World Eater - Chapter 3

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    Member Miseo's Avatar
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    World Eater - Chapter 3

    Hi. I'm posting chapter 3 of World Eater here instead of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror section since it's a multichapter series now. The previous two chapters chapters can be found in the fantasy, sci-fi, and horror section. This chapter was longer than expected, and I didn't get through half of what I wanted to... Guess that's next chapter lol. Even though works posted here aren't meant for normal critique, if you have any comments or critiques I would love to have them.

    Valentine stood in a large assembly room, crudely cut out of stone. Torches mounted on sconces illuminated the room. Earlier, right after the branding, the prisoners were led to a storage room filled with dirty rags. The guards had them take the rags and wear them so they don't freeze at night. Each prisoner took some rags and tied them, turning them into makeshift clothes. Afterwards, the guards herded the prisoners into the large room in which they now stood. An armoured man, wearing a dark blue cape, stepped onto a natural podium at one end of the room.

    "I'm sure you all have questions you want answered," the armoured man announced. His armour was brighter and more ornately designed than that of the other guards. "This place is the Ordunac Mines. I am the Captain. This is where you will live. This is where you will eat. And this is where you will die. You are now slaves. You will spend the rest of your lives working in here. These 'tearstones' are what you will be mining," he said and held up a cyan, glowing crystal.

    "What? I don't want to be a slave! You can't do this!" One man protested.

    "Yeah! This isn't fair! We have rights!" Another man agreed. Others in the rabble also shouted their complaints.

    "Silence!" The Captain held out his other hand, and a blue flame consumed several protestors. They didn't even have time to scream, and the other prisoners were too shocked to make a sound. "Disobedience will be punished. You will be provided meals three times a day. Finally, there are monsters in these mines. Try not to become their food." The Captain turned around and left, his personal guards leaving with him.

    The assembly of slaves whispered and murmured amongst themselves once they were certain the Captain was gone. Left and right, Valentine heard nothing but "what does he mean, slaves," "where are we," and "monsters...?"

    "This way, prisoners," another guard commanded. The guards ushered the prisoners through the tunnels, prodding those that fell behind with metal rods.

    Valentine, like the others, went along without complaint. He knew the position he was in. But what was that blue fire? That... seemed like magic... Could this place be...? He stopped himself there. The very idea seemed ludicrous. But what other option was there? He looked at the brand on his chest. The skin around it seemed inflamed, the branded flesh itself a dark crimson, almost like charcoal. I'm surprised it doesn't hurt too much, he thought. The nerves were probably destroyed.

    They passed down many corridors, going deeper into the labyrinth-mine. The deeper and lower they went, the colder it became and the less torches there were to illuminate the halls. Several minutes passed until they reached the lowest depths. The guards brought them to a room and gave them pickaxes.

    "You'll need these to mine tearstones," the guards said. "They glow, so you'll know when you've found them. You will be watched. Anyone who takes a break from working will be scourged. Once you've filled your mine carts with tearstones, carry them to the hoist and get a new cart."

    Valentine grabbed his pickaxe, but nearly dropped it when he first tried to lift it. Heavy... But he did not complain out loud. No one did. The reality of the situation dawned on the slaves. They realized the truth. They were slaves. They would never be free. They will never escape. Some of the slaves broke down when they realized the situation they were in, but were whipped back to their feet.

    The guards brought Valentine and the others to the corridors they were assigned to. They pushed Valentine to a wall of rock, a pickaxe in his hand. He couldn't help but wonder how this all happened. Just earlier that day he was on his way home. It was his turn to prepare dinner, but now he didn't even know what time it was. A certain thought entered his mind and a cold sweat swept over him and his heart clenched in his chest. Was she also brought here? Is she alright? Is she also a slave? His arms faltered for a moment and he dropped his pickaxe.

    "Hm? You! Get to work!" A taskmaster yelled as he approached, whip in hand.

    "W-w-wait... I just dropped it..." Valentine stepped back subconsciously.

    "Get to work!" The guard flung his arm. Valentine watched as the leather cords curved in the air. A horrible dread fell on him as he held up his arms to protect his face, but the whip struck his ribs. It felt as if the leather bands were tearing into his skin as the cords striped his side.

