The Blood of Mana

Chapter I - Welcome to My World

ckery tone,

”How about ”Skinned-naked ” ?! ”

They burst out in laughter, but a familiar voice suddenly interrupted and halted their laugh halfway.

”Then I shall bring a big laugh to all the people in the main square! By hanging that hideous corpse of yours! ” as the ”owner, ” the dwarf I assaulted squeezed through his henchmen while ranting,

”Wait… listen here… I don think people in the town would find it humorous, don you think? And they will be most likely to find it as a… Hold on for a sec!… Oh, right, churlish! ” I responded.

”Haha, veeeeryyyyy funny… you
e a street jester or what? ” the dwarf added.

”I thought you were just being sarcastic… ” I tittered.

There are five of them: two orcs, two humans, and a dwarf, the ”owner ” or the ”boss ” of the group, also the one who received my senseless blow on the left eye. From what I understand, theres nothing much I can do to save my bloody skin. Im no trained fighter or an arcane master. What I only can do is submit myself to the consequences of acting foolishly without logically considering the prospective outcome. What a perfect ending for a man who merely believes in conscience and justice while disregarding the practical reckoning.

”Whats with the mute, tough guy? Aren ya trying to pull some hero drivel sh*t? Something like beating us to a pulp without dropping a sweat? ” the entire group guffawed at me and then casually reached for their sheathed weapons, and theres where my life was a step closer to the gate of the afterlife.

For any logical reason, screams for help might drive the best bargain to dissolve this dilemma, or I guess maybe not. Heres a reminder of this stingy town, receiving help from strangers is nothing like a myth of a living angel.

”End of the line, tough guy! ” the thug hollered.

My rear had reached an end. No further pathway I could retreat to. As I clenched my teeth, cold sweats slid down my neck, slowly accepting my inevitable end.

As the range was closing, he raised his right arm and…


In a split second, a mace walloped to my skull. The skull was bashed; the blood spewed like an open hose, and my consciousness packed their farewell as my knees dropped instantly, accompanied by the body immobilized soon after. As my senses slowly withered away, the blood dripped down from my forehead, painting my eyesight red. In the meantime, these blood-tainted eyesights of mine watched them stomp on my incapacitated body while everything got darker each second. My pain tolerance eventually no longer functioned; despite being constantly stomped and kicked by those thugs, I sensed nothing. And I was drawn to the conclusion that my life had reached its terminal point and where… I… ceased…

”Boss, I think hes dead! ” one thug spouted.

”Check his pulse, Jamal! Make sure hes dead. I don want another self-appointed vigilante roaming these streets again, hindering the expand of my business! ”

Jamal kneeled before my bleached flesh and pressed his finger against the pulse of my neck.

”Dead! ” he responded,

”Huddling out, people, we
e returning! We have to return to the carriage before another one of these vigilantes appears and releases MY products! So, if neither of you want to lose that precious head of your, lets hope that none of my products are escaped! ” the dwarf bellowed.

”Yes, boss! ” as they dashed back, while my body was left behind in this dim and cold alley,


”Who was guarding the products, Jamal? ” the dwarf asked.

”It was Jared and Minter, boss. ”

”Then lets hasten our pace before the business is racked and ruined! ”

”Yes, boss! ”

Upon their return, the corpses of both Jared and Minter and an empty carriage with the gates swung agape were the only things they witnessed.

”NO, NO, NO! The products have escaped! ” the dwarf panicked.

”You scum spread out! Strip the town if you can! Bring them back at all costs! ” the dwarf bellowed as he pummeled the empty carriage with his right fist.

The henchmen scattered before the response could fully forge, attempting to recapture the escaped children before it was too late.

”Jamal, you… *pants* you… *pants* ” the dwarf was trying to regain his breath after the eruption of his formidable furies.

”Stay…! Ransack this mess… *pants* and find… *pants* who did this! ” the dwarf was concluding his demand and soon flopped on the sidewalk to catch his breath.

”Yes, boss! ” Jamal responded and soon hauled the bodies to a more vivid spot, which was to allow himself to execute the investigation regarding the root of their demise.

”A fastidious clean kill, no sign of struggles… Could it be poison? But how…? ”

Jamal uttered as he was stuck in his puzzling thought while unraveling the last string that led to the closure of the case.

”So? Got anything? ” the dwarf asked.

”It seems like there were no face-up conflicts, rather than an unresponsive slaughter. ”

”Meanings? ” the dwarf unintelligible questioned,

”Both of them were killed without even acknowledging they were attacked. ”

”Witchcraft? ”

”More like an execution through stealth, work of a professional or professionals… ”

”Then how did they die? And why is there no one stepped in to stop them? ”

”Boss, I meant no disrespect, but we are currently in Aetheron. No one here gives a damn about what we do or why we do it. ” Jamal posited,

”Then what about that puny scum we just killed? ”

”He exceptional, I presume, or maybe a distraction to separate us from the others? Creating a loophole between us, and strike when its exposed. ”

”That explained why he never flinched a bit, even though we tried to kill him. ” the dwarf amused.

”For a guy like him to outplay me? Huh, I guess we really can judge someone by its cover. For someone with a look of a drifter actually being crafty, it really intrigued me. ” the dwarf laughed,

Such a gallant assumption from them. At least my death doesn resolve in a negative depiction, even though the truth of what they said is contrary to my genuine intent.

”BOSS! I found them! ” one henchman returned and alleged in a beaten tone,

”I just saw them enter one of the abandoned buildings inside the ghost town, ” he added.

”So, shall we throw a chit-chat party, then? ” the dwarf grunted,

”No, boss. ”

”Then? Whats with the holdup? Lets go! ” without further procrastination, they darted off to the specified location.


Moment of traverse later…

They arrived at the ghost town, and the entire platoon had already rallied outside the specified abandoned building, which seemed to have a tall history.

Creaking windows, cracks, and holes outline the body structure, while the webs thrive within its core. Perfect hideout for secret operations since its also sited at the towns outcast, where no lives dwelled, except rodents, of course.

The abandonment of this town remained a mystery; as the legend told, this town once bore the gateway to the Gaian Abyss, also noted as the core nest of the ungodly creatures. So humanity resolved this obscure predicament by forgoing this unholy ground for existential circumspection…

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