Prologue

Ank

It was so sudden: in one moment we were all a happy family living a simple but happy life in a distant desert village. In another, there was only hell.

“AAARGH!”, I screamed as loud as I could as the [High Priest]s knife made its way just over my muscles, carefully and slowly skinning me.

The old man in rich mantles was taking his time, maybe so I wouldn’t die so quickly, or for some whatever religious reason that I didn’t really care, so my tears and bladder had dried out days ago.

Actually, I had become unable to cry anymore after I’ve seen my mom being burned to death, my father dismembered, and my sister having her eyes pulled out right before my very eyes. As they broke her limbs, they said that it was so she wouldn’t be able to get out of her grave, that they would bury her alive, so the worms would feast on her flash.

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“Ah! Ah!”, and just then, my vocal cords also reached their limits, and I couldn’t find relief even in expressing my pain anymore.

“Aaaand done”, the high priest finally put away his knife, and pulled the loose skin of my left leg off. He carefully put it on a tray, and looked at me in the eyes: “Ah, I know exactly what you’re thinking. I’ve seen these very same eyes a thousand times before. ‘Why me?’ ‘Why is this even happening?’, right?”, the [High Priest] explained, caressing my skinless face: “It’s just politics”, he smiled. “No, I think you’re too young to understand this kind of thing. It’s because, if not you, it will be us all on your position, boy”, he concluded, and the chains that kept me in place suddenly loosened, and I fell.

I fell, and fell, falling from many meters, seeing that infernal temple getting smaller and smaller. As the [High Priest] disappeared from my point of view, however, someone else showed up.

Right at the top of the temple, on a room full of servants and luxuries, laying on a bed of cushions and eating delicacies, a beautiful tall woman with green eyes and long hair of the same color. The Emerald [Goddess], Umi.

The being to who everyone was sacrificed.

Finally, I stopped falling. I heard a loud crack, and may have broken some bones, but, honestly, at that point, I hopped they have pierced my lungs so I would die faster.

Feeling my energy being drained away, I turned my head. And saw a pile of dirty recently moved.

…Could it be?

With great difficulty, and reviving all my torments, I turned on the ground, and started to drag me towards the pile of dirt; I had fallen into some kind of hole behind the temple and torture room, and haven’t died out of the fall just because I’ve fallen onto a pile of corps-

I stopped, noticing the tormented faces of my parents between the dead mountain I was climbing down. And around then, also, every neighbor and acquaintances I’ve ever had.

Right when I thought I couldn’t get any more hurt.

Turning to the pile of dirt again, I continued, memories of happier times coming to my mind while I left a trail of my own blood behind; my father teaching me about monsters and animals, my mother kissing me on the forehead, my neighbors exchanging gifts with my family. My twin sister and only friend, who they said was buried alive.

“Ugh”, she grunted, as I held her tortured body on my arms after digging her grave with my bare hands.

She was alive.

Somehow, I got up. I was dying, but I got up and walked away, following a random direction towards the darkness, the hole where I was thrown into leading to a cave system of some kind.

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Letting red footprints I walked, and walked, and walked for what looked like an eternity. Then, there was a bright light, I went after it. And fell again, this time down a whole hill, with nothing down there to cushion the fall.

I held my sister onto my arms as strong as I could, and hit the ground.

As my vision went dark, I could only hear a calm and controlled voice:

“Oh, my.”

Then I dreamed.

I saw my home and everyone. Then I saw the [High Priest], and the [Goddess] he sacrificed everyone to, and revived the torture all over again.

Then I saw my home. Then I saw the [High Priest], and the [Goddess] he sacrificed everyone to, and revived the torture all over again.

Until, at some point, I became the one inflicting the pain on those who took everything from me.

And I enjoyed it.


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