Published November 11, 2017 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 41

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.

"Again?" said Josephine.

"Again!" Her words shocked me. Like being surrounded by four gangsters was an everyday event for that woman. "What do you mean again?"

"Well, if it ain't the queen of bleeding hearts," said one guy with a hair cut so terrible that it must have been done with a blunt pair of scissors. He pulled a large metal pipe from his jacket and confidently swung it out before him. "Why don't you learn?"

"You know these people?" I hissed at Josephine.

"They're hired thugs." She eyed them wearily. "Paid by some aristocrat who doesn't want to see change."

"No, that's where you're wrong!" cried another guy with bright red hair and a face full of freckles. "We've actually been paid by a tone of rich aristocrats who don't want to see change!"

"And one guy who wants you dead!" added the thug behind him.

"But being the nice guys we are," said the pipe guy while taking a few more practice swings. "We gave you a warning. Take one step into parliament again, and there'll be consequences," he pointed his weapon straight at my mistress' head. "Remember that?"

"Of course I remember," snapped Josephine. "And I thought I told you to take that stupid request and shove it up their arses!"

"Well… this is your very last chance!" the pipe guy cried back. Trying his best to appear frightening even though it wasn't working. "Agree never to go into parliament again, or we'll beat the crap out of ya!"

"You don't frighten me," said Josephine.

As impressed as I was with her bravery, I thought it would be better to just agree with him, then run.

"Hey," I hissed to Josephine. "Maybe you should just say-"

"You can go back and tell whatever scum who hired you that change is coming, whether they like it or not!" Josephine snapped before I could stop her.

"Well, then I guess we've got no choice." Pipe Guy shrugged. "Boys!"

He gestured to the other men and they encroached on us. Ripping whatever weapons they had from their jackets. A knife. A crowbar. Freckles flexed his fingers, then began chanting a spell which must have been magic.

There was no doubt that they fully intended to beat the crap out of my mistress.

I thought that could be my moment. I'd picked up a few tricks of my own over the years, and defending Josephine from a group of thugs would be the perfect way to gain her trust.

I rolled up my sleeve and took one step forward. "Mistress, if you would allow me-"

"Get back!" she cried and shoved me behind her.

The umbrella went flying into the air. I tripped on the pavement and fell back as Josephine fearlessly rushed head first towards the four men.

Pipe guy raised his weapon, aiming to smash it straight into her skull, but Josephine ducked and slammed her fist into his stomach. Sending him flying backwards like he'd been kicked by a horse.

He flew several meters before crashing down into a puddle on the cobblestone street. Rolling several times before his body came to a halt.

He was still like that for a moment. I thought the thug may have been dead, until he groaned and attempted to pull himself to his feet. The idiot almost succeeded, but soon collapsed back to the ground. Moaning in pain while clutching his stomach.

Everyone else (myself included) looked at Josephine with fear and awe. Shocked that such a petite young woman was capable of such impossible strength.

"Who's next?" she snapped and brushed her wet hair back out of her eyes.

Josephine looked so determined and fierce. She raised her fists, and for one short moment I thought that my new mistress was truly capable of anything.

But then that moment ended.

Josephine coughed. Blood dripped from her mouth. And then the coughing continued like she'd succumbed to a fit.

My mistress collapsed to her knees. Like whatever insane strength she possessed moments earlier had suddenly evaporated.

"Get the bitch," moaned Pipe Guy from the ground.

The remaining men dashed towards her with their weapons held high. Confident that they wouldn't lose against her weakened composure.

"Well, it looks like I may have my moment after all." I smirked and dashed towards the fight.

The guy with the crowbar swung his arm back to attack as soon as he saw me coming, but I waited for him to shift his balance forward to strike. It was then that I ducked, grabbed his shirt collar, dropped down, and used his own momentum to roll him over my body, then throw him to the ground. Just like how the short commander taught soldiers how to fight on the battlefield.

I then ripped the crowbar from his slack grip, and tossed it towards Freckles who was halfway through chanting a spell.

It hit him straight in the mouth and he fell backwards.

Despite my quick assault, there was no time to defend myself from the last guy with the knife.

He viciously slashed it towards me like a mortal who'd never been in a fight with a soul. The blade ripped through my jacket sleeve, but harmlessly passed through my body.

I took one step back and then shoved my palm through the blade. All the way down to his hand and wrapped my fingers around his fist.

He appeared confused for one moment, which was the opportunity I needed to jab my fingers straight into his eyes, and shove one knee into his groin. The thug howled in pain and then collapsed to the ground, hands covering his eyes as blood began running down his face.

All four of them were down, and it was our only chance to escape before they pulled themselves together.

"Mistress!" I cried and extended one hand towards Josephine. She was still on the ground soaked through from the rain, hair plastered to her face and wet clothes hugging her petite frame. Leaving little to the imagination as I tried by best to focus on her face. Those large dark eyes were wide with bewilderment, like Josephine couldn't believe that what she saw was real. "We have to go now Mistress!"

Josephine snapped out of her daze and took hold of my hand. I pulled her to her feet, wrapped one arm around her waist as support, and dashed away.

The rain had grown heavier by the time we reached Josephine's home. It was fortunate because it masked our escape, but we were completely soaked through. I glanced to Josephine to see that the blood had disappeared from her clothes. Washed away with the rain, as though nothing had happened.

"No, not this way," Josephine protested as she pulled me away from the front gate.

"But this is your hous-"

"There's a back door."

She guided me into a narrow alley behind her home. The dirt path was littered with half buried trash, and obscene graffiti decorated the brick walls between houses.

