“AHHHHH!!! Feeeeeedrin !!
Fedrin Levian was yet again reliving that fateful day. He was pinned down against the floor with all his limbs broken and twisted in weird unnatural angles. A bloody hole in his left chest made his blood mixed with the dust on the floor, creating a peculiar smell.
The weight of a mountain rested on him. This was the doing of the man seated on top of his back, the same that was lifting his head, forcing him to look in front. Yes, because it wasn't the hole on his chest nor the broken limbs that caused him pain. It was the scene right in front of him that was hurting him, something he was powerless to stop.
“noo.” A soft whisper comes instead of the intended yell. The oppressing weight preventing him from gathering enough air.
He knew he was having a nightmare, but he couldn't wake up. No, he didn't want to wake up, he had to watch. He had to remember every detail, every ounce of pain, he had to engrave it all in his mind. For the day he encounters that man again.
The one standing before him, grabbing his loved one in the air and looking at him. This was the man. “ Do you know how much shame you have brought to this family?!” With eyes filled with disgust, his father grabbed the arm of his loved one and pulled.
“kacha.” The sound of bones breaking and flesh tearing apart was heard.
“Ahhhhh” The desolate scream of his lover followed. Fedrin stayed looking, impotent.
Limb by limb his father tore his lover apart in front of him until the torso and the head were left. “ THIS IS SICKNESS!! You are sick, son. AND BY THE GODS, I WILL CURE YOU OR KILL YOU IN THE PROCESS!!” Lastly, he grabbed the head and pulled it.
“kraach” This time the sound was more bone and less flesh as the head deformed under the pressure while being pulled.
With a flick of his wrist, the monster in human form he called father threw the head at him. Rolling on the ground the head stopped right in front of him, it was unrecognizable now. One of the eyes had already left its cavity, the jaw was dislocated like in a perpetual scream, and the rest of the factions were completely deformed.
To the smell of blood and dust, now the salty taste of his tears was added as he watched for the last time the face of his loved one. It was then when a distant noise caught his attention, it didn't come from anywhere. He concentrated on it trying to find the source, until that sound took him away, forcing him to open his eyes.
Aleran and Zarasen had to try a dozen of keys before finding the right one to open the heavy slide door of this special cell. At the other side, darkness greeted them. They had to open it completely to allow the dim light of the hallway to show them the inside. The room was almost as big as three of the normal cells, which allowed darkness to be present in spite of the light coming from the hallway.
There was a man standing in the middle of the room. His head was weakly hanging down. ‘He's probably asleep.’ Thought Aleran. The man's whole body was covered in thick chains that were fixed onto the floor, walls, and ceiling. It looked like a huge knot of chains.
On the places where the chains connected to the building, there were strange patterns and writings. It looked like painted runes, but Aleran could feel some sort of qi flowing through it. “Those are small formation. They are connected to the bigger formation that strengthens the whole building, they are actually hard to make. It gives the chains a quarter of the strength of the walls.” Seeing Alerans interest on the engravings, Zarasen quickly explained. “ Even with that strength, the key to keeping him prisoner is in not letting him move. The chains are tightly wrapped around his body, if he could move even an inch of his arm he would be able to free himself.”
Zarasen's voice made the person in the middle of the chain knot to raise his head. What the light showed was a face half covered in a muzzle, with auburn hair and dark blue eyes. Seeing Aleran and Zarasen the eyes of the man briefly reflected confusion. He was especially concentrated in their tattered clothing, which clearly wouldn't belong to a jailor.
Zarasen got closer to the center, clearing his throat, and looking like a shady salesperson, he started speaking. “Hi there, big guy. I'm Zarasen and this one next to me is Aleran.” He said with a business-like smile that contrasted with his unkempt appearance.“You surely have noticed that we are not guards. We are potential friends actually.”
A frown took place on the formerly confused face of the prisoner, his eyes going back and forth between Aleran to Zarasen. But an almost visible glint appeared in them. It was hope. The man's breathing started to get faster, and although half his face was covered, there was a clear pleading expression in his eyes.
“How about, we make a deal? We help you, and you help us creating chaos, freeing prisoners and distracting the guards. For what I heard from the guards you are in the qi circulation middle phase, which makes you stronger than any of the guards. Even the supervisor is only in the first phase, you can easily crush them all.” Said Zarasen, praising the strength of the man, trying to decorate the fact that he would be a diversion.
There was a brief flash of doubt on the man's gaze but was quickly replaced by determination. The chains barely allowed him to move his neck but still, he nodded.
“Great, its a deal then.” With a short clap, Zarasen started to get closer. Aleran who had stood behind him all this time went forwards too. But soon he realized the closer he got to the chained man the bigger he looked.
He grabbed Zarasen by the arm and whispered to him. “ Hey old fart, you know this guy is here for a reason, don't you? What if after we release him and decides to kill us? I mean, look at how they kept him here.”
Pushing Aleran's arm aside Zarasen spoke with utter confidence. “ Your doubts are understandable and rational, kid. Don't worry, I don't know why they put him here but I can tell you he is not crazy.”
“Are you sure?” After the old man's words, Aleran seemed more relaxed. When it came to judging people the old man has proven himself eerily perceptive. But he still had his reservations.
Without bothering controlling his volume Zarasen answered. “Absolutely. He is like an open book if he wants something he goes for it. He is a straight forward person both relating to others and in his way of cultivation. If something doesn't go the way he wants he would smash through it. I don't know if he will keep his promise, but at least I know he won't kill us and play with our bodies just for fun, like most of the inmates here. Isn't that enough?”
