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Old October 13th, 2012 (04:06 AM).
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Eeveemaster9 Eeveemaster9 is offline
Years of Lies
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canada, Saskatchewan
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Bernkastel Vermillia - Chapter 5 - Demon District

Dreams are always strange things. Some experts on the dream cycle say that every human dreams about ten different dreams within a single night of rest. How strange, is it that one does not remember most of these dreams? Dream recall doesn't come easy. But... Perhaps that is for a reason; some high power is disallowing the rememberance of these dreams because... Why? Because we will not like them? Because they teach us things that are wrong for us to know?

Sometimes I wish that I couldn't recall my dreams as vividly as a newborn memory. Dreaming, could be both a blessing, and a curse. Soft dreams that made one want to cry in joy... Or horrifying nightmares that took the form of disfigured Gods and severed limbs. No matter how much I couldn't express my emotions, I was still terrified of what my third eye saw when my physical eyes were shut. All I could see were bodies melting under acid rain, and dismembered heads rolling off of mountain cliffs.
My dreams were never soft.

They came as things that would make even Ryuu shriek. Even worse, the torment was not swift. It wasn't like shooting a bullet through someone's skull. These nightmares were that of someone being cut in half with a butterknife. It was torturous.

Why would a higher power give me such an unwanted skill? To tease me, or was it simply something that was already decided? If that was the case, and it was decided... Then that meant that there was no such thing as free will. And without a free will... What did we have?

~~~

I awoke within suffocating damp sheets, which only made me want to swallow oxygen more hungrily than I had been while 'at rest'. My entire body was shiny and sticky with sweat, and my palms bled a red ooze from when my fingernails had dug into the flesh. Silent tears raced down my cheeks one after another, as I tried to get out from bed. I wished I could cry out. Make a scream of agony for once and plea for the comfort of anyone. Even a servant would do. Just as I kicked my legs free of the burning blankets, two arms wrapped around my shoulders from behind, which only made me want to pass out from shock. I was pulled backwards, until I was laying against a sturdy male chest.

"You'll hurt yourself,"

I tilted my aching neck slightly, to look at a pair of crimson eyes that were cast down on me. If I could, I would have smiled in relief. Even though this was my tormentor, I took comfort in knowing that he at least had the kindness to comfort me quietly after six nightmares of relentless pain.
It was Zane, the Demon Servant of Fear, who was my only line to my emotions. I could only express emotions in my dreams, so he knew how I felt about everything. How I truely felt. And, he didn't bother me about it. He was the most understanding of the Demons, even though he was the one that delivered my nightmares. He was the one who moulded them within his palms, and placed inside my head. On particularly bad ones, I would wonder if he actually enjoyed how I squirmed.

After a few minutes of forced breathing, I leaned forward and crawled away from the Demon's body. He didn't respond, and simply stared at me. We never talked about the dreams. It was a silent agreement between us.
Besides, I had more serious things to worry about. Like the real nightmare I would be living inside for the next week or so.

I checked the time, and confirmed that I did have enough time to have a shower, before gathering up my clothing for the arena. As always, I went for the boots, rather than the shoes. I wasn't a runner. I nodded to the black-haired demon, before wandering into the bathroom and shutting the door.

When I came out fully dressed, Zane was gone, and in his place was Lucifier. He was staring out the window; looking down at the cars that lined the building to steal the participants away. He looked back at me, and all I could do was set my eyes against his. The Demon Servant of Destruction had a relaxed look to his features, yet his eyes stared at her with such an intensity that I was forced to look away like a child pulling their hand away from hot water. His chin lowered, and out of the corner of my vision, I saw him fix the sleeves of his jacket. They always seemed just a little bit too long for him, but he didn't complain about it. His ink-colored wings dragged across the ground as he approached me.

"Shall we go, Bernkastel?"

Within the car, I saw Lucifier scrunch his eyebrows in disgust on how the Gods relied on these vehicles for transportation. Call him old fashioned, but he prefered flying as the way of travel. I couldn't blame him. I loved flying as well. Too bad one couldn't do a whole lot of that in my district.
I ate in silence; picking things that would have the most nutrients. Sugar and fibre was important, but so were the calories I consumed. It was highly likely that I would burn all of these calories off within the next few hours inside the arena. So, it was better to have the needed calories than to get tired half-way through. If Lucifier had any objections, he certainly did not verbalize them.

~~~~~~~~

After the long ride by vehicle and the rather short trip by helicopter, I found myself closing the door to the room that was my last safe haven. Having done this twice before, I knew how this all worked, and nobody needed to instruct me. None of the guards had complained when Lucifier had trailed behind me into this room. They knew of my contract with him and the other demons. In fact, nearly everyone did. It wasn't any sort of secret.

I didn't waste any time with inspecting the room like I had when I was fourteen. Silently grasping my necklace with a gloved hand, I moved over to the tubing. Lucifier followed me, but did not join me inside. Instead, he watched me with those eyes that always seemed to question what I did, yet belonged to a body that would obey any command I gave him.
Then, he spoke. It was in latin, so it took me a moment to translate what he had said.

"The bark and the birds have ears and eyes, Bernkastel. Do not play a foolish card too soon."

"Lucifier," I said evenly. "I know."

"That you do... Alas, I worry about your intentions going into this..."

