was an effective means of harvesting souls.
It had been about a week since Louie signed a contract with Lady Twilight, awakening his dormant magical abilities, and ever since, the young millionaire couldn't get enough of it. He first used to his newfound power to break out of the Magnolian prison, slaughtering and roasting anyone who attempted to thwart his plans, and to be honest, he'd be lying if he said he didn't enjoy it. He believed that anyone who tried to stop him was asking for death, anyway! It was only natural that they'd turn to cinders as a result of their brainless actions.
Louie's newfound magic was sloppy and dangerous, unrefined like an amateur swordsman wielding Excalibur. While he had Aeluri to guide him on this new strength, he instead planned to put his bodyguard's experience to use to sharpen his blade at another time. Right now, he had been preoccupied with far more exciting things. Like a baby with a brand new toy, Louie was most interested in testing the limits of his power; seeing how far he could really go and testing the boundaries of his magic. Being without magic in a land of mana, however, would surely put him a tier below the trash of this country even if he had surpassed them in all other fronts, so this was the natural step! With his hungry, brilliant flames, he would be able to surpass everyone whoever challenged him, and more! He could see it ahead; his destiny awaited him, and on top of all the bodies of his enemies and challengers, he'd stand on top, reigning supreme.
Unfortunately, more and more complications
arose as he played with his mana. Strands of intricate red tattoos sprawled over his beautiful body, and while he did not mind it (and in fact treated them like symbols of power), he could not ignore the subtle cravings they encroached onto him.
The curse mark demanded souls, which seems rather fitting considering it was a mark he acquired from a soul merchant. It did not speak to him or whisper into his ear as some fiends might've. As if instinct, Louie knew what he had to do. Just the other day in Hosenka, he had crafted a drug that he could use on other people, rendering them unconscious and helpless to the exterior world. Like all of his plans, it was perfect and greatly effective, but who was he, Louie Calvin Klein, to do a simpleton's work? Were his perfect hands, crafted by the Goddess of Beauty herself, meant to work so hard for the mind and matter of a pig? Not only this, but the effort in garnering just one or two souls using this method was absurd! Like a wildcat stalking its prey, he had waited almost an hour to see success! Outrageous!
As a result of only trying it once, Louie had vowed never to partake such work again. It was not fitting for a man of his status, and why settle for so little? Even if in some absurd reality that he was satisfied with this method, slaughtering one or two pigs at a time could never satiate his lust for combat! It was by this thought that Louie had conjured up yet another plan, something that even he was impressed with more than usual, and his wonderful craft began in the outskirts of Morgate Town.
Beyond the rubble and debris of a forsaken city, there is a trapdoor leading to somewhere grim. A dark, unlit staircase that seems to continue on forever leads to an enormous and spacious arena resembling that of a Desiertan Colosseum. It was a grand, glorious scene; but all of it was underground a terrible town. While the sky over Morgate was black and of the night, the colosseum experienced a perpetual day, a noon sun fixed in the center of the "sky." The stone walls, the sandy battleground, and thousands of seats wrapped around the arena until all of them connected at the end where a single throne lay. It had been made of solid gold, decorated with diamonds and generally looked too expensive for anyone to possibly afford. The very colosseum was beyond belief, and it'd difficult to convince anyone that this really was just a space underneath a spot in Morgate, but it was wonderful what magic could accomplish. In just three days, Louie had hired the best of the best when it comes to magical construction workers to dig under Morgate and fill its space with an illusion-like colosseum. When wealth and magic came together, unbelievable things could be achieved. He had wondered what to name this wonderful thing he had acquired. La Boucherie
, maybe? Maybe just the Colosseum?
Whatever, he'd figure it out in due time! But now was the time to test it all out!Click, click, click
Louie had entered his arena, sitting himself down on his extravagant throne. Next to him was William, his chauffeur, and other servants that were to join him in his observation. Below him, littering the sandy battleground were upwards of a hundred people—an unimpressive number considering how small they looked in comparison to the battleground they were sprawled over, like ants on the earth. It was a variety of people; middle-aged salarymen with plain business suits, stay at home mothers, children between what looked to be ages six and eighteen, and senior citizens who were so old that they needed canes to walk, but seemed too old to even be among such a youthful crowd. Even the very same construction workers that he assembled their skills to craft such a wonderful Colosseum were scattered there among the crowd, in the same state. Together, these dozens upon dozens of people seemed too different to even be here together in one place, and all of them were laying on the sand and stone, unconscious like a corpse, but not dead. Not yet. Everything seemed ready, and it was time for the entertainment.
