Published September 14, 2016 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 9

Summary: Ethan is a soul doomed to spend eternity as a slave in Hell for reasons he can't remember. After centuries of torment he finally snaps and goes on the run from those who enslaved him. Can he escape and become more than a regular soul, or is he doomed to spend an eternity in The Underworld? 

Click here for other chapters

Please follow me for future updates.

I blankly stared as I attempted to comprehend their words. I thought it was a misunderstanding because I couldn't accept that we belonged to them.

"Property of the Soul Market?" I asked. "What does that even mean?"

"Exactly what he said," hissed Felix. "They're here to take us away and sell us onwards to new masters."

"They're going to what!" I cried in disbelief, and Anya began to sob louder.

I fearfully took a step back to put some distance between myself and those sad excuses of life. The green demon maliciously grinned back like he knew it was impossible for me to run.

"The truth hurts, doesn't it boy?" he growled and he was right.

That was my first encounter with the Soul Market. The first one that I can remember anyway. I'm no expert on the detestable organization which enslaved me, but I know that the soul trade has existed ever since the Underworld discovered they could utilize dead people. Their filthy agents roam Earth making deals with mortals in exchange for their enslavement in Hell. I've heard they offer plenty of majestic things such as money, fame, or anything that a corrupt human being could possibly desire.

Fallen on hard times? They can turn you into a king. Want someone dead? They can probably fix that too. The Underworld tries to justify the soul trade by claiming that we willingly signed ourselves away, but I'm sure it's just crap they made up to make masters feel better about treating us like shit. No matter how terrible my previous life was, I can't imagine agreeing to this.

Most of the Underworld's industry is supported by our free labour and the soul trade has markets in most large towns. We'd soon find ourselves in one of those cesspits later that evening.

"So if you'd be so kind," said Walkingstick. "We're on a tight schedule today and the clients are waiting."

He gracefully took off his worn top hat and gestured towards the front door. Everything he said seemed like a well rehearsed act, and I wish I could have ripped that fake smile from his face.

"Come on," said Felix grimly. He put one arm around Anya's shoulders and led her forward. "You heard what he said."

I thought Anya would struggle. I thought that someone who claimed to love Alistair so passionately would never leave, but to my surprise she obediently walked forward without ceasing her crying.

I stood there bewildered, caught between following them or refusing to go.

"Ethan!" Felix called out. "It's a lot easier if you just do what they say."

"But-" I tried to protest, but he cut me off.

"Ethan it's over! Let's just go!"

My weight shifted to my back foot. I momentarily thought of running, but I knew nothing about the world outside the mansion. The green demon with his blood red eyes was also terrifying, so I hesitantly put one foot in front of the other and followed them outside.

There was already a horse and carriage waiting for us before the front doors. Unlike the expensive gold plated carriage that Master used to travel, this one looked more suitable for transporting live animals. It was beaten up and rusty, with a large rotting wooden crate attached to the back.

Clipboard pulled open a small door at the rear, and I climbed in after my friends. Another soul was already inside, but he nervously backed away into a dark corner as soon as we entered.

"Let me go you piece of shit! Don't you dare put me in that box!" bellowed Mira from outside.

I peered through a gap in the wooden cart to see the demon effortlessly carrying her over his shoulder. Mira kicked and screamed with all her strength, but that monster just kept walking like he was used to it.

I noticed Angela obediently following behind them like it was a stroll in the park. That girl didn't seem the least bit concerned about our situation as she merrily pulled herself into the wooden crate.

"Did you hear the great news," Angela laughed with glee. "We're all moving house, I do hope that the new master has a decent torture pit."

"What's wrong with you!" cried Anya in between sobs. Felix reached out and hugged her closer.

The demon casually tossed Mira into the cart and bolted the door behind her. Mira furiously pulled and scratched on that wood with all her might, but she eventually gave up and lifelessly collapsed against the door.

"It says here that there should be one more," muttered Clipboard.

"Can't find him," growled the demon. "Must have done a runner."

"Did you even search the whole estate? Because by my calculations that should have taken you a lot longer."

"Not to worry," said Walkingstick. "I doubt that a soul will get far in this town. I'll send someone to collect him as soon as we get back."

"Yes, Sir," Clipboard, but he angrily glared at the demon as soon as his boss walked away. "If we have to hire someone to track this one down it's going to come out of your salary."

"You think you've got the guts to cut my pay human," the demon growled back. He deliberately puffed out his chest and leaned over the other man to try and intimidate him.

"Well, that's for accounting to decide," Clipboard quickly mumbled before rushing off to join his boss in the carriage passenger seat.

The demon climbed up onto the roof of our cage and the wood bent under his weight. Someone then whipped the horses and the cart rolled forwards.

"That idiot Alphonse," whispered Felix. I can't believe that he tried to run."

"But there's a chance that he might get away, right?" I asked.

"Don't you know anything!" said Felix. "Even if you think you've escaped they will always find you, eventually."

I found this hard to believe so I looked towards the others and expected someone to disagree, but they all sadly looked away like they knew it was true.

Everyone except for Angela who was grinning from ear to ear. "Do you think they'll put Alphonse in the-"

"Shut up Angela!" snapped Anya.

After that everyone stopped talking and the only noise was Anya's and Mira's sobs. Felix didn't break down, but he looked anxious like he knew what was going to happen.

I looked through the crack in our cage and watched the carriage move through the front gate. I hadn't seen the world outside our estate in over forty years and it shocked me.

The houses around the mansion were well kept, but once we moved down the street the reality of that town's living situation began to kick in. The buildings were black and grimy, the roads were filthy and littered with trash, and there were all sorts of destitute humans and demons begging for loose change.

I caught sight of one soul like myself dressed only in a paper bag., wearily dragging a cart full of garbage as his master screamed to go faster. The gap between the rich and poor in that place were huge, and people either lived in mansions or out in the slums. The shitty king doesn't give a damn about helping anyone who isn't useful to him.

The cage grew dimmer as night fell. I leaned back against the grimy wooden wall and glanced at the outline of Anya who had fallen asleep against Felix's shoulder.

Everything changed that day.

Master Alistair was dead and I would never meet him again.

I was overcome by a profound feeling of sadness and my body began to shake.

I was thankful that it was dark enough for the others not to see me cry.

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 5051 ,52,53