We stopped before a large metal gate covered in vines. My mistress pushed me away. Uneasily balancing on her own feet like she was still in pain. Josephine then took a large rusty padlock between her hands, closed her eyes, then quietly chanted under her breath.

The lock snapped open with a click.

Josephine smiled for one moment, but then lost her balance and collapsed against the gate. Trembling fingers desperately gripped onto the metal bars. Breathing heavy like she had to force the air through her lungs.


"Just go inside," she rasped.

Josephine pushed the gate open and I followed her along a narrow stone path. Through the untamed back garden which resembled a dark forest. She weakly pushed away thick branches which hadn't been trimmed in years. A lot of effort for a rich woman who conveniently had a soul right behind her.

"Let me help you, Mistress?"

"I'm fine, Ethan." We arrived at the back door and she gestured for me to enter first. "There's no need to be so concerned."

"If you say so, Mistress," I muttered. Confused as to why she so firmly insisted on doing everything herself.

We stepped into the laundry room. A white porcelain sink and several metal buckets gleamed in the darkness.

Josephine carefully shut the door behind us, then collapsed onto a small wooden stool by the wall. Letting out a sigh of relief. "I just need a few minutes to pull myself together," she said weakly. "Let's just wait here a moment."

I sighed and leaned up against the sink. Examining my new mistress. As though her secrets would spring forth if I looked hard enough. "Mistress, if you don't mind me asking, why didn't we go through the front door?"

"It's Macy," Josephine sighed. "She worries too much. God knows what she'd say if I walked in like this."

Her soaked appearance hardly seemed like something to worry about, but my mistress appeared edgy, like she was afraid of getting caught.

"Your servant seems to care about you very much, Mistress."

"Yes. But sometimes, sometimes it's too much. And completely unnecessary." Josephine pulled a towel from the pile of linen beside her and began to pat down her face.

Without thinking, I walked over, took another towel, and began drying her wet hair. It was just a habit left over from waiting on other young masters, but Josephine flinched, like it was completely unexpected. I realized my mistake, but she didn't push me away.

"You're very strong mistress," I said while thinking of her punch which sent the thug flying.

"As are you," she whispered back.

I laughed. "Only mere tricks, Mistress. Which fortunately worked, because most mortal men tend to underestimate souls."

"Then you could say that what I did was also a trick, although perhaps a little more complex." She snatched the towel from my hands and began to dry her own hair. "My father had a great love for fighting and developed several of his own techniques. He hoped to one day pass them onto a son, but alas he had to make do with me."

"I'm sure that he would have been proud of you, Mistress."

"Really? How would you know?" she bit back. "Did you ever meet him?"

I rushed to apologize. "I'm sorry, Mistress. It was wrong of me to make unnecessary assumptions. It's only a shame that such a great technique hurt you-"

"Listen Ethan," she interrupted. "Please don't tell Macy about the fight today. She's already worried enough without knowing that people are attacking me on the street."

I didn't know why she wanted to hide it, but I decided to play along. "As you wish, Mistress."

Josephine looked up and caught sight of my torn jacket sleeve. "You're hurt."

"I'm fine, Mistress."

"Nonsense, I can see it right here." She attempted to grab hold of my arm but I backed away.

"I'm a soul, Mistress."

"Please let me take a look, Ethan."

"It was nothing Mistress, just a mere slash." I rolled up my sleeve to show her my bare arm. "See, completely fine."

Josephine examined my skin. Her eyes flicking back and forth just to make sure that I wasn't injured. "That's a relief," she sighed. "I'd hate for someone else to get hurt because of me." She wrapped the towel around her shoulders, then slipped off her soaked shoes. "It was kind of you to help, but there's no need to do that again. People like that are only interested in me. You should just run if it happens again."

Her concern was comical. I hadn't seen anyone worry about a soul's safety in what felt like forever.

"There's no need to worry, Mistress," I laughed. "Something like this is nothing. They could have sat there and stabbed me for hours and I wouldn't have felt a thing."

Josephine tilted her head in confusion. "Not a thing? What do you mean?"

"Well," I began to explain, but then decided that it would be better to show her instead.

I looked around the room for something I could use. There was plenty of soap, several washboards, and a metal pole for drying clothes. My eyes finally settled on a pair of rusty scissors upon a high shelf.

I took them in my hand and stood before Josephine. "I'll show you." I flicked the scissors open and held them above my translucent wrist.

"Wait-" she tried to protest, but in one quick sweeping motion I swiped the scissors down. They sliced cleanly through my arm like cutting through smoke.

"No!" Josephine cried and jumped to her feet.

She grabbed hold of my hand, but was shocked to see it still very firmly attached to the rest of my arm. Josephine then ran her fingers over my wrist. Probably wondering why my skin felt neither warm or cold.

"Can you see it now, Mistress?" I said. So proud that she finally understood. "There's no need to worry about my safety. All I am now is a ghost of a mortal who once lived on Earth. Some remnant left over to serve as an immortal slave for anyone with enough cash. I don't eat, breathe, or feel any physical sensations. I can't be cut or burnt. There's almost nothing in this world which can cause me pain, physically anyway. You can beat me as much as you please, and I will always remain in one piece."

Josephine lowered her head. "I'm so sorry, Ethan," she whispered. "You seem so real, that for a moment... I forgot."

It was then that I noticed water dripping down her face which wasn't from the rain.

It shocked me. I never expected someone so tough and privileged to give a damn about a mere soul.

"There's no need to cry for me, Mistress." I slipped my arm out of her grip. "I died a very long time ago."

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