[center Sorry! This thread is closed! We've already discussed our plans and everything!]
Ernon was surprised by Shen’s interest in the lab. He expected the human male to be uninterested and silent. The only people ever interested in what was going on in the dark dungeon were Enron’s customers, to be exact the princes.
“No. I won’t make you clean the lab. I don’t even let Zor clean up my mess. The only things he has demanded to clean are the cauldrons after they have been emptied. If he doesn’t do them they tend to pile up... I would eventually get to them,” Ernon began, grumbling the last part. That had been a century long argument between him and Zor it was also one he loss. He wasn’t too fond of people invading his space but he had to make exceptions it seemed. “I decided to show you my lab first because this is where I spend a majority of my time. It is the reason Liel pushed for me to even go to the auction.”
Ernon didn’t agree with Liel on needing a “companion” but what was done was done. There was no sending Shen back or shutting him out. That would just be unfair.
What truly surprised Ernon when it came to Shen, which was a lot of things, was his excitement about potentially learning magic. Technically Shen was a slave and slave were barred from learning magic but at the same time Ernon could care less. No one was going to check on Shen and no one is going to tell Ernon not to do something. If Shen was interested then Ernon had no issues training him. “If you wish to learn I will teach you. I’m not sure about your innate magical talent but we can try. First, and most importantly, how is your Latin?” He asked.
Shen followed his new 'master' obediently, taking in all of his surroundings. It was amazing, to say the least, to see hell and not be burning alive. Different planes of existence, too! He didn't think that whole alternate reality thing was real. Guess he was going to learn a lot more than what the schools taught him.
When he finally snapped back to his reality, they were in some sorts of lab. It looked like a pretty normal lab, aside from the stuff littered about. He had never seen anything quite like this. The amazement very much showed on his face.
The other said not to touch anything. But that doesn't mean look, right? The young lad scurried from table to table, glancing at these...erm...artifacts? He even tried to read some of the open books, but he got a C in Latin in school. He did as he was told, however, and did not touch a thing. When he took a moment to stop gawking, he noticed how chaotic the room was. Papers everywhere, body parts, and it kind of smelled musty. Is that a hell thing? Mustiness?
"Are you going to have me clean in here?" He mumbled. The idea honestly terrified him because of the whole 'lethal' warning he recieved when he entered. "Do all of your doors and lights work with magic? Do I get to learn magic?" He asked, with a little more confidence.
As Shen was growing up, he always knew he was different. He could see creatures others couldn't, ever since he could basically see. Kids would tease him about his imaginary friends, but they, most of the time, weren't that friendly. About the time he hit adolescence, something else began to happen. He learned about his new gift while his only friend at the time and him were swinging, and his friend fell, busting open her skull. In a panic, Shen tried lifting her head, shouting for people to call the police, but when he glanced down at her, the wound was gone. This would have been great [i if the wound didn't form on him instead.] That was his gift, to feel other's pain for them. Cruel, right? Someone so outcast and shunned to be a healer. This convinced Shen to dedicate himself to old school medicine; herbs and the such; to hide himself from everyone else and learn more about himself. His own mother didn't want him, his father walked out when Shen was born. He didn't want anything to do with anyone. Well...that didn't exactly work out. The creepy old man in the cottage down the dirt road wasn't exactly where his life was going to end up any more. Honestly, though, he didn't mind.
Ernon had completely missed Shen’s attempt to touch Zorthros’ horns. If he had seen it he would have let it happen. Zorthros was rather peculiar when it came to his horns. He didn’t like when people touched them but normally wouldn’t say a thing if someone did. Though he did have different reactions for everyone. If Ernon tried to touch Zoe’s horns he would silently suffer. Liel would get a vocal denial. Any of the staff would wake up the next morning with worms in their beds. Shen? He probably could have gotten away with it because he was cute. But that was about it.
Too bad Ernon hadn’t seen anything and instead had moved into the large home. They passed a few rooms when Shen finally asked him a question. He looked down at the smaller male with a fine eyebrow arched upwards. It wasn’t a stupid question but a surprising one. By now most people would be panicking, not interested in the intricacies that the humans had named Hell.
