Exiled West

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Escape the Nahr'Shak Gang

Chapter 6: Escape the Nahr’Shak Gang

Having to witness a man be turned into a meat-stick right before my eyes had reminded me of where I exactly was at that time and what I had signed up for. Luckily, I didn’t get too comfortable living in the somewhat civilized place in Velorian which was Vornil Town. That was a wake-up call to start acting and try everything no matter how little to escape the people who considered themselves the Nahr’Shak gang consisting of Negros. They acted like savages eating other humans and doing tribal-like dances while the others from my group that was traveling to Delidaware were afraid for their lives. As I attempted to break free from the rope that bounded my arms and legs the entire cave room suddenly began going into a halt with one Negro who arrived wearing a discolored long black coat revealing his front body full of scars and ripped brown pants.

“What the… it got cold?” I thought to myself as I closely observed the Negro with a blank eye without a pupil but had a strange fogy-like substance moving within it.

Everything about that Negro ever since he arrived indicated that he was a High Roller and a much different one compared to John and Marcus. Everything went silent and the only ones making noise were those from my group who kept begging for their lives. The Negro walked around talking in his native language to his men for some moment but ends up getting angry with those in my group pleading for mercy not letting him properly talk.

“SHUT UP!” The Negro screamed out angrily in English which made them all go silent in an instant.

Unfortunately, there was still someone from my group insisting on mercy.

“Please! I have a daughter… I’ll do anything! Please! I beg of you!” The man pleaded with a swollen left eye covered in tears.

Poor guy was too naïve thinking crazy people who are cannibalizing would feel bad for him or his daughter. The Negro who was a High Roller named Uisai walked over to him with an intimidating expression that did not show a single ounce of pity.

“Do not worry, if your daughter is captured, she will serve my men plenty,” Uisai told him insinuating that they planned to do heinous acts to his daughter.

“Wha-What do you mean!? Don’t you fucking dare touching my daughter! You black son of- “

Uisai then reached his right arm towards his stomach revealing that there was no right-hand present. Yet, despite that handless arm not touching the one from my group he began having trouble breathing and twitched immensely.

“HOOGKK…. KUUUGHKK!” Unable to even scream as liquid drips out all around his body and his skin began to dry like he was growing old at a rapid rate.

Soon after Uisai yanked his handless right arm and gruesomely ripped out his intestines and organs. There was barely any blood or liquid splattered like he had none of it in the first place.

“Anybody else wishes to defy me, Uisai?” He asked everyone from my group that didn’t dare utter a word anymore. “Answer me!” Uisai yelled out.

“NO!”

“Please have mercy!”

“We won’t defy you! Please!”

The rest of my group answered back immediately except for me because I had no intention of giving in to fear since if I would show fear at that moment then surviving a journey to other places in Velorian would be impossible for me. Because I doubted Uisai would be the last crazy weirdo I would encounter doing whatever they want in a wildland. Uisai noticed that I didn’t answer and walked over to me. I noticed Uisai giving me a nasty look and I right away knew my life which was already in danger become more apparent. Despite having already witnessed Billy and that other guy die in such horrendous ways I still held my ground. I wouldn’t give in no matter what and if my journey would end before it could begin then I at least would hope to become an evil spirit roaming the Dead Realm to haunt Logan Campbell.

“… You… what do you fear?” Uisai asked me with wonder.

Because Uisai was a High Roller he was able to see that I had no fear of him or his group of cannibals. And he knew there was something else driving me which was different from everyone within my group.

“I fear… that I won’t be able to kill the man who took everything from me,” I answered him since there was no reason to keep it hidden.

“This man, who is it?”

“Logan Campbell,”

“Hmm, and here I thought it would be one of my enemies, well, it doesn’t matter. Your life and thirst for revenge end here and I’ll make sure you fear me.”

“… Why are you doing this? How can you just kill people who did nothing to you and treat them like food?” I asked being curious how Uisai and his gang became such savages.

“Hmph! And who said there must be a reason?” Uisai asked back and crouched down to have a proper face-to-face conversation.

