"The sin to be repented, of course, is unconsciousness."
What’s the point of guarding dead people? Well, dead inside for now.
This whole debacle is just a farce anyway, created to make profit and to lessen the population every once in a while.
But just my luck to have it in my lifetime and to not be at the center of it all! I mean I could be a war hero again, if given the chance.
Yet I’m stationed to observe the dreary barracks of Block 6, the filthiest location in the summit during this cold winter season. It houses the spoils of war— deemed unfit to work and would soon be helpful in another filthier task.
However right now, I’m facing an even bigger problem: the painful swelling of my arse. Sitting in this godforsaken weather for 2 hours guarantees frostbite, and this iced slab of a chair isn’t helping either. It hardly ever bothered me at first, but being inside a tarp-pavilion which sparsely ever covers our heads was too much. It barely even provides insulation from the cold.
Well, at least I got a good view from where I’m stationed. Bare white legs with a reddish or most often purple hue peeking underneath a skank’s raggedy clothes and despite their sloven appearance, some were blessed with such curvaceous figures.
Soon, I might get a taste of that.
Despite the arctic temperatures inside this muck, there was some heat rising in me when I saw one of them had their tempting bosom peak through their sheer clothing, the icy temperature perfectly accentuated her two perked peaches.
What ruined it for me, however, was on the other side of the snowed path. Rust, metal, blood, and shit mixed and lingered in the air, heads of the rebels and the innocents were covered in burlap sacks below. Their bodies tied to a wooden pole using barbed wire, clawing at their skin. Those poor bastards barely wore anything in this freezing weather, only a flimsy loin cloth exposing their bruised upper bodies in a shameful display.
New military recruits lined up in front of them, holding rifles with sharp knives at the end. The recruits shouted as they ran towards the tied prisoners and practiced cutting through flesh. I remember my first time doing that, blood splattering everywhere and how the flesh was as soft as boiled pork as I easily sliced through it with my newly sharpened knife.
One of the higher-ups smacked a recruit’s head for missing the point of reference. And as soon as all the recruits had their turn — Bang! A single sharp deafening sound rang throughout the barracks. The target, who was once writhing from all the inflicted pain, let out a short eerie sound until its head slumped — forever quiet; forever still. Whoever hears it, is cursed to have the same fate or even worse.
But at least, that ends their pain. I cannot imagine being forever tormented like that. That must be what they call ‘true hell’.
"Ey kid, gotta piss. Take my post for a while, ye?" I nudged the young stiff soldier beside me as he nodded without saying anything and just proceeded to stare back into the distance.
I wonder if he ever gets tired of watching such a boorish yet violent landscape.
Although nature's call was not a lie, I needed a change of scenery. The fella beside me wouldn't mind a few minutes, right?
Looking for a place to take a short leek, the latrines were far from our block so we had no choice but to piss outside. I didn't want to piss outside due to the fact that it might freeze midway due to the absurdly low temperature.
Finally! Stumbling upon the best pissing location, another abandoned building near our block— dilapidated and fairly old but atleast my dick won’t get frostbite.
There wasn't a person in sight, as I scanned while entering the grim building with broken windows and walls.
Stopping midway, I smelt something foul coming from the side entrance of this building. It didn't smell like that of a urinal; it smelt of bodily decay and rust, like the air outside but worse. I shook my head thinking it was just another dead animal since this place had been abandoned after being pillaged.
Turning to a nearby corner, I proceeded to hastily unbutton my trousers, freeing my junior from the encased prison but my relief was cut short when I saw something off from my good eye. Perhaps because of the tedious tasks for the past month and having to stay outside for hours, I was starting to see things.
My shadow split into two, but before I could blink there was nothing. I must be going insane. I turned my head around quickly only to see nothing but an empty space. It was certainly hard to see things with only one functioning eye. Caressing my aching left eye, as if the pain from 10 years ago was freshly engraved into my soul.
"Don't even try."
