Arc 2: Chapter 7: A Good Name

In an unknown prison in an unknown desert, there were cries of anguish and shouts of pain, but never ever was there a gleeful smile. Once in this prison, the prisoners never saw the light of day again.

No one, ever, left this prison. No one ever was released. And no one ever successfully escaped. This was a prison, where only those whose lives were decided to be insignificant and expendable were kept.

The crimes, however, that they did to end up here were not something you’d imagine.

Murder? No.

Rape? No.

Homicide? No.

The crime that those brought here had committed was the same sin that Adam and Eve did. They gained knowledge.

They came to know about the existence of supernaturals. And since there’s a risk of them telling about it to someone and the rumors starting to spread, they need to be taken care of. So was the reasoning of abducting them and putting them in a prison that they’d never get out of. So was the reason that a pair of father and son were brought there.

Father: “Sir, please! Please listen to me, sir!”

He pleaded while on his knees as he saw someone looking like a high-ranking official coming their way.

Father: “Sir, please sir! Let my son go! Do whatever you want to me! Please let my son go!”

The father pleaded and,

SPIT!

The official spitted on his face, laughed and then said,

Julius: “Do you know who you are talking to, scum? I’m Julius Rome, one of the 10 Hellfires in Vermillion, i.e., one of the strongest people alive. And you dare think that you can open your mouth in front of me.”

He looked down, as if he’s looking at an insect, and continued,

Julius: “You dare think that ‘sir’ is enough for you to address me.”

Father: “No, no, I’m sorry.”

The father pleads with tears in his eyes.

Julius: “Don’t be. It just goes to show how much of a fool you are.”

He says as he puts his leg on the father’s face and twists it.

Father: “AAHH!!!”

Julius: “Tsk!”

He moved the same leg to kick him on his right cheek and said,

Julius: “What a disgusting voice you have! Fool!”

He said as he spit again.

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Julius: “AAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

Julius shrieks because of the impact of the leather running at high speed against his skin.

Abgere: “You have a really good belt, you know? The impact it gives is just so satisfying.”

Abgere says with calmness, a terrible calmness.

Julius: “Yeah, I know. It’s branded.”

He says with a smile like that of a tyrant. But this tyrant is, at present, tied with ropes whose first ends is on the two different corners of the house and second ends on his hands. One can even, aside from the fact that he is not in air, say that he is being kept like Jesus was on the cross.

Abgere: “Branded, huh? Well, yeah, I can feel the quality just by touching it.”

He says and swings it again, giving an impact that he could proudly say is his best hit so far.

Julius: “AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

And the cry that comes because of the impact only further proves that. As he looks at the belt, Abgere says with the same calmness as before,

Abgere: “Too bad your voice isn’t even half as good as your belt!”

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Father: “AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

The father shrieked because of the impact of the leather running at a high speed against his skin. The man in the thirties responsible for it proudly said though,

Julius: “That was my best one so far.”

He said and laughed, the others around him, the Volcanoes and the Embers, laughed.

Julius: “By the way,”

He said in a tone as if he was joking,

Julius: “Why are we beating this guy anyway?”

As he said that, everyone in the cell except the father laughed. None of the people in that room actually wanted to laugh. Instead, they wanted to look away. They wanted to puke. They wanted to run away. But, they couldn’t. They laughed, because that is what Julius Rome desired of them.

Julius: “Oh, I remember now,”

He said in an excited voice,

Julius: “He and his son saw a Spectre trying to kill a kid, right?”

He asked over-excitedly. All those around him nodded with fake smiles as if to show they were enjoying that.

Julius: “Who was it, by the way? Kares-something?”

Then, in order for the act to keep going, someone answered,

“Ethan Kales!”

Julius: “Ah, yes, yes, yes. Ethan Kales, these two saw a Spectre trying to kill Ethan Kales, right? Man, so unfortunate!”

He said with a sympathetic face, a fake one of course.

Julius: “I mean, we don’t even know what’s more unfortunate, the fact that they saw that or the fact that …”

He swung the belt 360-degree and hit the father as he continued,

Julius: “Or the fact that they were sent here when I was visiting.”

Everyone, yet again forcing themselves to do what they didn’t really wanted to do, started laughing.

