Chapter 5:

4. a new beginning

Lost souls: Road to Godhood

Dylan was resting on the cart with a hat over his face, snoring loudly, reassuring Luz, who slowly stood up.

Slowly but steadily, Luz moved his body as silent as possible towards the sleeping man's face before stopping a few centimeters above it. His hand began to tremble over the hat as Luz grew unsure if he should continue with his plan.

With grinding teeth and a pounding heart, Luz tried to calm down.

'Calm down, Luz. Remember, You have to do that. It's not like you want to do it. It's more that you have to do it if you don't want to end up as a slave.' he thought while taking a deep breath, while his eyes remained closed.

It took him a second to calm himself down and strike. But the calmness was a farce, as he couldn't contain it more than a second before immediately grabbing the hat and pressing it tightly against the latter's face.

"What are you doing," shouted Dylan, who immediately grabbed his arm. Emotionally Luz shouted: "[spatial disorder]," and blood, as well as flesh, began splattering everywhere.

The arm, which had a tight grip on him moments ago, immediately lost its grip before landing slowly with a thud onto the cart.

Luz was horrified by the damage he caused with a simple spell. Of course, he used it on an animal earlier that day, but using it on an animal was different and could easily be justified.

Blood and pieces of flesh dropped from his face and body as he muttered with a trembling voice: "I just k-killed a hu-human."

The damage he inflicted not only made the corpse in front of him unrecognizable, it even further. It even cracked the skull open.

Seeing how the brain matter slowly dripped out of Dylan's broken skull made Luke almost puke.

'Remember he tried to sell you. One shouldn't have pity with such a person,' Luz thought before throwing himself from the cart, as he didn't know how much time he had till they would find out of his departure.

He fell headfirst onto the ground before moving like a caterpillar towards the forest as his limbs were bound.

"If only the spell didn't consume all of my mana. I could have easily broken these chains," Luz muttered while his gaze was focussed onto the forest.

It was a fight against time since Dylan's companion merely had to follow the trail of blood left on the ground. What made the situation even worse was that any carnivorous creature with a good nose could probably smell the blood and flesh on his body.

Luz was like a bright beacon that could be easily found. But that didn't demotivate him as he moved as fast as possible towards the forest with new determination.

'My only hope is a stream or a river. If I can get to one, then my escape should be easy.'

30 minutes passed, and it seemed like there was still hopes for Luz, as he could hear and see the river.

But unfortunately for him, luck wasn't on his side as he heard a man shouting: "There you are."

Luz didn't want to believe that his escape failed so narrowly, and despair immediately filled his head. He ignored the person and moved further towards the river.

Only after Elon's shadow loomed above him did Luz lose all hopes.

Elon didn't stand idle and immediately kicked Luz's stomach to relieve his frustration while cursing loudly. Luz groaned loudly in pain, and the beating only stopped after the strange, who had been silent till now, cleared his throat loudly.

Luz immediately shifted his gaze towards the strange, whose presence he didn't notice till now. The stranger wore a dark cloak covering most of his face and body while his hand stroked his black goatee.

Realizing how the stranger was unsatisfied with his action, Elon immediately apologized to him. "I'm sorry, Master Brian, that you had to see it."

Brian merely nodded before taking out a small pouch filled with gold coins and throwing it towards Elon.

"Is that enough?" he asked with a deep and dry voice while gazing at Luz.

A shiver immediately ran down Luz's spine. It felt as if he stared through his soul.

Elon merely glanced into the pouch and what he saw made him smile from ear to ear.

"That's more than enough, Master Brian. It's a pleasure to do business with you," reassured Elon while pulling Luz hastily up by the collar.

With a smile going from one ear to the other, he sneered: "I have to thank you, though. Without you, I'd have to split the money," while opening the shackles.

Seeing how his customer didn't seem to be content, Elon quietly asked: "Is there anything wrong with the slave?"

Master Brian merely shook his head, and before Luz could even react, Elon's head cleanly fell off from his body. Blood splattered onto Luz's face again as he looked in horror at the man in front of him.

Luz stood there frozen, like a prey holding his breath in front of their natural predator while Brian pulled down his hood before turning his back towards Luz.

Luz's instincts screamed loudly that this was his chance to escape, to make a last attempt, but even if he wanted to, his feet didn't seem to listen to him.