A coarse domineering voice echoed behind me, causing me to almost jump — startled by the sudden intruder. I might have let go of a little tinkle before forcibly stopping it. This time, however, my silhouette did not mirror my own. The sudden rush of adrenaline flowed like a never ending stream, the scent behind me reminded me of when I was in the trenches, of despair, of danger and… death.
"Hold it in or Get out," he growled.
Fucking How?! I was about to burst because of the scare you gave me. He did not even bother to introduce himself but impatiently barked commands as if he were some hot shot.
"It already smells like shit in here. Don't make it even more fuckin' unbearable," I heard him mutter under his breath as I heard him shuffling from the dark.
Well, he's not wrong. It does smell disgusting here. I didn't even know that there were people who could stand in this place without holding their breath. With my back still turned against him, I spun my head to sneak a glance at the person.
The light from outside overcasted a shadow on his face. He was lean, a tad smaller than me but well-built. He emerged from the shadows smelling of strong cigarettes and a hint of blood.
He was fumbling with his lighter, a piece of a cigarette hanging from his mouth. A tiny fire bursts forth from the lighter as he brings it up close to his unlit cigar.
The small orange glow from the fire illuminated the man's face. Like his stature, he had quite a small face, it wasn't as angular or roughened compared to the guys I've seen in this camp. It looks bony, as if he had been starved for days.
"How long are you going to keep standing there?" He relented impatiently while puffing out his nicotine.
Well, a hungry lion is still a lion.
I was a bit irritated at being treated like a nuisance. However, being stared down while taking a piss wasn't a comforting experience. So, I yielded, for now.
Why was he so adamant in chasing me out?
I let out an irritated grumble of complaint before zipping up my cargo trousers. Then an idea of scaring this little brat came to me. Surely my big frame would be enough. His demeanor really pissed me off as I confronted him by towering over his small frame. He neither made any attempt to step back to put space between us but only stared with his cold unflinching look in his eyes.
"Look here, you shrimp-"
Before I could even fight back, I had a gun pointed straight at me. I stumbled back in shock and fear rushed into my system. There was an unhinged silence between the two of us, his face looked grim.
He can't be joking, right? I haven't even done anything yet and this crazy guy looks serious in putting a bullet hole through my skull. He grasped his cigar with his 2 fingers, then looked me up and down before releasing a cloud of smoke back into my face.
"You're Devan, right? The Dickless Devan?"
"Huh? Uhm, how did you know?" I stuttered, trying to compose myself, and didn't even notice his wronged nickname of me.
"Ah yes, you were known for that due to your injury, yes?" He looked at me mockingly. But he shifted his attitude and pushed the nozzle aggressively between my brows. It was still hot as though it was fired just a little bit earlier at something...or at someone. "Now what are you doing here, Dickless?"
"It's Deadeye! Not Dickless! Ye' bastard!" I shouted forgetting for a split second that I had a gun pointed —
A deafening crack followed by a searing pain was felt in my left upper arm. Seeing that the shrimp was prepared and used to killing, I suppressed the urge to talk back and thought of every possible escape route.
I'm fucked. I messed with the wrong person.
There was another deafening hush, as only the cold blizzard from outside brewed the intensity of our confrontation.
"You don't have any badges and patches on your sleeves," he added, his gun’s nuzzle searing my skin.
"H-Hey! I don't know what you're thinking, but- "
"From what block are you?" He interrupted.
"From b-block 6, block 6! I've just been reinstated! I'm Devan Vanko!" I yammered trying to convince him, not taking my eyes off on the smoking muzzle.
"I know. A relative of Lieutenant Morske of the Orske Infantry Division," he answered in a matter-of-fact tone. "But the real question is, Devan, why are you here?"
He interrogated further. But after he lowered his gaze and saw my warm damp pants some of his suspicions seemed to have cleared.
"You can't be here, sir Dickless. This place is off-limits." He puts back his gun to his satchel and resumes his smoke as though nothing happened. I wrapped my hand on my injured arm. "It's just a scratch. Don’t be a pussy and go back,” he added without looking back.
