Chapter 0:

Prologue - The Guardian That Couldn't Protect

For Vengeance

"Why has it turned out like this...?"

There's nobody left alive inside of this dungeon to answer that question, the only response I get from the hoarse words leaving my cracked lips being silence. The shackles holding me against the wall are frigid against my wrist, the methodic dripping of sewer water in the corner of the room being the only thing keeping me conscious as the wounds on my body heal at a speed they shouldn't. 

In the silence of the dungeon, the grumbling of my gnawing stomach echoes within the filthy walls that lock me away from the outside world, but it'll be until tomorrow when I get my next piece of stale bread. I doubt I'll be able to keep it in my stomach this time around, however. The stench of the corpses shackled beside me has only gotten stronger with every passing day, permeating in the air along with the foul smell of vomit and feces littering the floor. 

With a rat nibbling on my foot for the past hour or so stuffing itself with my flesh, there is only one thought inside of my head, one that I've had since I was first shackled onto the wall. 

From outside the metal door in front of me, I can hear their body slithering its way to me, the rattling of their cart sending shivers down my spine and bringing me to attention. They're coming again. It hasn't been that long since the last time, but they're already coming for more.

I don't want to go through it again. I can't go through it again... 

The metal door bursts open, a cloaked figure squirming inside with the cart, closing the door behind them with their trailing tail. They leave behind a trail of slime on the stone floor, their tail mixing around the various liquids on the ground like an artist's brush on a paint palette. Their cart stops directly in front of me, and with a loud, metallic clank, an assortment of tools on the tray— mostly blades, tweezers, and things of the like— immediately become the center of my attention.

"Ah, you're still awake I see," the cloaked figure finally says, pointing their finger upwards at the ceiling. A small flames bursts out from their fingertip, no bigger than one lighting a candle. Squirming towards the wall, they press their burning finger against an unlit torch, lighting the entire room and making the horror that is the inside of this dungeon now clear. 

I don't respond to the cloaked figure. I have no questions as to who they are or why they are doing this— I already know of both of those things. Should I feel like saying anything to the cloaked figure in front of me, it'd only be words fueled with hatred and spite, but unfortunately, it is out of my ability to act upon these feelings. For now, at least. 

"Staying quiet, huh?" asks the cloaked figure once they've accepted my silence. "Very well, I'm not entirely fond of small talk either. Let me just quickly check if you're ready for harvest or not."

The cloaked figure slithers in front of me and takes off their hood, revealing the monster that's been torturing since I've been here. Making up the entirety of his bulbous head are purple scales, each scale in a varying shade of the color. These scales go all the way down to what would be considered his body, his "body" practically being one elongated tail. His piercingly green eyes observe up and down my body, that tail of his turning me slightly so that he can view my back as well. 

"Wonderful, you're all healed up!" he shouts gleefully with a clap of his hands. Then, grabbing one of the blades from the metal tray on the cart and a large bowl, he places the bowl on the ground underneath me and presses the blade against my arm. "Don't worry, I won't take as long as I did last time."

Throughout the vicinity, I am sure that my screams of agony can be heard. With every passing second that he cuts away at my skin, the pain becomes more and more unbearable. For who knows how long, I am put in a seemingly never-ending cycle of passing out and waking up from the pain as more of my skin is cut and torn off from my body. He works his way down my arms, and then down to my chest, and then to my legs. Before I know it, the entirety of my frontal is ripped raw, the now exposed muscles of my body pulsating and contracting violently. The slabs of my skin are slapped onto the metal tray like pieces of butchered meat, the blood that I leaked out in the process all spilling onto the bowl underneath.

"Alright, alright!" exclaims the glob peeling my body of its skin, "Now we just need to get the back."

With no concern for my health, he uses his tail to forcefully turn my body around, snapping whatever bones that need to be snapped so that he has the right angle to cut. It is here where I, fortunately, lose all train of thought or consciousness as the glob does whatever he wants to my body. When I suddenly snap back to reality whenever it is that my bones have finished mending themselves together, my skin is still in the process of healing, my arms being the first to have a fresh coat of skin. 

Over and over and over and over...

I've long lost any hope of escaping, and quite honestly, I never had any hope of leaving once I was locked in. As much as it pains me so, who out there is willing to come and save me

If a man capable of destroying empires by himself is locked up in here, what hope does anybody else have in saving him?

If only I hadn't met that angel...

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For Vengeance