When Uisai got close the coldness I felt when I first arrived in Velorian grew stronger and although I couldn’t see anything I knew something was there touching and breathing down onto me a sinister cold air. The sensation of something unpleasant and invisible touching my skin was very disturbing back then. And the only way to see whatever it was is to gamble half of your soul to another soul residing in the Dead Realm. Only then would I be able to see what was happening but at that time I was blind to it all.

“What’s your name?” Uisai asked.

I didn’t answer right away but there was no reason to not tell him or lie. But then again lying to a High Roller is useless since they would see through it.

“Levi Carter,” I answered.

“Tell me something, Levi. Why would a boy who once did everything to take care of his little sister and brother have to lose them both? He lost them because one night as they slept in their little homemade up of sticks and grass gets destroyed by bandits. That boy tried fighting those men to protect his brother and sister, yet… he was powerless. His little sister was stripped of the only clothing she had while his little brother was fed alive to dogs. And that boy could only watch. Helplessly as his only family was taken away from him. So, answer me. Levi Carter, for what reason did that boy lose his little sister and brother right before his eyes? He worked for the little money he earned and made sure not to start problems with anyone. So, why?”

“… This boy, was it you?” I wondered wanting to make sure it was him that he talked about.

“That’s right, now answer me!” Uisai reached his left arm out and grabbed me by the hair tightly. “For what reason!? Did my little sister had to get raped and killed!? For what reason!? Did my little brother had to be used as dog food!? ANSWER ME!” Uisai screamed out very angrily as his saliva was being spewed onto my face.

Uisai’s grip tightened which hurt me greatly as it also inflicted pain upon the wound I received after I was struck on the head. Because of that, I couldn’t properly think of an answer but even if I was able to think I would have had no justified answer as to what happened with his siblings. Since the same thing happened to me, I wasn’t an arrogant rich man who looked down upon the poor or shamed them. I didn’t start any problems with anyone whether it’s from poor or rich backgrounds and yet my family was taken from me without any logical reason. When I thought back about it those thieves could have robbed any other wealthy man who was an actual prick that deserved it more than me. Regardless of the reason, there was no justification behind it just like with Uisai’s case. The things we went through were unjust without any reasoning that couldn’t have been predicted to happen.

“That’s what I thought!” Uisai shoved my head back and freed me from his grip. “Ever since that day, I no longer cared for reasons on why I can or can’t do things. All I care about is watching this cruel world burn in misery.”

Uisai stood up and before he could leave, I still made sure to give him my answer.

“There’s no reason, for what happened to you… or me. The way I see it life makes us draw sticks every single second throughout our entire life. And the shorter we draw a stick the harsher the punishment and unfortunately for us, we drew the very short end of the stick. But…” I lifted my head and looked straight into his eyes. “… the only difference between us is that I’m only a merciless murderer towards the scum who are the same as the ones that took it all from me and get in my way towards my revenge. And you… Uisai, and your underlings here. You’re those same scum who are also getting my way.” I told him in a threatening tone with the full intention to kill them if I ever get the chance.

Uisai kicked my stomach after I finished with enough strength to utterly force the air out of me and made me grovel in pain coughing. Uisai then ordered his men to take me and everyone else away as they had no intention to kill all of us right away and planned to preserve us for another day. The fact that I was still alive meant I have only been drawing short sticks and I would keep fighting until the time comes when I draw a broken stick which would mean my death.

We were forced to walk along the tunnels in the cave which to my surprise seemed to be very big. It was an old cave built long ago during the fifty-year-old war between the major countries that tried taking over Velorian and left abandoned once it became cursed. It was lit up with torches everywhere to prevent the souls from the Dead Realm to make their way inside and devour their souls. I also noticed other people who were captured by the Nahr’Shak gang being forcefully taken away through the tunnels. Some of them were from our land while others were either Beaners, Japs, and Changs mostly being female. They kept the women alive longer for their pleasure while the men were either eaten or forced to do labor work.