    He fumbled to pick up his pickaxe as the guard kept scourging his side and back. He stood up and started his slave work and the guard walked away. Valentine struck at the rocks again and again. And again. He had no other victim to unleash his anger, fear, and pain on. He kept swinging his pickaxe, each strike barely chipping away at the sea of stone. It didn't take long for him to grow weary, but he couldn't stop for fear of punishment. Hours passed, and his muscles burned. The pain and humiliation from being whipped mostly subsided, but now tiredness gnawed at him. He drew deep breaths but they were barely enough to keep his body going.

    Why do I have to do this... He complained in his heart. He shook his head. No, if I become bitter here, I've already lost... He fought to keep himself in control of his mind and his feelings. If he gave these up, then he really would have lost everything.

    "Haah!" He struck again at the rock. Part of the rock slid off, exposing a vein of glowing crystal. It's bluish-green glow illuminated the dim cavern and dyed it the same colour. "This is... Tearstone?" He swung his pickaxe at the vein several times and dislodged a crystal. Picking it up, he studied it. The colour was a clear, light blue, sometimes phasing into cyan. It glowed faintly in pulsating beats, as if it mimicked the planet's heartbeat. A wide grin slapped itself onto his face. All the negativity he felt before was washed away in a flood. Despite the unfortunate situation he found himself in, part of him was ecstatic at the exotic discovery. It stoked his natural curiosity. This sense of accomplishment, and his reignited curiosity, renewed his strength.

    The end of that working day came far too late. All of the slaves were brought back to the common room, the same room in which the Captain addressed them earlier that day. Most of them collapsed on the ground, their chests heaving heavy breaths, tired from the work and long trek back up the labyrinth. The guards called the prisoners to attention and apportioned food to them.

    "This..." Valentine stared down his food. "What is this?" The bowl in his hand held some sort of gruel. He took his wooden spoon and lifted some of the gruel, letting it fall back into the bowl. The soggy white mush sloshed back into the bowl. "Probably... Oatmeal and water..." In truth, the gruel was mostly water. "Hm... It's not too bad... if I just imagine I'm eating a plain, soggy cereal... with water instead of milk... Okay it's still kinda bad..."

    The prisoners did not have to work after the evening meal. That time was free for them. Valentine sat on the cold, hard ground. He heard people talking together around him, trying to make sense of things. There's not much more to figure out... Not from here. If I want to know what happened, I probably can't do it inside this prison. He wondered if there might be a way out of the mines.

    The distinct sound of snoring came up and disrupted his rumination. Some of the slaves were sleeping already, exhausted. He stared at one such snoring slave as a fly flew into the slave's nose. "That seems like a good idea..." Valentine lay down on the cold ground. He couldn't help but to shiver a little. The rags he wore did little to keep him warm. The hard, rocky bumps in the ground jutted into his back and his arms still burned. He did his best to find a comfortable position and tried to sleep. I can't stay here. I have to get out...

    He fell asleep quickly despite the hardness and coldness of the ground. A long day's work work left him tired.

    The next morning all the prisoners had the same gruel to eat. The guards sent them down into the depths of the mines to work again. Hours passed into days. Valentine got used to the redundant work, his body acclimating to its demands. His inquisitive curiosity when he first found a tearstone vein quickly passed as the sight became normal for him.

    At the end of the fourth day he readied himself to eat the sloppy gruel again... "Huh? Citizen, is that you?" A somewhat familiar voice called out. Valentine turned around.

    "... Could you be, that soldier?" He looked at the well-built man's visage. The man looked completely different to Valentine, dressed in rags instead of standard military issue uniform.

    "So it is you!" The soldier with short, brown hair said. "I thought I recognized your face."

    "Ah... Yes. You just got your dinner? It's not much is it..." Valentine awkwardly tried to make conversation.

    "Yeah, it could be better. I'm glad I found you. I was afraid that you might not have made it after all..." The soldier said. "Although, I'm not sure being here is much better." The soldier sat down near Valentine. A young blonde woman in rags also sat down with him.

    "Same. It's nice to see you're alive... Who's this?" Valentine looked at the unfamiliar young woman.

    "This is Erin Blake. We were working in the same area. She collapsed from the mining, but I covered for her," the soldier explained while eating, and the woman bowed her head slightly. "Right, my name is Roy. Roy Symons. You?"