"I know what I am doing, Lucifier."

"Do you?"

I stopped short, and stared at him. The demon stared back. Before I could respond, the glass wall slid shut, and Lucifier disappeared in a puff of black smoke.

Did I know what I was doing?

I could only ponder this for a moment, because soon I felt myself rising. My view of the room vanished, and I was forced to stare at my expressionless face that reflected back at me. I looked above my head, and saw a patch of blue. The sky.

Abruptly, the tube stopped rising, and I stared back at my reflection in confusion. The tube had not broken away like it had the other years. She couldn't even see what was beyond the glass. It was like someone glued a black cover over it. But, I could still see the sky above me where the tube did not reach. I could hear birds, in particular.

My eyes went back to the glass when bright red words flickered on its surface. An arrow pointed to the left. "Please insert your left arm."

A circular hole fluttered into view on my left side, and I frowned. This was new. I leaned forward to look through the hole, but all I could see was darkness. Sighing, I complied with the message before the tube electrocuted me. The hole closed up slightly. I inhaled sharply when I found that my arm was secured in place. What was going on?

The words melted away, and a full-body projection appeared on the glass of Natruo. He was smirking. "Hello my fair participants!" So I wasn't the only one seeing this? That was comforting.

"Welcome to the eighth annual Population Games. As you have probably noticed, things are a little different this year."

That wasn't exactly comforting. Especially with my precious arm clasped to Gods-know-what.

Natruo went on with a happy smile, and behind his holographic self, two tubes appeared. This seemed to be a demonstration of some kind. And those seemed to be the tubes the participants were in at the moment.

"As we have had you done, your arm is currently outside the tube and clasped into place." An arm came out from each tube. Natruo moved over with a smirk, and a metal device came out of the ground between the two tubes. In the grasp of it, was a long pair of "handcuffs". Not the traditional metal ones, but the highly-developed energy wires. The chain itself was one long black energy wire, and at each end was a sturdy silver brace that would be fixed to the wrist....

My face visibly went pale, and I looked at my arm.

"You will be cuffed to another participant at random," Natruo practically sang; fixing the cuffs over each wrist. One of the actors began pulling and moving their arm around. "Don't waste your strength with trying to break free or disturb your partner. They won't feel it." Because the metal device was still clasping the center of the wire...

I felt something snap around my left wrist. It wasn't that heavy, but I definitely noticed it. This wasn't good. This wasn't good at all.

The tubes on the hologram went into the ground, to expose two stunned-looking actors. The tall female was an angel, and the other was a vampire, it seemed. Male. They were looking at each other, and then the cuffs that bound them together. Perhaps the only thankful thing about this situation, was that the chain was long. Somewhere around sixty inches, just by looking at it.

Natruo pushed his hands into the pockets of his jacket. "The chain and cuffs are unbreakable. Fire, water, pressure, electricity... Even direct explosions will not damage them."

"The only ways to unbind yourself, is to find one of the six keys scattered throughout the arena. Any of the keys will work on any cuff. One lucky person won't have to deal with any of this, though! Exactly one person will not be chained to another, due to the... Uneven amount of people." He snickered softly.

"However, be warned. You cannot just kill your partner to free yourself." He wandered back over to the actors, who were looking very much terrified. He brought out a knife, and went over to the male. He was now shaking, looking around for somwhere to escape. That was when Natruo grabbed him, and shoved the blade into his chest; straight through the heart. He made a gargling noise, and collapsed on the platform. The female angel began to cry softly and plead. "Once your partner's heartbeat stops, it will activate the mechanism on your cuff."

The angel's face paled, and before I could understand what had happened, she let out a terrible, blood-curling shriek. Exactly three silver spikes from the bottom of the brace, had snapped open from inside the cuff, straight through her pale wrist, and stuck out from the other end. She collapsed to her knees, and whimpered softly, and blood began draining from the wounds.

"If that doesn't kill you, the toxins within the mechanism certainly will. And if you still manage to avoid death, the bracelet will explode." The angel had collapsed completely; eyes wide and unblinking. Both were dead.

Natruo smiled happily. "There are three pairs within each section of the arena, with the goods at the center of where you start. Once you are released, you and your partner are free to roam and hunt down the other participants. Do not leave the platform until the counter hits zero, otherwise you'll go sky-high!" He snickered. "Good luck!~" And the hologram faded out.

My mind faded out as well. It took everything I had not to fall to my knees and just stop fighting everything. This was ridiculous. What if my partner was suicidal? Or hated me enough to kill themselves and make spikes go through my wrist?

I inhaled sharply as I heard the tubing beginning to slide down around me. I looked to my left, to see who was on the other side of the barrier that had blocked my view. Who was chained to me? Who shared the same fate as I?

It was startling to see Raike. The first reaction was surprise, and then... Relief. A smile threatened to tug my lips, but I managed to shake out my emotions with a slow nod of acknowledgment in his direction. Perhaps the only downside to this, was that Raike couldn't fly.
__________________
"Your plans will fail, my sweet lady. And when they do, your stories will be nothing but lies, your rebellion will be in vain, and war will rage for years until you are but a speck of dust." - Noh
"The lies of your world will be exposed. My rebellion will rein over your realm, and no longer will this time be plagued by war." - ???
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