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Chapter 34 ???'s Past, Part One


Please note that there are some gruesome descriptions in this story.
Also, the writing style changed to third-person instead of first-person.

 Sole was a skinny child.
 He had no family, friends, home, talents, or even a name, and had no place even in a slum city where people in similar circumstances gathered.
 One cloudy day, a change came to his daily routine that he had been repeating ever since he can remember.
 There were no leftovers anywhere that day, as if someone else had already taken them. Sole, unable to bear the feeling of hunger, suddenly found himself eating fruits lined up in front of the store.
 Of course, a person who has just been scavenging for leftover food cannot have any money, and he was turned over to the guard station, but there was no one who would take care of his identity.
 It would be easy to detain him for the time being and let him go on the pretense that he was sorry, but there was a strong possibility that he would do the same thing again impulsively, considering his circumstances.
 The guards are wondering what to do. Then, one of the guards makes a proposal.
 He suggested that he should become a slave, which would guarantee food, clothing, and shelter, and would at least be much better than the current environment.
 Although the word "slave" made him uneasy, it was not a man from the slum who had been persecuting him, but a guard protecting the city, and he thought he could trust what the guard said, so he accepted the proposal and chose to become a slave himself.
 
**a
 For Sole, being treated as a commodity by the slavers was much better than he had imagined.
 Although he was confined in a dimly lit cage all day long, he could get a fixed amount of food a day here without having to go looking for it himself.
 And here were slaver's goods just like himself, people in the same position, no one to abuse him like the people outside.
 There is no need to look for a place to sleep, no need to be persecuted, no need to worry about food.
 It was not a blessed environment in a normal sense, but for those who had lived in a much worse environment, this place was truly like heaven.
 Sole wished from the bottom of his heart that the happy time would last forever.
 
 However, shortly after that, a buyer for Sole appeared.
 He was a nobleman who said he was looking for a slave who could do hard labor, but for some reason he was willing to buy Sole, who was the skinniest and the least powerful of all the slaves.
 Of course Sole was puzzled by this and asked the nobleman fearfully why he had chosen him. And he said,
 
 "I like to nurture people, and when I see someone who seems to have potential, I want to nurture him or her with my own hands. I promise you that if you eat meat and train yourself well, you will be much stronger than you are now. What do you say, if you're up for it, why don't you come and join me?"
 
 Nothing much to say, he jumped at the nobleman's proposal.
 Even the meat, discarded as leftovers, cold and fatty, was a treat for him.
 If it not only gave him meat, but also gave him power over his complex of having nothing, there was no reason for him to refuse.
 Thus, Sole was bought as a slave by the nobleman.
 Unaware that this was the beginning of hell.
 
 As soon as Sole arrived at the nobleman's mansion, he was brought to a strange basement with a rectangular stone pedestal in the center, and was instructed to lie down on the pedestal.
 As soon as he lay down as he was told, even though he was a little suspicious, his whole body was enveloped in a warm light, and he felt as if his body and mind were being healed.
 
**b
 "It feels good, doesn't it? The pedestal is specially made, and while you are lying on it, a high-level healing magic is applied to you."
 
 While the nobleman talks happily as if he is showing off his favorite toy, Sole is in a dreamy state due to the healing magic he is experiencing for the first time, and he does not pay attention to what the nobleman is saying.
 The nobleman, whether he knew it or not, continued the conversation without paying attention to Sole's condition.
 
 "Once muscles are injured, they become stronger and tougher in the process of healing. In this process, nutrients for muscle building, such as meat, become indispensable."
 
 While dreamily listening to the nobleman's story, Sole suddenly feels something strange in his limbs.
 When Sole wakes up and checks what is going on, he finds that chains extending from the pedestal are intertwined with his limbs, and his body is fixed to the pedestal.
 The moment Sole opens his mouth to ask the nobleman what is going on, something like a thick tube growing from the ceiling enters his mouth, and it penetrates to the back of his throat.
 
 "Well, now that we're all set up, let's get started."
 
 Let's start? The nobleman with the hammer, which was covered with sticky reddish-black blood, raised it with a frightening smile on his face and swung it down on Sole's arm without any hesitation.
 His skinny, stick-like arm shatters easily, and he lets out an inaudible scream as his throat is blocked.
 
 "Ah―I was right. Your body is still fragile, but rest assured, I will make you stronger than you ever were before. This is my 'promise' to you."
 
 The unpleasant sound of crunching flesh and bones, and the high-pitched thud of a hammer hitting the pedestal echoes through the basement over and over again.
 Over and over, like forging red-hot steel―his blood, flesh, and bone splattered around him every time the nobleman brought the hammer down, not caring that they stained him, the nobleman single-mindedly continued to bring the hammer down.
 
**c
 And then, a week has passed since the nobleman bought the hammer.
 Since that day, the nobleman has made time to visit the basement, hammering down like a madman and beating up Sole's body.
 The beaten up body has been continuously pumped with something that looks like a thick paste of flesh through a tube stuck in his mouth, and he is not even allowed to spit it out, but has been restrained on a pedestal ever since then.
 
 "Hey, hey, what's that look in your eyes, I'm only fulfilling my promise to you, right?"
 
 His hands, feet, and even his mouth are blocked, and he stares at the nobleman as if to offer some resistance.
 The aristocrat, sensing his displeasure, frowns and sniffs, then suddenly turns on his heel, climbs the stairs leading to the upper floor, and disappears.
 Though it is not open to the public, it is still the only peace for Sole now that the aristocrat has left.
 However, such peace does not last long, for the nobleman, who was thought to have gone away to some other place, soon returns.
 
 "Hello, I've been preparing to punish you for being a bit insubordinate."
 
 Preparations? When Sole looks at the nobleman, who does not seem to have brought anything in particular, with a mixture of doubt and fear, the nobleman quietly smiles and lowers the lever on the wall.
 At the same time, a driving sound is heard from the ceiling, and soon after, pasty food slowly flows down from the ceiling through a tube that has grown out of the ceiling.
 
 "This is a special meal I made for you, and it's quite expensive, too. Considering the amount of money I'm spending on you, you're probably eating better than I am."
 
 The aristocrat, who is so condescending that he didn't ask for it, approaches the pedestal and picks up a piece of meat from it.
 
 "So I've decided to save a little money, and I'm going to need your help. No, not much, just to make good use of what you've been wasting."
 
**a
 Cooperation? What he's been wasting? Making good use of it? What on earth is he talking about?
 In front of his pallid face, the nobleman plays with a piece of flesh with his fingertips as if to show it off.
 And when the piece slowly trickles down the tube and reaches the back of his throat, the nobleman smiles and says.
 
 "It's not every day you get the chance to eat yourself. I hope you will eat every last piece of yourself and turn it into your own flesh and blood."
 
 The nobleman's words confronted him with a terrible truth.
 From that day on, he was not only hammered to pieces all over his body, but was also subjected to the hell of having pieces of his own flesh splattered into his mouth.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
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