Myrtiha, or better known as Land of Chains, was a world of islands. Graystone stood erect from within the ashen sea, turbulent waves repeatedly beating against the cliff shores, carving out rock in their wake. The sky above remained dark and clouded throughout, sparks of lightning and thunder repeatedly blasting away, booming sounds shaking the world.

Islands themselves were connected by massive, thick chains, each so wide twenty people could stand side by side on them. Black chains seemingly kept the islands close together, so they don’t drift away on the tidal sea. Each island had its own specific name, and each was divided in at the very least two separate sides.

Alison, Lucky, and Hannah were currently standing on top of a rugged edge, bent strangely over and under itself like a loop, surrounded by thick and tall trees. Like the man told them, the intersection between two different quadrants was largely abandoned. There was roughly a mile of width to work with, helped by the fact that it was submerged within thick branches of the blooming trees. Though the weather did little to inspire joy and hope, it certainly helped the local plant life thrive.

While Hannah and Alison were preparing a quick meal, Lucky stood upfront with the man, gazing through the half-circular hole within the looping rock. In the far distance, the ‘Submerged Prison' emerged. Contrary to its name, it was not underneath water... or anything, really. It was similar to most others, with two sections -- aerial and grounded one. In the sky, hanging off the chains wrapped around something invisible, were countless cages, repeatedly blasted by wind carrying thick shards of glass and ice.

Down below a fortress of sort heaved up, built mostly out of aged marble, with occasional parts exuding metallic sheen, largely gates and supporting beams. Lucky immediately felt her head pulsate with pain -- she imagined she wouldn't have a difficult time at the very least sneaking in... but her dreams were crushed quickly. From the first glance, it was seemingly impossible to sneak in -- the fortress faced the open sea on its back end, as it was bunched up straight at the edge of the island, with its front exposed to a vast clearing without a singular obstacle insight that she could use to hide.

There were in total sixteen sentry towers, six at the front, six at the sides, and four on the back. Though she was still to understand the guard patterns, she imagined the shifts were regular, and it would be difficult to exploit the temporary respite. As she was in no rush yet, however, she merely sighed and turned around, walking back, with the man following after her quickly.

“Do you know if they have any sensors to detect underground movement?” Lucky asked the man.

“Yes,” the man nodded. “Every prison is built on top of a set of arrays dedicated entirely to scouting -- ground, underground, above, invisible, even spatial.”

“... what the fuck?” Lucky mumbled, rubbing her temple. “Are they really that paranoid?”

“They should be,” Hannah chimed in as Lucky joined them. “Most of the worst from our world are locked up somewhere here. Not only is being a Prison Warden here one of the most profitable jobs that exist, letting a single prisoner escape pretty much means the end of your career.”

“You don’t see a way in?” Alison asked worriedly.

“Not at the first glance, anyway,” Lucky shrugged, sitting down. Their temporary base was wedged between a cover of tall trees and a side cliff Lucky just descended from, ensuring that unless one specifically looked at this spot, they wouldn’t be found no matter what. “But, we’ve just settled here. Ask me again in a few days.”

“Do you have any ideas?” Alison asked the man with a warm smile, grabbing his hand.

“... I-I’m sorry... I don’t...” the man replied.

“If the goal is to just grab a few of them,” Lucky mused aloud, grabbing the freshly roasted boar meat. “Can’t we just set a trap outside and wait for them? I mean, they’ve got to leave at least once in a while, right?”

“Chances are that they have teleportation arrays inside the fortress,” Hannah said. “To minimize the need to leave the place.”

“Eh, I’ll figure something out,” Lucky shrugged. “I’m the brains and you two are the brawns. So always be ready to brawl, got it?”

“... are you saying we’re stupid?” Hannah asked.

“Yeah, pretty much.” Lucky replied. “Well, you are stupid; Ally is just innocently ignorant.”

“... I’m surprised you aren’t spitting shit out of your mouth considering how hard you’re kissing her ass.” Hannah said.

“Y-you two! Please stop!” Alison chimed in quickly. “What did you promise me?!”

