'That damned bastard.'
I murmured casually while recalling that moment. In the end, that bastard did not talk about the deal he made with me.
"By the way, this guy's holding up really well. He received training before."
"I've never done training before though? I'm just a normal person."
I answered what I thought was an obvious fact to me, but Torture Expert, Kaa snorted.
"Kekeke. Are you gonna say such nonsense which can't even fool a child? You're not even budging from this amount of torture, and you're not even affected by mind control or confession drugs, and you are telling me you're a normal person?"
"But it's true, so what am I supposed to do?"
Kaa, the monster with a crocodile's head, muttered under his breath as his undeveloped facial muscles twitched. His expression stiffened as he bared his fangs. Seeing that eight of his arms were shaking, he was probably furious at my behavior.
"...Are you acting out like this because you are too trusting of the Captain's orders to not hurt your body?"
"Why should I believe his words? It's not like he's that trustworthy either. It's just that you being afraid of an old man and pretending to be docile is not even worth a laugh."
For a moment, Kaa couldn't contain his anger and struck my shoulder. Just like grinding sorghum straws, my shoulder easily crushed from the strike.
In the first place, they were monsters who were capable of destroying humans easily, and in addition, Kaa was a supernatural being that had mastered superpowers. Even if he did not have the intention to hit me, something as meager as my life was fleeting.
"Kaa!! You crazy bastard!!"
Having been standing by and observing the whole torture process up til this very instant, a startled Ogre Fighter Ardo pulled Kaa away from me.
Startled, Ogre Fighter Ardo, who had been standing by and observing the whole torture process until now, pulled me away from Kaa. But it was already a grave situation as the screen on one side of the walls contorted intricately and began to rang loudly.
My already exhausted body began to lose strength rapidly and my vision started to fade. It wasn't as if I was dealt a blow to my head. I was just struck around the shoulder area, but I went into shock instantly.
I was an unbeatable pilot who possessed some weird superpowers, but my pain tolerance was that of an ordinary high-school student. These weren't just empty words. Even being struck by these monsters as a prank would be dangerous, so obviously, it would be life-threatening if I were struck with an attack which was filled with murderous intent.
"This little, shit! Call the healers immediately!"
"Hey look here now, Ardo. You don't have to make such a big fuss about a human like this…"
"Shut the fuck up, you fool. Can't you consider our circumstances for a second? If Elohim really steps in right now, what do you think will happen to our Tekea Federation?"
"Bu-, but that Saint only spoke about the Imperial Princess. This guy could really be insignificant." Kaa tried to justify his actions as he was flustered by Ardo's words but the latter's eyes burned red in response.
"Kreukk!!! This guy could really be insignificant. So you think it's going to be okay just because of that? Kekeke! Yeah! The likelihood of that being true is pretty high without a doubt. But do you think the Captain is stupid? He made sure to limit us, and instructed us to interrogate him without hurting him too much. Are you confident enough to put our Tekea Federation on the line for that petty assumption?"
Kaa was agitated all these while, and Ardo was the one who tried to stop him. But as Ardo put on a straight face and snarled at him, Kaa instead got intimidated and he wasn't even able to properly look Ardo in the eye.
I secretly felt gratified, but soon even that scene became blurry.
'Ahh, am I really dying...'
I couldn't help scoffing as I came to a realization instantly at the ridiculous situation. I thought I'd been living carefully thus far, but I was crestfallen at the fact that I was about to die helplessly after being thrown around here and there. It felt as if anything I did was insignificant and I was just being toyed by fate.
But as soon as I relaxed and drooped down, a gentle light whirled around my body. As I came to my senses, I realized that a crocodile was next to me... No, to be exact, a reptile-like demi-human, who looked similar to a lizard. appeared.
"Wow, I never thought there would come a day where I'd be healing a human..."
The demi-humans couldn't cause harm to Celestia no matter what. Although Cheong Won handed Celestia over to the demi-humans, they were still forced to thoroughly protect her and ensure her safety.
Rape was allowed because of the purpose of bearing a descendent, but only to that extent. They weren't allowed to hurt Celestia's body beyond the limit, nor were they permitted to entice her mind. More than anything else, it was absolutely forbidden for her to be dead. And if the demi-humans couldn't abide by those rules, the consequences would be the fall of the Tekea Federation.
'But it was a totally different case for me.'
In the end, Cheong Won did not mention anything about how they should treat me.
From beginning to end, he only mentioned Celestia and left just like that. So, the guys here didn't even know who I was. The demi-humans also did not know why Cheong Won had to drag me here.
If this had happened on any other ordinary day, I would have immediately been executed, cut and served as food for the demi-humans. What I sensed as I was being dragged around in this goddamn Space Carrier was that the demi-humans enjoyed cannibalism, way beyond one's imagination.
Most of the demi-humans I met while moving around looked at me as if I was a first-rate delicacy. So, there was no need for me to elaborate further, right?
'Thankfully, those bastards are afraid of Cheong Won, so that's my only saving grace.'
Yes. That was the only reason why I could remain alive till now.
Cheong Won did not guarantee my safety at all, but he also never mentioned what they could do to me. So, the demi-humans couldn't harm me because they were worried 'just in case' something would happen…
The same thought process applied for Arch-Sorcerer Morne, the strongest being on this ship. Hence, he ordered for me to be locked up and interrogated, but I must not come into any harm while being held captive and questioned. Morne could sense deeply the power Cheong Won possessed, more so than anyone else, so it was obvious that Morne would pass down such instructions.
