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I closed my eyes and tried to focus. There was something inside of me, something that wanted to kill this human, yet I felt detached from it. In my eyes and heart, all of the things I did until now, all the murder and destruction could have been prevented.
There was a conflict inside of me. There was a desire to act based on this dark side of mine, while the other side didn’t wish so, but didn’t act either. The conflict was strange because no matter how I looked at things, the struggle between good and evil was clearly there, yet the good never took any sort of action, letting the evil shout its desires as it pleased. As a result, the evil won, while the good was left only to return home and sulk.
I was letting the evil inside of me, the dark side of my humanity take over because the light never wished to take action.
“Ugh…” I groaned and lowered my fist.
The poor prince was nothing but a byproduct of his own life. His lack of knowledge in how the world worked was at the base of all of his evil decisions, but one such as him could not be persuaded so easily to change his path.
I could kill him now, just strangle the life out of him. My fingers were clenched around his neck, and I could see him begging me with his eyes not to do it. A snap was all I needed. A grip harder than usual.
Yes… kill… the sweet voice whispered.
“NO!” I shouted and pulled back the moment when I felt like I was really about to do it.
“Illsy?” Nanya asked worried.
I was breathing hard and looking at my bloodied hands. I was trembling. The prince was begging for his life, and all around me was nothing but death and destruction.
I did all of this… It’s my fault… I thought and took another step back, hitting a cut off hand.
Looking down, I saw the floor soaked in blood and the knights struggling to stay alive. All of them were humans like I once was.
All of this death, all of this carnage wasn’t me… I didn’t wish for this as a human. I didn’t like it.
“But I can’t back away now…” I told myself in a whisper.
Clenching my fists, I walked up to the prince and thought about what I was going to do next.
I want him to suffer, but I don’t want to kill him… There has to be something else. Some way I can force this man to change this country, but what? I thought and thought.
If anything, I wanted to come out of this thing with my conscience clear, knowing that I actually tried all that I could and didn’t simply pick the easy way out as most people would. That was when an idea came to me.
A curse… Do I know how to curse people? I asked myself.
Yes… came the answer as I saw the skill and way of doing this flashing before my eyes.
I simply had to write a complicated Magic Circuit pattern blended into his Magic Channels. Then, I had to pour my own Magic Energy in it, create some barriers and triggers… It was quite simple in theory. Worst-case scenario, this test subject would die.
No loss then? I wondered.
With a smirk, I looked at the prince and started to heal him.
“Reynolds, I’m not going to kill you, but I am going to put a curse on you.” I told him.
“What?” he was surprised and at the same time quite frightened.
After I finished patching him up, I ripped up his clothes until I saw his bare chest. A rib was sticking out from his left side.
“Oops…” I said and then pushed it back, causing him a lot of pain in the process. “Now then, let’s do this!” I smirked and focused Magic Energy into my right hand.
With the basic idea in mind and somehow instinctively knowing how curses worked, I started to burn strange symbols on his skin. Reynolds screamed in pain, but he couldn’t faint or get away because of my magic. Immobilized and unable to fight back, he could only scream.
When I was done, I poured insane amounts of Magic Energy into that curse, making sure it wasn’t going to come off easily. All the conditions, requirements, and possible situations were uploaded together with my magic into the symbols of the curse written on his chest. This whole process took me about fifteen minutes, but after I was done, the Magic Energy was flowing perfectly, without any irregularities.
“There!” I said satisfied.
The prince was trembling and breathing hard. I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out with a trauma or two from this whole ordeal, but it was too late to back up now.
“I know you can hear and understand me, idiotic prince. If you don’t want me to hurt you some more, nod for ‘yes’, shake your head for ‘no’. Got it?” I told him.
“Good! Now, before I tell you what sort of curse I placed upon you, let me tell you a little secret about your entire family, alright?” I smiled.
“What secret?” he asked with a low voice.
“You can speak, good. Well, this is about your origin, and you can research it for yourself if you want. Just look at your family tree or that of any other royal family out there. If you dig deep enough, you will notice that all of you were originally peasants. Your great great great great grandfather was a peasant who one day decided to go and fight for his country. He survived and was given a small title for his effort in the war. In other words, he was awarded a small, almost insignificant nobility rank. His son then married a beautiful noble woman, and your two houses were merged into one. Thus, your family took a step up on the nobility ladder. A few generations later, the once simple noble families with peasant ancestry became one of the great noble families of this kingdom. Something happened to the king at that time, and he died. Maybe it was a rebellion, a coup, or something like that, who knows? Either way, your great great grandfather was then appointed as King of Aunnar Kingdom. Generations later, you were born, but do remember that all of the women and men married into this family, at one point or another, had a peasant ancestor.” I smirked and then lifted him off the ground, letting him see the blood-stained floor of this room.
“You’re saying I’m a peasant?” he asked, but it was clear that, deep down, he was rejecting this thought.
“You are a royal, technically, but there is no difference between you, the men who died for you today, and the first peasant you will meet on the streets tomorrow. You are just a well-dressed and a bit more educated peasant. That’s all.” I then showed him my blood-soaked fist. “Look at this. Your blood is red. So is theirs.” I pointed at the dead knights. “There is no difference. Same smell, same taste, same color, same composition, and do you know why?” I asked.
Reynolds looked at me with terrified eyes.
“Because the so-called noble or royal blood doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a… fantasy created by the likes of you to feel better about themselves and their seat in power.” I smiled and then laughed.
“You’re lying… How could my royal blood be the same as theirs?” the prince asked.
“If you dress like a peasant, you will see that no one can tell difference. If you put on a slave collar, it will be the same. If you don’t believe, the try it and see for yourself if I’m lying.” I glared at him.
“Is this the curse?” he asked me.