When Louie adjusted himself, leaning back into his seat with one leg crossed over the other, William and the other servants knew that it was time to begin the harvest. The older man checked his wristwatch, watching the short-hand anxiously jolt towards to the twelve, and then the long-hand finally landing on it. "Tick, tick, tick,"
went the wristwatch, an audible noise when everyone else was waiting in silence. When the hands finally struck noon, a distant and powerful murmur arose from the arena.
Altogether, each person awoke from their deathlike slumber, bewildered and slow in realizing where they were. Some of them looked around the crowd in hopes of rejoining loved ones or maybe finding one or two familiar faces. Some were successful, and some were not. But regardless of familiarity, Louie knew that they were all going to share the same fate. Many of them began to panic, particularly children, once they realized that this was not the Rose Garden and Hosenka they remembered. They broke into senseless chatter, some screaming, and others were only confused. The chatter would get louder and louder until a single silvery, deep voice from the throne unified their attention."Welcome all, to my Colosseum!"
shouted Louie, his voice echoing throughout the entire arena, "I will grant you a moment to behold my arena, because, for all but one of you, it will be the last sight you see!"
"Last sight?" murmured one woman.
"What does he mean?" whispered another."Many of you are confused, to which I do understand. It must be shocking for you pigs to be outside of your pen. But since most of you will not be alive to refuse me, I suppose I'll grant you some insight on your circumstances."
Louie pointed at them, a smirk crossing his cheeks, "I have achieved a new echelon of power, but to maintain it, I must satiate my very essence with the souls of others. While I've attempted to do such things myself, my hands are crafted from Goddesses of Beauty themselves and are not fit for culling some hogs. So, I had just a marvelous idea!"
William suddenly opened a pocket dimension, allowing several different weapons to drop just out of reach of the people below them. There was a wide variety of weapons to pick from: maces, swords, axes, brass knuckles, there were even some guns tossed into the mix, but overall, the selection was archaic and rather barbaric. He knew that the men and women he had assembled were those without magical capabilities. They didn't stand a chance against mages, after all. Though, that would be more entertaining to see. "Why don't you all kill each other? It is far easier and leagues more entertaining this way, after all."
"You've got to be kidding!"
"Get me out of here!"
"Why are you doing this?!"
"Who are you?!"
There were many different voices screaming very different things. Some were horrified while others were simply refusing to believe it to be true. One woman screamed out at Louie. "This is insane! You kidnapped all of us and are going to make us kill each other?! We're calling the Rune Knights!"
exclaimed the woman, stuffing her hand into her pocket to reach for something, but the color drained from her face when her hands returned to her empty. She continued to grope around her body, every nook and cranny, pocket and tear, to find an iLac, but was fruitless each time. "W-What?! Where's my iLac?""Gone, of course. You think I'd let swine like yourselves do as you please in my presence? I don't care for those whatever-knights but I cannot deny that they'd be a major inconvenience if they got in the way of this."
Louie sighed, shaking his head and dangling various iLacs from his fingertips, "What sort of reception could you get down here, anyway? I didn't spend all that money just for you all to run free."
The construction workers that had worked on the Colosseum before suddenly stood up, recognizing the voice. "M-Mister Klein? Is that you?"
he said, gawking at the blonde through the shade that covered him. He looked horrified, as did his fellow coworkers who were about to join him in this massacre.Mr. Klein? I suppose if keeping this place running is going to be feasible, I can't be giving out my name so benevolently. I can't afford to lose my connections with Fairy Tail, either. It's a landfill but for what it's worth, it helps my businesses grow, so...
Louie grinned, his sharper-than-norma teeth pointing down from his gums, displaying his brilliant whites for all to see. His crimson eyes burned excitedly as he overlooked the crowd. "I was going to save this for one of my new fashion brands, but so be it."
he said to himself, standing up so the horde of people could behold him, "Listen carefully, pigs. My name is Prada, and I will be the one taking your souls today! Now, I was thinking that we do this in a battle royale sort of fashion—""As if we'd listen to you! There's what—a hundred of us, and one of you? You even gave us weapons! What do you think you're gonna do?"
declared one man, stepping forward from the crowd and pointing at Louie accusingly, "Go on, tell us! What do you think you're gonna do?!"
