1 The boy

"Come here you little shit!!" A thug shouted as he dragged a boy by the hair.

The boy kept shouting in retaliation, trying to kick and punch the burly man with small arms and legs.

"Hahaha! You really think you can fight back? Now c'mere! I'll finally get a raise when I give you to the boss." The thug lightly punched the boy in the stomach, but that was enough to knock the wind out of his lungs and caused him to pass out.

The thug, satisfied that the boy became quiet kept dragging him through a forest. It was night, and the only thing you could hear in the surroundings were the small sounds of crickets and the sound of something being dragged from the ground.

Minutes passed and they reached a cave. It was small cave, just enough for a grown man to pass through. In front the entrance there was a middle-aged man talking with a hooded figure. The man looked like a rich person, wearing an eyepatch, sporting a handlebar mustache, and wearing fancy clothes.

He noticed the thug and greeted him. "Ah! Is that a new lamb?"

He looked at the boy. Seemingly satisfied he gave an approving nod towards the thug.

"Go back for now. I'll you your reward later."

The thug let go of the boy and left.

Minutes later, inside the cave. The boy is now tied by a rope. He just woke up.

Noticing that he's now bound by a rope he looked around. Because of the lack of light he couldn't see much but he saw that there were children around him, also tied up. All of them were of similar age including the boy.

Most of them were crying and whimpering, but some were trying to escape. The boy did that as well, he struggled to make the rope loose, but to no avail. He wanted to cry himself from the despair but he managed to stay strong.

He waited, footsteps could be heard. He couldn't deduce exactly where but they were getting closer. Suddenly he heard a scream. "NOOOO!!! MOMMY!!! HELP!!!"

It was a girl's. She kept screaming. She was being dragged away. She kept calling for help but no one answered her calls. Her cries for help got fainter as she was dragged deeper into the cave until none could be heard.

The boy was dumbfounded. What just happened? What are they gonna do to her? Are they gonna kill her? Is that going to happen to me?

Various thoughts flooded the boy's mind as he started to panic. He wanted to escape but both his legs were also tied. He tried crawling away but someone kicked him back to his original spot. He couldn't do anything. All he could do was wait for his fate.

-----------------------------------------------------

He doesn't how many hours has passed since then. More and more children have been taken away. He was anxious. Anxious for the time that he'll be the one picked next. He was sleepy but he couldn't sleep from the stress.

Suddenly someone spoke out. "Get all of them! Someone is coming! Form defenses and stop that intruder."

"What about the lambs?"

"We'll have to sacrifice them all at once."

Still processing what just happened, the boy felt someone grab him by the rope binding him and dragged him away. He tried to fight back. Biting the hand that was dragging him.

Strangely, the one dragging him didn't react, as if this person didn't feel anything at all. Surprised he continued biting on it, trying to grasp on the miniscule hope that he has to escape. From what he heard, there was someone coming. Whether it's a good person or not, it was clear that it's an enemy of these kidnappers.

He bit down harder and harder. The skin of these kidnappers were strangely hard but also elastic, like hard rubber. Nevertheless he still bit down, until a strong pungent taste entered his mouth.

Reacting to the disgusting taste he felt he coughed and spit out the pungent liquid. He has never tasted anything like this. He thought that it was so disgusting that felt like he wanted to vomit his inner organs.

He gave up on biting his captor's hand and pressed his heels down into the ground. He hoped to slow down the speed of his captor. The rocky floor hurt him. It was clear that they weren't slowing down and he was just hurting himself.

He doesn't know what he should do anymore. All he could do is hope the intruder will be here soon.

Soon they stopped. They were inside a large cavern. There was light being emitted by crystals sprouting from the cavern walls. The boy looked around. There were many hooded figures surrounding a strange altar in the middle of the cavern. The one dragging him was also dressed similarly.

The boy was thrown. The landed on top of the children that were with him. They were treated like objects, no concern was held if they were hurt of not.

The boy tried to speak to one of the children. The child simply looked at him with a bitter smile. His eyes were empty, as if he already gave up. The boy looked around, every child there was the same. He wondered why they were all like this, until he saw it.

Just nearby a massive pile of bones can be seen. He now knows what happened to the children that were taken away. They were being sacrificed by some kind of cult. The altar in the center was stained in blood, both fresh and dry. However, he doesn't know why there's only a pile of bones. What happened to the bodies that were sacrificed? Such thoughts entered the boy's mind until he felt the entire cavern shook.

'Is that the intruder?' Thought the boy.

And he was right. He could hear screams coming from the entrance. It hasn't even been minutes when the intruder's figure was shown.

It was a woman, a beautiful one. She held a sword, still dripping with blood. Her long hair jet black hair glistened from the light from the crystal and her obsidian eyes were filled with rage.

The cultists attacked, and the woman retaliated

.

The woman was clearly outnumbered, but the battle was one-sided. She easily and swiftly killed all of her enemies.

Seconds later she brought down the last cultist and the place was filled with silence. The woman sheathed his sword and pulled out a dagger and went towards the tied up children.

She freed them one by one, cutting off the ropes that bound them.

The children, now freed, ran off and escaped towards the entrance of the cave.

The woman put away her dagger and walked towards the altar. With a kick she destroyed the altar. She turned back and was surprised to see a single boy stayed.

"Why are you still here? Go back, you're safe now." A gentle voice entered the ears of the boy.

"How did you get so strong?"

"Why are you asking? Do you want to be strong?"

"Yes!"

The woman was surprised.

"Why?"

"I don't want to be this helpless again. These people... they're evil. I want to punish them with my own hands!"

The woman smiled. She knelt down and met the boy's eyes. They had a beautiful luster of green similar to emeralds. His gray hair was dirty and he had a few wounds.

"Are you sure?"

"YES!! I want to be strong like you!"

The woman saw the determination in the boy's eyes. She reached towards the back of her neck. Soon she took off the necklace she was wearing. The pendant was adorned with a single red gem with wings.

The boy took it but was confused. He asked.

"What is this?"

"The day will come when you find out. Keep it and hide. Only wear it around your neck when you are strong enough. When that time comes, go the capital."

"The capital? W-wait! What do you mean?"

"Just trust my words." After saying that she left and the boy followed behind.

When the boy finally exited the cave he saw soldiers. A lot of soldiers. It seems that they were here to cleanup the aftermath. A soldier approached the boy.

"Hmm? There's still a kid left. Hey kid! You ok?"

"Where's the person that saved us?!"

"Oh her? She already left."

"Is... that so? Can you at least tell me who she is?"

"Her name's... uhh... Alexandra? Not sure. She's pretty famous in the capital I think? But countryside soldiers like us don't know much about that. You can ask the knights over there but I don't think they'll answer a runt like you."

Saying so he pointed in certain direction. There were heavily armored knights there. Surely they know more about the mysterious woman, but the boy was intimidated from look at them and gave up the idea of asking the knights.

The soldier brought the boy to the area where the rescued children are. It was night and he was hungry. The boy was given rabbit stew which he happily accepted.

"Oh yeah! Hey kid, where do you live? We're gonna get you home."

"I.... don't wanna go home..."

"Why?" The soldier was perplexed. He looked at the boy's expression.

"Aahh, you have shitty parents. Is that right?"

The boy nodded.

"Tell you what. I'll bring you to the town where I live. I can let you live with me! I'm sure my wife will be more than happy taking you in. I have a daughter around your age as well! Maybe you'll be friends! What you say kid?"

Hearing the offer, the boy immediately agreed. Anywhere was better than this place, and he didn't want to go back to abusive parents.

Delighted, the soldier asked his name, to which the boy replied.

"Kaine."