Chapter 12: Prison
EndlessFantasy Translation EndlessFantasy Translation
The Capital Prison.
When the prison was built, it was designed based on the classification of the prisoners' danger level. The most dangerous of the prisoners would generally be held in the deepest part of the dungeon, while humans, who were considered "harmless little creatures" by the demons would, of course, be locked in the outermost layer.
The imprisoned humans were much luckier than the demonic prisoners. At least, they could see the two bright moons in the Demonic Realm's sky through the windows.
Sadly, none of the imprisoned villagers were in any mood to enjoy the view. No one would be in the mood to enjoy the scenery when they were on the way to the guillotine.
The villagers had all been corralled into a single cell. The cell itself was large enough to accommodate hundreds, yet the environment was not something the "harmless little creatures" could bare.
A rancid and damp stench filled the entire dungeon as the roar of unknown monsters thundered from time to time, leaving the simple, hard-working villagers tormented by fear.
"Melina, do you think that the mage will be able to escape the Demonic Realm?"
Locked inside the dungeon were not only villagers from the same village but also the surviving merchants and servants from the caravan.
"I do not know, but she may be our only hope."
The owner of the caravan was Melina Jant, an old lady who was about seventy-nine years old. The passage of time had left many marks on her. It was not just her wrinkles and white hair, but also her indifferent mentality.
Melina was probably the calmest person in the dungeon as her servants had all fallen into a state of fear like their fellow captives. Some of her guards even began to think that they would not leave the place alive and started to reveal their dark side to their own kind.
Thankfully, the wardens of the prison were cold-blooded enough to deal with the scum who bore their fangs against their own with brutal efficiency.
Due to the mutiny by her guards, Melina's caravan team sharply decreased from twenty-odd members to only her and another servant. All of her wares were gone as well.
Such a disaster was enough to throw any merchant into the depths of despair, but Melina was calm. She had spent the latter half of her life dealing with calamities. From the sudden death of her husband due to unknown reasons to the death of her only child due to sickness, Melina had long bid farewell to her former extravagant, aristocratic lifestyle.
In order to carry on her husband's business, Melina had been trying to do business everywhere. Just as she purchased a piece of property in the magic city of Norland in preparation to set up shop—to transition from a wandering merchant to a proper one—fate once again smiled maliciously at her.
If Melina could weather through the tragedy that befell her family, the threat of death itself was not going to faze her.
Nevertheless, that did not mean she had given up on surviving...
"Even if she escapes the Demonic Realm, she will probably not return," her servant said in a voice.
The understanding of magic amongst the villagers who were captured there was mostly at the shallowest level. They mainly started fires or created ice with magic.
In terms of offense, conjuring a fireball was already something considerable. Melina was no different, so a high-level magic spell like teleportation was definitely out of the question.
Their only hope now was that little mage. She was the only person who had managed to escape the dungeon, and before she left, she promised the villagers at their request that "I'll find someone to rescue all of you!"
Many clung onto that thin thread of hope, but Melina knew that a thin thread was exactly that. A gentle tug would break it.
The strength displayed by the demon wardens earlier was proof of that. All of the guards in her employment were mercenaries with experience in demon hunting, yet they barely lasted a minute against the wardens before they were all slaughtered.
It was as if the wardens were cutting vegetables.
That young mage was even less likely to escape the treacherous Demonic Realm.
So, Melina had already begun to think about writing a will.
At that moment, footsteps rang out in the dungeon as the cries and sobs of despair went silent out of fear.
Thirty villagers or so turned their gaze to the dark corridor as a masked warden tossed a human, whom they had been dragging, into the cell.
The moment the villagers saw the person, their cries of fear turned into shifty whispers.
It was because... she was just... too attractive. Her beautiful features were beyond the villagers' ability to put into words. Attractive was the most appropriate term.
Ynor could feel the gazes of the humans within the prison. As he had always been living under such gazes, he had gotten used to it a long time ago.
"Your name is Belle, a passionate, curious, and courageous human girl."
Joshua's words still echoed in Ynor's ears. Ynor did not understand why Joshua wanted him to play the role of a human, but he would still do his best.
Ynor tiptoed to a low window in the cell and looked out.
"Child... why are you here?"
Melina was sitting right next to the window, and when she saw the pretty young girl, she pitied her a little as she could be killed by the demons any time soon.
"I don't know... My village was raided by bandits, and my parents told me to escape... I was caught by a group of demons not long after I made my way into the oak forest."
Ynor's background had been written by Joshua, so the moment the villagers heard that "her village was raided by bandits, and her parents told her to run", many of the villagers there took pity on Ynor.
His acting was particularly impeccable. He played the role of an innocent girl who was completely lost but still hoping to return to her village perfectly.
"What a poor child. Those bandit scum should really be hanged on the gallows!"
"Hanging is too easy a death for them."
The similar experience that Ynor had encountered quickly gained him the trust of the villagers and their indignation toward the bandits. Even Melina expressed sympathy.
"I'm sure your parents will be fine."
Melina pondered a little before she comforted Ynor.
"They will be fine... I... I saw the bandits... my parents... before...."
Ynor did not say anything after that. His voice trembled, and anyone could have guessed what had happened.
"Child, cry if you need to. You will feel better."
In Melina's eyes, Ynor was simply putting on a tough front. Meanwhile, Ynor wiped his eyes, perfectly playing the part of a strong woman.
Melina looked at Ynor as her motherly affections resurfaced after so long.
If her child was still around, she would have been about her age?
"If you don't mind, may I know your name?" Melina asked.
"Belle," Ynor answered as per the script Joshua had given him.