Chapter 2:

Prelude to Irrationality

The Vengeful Ways of the Abyss Lord

How much time has passed now?

She doesn't know.

There was no way to point out the time that had passed ever since Bellona Meriel woke up inside a chilly cell.

The interior of the place seems to be rundown. Dry splashes of blood spilled on the floor accompanied by a stinky smell that seemed to have come from insect feces. The walls were boarded with wood, wedged, and tapered along the frames, making a narrow hole anyone could notice.

Bell looked on the side, she noticed that the cells were fixed in an array and seemed to extend up to the end of the long hallway.

This was no ordinary room. She could feel the negative energy and immense feeling of hopelessness swirling inside. Much like her, the other young Damniants who have been kidnapped were mercilessly locked up with no way of escape. Only the sunlight that was peering down from the holes coming from outside gave them temporary warmth.

"This is... Are we in the capital?" She whispered to herself as she quietly stood up.

On the opposite of her was the figure of other children sitting down quietly while breathing softly. She could tell that they'd already exhausted their voice trying to shout for help, an obvious expression that they were now just waiting for their demise.

Bell then noticed something besides the cells... A dismembered body of a teen, each limb torn like a scrap and the head was missing.

Her eyes widened in horror as she palpitated. She covered her mouth, a dreadful expression was visible on her face. How cruel...

By this time she had finally realized that this was no ordinary slave house... It's a torture chamber for all of the captured Damniants.

If they have deemed that the children could no longer function, they won't hesitate to kill them on the spot.

Bell tried to gauge the age of the children that were sitting in their cells. They aren't that much older than her, most of them are assumed to be the same age as her. This means that the one who's running all of this is looking for a specific Damniant. A young member that they could sell for profit.

They know that they wouldn't be able to earn capital if the children that they took from their raids were barely functional or too young to work. They had to sort out those who were fatigued and a lost cause, or worse, they could just kill them.

Am I going to be sold as well?  Bell thought.

While it's not comforting, if Bell managed to survive this slaughterhouse, she could just escape by the time someone buys her. Considering the process of the higher-ups, the chance of her survival by forcefully escaping is slim compared to waiting for the right moment until she gets shipped out.

Regardless of what she will experience here, she needs to have faith that someone will save her.

"Rin... Please save me." She murmured the name of her best friend, a certain teenage boy from the Town of Fier that she grew up with.

But while she was coping with that thought, a footstep could be heard outside. Bell was alerted by the sound and instantly lay down and turned around with her back facing the cell.

She covered her mouth shut with her hands as she stayed calm.

The door opened and a figure stepped inside. A chain-like object dangling from their waist created a loud screeching noise as it slid on the rough floor. 

"Hmm, who should I pick for today...?" The man spoke.

Bell instantly knew that the man was dangerous. He was exuding a terrifying aura and he smelled nothing but a murderer. She constantly reminded herself to keep quiet as she feigned being asleep.

She knew that whoever captured them was more likely to pick the one who was awake from their cell and start from there.


"Hmm...?" The man leaned on Bell's cell, she heard the sound of his breath as if his whole presence was about to devour her.

Bell shut his eyes tightly as she remained still. It was a bone-chilling experience. She had to normalize her breathing and tried her best not to shake too much. The eyes of the predator were just locked into her, silently observing her.

Seconds have passed. Bell was already on the verge of breaking down. The presence of the man behind her was so unnerving and petrifying that she had to hold her breath. Fortunately, after hearing a sound from the other cell, the man lost interest in Bell and walked away.

"Meh..." He opened the cell in the center and dragged a young boy outside.

"P-Please wait, Sir! I don't want to die, please...!" The boy pleaded as he resisted. Bell could hear the terrifying scream and proceeded to cover her ears.

"Shut up, brat!" The man used his chains and smashed them on the boy's face. Blood splattered on the cell as he was knocked unconscious. "You seem to be strong so I'll mark you..."

The man carried the boy and walked away from the room. He then shut the door and locked it once again.

"Hah..." Bell finally let go of her mouth and sighed in relief. But the chills didn't stop there. Although they weren't picked, the horrible wail of pain that was coming from the second room didn't calm their nerves. Noises of agony bombarded their innate nature, activating their fight or flight response.

After a few seconds, the cry of pain stopped. Did the young boy die? She didn't know. She didn't want to imagine how he died. Maybe he's still alive? She didn't know either. The man said that he could be valuable because of his strength so perhaps he was only knocked unconscious again?

Despite the scary feeling that was swirling inside her, Bell kept herself together. She only had one person in her mind the entire time.