    "Valentine."

    "Is that... A surname?" Erin broke her own silence.

    "... Yes."

    "And your first name?" Roy asked.

    "Well..." Valentine looked away slightly. "I just go by Valentine, actually."

    "Right," Roy studied the young man's face in a squinty manner. "Anyway, do you have any idea where we are?"

    Valentine thought about it for a second, "I think, most likely, Wormwood."

    "The planet?"

    "I think so, too," Erin added. "Last thing I remember before coming here was being sucked up into the sky. Seems that's how everyone got here..."

    "Then there's the Captain and his blue fires, and the 'tearstones'... It seems like magic. Wherever we are, it's probably not Earth."

    "You two have a point," Roy rubbed his chin stubble.

    "... I'm sorry, Roy," Valentine said.

    "What do you mean?"

    "If it weren't for me, you might not be here. You were trying to help me and got pulled into things... I'm sorry," Valentine lowered his head.

    "It's alright," Roy smirked. "Protecting people is what I do. I'd rather be here with everyone than on Earth wondering where they went."

    "I wonder if Earth is still alright...?" Erin said. Both Roy and Valentine pondered it for a moment. How many Earthlings were taken? What happened to those left on Earth? There were too many questions.

    Valentine already finished his meal. He sat there with the other two, deep in thought. They also sat quiet, waiting to see if he would say anything.

    "Roy, Erin, I've made a decision. Listen to me..." He finally spoke, in hushed tones, as he leaned his face forward.

    "What is it?"

    "Yes?"

    "We're going to escape these mines," Valentine said.

    "What?" Roy's eyes shined with hope as he leaned forward. "How?"

    "..." Erin also leaned in, curious.

    "I have no idea."
    Last edited by Miseo; June 5th, 2016 at 02:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Member KThoughts's Avatar
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    Just...

    Whenever I have questions about the story or chapter it always gets answered right away when I read further in the story and I am impressed on how you made it straightfoward, I also love how you described the guards, prisoners and the stone they were talking about and Tearstones it's a very nice name but I also have a question in mind did this came from the moon?, cave?, mine?, mineral? You should probably explain where the tearstone came from in the next chapter.

    I also became curious on what the Tearstones are for in Wormwood why do they need to gather some stones? Is it for power? money? or magic? Hopefully you will explain that as well in the next chapter. I became more excited in this chapter especially when you mentioned the soldier and the woman. Erin and Roy but I thought Erin was a man until I read Roy's dialogue that she was a woman. I simply cannot wait to see on how you will develop their characters here and so far I am interested in Roy and Erin I keep thinking what are their personality? likes? dislikes? Also I just laughed at the last dialogue by the end when Valentine was serious on getting out and then he said "I have no idea" that is just so savage

    You made me impressed again Miseo! Hopefully you keep up with the good work on your story
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    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. This chapter and the next few won't be too bad or gruesome, and I'll try to use it for character development before the action picks up again. As for the tearstones, I will explain those in story eventually but not for a while... After all, the guards won't be too keen on giving information to their prisoners. The tearstones actual names are "Feron's Tears" and they are basically condensed magic. They're used by magicians and also to fuel magical devices.

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    Member KThoughts's Avatar
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    Alright... Thanks for clearing that up and I guess that made sense, I have another question in mind but I will let your story and answer it for me and the antagonist you kept on mentioning I also feel excited on knowing what is she like? But I will have to wait for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KThoughts View Post
    Alright... Thanks for clearing that up and I guess that made sense, I have another question in mind but I will let your story and answer it for me and the antagonist you kept on mentioning I also feel excited on knowing what is she like? But I will have to wait for that.
    No problem. You will have to wait a long while... It will be many chapters in the future. If I write one chapter a week, and that stuff is revealed in, say, 50 chapters, then... That's pretty much a year away

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    Wow... 50 chapters?!? That's a lot but I guess I have to wait for it
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    Member Miseo's Avatar
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    I'll try to be a bit faster lol. Might have chapter 4 ready in several days.

    I have a vague, general idea of where I'm going with this but a lot of it is just... Do it as you go. It's actually pretty tough to improvise things.

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