Brian, who turned his back towards him, bent down to grab the purse while commenting: "What a bargain. I got another mage, for free."

He then turned his attention back to the trembling Luz before letting his gaze travel from his toes to his head with a raised eyebrow before his eyes lingered on Luz's heart.

Brian looked like a man in his early thirties.his face was jagged and covered with scars, with sharp black eyes.

On the other hand, the presence that Brian radiated made Luz feel like an ant in front of a god who could kill him with a mere thought.

Although Luz was a little scared, his heart was immediately filled with another feeling, and that was excitement since that was his first time seeing a powerful mage in action.

Seeing how Luz seemed to be frozen in his presence, Brian commented in amusement while scratching his head: "Don't you want to try to escape from me or attack me?"

Luz merely gulped before answering in tremble: "In front of a being like you, I have no choice but to submit.

Brian was taken aback by his answer and laughed loudly before contracting his presence.

"It seems like we got a smart fella here. Well, the last mage whom I bought thought that he could escape in front of me," he laughed.

Luz didn't know how to act and chose to refrain from saying anything as the man could kill him with a thought.

"Anyway, follow me, young lad. We will move now," Brian commented when he realized how awkward Luz was.

And so silence reigned between the two, and Luz could occasionally see the man using magic to scare away any animals that came near them.

Although he was depressed by his impending fate, on the one hand, he was also excited about what awaited him. Legends of what his mother told him filled his head, and he was excited about what would await him.

Late in the night, the two sat in silence around a campfire while a rabbit got grilled.

"Luz… From which province are you?" asked Master Brian while offering Luz a rabbit leg.

"I'm from the Camter Coniferous Forest, which is in the Northern part of the kingdom," Luz replied while his gaze remained fixed on the food.

After replying, he greedily bit into the grilled rabbit leg since it was his first meal of the day.

His answer baffled Brian, who immediately asked himself how such a young lad did end up in a completely different part of the kingdom. But he chose to wait with his questions and let the boy finish his meal.

After that, he asked his next question.

"May I have a quick look at your mana core? I need to see how much you have strained it," asked Brian.

Luz did as he was told and took off his shirt. Brian then briefly touched his chest with one of his hands before taking it back after a second passed. But to Luz's surprise, he got slapped so hard that he fell over.

Before Luz could object to anything, he heard Brian curse in a loud voice, "These youth are getting more and more impatient. How one can strain their mana core to such a degree as a fucking magic apprentice is beyond me."

"I'm sorry," Luz muttered in silence, but before he could justify his situation, Master Brian immediately cut him short and continued to berate him.

"The hell, you're sorry. But you better tell me about your talent and how you managed such an injury to your mana core before I slap you again," Brian replied with a sigh.

"My talent is in space magic, and I used the teleportation spell to escape with my siblings," Luz replied.

Greed immediately filled the man's eyes as a smile formed on his face. It seems like Master Brian got lucky and caught a rare pokemon.

However, the master didn't let his greed get the better of him and shook his head before remarking: "Let me guess the spell failed."

To which Luz replied: "How did you realize that?"

"BECAUSE YOU WOULD OTHERWISE BE DEAD, you damned idiot. Be glad that you only have a few small cracks and no big cracks on the mana core due to that spell. I wish I had a receipt. I just want to give you back to the bandits as I didn't plan on taking a cripple with me," Brian sighed.

"But didn't you get me for free? Well, you could let me free," Luz commented, demotivated.

"No. I took my time to come here and to buy you. You better work hard and buy your freedom. Even if I let you free, it would only be a matter of time till you would be caught and sold again," Brian commented.

Luz couldn't argue with his last point and nodded dejectedly.

"Anyway, time to move on. We still have a full day's march ahead of us. Oh yeah, before I forget. Starting from today, you're not allowed to use any magic until we fix your damn mana core," Brian stated before turning his back at Luz.

"Boss, why can I actually buy my freedom? I always thought that slaves can't escape their fate?" Luz asked as he followed Brian.

"I'm not looking for slaves either. I'm looking for workers whom I can pay less than minimum wage," Brian replied with a laugh.

"I don't see any difference in that boss," Luz sighed, and Brian patted Luz back so hard while laughing that Luz almost toppled over.

Author note: I used the word sigh a bit to often in that chapter, well…

Seriko Lee