Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Ch15

Story Summary

Long ago I sold my soul and doomed myself to an eternity in the Underworld. I was treated like a slave for centuries, but no more! I'll find a way out of this destiny or die trying!

Chapter: 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

My trembling hand gripped the ink pen so tightly that it almost snapped in half.

That day in the bakery happened so many years ago, but that arsehole's words continued to revolve around in my head for years (becoming more bitter and righteous with each recollection) until even I began to believe he was right.

Thanks to shitty people like that, I chose to passively accept my so called place in society, and allowed anyone to use me as they wished. I thought things would be better if I just gave in and lived like a slave, no matter who was in charge.

The wind ferociously howled outside the cave entrance.

A savage blizzard forced me to take shelter in a gap in the mountain. The cave was only several meters deep and barely high enough for me to sit without slouching. Any mortal would have moaned about the cramped conditions, but it was enough for me.

Anything was enough for me.

I hadn't seen any sign of the surviving Soul Market agent since I fell from the cliff, but I knew that he was out there somewhere. Living, breathing, plotting my demise. I didn't know whether that guy would go back for reinforcements, or try to take me alone, but I doubted that he'd fall for the same tricks twice. Guys like him never did.

I was running out of ideas, and doubted if I'd survive my next fight. The freedom I'd worked so hard for was slowly slipping away.

"Looks like I was right after all." I glanced back to see the baker's son leaning over my shoulder, half submerged in the darkness with a cruel smile plastered across his face. He was dressed in the black robes he received when he finally entered the school of his dreams, but I could do nothing but watch. "You'll never be anything more than a rotten little slave," the over indulged bastard laughed.

I looked away and slammed my notebook shut with a thud. When I turned back he'd vanished.

Just another delusion.

I sighed and ran my hand through my hair in frustration.

I had to take a break from the past. Dragging up one terrible memory after the other was harder than I expected. Dangerous thoughts threatened to overcome me if I stopped to think for too long.

I leaned back against the rock wall and closed my eyes. Trying to disconnect, but they still invaded my mind. Alistair, Anya, Alphonse, Foreman, and the Soul Market agent who I left smashed against the rocks.

There were others like that dead man. The ones who tried to catch me but lost in the end. Some were still out there living away the rest of their days with missing limbs, but others would never breathe again.

Could I ever truly enjoy my freedom if it meant destroying so many others?

Everything had been so much easier weeks ago, when I first escaped. When I was still full of exhilaration and hope.

I thought I could do anything.

But after weeks of running (fighting enemies left, right, and center) my self doubt had begun to grow.

I was choking in it.

No where I went was safe. Whatever strategy I created would soon become obsolete.

I failed back in the factory when I tried to beat Foreman (and several times after that) so how could this situation be any different?

"Oh, Girly Boy," sang a voice which echoed around me. "Such a deep, dark, magnificent hole you've dug for yourself."

From the moment I heard that voice I knew what would be there.

I opened my eyes to see Anya squashed in between two rocks before me. Except she wasn't the kind Anya from Alistair's mansion, but instead Foreman's minion who would destroy others just to save herself. Her hair was a crazy mess, her face was covered in grime, and her eyes seemed to glow in the darkness.

"Shut up," I hissed. "Like your way was any better? Just look at how you ended up."

"And now I'm free of this shithole." Imaginary Anya extended her arms outwards to the cave around us. "No more crappy masters. No more fucking mind games. No more begging and fighting just to hold onto the smallest thread of sanity. What a wonderful new existence I must have now. But you, my dear old friend, are trapped here for eternity."

"Shut up."

"You know that it's impossible to get away, right? They're going to find you, lock you up, and torture you more than they've messed up anyone before."

"I said shut up!"

"They'll put your messed up arse on display for all the other shitty souls to see. Just to show them what happens if they try to run away." She dramatically gestured to the back of the cave, like there was a crowd waiting there. "Look everyone!" her voice boomed. "At the sinner who thought he could do what he wanted. He managed to outwit a bunch of dull agents for a month or so, but they caught him in the end. Now look at the crazy mess he's become!"

"No! You're wrong!" I slammed my palm against the rock wall. "I'm not gonna end up like that!" I said even though I no longer fully believed those words. "I'm gonna be the guy who defeated the Soul Market!"

I expected that to silence her, but instead she just laughed. It was nothing like the soft giggle she had in the past, and was instead the morbid cackling of someone who had been bent and broken too many times to count.

"Oh Ethan, what a joke!" She slowly began fading away. "You know well and good that you've almost reached the top of the mountain. You're going nowhere but down!"

With one last laugh she was gone, and I found myself alone. Staring at a mound of rocks which didn't even slightly resemble my dead friend.

I hugged my knees to my chest and rested my head on top of them. Allowing myself to sink into despair.

It was time to stop lying to myself and accept that the delusions could be right.

Even if I kept running I would never be safe. I could never stay in the same place for long. I would be constantly looking over my back for the next agent who was out to end me. Could that even be called freedom?

Perhaps it would be better to just bury myself in the cave and hope that everyone would let me be.

"You're all so cruel," I muttered to the ghosts of my past. "Why did you all die and leave only me behind?"

I expected and answer, but the voices were unusually quiet. The only sound was the wind howling through the lower levels of the cave.

"I should have just allowed myself to die when I had the chance."

Chapter: 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