“Dante was the one who suggested nine circles of Hell, correct?” He asked more to himself and less for Shen. There was a copy of Dante’s Inferno somewhere in the mansion and Ernon had read it once. “There are more than nine circles to Hell. The inner most nine are for punishment as the book indicates but there is much more. Hell... it operates on different planes and circles of existence. There are about 18 circles of Hell with Dante’s nine working on a different plane of existence. They coexist with the plane we live on and each circle overlaps each other but to get to that plane it would take a portal. The best way I can explain it is think of the nine punishments to be subterranean, below our feet, and inaccessible to you. We are in the third circle and if I remember correctly that was Gluttony,” he said with a pause. Ernon spent a moment contemplating where to take Shen first. Up the stairs to where it would be Shen’s room? Show him the lab? The kitchens? The library? There were too many options. Finally he decided to show Shen where he spent the majority of his time, the labs. “Unlike in Gluttony there is no punishment here. The further into the circles you go the higher your power and influence is in Lucifer’s court. It isn’t always like that though. For example I am just the humble Marquess of the Third Circle so I should hold no influence in the King’s court but I do. I remain here, in the Third Circle or as we call it Kor, because I liked it here more than Tol’monath which is the Eighth circle. I also greatly dislike Prince Argith who just happens to run the Eighth circle but now I’m just rambling.”
Ernon fell silent as he began to descend down a staircase. Whatever warmth was in his mansion was lost to the cold hard stone walls that made up his basement lab. A few torches flickered and casted shadows across the walls but there was little light at best. Zor provably extinguished the flames while Ernon was out. “We are about to enter my lab. Do not touch a thing. A large majority of the objects in there are lethal,” he said as he stopped at the foot of the stairs and in front of a plain wooden door.
Slowly Ernon raised his hand and the door began to glisten and hum. A nearly undetectable mark on his hand began to shimmer with the door and within moments the door creaked open. Ernon stepped inside and murmured a soft spell. Instantly the fires were roaring again. They began to shed light onto the multiple shelves that lined the walls. On the shelves was all manner of things from simple dried herbs to body parts of various animals. Books were scattered everywhere and stacks of parchments were stuffed in every crevice possible. It was mayhem in Enron’s lab but it was control mayhem.
Shen had no reason to be frightened. He was planning a suicide before selling himself anyways, and what good would fear do anyway? Its not like he could pinch himself and be back in the life he lived prior. He didn't [i want] to go back to the life he lived prior. Hell couldn't be nearly as bad as how he lived.
However, upon seeing what actually [i looked] like a monster, his heart fluttered. Any human would be stricken with fear upon seeing a real demon. Shen was only scared for a second, though, before curiosity and intrigue took over. He rushed over to this butler character and reached childishly for his horns. Shen was rather short so it really did resemble a child. What did they feel like? Bone? Plaster? Glass? Were they fragile? Or were they used? Did they secrete anything? He was so intrigued!
When the other motioned for him to follow, he had a sad expression only momentarily before returning to the other's side, stepping with him as he led. The house looked big, but gloomy. Clean, but dusty. Like that woman said, it was lonely as if no one came or left.
"uh..." The male mumbled, "How is it...um...that I'm not, you know...engulfed in flames? Or is it more like Dante's hell with the layers? Either way, am I going to be okay?"
It felt like a stupid question immediately after he asked. He bit his lip and looked to the ground, fidgeting with his fingers inside the sleeves of his traditional garb.
Shen. Huh, it rolled off of the tongue nicely. If anyone wanted to change such a simple but nice name then they were fools. “Your name will remain the same. I have no wish to change your name. In fact I had no intention in coming home with a slave but Liel got it in her head that I needed a companion,” He softly said as he tossed a glare over his shoulder.
Liel sent a small smile towards Shen and Ernon as she moved over to them. “Do ignore him Shen. Ernon is grumpy when things don't go how he wanted it to,” she said as she patted Ernon on the shoulder. “I am Liel and welcome to Hell,” She added with a bright smile.
“A province of Hell. Hell is actually very large and the main area humans are taught about is actually only a small part of Hell,” Ernon added as he started to make his way towards the mansion. “This Province is called Kor and is ran by Prince Vez'gan. The capital of the province is Koreth,” Ernon said as he prepared to go into full lecture mode.
Before he could begin to go through an actual lecture Liel covered his mouth. “He is going to bore me to death if he goes thorough his normal lecture. Basically there are multiple types of demons, he is considered a lesser demon having come from the first humans that were sent to hell. Despite being a lesser demon he is the Marquess and serves as the court Mage in Lucifer's court. He wasn't going to tell you that part but it is the more interesting part,” She began as she removed her hand from Ernon's mouth. “He wasn't lying about the fact that I wanted him to have a companion. All he does is hide in his lab and make new spells or tweak old spells. I can't be here all the time to make him leave.”
Ernon let out a little huff of annoyance. “I also leave to take care of my estate's need,” he grumbled as they got towards the front door.