Aleran noticed that the man in chains was now looking at Zarasen with a surprised look. ‘It's true that he has very expressive eyes but to call him an open book and guess all that… ’
Though Aleran didn't know how Zarasen did it, he had experienced this creepy ability before so he believed him and more importantly, the man in chains too.
“Do we split to search for the locks?” It was dark, and even with the inner qi, that while activated enhanced his vision, he couldn't see any type of lock to release the man.
“There are no locks” Zarasen was in tippy toes, holding the face of the chained man. “ Not unlike our collars, it is made to stay locked under almost all circumstances. The only part that can be opened and removed is the muzzle. It is made in a way that, while you remove the muzzle you can insert another device to keep his mouth open. That's the way they shove food down his throat.” Zarasen pointed at a corner. Again he seemed to know very specific things.
Aleran noticed it only then, the small table with a strange device in the form of a funnel with harnesses. The funnel also had some of the strange runes of the formation, in fact, they were more complex. He could only imagine how they must shove that thing down his throat and forced the food in.
The muzzle had three different locks, but Zarasen found the keys almost instantly. Under the muzzle, the prisoner's mouth was locked open, ready for the funnel whenever it was needed. “Huu. They didn't bother brushing your teeth.” Zarasen said moving his face sideways
Aleran's eye twitched and he could only berate him in his mind. ‘ Could you please don't fuck around with the man that can literally punch a hole through you.’
“And... it's done.” After opening the locks of the muzzle and dismantle it Zarasen backed down.
“Wait, Is that all? How is this going to help-”
“Creek creeeek.” The shrill sound of metal being grounded and cracked filled the cell.
Before he got the chance to finish, the man in chains had bent his neck as much as he could and took a bite out of a chain wrapped at his shoulder.
“Puu”... “clanck” he spat a huge chunk of metal
“Let's help him, bringing him some of the looser chains to his mouth.” Zarasen urged Aleran who was still in a state of shock
The next few minutes were spent in bringing the chains to his mouth. Since the chains were very tight and were quite heavy it was something only Aleran could do. The old man just cheered on the background.
“Clank.” As the last chain on his left arm fell the man used his free arm to rip off the rest of his chains with relative ease. Now he stood straight in front of Aleran and Zarasen. Except for his underwear, he was completely naked, but he had didn't seem to care.
This gave Aleran the chance to have a rough understanding of what a body cultivator looked like. He was tall almost 8 feet, Aleran calculated. His body was full of well-toned muscles, he had a wide frame but was not bulky. It was more like his bones were longer and wider than a normal human. Like his bones, his muscles looked long and elastic. ‘Probably the effect of his cultivation’. Finally, Aleran realized that there were scars all around his body the most obvious being a huge circle the size of his head in his right chest. More than scars they were marks.
To Aleran it looked like the guy had regrown portions of his skin with the marks being where the new parts joined the older ones. The more he looked the more he realized the hidden strength this guy had.
Clasping his hands the man said. “I'm Fedrin, and thank you, benefactors. What you two have done today, I will remember forever. You have put an end to years of darkness and lament, so don't worry I will keep my end of the deal.”
Contrary to his wide and tall build his voice, though masculine, was soft and pleasant to the ears. His eyes looked completely clear of any deception making a good impression on both Zarasen and Aleran.
Without wasting time or even asking for the keys, Fedrin went to the closest cell, grabbed the door and with a strong pull he tore off the door from the wall.
“Boom” The walls trembled trying to offer some resistance but it was not enough.
As the astonished prisoners realize they were being freed Fedrin grabbed the collars on their necks and broke them just as easily as his chains. It will take them a little time to gather some energy, but something was better than nothing.
Without even seeing the prisoners he just released, Fedrin went to the next door and did the same, then to the next one.
Nevertheless, after the fifth door, the loud sounds made the guard standing guard just outside the pavilion to enter in a hurry. What greeted him was the image of the giant about to tear off a door like he was moving air.
“What the hell?” The guard stood rooted at the entrance, he was clearly not that well trained and not prepared for this sight. He only reacted when Fedrin turned to look at him. Those dark blue eyes almost petrified the poor jailor, he knew who this giant was. The only thing he could think was to plead for his life
“Wait, please... ” With a single jump, Fedrin went from the end of the hallway to the entrance, right in front of the guard. The poor man, at the heaven opening second phase, couldn't even finish his words as he was struck in the head by a punch that broke his skull like a watermelon. The body went flying as the head exploded, it broke the entrance door and struck the wall behind, slowly sloping down to the floor. Such was the difference in strength.
Fedrin may be a good man, but he was also a warrior and was ready to kill anyone who got in his way. He knew the fewer guards left, the more prisoners will be able to escape and the more distractions will be for the later persecution. It was obvious that the whole kingdom will be looking for him and the escaped prisoners. Either for the danger they represented, the fact that most of them were the shame of their respective families or for the information they held, a considerable force would be put to the task of hunting them.
While Zarasen had a wicked smile, Aleran who was next to him, on the other end of the corridor, went pale. This was the first time he saw someone die, and in such a gruesome way at that. He looked as Fedrin wave his hand to shake the blood off and coldly went back to break the cell doors. Meanwhile, the hallway was starting to get crowded, and a little messy thanks to the more unstable prisoners.