would fill so long as I waited.
Alright, I should probably sort through my memories. What’s the last thing I can remember?
Let’s see… so I headed to Allysia to deal with their human supremacist problem… I didn’t bring Enne because I figured I didn’t really need to be super mega OP if I was just going to be fighting humans. And I think I had Rir with me. Yeah, that’s right. I rode him there… And then I caught up with Nell, headed to the castle, and chatted up the king. And… that’s pretty much as far as my memory gets me. Which means that whatever happened probably happened after all that.
I’m guessing someone probably cast some sort of spell on me? Probably the kind that messes with the mind? That kinda stuff isn’t supposed to work on me because of how much mana I have, but I guess something managed to get through, seeing as how I don’t remember jack.
They’ve probably got a pretty damn good mage then.
“Just my fucking luck.”
Things weren’t looking up. I had no idea what to do, given the complete and utter lack of information, but I had to be on guard. The only thing I did know were my priorities, the people close to me.
Goal number one, head up above ground and regroup with Nell and Rir. If they’re safe, then we’re pretty much golden. Worst case scenario, I warp back to the dungeon.
I had the option to bail at any point in time, but it was always possible that they were nearby, which was to say that exploring was my best bet.
I breathed a sigh. Knowing what to do provided a sense of relief and helped to loosen up my nerves. One of the evil eyes reached the corridor’s far end as I sat around and went through my thoughts. There was a room somewhere along the way, but it was otherwise just a dead end. After a moment of consideration, I decided to walk over and check on the dead end.
I followed the path for about five minutes before finally arriving at the room on the map. There, I found something along the lines of an office, albeit one that had seen far better days. The furniture was scattered all over the room and thoroughly destroyed. The walls were covered in blood, sourced from the four corpses left lying on the floor.
All of them were human. Their appearances suggested that they were likely soldiers; they were all in tip-top shape.
And there was no doubt, I was the one responsible.
There was an imprint of a foot in the ground, and placing mine on top of it proved a perfect match.
And after entering the room, which had better lightning than the corridor, I realised that my hands were covered in blood. I hadn’t felt it earlier because it had already dried.
A quick analysis of the room suggested that I’d killed them with my bare hands, in a manner reminiscent of some sort of rabid animal.
“Okay… seriously. The fuck is going on?”
Yeah… I’m just going to hope that they weren’t innocent.
Though put off by their putrid corpses, I shuffled through their belongings and examined their bodies in search of something that could serve as a clue. I didn’t find anything that gave away their identities, but I confirmed that their professions likely involved putting their lives on the line. Their hands were covered in calluses. Each was armed with different types of weapons, all of which demonstrated a clear degree of wear.
They also happened to be in the same age group, all somewhere in the range of 40. Are they… vets or something?
I tried rummaging around the room, but gave up after coming to the conclusion that there was nothing to find before leaving and wandering down the path.
It only took another minute or so for me to reach the end. There, I found a single cage with thick iron bars. Its bars had been twisted out of shape, and the individual it had been meant to contain had obviously broken out.
I was in that thing, wasn’t I?
Checking its interior, I arrived at the conclusion that I hadn’t been captured for long. I couldn’t have been, given that there was neither a bed nor a toilet. Alright, I guess that just about sums it up. I somehow got caught, broke out, and murdered everyone. And then, after wandering a little further, I finally came to.
Having seen all that there was to see, I went back the way I came as I continued to consider the status quo.
The enemies that had captured me could only be the human supremacists, given all the context.
That, I understood, but thinking through their plans took me another second.
“Maybe they wanted to have one of the demon ambassadors go on a killing spree. That’d probably shit all over the whole cooperation thing everyone’s been trying to pull off.”
All the ongoing reforms had left the people in a period of uncertainty. It was obvious what would happen, if they managed to get me to go on a killing spree. It was all but guaranteed that there would be opposition to any continued involvement with the other races.
Damn. Shit coulda went real south real fast, huh? They probably could’ve used it as an excuse to start all the fighting back up again.
I guess all my resistance is the only reason I managed to regain control. It probably wore off way quicker than they were expecting. And I probably killed the guys in the room while I was unconscious because I’d intuitively identified them as my enemies .I couldn’t exactly remember the specifics, but I figured that I at least had all the broad strokes in place. Whatever the case, one thing was certain. They had managed to knock me out.
I’d underestimated them.
It wasn’t as if I couldn’t sympathize. I knew that they held grudges, after the many long years of fighting. But that didn’t mean that I was okay with them acting on their ideals.
I was going to resolve the situation. But first, I had to find Nell and Rir and confirm their safety.