“That we’ll abstain from saying the ‘c’ and the ‘f’ and the ‘p’ words in front of you?” Lucky said, grinning.

“You forgot the ‘ts’.” Hannah chimed in.

“Ah, yes, the tits. How can I forget the tits? There’s six of them just here alone.”


“... how does anyone blush because of that?” Lucky sighed.

“Ask him.” Hannah pointed at the man who seemed rather intrigued by the girls’ conversation to the point his eyes unconsciously drifted over to their chests as they talked about them. “That’s a real man right there. Unabashedly staring without a care in the world.”

“A-ah! I’m sorry!” caught red-handed, the man drew back a few paces with a horrified expression. Lucky and Hannah stared at him dubiously for a moment, wondering just how many psychological problems he has developed, before turning back to their dinners.

“At the very least,” Lucky said. “The guards’ levels aren’t anything praiseworthy. If it comes down to just booming right in, we shouldn’t have much of a problem.”

“We can’t just boom in,” Hannah said. “Though I don’t know for certain, chances are they have arrays and formations to stop exactly that, regardless of the guards’ strength.”

“Yes, and besides, the guards that you can see are most-likely just there for a show,” Alison added. “Back home, most of the official guards in the Sect are Disciples who failed to keep up with the curve. They’re usually among the weakest members of the actual fighting force.”

“Disguise as them?” Hannah proposed. “I have some fairly high-tier talismans for it.”

“Even if we could, how do we get in? If no one’s leaving, they probably won’t be expecting anyone to return either.” Lucky said. “Maybe have one of us try and get captured as a prisoner?”

“Too risky,” Hannah shook her head. “We don’t know the structure inside, and whether we’d even be locked up. Chances are, we’d be first auctioned off as we wouldn’t be official prisoners. Distraction? Maybe cut the prisoners in the cages and sneak in during the ruckus?”

“Can those chains be destroyed?” Lucky asked the man who had seemingly recovered from his previous blunder.

“... I doubt it,” the man shook his head. “There have been attempts before, a few times; one time, a Primordial Titular tried it and barely got a chip in.”

“... what the fuck are they made out of?” Hannah sucked in a cold breath, glancing at the hanging chains.

"I could ask my... khm, Master, if he has any ideas," Lucky said. "Though it would mean, khm, telling him about the fire and all."

“... would he know what to do?” Alison asked, the image of a strange man flashing through her mind.

"If there's anyone, it's him," Lucky said, glancing stealthily at Hannah who was secretly grinning at her. "Though I must warn, his methods tend to be... less than ethical."

“... let’s hold back on it for now,” Hannah said, noticing the struggle in Alison’s eyes. “We’ll call that ‘Master’ of yours if we’ve no other choice. We’ve only just arrived here, anyway. We’ll observe the situation for a bit.”

“In shifts?” Lucky asked.

“In shifts.” Hannah nodded.

“Hm? What shifts?” Alison quizzed.

“While two of us sleep, the third one observes.” Lucky explained.

“... why would we sleep?” Alison asked, confused.

“... because it’s relaxing? Fun? The reason to live?”

“... he he, you are weird, Sister Lucky...”

“Yeah, I’m weird, you’re adorable, and this third wheel is unnecessary. It’s nice how all of us are something.”

“Be careful,” Hannah said. “You might just go from weird to dead if you keep this up.”

“If it means getting away from you, go on -- end me. No, wait, I’ll just end myself. I don’t trust you have the ability to do it.”

“It’d be a miracle if you died, regardless,” Hannah said. “I’ve a feeling even death doesn’t want you.”

“Then I’ll just stay among the living to annoy you. I’ll make that my purpose in life.”

“Aww, it’s adorable you think you can annoy me...”

“Uh... then what was I doing for the past few hours? Sucking on my toes?”

“... aaaand you had to make it weird...”

"Well, I am the weird one." Lucky grinned as the two glanced at Alison who had a rather dispirited expression; she seemed to have finally accepted that her reality would remain this and that there was no point in fighting it.


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About the author


Bio: Bad writer, worse painter, terrible singer. Accumulation of all things gone wrong. Rather proud of it, actually.

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