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Chapter 1: Prologue

Under the starless night, a man in his early 20s lay on his back in a hole that was more than 10 meters deep into the ground. His four mangled limbs are barely attached to the body, white bone pierced out of the skin.

At the center of his body, there is a large pillar piercing through his abdomen and nearly cutting his body in two as his spine was no longer holding his body together, only his skin and some of the damaged muscles that are barely holding together are the only things that stop his body from separating.

His blood soaked all of his cloth and his feelings started to fade but something stopped him from losing consciousness.

The voice of dozens of men chanting the mantra he didn't know as if they are performing some kind of ritual.

He doesn't want to believe that all of this will happen to him on a day that should be one of the happiest days of his life.

[Why am I here? Why did this happen to me? Is this a nightmare?] Countless doubts and questions rang within his weak consciousness that barely holds on.

He had been eagerly awaiting this day, the day when he would sign a deal with the country's top publishing company for the card game he had created.

After passing all the checks and undergoing a lengthy playtesting process, his game was finally ready for the market. He couldn't wait to see his name in print and his game on the shelves of every bookstore in the country.

But then, in a cruel twist of fate, the deal fell through for the most ridiculous reason. Apparently, someone had told the publisher that they didn't like his face, and that was enough to cancel the entire project!

It was absurd! and he never would have imagined that something so trivial could ruin everything he had worked for.

All of the other publishers he had been in contact with suddenly disappeared, and he couldn't get through to any of his business contacts. He was left in a state of confusion and disbelief.

It was then that his girlfriend called him, urging him to come to the construction site of the new city district where a shrine was being built.

When he arrived, he found her standing next to a man he recognized from the news: Victor Justius, the crown prince of the country. There were a number of people in black suits and robes surrounding them, adding to the sense of foreboding.

"Begin the ceremony," the crown prince commanded.

In an instant, the man in the black suit standing next to him aimed his gun at him and pulled the trigger, without uttering a word.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

"No! You promised you wouldn't touch him if I brought him here!" his girlfriend cried out to the crown prince.

But the crown prince just laughed mockingly in response. "Did you see me touching him? No, no, no. The one I'm going to touch is you!"

With that, he pushed his girlfriend down to the ground. He felt a sharp pain shoot through his arms and legs as the bullets tore through his limbs, rendering him unable to stand or move. All he could do was watch helplessly as the scene unfolded before him.

The crown prince began tearing at his girlfriend's clothes, attempting to force himself on her. It was a sight that he had never imagined he would have to witness.

"Noooo! Arrrggghhh!" The girl screamed and tried to resist as his body got dragged to a large hole in front of him before he got thrown into it by the crown prince's men.

What did he do to deserve this? Did he unknowingly do something to offend the crown prince? He had heard about the cruelty and willful nature of this crown prince from the rumor, but he just brushed it off as it was very far from him.

It was unlikely for him to be a victim of the crown prince's cruel nature amongst the more than 70 Million population of this country.

He tried to get back up with just his body and his disabled limb but his struggling could only allow him to flip his body up.

What came next was a large pillar that fell from above the hole, piercing his body.

How naive could he be to think like that.

As his girlfriend's screams continued to ring out, suddenly a new sound joined in: the agonizing scream of the crown prince.

"Arrrrrggggghhh, you bitch! How dare you bite it off! God!! Arrrggggg!!" The crown prince's moans of pain echoed through the construction site.

"The crown prince is injured! Medic!" a man's panicked voice called out, followed by the sound of many footsteps.

"Danny!" the girl's voice cried out as she rushed to the edge of the hole, her face splattered with red blood, especially around her mouth and teeth. The blood was a deep red, and some of it flowed down her neck and stained her tattered clothing.

"No! God... no... Danny!! DAAAANNN!!!" she screamed, her voice full of anguish.

Her face was etched with deep guilt as she struggled to catch a glimpse of the man lying on his back, motionless at the bottom of the hole.

"I'm sorry, Danny! I'm so stupid, I'm sorry! I'm so... stupid... sob..." Her tears fell onto one of the man's mangled arms as she wept, consumed by her regret and guilt.

[Ah...even though she lured me here, seeing her face and hearing her voice again, even if I feel a little bit betrayed, it's still good to see her...] The man's thoughts drifted as his consciousness began to fade.

"Run..." he tried to tell her, but his strength had all but left him.

Suddenly, a gunshot rang out, and the girl fell to the side, a trickle of blood running down her temple. That was the last scene the man witnessed.


Unknown to anyone, a prototype card that he had kept in his shirt pocket, now soaked in his blood, began to emit a faint red glow before vanishing into the man's body.

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