“No.” I shook my head and walked away from him.
It was then when I noticed how Ayuseya was looking at me. She appeared to be a bit troubled by my words. Seeing as she herself was a princess, and looking at the Teslov Kingdom’s rather unpleasant way of continuing the royal bloodline, it probably came a bit as a shock to realize that maybe she roots weren’t so noble as initially believed.
Well, my words were partially true though. Royals and nobles were humanity’s more primitive way of protecting the individuals with good genes for future generations, but if I were to go into these sort of details, the whole explanation would become a real pain in the back.
“The curse I placed on you has the following conditions and effects.” I said as I turned around to look at Reynolds right into his eyes.
“First. If you don’t abolish slavery from this kingdom, especially child slavery, you will die a most horrible death. What I did to you was not even a taste of what’s going to happen if this curse activates. Of course, you have only two months to do so. You are a prince, you have a certain authority, so I’m sure you will find some way to do this. Of course, the curse doesn’t activate if others plot against you. I also made it so that it can detect whether or not you are giving it your all to solve this problem. As for fake documents, don’t bother. It can identify the real ones immediately. Therefor declaring a law now and changing it back the following day won’t work.”
“Are you mad?! It would be better off to kill me now! Abolishing slavery will ruin Aunnar Kingdom!” he shouted at me.
“Not really. There are plenty of kingdoms out there who do just fine without slavery. Now, the second part of the curse is even more difficult to accomplish. You have to actively work with your people in order to enforce these laws. This means that you are going to take some knights and go out there to stop those merchants who insist on continuing to sell or buy slaves.”
“That’s preposterous! I’m a prince! I only need to give out orders not go and dirty my hands with the rest of them!” he shouted.
“You do know you are quite lively considering the number of times I broke your bones until now. Should I break some more? Maybe that will calm you down?” I asked cracking my knuckles and showing him a smile.
“Please don’t!” he raised his hands up in fear.
“Now then, the next part of your curse will require for you to give out the proper laws in regard to child abuse, child labor, child slavery, and orphans. You will need to make these things illegal in this kingdom. Create orphanages, a special force employed by the royal family, anything you can think of to prevent these things.”
“Why should I care for peasant or slave children?” he still had the guts question me.
“Because you will die a most horrible death otherwise.” I smiled politely.
“Ugh…” he groaned and looked down.
“Now, what else was there? Oh, yes! For the following years, you are required to do everything you can to put the happiness and welfare of your people above yours or that of the nobles of this kingdom. Do you understand?” I asked.
“No…” he replied confused.
“It means you will do your best to make your peasant, commoners, and non-nobles in general, happy.” I told him.
“Such a preposterous thing…” he shook his head.
“You can always go and die in a ditch if you don’t like it.” I shrugged.”
“There’s more to the curse.” I said.
“MORE?!” he was simply dumbfounded.
“Yes, don’t try to remove it, or the curse will be activated immediately. To be clear, the curse KNOWS when you are going to try to cheat your way out of the deal and will kill you. The more active you are on the field, the less chances for you to die because of it. Also, there’s another thing!” I said with a smile.
He only looked at me with a pained expression.
“The curse will go away on its own once what I just said becomes second nature to you. But the last deal for this curse is that you will marry a slave woman, not a noble woman. It doesn’t matter if she was a former noble though. Also, she has to be at least a Godlike Ranked Adventurer, and your feelings for each other genuine.” I told him with a smile.
“ME? A prince? To marry a SLAVE?! Are you mad?!” he shouted quite loudly this time.
“No, but if what I said becomes second nature to you, it won’t matter.” I smirked.
“But how can I even marry a slave woman when you are asking me to abolish slavery?!” he asked, raising his tone at me.
“You will go to another country to… procure her. Imagine that, a foreigner prince marrying the slave he met in another kingdom!” I smirked.
“I will not accept this! It would dirty my bloodline! Dungeon remove this curse at once!” shouted the prince at the core behind him.
“I-I can’t… He’s a Godlike Dungeon Lord. He’s more powerful than me.” replied the core.
“Yes, you basically have two choices: do as I said or face a painful and agonizing death.” I smiled.
“This can’t be…” he said in disbelief.
“Anyway, my time here is up. I don’t have any more desire to kill any of those present here, and I’m certain none of you surviving gentlemen will try to stand in our way as we leave this place and tomorrow this country, right?” I smiled and looked at the knights.
They shook their heads, while the prince remained quiet.
“Good! Don’t forget what I said prince and triple check your orders if you don’t want to have any unexpected surprises!” I waved my hand as I walked towards the exit.
My wives followed behind me, while the prince was left there to think about his inescapable fate.
“When I’m done with this curse, I’ll hunt you down, Dungeon Lord!” shouted the prince.
“No you won’t! If you try to do that, you’ll die. If you do get rid of the curse the right way, then the experiences and feedback from your own people will force you not to hunt me down. No matter what, this will be the last time we cross paths, young prince!” I said as I left the room.
With a calm and steady step, I walked out of the destroyed palace together with Nanya and Ayuseya and didn’t stop until we were out of the city and inside the forest. There was no reason for us to remain in that city, not even to raid their library. In the next city, I was going to make sure to gather some appropriate books for my future Magic Academy, but until then, I had other matters to attend to.
“Illsy, how did you know how to curse someone?” Nanya asked at one point.
“I just knew…” I shrugged.
Actually… how did I know how to curse him? I remember beating him, maybe doing some sort of spell, but the exact details are a blur… Can I do it again? Ugh, I don’t think so, and my head is killing me. I thought and rubbed my forehead a bit.
Migraines were never pretty. Unfortunately, at that time, I never did stop to ask myself how was it possible for someone with my body to get a migraine in the first place?
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