Staring at the ceiling, since he still can’t sleep. It didn’t take long for him to start studying the Runes. That should put him to sleep eventually, so far it hadn't. Not had he made any headway in learning the secrets of this (yet another) magical system. Though he doubted people would expect one to do so, by looking at complex patterns of shapes that seem to be doing something.
It must be important, maybe, the only thing that has changed was the Runes color. The standard was white (which was starting to hurt his eyes) but changed seemingly randomly. Some Runes would change to yellow, others farther way changed to green, and the rarest color of all was red. A rather deep red, he didn't think that one was a good thing. His instincts seem to scream when that one appeared, and he’d learned to listen to that above all else from his many lives.
The number of times it had gone off, and he ignored it only to die moments later had trained him well to take notice of its purpose.
A purpose even more important in a world of magic where he was sure there will be mighty beasts that need to be slain or avoided at all costs. So he went back to studying. He was sure at any moment enlightenment would strike and he’ll be a master that will ben—
Whimpering sounds spread out. Instantly his hands were placed back over his ears, as the screams of baby’s sound off, each moment another voice was added to its volume. He wanted so badly to scream at them to shut up, but that never works on a child, it only makes things worse.
That and his attention was focused on the ceiling, the runes were changing colors, green, yellow, orange, and many turning a deep red. A heart, his heart was hammering in his chest as he watched the whole ceiling begin to turn red.
Before he had a chance to register what was happening a figure loomed over him. A woman scared out of her mind snatched him up allowing his view of the realm to change, the room was circular and large, rows of cribs all around. There were other women all hurrying about grabbing babies left and right. The woman carrying him grabbed another child before marching to the exit flocked by many others.
This normally would be a wonderful moment, since he was smashed up against the woman's soft breasts, but with another child right by him screaming its lungs out, and the ceiling dyed in red. The moment was somewhat tarnished.
The positive was he could finally (though limited) look around even with his fat head. There were guards pouring into the chamber as they exit it. They’re covered in leather like armor with metal plates in all the needed areas. Some armor though looked bug-like, large carapaces for shoulder pads. Some seemed to be wearing helms made of the stuff as well.
It made them look intimidating, save for the fact that those with open helms looked just as terrified as the women carrying them. He smooshed his face into the woman bosom taking in this small comfort as it occurred to him that this problem was eventually going to be his problem. He’ll be old enough (probably) where he’ll be forced to face whatever these men were about to.
Eventually (and reluctantly) he moved his head once more looking around. They were in a tunnel, a rather large tunnel. It would let three people walk side by side with ease. On the walls, ceiling and even floor were the same complicated patterns of symbols giving off their white light. Everything was lit enough to see clearly no lanterns or torches. A giggle escaped him, ‘no we have the all mighty glowing patterns, we don’t need torches’. Guess he wasn’t too far off about their use, or at least one of them.
More guards passed them and with the red threat out of notice, he finally paid close attention to the anatomy of his new kind. The men of this race were rather frail looking in his opinion. If any of his past self’s saw them, they would have assumed that they were looking at women. Which right now was not helping ease his worries. Men with the physique of women, facing something he presumes was monstrous.
Their lower half’s were shaped similar to the back legs of beasts allowing them to spring forward. This must be important or enough to counter something, this race would already be dead before he arrived otherwise. Unless they’re in the process of dying out and he got unlucky.
If these men didn't know some all-powerful spell to vanquish foes, He might as well kill myself.. right… now ….
His vision blurred as that thought struck a nerve within him. His vision went dark, and a chill ran down his spine. Images appeared before him, small amounts at first, but when he focused his will on them. It all came rushing forward. Lives so many lives playing the same scene, moments were he thought that exact same thing before later acting on it. If the woman carrying him wasn’t so preoccupied getting them to safety, she would have seen what little complexion in his face had drained away.
‘This is it’ he thought, the key, the action he’d been doing repeatedly. Every time life was too difficult, or he deemed not worth the effort he would end himself. The next life would be a little harder or not to his liking and he would repeat the process again. Till now where every life was difficult. No more carefree lives to be had, just one hell after the other.
The women chanted (or sang in his view) breaking his concentration and quieted the children who were likely informing whatever was after them of their position. It seemed different than last time or perhaps his body was tiring from the overstimulation, but he felt himself getting drowsy. The child by him was already fast asleep, too stupid to comprehend their impending doom.
His vision returned in full, and what memories he witness bled away. Like a dream that been so clear a moment ago faded until only glimpses remained. The details were lost to him, but the overall picture was there, he caused this darkening spiral. To stop it would require him to try something new, to stop the repetition he'd fallen into, to not give up. It would take a larger amount of effort on his part.
Or not, he wasn’t sure, and his head ached, felt heavy, though the memories withered, he still had enough picture to recall watching himself die over and over. Many of the lives didn’t appear bad to his view now, not after the others he’d experienced. ‘What I wouldn’t give to have those lives back.’ The memories hurt, were embarrassing, and brought shame to him, so he focused on his surroundings, trying to force the memories to spirit away faster.
With the children quieted he noticed the women had been talking (or trying to) with each other. Though it still sounded like musical notes to him. His carrier was leading the pack, though he wasn't sure if she was actually the leader, at least she seemed to know where she was going. Sometimes he wished she would go in another direction. Some tunnels they were traversing didn’t seem to be well maintained. The Runes were less bright as the ones before and getting worse with each step.
It doesn’t take much thought to know less bright Runes equal’s bad, that and the women voices cut out after the light dipped to a certain point. Their steps were careful, making little to no noise. He prayed in all the verses he knew none of the children began to cry.
His carrier kept looking down at him and the other child, probably thinking the same thing about himself. His thoughts were confirmed when she changed the positioning of her arms allowing her to place a hand over his mouth. He didn't complain (even if he could), it was probably a good thing, just in case something jumped out and got a shriek out of him.
Minutes passed yet they still kept onward, turning left and right a seemly endless maze of tunnels, all with the same Runes carved into every surface. Truly there was something nightmarish behind these walls for people to go to such lengths. ‘Oh, gods please let that be my job, carving patterns into new tunnels rather than facing the threat out there.’ He’d take years of endless boredom over fear-ridden days that met with a painful end.
His carrier turned back to say something quieter than what had been normal, leading them to pick up their already hurried pace. He understood moments later when symbols began to change colors, none of them red, but it was still worrying.
They didn’t stop till they reached (he assumed) their destination, a larger circular room filled with floating multi-colored crystals. Plus slabs, lots of slabs, which they were being placed on. Blankets were removed leaving him and the others naked, stark naked on cold slabs. It must have been a record for those babies to wake and crying before the singing started up again. Still, even with those soothing sounds, it was uncomfortable. Doubly so since he’d been in this kind of situation before. Well not a room full of it, but alone naked on a slab being sacrificed to some being and getting knifed in the gut.
He hoped it would end quickly, a child body shouldn’t last as long as an adult. So perhaps he won’t live long enough to watch people pull out his innards.
With the children asleep or soothed it was easy to notice all the movement going on. He couldn't see it since he was lying on his back, but it was obvious they were rushing to get things ready. For now, the ceiling runes were the neutral color, but his eyes keep darting back and forth seeking out any change. If children crying was enough to bring attention, a mass sacrifice surely would. 'Oh well.' he thought it wouldn't be his problem, he’ll be off to the next life. Hopefully, if he was right about him killing himself being the problem, it will be a better life than this freak show.