I was thrown inside an old prison cell which was built very poorly along with someone else which ended up being Eric whom I thought was dead. Eric had a busted bloody nose and missing teeth as tears flow down from his eye like a waterfall. Once they locked us inside, I broke free from the rope that tied me by scratching it and began observing the cell immediately planning my escape and looking for anything that could help get me out. I noticed the top part of the cell around the door had quite the big empty spot in the ceiling which was enough to have someone climb up there and hide. I went ahead to test it and there was plenty of room to possibly deceive one of the Negros to assume someone had escaped when in reality I would still be inside the cell hiding up top right underneath the door.

“Alright, this can work!” I said as my head began to think clearer compared to when I was forced awake.

“Uuuuhh…please…hoooo.” Eric continued to sob in a corner begging for someone to save him.

Didn’t pay him any mind since I was focused on making sure my plan would work and I then had to observe when a guard would walk by to check on us. Two different guards would take turns checking up the cells every ten minutes but sometimes took shorter or longer. In a rough estimate, I had about eight through twelve minutes to prepare. However, before I went ahead with my plan I couldn’t just do it all on my own, and for it to have a higher chance of success I needed Eric to work with me.

“Eric, Eric!” I whispered out to him who was in the corner of the wall crying the whole time. He ignored me and I started to lose patience. “Eric!” I shook him vigorously which finally made him snap out of his sorrow for a moment. “I need your help getting out of here!” I told him and was about to continue explaining my plan but he interrupted me.

“It’s over… we can’t escape. They have a High Roller and there’s so many of them.” Eric sobbingly said with defeated eyes like death would be inevitable. “It’s all over… I shouldn’t have come here… Why did I even come here? For a new better life? I should have known better… I’m such an idiot! Why!? Why didn’t I listen to my mother!? Momma! Please! I’ll listen to you from here on out! So, please! Save me, momma! Momma! I need you! Ooohoooohoooo…momma…please.” Eric was utterly lost and reduced to a useless grown man wishing everything would be okay if his mother would come to save him.

Seeing Eric in such a pathetic state made me angry how that man not long ago was giving an annoying bossy attitude towards me and claiming he would not hesitate to kill me. However, I couldn’t care about how much he regretted his decision nor was I intending to make him feel better. I only needed him to help me increase my chances of escaping and after that, I wouldn’t give much of a shit if he got himself killed or not. So, I slapped him very hard on the face to make him snap out of it and come back to reality.

“You intend to just give up then? Those bastards are going to kill you regardless, why sit here and wait for them to kill you instead of at least trying to escape? Who cares if they have High Roller? Them having a High Roller doesn’t matter because we’re only going to run away and escape. Alright!?” I explained to Eric trying to motivate him, however, those defeated eyes still lingered and I wasn’t sure if he was even paying attention. “Eric… what do you want to do? Or what would you have wanted to do before we got caught?” I asked thinking of another way to motivate him.

Eric’s eyes slowly began to lit up with life upon me asking him what he wished for and started to think about it.

“I… I… I want… Betsy.” Eric answered which confused me for a moment.

“Betsy?” I thought to myself and recalled that was a young woman who lived in Vornil Town. “Ah, that woman.” I then realized what Eric meant. “Eric, that woman, Betsy. You like her, don’t you?” I asked.

“… Yes.” Eric answered hesitantly.

“You have quite the good eye on women, Betsy is quite something. Did you ever tell her how you feel?”

“N-No… I… I thought about it but…”

“But what?”

“I just… I was too shy and… afraid. I was afraid Betsy wouldn’t like me back.”

“You know, there’s something else you should be more afraid of and it’s not the situation we’re currently in.”

“W-What do you mean?”

“You should be afraid that you will never get the chance to confess to Betsy. Tell me, Eric. Do you truly want to die without ever telling Betsy how you feel?”

“… No…”

“If you had a chance to tell her at this moment, would you do it?”

“…Yes,” Eric answered with more certainty and less hesitantly as he was coming around.

“Of course, you would. And you still have that chance, Eric. You’re still here breathing and alive. So, I will ask you once more, Eric. Do you prefer to sit here and wait until those Negros kill you? Or will you take this last chance to escape and tell Betsy that you wish her to be your woman?”