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Rin Einfried opened his eyes. There was a slight feeling of discomfort as he gently lifted his body from the bed.

He looked around and noticed that he was in an unfamiliar house. No, perhaps he knew this house but because of its charred appearance, he couldn't identify which house is it.

The sunlight peered through the boarded window. He looked outside and saw the result of the raid last night. Every building in the village was razed to nothingness. There were corpses everywhere and the amount of debris piling on top of each other polluted the land and the air.

"Oh, you're awake now..." Rin was suddenly startled when a deep and dark voice called out to him. He suddenly jumped out of the bed and assumed a fighting stance on the door in reflex.

"Who are you...?" He then saw a man clad in all black standing on the door while carrying a bowl of soup.

The man had a peculiar mask, it was painted in black and the shape looked like a goat with its horns extending on the back. Rin could feel the dark aura emanating from the man and concluded that it was dangerous to make an enemy of him. However, he still couldn't let his guard down.

"As expected, you're already fast at this age..." The masked man heaved a sigh as he sat down. He then gave Rin the bowl. "Eat it..."

Rin started to calm down and took the bowl. He then slowly consumed the soup and finished it after a few minutes.

"Feeling better now?" The man asked.

"You... You're not from here, aren't you? Who are you and why did you help me?" Rin's tone was provocative, it was like the sound of someone interrogating a criminal.

"You can tell?"

"I've memorized every Damniant in this village and there was no record of you being here in the past years. And your clothing... It's weird..." Rin glared at him.

"Hmm, you're astute as well." The masked man crossed his arms and leaned back. "To tell you the truth, I am just a mere traveler who just happened to stumble upon this village. You can call me Lev." He introduced himself.

"A traveler? Are you perhaps a Damniant as well?" Rin asked.

"I am indeed a Damniant..."

"Then I assume you're also running away from the Eliads?"

Lev nodded.

"While the village was burning, I saw you lying on the ground. You must have exhausted yourself from casting too many Divine Arts spells and entered Mana Depletion State." Lev recalled the moments after the Royal Mage Corps left the scene last night.

"I see..." Rin hung his head as he clenched his fist. "I tried my best to fend them off but despite that... they still managed to capture Bell and the others."

"You mean your childhood friend?"

How did he know? Rin thought but he shook his head and explained what happened.

"Yes... It seems like someone from the Nocus Faction was paid to reveal the location of the village and reported traces of Damniants."

"Hmm, the Nocus Faction was the group of mercenaries working for the nobles, correct? How come they have a connection to the Town of Fier? It's unlikely for them to stay within the proximity of the commoners." Lev pondered.

"That's because most of the employed mercenaries came from this village."

Despite the discriminatory remark toward the Damniants, some factions are formed with a concentrated will that is recognized by the Eliads or the higher-ups. They are more of an independent state that has a permit to be untouchable by those who revere the Apostles. It's the same as having an autonomous country that could govern itself.

Not much is known about how the faction was formed. Some people were confused about how they managed to spare the Nocus Faction despite its members mostly being Damniants. Rin was aware of how the Eliads despised their race as the descendant of the Cursed Kings but for them to reconsider and cease hostilities toward this faction seems to brew suspicions from the other settlement.

"Meaning that there must be someone from the Eliads or a high-ranking noble who control this faction for themselves," Lev said.

"Yes, I figured that a faction of Damniants can't gain the trust of the Eliads so there must be an influential person behind all of the raids. This individual must have paid someone from the group to become an informant and then sent the Royal Mage Corps to destroy the place." Rin added.

"I see..." Lev stood up. "I feel bloodlust exuding from you... you must be frustrated."

"Of course! They took my friends and killed their parents! I would never forgive them... those bastards took everything away from me again!" Rin shook in anger as his red eyes started glowing. A jet-black aura started flaring up behind him as he remembered what happened last night.

Good, take in all of your wrath and do not let it die...

"You want to save them then?" Lev asked.

"Yes..." Rin nodded.

"I have a plan that will save all of them but I need your cooperation for it to work. Would you be willing to help?"

"I'll do anything to save them and kill those who took them away from me...!"

Lev sneered. Rin couldn't see it because of the devilish masked but he could feel that this man was plotting something.

Lev then walked toward him. "Then, please die for me..."


Without any effort, Lev summoned a dark blade in the air and stabbed Rin in the heart. He coughed out a lot of blood and squirmed in pain.

"Guh...! W-Why...?"

Lev didn't answer, he pushed the blade through until it pierced his heart, gouging out his organs as the blood pooled.

Rin couldn't do anything. The pain has consumed him.

His eyes were about to close, and the last thing that he saw before passing away was a demonic entity looking down at him.