Right outside was what appeared to be a figure in black tending to the flowers on the porch. “Welcome back Master Ernon,” A soft smooth voice said turning his attention to the group coming up. This man looked more of a demon than Ernon. He had short horns sitting at the top of his head, his ears were pointed like Liel but was much more severe than hers. The soft smile on his lips exposed his fangs. “Zorthros, this is Shen. Shen this is my head butler Zorthos. You will report to him in the morning. Zor did you prepare the room?” He asked,
“Of course I did. Would you like me to show Shen to his room?” Zorthros asked as he went and opened the door for the small party.
“No, I'll show him around. If you could open a portal for Liel it would be appreciated. Thank you,” Ernon responded as he gestured for Shen to follow him inside.
The male, upon really looking at his new owner, was surprised to say the least. He didn't look like the monsters that owned slaves in all the bokks and movies and such. A woman joined the two and wow, she was beautiful. Come to think of it they both were such beautiful people, unreal and seemingly imaginary. But there they were, bickering before him.
He was warned about a pinch and clenched the clothes around his stomach nervously as the other started chanting nonsense. He figured living with this new person would makr him used to that after a while, so he might as well not react.
It at first seemed like he blinked. Then, all at once he felt like his insides wanted to be on the outside. He ran a few steps from the group out of politeness, almost tripping on the long chain around his neck. He hunched over and lurched, all of his last meal as a free soul coming up. He obediently returned to his owner's side.
What even was this place? Was this really hell? Was he really a living human in hell? He snapped to reality when spoken to. "I was called Shen but they...uh...told me you'd change it." He mumbled.
Liel came bounding after Ernon and his new addition to the household. When Ernon paid for the other male he was only given a number and not a name. Number 5042. With him being sold his name no longer mattered and Ernon could change it at will but he would never. As of right now he didn’t know the name of his newest member of his home but he will ask once they were at his estates.
“He is so cute! I did a good job picking out a space for you,” she happily said as she clung to Ernon’s arm.
Ernon shook her off of his arm and sent her a glare. “Then you can keep him. Think of it as a gift and an incentive to not meddle in my life.” He hissed in a low voice.
“Stop being an ass Ernon. You know my people no longer practice slavery,” she said as they stepped out into a back alley. Her nose scrunched up in distaste at the stench coming from the alley. “Why can’t we just go back to our realms the normal way?” She whined.
Ernon already was pulling out a piece of chalk from one of the many pouches on his waist. “Let’s see. The public use portals are created by below average Magi and must be maintain by them. By this time they will have gotten tired of keeping the portals open. 68% of all portal related injuries happen around this time. 72% of all displacement accidents also occur around this time. Plus why would I use their portals when I can teleport all of us and guarantee that we return safely to my estate? Also their portals would make it so I had to use a teleport to get home or get a ride home, which takes forever.” He said as he drew a circle big enough to fit the three of them. At the top of the circle he began to draw out a few tunes while muttering a few words under his breath. With a few more runes drawn around the circle Ernon placed the chalk back in its pouch and pulled out a pinch of powder. “You are going to feel a small pinch in your stomach,” he warned his new slave. With his warning said he began to speak in what seemed to be gibberish. With one last word he dropped the powder and the punch in his stomach happened. Being very use to it he didn’t even bat an eyelash as they left the dirt alley and were on his estates lush grounds.
Hell was not what most people expected. Yes there was hellfire and brimstone and eternal suffering at the core of Hell itself but the realm itself wasn’t too bad. It almost resembled Earth with its vast amount of climates and plant life. Ernon happily lived away from most of the hustle and bustle of Hell. Instead he enjoyed the country side where he lived in solitude and the nearest neighbor was at best a mile away.
A small content sigh left Ernon’s lips as he was finally back home. His estate was no more than a five minute walk and could be seen in the distance surrounded by lush grass. There was plenty of other plant life too with some of the life being slightly more sinister than other. His favorite plant was Lola, a creature eating plant that day nestled in the far reaches of his garden. Lola did try to eat him once but failed so a truce was formed between them. Lola got to live on his grounds as long as she didn’t eat anyone welcomed on his grounds. She, in return, ate the obnoxious rodents that scurried near her.
Turning towards the slave he looked him up and down. “You may call me Ernon. What is your name? They failed to give it to me at the auction house.”
Shen blinked in confusion, then dropped his head in shame. He wasn't worth one million anything. He knew that. So why did someone offer that much money? Especially gold? He didn't even know people still exchanged gold.
He was guided to a meet-and-greet room to introduce him to his new owner. Well, they told him not to feel like he has an [i owner] persay, but rather a [i caregiver]. He sat patiently waiting for the gold exchange to finalize.
A woman in basically nothing entered the room and sat beside him with a clipboard with a thick stack of papers.