Eric doesn’t answer right away but I could tell from his changing expression that his motivation and will to survive was returning. Eric also knew if he didn’t act then it was possible the Negros would attack Vornil Town and considering he saw and heard other women held captive and being treated like sex slaves. The thought of Negros capturing Betsy and doing the worst to her made Eric go from being a pathetic man crying for his mother to someone determined to protect the woman he loves.

“… What’s your plan?” Eric asked me with lots of motivation fully intending to cooperate with me to escape.

I explained the simple plan of escaping the cell, however, since I didn’t know where any of the tunnels and rooms would lead us. Any planning beyond was difficult with little information but the next step would be killing the second scout that comes to check on us. The goal would be to not alert the Nahr’Shak that we broke out of our cells for as long as possible.

We set the plan in motion as I counted down the estimate of when one of the two guards would walk past the cell to check in on us. I climbed up and stayed underneath the door and tried my utmost hardest to not make a single noise and hoped the rock would be able to sustain my weight. My life depended on making sure I stayed hidden until the guard would open and enter the cell wondering where I had gone. Meanwhile, Eric stood around preparing his acting skills to distract the guard to make it easier for me to catch him from behind and Eric would also step in to help me take him out swiftly and silently.

“Here he comes,” Eric whispered out to me as we both heard the guard’s footsteps walking over to our cell.

Once the guard reached our cell and as I predicted he immediately acted up after realizing only Eric was present and not tied in rope. The guard started to speak in his language angrily and confusingly while opening the cell door. Neither I or Eric understood him but we could closely guess what it was and once the guard entered, he aimed his gun at Eric’s forehead.

“Where did he go!?” The Negro asked who knew some English.

But before Eric could reply I took action and dropped down right behind the Negro and reached my right arm right over his right hand implementing my fingers behind the trigger to prevent him from shooting. I only had one chance to succeed or Eric would have been killed and the noise of the gunfire would alert everyone else. As I succeeded in blocking the trigger from being pulled, I wrapped my left arm around the Negro’s mouth to make sure he wouldn’t scream either. Eric also took action to make certain the Negro’s fingers wouldn’t have a chance to pull the trigger on his gun and tried disarming him.

“HHRRRMMMM! HHHRRRGGMMMM!” The Negro lashed out violently kicking with his feet and using his left arm trying to punch Eric and me in the face.

“RRGGGH!” I felt lots of pain in my left hand as the Negro bit my hand that was covering his mouth and my skin was getting punctured by his teeth.

I withstood the pain until Eric managed to disarm the Negro successfully without a gunshot being fired. From there taking out the Negro was easy as I right away moved my left arm underneath his neck to tightly choke him to death. The Negro flailed around and Eric although didn’t need to intervene still punched him on the stomach taking out his anger on him.

“You black fucking cocksuckers! Hrg! Hrg!” Eric punched away being a bit too loud.

“Quiet! I already have him!” I whispered to Eric and I felt the Negro’s body give out.

But just to be certain I twisted the neck until I heard a crack and finally removed my arm making the Negro fall flat on the ground dead.

“Check to make sure no one’s coming!” I told Eric and searched the body to grab the keys.

“Nothing! But we don’t have much time if the next one coming in ten minutes!” Eric said who kept watch with the gun.

“Here,” I tossed the keys over to Eric. “Get the others out of there, I’ll try killing the other guard. He might get suspicious if his buddy doesn’t return after some time.” I said and had also grabbed a small knife from the dead Negro.

“Alright, do we follow you?” Eric asked wanting to know where he should take the others since it was a two-way tunnel.

“Yes, once you get everyone out quietly go my way. And only fire that gun if you have no choice.” I reminded Eric to stay silent at all times.

I go my separate way to finish off the other patrolling guard while Eric sets the others free. The tunnel was long and I hadn’t realized there were strange markings on the walls like someone painted on them. As I got closer, I was able to hear that the Negros were still singing and dancing. However, the closest noise I was hearing is some women who were screaming and I was only able to assume they were being violated or tortured. It was an unpleasant place to be in and I couldn’t stand hearing such screams as it would make my mind wonder what was exactly happening to them.