A scratch?! But to my surprise, it truly was just a scratch. Such remarkable marksmanship! Who is he?
"There you are, Sir Novak! I didn't know you'd be in this shabby place," a youthful red-haired soldier entered the building.
Sir Novak? Does he mean Avil Novak? I heard he was a candidate for the Special Forces due to his expert sharpshooting abilities but they say his physical capabilities just weren’t up to par. In spite of this, this footsoldier had made quite a name for himself. Rumors of his ruthless nature circulated within the camp and no men nor women would dare cross his path.
"Keep it short. I'm busy," Sir Avil Novak didn't even glance at the redhead and continued getting drunk on nicotine.
"You're as cold as ever,” he sighed. “Anyway, Lieutenant Morske asks for your report regarding the spy."
Sir Novak acknowledged the message briefly and turned his head to the origin of the horrible smell, he seems to be contemplating about something. “Rats really do stink. They ought to get caught,” he said in a low tone as he whirled back and started walking towards our direction.
This time, the pale light illuminated his weary face. He was pale, and his jet-black hair matched his obsidian eyes. There were prominent eye bags underneath it as if telling us that he hadn't had a wink of sleep in ages. He, in all honesty, looked sickly and frail. Despite this, there were various marksmanship badges that hung from his left chest; the prominent one being the White Silver Expert Rifle bar, which reflected the snow menacingly like a hidden blade unsheathed as he once pointed his gun at me. He probably thought of me as a spy but— my god! I truly just wanted to piss at that time.
"Why are you still here? Get out." Novak's frown deepened seeing that I was still in the room.
"Oh! Don't scare the disabled recruit, Sir Novak," Redhead spoke jokingly.
"I'm not. And I'm quite sure the disabled recruit could survive longer than you on the battlefield, sir Genes," said Novak sardonically.
It's Hanes, sir.
Novak didn't say anything but just looked at me, then my pants, and scrunched his nose in disgust before walking away. He continued to ignore us and went outside. Thus, I was left with the prejudiced redhead.
"Don't mind him. He's notoriously unfriendly to everyone."
I don't even want to classify that as unfriendly— is what I wanted to say but he seemed to be close with him.
"So do you," I mocked. And the kid's face reddened. "Anyway, the name's Devan. I guard the place, kid, " I smirked as I reached out my hand.
"Yeah uh.. Hanes," he answered as we shook hands, " ..from the Oxen Cavalry Unit.”
"Oh! You're uh assigned to block 6, huh? I'm jealous. If I wasn't in the Cavalry Unit I would rather do some guard duty."
Why would you want to be stuck with this boring job? Being in the Cavalry Unit sounds prestigious. "Looking after some crooks isn't as honorable as you think it is, kid."
He flinched as I called him a kid the second time, thus creating an awkward silence. "Uh, right, sorry. Since you're—uhm—in block 6. I was wondering..." He batted his head to check if anyone was listening in. "Have you seen a Madame named Grisella?" He asked shyly.
Madame? Grisella? There were no noblewomen in the block unless he was referring to the hostages. But a Madame?
"You know, she's a stunning dark-haired beauty..." He went on about her with a slur of compliments, but I never really followed who he was talking about.
"I'm sorry. I haven't seen someone like her," I said.
"I see. When I tried to look for her during the day. The guards said that not one of the prisoners had escaped. Maybe I should try asking the people in block 7."
I accompanied him back to the block in order to look for his lady. We had some small talk during the short trip. However, what he said next made me stop in my tracks.
"Did Sir Novak really scare you that much?"
Of course, he did! He was about to kill me before you came!
"Well, uhm. How do I put this?" He trailed off. "Although he might act like a delinquent, he won't hurt you unless you're hostile to him or the military."
Delinquent, my ass!
"...And you might want to change your pants." He added.
Realizing the cold dampness between my legs, I looked down and saw a fairly large spectacle on my crotch. I groaned in embarrassment as Hanes gave me a sheepish grin.
An ear-deafening explosion was heard from the center of the barracks, sending us flying with questions.
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