Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 289: Days as a Slave

A person stepped into the square. This time an actual human. He wore a unique hat and black robes with red details. The symbol of chain links was embroidered on his chest and he wore a thick crimson red chain around his neck.

An entourage of people in similar robes followed him. They wore black chains on their wrists and their faces were covered in by a loose fabric with the chain symbol.

As they later came to know these were the Chained Apostles. A caste of priests that were in charge of… welcoming new sheep to the herd.

Anywhere else they would be called enslavers. Their blessing from God gave them the power to force others to answer their questions, to see through lies, and create slave collars based on the worth of the sheep.

Their work was the judgment, registration, and enslavement of the captives by putting a slave collar on them.

One by one the captives were taken from the cages and led before these inquisitors. It did not take long for Seth ’s turn.

”What is your class? ” the emotionless voice asked him, and he felt the urge to answer.

”Blacksmith. ” he could not resist to answer but what he said was his to decide.

There had been more than enough people who tried to lie and got punished for it before him. Seth decided to be technically honest.

”And your second class? ”

”Scald. ”

The priest made a derogatory sound and mumbled ”Useless. Wasting even the second class on something like that. ”

”You have been judged to be a menial worker. Your number is 3663. Remember it well as this is the first and last name that will ever matter to you again. ”

An ominous feeling overcame the priest as he said that, but he shrugged it off. Then he laid his hand around Seth ’s neck and started to mumble a chant.

He felt the priest ’s hands heat up and when the man removed his hands there was an iron collar around his neck. Just like it had happened to everyone else before him.

With that Seth ’s fate was decided and he was brought away with the other workers. The other fates he had seen were warriors who got bound by a silver collar and magicians who were bound by a silver one.

As the most numerous, Seth followed the row on worker out of the square. When he passed the castle walls, he felt a restrictive feeling lifted only to be replaced by a new one originating from the collar.

Past the walls came a desolate wasteland into view. Here and there he could spot rests of ruins among the dead plants and lifeless earth.

They were led to a big camp at the edge of this wasteland where a lush forest could be seen. Rows upon rows of barracks waited here for them, like in some kind of convict colony.

They were assembled before a rostrum. The guard here was not the creepy warden, but other humans wearing red and black uniforms.

It took a while, but at some point, a man with a few medals on his chest stepped onto the stage.

”Welcome to your new life, Vermin. You have the great chance to help our wonderful Theocracy grow into the future. I know of the lies you believe in and that the accursed system church had strengthened, but we will help free yourself of these thoughts.

We understand that you will think of resistance or flight at first, but I advise you against it. The evil system ’s influence on you is locked and the filthy power had been suppressed. Resistance will be punished. Flight only means death. You cannot survive alone in this green hell past the border of this camp.

Resistance is futile. Hope is an illusion. ”

Many were hit hard by this cold speech, but Seth listened to it as if it was a stage play. Seeing the forest had a bigger impact on him.

He had connected the dots about the theocracy raiding the Starta Village, the recent capture, and this forest. He had returned to Alpha.

This bridgehead o the Theocracy was situated in the sea of trees, probably close to Deltan the flooded city.

His thoughts were interrupted by a brute shove against his shoulder.

”Get into your barracks, 3663. ” a guard snarled at him and pointed at one of the buildings.

Most of the building was one big room, like a hall and it was filled to the brim with bunk beds. When Seth entered the sleeping hall, he was surprised to see a familiar face. Evan was also declared to be a worker and was sitting on one of the beds with a gloomy face.

He wore a gray shirt and gray pants. The number 3647 was printed on the back of the gray jacket. Bundles of these clothes could be seen on the free beds. Did he also have to wear this stuff?

Seth didn ’t approach Evan yet but threw him a look when the other finally noticed him. He found his bed because the number was stamped on the iron frame of the bunk bed and his gray clothes were placed on it.

”You seem to be in high spirits for someone who just became a slave for the rest of his life. ” an old raspy voice spoke to Seth from above. On the upper bed, he saw an old man looking down at him.

His old eyes seemed to relax and his bare, dirty feet dangled over the edge of the bed.

”I will give you tip, youngin. Let go of all hope of escape. This old man has tried for his whole life. There is no escape. ”

Seth got suspicious. If the man was trying to escape his whole life, didn ’t it mean he was not from Urth?

”Oh? You tried to run your whole life? Then why didn ’t they already kill you? ”

The old man reeled in his scrawny legs and turned to lie on his belly and give Seth a good look. His unkempt gray beard and sparse hair made him look like a lunatic. But his voice and eyes were calm, with only a little hint of insanity.

”To discourage people like you. I am an example of the futility of escape. ”

”They really like the word futile… ” Seth muttered as the man leaned back on his bed.

”That they do. And chains. They talk more about those fucking chains than a goddamn jeweler. ” the answer came.

~I don ’t trust him.~

Seth didn ’t trust the old man either, but he was sure he could supplement his knowledge on how things worked here.

The blacksmith kept talking to the old man and the other told his stories. He was here to show the ”futility of escape ” it meant they wanted the old man to tell them about all the securities measures that stopped him.

1004, the man ’s number, had lost count on the many times he tried to escape and was ultimately caught. Whether these stories were true or not didn ’t even matter.

Seth was sure there had to be some truth in what he talked about. He just needed to glean the right information from the prisoner ’s yarn. What Simon had told him and Al ’s presence helped.

First and foremost was information on the slave collars. Depending on the quality of the collar they restricted the wearer more or less.

Warriors were used as a fighting force. They could use their skills, but their collars allowed the Priests to use mind control. They were forced to follow orders and could only act as mindless drones most of the time.

Magicians were slightly better off. Depending on their specialization they had to either fight or help in research. Their skills could be unlocked depending on the situation.

Their collars did not have the function to control them, but they would be punished with tremendous pain if they did not follow a command.

Workers had access to any system functionality or skills completely sealed. They were no better than strong laborers. In exchange, they were only controlled by force. Their collars could be used to locate them if they fled but that was all.

Other than that, it was all about patrols, the terrifying wardens, the covered inquisitors that can find you anywhere so on and so forth. These were the alleged reason why a worker couldn ’t run, even if they got rid of the collar.

”But nobody can get rid of these collars anyways. They are created with divine magic. It would probably need a craftsmen blacksmith just to open these worker collars. Not to mention those of warriors or magicians. ”

Oh yeah, that was nonsense. Even without his he could see that the worker collars were just common items. Most blacksmiths could take them off. He guessed that it was similar for the gold and silver collars.

Seth was sure he could take off his collar but what came afterward?

He couldn ’t just leave the people behind. Especially Duhu and Evans had grown a little on him.

It was better not to rush things for now. Seth wanted to observe the situation himself instead of deciding on the ramblings of an old coot.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like