Once I reached the end of the tunnel, I was unable to spot the other guard because as I drew closer there was only a narrow view on the other end. Not having much of a choice I decided to go in and rush whoever I would spot first before they could have the time to realize the situation and stab them. When I walked in and spotted the other guard he was sitting down near a table scratching away on something with a knife. Before the guard would notice someone had arrived, I immediately rushed towards him.

“Hm!?” The guard looked up and saw me rushing to me.

That guard began shouting something out in his language and tried standing up to pull out his gun from his holster. But I leaped straight at him knowing he couldn’t properly back away from his position and stabbed my knife onto his left cheek and tackled him down. I give him no time to counter and mounted him, twisting my knife around his mouth since I only managed to stab through the cheek and nothing more.

“HHAARGHH! HHAAAGGHH!” The guard desperately tried fighting back by swinging his fists to land a punch onto my face.

But I continued to forcefully twist my knife cutting away at his cheek and parts of his mouth including his tongue. The blood started to overflow around his throat making it difficult for him to breathe as he tried coughing out the blood. His strength weakened and I finish him off by removing the knife from his mouth and stabbed it onto the side of his throat a few times. As I stabbed away and watched his few seconds of life fade away, I hadn’t realized till then that I have been killing people without hesitation. That was the fifth life I took and I stood up looking at my bloodied hands not feeling a thing.

“Is this… alright?” I asked myself and wondered what would Isabella and my kids think if they had seen what I was becoming.

Isabella was a kind woman who always went out of her way to help others and not fight with anyone. Her words would always soothe those she talked with giving them peace of mind that she only ever had pure intentions. Yet, I was being the complete opposite which ached my heart like I was betraying her in some way or tarnishing her reputation of having married a merciless killer.

“Help! Somebody!” A loud voice echoed from a far distance that sounded like a woman from one of the tunnels.

I looked towards the direction of where I heard the scream and my mind slowly began to settle with a decision at that moment.

“Isabella, wherever you are I hope you can understand my decisions,” I said and stared at the dead Negro again whom I took a closer look at what he was carving. And it was a piece of bone which most certainly belonged to a human after I saw them eating one of the guys from our group. “Some people in this world… don’t deserve a second chance,” I said and heard footsteps from where I came from.

“Hey! Levi!” It was Eric who came to me with the other guys he freed. “Good, you killed that cocksucker.” He said and looked around at the surrounding.

“Anyone know where the exit might be?” I asked everyone.

“No… I was out cold.”

“Me too.”

“I think I know!” One of them answered. “I couldn’t see well when they took us here but I’ll try my best to lead the way.” The man explained and pointed at one of the exit tunnels that leads to somewhere. “That’s where we came from.” He said.

In the room where the second guard was only four pathways were available and one was back to the cells and the other was where most of the Nahr’Shak were located. It left us with two options which we didn’t know where they lead except for one tunnel where I had heard the cry for help.

“Alright, you all go that way. I’m heading alone in this tunnel.” I told them.

“Alone? Why?” Eric wondered.

“I heard a scream in that direction, it’s possible there’s Negros over there as well.”

“Then why are you heading over there?” One of the guys wondered.

“Because I have nothing to lose but those other people being held captive probably have others waiting for them. Just like you guys have people waiting back at Vornil.” I explained my reason and took the gun from the guard I had killed getting myself ready to go on my own.

“Are you sure, Levi?” Eric asked worryingly.

“Yes,” I walked over to Eric and put my hand on his shoulder. “Betsy is waiting for you to tell her how you feel.”

“Yeah, I’ll tell her everything and you better return alive so I could thank you.”

“No need for thanks, I’m just doing what I can to stay alive and help other decent people do the same.”

“… Listen, Levi. Sorry about the whole reason to shoot ya thing. I thought you were just some scheming rich folk but… you’re alright, Levi Carter.” Eric told me having more respect for me compared to when we were leaving Ardien Town.

“Hey, we should get a move on before we get caught.” One of the guys told us quietly.

“Go, get out of here,” I told them all.

Without saying anything else Eric just gave a nod and started to lead the group to one of the tunnels that had a high chance of it being the exit. Once they left, I wasted no time either and went towards the direction of where I heard that cry for help which I haven’t heard since that first scream, and hoped whoever it was would still be alive for me to save.

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