The sound of silence was a frightening thing. Death was something should have came to Aystaria, yet he knew he wasn’t dead. His body was in a beaten state of painful with cracked ribs, and a dry throat from lack of water. Although he didn’t know how much time had passed, he knew that the trials he was about to face was far worse than the threat of death. As he slowly faded from the dream world, Aystaria realized that he was chained to a wall with both arms, and legs spread out like an eagle.
With his mind fully wake to his surroundings, Aystaria kept his eyes closed as he listened to what was around him. Okay, I can sense a lit candle off in the distance, the room feels rather small, and I’m chained to wall. Lovely, Aystaria thought as he opened his eyes. The small room held nothing of value aside from the small wooden table that held a lit candle to the left of Aystaria, along with various tools coated in a black metal.
“Ah. You’re finally awake.”
Looking around the room, Aystaria could hear the deep voice of what sounded like a man. For a moment, he could make out a figure emerging from the shadows as if out of nowhere.
“I must be dreaming now,” Aystaria joked as he chuckled.
The man smiled as he held his hand near Aystaria’s chest. With a single thump, the force of one-hundred bricks felt as if they had pounded his chest. He could feel, and hear the cracking of three of his ribs, nearly snapping in half. In that moment, Aystaria spit up a large pool of black blood.
“Guess this isn’t a dream,” Aystaria choked out as he tried to play off the pain in his chest.
“I am Cyridel, the shadow lord. And you are?”
“Before I give you my name, can we just both acknowledge that you hit like a girl,” Aystaria said with a cheerful smile.
Cyridel laughed as he looked down at Aystaria.
“That is quite amusing.”
Without warning, the feeling of one-hundred thousand bricks pressed against Aystaria’s right shoulder blade until the bones shattered. The pain was enough to make Aystaria bite down onto her lips until it bled just to hold back the screams.
“Let’s cut the games. I wish to know more about your world.”
“You should read a book.”
“I’m growing tired of your jokes.”
Cyridel held the palm of his hand up, and produced a shadow like mist from his hand.
“Enough games if you don’t tell me then you will feel pain worse than anything you could possibly imagine.”
“You mean worse then seeing your face?”
Aystaria couldn’t help but chuckle at his joke before the shadowy mist engulfed his left arm. In that moment, he could feel the fabric being eaten away until the bare flesh of his arm was exposed. Bit by bit, he started to feel the pain like that of a thousand rats mauling at his skin. With little he could do to move, Aystaria could feel the skin from his arm starting to peel away little by little. The pain began to over take his mind as he closed his eyes, and bite down on his lip. Blood poured down his arm as he started to scream, and struggle from the pain.
“That was just a small fraction of my power. Now, tell me about your world, otherwise, you will regret being alive.”
Aystaria could feel the pain in his arm as he tried to catch his breath. He could block out most pain, but what he had just endured was enough to strike fear into his heart.
“Hmm. Still nothing to say?”
Taking what little time he could to prepare himself mentally, Aystaria watched Cyridel as he made his way over to the lit candle.
“Are you afraid of the dark?”
“You should be.”
With a simple puff, Cyridel blew out the candle engulfing the room in darkness.
“What makes you a man?”
Aystaria quickly realized that he couldn’t see anything in the room around him. The fear began to arise in him as he scanned the room, his body starting to tease up.
“Last chance, otherwise, I’ll take away the one thing that defines you as one.”
A rush of wind lifted up his skirt as he started to feel his skin crawl. He knew there was nothing he could do. His body was unable to move, and he know exactly how much pain he was going to be in. Aystaria gripped the chains tightly as he began breathing loudly.