*******************************

Abgere: “Hah!”

Abgere sighs exasperatedly after having beaten Julius for 20 minutes straight.

Julius: “Getting tired, baby boy!?”

Julius sees that and uses the opportunity to mock him as best as he could.

Abgere: “Actually yes, you are no fun at all.”

Abgere, however, responds in even more of a mocking tone.

Abgere: “After beating so many people in life, don’t you feel ashamed of being unable to cry like they do?”

Julius, as hears that, thinks of a possibility.

Julius: “You can’t be someone I tortured once, can you?”

He wonders in a low voice but before an answer comes, he says,

Julius: “No, you can’t be. That must mean you are someone related to a person I once tortured.”

He says, and, laughs. Laughs, laughs, and laughs. He realizes how stupid it is to try your hand at revenge. He realizes that retribution is a felony of a word. And therefore, he laughs at the person who is trying to gain some satisfaction from it.

Abgere: “Well, you are free to make-up whatever stories you want. Not that I am obligated to answer any of your queries.”

He says in his usual, plain and calm voice as he continues,

Abgere: “By the way, you should know that focusing on those types of irrelevant things are what made you fall in this situation.”

Julius: “Tsk!”

Even though he knows it is a taunt, Julius can’t help but fall for it. It was when Julius was hitting his daughter for not showing proper hospitality to their ‘guest’, it was that time when Abgere had turned his leg into a target of magnet manipulation. And it was because of that that he had fallen victim to Abgere’s attack before he could complete his own. That was already when he had lost.

Abgere: “Now then,”

He says and looks back at the teenage girl watching everything from afar with a grim and silent face.

Abgere: “Alexa, was it? You might want to try a hand here.”

And so he says to Alexa taking her as well as the other two people in the house by surprise.

*******************************

Julius: “You might want to try a hand here.”

And so he said to the son taking him as well as everyone else in the cell by surprise. It was already pretty suspicious that he told the Embers to bring the son there, but saying that was when he just went over their acceptance point.

“That’s enough, sir! Stop!”

A young Ember shouted out for him to stop.

Julius: “Who the fuck was that!?”

He said in an irritated voice as he turned to where the voice came from. From there, an Ember stepped out and faced him with anger and contempt on his face.

Julius: “How long have you been here, sucker?”

Hearing that, the Ember looked in contempt as he swallowed everything he wanted to say and decided to answer him first.

Ember: “Two weeks, sir!”

Julius: “Oh!”

He found himself surprised that someone as inexperienced as him had the guts to step up like that,

Julius: “I’m impressed. I like bold and honest people like you, not cowards like these sewer rats!”

He said while pointing to the rest of the people there who were doing just as Julius wanted them to and not arguing at all.

Julius: “That said, you know, there is something in the world called power.”

He looked down on the Ember, who was 2-3 inches shorter than him and continued,

Julius: “I can tell you are just a kid of, like, what? 15 years?”

The Ember nodded while he kept his boiling anger suppressed somehow.

Julius: “I see, that’s nice. But you have yet to learn kid – only those who got power got the say. ”

He said and turned away, but just as he did, realizing that Julius was doing, the Ember burst forth his anger,

Ember: “You fuck show! You don’t know what you are talking about!”

With eyes-wide and mouth open, Julius looked at the youth with the vigor he could be jealous of and kept listening without any interruptions,

Ember: “You think you have power! You are nothing compared to Ozyllus, or Abyss, or even the Phoenix himself. You have nothing, you jackass. Stop acting so high and mighty just because you are a few steps ahead of me. I will reach you in such a short time you’ll fall to your knees and beg for forgiveness when I teach you what humanity is.”

He yelled everything at Julius’ face and everyone around just kept gawking in astonishment. Julius himself, couldn’t believe what he was seeing and hearing. And so, he said,

Julius: “I see.”

He looked in surprise at the youth who was looking back in contempt. And then, from somewhere in the crowd, the sound of a whistle came.

Julius and the young Ember, both turned towards that whistler. The culprit, however, was just plainly eating a sandwich as he sat in the lobby outside the cell they were in. His face was not visible but he was an Ember too. But, just like the one who spoke up, there was something different about him. He didn’t even bother to look back. And seeing that, Julius started laughing like a madman as he said,

Julius: “Man, I didn’t know there were actually some fun people around here!”