While I was daydreaming about all sorts of stuff, a great deal of pain began to creep over my whole body. The demi-human had delicate fingers similar to that of humans' (but his skin colour was totally different) even though he had a lizard's head. Wherever the light emitting from his hands landed on my body, the broken bones reformed into their original state and the oozing blood was reabsorbed into my body.
Needless to say, the surging pain was a positive reaction. It meant that I had recovered enough to be able to feel pain since I couldn't feel it when I was driven to the brink of death a moment ago.
"Tchhh. As a healer, I advise you to stop questioning. At the very least, today is a no-go."
"But you've treated him, haven't you?"
"I'm sorry to break the news, but healing arts aren't able to cure everything. Most importantly, his body is too weak to receive continuous healing. I know humans are weak, but among them, he is really frail. His Mana reserve is also so terrible that he is incapable of recovering on his own."
"...For Christ's sake, after all that, I didn't even find out anything."
Ardo's eyebrows squirmed at the sight of Kaa gritting his teeth.
"Lock him back up again while he's being healed. Kaa, come with me for awhile."
"Um... Got it."
Kaa was very intimidated and followed after Ardo, while the healer left me alone and went somewhere else. Some time later, a steel-barred cage lowered down with a 'Wiiiiingggg'.
My body shuddered as I curled up in the prison alone.
"Agh... shit... It hurts..."
I had encountered countless hellish experiences in my memory, but nevertheless, it would still hurt if I was injured.
Especially now, when my body was in a condition that wasn't good enough to even put off as a joke. So even though I had been healed, my whole body was in immense pain, and it felt like my skin was tearing, and my whole body was heating up.
"Why must I be subjected to this treatment?"
In hindsight, it seemed that the ominous feeling that Ares felt was Cheong Won. But it was all pointless. No matter how tactful I was, I wouldn't have known that the ominous feeling that Ares was referring to was the incident going on in Albatross. Since I had been participating in several clashes, I naturally thought that it was normal for Ares to foresee some sort of complications happening on the battlefield.
'It's already in the past, so let's just let it go… I need to get out of here.'
As one would expect, it was something that was almost unachievable. I was inside Great Sky, an Exa-class Space Carrier that was much larger in size than Albatross. Escaping from the prison wasn't all there was to it. Since I was inside a huge Space Carrier that was even more gigantic than a few decent cities combined, even if I escaped from this locked up jail, I would still be stuck in the middle of the enemy camp at best.
Moreover, more than anything…
"Release me," I whispered quietly, but there was no response.
"Release me!", I ordered. And yet, it was to no avail. The iron bars remained unchanged and there wasn't any reaction. I checked and confirmed it over and over again for three days.
'What's going on? Do demi-humans not use artificial intelligence?'
Only machines with artificial intelligence could listen to my orders. I didn't know the exact criteria, but I realized this after experimenting several times. The machines would require at least an artificial intelligence with the ability to recognize and comprehend my words to respond to my orders.
'But there's no response.'
Generally, it was natural for a Space Carrier of this size to have a control persona present, and the majority of the ship's interior would be inside the range of cognition of the control persona. It wasn't as if the prison was a place where personal privacy was protected, so it was unfathomable for the control persona to not be aware and in control of this place.
'At this rate... there's no way out.'
It felt as if I was swept by despair continuously. Yeah, there was no other way. I couldn't see any possibility of surviving this. As time passed by in this place... That goddamn dwarf monster would come and torture me again.
My pain tolerance was incomparable to that of an ordinary human, but that didn't mean that I was numb of my senses. If I were tortured, I would obviously be in agony, and it would be a huge toll on my body. I realized that those bastards would treat me the same no matter what I did, even if I crossed the line. But, it was no exaggeration to say that I was already at my limit.
"If only I could deliver a message to Ares..."
The Eye of Ares had a vast range, and it was capable of looking around the whole universe. If there was a battle going on around here and this ship could enter his field of sight, he could spot Great Sky. And if Great Sky could just be discovered by his peripheral vision, in that case...
"...Damn it." I realized a critical problem instantly and shook my head.
The main concern right now wasn't to discover Great Sky. Albatross had objectively less battle prowess as compared to Great Sky. Also, Albatross was in a situation where they were in hiding, so what could they do even if they did discover Great Sky?
Nevertheless, Albatross hid well because of the lightning clouds on the planet and was only caught up in skirmishes. Our fighter jets and Gigas were overwhelmingly lower in numbers, so if we fought head-to-head, we would be exterminated at once.
I raised my head at the sudden voice. I heard a voice even though all the demi-humans around had gone somewhere else. On top of that, there wasn't even a single soul guarding this place.
"Why do you have that cross frame on your back?"
Only then did I realize that there was someone else in the cage across me.
She was wearing a dog collar and was bound by chains. Her long black hair was twice as long as her height, and it was in a wild mess sprayed on the floor. Both her hands were also cuffed by large steel handcuffs.
I wasn't supposed to even know any Legions on this Space Carrier, but surprisingly, she was a familiar face. She was the Legion who broke into the Albatross ship and devastated all the control personas that were in it.
The moment I made eye contact with her, there was a strange ringing sensation in my head. She had an exquisite face, where she could be an Asian but could also pull it off as a Westerner. However, she undoubtedly resembled a human, and I felt my senses broadening up through her.
I can see it! I see it! Dae-ha! Can you hear my voice, Dae-ha? No, putting that aside, are you alright?
A worried voice resounded in my head. Needless to say, it wasn't that girl's voice. It was the voice of the God-rank Gigas, which was in the Albatross ship far away from here.
It was Ares' voice.Previous Chapter Next Chapter