Published June 02, 2018 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 52

Story: 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.

It was another week before I felt confident enough to leave Lucas' house alone. The Soul Market's visits had become more sporadic, only once every few days, as though the idiots believed that I could actually reform. It was too bad that I wouldn't be there to watch their faces when they realized just how wrong they'd been.

It was time to progress to the next phase of my plan. Lucas (or the great disappointment as I called him in my head) lacked the materials I needed to pull off any decent spells, so I had to outsource them from elsewhere. Society had made it impossible for me to purchase them legally, so I had no choice but to take them the only way I knew how.

With my own hands.

After weeks of sucking up and pandering to gain information, I found my first target, the magical master Bellerive. Several of Lucas' unexpectedly useful friends confirmed that the elderly man received a large inheritance of magical goods. I felt bitter that he hadn't rushed into save me from the Soul Market instead.

I made my move one evening while Lucas slept. Completely dead to the world as he was getting screwed over.

I crept across snowy rooftops and through shadowy streets. Avoiding anyone who came my way. I silently climbed over the estate's tall stone wall and snuck through Bellerive's large garden. Hiding behind neatly trimmed hedges that had been shaped into rabbits and hamsters, until I reached the back of the house.

My fingers lightly traced the oak timber window frames one by one, testing their strength, until I found one weaker than the others. I then slid a steel letter opener between the gap and gently pried it open. Creating a large enough opening for my body to slip through.

I climbed inside and then carefully closed the window behind me, readjusting my black hood so that my face was completely covered in the darkness. My back pressed against the wall as my bare feet moved across the carpeted halls. Never before so grateful for my light body which barely made a sound.

I peered into every room on the first floor to find a stylish kitchen, lounge, guestroom, and bath, but none of the ancient artifacts which Lucas' friends described to me after several drinks.

I was about to ascend the stairs before a door creaked open at the end of the hall. There was only just enough time to slip myself into the closest room and hide behind the door.

A soul emerged. Pale face covered in white powder, dressed in a dark blue suit with several ruffles which had once been in fashion a century ago. He virtually glowed in the dark as his feet glided across the floor like he was floating.

The soul paused before the room that I was hiding within. Face blank and lips taunt, making him impossible to read.

I shrank away from the gap in the hinges in terror, paranoid that he could somehow sense my fear, but the soul instead continued walking and disappeared into the adjacent room. Quietly closing the door behind him.

That was my chance.

I silently crept out of hiding and dashed up the stairs. Moving back into the shadows before anyone else could appear. After slipping in and out of several rooms, I finally located the study.

The room was full of several bookcases and a wall of dusty cabinets with frosted glass doors. Inside were various ancient relics from all corners of Hell. Glowing crystals, demon bones, and stone plates covered in illegible insignias. All of which had to be useful for something.

It was impossible to take everything so I had to choose wisely. Carefully examining each item before shoving a chosen few into my coat. I also went through any book I could use. Ripping certain pages out of others which were too heavy to carry back. It killed me to leave so many things behind, but I couldn't risk too many objects weighing me down.

Once I had taken as much as I could carry, I cracked open one of the glass windows to formulate an escape route. There was one large tree outside the window. Not easily accessible, but I could reach it if I jumped. A far better idea than creeping back through an unfamiliar house riddled with mortals and souls.

I climbed up onto the window frame, then leaped forward, flying through the air until my fingers securely wrapped themselves around the closest branch. My weight alone wouldn't have been a problem, but I'd greatly underestimated how much my new loot weighed.

The branch immediately snapped with a sickening crack, and my body plummeted to the ground. Crashing against the grass with a loud thud. Several stone tablets instantly shattering in my pockets.

I lay there dazed for a moment, trying to work out where I went wrong, when my mind was snapped back to reality by voices inside the house.

A window banged open, and the soul in the blue suit shoved his pasty face outside. Brandishing a large lamp into the darkness as he frantically searched for the origin of the noise. Perhaps he saw me, perhaps he did not, but I couldn't wait around to find out.

I quickly pulled myself to my feet and dashed back into the darkness. Frantically scrambling over the back wall, then dashing down the street. Stopping only once to confirm that I wasn't being followed, before I ran full speed straight back to Lucas' home.

The following days were spend analyzing my collection. I had pages from the library, objects from the townspeople, and the knowledge in my mind from the past three hundred years. One alone wasn't enough, but together they created a pathway towards an impossible dream.

Compared to my research and dreams of the future, waiting on Layabout Lucas seemed utterly pointless, so I naturally began to slack off with my chores.

"Tulip!" the young man bellowed as he burst into the kitchen one morning. I quickly folded a tablecloth over my research to hide it from view. "I asked you to iron my shirt a whole ten minutes ago!"

"I'm humbly sorry, young master," I apologized, but my acting was barely believable. "I will iron your precious garments at once."

"You better," Lucas snapped back. "And you left the window open again last night. There's been several robberies in town and I don't want to be next. Sneaky Steven up the road has been eyeing off my library for years, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's the mastermind behind this all."

"As you wish, master."

"And then there's the living room." The idiot was certainly on a role. "Why's there a giant burnt patch on the floor?"

"A tragic cooking accident."

"A cooking accident? In the living room?"

"That's why it was an accident."

"What the…Tulip, if you don't start seriously doing better soon, then I'm gonna send you back to the Soul Market!"

"Don't say that, master. You are like the sun that shines on a grim spring day. Bringing joy and life to all those around you like a playful bumble bee."

"Yes, yes, I get it already," snapped Lucas, no longer impressed by my flowery words.

"Your pained expression brings me nothing but misery." I intended to sound more sincere, but I was irritated that I had to speak instead of getting back to work. "I have learnt the error of my ways. I will strive to be the perfect example of slavery and oppression."

Lucas sighed and ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. Completely exasperated by my behavior. "You know Tulip, I'm starting to think that your heart really isn't in this. I get this feeling that you've been lying to me since the day that we met."

I flinched. So there really was a limit to how much Lucas would believe after all.

"You're right." I reached for a bottle of cleaning solution and poured it onto a white towel. Soaking the cloth completely. "I really wouldn't believe that sort of crap, either."

"What do you mean?" Lucas snapped back.

I took hold of the soaked cloth, then stood to my feet, moving towards my self centered master. There must have been something about my eyes that uneased him, because the young man instinctively moved back, as though cowering from a monster.

It was then that I lunged before he could run, throwing my whole weight against him.

Lucas fell back and hit the floor with a bang, his head colliding with the floorboards, but it wasn't enough to knock him out. He lay there dazed for a moment when I straddled his waist, doing my best to hold him down as he frantically struggled.

"Get off!" Lucas screamed and shoved his hand in my face. "Help! Anyone! My soul has gone mad!"

His words were cut off by the chemical soaked cloth that I held against his mouth and nose. The idiot gripped both my wrists and almost succeeded in getting free, until his eyes rolled back into his head and his body went limp. Breathing weakly as he gradually slipped into unconsciousness.

I rolled off his body and collapsed onto the floor beside him. Trying my best to calm my racing nerves. Bewildered that such an improvised plan had actually worked.

Then Lucas began to snore. Merrily snoozing away without a care in the world. Face peaceful and serine despite what I had done.

The idiot was far more manageable when he was unconscious, but it wouldn't be long before someone noticed him gone.

If I wanted any hope of following through with my plan, then it had to be that night.

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