He said as he slapped the Ember in front of him on his back.

Julius: “That said though, you’ll need to grow up a little if you’re here.”

The Ember looked back in contempt but, looking at the name plate of the Ember attached to his clothes on his chest, Julius continued,

Julius: “Mr. Ro Garland, come back to me when you have actually done what you just claimed to do here.”

He said in a calm voice as he looked down at Ro and ordered the rest of the crew to throw him out of the cell.

*******************************

Julius: “AAAAHHH!!!”

He shrieked in pain and said,

Julius: “Bitch! I’m gonna fucking kill you when I get out of here.”

He threatens his own daughter as she beats him with a belt with tears and despair in her eyes.

Abgere: “Yeah, yeah,”

Abgere plainly says as he sits on the sofa and stares at that scene and,

Abgere: “That’s what they were saying when you were beating them and or even making others beat them. That’s what the prisoners were saying. Remind me how many of those did all that they threatened to do!”

He asks plainly, and Julius just smiles like a psychopath as he replies,

Julius: “Zero!”

He says quite satisfactorily and continues,

Julius: “The same isn’t gonna happen here though. You know why? It’s because I’m not the jailer here.”

He says with a smile and Abgere, as he hears that, starts laughing like a villain. He laughs like a crazed evil asshole in a movie would. He laughs like that because he does not feel like laughing, but also does not want a single chance to mock Julius Rome go by.

Abgere: “What a joke!”

He remarks and,

Abgere: “Your level of cruelty that you seem to be so proud of was pretty underwhelming in my opinion.”

He says, causing Julius’ smile to disappear.

Abgere: “I mean, well, you just made people beat other people. That’s so kind of you!”

He says, only half-sarcastically.

Abgere: “You should have, like, severed their arteries, severed their testicles, or something of that level.”

He says mockingly and before a reply could come, he gently puts a hand on Alexa’s head and asks,

Abgere: “Why did the belt stop moving?”

As Alexa hears so, she immediately starts swinging them again, and her father also starts cursing and yelling in pain, again.

Then Abgere, taking out a halter that his eyes fell on earlier, looks at Marissa in order to give it to her. Marissa frightfully steps back and denies it but,

Abgere: “Woman, who gave you the idea that this was a request?”

He says with a terrifying smile.

*******************************

Hearing the shouts of the man being hit by the belt and the cries of the kid being made to hit his own father, Ro stomped his feet on the ground. However, that was all he could do.

Ro: “That piece of shit!”

He said to himself but the Ember sitting next to the cell, eating a sandwich, told him,

Ember: “If you wanna kill him right now, I can help you.”

Ro: “What!?”

Ember: “I’m serious. If you want this to stop, then you should kill him. I can help you with all that – is what I’m saying.”

Ro was left dumbfounded by how calmly this man spoke something like that.

Ro: “W-who are you?”

He asked with a surprised face and,

Ember: “I’m the son of the bastard you just went and abused in front of everyone.”

Ro: “W-W-What!?”

He couldn’t even process what he had just heard.

Ember: “He doesn’t know it though, obviously.”

He said in a calm voice.

Ember: “He sleeps with whoever he wants, does whatever he want to do. If some women he slept with someday ends up giving birth to me, how is he supposed to know?”

He said in a calm voice, a terrifyingly calm voice.

Ember: “I am gonna kill him someday for sure!”

He said as he turned to the torture cell behind him and continued,

Ember: “Whether I do it with you right now, or I do with a mask on my face some other day, I am gonna do it for sure.”

As he stared at the man who had surprised him more than the cruel torture inside the cell ever could, Ro asked,

Ro: “What’s your name?”

Ember: “Name, huh?”

He said so as if he doesn’t want to talk about it.

Ember: “I sold my name a long time ago. By this time, I have forgotten what it even was.”

His face, for the first time, turned grim as he continued,

Ember: “I read somewhere that in the ancient language of psychics, there’s a word which means ‘dead’. I guess that word can be a good name for me.”

He nodded to himself a couple of times and said,

Ember: “Yeah, that’d be a good name for me. Call me Abgere.”

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