Chapter 25 – Within a Cage
It felt cold and… Hard?
Something was amiss.
I’m generally surrounded by a fluffy and warm mattress that lets me sleep comfortably… Today I was awakened by an unpleasant coldness.
Rubbing my eyes a bit, I slowly rose.
My drowsy eyes started focusing on the surroundings, evenly spaced iron bars and a low ceiling that doesn’t even allow me to stand up properly…!
I jolted awake.
There was an uncomfortable feeling around my neck, a collar surrounded it and had a chain connected to a ring on the floor. That binding also had mana on it, so it’s probably a magical tool.
I’m trapped within a cage.
Taking a deep breath, my thoughts drifted to the last things I could remember.
When I was playing near the cave, some strange men appeared and poured a weird liquid down my throat that made me faint. Which leads to the current scenario.
Feeling restless, I checked the dimly lit surroundings and saw lots of other cages nearby, one had a girl with beast ears, another with sheep ears and some that looked like monsters… There were only girls though, not a single man was in sight.
Even though their races were different, they all had one thing in common. Despair, despair and resignation filled their eyes, I could see this much even at my young age.
At that moment, the sound of two people’s footsteps resounded, quickly arriving closer to my location, I turned my gaze towards them while wondering what it was about.
“We got lucky, I was sure she was already dead.”
“I know, right? We were going to become food for the monsters in the arena.”
The two men came from the back while making such a conversation… I remember them. They were the ones that appeared in front of me while I played around, and they were also part of the group that destroyed my hometown.
“Wake up you damn brat! You gave us a lot of work this time!”
The man hit my face from outside the cage, I was thrown to the other side and hit the back of my head on the bars while screaming in pain, tears started forming on my eyes as I looked towards them.
“Hey, stop it. I understand how you feel, but we’ll be damned if you lower the value of this product. That brat will go to a pervert noble, so hold yourself back.” The other man said with the disdain.
The first man snorted and lowered himself to the height of my eyesight. “Listen brat, you are going to become a toy for nobility in the future, your body will become their plaything and you’ll see a hell worse than death everyday through sex, isn’t it great?” He held an absolutely disgusting smile while speaking those terrifying words.
My body started trembling and tears started spilling from my eyes and I knew they were not from the pain… However, I closed my mouth shut.
It will be alright… Because I have an older brother. He is kind, loves people and makes me feel warm. I was scared of him at first, but that’s not the case anymore.
He will definitely come to help.
Last time I had only despair, my hometown was crushed and my family was killed, my heart was being crushed… This time though, I can have hope, I have someone to support me.
Besides, even if things got too tough, sis should be able to solve everything, both of them are quite strong and even scary monsters can be easily beaten by them… That is why, it will be alright.
The first man snorted again. “This damn kid…” Unamused by my lack of reaction, he clicked his tongue and told the other guy “Let’s go” and left.
* * *
Once they were out of sight, I rubbed my eyes and started thinking. Simply waiting is not an option.
Crying and sorrowfully screaming won’t help anyone, hoping for help isn’t enough either. I need to create an opportunity to grasp a rescuing hand by taking the first step.
For now, I need to buy time. It’s impossible to escape because I don’t know where this is, but I can hide in a safe place while waiting for those two I long for.
Coming to this conclusion, I channeled those feelings of helplessness on the surroundings and murmured.
“Oh earth spirt, please grant me your strength.” On that moment, a small brown light emerged from the ground, it is not very bright and almost blends into the darkness, but they are definitely there.
‘Protection of the Spirit King.’ This is my secret title, one that even Lefy can’t perceive, Yuki obviously can’t either.
This title allows me to look into people’s heart and sense the good and evil within them, while also granting me divine protection and allowing the usage of spirit magic. Not only that, the title and the skills that come with it are invisible to others.
This is what allowed me to escape last time and made my survival amidst the Haunted Forest possible until I was rescued by Yuki.
“Please earth spirit, I ask you to open this cage and remove the collar that binds me.” The light moved up and down as if it was nodding, then entered the collar for a moment, and on the next, the binding fell down.
They must have thought that there was no need to worry because the collar is magical, but this does not matter to the spirit. Spirits are made of mana and they eat and control magical power. Therefore, living beings cannot stop them.
Magical tools do not work without mana, sucking all the magical power of an item is a piece of cake for a spirit.
Once they were done with the collar, the light moved into the cage and opened its door after a few moments.
I thanked the earth spirit and then called for a dark spirit.
Aside from the 4 basic elements of earth, water, wind and fire, spirits can also be of light or dark elements.
While the earth ones are good at handling minerals and metals, a dark spirit has pride in being able to blend with the environment and deceive others’ eyes.
… I would like to help the other encaged people if possible, but I can’t do that right now, everyone being released at once would cause too much of a commotion.
Please wait for a while longer, big bro will definitely not forsake you all.
“… Thank you, Dark Spirit.” And like this, I safely escaped while unnoticed.