Published October 09, 2017 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 37

Story Summary

Ethan is a soul in the Underworld with no memory of his life on Earth. He is bought and sold by various masters for centuries. Traveling from large industrial towns to scorching hot deserts. During his journey he picks up the skills, knowledge and magic to escape his enslavement. He runs with the intent of living a free life, but is pursued by agents until he's cornered on a remote mountain range. With little time left, Ethan begins to recount his life and masters in the hope of leaving a record of his existence. These are his memories.

Spots sat there with his eyes wide in surprise. "Just because you leave this world, doesn't mean that the other side will be any better."

"I know that."

"Then stay."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

I sighed. "I'm so tired, Spots."

"Of what?"

"Everything. Being here. Having to do whatever they want. Watching everyone I like die or be ripped away, until I'm always alone. I can't do it anymore." It was then that I was hit by a brilliant idea. My hand extended out towards him. "You can come too. If you want."

Spots silently stared at my hand for a moment, as though seriously considering my offer, but then looked away and yawned. "Thanks, but no thanks. I haven't given up yet. I know that there's gotta be at least one good person out there waiting for me. I'm never gonna meet them if I die here."

"Suit yourself," I muttered and took a step forward.

"You never know! There could be a cute immortal out there waiting for you too."

"I doubt it."

"Or a nice mistress who just wants a pet?"

"You're just talking crap, like always."

"Send my regards to the others if you find them on the other side!" he called out as I walked away.

I gave a small wave goodbye as I walked towards the battle in the distance. Clambering over dunes, body parts, and broken armor.

I thought I'd be afraid, but I felt surprisingly calm. Like the terrible fate I was trapped within could finally come to an end.

Large groups of soldiers rushed towards the fighting. None who paid any attention to someone like me. But all souls stopped before getting too close to the battle. The enemy could destroy us in a second, so it was a waste of resources to send us out to fight.

"Hey! What're you doin!" hissed one tired soul pushing a smashed cannon. "You shouldn't be out here!"

I ignored him and continued walking forward.

"Hey!" he cried out and lunged towards me, but he was stopped by an elderly soul who held him back.

"Just let him go," she said, and I could tell from her eyes that she understood my intentions.

I whispered a small "thank you" and dashed forward. Determined to get to the front before anyone else got in my way.

And then the sound hit me.

The explosion of cannons. The thunder of magic spells. The agonized screams of the dying around me.

I walked through a field of bodies with several magic users in the center. Desperately trying their best to save the soldiers still breathing.

"You have to stay still!" cried a teenage girl in a long red cloak. Blood covering her hands. Short brown hair plastered to her forehead with sweat.

She removed a shard of steel from a bleeding soldier's abdomen. The man screamed in pain, but then became quiet when she held a glowing crystal up to the wound to heal.

"What are you doing!" cried another healer covered in blood. He grabbed her arm and ripped the girl away from the dying man. "They're coming this way! We have to move!"

"But I'm not finished!" she screamed back.

"There's no time!"

"But he'll die!"

"We'll all die if we don't move now!"

The girl seemed torn between staying to save the soldier, or running for her life, but she allowed the other healer to drag her away as tears poured down her face.

I clambered over a pile of bodies and tumbled down the other side. I pulled myself to my feet to find a thousand soldiers standing in formation before me. All neatly arranged into perfect lines. The weak and disposable at the front and the rich officers towards the back. There were men, women, and demons. Some over two meters tall. Willing to throw their lives away for a king who didn't give a damn about them.

"Advance!" cried a short fat officer perched on a small ladder. He shoved one chubby finger into the distance and they began to march forward.

"Long live the Underworld!" they chanted together. Weapons held high and cannons pointed towards the sky.

With a flash of light, and high pitched wails, hundreds upon hundreds of Heavenly soldiers emerged from behind the clouds. Clad head to foot in bronze armor or pure white silk. Transparent wings extended as they hurled towards us.

The two forces met in the middle. Heaven and Hell. No words or reason exchanged between them. Only weapons and violent spells.

The ground was hit by savage explosions. Ripping soldiers to pieces, and leaving craters the size of houses. In return, the Underworld fired bright beams of magic upwards. Vaporizing wings and sending holy warriors plummeting to the ground.

I watched one soldier, dressed head to foot in a white robe, release a spell to break his fall, pull a sword from his back, and effortlessly lop a demon's head clean off.

His fellow comrades weren't so lucky. I ducked as one body went flying over my head and crashed into the sand behind me. It lay there motionless. Difficult to tell if he was alive or dead.

I summoned my courage, pulled myself to my feet, and walked towards the fighting. Arms extended outwards and eyes fixed on the sky. Gladly welcoming them to obliterate me with their holy magic.

Mortals and demons went flying in and out of my vision, and the very ground seemed to shift under my feet. I glanced down to find that my body was splattered with blood, without any idea how it got there.