Louie raised his brows, looking at the man with mild interest. It was brave of him to say that, and while Louie would normally be vexed by his dissidence, it couldn't have been more convenient. "Very well! Since you've asked—"
suddenly, Louie took a step forward, his visage slowly walking out into the sunlight and revealing his form in full. His silky, golden hair, exotic robes and heavy golden earrings dangling from his head. The thick bracelets coiled around his thin wrists like cuffs, and various rings clutching around his smooth fingers. All hundred of the people below could see their captor in full now, and watch him prepare to strike down the man who spoke out. In a single lunge, Louie began to move his arm behind his head and then outward as if he were throwing a spear, and while there was no spear to be thrown, it took only milliseconds before the very weapon made from his brilliant flames took shape in his hand and launched down toward the made with piercing speeds. Fwoosh!
went the fiery spear, a sound that seemed to become distinct to Louie's rather extravagant attacks, as its flames found itself sticking from one end and then out the other inside the man's body. It had all gone by so quickly that he hadn't even realized what was happening until it was far too late."W-What? What's this—GYYUAAAH!!"
he yelped, his body suddenly setting aflame in a millisecond-long pause between the flame spear's piercing and his burning. The random man could feel his blood boil and incinerate into nothing and feel the moisture of his body evaporate away from him. His eyes dried out, and his flesh came close to melting but instead roasted to cinders. It felt as if every layer of his body was peeling away from him, the nerves popping and toasting as every cinder crept across him. It was an agonizing, gut-wrenching pain that rendered a once confident, brave man into nothing but a black, unidentifiable corpse.
Louie smiled. The sight reminded him of a lot of his slaughter of Magnolia's prison guards or the man and woman from Hosenka. Those who were fortunate enough to meet death through his brilliant flames all looked the same in the end, and those who witnessed them all had the same mortified expression blanching their faces. This thrill—would he ever get enough of it? Crushing gravel beneath his heel? Putting pigs in their place? Silencing the dissidents? The faces and corpses might have all looked the same, but Louie could've sworn it only became more and more satisfactory each time.
Louie's smile persisted. "Anyone who dares to refuse me will meet the same demise as that man. But I must say,"
he held out his hand which bore Lady Twilight's curse mark, watching it glow as he pried the soul away from the burnt and black corpse, sucking it into his very essence and feeling his cursed markings radiate powerfully as they absorbed it, "I'm being awfully kind, aren't I? Increasing everyone's chances as I have. If you all think very hard about it, and I know such is a difficult feat for you all, instead of having a one in one hundred chance of winning this, it's now one in ninety-nine. Isn't that fantastic for you pigs?"
he chuckled, sitting back down, "Now then, back to what I was saying. I'd like to do a tournament, but that's so many people to keep track of. So instead, you all will be participating in my own personal battle royale. It's a fantastic idea, I know! This way, I don't have to sully my hands with pig's blood, so it goes! And, above all else, the winner is free to go home. Isn't this wonderful? Killing each other in my stead is the least you all ought to do, after all. How else am I supposed to sufficiently harvest souls? Haha!"
One woman screamed at Louie with fear in his voice and resentment lining its tones. "N-No way! You're bringing children into this? You mon—"Fwoosh!
Without a moment to spare, Louie had sent the woman ablaze in the same fashion he had sent the man to his. Her body roasted from the inside out, her hair sizzling away in the sandy winds, leaving only the same black corpse that they had saw before.
Louie's smile had vanished, and a hatred and vexation distinct only to him had settled onto his visage once more. "Who do you think you're talking to? I know you're pigs, but pigs have ears, don't they? Whatever, this is taking to long,"
Louie leaned back into his throne, looking more irritated than before, "you all have one hour. If there's more than a single person standing by the end, then you all will die. Begin."
At first, there was hesitation. Everyone looked at each other, waiting to see what they would do and if they would really do it. The tension was so thick that you could slice it with a knife, and the suspense was heart-wrenching. The pressure weighed down on the crowd like lead, but no one succumbed to its unbearable weight. The idea that this all was just a joke and that no one would actually try to kill them still floated in the back of their minds, but their heart raced as if it were reality. The adrenaline rushed through their bodies and pulsated in between their muscles, preparing them for a brave sprint or perhaps a braver blow, but no one moved. No one, except one salaryman."I'm getting out of this place! I have a wife and daughter at home!"
he shouted, dashing for the pile of weapons and grabbing the first thing he could get his hands on. It was an unimpressive, ordinary dagger, but with a blade sharp enough to kill anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in its path. After acquiring his weapon of choice, he lunged at another ordinary-looking man with terror in his brown eyes. If was a terror of someone who was reluctant to partake in this, and seemed equally mortified to be the one stabbing compared to the one being stabbed. Needless to say, however, the unfortunate victim of the salaryman's advances had taken the rush of adrenaline and fixed himself in place, making him a rather easy target. It was crazy how many people froze up when in a crisis.
After that, the horde of people broke into a frenzy. Almost all of them rushed to the pile of weapons to acquire one of their own, while some took this time to punch others before they got the chance, and others ran away. To where? It didn't matter. The exit was behind Louie's throne, and who was going to make it up here in that frenzy?