"[+crimson So there's rules you must obey or you can be returned. No disobedience. Do not speak unless spoken to. Do not hurt yourself. Do not chsnge your mind. Do not eat until your caregiver has eaten. Do not bathe until your caregiver asks you to. Do not sleep until your caregiver sleeps. Do not read or write anything eithout their approval...-] the rules list seemed to drone on, really showing the smaller how much of his freedom he really had just given away.
When his new '[i caregiver]' entered the room, he stood quickly, his chains rattling before being covered by his traditional garb. He scurried after the other when told to follow, and stared at his feet when he walked.
Ernon really had no interest in owning slaves. His estate was ran by an army of well paid servants who he trusted with his life. He really didn't need anyone else to live with him and yet here he was, sitting in the center of an auction house listening to people bidding on other beings. It actually disgusted him just a tiny bit and Ernon was a demon but even demons had a limit. Despite this here he was watching each new person being introduced on the stage; their talents quickly briefed.
“No need to look so grim Ernon,” A soft voice whispered to him.
He turned his golden eyes over to his companion, a dark eyebrow arched upwards. His companion, Liel, and him could easily be confused as siblings if only their ears were the same. Liel and Ernon shared the same long white hair and golden eyes. Liel, however, was an elf and the embodiment of what was suppose to be light. Ernon was a simple demon whose spell work had revolutionized magic.
Ernon leaned into his companion and whispered into her pointed ear. “Darling, I don't want to be here. You dragged me here.”
Even though Ernon didn't want to or need to be here there was a reason why he was at the auction. Liel got it in her head that Ernon needed a companion. For some reason having only one friend was something to be frowned upon. It was also, for some reason, frowned upon to not leave a dungeon for long periods of time blowing shit up. Liel was hoping that they could find someone to basically babysit Ernon when she couldn't. Ernon greatly resented this but once she had her mind set on something it was game over.
He was about to get up to leave when he saw the newest slave being introduced. The sight and healing hands? That was interesting. The boy was lucky to have those gifts because it meant a kinder life. He silently wished the kid the best of luck. Ernon went to stand when Liel's hand shot out and pushed him back in the chair all while raising their sign.
“He can heal you when you blow yourself up and he is cute!” She excitedly said as she continued to bid. Ernon sank down into his seat, arms crossed against his chest, as she continued to out bid everyone. He could feel his bank account getting smaller and smaller with each time she raised the sign. It wasn't like he couldn't afford this venture but it didn't mean it didn't hurt him.
“SOLD! For one million gold,” the auctioneer yelled.
Ernon slipped down into his seat with a loud groan. “One million?” he said sadly as he looked up at Liel.
“That is a steal Ernon! Go pay for him already so we can leave. I need to return home before my husband,” She happily replied.
Ernon let out a pathetic sounding groan as he stood up and smoothed out his black robes. Gathering his hair he tossed it over his shoulder and made the journey to pay for his newly acquired slave. What he was going to do with him Ernon did not know. Maybe he could have him work in the green house or the kitchen. Both of those could always use an extra hand.
As the last of the gold was exchanged the slave was brought to him. Preferring not to be in this hell hole any longer he gestured for the slave to follow him out.
[center [i Nobody even wants me.]]
Since before he could remember, Shen could see things normal people couldn't. He wasn't quite sure what they were, but they weren't human. Fairies? Whatever they were they were definitely magic. Some were quite horrid and disgusting to look at too.
When he was a child, he tried telling his mother about them. His mother took him to therapist after therapist trying to get him medicine to make him normal, her obsession with such leading to the divorce of his parents. The last day he saw his mother was his tenth birthday, she was taking him home from school.
[center [i She even told me.]]
"[b I wish I never would have had you.]" Were her last words to her son before vanishing off the face of the earth.
Shen quickly learned to take care of himself, all the while taking the onslaught of bullying from his school mates and even adults.
[center [i Maybe I should just die.]]
Shen found himself staring down at the street about three or four stories up. He was going to jump.
[center [i [+fuchsia If you're just wanting to die, why not make yourself useful and give your life to someone else?]]]
Shen was now sitting on a stage, listening to people auction him off. The announcer said something about him having 'the sight' and that he had 'healing hands' which seemed to make a lot of buyers very interested. He knew he had some gift, but his mother punished him when he would use it so he never did.
He sat, patient and quiet, in traditional japanese wear, with a dog's chain collar and leash around his neck. It felt ridiculous, but that's how things were done around here apparently and who was he to judge.
[center [b This has to be good for me. No matter what. It's better than dying, right?]]
The man who convinced the smaller to sell himself had promised he would be sent to a 'good home,' one without physical punishment or torture. Which made this whole slavery experience a little better.
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