Finally one soldier descended towards me from the sky with his mouth wide open. Frantically screaming words which couldn't be heard over the roar of battle.

I thought that would be it.

That he had come to destroy me, and I would be forever free from Hell, but he instead lunged at a demon before me and tackled him to the ground.

They rolled back together and I was knocked off my feet. Making it impossible to run from what soon followed.

The heavenly soldier glowed a brilliant shade of yellow, then exploded in a giant burst of light. Destroying everything around them with a deafening roar.

When the dust cleared, all that was left was a giant crater where dozens of men once stood.

And me.

Like it was all one big cruel joke. No matter the scale of death and destruction, I would always pull through. As though Hell refused to let me go.

I lay flat on my back in the center of that hole. Watching the Angel Forces circle the sky above me like vultures. Naively thinking that there was still a chance they'd notice one stray soul.

But they didn't.

They were more than glad to destroy everyone I liked, but didn't have the time or energy to end me as well.

"I'm right here!" I rasped and extended one hand towards them. Trying my best to get closer, but my lower body refused to move.

A piece of iron cannon had rolled over my legs and was pinning me down.

It was then that one Heavenly soldier crashed to the ground near my head. The bronze metal armor taking the brunt of his fall.

He laid still for a moment, then moaned and rolled over. Letting out a string of curses which weren't unfamiliar in the Underworld. He uneasily pulled himself to his feet. Swaying from side to side like a drunk man.

"Hey!" I called out.

His sea blue eyes made contact with mine for one moment...

But then his head dropped from his shoulders and rolled to the ground.

Behind him stood an Underworld soldier with a long silver sword in her hands. She spun on her feet to defend herself from behind, and the headless soldier's body collapsed on top of mine.

I struggled to push him away, but then another body fell on top of the corpse. The soldier who'd just killed him. Dark eyes vacant as blood dripped from her mouth. Her lower body missing like it'd been blown clear off.

Another corpse fell on top of her, and then another after that. Bodies collapsed and rolled into that hole like broken dolls. Some screaming out in agony before they eventually went quiet.

There was an explosion nearby and we were sprayed with sand, shrapnel, and human remains. Again and again until that hole became a grave.

The sounds of battle grew more and more distant.

No matter how much I screamed, no one could hear.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I couldn't even succeed at something as simple as dying. The best I could do was to lie there and pretend to be another corpse.

It'll be easy, I thought as I closed my eyes to sleep. There's no way that anyone will find me down here.

I spent days floating in and out of consciousness. Spending what waking time I had in my own fantasy world. Oscar and Escape were there, along with my old friends and masters. In my new world we were all equals and nobody died. We'd be together forever and no one would leave me.

"Hey! How far down is this arsehole!" bellowed the deep voice that awoke me.

"Should hit him soon!" cried another.

The rotting corpses above me shifted and blazing sunlight entered my dark world. My eyes adjusted to see several demons removing the dirt and bodies.

A green demon grabbed my arm, ripped me to my feet, and dragged me out of the hole.

All that awaited me outside was a silent world. The battle was long over and the ground was littered with bodies. Some of which appeared to have been there for weeks. I looked around for any sign of life, but the bloody dunes were still. The only movement was from the demons who disturbed my solitude, and a large cage of souls attached to a horse and cart.

One demon ripped a bloody jacket off a nearby corpse, then threw it over my shoulders to cover my exposed body.

I scanned the skyline for the latest battle but there was no fighting in sight. "Where are the frontlines?"

A demon laughed. "There are no frontlines."

"What do you mean?" I said a little too bluntly, and the demon bit his lip. I flinched out of habit, then expected him to whack me in the face.

"The war's over, kid," answered another demon from behind him. A large red muscular guy dressed in a sleeveless black shirt. He calmly sat down on the remains of a canon and began to smoke. "Those flying bastards buggered off to where they came from."

"So we won?" I asked.

"Nobody really wins in the end, kid." He solemnly stared out at the wasteland of death. "Winning ain't gonna bring any of these guys back."

The cart rocked as we began the long trip back to the cities. I watched the battlefield grow distant through the bars of the cage. It didn't feel like much time had passed since I first arrived. Back then Oscar, Escape, Death Guy and I, were all stuffed together in a similar cart. Piled one on top of each other with no room to move. Screaming and arguing for hours until they finally put us to work. Naively thinking that we could stick together and remain in one piece.

But now they were gone forever and I was the only one left.

I glanced around the cage at the other souls who'd survived the war. Like me, they were covered in dirt, blood, ash, and what little remained of their uniforms. Nobody spoke. Like they too dreaded what awaited them when we returned to civilization.

I wiped the grime from my face with the dead soldier's jacket, but it did little to clean the blood away.

Somewhere amongst that death and destruction I came to a decision.

I may have been robbed of my death, but I swore to never live the way I had before. I wouldn't be just another stupid soul who passively accepted their fate and allowed others to hurt me.

No. This time I would be the one in control.

No matter what it took.

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