Swords sliced through the air, maces swung and swung until it landed on something, and there was even a metal baseball bat or two in the mix. Regardless of the weapon of choice, all blood spilled was the same. Red splashes here, bits and pieces of someone's ear there. It was a bloody mess, but Louie did feel somewhat triumphant in seeing all of this unfold for his entertainment. He was anticipating a large yield of souls after this, but it's when that thought crossed his mind that he noticed something."Oh?"
Louie murmured. At the very edge of where the mindless murder was taking place, about a dozen children hurdled together, sobbing. Several bodies of women scattered the sandy battleground around them, and it could be assumed that they were their mothers. The blonde smirked, quietly stroking his jaw, "Well that's awfully stupid of them. It'd be easier to use the children as a distraction... how tragic."
The fighting continued for another thirty minutes, the crowd becoming thinner and thinner until only eleven children and two men remained. It had seemed like everyone had avoided the children as much as they could, but one couldn't protect themselves from the crossfire of blades and bullets. It only half of the duration Louie provided them had expired, and yet the heavy breaths they all heaved from their lungs and the drained color from their complexions made them seem like ghosts that had been wandering this colosseum for days. The horror in their eyes seemed to fix, like a scar that would have no chance of healing after today. The noon sun scorched their skin despite a light breeze perpetually floating by, and suddenly their thoughts were consumed with the ordinary life they had lived before this tragedy. Their boring routines and meaningless conversations. The thoughtless grocery shoppings and mind-numbing binge-watching of LacFlix shows. In more ways than one, Louie had been doing them a grand service. To empower his mana and enrich his spirit at their own expense was a favor! Not only did he release their pea-brains from the mindless life of filth, but they were also lucky enough to die by his craft! To bleed their filthy blood on his
property was something they would never hope to dream of! The very sand they were caked in was worth more than their petty lives. Louie was doing them a grand service.
One man, a construction worker, and pierced the lawyer's flesh with his Midian katana, only to later collapse from wounds he had sustained from the fights before, leaving only the eleven children to themselves. They were all too mortified to fight each other and were almost too shocked to cry. It was clear that this was not going to go anywhere, Louie knew that he'd only be wasting his time waiting for kids to kill other kids. So, he was going to give them a choice."What's the matter? Don't you all know the rules?"
Louie stood up again, staring at the congregate of children without sympathy or compassion in his eyes, but just a dangerous flame, "Are you refusing to fight?"
The children just sobbed."Fools. Fine then. Burn."Fwoosh!
Like before, Louie had sent a spear of flame down upon them, roasting their young, prepubescent bodies to cinders, and turning the hearts and minds of children who hadn't even gotten to experience their dirty world yet to ash. By the end of it, like the others, they were black and burnt, beyond saving and repair of any kind.
Littered across the Colosseum floors were the corpses of all the participants, but at the end, no one came out alive, and no one was going to go home. But so be it! It must have been fate that decided this! These hogs were meant, born
to do his bidding, and sacrificing their souls was the least their could hope to contribute to his brilliant destiny. This
is what crossed his mind as Louie felt the souls of dozens be sucked into the intricate curse marks sprawled against his body."Who do they think they are, refusing me? Louie Calvin Klein? Oh, but in this place, I'm Prada, aren't I?"
Louie nodded, giving himself what others would call "a pat on the back." Abruptly, his head snapped over to William, smirking, "Get the next batch ready in three days. And make sure this place is clean. Not a single grain of sand dirtied with these pigs' blood must remain, you hear me? Now go!""Yes, Master Louie."
William responded quickly, the other servants following suite.
This may have been Louie's grandest idea yet! Assembling people to harvest souls from had never been easier, but he was beginning to feel jealous of his participants. While harvesting souls was the aim, he also wanted to toy with his newfound power as well. What good would watching
do when it comes to that? Next time, for sure, he would spend his time experimenting with his brilliant flames rather than watch the fools swing daggers from above. He was entitled to that
much."Alright! I'd say it's time to call it a day. William, is the car ready?""Yes, Master Louie."
Louie squeezed his hands together and jumped. "Lovely! You know, I'm in such a good mood that I think I'll tell my Gorilla about what happened today. She'll have no choice but to realize her place once she finds out what a masterpiece I've orchestrated! In fact, I want to see her right now! Where is she, William?"
Louie demanded, clearly in good spirits despite the crime scene behind him."I'm afraid that is uncertain, Master Louie.""Well, find her! Do your job! Inutile!"
Post Word Count: 4000 | Total Word Count: 4000 | Needed Word Count: 3500 / 500
Health: xxx/ xxx | Magical Power: xxx/ xxx | Muse: Infinite
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